Neither Jew Nor Gentile. . .
Vol: 58 Issue: 18 Tuesday, July 18, 2006
According to Scripture, there are four classes of created rational beings in the universe, namely, angels, Gentiles, Jews and Christians. That fact is critical to rightly dividing the word of truth. Each is a different spiritual being, each has a different origin, present estate and a unique destiny.
Angels are the first of the created, rational beings.
“Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. . . Let them praise the name of the LORD: for He commanded, and they were created.” (Psalms 148:2,5)
The Bible teaches that their home is in heaven (Matthew 24:L36), their activity is both on earth and in heaven (Psalms 103:20, Luke 15:10, Hebrews 1:14) and their destiny is the Eternal City of Revelation 21:12.
“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. . .” (Hebrews 12:22)
Angels are unique creations of God, not to be confused with any other of God’s created beings. Even though some fall, as was the case with Satan, the fallen angels remain angels throughout their existence. Their numbers are constant; they neither propagate nor die.
The second class of created beings are the Gentiles. The Gentiles trace their origin to Adam. They are partakers in the fall of man, but Scripture says that some of them will share, as a subordinate people, with Israel during the Millennial Kingdom. (Isaiah 2:4, 60:3,5,12, 62:2, and Acts 15:17)
As to their estate, from Adam until Christ, the Gentiles “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12).
Since the Resurrection, the door of Gospel privilege has been opened to the Gentiles, and out of both Gentiles and Jews of this age, God is calling an elect company.
“Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:17-18)
The period of time bounded by the Babylonian captivity through to the end of the Church Age is called by Scripture “the times of the Gentiles.” (Luke 21:24)
The third class of created beings are the Jews. By the calling of Abraham, and all that God accomplished through him, a new race of beings was begun that, under unalterable Divine covenant and promise, continues forever.
So different is this race of created beings that some five-sixths of Scripture bears directly or indirectly on the Jews. The destiny of the Jews is traceable through the Millennial Kingdom and into the new heaven and earth which follows.
In this present Church Age, all Divine progress in the national and earthly program for Israel is on hold; individual Jews have the same privilege as the individual Gentiles of personal faith in Christ as Savior. But Scripture is clear that, when the present age concludes, God will again turn His attention to the national redemption of Israel.
The fourth class of created beings are the Christians. Christians are those called out of both Jew and Gentile, and are formed by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.” (Romans 10:12)
Christians are neither Gentile nor Jew, but a new spiritual creation in Christ.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)
The Christian, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20), having been raised WITH Christ (Colossians 3:1-3) and are so different than any other created rational being that, of the Christian, Jesus says, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 15:19, 17:14,16)
Note carefully that the spiritual rebirth and heavenly position [in Christ] are by faith alone. By definition, human operation is excluded. The only responsibility imposed on the human side of the equation is trusting in the only One Who can save.
The Scriptures which direct a Christian in his walk with the Lord are adapted to the fact that the Christian is no longer striving to secure a standing before God, but is already ‘accepted in the beloved’.
“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)
Christians, by their existence, have already attained every spiritual blessing; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ . .” (Ephesians 1:3)
Obviously, no human effort can bring a person to fulfill God’s standard of sinless perfection. God, anticipating the believer’s inability to walk worthy of his high calling, freely bestows His empowering Spirit to indwell each believer.
Scripture also promises that when their elect number is complete, as unique citizens of heaven, they will be removed from the earth at the Rapture. The bodies of believers who have died will be raised and living saints will be translated. (1st Corinthians 15:20-57, 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)
At the Bema Seat in glory, believers will be judged as to their rewards for service. (1st Corinthians 3:9-15, 9:18-27, 2nd Corinthians 5:10,11), the Body of Christ will be wed to the Bridegroom, (Revelation 19:7-9) and return WITH Him to share as His consort during the Millennial Reign.
This new creation, like angels, Gentiles and Jews, can be traced into eternity future, but they are unique from the rest. They possess no land, no house, no earthly capital or city, no earthly kingdom and no earthly king.
Scripture promises that the Jews will inherit the earth. The Gentiles will inhabit it with them as a subordinate people. But the Church does not share in that inheritance.
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17)
The Jews and Gentiles inherit the earth. Church Age believers inherit the universe!
The Age of Grace concludes at the Rapture. The Tribulation Period is the final seven years of the Age of Law, under which God will judge a Christ-rejecting world. During this period, some Gentiles will become believers, but, unlike during this present age, they are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Whose earthly ministry concludes at the Rapture.
During the Church Age, believers are promised to ‘resist the devil and he will flee from you,’ because ‘greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. (James 4:7, 1st John 4:4)
But during the Tribulation, “it was given unto him [antichrist] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” (Revelation 13:7) Those who enter the beast’s worship system, believers or not, and accept his mark are forever lost.
As you can see from the revealed Word, there is no place for the Church during Daniel’s 70th week. The Church is excluded from the judgments pronounced against a Christ-rejecting world, and the Church plays no role in the national redemption of Israel.
Since the Church Age is characterized by the promise that, “He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever” (John 14:6) while, during the time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Holy Spirit’s role is limited to ‘sealing’ the 144,000 Jewish evangelists of Revelation 7:3-8, the Church’s presence on earth during the Tribulation has no place in the plan of God.
Since, by definition, Church Age believers are NOT Christ-rejecting and are NOT part of God’s plan for the national redemption of Israel, the only role the Church could play during the Tribulation would be to face the judgments of God, bereft of the indwelling Holy Spirit, comfortless, and with no earthly destiny or purpose apart from becoming the antichrist’s cannon fodder.
Consider it this way. For the last two thousand years, Church Age believers have enjoyed fellowship with God, thanks to the imputed righteousness of Christ and empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus promised He would not leave us comfortless, and that the Holy Spirit will abide with us forever.
But, in the final hours of human history, when man’s corruption has reached its peak and God pours out His judgment against them for their unrepentant sin, (“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts,” – Revelation 9:21), some would argue that those living in those days will be stripped of their indwelling Spirit, God breaks fellowship with them, leaving them to face the worst period of spiritual trial in the history of creation alone.
For that to be true, of all the generations of believers from the Apostle Paul until the revelation of ‘that Wicked’ — the believers of the last days are the only ones to whom the promise, “I will not leave you comfortless” is meaningless.
The new spiritual creation must then, by definition, revert back to its old form of either Jew or Gentile, and share in the judgments being poured out upon them. The new creature, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and spiritually empowered to resist the devil, with the promise that ‘he will flee from you’ — will find that is no longer true. How else could they be ‘overcome’ by him as Revelation 13:7 says the Tribulation saints will be?
It is not POSSIBLE for Church Age believers to play a role in the Tribulation, other than as recipients of God’s justice for sin, although believers, by definition, have already been judged and found righteous at the Cross.
Consider the Promises of Jesus, given the Church, in the context of the Tribulation Period.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. . . ” unless you are among those believers of the last generation. If the destiny of the Church is to partake in God’s judgment against the world, then my heart should be troubled indeed, and I should be very, very afraid.
His peace was for all the generations that went before. But not for mine?
The Scriptures say otherwise.