One of the most popular questions most people have when they first start on their journey into web development is which language to learn first? There are many options out there and the quick Google search can be absolutely overwhelming. So let’s look at some common themes that tend to run in the beginner’s circles of web development.
So if you can’t tell by the title, I’m getting into web development. Why web development? Why not continue to pursue my engineering degree further? What does it take to get started? How much does it cost to get started? All this information and more if you keep reading below.
In continuing my posts on the fact of whether or not modern Israel is still favored by God today, I would like to look at another point. I believe there are many justifications on the belief that modern Israel is in no way a biblical Israel and a good quick study on this issue would be my previous post about the Veil. (You can find it here.) However, let’s look at another aspect that many false teachers use to make it seem that the Jews are still protected and that modern Israel is still a chosen and favored people of God: The Promises made to Abram/Abraham.
The Three Promises
God made three promises to Abram in Genesis. To keep track of all three promises I will color code them. The Land Promise will be in green, the Great Nation Promise will be in blue, and the Seed Promise will be red. So let’s look at the first two promises in the text:
14 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.
God makes the first two promises to Abram, first, the Land Promise to give his descendants the land which he sees, and second, the Great Nation Promise that he will multiply his descendants as the dust of the earth or as the number of the stars (in the next chapter Gen 15:5)
Now there are many false teachers that will get the audience hung up on the word “forever.” And that this land will ALWAYS be the Jews’ right to own and inherit for all eternity. These false teachers always love to quote the blessings Israel will receive from God, but usually fail to ever quote from the curses and warnings to Israel if they are to turn away from God. Take for instance Deuteronomy chapter 28, there are 14 verses of blessings that these false teachers love to quote, yet they neglect the next 53 verses of curses and warnings. In fact throughout most of the Old Testament, there are exponentially more curses warned than blessing promised to Israel. It is true that God will never back down on his end of the deal, but if you read through the Old Testament in its entirety, you will come to know that it is man that fails on his end of the bargain repeatedly, and not God. Now as far as the Promises go, there are several repetitions of these promises to Abram/Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To see the full list of these passages, check out the chart at the bottom of this post. However, now that we have covered two of the three promises, I want to fast forward a little ways and cover the last promise made from God to Abram, The Seed Promise.
The first glimpse of this is in Genesis 18:18
18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
Now all three promises are referenced when the Angel of the Lord comes to Abraham in Genesis 22:17-18 and says:
17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
Now it’s very clear that God has promised Abraham that he will multiply his descendants, give him the Promised Land, and bless all nations of the world by his Seed. (Notice the word “seed” is singular, not plural as in “seeds.” This is very important later on…)
Have they Been Fulfilled?
So let’s fast forward through the scriptures. Have all of the promises been fulfilled? Or are the “End Times Prophetic Preachers” correct in that they have not been fulfilled and still need to be? If the fact is that the promises have not been fulfilled, then the Jews are very much correct in idea that they are still a chosen and protected people of God. So let’s check out these promises one by one and see what scripture has to say…..
The Great Nation Promise
Let’s first look at the Great Nation Promise. If we continue to follow this promise through the scriptures we will eventually come to Deuteronomy 10:20-22 but first, let’s get some CONTEXT in the story. (Context is extremely important to keep in mind. For more on this check out my blog post on context here.) Now up to this point in scripture, the Hebrews went into Egypt with Joseph, were led out of Egypt by Moses, came to Mount Sinai, received the first tablets of the ten commandments, however, Moses broke them and had to deal with the Israelites committing idolatry with the Golden Calf. Moses goes back up the mountain, receives the second set of tablets and is now speaking to Israel about the law that they are going to be required to keep in order to REMAIN God’s chosen people. So with all that understood, let’s look at the verse:
20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.
Notice the word “now.” They had not previously been “as the stars of heaven in multitude” until this point. It is also interesting to note that the great nation promise is always referred to as a future event up to this point in scripture. After this passage, it is always referenced as it has already happened in the past.
The Land Promise
If we follow the Promise God made to Abraham about the Promised Land, then we will be lead all the way from Genesis to the End of Joshua. To get some context from our earlier reading to this point: The Israelites have wandered the wilderness for 40 years, and right before Moses dies, Joshua is chosen to lead the people into the Promised Land. Moses says himself in Deuteronomy 31:7 that Joshua WILL cause Israel to inherit the Promised Land. If this promise has not yet been fulfilled to this day, then how will the modern-day Jews ever have Joshua to divide it for them as scripture says how it must happen? So Moses dies on Mount Nebo and Joshua leads them into the Promised Land. The entire book of Joshua is pretty much a war story of how this was accomplished, and when you get to the end of Joshua, there is an interesting verse in chapter 21 verse 43:
43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44 The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
I think it’s safe to say that Israel very much received the promise God mad to them concerning the land.
The Seed Promise
But what about the Seed Promise? Well, there is a great deal of reading from Genesis through the scriptures before you get to the fulfillment of that one. As a matter of fact, its fulfillment is not in the Old Testament. You won’t find it until after you’ve read 46 books after Genesis, in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians. But first…context, context, CONTEXT! Okay, there’s a lot to cover here so here we go:
- Israel inherits Promised Land
- Israel goes through the Judges Period
- Israel goes through the United Kingdom Period
- Israel splits and Goes through the Divided Kingdom (Israel in the North, Judah in the South)
- Israel enters captivity
- Judah enters captivity (Daniel foretells that the temple and the wall will be rebuilt)
- Judah Returns and Enters Restoration Period (temple and wall is rebuilt in Ezra and Nehemiah)
- Jesus is born
- Jesus crucified
- Jesus Resurrected
- Jesus Ascends to Heaven
- Holy Spirit Falls on Apostles on Pentecost
Ok so now that we’ve covered almost 1000 years of Israel’s history in a couple bullet points, I hope you see where we are at now. In this letter Paul is calling out the Judaizers who were Christians that thought the Old Law still had to be observed in order to receive salvation. The act of circumcision is directly called out, but it can easily be understood that all aspects of the Old Law to include tithing, burnt offerings, incense, etc. are to be included in this idea of the Old Law not applying to Christians. One of the greatest arguments Paul makes to these Judaizers is all the promises made to Abraham were in fact fulfilled, to include the Seed Promise. He shows this in Galatians 3:16:
16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.
Just in case there is any confusion to this idea, Paul confirms this idea a second time just a few verses later in verses 27-29:
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The Seed Promise was fulfilled by Jesus himself. If you check out my post on the Veil, this adds tons of content to this idea. (You can find it here.)
Well there you have it. It is clear that all three promises made to Abraham in scripture have been fulfilled in scripture. There is no need to keep looking for the fulfillment of these promises today, tomorrow, or any further in the future. Jesus really did die once for all (this would include Jews). Jesus really is the ONLY way, and no one will come to the Father except though him. (Not through obeying the Old Law and living in the Old Land) This study should show that it is even more important to reach out to Jews as they think they have security in the Old Law but will in fact perish if they do not come to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Galatians is also a good text to realize that once one is baptized, there is no longer a label such as Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female. I would go as far as to argue that the only label one is to have placed on himself would be a Christian. Not a Jewish Christian, or a Messianic Jew, or any of the like. Simply a Christian is what we are called to be. I hope you have found this study as fascinating as I have, and I hope it will help mistaken Christians on this issue find the courage to reach out to our Jewish neighbors, and silence the false teachers that use these promises to lead people in thinking the Jews are still God’s chosen people.
Complete chart of Promises:
|Fulfilled||Deut 10:22||Josh 21:43||Gal 3:16, 29|
Israel – Still God’s Chosen People?
There are many rumors alive today that modern Israel is still God’s chosen land, and the Jews remain to be God’s chosen people. However, is there any biblical evidence that shows this? If this is true, then why was Israel cut off from the face of the earth for almost 1900 years? I was once sucked into this very popular false doctrine that is easily mistaken for truth until put up to scrutiny against the only truth we have in this world…scripture. Many theories have surfaced, especially in recent times, with several pastors, preachers, authors and even movie producers coming up with false ideas of what scripture says about these things. Before going forward, I must warn you that I try with everything I have to go by the bible alone, as it is God’s word revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. I welcome discussion on the basis that it is backed up by scripture and scripture alone, in its context. Any work created by man cannot equal the authority of God’s word, including my own. If you have not had a chance to first read my post on Studying Scripture in its Context, you can find it here.
There is one little piece of evidence you can follow throughout scripture to prove that modern day Israel is not of God, does not hold precedent in God’s eyes, and for a person to have the concept that God still favors Israel today defies the very teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. This small piece of evidence…is simply a cloth, called a veil. It’s amazing how such a small detail such as this can hold so much value. Without further ado, let’s follow this piece of material through the bible and see what happens. I think you will find the story just as amazing as I did, and still do.
The Veil – What is it?
The Veil pops up for the first time in scripture in Exodus 26:31-33. But first, let’s get a little context of the time and see what is going on in this section of scripture. In this part of Exodus, the Israelites have escaped Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, are at Mt. Sinai, and have received the Ten Commandments back in chapter 20. At this point in the text, Moses is commanding how the tabernacle is supposed to be set up. In chapter 25, Moses describes how to create the Ark of the Covenant (or Ark of the Testimony), along with the Table for the Showbread, and the Golden Lampstand (also known as the Menorah.) Chapter 26 starts out with how to set up the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is the traveling “tent” that God will dwell in while Israel travels through their journeys to the Promised Land. So now that we have context in mind, Exodus 26:31-33 reads:
31 “You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim. 32 You shall hang it upon the four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold. Their hooks shall be gold, upon four sockets of silver. 33 And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy.
So we can see here that the veil was a divider not only to the people from the Most Holy, but between the holy place and the Most Holy. No one was allowed to go or to see in there, except one. But we’ll get into that in a minute.
Next it pops up in the very next chapter, Exodus 27:20-21 says:
20 “And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. 21 In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel.
We see that the people of Israel are supposed to bring oil for the menorah and Aaron and his sons are to keep it burning continually forever. Notice that it specifies this lampstand is OUTSIDE the veil.
Exodus 30 is where the description of the altar of incense is given. Notice verse 6:
6 And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you.
The altar of incense is OUTSIDE the veil.
In Exodus 36 we see that Bezalel, Aholiab, and all the gifted artisans start constructing the articles of tabernacle. The previous chapters were commands on how to accomplish the task, at this point in the text is when it is being created. Notice verse 35:
35 And he made a veil of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen; it was worked with an artistic design of cherubim.
In Exodus 40 the tabernacle is finished being created, and now God is commanding its construction. Verse 1-3 read:
1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. 3 You shall put in it the ark of the Testimony, and partition off the ark with the veil.
The veil is hung in Verse 21:
21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
What happens once the veil is hung up? Check out verses 34-35:
34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
In this part of the bible, God is now dwelling with the people of Israel in the tabernacle now that the veil is hung up. Not even Moses can enter beyond the veil now. The veil is a small detail of the tabernacle, but it is a major piece and a defining position in the dwelling place of God.
Leviticus 4:6 and 4:17 tells us that the Sin offering must be done in FRONT of, or OUTSIDE of the veil:
6 The priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before the Lord, in front of the veil of the sanctuary. 17 Then the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord, in front of the veil.
The Day of Atonement
This is the only time a person can enter past the veil. It is only allowed by one person, the high priest, once a year, on the tenth day of the seventh month, to offer sacrifice for the sins of Israel to cleanse them once a year. Leviticus chapter 16 details all of the stipulations which must be completed in order for this to be done correctly. Due to space I’m not going to put all of Leviticus 16 in here, but here are the main verses of the chapter:
2 and the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. 29 “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. 30 For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.
Leviticus 24:3 repeats the command for the lampstands to burn forever OUTSIDE the veil:
3 Outside the veil of the Testimony, in the tabernacle of meeting, Aaron shall be in charge of it from evening until morning before the Lord continually; it shall be a statute forever in your generations.
Numbers 4 lists the duties of the sons of Kohath, the family of the Levites who were to carry the articles of the tabernacle whenever it traveled. What is interesting is that in verse 5 it states that Aaron and his sons will take down the tabernacle and wrap the articles in 3 layers of badger skins, and THEN the sons of Kohath are allowed to carry them. The sons of Kohath are not allowed to touch any holy thing. (This would include Uzza in 1 Chronicles 13:9, when Uzza reaches up to steady the Ark as he thinks it’s going to fall and God strikes him down for touching it.) The Kohathites couldn’t even WATCH while the items were being covered in verse 20.
Levites are Chosen
Later in Numbers 16-17 the Israelites rebel against Moses and Aaron several times, but God makes it very clear that the Levites are to be chosen for their service to the tabernacle. After they are chosen for good in chapter 17, in chapter 18 verses 6-7 God says:
6 Behold, I Myself have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel; they are a gift to you, given by the Lord, to do the work of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 Therefore you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and behind the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood to you as a gift for service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”
Only the sons of Aaron are allowed to perform this service, anyone else is to be put to death. Harsh stipulations huh?
Next we jump to 2 Chronicles chapter 3. Don’t forget context, a lot has happened since Numbers. Israel has already received and divided the Promised Land up between the 12 tribes in Joshua, went through the Judges period, and is now ending the Period of the kings; Saul, David, and now Solomon. Solomon is in the process of building a permanent temple for God at this point. So as Solomon is building the permanent temple, check out verse 14 of chapter 3:
14 And he made the veil of blue, purple, crimson, and fine linen, and wove cherubim into it.
Same kind of veil that separated the holy place from the Most Holy (or Holy of Holies) of the tabernacle.
In conclusion, the veil in the Old Testament could arguably be the most important piece of cloth in the world at the time. It alone kept anything unholy from coming into contact with the Most Holy. To have this veil removed, or for it to be breached by any person other than the high priest would be an extreme abomination of highest degree. A lot of planning, instruction, handiwork, and diligence had been put into place by God, and by God commanding man to accomplish these things. I can’t imagine what untold horror would take place if something were to happen to it…
The New Testament
First, we have to come up to speed rather quickly.
- Jesus has been born of a virgin
- Called his disciples
- Done many miraculous works
- Fulfilled many prophecies concerning the coming messiah
- Been found guilty for no reason BY THE JEWS
- Has been sentenced to death by crucifixion for “blasphemy”
- Jesus is currently hanging on the cross as we continue…
In Matthew 27:50-54 we pick back up on the veil. Let’s see what it has to say:
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Whoa, that escalated quickly. Earthquakes, rocks splitting, graves opening, it is all very dramatic and visual. However, most people miss the tiny detail mingled within all the dramatic chaos. What about the veil? Who tore the veil? Right as Jesus dies the veil is torn. This is an extreme abomination according to the old law! That is in fact the very point of the whole matter. Just as Jesus dies, it is blatantly obvious that God is no longer dwelling with the people of Israel, but with the followers of Christ, His Son. The only explanation is that God tore the veil, thus ending the OLD covenant between Him and the Jews, and completing the NEW covenant between Him and the followers of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a New deal, a NEW agreement, a NEW covenant, thus ending and putting away the OLD one.
Let’s check out some more, Mark 15:37-39 tells the same story:
37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. 38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
Luke 23:44-47 shows more details that aren’t in Matthew or Mark’s account:
44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
Now we have darkness over all the earth for 3 hours before the veil is torn in two. Scary stuff if you’re a Jew, these are very, VERY bad omens… The centurion saw it, many other people saw it, yet people today do not see the significance of this happening.
Let’s jump over to Hebrews now at chapter 6. Paul is writing to the Jews about Christ. He writes about how and why He came here, and about how and why He fulfills the law and has done away with the old law. In Hebrews 6:19-20 Paul writes:
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Jesus is the High Priest for us forever, and has entered behind the veil for us, making an atonement for our sins once and for all. Notice the word ALL, This would include Jews, Gentiles, everyone in the world. Jesus died for anyone willing to follow him. There is no longer a need for a temple and a veil and a Holy of Holies, as Jesus has fulfilled all of that for us! What great news!
I’ll warn you, this next part is going to be lengthy because Paul goes into great detail on the differences between the old earthly sanctuary and the new heavenly sanctuary. Hebrews 9 says:
The Earthly Sanctuary
9 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
Limitations of the Earthly Service
6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; 8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— 10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
The Heavenly Sanctuary
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The Mediator’s Death Necessary
16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
I have to admit that I do not see any room for the Jews being God’s chosen people in any of this chain of events. God obviously split the veil in two when Jesus died on the cross. God himself, ended the covenant with the Jews at that moment as this was an astronomical atrocity in His eyes that they should reject and crucify His Son.
There are several other passages that false teachers use to claim that the Jews are still God’s chosen people to this day, but I will cover those in later posts. But from looking at the just the veil by itself, it is clear that only people who are willing to follow Jesus will be granted eternal salvation through his blood. I hope this has helped to clear up some confusion on who really is God’s chosen people today, it is simply the Christians that follow Jesus Christ, His Son.