Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: III. The Church and Biblical Zionism

Monday, March 12, 2018

III. The Church and Biblical Zionism

Chapter Seven
III. The Church and Biblical Zionism

The understanding of prophecy is often like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  When each connecting piece is put in the right place, we are progressively enabled to see the whole picture. 

In Zechariah 2:11, God says, “And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day {at the beginning of the Kingdom Age and the second coming of Jesus}, and shall be my people.”  God said in Hosea 1:10, “it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.”  Galatians 3:6-29 is the definitive text explaining God’s prophetic statement in Hosea 1:10, which we know from Romans 9:26 includes Church Age Gentiles saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

6 Even as {in the same way} Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith {trust in Christ and are “born again”}, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify {save} the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham {Gen. 12:3}, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith {“born again” believers from all nations} are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law {The Mosaic Covenant was a suzerain-vassal agreement, meaning it was a bilateral and conditional covenant between God and Israel and, therefore, was a covenant of “works,” unlike the Abrahamic Covenant, which was an unconditional covenant promised “by grace” and received “through faith.”} are under the curse {of the Mosaic Covenant, the ‘curse’ meaning the opposite of God’s conditional blessing; this is not referring to the curse of Hell.}: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them {the Mosaic Covenant was a “blessing and a curse” covenant; Deut. 11:26-32 compared with Deut. 29:1 through 30:20}. 11 But that no man is justified {saved} by {keeping} the law in the sight of God, it is evident {keeping the conditions of the Mosaic Covenant could not save anyone; this Covenant was not about salvation even though Apostate Israel had made it to be}: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law {the Mosaic Covenant} is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the {unconditional} blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit {being “born again” or regenerated} through faith. 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ {the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant were actually made to Christ and all those expressing faith in the Promised One; i.e., Christ}” (Galatians 3:6-16).

The Judaizers were Jews who had professed Christ to be their Messiah and Saviour but were corrupting local churches by corrupting what was required to be saved.  They believed that faith in Christ was necessary, but also believed it was necessary to keep the moral commandments, observe the Holy Days of the Law, continue under the Levitical priesthood and the sacrifices of the Mosaic covenant, and to be circumcised.  All these things are summed up by the Apostle Paul with the words “works of the Law.” 

In Galatians 2:16, Paul emphatically states, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith {‘finished’ vicarious work of redemption} of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith {‘finished’ vicarious work of redemption} of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”  The “works of the law” were sanctificational in their scope.  They were never intended to be salvational.  The “works of the law” were intended for people already “born again” by having entered the Abrahamic Covenant offered “by grace” and received “through faith” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law {Mosaic Covenant}, which was four hundred and thirty years after {the Abrahamic Covenant}, cannot disannul {the Abrahamic Covenant}, that it should make the promise of {the Abrahamic Covenant} none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law {Mosaic Covenant}, it is no more of promise {the Abrahamic Covenant}: but God gave it to Abraham by promise {the Abrahamic Covenant}. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law {Mosaic Covenant}? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed {Messiah} should come to whom the promise {the Abrahamic Covenant} was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise {the Abrahamic Covenant} by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept {preserved} under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster {guardian or child-leader} to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster {guardian or child-leader}. 26 For ye are all {Jew and Gentile believers} the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been {Holy Spirit} baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:17-29).

          As said, within the above text of Galatians 3:10, the Mosaic Covenant was a suzerain-vassal agreement, meaning it was a bilateral and conditional covenant between God and the nation of Israel (not individuals). Therefore, the Mosaic Covenant was a covenant of “works,” unlike the Abrahamic Covenant, which was an unconditional covenant given “by grace” and received “through faith.”  The Abrahamic Covenant too was a dualistic covenant with both national and spiritual Israel.  To be part of national Israel, one needed to be born a descendant of Abraham.  To be part of spiritual Israel, one needed to be a “born again” descendant of Christ.  The Abrahamic Covenant was typically made with Abraham, but actually made with Christ (see Galatians 3:19, 26, and 29).

          The Mosaic Covenant was a “blessing and a curse” covenant (see Deuteronomy 11:26-32 compared with Deuteronomy 29:1 through 30:20).  The significance of these facts regarding our understanding of Romans chapter nine is that the clear majority of national Israel had been misled by the priesthood of Israel to believe that the “blessing and a curse” covenant was conditions for individual salvation.  In other words, the clear majority of national Israel had been misled into placing their faith in their keeping the conditions of the Mosaic Covenant to be saved, which to them came to mean being part of the Kingdom on earth promises of God. 

          This was a complete misunderstanding of the “blessing and a curse” of the Mosaic Covenant (Galatians 3:19).  Paul introduced the fact that Gentiles were part of the Abrahamic Covenant as early as Romans 3:19-31 correcting the false doctrine that justification came through the “blessing and a curse” Mosaic Covenant. 

19 Now we know that what things soever the law {Mosaic Covenant} saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Romans 3:19-31).

The idea of the two phrases “by” and “through” in Romans 3:30 are best understood by the fact that by the covenant promise of God to Abraham, Jews were brought into a relationship with God as a nation although they may not have been saved individually (Romans 9:6-7).  Each individual Jew still needed to be saved “by” the door of personal faith in the promised “seed” typified in Isaac; that “seed” was Christ (Galatians 3:16).  On the other hand, the Gentiles stood completely outside of this covenant relationship of God with the nation of Israel.  Therefore, the Gentiles needed to enter a relationship “through” the door of personal faith in Christ.  There really is no significant difference in the meaning of the two phrases.  Everyone, Jew or Gentile, can only be saved “by grace” and “through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). 

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord {Jehovah; having rested is the vicarious propitiation of God in the crucifixion of Christ Jesus and he gift of God-kind righteous offered in the indwelling Spirit} shall be saved” (Romans 10:12-13).

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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