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I received the following question:

Romans 11:26, “And so all Israel will be saved.” Are all the Jews going to be saved in the end?

At issue here is the meaning of “all Israel.” If we take this to mean every last individual Israelite, then we have universalism, at least as far as Israelites are concerned. But is that really the teaching of Scripture? Judas, for example, was an Israelite, and consider what is said of him in Mark 14:21, “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.” If Judas will ultimately be saved, then of course it was far better for him to have been born. This shows us that Judas’ ultimate fate is NOT salvation, and therefore all Israelites clearly are NOT going to be saved. Read the rest of this entry »

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I received the following question:

Several months ago I asked you why you referred to Samaria being taken captive to Assyria when in reality it was Israel, the northern kingdom which was taken as hostage. SAMARIA was being constantly invaded, occupied and mixed with non-Jews of other several nations. Am I wrong or am I missing something you might have said in another CD I haven’t yet listen to?

Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom of the nation of Israel. While part of the nation was taken into captivity earlier, including the land east of the Jordan River, when the capital fell the nation as a whole was conquered and taken into captivity. We would count, for example, that the southern kingdom of Judah was destroyed and taken into captivity when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians. The same was true when Samaria fell to the Assyrians. The same is true in the United States: if Washington, D.C. were to fall, the United States would have fallen.

Thus my reference to Samaria being taken into captivity was using Samaria for the whole nation. The nation was taken captive when their capital was taken captive. The two went together.

I received the following question:

Hi Nathan, I have a question regarding something you said. It was such a blockbuster bit of information to me that I wrote it down, but I want to be sure that I have it correct.

I wrote, “The PASSOVER – folks outside the land could not partake of this feast which only could be carried out in the land. As a result, THE SINS OF THOSE OUTSIDE THE LAND WERE NOT FORGIVEN.”

Is this what you said?

Thanks.

There were two parts to this. One was the Day of Atonement. This was made yearly on the tenth day of the seventh month. It was the day all Israel was to fast, because on that day the priest was making atonement for them to cleanse them from all their sins. This was the “year by year” cleansing of sins that Silas speaks of in Hebrews 10:1. Read the rest of this entry »

sod02I received the following question:

I am confused regarding the salvation of Israel during the Old Testament.  I appreciate your helping me clear up my misunderstandings.

Deut 6
24. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
25. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

This verse seems to say that keeping the law will bring righteousness. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

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1 Cor 9
19. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Hi Nathan, would you please explain this passage?  When Mid-Acts is presented with evidence that Paul was still operating under the Kingdom program during the Acts period, they use this passage to explain away things such as Paul preaching to the Jews, Paul performing signs and wonders, and Paul taking a Nazirite vow. Read the rest of this entry »

olives02I received the following question:

I found Sellers’ booklet on the “Good Olive Tree” confusing. Maybe I caused my own confusion because I thought that pure gentiles were being grafted to become Jews into the Good Olive Tree of Romans 11:

The Good Olive Tree, was Jesus Christ, and the gentiles partook of the blessings of believing, during the Acts period. When a pure gentile believed during the Acts period, it provoked the Jews into jealousy. But these two groups were kept separate. The pure gentiles were grafted into Israel’s blessings and became partakers of Israel’s spiritual things. The pure gentiles did not become Jews, no more than Cornelius and his household became Jews

The Lord would not graft an apple into an orange tree because that would be confusion and God is not the author of confusion. The gentiles stood in separate positions of blessings.

I was confused with the Good Olive Tree, but reading your Malta Omission and a few other Precepts truths you have written helped clarify my confusion. Thanks.  

I am not sure if you are asking me to explain this, or saying you already have it figured out from reading my Precepts. I do think that the “pure” Gentiles were being grafted into Israel’s olive tree of blessings in place of some of the Israelites, the natural branches, who were being cut off. Read the rest of this entry »

bouncer02I received the following question:

Hi Nathan, I was wondering if you’ve read any of the writings of Arnold Kennedy?  After reading some of your writings on the word Gentiles I was doing some web searches and ran across his free ebook book “The Exclusiveness of Israel” where he has a chapter regarding this same topic.  As far as I gather so far, he is saying that scripture including Paul’s writings pertains exclusively to the twelve tribes.  Have you ever heard this?

http://www.israelect.com/reference/ArnoldKennedy/

Kind Regards,

There is a lot of truth in what Mr. Kennedy is pointing out. Israel is God’s chosen people in much of the New Testament. However, he is totally missing the mystery and the fact that all nations are now equal and joint before God according to Ephesians 3:6. His explanation of the Gentiles grafted in in Romans 11 is wrong and shows a lack of knowledge of what Paul was talking about there. He denies that Gentiles means non-Jews, but doesn’t understand that it does mean “nations.” Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Nathan, in reviewing some of your material in early Acts I have a question.

We believe that it was not the masses of Israel but the leaders that had rejected and crucified Christ. We believe that it was a kangaroo court that convicted Christ and set Barabbas free.  They had convicted Him in the middle of the night with His rejectors in the crowd crying for His crucifixion.  

Why then is it that we see Peter in Acts 2 and 3 proclaiming to what seems to be the masses, their guilt of crucifying the Lord?  Your comments on these chapters don’t seem to address this.  Was wondering what I am missing.  

I understand that if your leadership commits a heinous crime, the populous can be considered guilty.  If our president took it into his own hands and nuked Canada, we as a nation would be considered responsible and would pay dearly for such an act.  Is that what is going on here?  

If as you so rightly teach, the masses that welcomed Him into Jerusalem at his triumphal entry could not possibly have turned on him in two days to call for His crucifixion.  Why then is Peter’s message to what seems would be this same crowd, so convicting of their guilt?

Yes, it was the leaders who rejected Christ generally, and not the common people. Of course, this is the rule, but this is not to say that there were not some among the leaders who received Him (like Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea) and among the people who rejected Him (like those in decapolis.) However, it was generally true that the leaders were the ones who rejected Him. Read the rest of this entry »

olive02I received the following question:

Have you done any work with Romans 11:, “the good olive tree”?

I am of the opinion that the good olive tree of Romans 11: were simply the akrobustia, the exiled Jews. Sellers learned about the akrobustia, the exiles Jews, late in his life. Had he lived longer I think he would have revised his booklet on the good olive tree to be the akrobustia.
 
Paul went to Rome to herald the gospel to the akrobustia and1/2 believed and 1/2 belived not. After all Jews had been reached with the messianic message clearly presented to them. The Lord changed direction and began the dispensation of grace.

I have not yet written on Romans 11, though I have talked some about it in articles 13 and 16 of my series on Dispensationalism.

I do not think you have the concept of akrobustia quite right. Every exiled Jew was not automatically akrobustia. There were both akrobustia and peritome in Rome. Paul was a Roman citizen, yet he was not akrobustia, for he was circumcised on the eighth day, according to the law of Moses. He grew up in Tarsus, yet he was still a circumcised one. His parents must have been wealthy enough to make the expensive trip to the temple to perform the law for him. Yet it is certainly true that for the majority of the Jews living outside the land, a trip to the temple in Jerusalem to perform the ritual for their children was not possible. Therefore, they were circumcised, but did not keep the Mosaic rule of presenting the child in the temple. This made them akrobustia in the minds of the Jews living in the land, who were able to keep the ritual, and did.

The good olive tree was Israel. I do not think it mattered at the time Paul wrote Romans whether one was peritome or akrobustia. If one was part of God’s Israel, which at that time meant believing in Jesus Christ, then one was part of the olive tree. That could be Jews living in the land or exiled Jews living outside the land. The representatives of that olive tree in Rome, of course, were all exiled Jews living outside the land. Yet the whole of the olive tree was Israel, not just the part living in Rome.

I received the following question:

If the Jews in the dispersion became as the Gentiles, then what if they feared God and worked righteousness? Of course they still wouldn’t be in the covenants, but would they obtain a spot in the kingdom? Would outer darkness simply be outside of the covenants, and the weeping and gnashing of teeth be the resulting bitterness? Then, how would everyday life be for the expelled Jew?

A Jew who broke his relationship with God would either have to enter back into that relationship, or he would be out of relationship altogether. There was no starting over with a new, Gentile-type relationship. That would be like a couple who had been married and divorced deciding they wanted to start over as friends. That is not really reasonable, and it is not going to work. You cannot go from a relationship like a marriage back to a mere friendship. And one could not go from being an Israelite to having a relationship with God like a Gentile did. It was just not possible, and God would not cooperate in any such attempt. One must either come back to the relationship God desired from every Israelite, or not have a relationship with Him at all. Read the rest of this entry »