Light To The Nations
By Cohen G. Reckart, Pastor
2.) Real Estate & The National Right
3.) Promises & Conditions
4.) Jewish Eternal Security
5.) Messiah & The New Jerusalem
6.) The Church Replaced Israel
What is the Abraham Covenant? Who all may receive and benefit from it? Is it strictly a Jewish thing? Was Abraham a Gentile? Is the Abrahamic Covenant confined to Jews through circumcision? Is the Abrahamic Covenant fulfilled in Jesus Messiah?
All these questions are valid. They cannot however be answered apart from Scripture and Bible Prophecy. They cannot be interpreted apart from the doctrine of Messiah. And most assuredly, these issues cannot be settled except we consult with the Apostle Paul who was taught the Scriptures and the Revelation by Jesus Messiah himself.
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 8:11 And I say unto you, That many Gentiles shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all Gentiles, baptising them in my name.
GEN 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the Gentiles of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
GAL 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all Gentiles be blessed.
GAL 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham (Above text from BJV Version).
What may we conclude? 1.) That Messiah required of Jews more than flesh and blood inheritance from Abraham, he required faith in him as Messiah. And should any reject him, he could raise up children to Abraham not of their flesh and blood but from the stony hearts of the Gentiles; 2.) Jesus specifically taught that the Gentiles would be beneficiaries of the Abrahamic Covenant along with Isaac and Jacob and sit down in the Kingdom of God with and equal to them; 3.) The great commission to the Apostles was to go to all the world and make disciples of all the Gentiles and their conversion would be accomplished through baptism in his name; 4.) That these Gentile converts would be the people of the nations blessed under the same Covenant of Abraham; 5.) They that are Messiah's are the children of Abraham. We may conclude then, that all who are grafted into the olive tree are full beneficiaries of the Abrahamic Covenant. All who are severed out of it have no inheritance to the blessings or the real estate regardless of how hard some lie to try and make it so.
Real Estate & The National Right
Many Jews and Gentiles in sympathy with the Jews, think that the Abrahamic Covenant is the national right to real estate without any merit or need to be holy or live by any certain religious values.
It is alleged that it is God's faithfulness to perform his oath to Abraham, not the faithfulness of Jews who must live by religious values, that guarantees all Jews the inheritance or promises of Abraham as beneficiaries.
The Jews slammed this into the teeth of Jesus. They claimed unconditional eternal security by the works and faith of Abraham, not their own:
JOH 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
Even if real estate was the fulness of God's promise to Abraham (which it was not), and even if this real estate was exclusive tonatural Israel (which it was not), WHERE IS THERE SALVATION in a deed, a land-grant, or an inheritance in real estate?
If there is no salvation provided in the land-grant to those who may claim an undivided interest in the title, by what method will these Jews be saved? The choices are simple: ...Old Torah (Covenant), or the New Torah (Covenant). And if the Law was fully ended at Calvary and not after seven years taken down from the nail-scared hands of Jesus for the alleged time of Jacob's trouble in the great tribulation, salvation is only in the New Torah/Covenant as Jesus prophesied.
If Jews do not obey Acts 2:38 by faith toward the object of Abraham's faith and circumcision, then their circumcison is counted as non-circumcision and the real estate has become nothing but an abominable pig stye for the ungodly:
Jeremiah 2:7--And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine inheritance an abomination.
Jeremiah 16:18--And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things (KJV).
The doctrine that the Jews have unconditional eternal security in Abraham's covenant of circumcision and that salvation is without conditions is false. The following texts of Scripture will clearly demonstrate that election is not hyper-predestination with eternal security:
Promises & Conditions
It is obvious that if any Israelite for whatever reason apostated from the Covenant they did not continue to possess the promise or the covenants of Abraham or Sinai. The point has been made several times by Jewish religious leaders, that if a Jew converts from the Torah to the New Covenant of Jesus Messiah, that Jew is no longer to be consider a Jew and has forfeited all the blessings and promises of Abraham. This one fact proves that Jews believe there exist conditions that terminates the Abrahamic Covenant. And this being true, then any other provision that cancels the Abrahamic Covenant is just as valid.
However, Jews and Noahides practice a double standard. Jewish Christians are damned from the Abrahamic Covenant but Jews who are atheists, agnostics, Buddhist, Hindu, homosexual or lesbian, witches, astrologers, tarot readers etc. etc. are considered still beneficiaries of the Abrahamic promises and covenant?
I ask all Christians who possess knowledge in these matters: Where is the Scripture where Jesus says he will give back the vineyard to those who killed the King's Son, and for which he took it away from them and gave to others (Matthew 21:38-41)?
Jewish Eternal Security
The doctrine is now circulating in denominational circles and from Jewish sources, that the Jews do not need a blood sacrifice for their sins, because they are eternally secure by God's oath to Abraham.
This is not a new doctrine. It was believed by Jews during the time of the early Church and now by a large majority of Gentiles, that the Covenant God made with Abraham is superior to all other Covenants, including the New Covenant of Messiah. In fact, to deny the Gentiles entry into the New Covenant, it is alleged that it was postponed until the Millennial when Abraham's Covenant is said to be finalized without Gentiles. Gentiles are said to be saved by a new Noahide Covenant called Grace. The Gospel of Grace is said to be Law-keeping that brings the Gentiles under the Law until the New Covenant comes in the millennial. In this manner the eternal security of Israel is said to be a fact. Is this not actually a heresy?
What is that Covenant? Is it unconditional?No!
Genesis 17: 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and IT SHALL BE A TOKEN of the covenant betwixt me and you.
13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant (KJV).
Circumcision was then the outward token of the Covenant, BUT NOT THE COVENANT.
Abraham had already been saved and imputed righteousness prior while he was uncircumcised and while he was still a Gentile. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all Syrian by race stock (Genesis 26:5).
GEN 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
This salvation was prior to the birth of Ishmael and prior to the birth of Isaac. Circumcision did not come about until the very year that Isaac was born. At that time Ishmael was about thirteen years old. Isaac was born when Abraham was a ninty nine, so the salvation of Abraham by faith was prior to his eighty-sixth birthday. Abraham left his family at the age of seventy (Genesis 12:4). Abraham had the Covenant for nearly fourteen years prior to circumcision that became a token of the Covenant. Both Ishmael and Isaac were conceived in uncircumcision. Abraham's salvation Covenant of Righteousness was not sealed by circumcision since it pre-dated it by many years. The moment he was justified by righteousness being imputed to him, that is the moment his object of faith procured for him salvation. Circumcision was only a *type* that was later fulfilled in repentance (circumcision of the heart), in water baptism. And Jesus and John referred to apostate Jews as being uncircumcised in heart. Thus, these had no Covenant of Abraham, regardless of how much they erroneously lay claim to it.
The Covenant was founded upon the religious values of Abraham, called Faith. God said he had chosen Abraham to make this Covenant with, because Abraham had OBEYED HIS VOICE, KEPT HIS CHARGE, COMMANDMENTS, STATUTES, AND LAWS.
GEN 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
The idea that God makes a Covenant with a sinner is false. The idea that God gave circumcision *as* the Covenant is false. God made the Covenant "BECAUSE" of the object of Abraham's faith and because he believed and obeyed him by faith. God set forth five points upon which Abraham qualified to come into a Covenant.
Since Moses wrote this history, it would obviously mean that all the early Jews knew that their election stood in KEEPING THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM (circumcision was the token). Why claim the God of Abraham, and not approach this God with the same religious consecration as Abraham?
By "FAITH" we mean not only a belief in God, but a system of righteousness in which paganism and the philosophies and religious beliefs of other peoples and nations do not find welcome. In other words, no MIXTURE. What the Jews were to be as a people, SEPARATE, ...so their religious beliefs and values were to be separate without mixture with paganism. Even as circumcision was an outward token given to Abraham as a sign of his inward religious values and faith, so circumcision of later generations was to be an outward sign of the SAME FAITH AND RELIGIOUS VALUES OF ABRAHAM in them.
Without this faith their circumcision was counted as uncircumcision. Circumcision without the same object of FAITH and RELIGIOUS VALUES of Abraham, is not COVENANT at all.
Most Jews believe that God will do a circumcision check on all males before allowing them to enter the alleged exclusive Jewish Millennial [the golden communistic socialist utopia], and later, the pearly gates of heaven. Righteousness, holiness, faith toward Messiah, and salvation are never qualifying factors by these new Judaistic and Noahide interpreters of Scripture?
The Apostle Paul, holding to the ancient traditions of the orthodox Jews, believed that circumcision without righteousness was counted as uncircumcision if a Jew apostated and did not live by the Faith of Abraham.
When liberalism crept into the Jewish fabric of theology, the idea came about that the Covenant by which circumcision was a token could not be disanulled by the way a Jew chose to live his life (somewhat the Calvinist and Baptist doctrines of unconditional eternal security today). The Babylonian, Egyptian, and Hellenistic Jews, who totally abandoned the essential aspects and the objects of Abraham's Faith still considered themselves the elect and chosen of God Jews.
Philo, Josephus, and Akkiba three of the most nefarious Jewish philosophers of Babylonian and Greek subculture, chief apostates of all evil, were and are considered great Jews of their day and today. The daughter of Philo, ...Bernice, married Herod Agrippa a Gentile pagan. Together Bernice and Agrippa made sport of the Apostle Paul as he pleaded for his life with the testimony of the Faith of Abraham that was revealed afresh by Messiah.
Philo, Josephus, and Akkiba, totally apostated the true interpretation of the Covenant of Abraham and the Law, giving them a mystical interpretation, [said to have been concealed in oral traditions], that totally destroyed the original testimony and intent of the Covenants to provide and secure a holy Godly people for Messiah and his Kingdom.
On the other hand, a Jewish male that believed upon Jesus Messiah as the object of Abraham's faith and became a Messiahian by obeying Acts 2:38, was cut off by parents, family, and the Jewish community. His circumcision was and is today counted as uncircumcision and he is damned to hell for his faith in Jesus. He is treated as if he was outside of the Covenant of Abraham when he is actually the only one IN IT!
Why is this rule not practiced among the Jews for those who sin out of the Covenants of Abraham and the Law with authentic perversion and apostasy? Why are only Christian Jews and their circumcision counted as non-circumcision? Based upon these double-standards and schemes, why do Gentiles think that all other Jews are entitled to claim the promises of Abraham, if by their sins and refusal to live by the conditions of the Covenants, their circumcision is counted by God as uncircumcision? Gentiles have been deceived by the very people who have so long deceived themselves.
What Jews and many Gentiles fail to understand, is that sin and abomination, by failure to keep the conditions of the Covenants of God, caused all of their circumcisions to be counted as uncircumcision. Any Jew today who is circumcised and who does not come to salvation in Messiah, his circumcision is counted as uncircumcision by God.
Remember, the object of Abraham's faith was Messiah and the city that had foundations whose builder and maker was God, is the new Jerusalem, not the old Jerusalem or even the alleged Millennial Jerusalem! Abraham never saw or looked for the two earthly ones.
Messiah & The New Jerusalem
Circumcision then was an outward seal of that faith pointing toward the New Jerusalem. Circumcision, afterward called the Covenant of circumcision, was valid until Calvary only with the objects of faith being Messiah and the New Jerusalem. Detract either of the objects, and circumcision is ritual without faith and works without reward.
The circumcision stood for the Covenant. The Covenant was an agreement having for consideration the future Messiah and the heavenly Jerusalem as the objects of faith. The breaking of this Covenant by rejecting faith in the coming Messiah, made circumcision a work of the flesh with no rights to the Covenant blessings or promises in the New Jerusalem. The Covenant became of no effect unto these. The Covenant becomes null and void. God could rescind all of his Covenant provisions and cut off all of those whom he judged to be the same as if they were uncircumcised.
JER 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
JER 9:26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
EZE 44:9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. ACT 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
ISA 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant [religious faith that circumcision was the token of].
JER 11:10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant [which circumcision was a token of] which I made with their fathers.
GAL 6:13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
COL 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.
The point of these Scriptures is to demonstrate that circumcision of the heart, a cutting off of sins in true repentance and life-styles of the pagan world, was just as essential as the outward cutting off in circumcision. The outward was to be a token of what has taken place on the inward. In the same sense, the outward holiness of the Saints is not bondage or legalism. It is the token outwardly of what has taken place on the inward. If no change takes place on the outward no change took place on the inward!
Christianity without outward holiness is spiritual nakedness. This is manifest outwardly in the lives of those who claim salvation but their outward tells us differently. Both Judiastic and Christian claims of eternity security while sinners are both perversions of the right ways of God.
In this regard, all uncircumcised in the heart, but circumcised in the flesh sinful Jews, COULD NOT lay claim to an exclusive right to be considered the elect of God. Paul brings this out rather clearly:
ROM 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
It is here that the Messiah brought to Israel and the world a new and living way. A New Covenant in the heart where circumcision is of the heart and not of the outward flesh by Commandment. It is here that those under the New Covenant replace those who had forfeited their rights in it by refusal to have faith in Messiah and the New Jerusalem which he went away to prepare. The flesh looks after the natural Jerusalem and real estate, when these were only tokens and shadows of better things to come.
The Church Replaced Israel
That the Church replaces old Israel is seen in the fact that the very language used to describe Israel when she loved and followed God, is now used of the Church. Such words as "Saints, Church, Children of God, Elect, Chosen, Holy Nation, Peculiar People, Called, Faithful, Sons of God," etc. etc. prove this.
It proves that outward circumcision was a sign of inward circumcision. As Paul so rightly teaches, a true Jew is one inwardly and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit, NOT IN THE LETTER, or claims by letters written by men verse 29, or even the Hebrew alphabet letter that is said to stand for circumcision.
The point here is that circumcision without obedience to the Faith of Abraham, is counted as uncircumcision. This is why, Jesus confronted the Jews and challenged their claim, that being circumcised children of Abraham, did not save them. THEY MUST DO THE WORKS OF ABRAHAM AND BELIEVE ON MESSIAH, AS ABRAHAM DID, OR THEIR CIRCUMCISION WOULD NOT BE COUNTED AS CIRCUMCISION.
What happened among the Jews, is precisely what has happened among many Christian denominations. There is an EXTERNAL image only. There is an outward claim and no inward Godly validity to back it up. Jews in the days of Messiah and today, believed that circumcision by itself without need of any other religious requirements, is what saves them. They believe it is therefore impossible for a circumcised Jew to commit any sin that could break the Covenant of Abraham. They believe that even a circumcised atheist Jew, a homosexual Jew, in fact all apostate Jews [except alleged Christian ones], are still Bible Jews and under the protection of Abraham's Covenant.
To these, the Covenant was unconditional. That is without any need or merit or work on their part to deserve it or to be a beneficiary of it. To these, the only Jews who would be damned and without salvation would be those who refused to be circumcised, or who are alleged to have apostated their circumcision by becoming a follower of Jesus Messiah.
Additionally, it was considered a grave sin to have a procedure done that would make it appear a Jewish male had not been circumcised. This was done by a number of Jews who sported with the Greeks and Romans in their gymnasiums naked. One such gymnasium was located next to the Temple in Jerusalem. Why is there little said of this abomination?
Jews and Greeks resorted there until it was destroyed in 70AD. It was not a great thing then for Christ and the Apostles to count those Jews who were apostates and sinners, not to be Abraham's seed except in flesh and blood. They could hardly call them serpents and vipers if they were not in reality, apostate in religion and morals. This would have made their circumcision counted as non-circumcision. This would have placed them outside of the same body and group as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These apostates would then see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sit down in the Kingdom of God and they themselves THRUST OUT! I ask the simple question? WOULD GOD POSTPONE THE KINGDOM FOR THOSE HE PURPOSED TO THRUST OUT?