Paul's Passing Thoughts

Israel: The Capstone of Justification; Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 8, 2013

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Kingdom of Heaven (2)

Covenant Tree (2)

A Protestant tradition among its so-called elders is the incessant wrangling over philosophical knowledge. Past the Protestant golden rule of orthodoxy canned for the totally depraved unenlightened masses, the “humbleness” of not knowing anything for certain rules the day. This is a Protestant family tradition.

This abrogation of truth is rife in regard to the subject of Bible prophecy. The logical conclusion is that 25% of the Bible which comprises prophecy is composed by a capricious god who enjoys confusing his children by writing things they can’t understand.

But I suspect the real concern is that the saints, by and large, will obtain a solid understanding of justification through Bible prophecy. Wisdom and understanding does not lend itself to control. True wisdom and understanding places confidence in God and not the traditions of men. Justification, the covenants, and prophecy fit together in one unified explanation of truth. The truth sets people free.

Justification is the goal, the covenants are the application and building of the plan, and prophecy explains the final outcome. God’s people are to know the goal, the plan, and the outcome, and are to be sure of it. That surety comes from seeing how the goal of justification, covenants, and prophecy fit together perfectly. The messenger told Daniel that the prophecy was “sure”; blessings are promised for those who study the prophecy of Revelation; those who have the hope of prophesy’s consummation purify themselves; but yet, the expected outcome is mystery? Doesn’t make sense.

In a general sense, this is what the apostle Paul is looking to do in the 9th, 10th and 11th chapters of Romans. Getting Israel right is getting justification right: “Salvation is of the Jews.” The framework of justification, covenants, and prophecy can be found in these three chapters. Let us begin in Romans 9:

Romans 9:1 – I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

This is stated in the present tense. To national Israel belongs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. We are going to focus on the covenants and the promises. Notice that both are in the plural and present tense. National Israel is still relevant and part of an overall redemptive plan. “Kinsmen” is the following word:

g4773. συγγενής syggenēs; from 4862 and 1085; a relative (by blood); by extension, a fellow countryman:— cousin, kin (- sfolk,- sman). AV (12)- kinsman 7, cousin 2, kinsfolk 2, kin 1; of the same kin, akin to, related by blood in a wider sense, of the same nation, a fellow countryman

“Israel” refers to the nation of Israel. Let’s establish that they were elected by God as a nation:

Because He loved your forefathers and chose their descendants after them, He brought you out of Egypt by His Presence and His great strength. — Deut. 4:37.

The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. — Deut. 7:7, 8.

After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people. — Deut. 9:4-6.

Yet the Lord set His affection on your forefathers and loved them, and He chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. — Deut. 10:15.

“But you, O Israel, My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham My friend. — Isa. 41:8.

But now, this is what the Lord says—He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”

— Isa. 43:1.

“But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. This is what the Lord says—He who made you, who formed you in the womb,

and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, My servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.”—Isa. 44:1, 2.

“For the sake of Jacob My servant, of Israel My chosen, I call you by name and bestow on you a title of honor though you do not acknowledge Me.”— Isa. 45:4.

These are but a few, and it is also important to note that the promises to Abraham, our spiritual father, are part and parcel with the idea of his descendants being a nation:

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”— Gen. 12:1-3.

Understanding justification and biblical prophecy is impossible if Israel ceases to be a nation. Israel is the factor that makes both add up to the only equation that makes sense. God’s salvific plan focuses on the saving of nations/races through his chosen nation, Israel. His elect King, Jesus Christ, will bring salvation to the nations through Israel:

“Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, My chosen One in whom I delight;

I will put My Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations.” —Isa. 42:1.

He says: “It is too small a thing for You to be My Servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make You a light for the Gentiles, that You may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

— Isa. 49:6

The whole idea of Christ being the elect (chosen) of God always puzzled me until I looked at it from the perspective of Christ being the elect King of Israel. He is the king of a nation that will bring salvation and justice to the nations. And God is particularly pleased with justice being displayed. This explains the “kingdom” language of the Bible. We should also remember that justice is important to God. Frankly, lack of emphasis in the church on justice is troubling to me. A zeal for what is simply right. One of God’s purposes of ruling the nations through Christ will be to put justice on display.

Israel as a chosen nation ruled by Christ to bring salvation to the nations is absolutely paramount to understanding justification and the Bible in general. Many leaders throughout church history have sought to separate Christians from this construct because when it gets right down to it, if you approach the Bible with this in mind, you don’t need them. Removing future Israel with Christ as its King throws understanding of the Scriptures into turmoil.

Even in the present age, being alienated from Christ is synonymous with being alienated from the “commonwealth” of Israel:

Ephesians 2:11 – Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

“Commonwealth” means the same thing in English….

g4174. πολιτεία politeia; from 4177 (“polity”); citizenship; concretely, a community:— commonwealth, freedom. AV (2)- freedom 1, commonwealth 1; the administration of civil affairs a state or commonwealth citizenship, the rights of a citizen.

….it is an independently sovereign state/community in the midst. Ephesians 2:11ff. is our first clue that the covenants and promises build on each other because they, for the most part, are always stated in the present tense; they all still serve a purpose in the restoral of national Israel. Paul states that the Gentiles in this present age were formally “alienated” from those things. You can’t be alienated from something that is no longer in existence or no longer valid or no longer serves a purpose. Now, let’s move on to Paul’s next point: The word of God has not failed because Israel rebelled;

Romans 9:6 – But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring….11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—

Elect Israel has an elect within it, or the “remnant” that are the spiritual descendants of Abraham so that the election of Israel is by grace alone and not works (verse 11). But we want to also balance this out with Paul’s statement concerning the whole nation. A Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) is not part of Paul’s outlook on election. Paul desired salvation for every Jew and evangelized like it depended on him. I can only assume that in some way it does depend on us. Election, though critical to assurance and aggressive sanctification, does not equal fatalistic determinism. What we do in the here and now matter immensely and makes a difference. How God weaves that together with his election is an understanding that I have not yet arrived at.

No one is to misinterpret the fall of Israel because of the non-elect within Israel that rejected Christ the King—the stumbling block of Zion. They rejected the chief corner stone that was the end of the law and attempted to establish a righteousness of their own. I think the remnant are those who are the beginning of the so-called church age which is better called the “last days.” They will all go up in the rapture at the end of the “church age” which is interesting because apparently, in an astounding display of God’s grace, the stiff-necked variety of Jews will be saved during the tribulation period, or the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (JER 30:7):

Zechariah 12:1 – The oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. 3 On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. 4 On that day, declares the Lord, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5 Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.’

6 “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem.

7 “And the Lord will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. 8 On that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, going before them. 9 And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Him Whom They Have Pierced

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land shall mourn, each family[a] by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.

Notice what Paul states in Romans 11:5;

So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

“At this present time” refers to the present age, and they all go up in the rapture. The tribulation Jews are therefore another category, or so it would seem. Since God’s kingdom will not be reestablished on earth till the end of the tribulation period, I would assume that explains the term, “kingdom of heaven.” While God is grafting the Gentiles into Israel, the kingdom is in heaven until Christ returns and establishes the millennial kingdom on earth. At any rate, this is not “kingdom” in a spiritual since per se, this is a literal kingdom and spiritualizing the kingdom will not lend to understanding.

In Romans 11:1-10 Paul reiterates the remnant and those that are hardened, and then states the following starting in verse 11:

So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

This couldn’t be clearer. A full inclusion of Israel is yet future. What God wanted at Mt. Sinai will come to pass and will be established forever.

Romans 11:13 – Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

This is where Paul begins his tree illustration. What is this tree? I would say that it is the Abrahamic covenant or The Promise. God’s holiness is the root. The covenant is based on God’s holiness. But as an aside, is there a ministry to the Jews in our day? Yes, and the ministry is made clear in the above cited text. This should be the premise or foundation of any ministry for the Jews.

Romans 11:17 – But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

The covenant never changes because it is steadfast according to God’s election. The unbelief of some Jews results in God grafted in unnatural branches. The root is God’s holiness, the tree is the covenant, the natural branches are national Israel, the broken branches are those who were hardened, and the unnatural branches are the Gentiles. Paul warns the Gentiles at Rome to not posit the idea that the unnatural branches have replaced the natural branches. Of course, the Western church has broken that commandment with malice and all tenacity. Moreover, this approach will turn understanding of the Bible completely upside down. A proper understanding of the Jewish covenants is the paramount threat to Western clergy because if you have a proper understanding of God’s relationship to the Jews, you don’t need them to interpret the Bible for you.

Romans 9-11, especially chapter 11, is perhaps the most difficult in the Bible to preach on because there is nothing to study—it is what it is. However, it supplies a basic interpretive framework from which the rest of the Bible is interpreted. Salvation begins with the Jews and their King, and ends with the Jews and their King. The Reformed rejection of Israel’s election by the sultans of election displays the kind of confusion that transpires when you rebel against God’s revealed choices. The Reformers criticize the Jews for rejecting the Messiah while downplaying the remnant of Israel. Meanwhile, they arrogantly inform Christ that they accept Him, but not His chosen people. In chapter 11, Paul makes the eternal standing of those who posit such—ambiguous at best.

Furthermore, let us not depart this point without acknowledging the redeemed heart of the apostle Paul that is on display here. A redeemed heart loves the Jews, period. A redeemed heart, like Paul’s, wishes for the salvation of Israel. This stands in stark contrast to Reformed writings that go forth like vomit spewing from gluttonous stomachs.

Romans 11:25 – Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” 28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

Clearly, we are in what the Bible calls the time of the Gentiles. Paul barely stops short of saying we owe our salvation to the Jews. We have benefited from them being enemies of the gospel, but they are still God’s elect, and that is irrevocable. They are “beloved for the sake of their forefathers” till “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.” All Gentiles are saved by being grafted into the covenant that starts with the Jewish forefathers and ends with the banishment of ungodliness from Jacob.

I will conclude with the illustration below. This sums it up in the least common denominator. The following should be kept in mind when you read your Bible.

15 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 8, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.


  2. james jordan said, on August 9, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    Does the Pauline theory that the gospel being taken to the Gentiles is dependent on the Jews rejecting it even make any sense? As if its all just an afterthought. God had no intention of taking the gospel to the Gentiles, but then the Jews unpredictably rejected it, so he had to do something with it, so he decides to take it to the Gentiles. Total nonsense. This is one major reason I have such a problem with Paul. They guy is just so illogical, and quite frankly, he’s blasphemous.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 9, 2013 at 6:47 AM


      Pauline theology answers too many questions, and it’s the only direct contradiction to the Reformation.


  3. james jordan said, on August 9, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    And the problem ultimately is obviously with Paul’s interpretation that his gospel ever was meant for Jews to begin with or that Jews need to accept it to be saved. The Jews have the Law and the Synagogue; Gentiles have the church. We Gentiles got a raw deal I know since Paul ended up being part of the pacakge, but that’s how it works, right?


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 9, 2013 at 6:46 AM


      Pauline theology answers too many questions, and it’s the only direct contradiction to the Reformation.


  4. rich said, on August 9, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    Brother Paul, Any chance of getting a copy of the PDF file for the booklet you mentioned?


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 9, 2013 at 6:48 AM

      Sure Rich, but I am not sure which booklet you are referring to.


  5. james jordan said, on August 9, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    “Pauline theology answers too many questions, and it’s the only direct contradiction to the Reformation.”

    If there were not Romans, there would be no “Reformed” theology to begin with, so this is simply not true.

    But this particular issue as Paul explains it above and combined with Acts 13-14 shows a very big problem with Paul’s perception of the gospel as it relates to the “unbelieving” Jews.

    First, I object to calling them “unbelieving” Jews. They believe in Judaism, just not in Jesus, so a better terminology needs to be used: non-Christian Jews.

    Second, read Acts 13-14. Paul goes into a Jewish Synagogue and hijacks the closing announcements to preach a sermon on Jesus, accues the Jews of being Christ killer, misrepresent Isaih as saying “Behold ye despises, be amazed and perish!” before “behold I make a new work in the earth.” And then he wonders why they don’t have much patience for his message. Then the next week he returns and takes the Synagogue over with a gang of Gentile thugs, and Acts presents the Jews as “evil” for daring to “contradict” and “blaspheme” Paul’s antisemitic antijudaic message although Paul is preaching it in their own Synagogue! Certainly they have a right to defend their own beliefs in their own house of worship! Or should Christians make sure to not “contradict” and “blaspheme” a Muslim missionary’s message when he comes and preaches it in the church building?

    Third, how it all works out in the end if the Jews en masse reject Paul’s message but some (just some) of the Gentiles accept it. Paul lies and says “Because you (Jews) judge yourself unworthy of eternal life, behold we go to the Gentiles.” I say this is a lie, because he was preaching to Gentiles already!!!! Hence the theory you put forth above that we have benefited from the Jews rejecting the Gospel is also a lie (on Paul’s part, not yours) because Paul knows good and well he always intended to preach to Gentiles anyway.

    Fourth, And what does Luke says in Acts 13:48 “When the Gentiles heard this, as many as were ORDAINED to eternal life believed.” Aha! The first appearance of the asinine theory of predestination! Why? Why do Paul and his cabal invent predestination? To cover up the fact that it is their gross antisemitism and antijudaism that prevents the Jews from accepting their message. No, it can’t be that, so let’s invent predestination. Let’s say its because they’re not elect. And as for those Gentiles who don’t accept our message (because the antijudaism offends them too) let us say they also are not elect.

    Viola! There is Calvinism at its very inception.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 10, 2013 at 10:17 AM


      No, they focus on Paul as cover. It’s a technique of theirs that I have observed for years. The rewriting of every ontology they can find. It’s one method of subduing the earth with their dominion theology.


  6. james jordan said, on August 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    I realize what I was trying to say may not have been clear so I’ve tried to clarify my own thinking on this on my blog


  7. james jordan said, on August 10, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Who do you think forms the basis of Replacement Theology? Is it Matthew, Mark, or Luke? No. Its a combination of Paul and John. It is in fact Romans 11 primarily, as well as Hebrews 8, and of course Acts 13. Its certainly not Matthew 5. Its Paul.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 11, 2013 at 7:44 AM


      How in the world do you get that from Romans 9-11?


  8. james jordan said, on August 11, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Because Paul began the duplicity on the definition of “Israel.” You are interpreting it as if Israel simply means Israel. To a fair person, it does. To Paul, no way Jose. Nobody interprets it that way when reading Paul because Paul explicitly says he doesn’t use the terms that way. 9:6 “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:” 2:28 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:” — The real Jews to Paul are Christians, even Gentile Christians who are not circumcised in the flesh, and the real Israel to Paul means the church. Its very clear, when he says anything good about Israel or Jews he is actually talking about Gentile Christians or Jews who converted to Christianity, not actual Israel.

    He begins with Israel as Israel in 10:1 “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” But ends in 11:1 “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”

    God not casting away his people means nothing to Paul other than that a few Jews converted to Christianity. Otherwise, he would not use himself as the example of God not casting them away.

    When he finally arrives in 11:26 and says “And so all Israel shall be saved” he is no longer talking about the nation of Israel.

    By the way, you might find a clue to this in Romans 10 were he is mangling Deuteronomy 30:11-4. This helps show how he redefines terms in good old fashioned Calvinist fashion.

    Read Deuteronomy 30:11-4 then read Romans 10.

    Paul turns Moses’ “the Law is not in heaven that you have to fetch it down” into “Christ is not in heaven so don’t try to bring him down.”

    Paul turns Moses’ “the Law is not across the sea that you have to go fetch it” into “Christ is not in hell so don’t try to bring him up” (as if any Christian would).

    And what of Moses’ statement in verse 14 “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it”. This is a statement that the Law is not too hard. Well, Paul can’t have that, so what does he do? He turns it into “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

    Do you see how he works to redefine everything?


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM


      Paul and Moses both are arguing against the idea that truth is difficult to obtain by the individual because it is in a faraway realm. Paul is merely stating that Christ is near to every person in the same way that Moses was stating that the word of God is near to every person.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 11, 2013 at 7:33 PM


      Your comments are being held until I find time to respond to them adequately. I am willing to post your comments, but an inadequate or non-response gives people the wrong idea.


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