In February, I began to share some of Jim Hutchen’s commentary on the “One New Man,” a teaching that is especially important for us in these unprecedented times. You can see the other parts on our channel. But now I want to finish it up the One New Man teaching over the next two weeks. If any of you are more visual learners and readers, we would love to email you a free copy of Jim’s small booklet One New Man. I will put the link below.
Today, we are looking further into the implications of Romans 11:25. “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in.”
From the perspective of many Christians, this passage is one of the most provocative and direct statements in terms of Jewish Israel’s spiritual condition.
Historically, most Christians thought this passage meant that Jews will be resistant to Jesus as Messiah and Lord until the final and complete number of Gentiles is brought into the Church or the Kingdom of God. Then, at a time known only to God, a supernatural work of God’s grace will cause Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah, Son of God and Savior. Perhaps this is what the prophet Zechariah foresaw when God proclaimed: “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look unto me, the one they pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” . In any case, we do well to recall again Romans 11 :25, a cautionary note on the part of the Apostle Paul regarding a very real concern about ignorance and conceit on the part of Gentiles toward Israel. Ignorance for what? For possibly believing the preposterous lie that God has rejected the Jews. Paul, in the strongest terms, denied this possibility: “I ask then, did God reject his people? By no means! … Again I ask, did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all!” .
Likewise, conceit has grown over the years by the institutionalized Church subscribing to the greatest theological stimulant to anti-Semitism in history, Replacement Theology or Supersessionism – the notion that the “Church” has replaced or superseded Israel as the heirs to God’s inviolable covenants.
The great theological tragedy of our day is the fact that this same ignorance and conceit remains pervasive and deeply embedded in much of the institutional and denominational Church, including far too many evangelicals who should know better.
Ironically, what we see today, however, is somewhat of a role-reversal. While many Jews who believe the Hebrew Scriptures have found a friend in many evangelical Christians – especially Christian Zionists, the Church at large is the one which remains “hardened in part” to the gifts and callings of God regarding Israel, which Paul proclaimed as “irrevocable.” . Amazingly, as many Jews soften, many Christians harden – just the opposite dilemma of Paul’s day.
To its shame, much of the established Church has been intoxicated with the allegorical fiction of replacement theology, grounded in Origen, codified first by Emperor Constantine in the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 and made theologically sacrosanct by Augustine.
Regrettably, the hangover of supersessionism was endorsed and perpetuated by most of the Reformers and remains a cancer that has metastasized throughout the Body of Christ today. Today, many church goers are either oblivious or blinded to this stain on Christian theology, which in many eras has led to shameful and horrific deeds perpetrated against Jews in the name of God.
Is there a cure? Yes, there is. Perhaps a complete answer will come however, only when the Restorer comes – when “the Redeemer/Deliverer will come to Zion,” “even Jesus must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything.” . However, while we wait for the Messiah, it is incumbent on Christians to stand with Israel and the Jewish people.
We believe events in our day, especially with respect to Israel, are moving rapidly toward a time when God’s people will have to make choices. Israel, as well as the nations of the world, is being positioned for their role on God’s stage at this time in history. Some of our leaders will be appointed for “such a time as this.” Some will be removed, others exalted, and all are being positioned for their role.
A faithful remnant among Jewish believers, along with their Gentile counterparts – the One New Man has a sober calling. Revelation 14:12 warns, “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints who obey Gods commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.”
While a hardening in part within the institutional Church will likely remain, we can be encouraged by the words of Jesus himself: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” .
Join me next week as we go over the role of gentile believers as we do begin to draw near to that day.