Blessings and Curses--Part 2
Jul 09, 2008
Previously, I mentioned the false accusation in which the Romans are blamed for crucifying Jesus. The fact is, Jesus was the Sacrifice for sin. He fulfilled all the sacrifices of the law, because all the sacrificial animals prophesied of Him. And all of those animals had to be sacrificed by the Aaronic priests--NOT the Romans.
In shifting this priestly responsibility to the Romans, the Jews hope to undermine one of the most basic premises of Christianity itself. We can either go along with it or not. Already, many evangelicals and pentecostals have accepted the idea that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was only a temporary blessing, because (they say) in the Age to come, we will revert to animal sacrifices once again. Scripture says that He died once for all. The book of Hebrews makes it clear that we have a better Sacrifice. I fail to see how God intends to make the "better" Sacrifice temporary and to make that which was worse permanent.
So far, most Christians do not see how Christianity is fast reverting to Judaism. This is the direct result of dispensationalist teaching, in which the Age of Grace is made a temporary part of the divine plan. They say Grace will soon end, and the "Age of Law" will begin again, with Christ living in a physical temple in Jerusalem, attended by Jewish priests making animal sacrifices. In effect, they have laid the foundations for a reversion to Old Covenant Judaism and have undermined the New Covenant.
In fact, it is now being said that Jews are saved apart from Christ by virtue of the Old Covenant, which offers salvation if one keeps the law. Those who espouse this false doctrine assume that Jews, if they really try, are able to keep the law and thereby be saved by their works. It is only us non-Jews who are incapable of keeping the law, apparently. This doctrine is a mere extension of the Judaistic idea that non-Jews have satanic souls and that somehow the souls of Jews are different and better. Thus, non-Jews need grace, while the Jews need the law.
By extension, since "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17), it is only a small jump toward the doctrine that Moses is for Jews, and Jesus is for non-Jews. By that logic, we end up with two different and unequal means of salvation. Those who teach such things have joined the Judas company and are in need of repentance in order to avoid the fate of Judas, the son of perdition.
So what is the truth of the matter? First, we have Peter's testimony in Acts 4:11, where he speaks to the people in Jerusalem, telling them that Jesus was "the Stone which was rejected by YOU." In Acts 5:30 Peter says,
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom YOU had put to death by hanging Him on a cross."
Peter, an eyewitness of these things, makes no mention of the Romans. I have also shown how the rejection of Jesus was a replay of the story of Absalom and how he usurped David's throne. Absalom was not a Roman, but a Judahite. His role was played by the chief priests in Jesus' day.
In Matthew 22:1-7, we see Jesus' parable of His rejection. Verse 7 gives the verdict:
"But the king [God] was enraged and sent His armies [Rome], and destroyed those murderers [chief priests], and set their city [Jerusalem] on fire [70 A.D.]."
God did not send Jewish armies to Rome to destroy their city. Instead, we see the Roman army being identified as God's army, sent to destroy the "murderers" and their city. Jews obviously disagree with the New Testament. I expect and accept that difference of opinion. But for Christians to side with the Jews against the New Testament is to play the role of Judas. If the dispensationalist view were correct, we would soon abolish the New Testament altogether--first, on the grounds that it was a temporary grace-blip in the divine plan, and later because it supposedly contains false accusation and hatred against Jews.
Look at John's account of the crucifixion. John 19:15-18 reads this way:
" (15) . . . The chief priests answered, 'We have no king but Caesar.' (16) So he [Pilate] then delivered Him [Jesus] to THEM to be crucified. (17) THEY took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called 'The Place of a Skull,' which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. (18) There THEY crucified Him. . ."
It is plain from the natural reading of this text that Pilate delivered Jesus to the chief priests, who took him to Golgotha and crucified Him. Thus, the Scriptures were fulfilled in which the Aaronic priests were called to make the acceptable Sacrifice. They fulfilled the Scriptures without realizing it, but later, when they discovered how they ignorantly fell into the divine plan, they wanted to shift the responsibility to the Romans.
Many who do not know me wonder if perhaps I hate Jews. I have had some ask me if I was in some way mistreated or defrauded by a Jew earlier in life. The answer is NO. The only ones who have mistreated me have been Christians. I have no axe to grind with Jews, nor do I hate Jews at all. I have never cursed Jews, nor do I curse anyone else. I believe that every Jew will be saved in the end. So will all non-Jews. The only question is how we get there from here.
Dispensationalists think that Jews are essentially saved by their race, as if all Jews come from Abraham. I was taught in my early life that Jews were the purest race on earth. I learned later that Jews come in all colors, because Judaism is a religion, not a race. If my evangelical friends and relatives are correct, then I should be able to become "chosen" by becoming a Jew--that is, by converting to Judaism. Then I would not really need Christ or the grace that He offers, because my new "race" would give me special privileges.
Why do you suppose there are more Christians converting to Judaism than the other way around? Christians want to be "chosen." They do not feel like they are part of God's "elect" (chosen) unless they become Jewish and start following the law according to Talmudic tradition. So they are seduced and induced by Dispensationalism to betray Christ and convert to Judaism.
Well, that too is part of the divine plan. The story calls for a Judas company, just as it calls for the Body of Christ. My calling as a Bible teacher is to lay out the story in plain fashion so that you can choose which company you care to belong to. I want you to know clearly what the choices are. That is how I discharge my responsibility that comes with my calling.
It is not my purpose to get anyone to hate Jews or anyone else. They are all part of the divine plan, like everyone else. If Jesus had not been crucified, there would have been no way of dealing with the sin of the first Adam. If He had not been crucified by the chief priests, it would have been just another murder in the course of history. If He had not been put to death on Passover, He would not have been the Passover Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Everything was part of the divine plan, and it will all work together for good (Rom. 6:23).
Even so, there will always be some who think I am cursing the Jews. I have had people step away, thinking fire will come out of heaven at any moment to consume me. But speaking the truth in love, and admonishing people to repent and accept Christ is not a curse, but a blessing. It is the Judas company which inadvertently curses the Jews by confirming them in their unbelief and telling them that they are not only saved but chosen apart from Christ.
This is the second part of a series titled "Blessings and Curses." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones