Those Gentiles!

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That would be me.
Yes. I am a Gentile.
But, I always wanted to be Jewish.  However, God didn’t see it that way.
And since He is the one who determines who will be…and where…and when…
I’ll leave that alone.

Why, you ask, would I want to be Jewish? 

Who in their right mind would want to be Jewish with all the persecution they have endured throughout the ages?

Me.

Yes, me.  You  see, I understand God chose to reveal Himself to a people He set apart for His purpose.  He chose to work through the Jewish nation.  And to have that rich heritage, to be a part of a chosen people…not through conversion, but through birth…wow.  It’s always been a longing of my heart.

I believe the difference between Christian and Jew is the point of Christ. Jews do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. Christians do. It is that simple. And so, if I were Jewish I would have a better understanding of my Christian faith, by virtue of having learned the Law and the Prophets. The Exodus…the Tabernacle…the Feasts…so many beautiful types (pictures) of Christ are found in Jewish history and heritage.  Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.  Jesus was Jewish.

At this time in History (His story), we are living under Grace, not Law. It is “the time of the Gentiles” as the New Testament describes the Church Age:  the time between Jesus’ life, death and resurrection all the way to “the Day of the Lord” — whenever that may be.

To understand life through the writers of the New Testament, it’s necessary to see that the Gentiles did not believe in One God.  They believed in a plethora of gods.  At that time in history only the Jewish people were monotheistic.

Paul describes the Gentiles this way:

So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. ~Ephesians 4:17-19

Wow. Let me make this clear, in case it didn’t quite sink in:

Their thinking is futile.
Their understanding is darkness.
They are alienated from the life of God.
They are ignorant.
They have hard hearts.
They are callous.
They have given themselves over to indecency.
They want more and more and more of every kind of impurity.

If that is not the definition of “lost” then I’m not sure what is!

He’s talking about my ancestors and yours (unless, of course, you’re privileged to be Jewish).

But, Paul is also talking about anyone who does not, still, know God.
On this side of the cross, we ALL have a chance to know Him. 
He made a way, through His Son, for those of us who were far off from the promises of God to come near. 

We can partake of the goodness of God. 
We can know Him intimately. 
We can walk out of darkness and into light.

And the other point: Christians can live like that description, if we’re not careful. 

Paul said, “So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do.” 

That may have been where we came from, but it’s not where we are anymore. 

Now, we have taken on the name of Christ. 
Now, we have obtained the life of God.
Now, we are to be walking in the light as He is in the light.

Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.  The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
~Romans 13:12-13

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10 responses »

  1. They have hard hearts.
    They are callous.
    They have given themselves over to indecency.
    They want more and more and more of every kind of impurity.

    For a second when I read the above I thought your ancestors might have been lawyers. 🙂

    Every kind of knowledge we now have began at some point in the past. If we have learned from it we have abandoned the mistakes, and used the correct parts as our foundation to build on.

    For the Christian faith the foundation is found in the words of the Old Testament. As God chosen people began to drift away from God’s guidance, the faithful were saved by the sacrifice of Jesus, then by following the guidance in the New Testament.

    Scientific thinking began with the first human who, through trial and error, discovered that if you rub the right kinds of materials together you can start a fire.

    Adam lost his home in Eden for eating from the wrong tree.

    That first fire-builder may have burnt down his home before learning it is easier to start a fire than it is to stop one.

    Both men made the mistake of playing with fire. 🙂

  2. i left a comment to this at the previous post but there is a further bit of follow-up too…

    it concerns the stubbornness of the majority of Jewish People to NOT follow God.

    While there are innumerable references to this in the OT written by the Jewish Peoples here is a selection taken from Judges 2:

    10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
    11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
    12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
    13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
    14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
    15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.
    16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
    17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.
    18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
    19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
    20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;
    21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
    22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
    23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.

    Whoring after other gods? corrupted themselves more than their fathers? ceased not from their own doings or their own stubborn way?? Children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord??

    and you want to be like such as these??

    Please, Say it ain’t so, Sis!?

    P.S. Again in he spirit of truth it is necessary for me to advise that Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion that originated around 1000 BC in Persia and that it is almost identical with Mazdaism.

    The concept of One Creator God is not unique to Judaism. While Hebrews like to make claims to be the first to believe this in their own texts, there is little supporting evidence in any other civilisation that is able to confirm the early dates they claim their religion originates from. (ie the 14th century before Christ, while modern scholars date the completion of the Torah to be no earlier than the time of Jewish exile in Persia or the 4th to 6th centuries BC. if this is truth then the Jews finished their religious scripture about 500 years after Zoroaster, who was in Peria before the Jews, declared there to be One Creator God and that there would come a saviour to be the salvation of the people unto God.)

    There have been various periods in very early Egypt and China where belief in a single God was attempted to be made the country’s universal religion, but just like the Jewish people, each society fell back to the worship of other gods as their fathers also once believed in.

    Virtually every religion man has ever followed in his 10,000 years of civilisation has held the concept that One God created the universe and rules over all until the end of time.

    it is the only ‘logical’ belief possible, however some people choose to also see it as logical that God ‘farms out’ various necessary lesser ongoing duties to creatures under His control and the panoply of ‘gods’ are largely due to local versions of faith where a single ‘assistant’ to God was revered for a particular favour it was seen as bringing them. The Catholic worship of the many Saints, whom all have various holy days and fesitvals dedicated to honouring and worshipping them locally is a similar form of worship to the ‘multiple’ gods some believers see in other religions to their own.

    The powers given to the nine various heirarchys of Angels (and the particular power God has given over the earth to Satan) are similarly able to be seen as evidence of the multiple parts (lesser gods) of the One God Christians choose to believe in – ‘we’ just know ‘better’ 😉

    <B

  3. Good comparison, Ed. If only we were learning. Yes, we’ve progressed in some ways but have we become “better” people? Better as in spiritually good? I don’t see it. I believe the only goodness I have within is His Spirit…but I did enjoy your comparison.

    Wow, Love! I’ve read and read and read again. I believe we’re not talking about the same thing. Imagine that! 🙂

    First, let me give this quote from Mark Twain:

    If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

    I believe the secret is his God. God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham. And He will fulfill ALL of His promises to His people. He is a covenant-keeping God.

    But I think you’ve missed my point. I love the rich historical heritage — the traditions — that God laid out for them to observe. And a righteous remnant has ALWAYS observed. That is the heritage of which I speak. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God we serve. Jesus is Yahweh. He is One and the same.

    Yes, the people He chose have not followed. But the stubbornness of their heart is the same stubbornness of ours. We flatter ourselves to think we would have done any better. But that does not nullify God’s choosing.

    That righteous remnant is the part I yearn to claim as my heritage. Yes. I have been grafted into the root. I am a child of Abraham through faith. I just think it would be SO COOL to understand all the significance of the Feasts…the Tabernacle…the Holy of Holies… Sometimes I feel I’m behind the eight ball and having to catch up in learning. If I had grown up Jewish, I imagine I may have seen the beauty of it all earlier in life…maybe.

    But on the opinion you seem to hold of the nation in general, we do NOT agree. I see God working when I read and study Jewish history and their current events. He will bless His people. He promised.

  4. Sis – sometimes we do indeed hold opinions (based upon our very different position fronm which we have to view the infinite variety and complexity of God) which seem to differ widely from the other.

    But always remember we are both looking at the SAME fundamentals. (such as the Scripture, God, mankind, Faith) It is because i am not exactly like you and you are not exactly like me that we sometimes have the appearance of looking at different things or seeing things somewhat differently.

    ‘But the stubbornness of their heart is the same stubbornness of ours.’

    this was what i was hoping you could regognise.

    As for flattering ourselves we could do ‘better’ again i don’t think we (gentiles) could flatter ourselves more than the Jews have done – both being made of flesh and without a living controling spirit (controlling the flesh – it is the flesh that wins out in most if not all cases).

    i think it is quite important however to remember that it is only the Jews who have ever reported seeing God in ‘person’ or Christ in the flesh (i don’t believe Paul ever saw Jesus before He ascended??)

    Many gentiles might have claimed to have seen His Angels but few have any corroborating evidence or of witnessing God ‘directly’ (in various forms) as happened in several places in Scripture.

    i point this out simply to suggest that if i had ever seen any firm evidence of the existence or presence God i somehow doubt i would ever forget it and seek ‘another’.

    What on earth were the people Moses led out of Egyptian captivity thinking when they cast the golden calf within sight of His Pillar before them and Moses talking with Him???

    At the time of Mr Twain’s writing the ‘immortal’ Jew had no country to call their own and had yet to suffer yet another of God’s punishments through Hitler. That was the main incentive for the re-establishment, with the support of America which then held the majority of Jews world-wide, of the state of Israel as we have accepted it today.

    In contrast the ‘mortal’ Persians (now called Iraqi’s), Greeks, Romans, Arabs and British, who all had at various times either conquered ‘Israel’ and it’s people or supported them or ensured their continued survival in a safe haven where they were free to practice whatever religion they chose ALL still lived in their own countries and were ruling themselves peacefully at the time, and getting on largely quite well and in a civilised fashion with their immediate neighbours.

    I believe it is largely a matter of personal perspective – we see things not always as the ‘are’ but as we would have them – that is human nature.

    God has promised and keeps His Promises – it is man who breaks his, and is largely unworthy when he acts independently of God – especially so when he thinks he is actually doing God’s will when he is so clearly doing what is good for himself, not for God.

    i can appreciate your desire to understand the Bible stories better and the attraction of the rich heritage – but do please bear in mind that this is inseperable from the many disasters and suffering God has ensured ‘His’ People have received because of their rebellion against Him, ever since Adam lived.

    The ‘good’ does not come without considerable bad baggage also – much as does our own life that we are to live in reality – even if we all wish for something much much better than we ever actually got.

    Again – it is not the earthly life we are to follow but we are to be lead by His Spirit. it is our future we should be thinking of and doing all we can to ensure is with Him – rather than wishing for a different life to the one we are given by Him.

    <B

  5. Michelle what a lovely new picture on your banner:) Growing up I was taught to respect the Jewish people as God’s chosen people, today I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of His chosen people. I don’t always live like I am a chosen people though because sometimes my head forgets. But God doesn’t forget, just like with the Jews, He remains faitful when we lose faith.

  6. Hey, Love. I know we don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. No one ever does. 😉

    I am coming from a point of admiration, not envy. I truly admire the Jewish people.

    And as far as the other nations:

    “In contrast the ‘mortal’ Persians (now called Iraqi’s), Greeks, Romans, Arabs and British, who all had at various times either conquered ‘Israel’ and it’s people or supported them or ensured their continued survival in a safe haven where they were free to practice whatever religion they chose ALL still lived in their own countries and were ruling themselves peacefully at the time, and getting on largely quite well and in a civilised fashion with their immediate neighbours.”

    To say those nations lived civilly with their neighbors when they were ALL conquering nations and vast empires is to woefully understate the evils they did to the peoples they conquered (although yes, in Babylon and later Persia — thinking that’s more Iran than Iraq — they were allowed to live peacefully, until someone like Haman came along, Book of Esther).

    But Love, I really don’t want to get into the vast histories. My point was only one of admiration. No desire at all to tear down the Jewish peoples, they’ve had enough of that throughout their phenomenal (dare I say immortal) history. However, one book I thoroughly enjoyed that you might want to read, Wanderings by Chaim Potok. Most anything by Potok is wonderful, but the history he writes is remarkable and thoroughly accurate in comparison to other recorded history and archeaological evidence.

    Hey, Rain. I was in Miami, Florida the first time I realized that a people still existed that were Jewish. I was eight. From that time on I’ve had a fascination of Jesus’ ancestry. He is faithful to all His people. This does happen to be the first post in that series I mentioned before. To establish the consistency of His faithfulness through all the covenants is the foundation of the end time teaching (I think). So…stay tuned…

  7. So this is one of those times when I feel like we could be twins, speaking at the same time. I have said and thought these exact things so many times. I know in my heart that if anything wildly strange (and as yet unclassified in my mind) were to happen to my country (like it fell into the sea or something) I would live in Israel. I truly would move to Israel tomorrow if that were in my realm of possibility. But … sigh. Like you, God ordains my steps and he has not (yet) ordained this. 🙂 But I keep waiting.

  8. I understand your desire to be in Israel, Sparkle. I feel it too. It’s been a dream of mine for many years. I think I was a high school junior when I first read “Exodus” by Leon Uris. I was fascinated with the story and stamina of the Jewish people. I thought living in a kibbutz would be perfect (that was when I had energy and could work a full day). Lots of dreams about helping to rebuild the Beautiful Land. But, God knows best, right? I will leave it with Him.

  9. Oh wow, Papa! I would love to go to Israel. Some day…hopefully. (Yeah, I kinna like bacon…and ham…and pork chops…but then, we’re gentiles, so we get to indulge in all things swiney!!)

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