THEY ARE NOT ALL ISRAEL, WHICH ARE OF ISRAEL
By John C. Carpenter
 
To the believing church in Rome, the apostle Paul wrote,I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen [fellow Jews] according to the flesh [physically related]: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the [gospel] word of God hath taken none effect [on the Jews]. For [because some Jews have come to faith in Jesus Christ] they are not all [still] Israel [Jews who do not believe that Christ is the Messiah and Son of God], which are of Israel [the true children of God]: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed (Rom 9:1-8). In verse 6, the apostle Paul makes it clear that the gospel word of Christ had an impact upon the Jews, and some Jews, after seeing Christ and hearing the gospel, had, in fact, come to believe that Jesus was Christ and Messiah. Jews have come to faith in Christ in the past, are coming to faith in Christ today, and will be coming to faith in Him tomorrow. Israel is special to God the Father, and He will never give up on bringing salvation to them through faith in Christ.
 
TO THE JEW FIRST, AND ALSO TO THE GENTILE
 
Regarding Israel, or the Jews, what, in general, do the scriptures have to say? Much, in many ways. First of all, with God the Father's judgment, justice, indignation and wrath are equally applied to the Jew and Gentile alike. Look what Paul said: God will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth [about Christ], but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first [first in time, place, order, or importance], and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God (Rom 2:11)/
 
The scriptures also reveal the arrogance and stubbornness of Israel. Writing to the Roman believers in Christ, the apostle Paul reveals to us the boastfulness and pride of Israel: Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest [rely upon and remain] in [the importance of the works of] the law, and makest thy boast of God, And [believe that you] knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? (Rom 2:17-21). Paul concludes his discussion of the Jews with these words: Thou [Israelites, Jews] that makest thy boast of [your alleged ability of keeping] the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through [because of ] you [and your error], as it is written. For circumcision [Judaism] verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision [lawful behavior] is made uncircumcision [unlawful and sinful] (Rom 2:23-25).
 
Despite the Jews' inability to fully keep the entire law, Paul admits that the Jew has a distinct advantage; Paul wrote, What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision [Judaism]? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged (Rom 3:1-4). Yet, Paul also teaches that Jews, like himself and his fellow apostles, are not better than Gentiles. Look what Paul says:What then? are we [who are Jews] better than they [the Gentiles]? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They [both Jews and Gentiles] are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Rom 3:9-12).
 
Paul also teaches us that justification by faith is available to both Jew and Gentile alike. Paul wrote, Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Thereforewe conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision [the Jew] by faith, and uncircumcision [the Gentile] through faith [as well] (Rom 3:27-30).
 
The apostle John instructs us about the significance of the Jews, for even Christ was Jewish, and God's salvation to both Jew and Gentile alike was available only through a Jew. John wrote, Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation [through faith in Christ] is of [by the means of, completed through] the Jews (John 4:22).
 
The Jews also intentionally struck fear in, intimidated, and even punished anyone who reverently spoke of Jesus or who considered coming to faith in Christ. John tells us, And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him [Jesus]: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of [criticism and retaliation from] the Jews (John 7:12-13). Speaking well of Christ could even get you, if you were a Jew, thrown out of the synagogue. Many feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already [conspired in advance], that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be [shunned, rejected, and] put out of the synagogue (John 9:22).
 
At times, it was thought, as Jesus pursued His ministry, that the Jews might even attempt to stone Jesus to death. John adds that after Jesus was told that Lazarus, of Bethany, had died, Jesus' disciples encouraged Jesus not to return to Judea, because they also feared criticism, retaliation and violence from the Jews: Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him (John 11:7-10).
 
The scriptures also teach us that, to the Jews, the thought and presence of Christ was, and still is, a stumbling block [kept from a true relationship with God the Father] for them. The apostle Paul wrote the believing church at Corinth, after that in the wisdom of God the world by [their own worldly] wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock [a scandal or snare causing one to fall], and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:21-24).
 
With their threats of anger and violence, the Jews even struck fear into the some Gentiles who spoke well or faithfully of Jesus. In the book of Acts, we find the brief story involving Paul and Barnabus: And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was [because of fear of the Jews] divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them [Paul and Barnabus], They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about (Acts 14:1-6).
 
The Jews also took the initiative in rounding up, binding, and delivering Jesus to the Jewish leaders. Scriptures tell us, Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people (John 18:12-14).
 
At one point, the Jews also threatened to kill one of the apostles of Christ, specifically, the apostle Paul. After Saul encountered Jesus Christ (Acts 9:3-16), and had begun to preach Christ (Acts 9:19-20), the Jews took counsel to kill him [Saul, who became the apostle Paul]: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket (Acts 9:23-25).
 
Because of their jealousy, the Jews not only criticized, challenged, and blasphemed Christ's apostles, but even attempted to force those who had a newfound faith in Christ to abandon their faith. The scriptures instruct us, And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the [gospel] word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts (Acts 13:44-50).
 
Christ and His ministry were greatly hated and resisted by the Jewish community. The Jews of Israel not only persecuted Jesus, but also sought to kill Christ. Scriptures tell us, and therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God (John 5:16-18). Things were so dangerous for Christ, at one point, the Lord refused to walk among the Jews: After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry [Judah, locations containing Jews], because the Jews sought to kill him (John 7:1).
 
One last aspect about Israel, or the Jews, which is widely denied is that they caused the death of Christ. According to scriptures, the Jews are directly responsible for the death of Christ. They instruct us, The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life [Christ], whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses (Acts 3:13-15). Additionally, Paul also wrote believers in Thesalonica these words: For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men (1 Thess 2:14-15).
 
YE SHALL BE A PECULIAR TREASURE UNTO ME ABOVE ALL PEOPLE
 
Israel and the Jews were special, are still special, and will always be special to God the Father. The Jews are God the Father's chosen people; a people He chose for Himself. There is none other like the nation of Israel. Speaking through the prophet Moses, God told the children of Israel, Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure [jewel] unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy [sacred, sanctified, dedicated, consecrated] nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel (Exodus 19:5-6).
 
Elsewhere, God through Moses added, Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken (Deu 26:17-19).
 
Samuel told Israel, And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God (2 Samuel 7:23-24). In the book of Zechariah, Israel is described as the apple of God's eye: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye (Zec 2:8).
 
Ezra exclaimed to Israel, what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt? For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, LORD, becamest their God (1 Chron 17:21-22). The psalmist explained, For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure (Psa 135:4).
 
The prophet clearly described Israel as chosen and special: But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him (Isa 43:1-7). Isaiah later added,
Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me (Isa 44:21).  Paul also mentions the specialty of Israel with these words: For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption [Israel was chosen to become the children of God], and the glory [available through Israel only], and the covenants [given to Israel only], and the giving of the law [to Israel only], and the service [ministry, divine service] of God [to be performed by Israel only], and the promises [given to Israel only]; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh [who through the genetic line of Israel only] Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever (Rom 9:3-5). Through only Israel, or the Jews, came spiritual and eternal adoption by God, the glory of God, the covenants of God, the law of God, the ministry of God, and the promises of God. We must admit, you can't get more special than Israel.
 
THE LORD LOVES ISRAEL FOREVER
 
According to the scriptures, God the Father clearly has a special love, an eternal love, for His people, Israel.
Israel is loved by God the Father like no other nation on earth. Jeremiah prophesied God's eternal love of Israel: Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice (1 Kings 10:9).
 
Through Jeremiah, God said, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (Jer 31:3). The LORD had a delight in thy fathers [of Israel] to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day (Deu 10:15).
 
Moses described the chosen and special nature of Israel: thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt (Deu 7:6-8). Also, the prophet Hosea referred to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel... (Hos 3:1). The scriptures leave no doubt that God the Father loves the Jews; always has, and always will.
 
BEHOLD I LAY IN SION A STUMBLINGBLOCK
 
In spite of the fact that Israel was, and will always be, special to God the Father, Israel massively stumbled in unbelief at the idea of Jesus being the Christ and Messiah. To the believers in Rome, Paul wrote, What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed (Rom 9:30-33).
 
Later in his letter, Paul continued his discussion regarding Israel's stumbling: Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end [goal, fulfillment, completion] of the law for righteousness to every one [Jew and Gentile] that believeth (Rom 10:1-4).
 
After explaining that faith comes by hearing the preaching of the gospel and hearing comes by preachers who have been sent by the movement and operation of therhema, or Holy Spirit, Paul wrote, But I say, Have they [Israel, or the Jews] not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith [explained to Israel that God the Father said], I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people [the Gentiles], and by a foolish nation [of Gentiles] I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them [the Gentiles] that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them [the Gentiles] that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient [unpersuadable, refusing to believe] and gainsaying people (Rom 10:18-21). By the Gentiles coming to faith in Christ, the heavenly Father has attempted to provoke Israel to anger and jealousy, and thereby bring Israel to Himself through faith in Christ; but Israel rejected the outstretched hand of God. God the Father caused the Holy Spirit to send preachers to preach the gospel of Christ to Israel, and thereby bring them to faith in Christ; but Israel refused to listen and respond with faith in Christ, and, as Paul described, Israel therefore remaineda disobedient and gainsaying [argued against, refuse to consider] people.
 
Paul concluded this discussion with the believers in Rome with these hard words: What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he [God the Father] seeketh for; but the election [those chosen by God the Father] hath obtained it [life through faith] and the rest [unbelieving Israel or Jews who refused to believe] were blinded [rendered stupid or calloused, heart was hardened] (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always (Rom 11:7-10).
 
A significant aspect of Israel's rejection of Christ is their history and tradition. Speaking to certain Jewish Pharisees and scribes, the Lord explained that the Jews made the [gospel] word of God of none effect [disannuled, ineffective, unprofitable] through [because, due to] your [Jewish] tradition [precepts, law, ordinances] which ye have delivered [to others, especially your fellow Jews]: and many such like things do ye (Mar 7:13).
 
Speaking to some Jews who wanted to kill Him, the Lord responded,And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his [gospel] word [about Christ] abiding in you: for whom he [God the Father] hath sent [that is, Christ], him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life (John 5:37-40). Because of their unbelief, the Jews would not come to Christ, the only one who could bring them life.
 
The apostle Peter said of Israel that Christ was ...a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even [specifically] to them [Israel, the Jews] which stumble at the word [message of the Gospel of Christ], being disobedient [can not be persuaded, unbelieving, have not faith in, not accepting of]: whereunto also they were appointed [committed, called, ordained] (1 Peter 2:8). Israel could not accept the advent of Christ on earth, nor could they understand and accept that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God the Father. Because of this unbelief on the part of Israel, is God the Father completely finished with Israel, or the Jews?
 
HAS GOD CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE? GOD FORBID
 
Clearly, Israel, or the Jews, have stumbled at the name and cause of Christ. But, we must ask, is this stumble permanent? Has God the Father completely abandoned the Jews? Scriptures give us the answer. Writing the believers in Rome, the apostle Paul, referring to Israel, wrote, I say then, Have they [Israel] stumbled [tripped, erred, offended, fall] that they should fall [never see the light of Christ and experience salvation]? God forbid [never allow to happen]: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches [Israel] be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree [Gentiles], wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they [parts of Israel] were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they [Israel] abide not still in unbelief [come to faith in Christ], shall be graffed in [be included]: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? (Rom 11:11-24).
 
In revealing some of his own personal faith, the apostle Paul explained that the gospel of Christ is the explosive method of God that brings both Jewish and Gentile sinners to salvation. Paul exclaimed to Roman believers in Christ, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith [of the Jew] to faith [of the Gentile]: as it is written, The just [including both Jew and Gentile] shall live by faith (Rom 1:16-17). Although they may not know it, like it, or accept it, the Jews are still subject to the explosive redeeming power of the gospel of Christ. God saves those according to His own will, and there are Jews that God the Father shall bring to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus instructs us that no man can come unto me [Jesus], except it were given unto him of my Father (John 6:65), as well as, No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw [choose, to take for oneself] him: and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:44). Through the explosive power of the gospel of Christ, the heavenly Father has drawn Jews in the past to faith in Christ, and He will do the same in the future.
 
As Paul said, in our subject verses, not all unbelieving Jews, after seeing and hearing Christ, remained unbelieving. Some came to faith in Jesus Christ, and as a result, became a part of the true church of Israel. Speaking to some Jewish scribes and Pharisees, Jesus told them, When ye have lifted up [crucified] the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he [the son of man, the son of God, and the Christ], and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed (John 8:28-31). Various Jewish individuals had become, in the Lord's own words, disciples of Christ. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the scriptures tell us, And he [Lazarus] that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him (John 11:44-45). After raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus was in the home of Lazarus. The scriptures tell us that Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he [Jesus] was there [at the home of Lazarus]: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he [Jesus] had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him [Lazarus being raised from the dead] many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus (John 12:9-11). When Paul and Barnabas were at Iconium, it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed [on Jesus Christ] (Acts 14:1). The Holy Scriptures make it clear that many Jews have, in the past, come to faith in Christ, will come to faith in Christ today, and many will come to faith in Christ tomorrow.
 
Paul gave these encouraging words about God the Father's conclusion and intention regarding Israel: For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery [of Christ and His ministry of salvation through faith], lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness [lack of understanding] in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel [the true children of God who have come to faith in Christ] shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they [the Gentiles] are enemies for your [the Jews] sakes: but as touching the election [those chosen by God for salvation], they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of [Israel by] God are without repentance [God changing His mind or intention]. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these [Jews] also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded [included, embraced] them all [believer and unbeliever alike, Jew and Gentile alike] in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Rom 11:25- 33). As Paul summarizes,For all [Jew and Gentile alike] have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), and There is none righteous, no, not one(Rom 3:10), but God shall send a deliverer out of Sion that shall turn away ungodliness [through faith in Christ] so that He might have mercy upon us all, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.  AMEN.
 
 
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                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
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