Yes, I will distinguish between my people and your people, and this sign will happen by tomorrow.

Exodus 8:23  

In the last teaching, I shared with you the biblical underpinnings of Distinction Theology. In that post I concluded there was a difference between the expectations of Gentile and Jewish believers. Now, I will explore those distinctions.   In Romans 11:11, Rav Sha’ul, the Apostle Paul, shares with us: In that case, I say, isn’t it that they have stumbled with the result that they (Jewish People) have permanently fallen away?” Heaven forbid! Quite the contrary, it is by means of their stumbling that the deliverance has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy. In this verse we read of a fundamental difference between Jewish and Gentile believers, in regards their tasks.   The main purpose for Jewish people, believers and unbelievers, is to be Adonai’s chosen people. These are a people set aside for the Glory of Adonai. This ordinance was created in Exodus 6:7, I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God, and in Leviticus 26:12, I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. As we may see, Adonai’s plan of making Israel His chosen people was carried out early in Israel’s existence. However, as we read in Rav Sha’ul’s writing, this understanding carries on well past Adonai Yeshua’s death and resurrection. For example, in Romans 11:28,29, Sha’ul writes: With respect to the Good News they are hated for your sake. But with respect to being chosen they are loved for the Patriarchs’ sake, for God’s free gifts and his calling are irrevocable. Notice verse 29 – But with respect to being chosen they are loved for the Patriarchs’ sake, for God’s free gifts and his calling are irrevocable. Here, Sha’ul makes it very clear: Adonai’s calling of Israel to be His chosen people is a free and irrevocable gift. This makes Adonai’s decision unilateral and forever lasting. As we read in the last posting, the New Covenant was announced in Jeremiah 31 and was for the houses of Judah and Israel only, the Jewish people. When Adonai Yeshua was resurrected, the Gentile peoples were admitted into the Kingdom, to walk alongside Israel. Their roles were to support and encourage Israel, as it faced its various trials, and to help bring more Jewish believers into the Kingdom. Research has shown this to be true, as we know approximately 85% of all Jewish people, who accept Adonai Yeshua as their Messiah, do so through the loving ministry of Gentile believers. This is what happened to me and to 95% of my Jewish brothers and sisters.   How are the roles of Jewish believers different? In the Tanakh, the Hebrew Scriptures, there are several indicators of the role of Jewish believers in God’s Kingdom. First, in Exodus 19:6, we read – and you will be a kingdom of kohanim (priests) for me, a nation set apart. This meant Israel was to take Adonai’s Torah, His life instructions for His children, into all the nations of the world. Some of His people did this, as we read in the prophets. For example, Obadiah prophesized to and about the descendants of Esau, the Edomites, as we read in Obadiah 1: This is the vision of ‘Ovadyah. Here is what Adonai Elohim says about Edom. As well, in the Book of Yonah (Jonah), we read of the reluctant prophet sharing Adonai’s Word in Nineveh, resulting in the nation state returning to God’s commandments.   One of the many labels given the prophet Jeremiah, The Tender-Hearted Prophet of the Nations, was well-earned, as he spoke very clearly of the role the nations around Israel and Judah would play in the punishment of His people. The prophet Isaiah also prophesized to the Gentiles, the nations around Israel and Judah. For example, in Isaiah 11:12,13, we read: He (Adonai) will hoist a banner for the Goyim, assemble the dispersed of Isra’el, and gather the scattered of Y’hudah from the four corners of the earth. Efrayim’s jealousy will cease — those who harass Y’hudah will be cut off, Efrayim will stop envying Y’hudah, and Y’hudah will stop provoking Efrayim.   However, His people became possessive about ‘their’ Torah and secluded themselves in the enclave of Jerusalem and surrounding towns. They refused to travel into the lands of the Gentiles and were forced into exile throughout the known world.   How do the Apostolic writers see the role of the Jewish people? Adonai Yeshua spoke eloquently concerning His desires for His people. In Matthew 28, we read of Adonai Yeshua’s giving the Great Commission, the instructions to take the Gospel of Salvation via Faith and Grace, into the Gentile nations. Listen to part of His Word: Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim (disciples), immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19,20) But, what, you ask, does this have to do with the Jewish people? One thing we know for sure, all of Adonai Yeshua’s Apostles were Jews. They lived as Jews and they died as Jews. They were members of His nation of kohanim.   Now, let’s deal with the really big issue, Gentile believers and Torah. Many Jewish and Gentile believers are of the impression that Gentile believers have an obligation to follow all of the Torah. Fortunately, this is not the case. Adonai, in His grace and wisdom, realized that it would be impossible for those who were raised without the leadership and guidance of Torah, to suddenly begin to follow all of Adonai’s life instructions. This is why He inspired His Apostles to give their instructions in Acts 15: . . . we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled and from blood. (Acts 15:20) Then, as we read in verse 21, For from the earliest times, Moshe has had in every city those who proclaim him, with his words being read in the synagogues every Shabbat, if Gentile believers have the desire to read further into Torah and follow what they can, they are encouraged to do so.   Beloved, clearly there are differences between Gentile and Jewish believers. These differences lie in our roles in Adonai’s Kingdom and in our adherence to His Life Instructions. This does not mean that Gentile believers are less important to Adonai than are Jewish believers, just as female and male children are valued equally by their parents. It is important for us to remember, as we read in Genesis 12:3, when Adonai spoke to His son Avraham,I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you.   CONSIDER: Do you believe there are no differences between Jewish and Gentile believers? Do you hold to the doctrine when Jews become believers they drop all their ties to the Jewish people? If so, I caution you to think carefully about your position.   ACT: I urge you to ask the Holy Spirit of the Living God to help you sort-out fact from fiction and to guide you to the correct theology.   PRAY: Beloved Abba, Father, I pray you search the hearts and minds of all believers and help those who believe the Jewish people have been banished from your Kingdom to come back to correct thinking. I further ask you to work with those who believe Gentile believers ought to follow all of Torah and help them realize that Acts 15 still speaks to us today. In Your Beloved Name I pray.   May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.   www.heartformessiah.org

By heartformessiah

Dr. Michael Wodlinger is a Messianic Jew, living in Quebec, Canada. He has been a university professor and a rabbi of a Messianic Fellowship.

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