Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 25
HATH GOD CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE?
We hope you will get your Bible and follow along with us, and not depend so much on what you’ve heard or thought, but rather search the Scriptures with us and see what they really say and don’t say. I don’t mind you disagreeing with me as long as it’s based on Scripture – but if you’re going to disagree just because your denomination doesn’t agree, then I think you’re on pretty thin ice. I feel that we’re staying as true to The Word as is humanly possible, and depending totally on the leading of the Holy Spirit as we teach. Paul tells us that these things are spiritually discerned in I Corinthians.
I Corinthians 2:14
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
We can’t comprehend these things from the natural man, we must have first and foremost a Salvation experience ourself, and then of course the Holy Spirit enlightens us, and the Scriptures then begin to open up. Now here in Romans Chapter 11 we’re dealing with future Israel, and as we study this Chapter you will see that this Chapter flies in the face of what I guess 90% of Christendom stands on. And that premise is that God is all through with the Jew – that when Israel supposedly cried for the crucifixion of Christ that God just turned them out, turned His back on them, and is through with the Jew. So consequently all the Old Testament prophecies and promises fell through the cracks because God is no longer dealing with them. Well if Christendom is going to take that approach then they have to take at least Romans Chapter 11, besides lots of other verses, and tear them out of their Bibles, and throw them away. Because here in this Chapter God just trumpets, and blasts out that God is not through with His Covenant people Israel.
Granted, they’re out there for these past 1900 + years in Spiritual blindness, and the nation as such is blinded. But as I pointed out in our last lesson, all the way from Genesis Chapter 12, “The call of Abram” to well into the Book of Acts it is predominantly Jew only, with exceptions. And we always like to mention the exceptions. There was Jonah who went to the city of Nineveh, Naaman the Syrian General, Rahab the harlot, Ruth the Moabitess, those were Gentile exceptions, but for the most part God was dealing with Jew only. Now when we get way into the Book of Acts we find the Apostle Paul called aside, and God tells Him, “I’m going to send you far hence to the Gentiles” Let’s look at Acts Chapter 28 for example, plus there are a lot of other verses that apply here.
Now of course by the end of Acts Paul is in prison in Rome, he’s not too far from his martyrdom, and he’s still going to be writing his prison epistles, but nevertheless Paul has already been out there among the Gentiles for many, many years, and at the same time he goes first to the Jew, to the synagogue, and when they reject his message, he goes to the Gentiles. By the time we get to the end of Acts, and Paul has finished his missionary journeys, and he’s in prison in Rome, he calls for the Jewish leaders in Rome to meet with him, and he goes over all these things again. How that all the Old Testament Covenant promises had been presented to Israel, but they rejected them when they crucified their Messiah. Now look at Acts Chapter 28, and verse 28.
“Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.”
Now it says they will hear it, but it doesn’t say that they’re all going to be saved. No way, but they will hear it, and we know from Scripture that they have. That’s why all the world stands guilty, and that’s why Romans 1 says they are without excuse.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”
So now with the advent of the Apostle Paul going out, it is predominantly now Gentiles only, with again, exceptions. But now who are the exceptions? Jews. You see Jews can become believers of this Gospel (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4) but they’re few and far between. By far and most of the calling out the Body of Christ is predominately Gentiles, so you see it’s become a complete flip flop. Now back to Romans Chapter 11.
“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.”
And remember most of Christendom is taught that He has. Most of Christendom has been taught that the Jews were the Christ killers. They were persecuted unmercifully in the name of religion, and as a result most of Christendom is taught that God’s all through with them. But oh, listen, God’s not through with the Jew. He’s set them aside, and blinded them, but now this Chapter 11 is going to tell us that God is still going to come back, and finish His dealing with His Covenant people, which of course all the Old Testament taught. Ezekiel 37, Deuteronomy 29, Zechariah tells of the day when He will fulfill these promises to His chosen people. But tonight they’re out there in blindness, and unbelief, but God has not cast away His people, and I can’t emphasize that enough. Now continuing on with verse 1.
“…For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” Now I’ve wondered more than once why Paul tells of that. In the Book of Philippians we also read:
“Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews;…”
Why did the Holy Spirit inspire the Apostle Paul to emphasize the tribe that he came from. Now we know that Christ came from the tribe of Judah, but other than that there’s not much emphasis on their tribal background, but Paul is inspired to emphasize it. I’d like go back to the Book of Genesis, Chapter 35 and just give you food for thought if nothing else. Now here we have the account of Rachel dying in childbirth for the little baby Benjamin. But as she’s dying there in verse 17 we see:
“And it came to pass, when she (Rachel) was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, `Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.’ And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.”
Now why the two names? Well you see Benoni in the Hebrew meant, “The son of my suffering, or sorrow, my heart break.” Because she was dying, she had hard labour, but Jacob turns around and names him Benjamin which meant in the Hebrew, “The son of my right hand, or the son of strength, the son of power.” Now you see the ancient rabbis took this and studied it, they mulled over it for centuries, and some of them came forth with an idea that this must be a picture of two Messiahs. And so a lot of them taught that there would be a suffering Messiah, the Benoni, but also there would be a ruling Messiah, the Benjamin. They couldn’t picture at all that both of these would be embodied in the One and only Messiah. When He came the first time He was the Benoni, He was the suffering Messiah. But when He comes the second time He’s going to be the ruling Messiah, the Son of Power, and Strength.
That’s the main lesson that I know the Scriptures are teaching here, but I have to keep mulling over in my mind why does the Holy Spirit make Paul emphasize that he too was from the tribe of Benjamin. Now let’s on over to Genesis Chapter 49, and not lose sight of the two aspects of the baby Benjamin, the son of sorrow, and also the son of strength. Now here we find old Jacob on his death bed is making some prophetic utterances concerning all the twelve sons, and we won’t look at all of them, but rather just the one that deals with Benjamin and that would be in verse 27, and here Jacob is speaking.
“Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, (Now that’s a picture of viciousness) and at night he shall divide the spoil.”
Here’s where I like to bring Saul of Tarsus, and Paul into the picture, and maybe you had never thought of it before. I think that this is why Paul is making reference to the fact that he’s from the tribe of Benjamin. What was Saul of Tarsus in his early life? I’ve referred to him as a raging bull, a religious zealot, hating anything concerning Jesus of Nazareth. I think that in the same light with the two names of Benjamin, in God’s eyes Saul was a heartache, how he hated Jesus of Nazareth. But Saul had another side to him just like the name of Benjamin had, and now what does Saul of Tarsus become? Paul the great apostle, the one I’m sure just thrills the heart of God, as he suffered, and suffered, and suffered for the sake of The Gospel. Because of that one little Jew, Christianity swept across the Roman empire, and I think this is a tremendous lesson for us. That way back here in Genesis God already had the Apostle Paul on His mind, as well as the prophecies concerning the Messiah, and we’re not taking anything away from Christ in all of this, but in a lesser role, in a smaller scale the Apostle Paul fits so beautifully as well.
Now if you will come back to Romans Chapter 11 we find that God is not through with His Covenant people, and even this great apostle himself is a Jew, a son of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. I guess I need to take you to another verse in I Corinthians, Chapter 15. And here again Paul makes a tremendous statement that most people miss entirely, and yet it’s such a fantastic truth when you see it as I think the Scripture intended you to see it. Here Paul’s talking about the resurrection of Christ of course, and let’s start at verse 6.
I Corinthians 15:5-8
“And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. (died) After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”
Remember Paul didn’t see Jesus as He walked on the earth after His Resurrection, Paul didn’t see Him until after his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, which of course, was about 8 years after Pentecost. So what he’s claiming is he saw the crucified, resurrected, ascended Lord face to face, and I know that he did. We won’t take the time to take you back to the Book of II Corinthians, Chapter 12 where he was caught up into the third heaven. But rather let’s look at the last part of verse 8 that we just read. What is Paul referring to when he said that he was born out of due time? Well he’s making reference about a physical birth and a physical mother. If a mother gives birth to her baby before the due time, what do we call it in our present day language? A “Premie.” It came prematurely, and that’s exactly what Paul is likening himself to in regards to the whole Nation of Israel. He was born as a“Premie” which means at some future date, and remember that a thousand years with God is just a day, but at some future date the whole Nation of Israel is going to experience the same kind of Salvation that Paul did on the road to Damascus. And we know that they are, we know that the Book of Zechariah tells us that they will look on Him as the One they pierced.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son,…” Why?
Because just like Paul did on the road to Damascus, the Nation of Israel will suddenly understand Who Jesus really is. And then Isaiah, Chapter 66 tells us that the nation will be born in a day, and so this is all the things that Paul is talking about in this chapter. At the present time the Nation of Israel is set aside, and God is dealing primarily with the Gentiles, and we’ll be dealing with that a little deeper a little further into the chapter. But always remember that Israel is still in God’s program, Israel is still going to experience her greatest glory. We’ve been teaching the Book of Acts in one of our other classes, and back there in Chapter 1, remember the disciples ask Jesus a question.
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
And I always ask, why did they use the word again in that verse? Well they were thinking of all the glory of Solomon’s Kingdom. That was Israel’s high point so they wanted to know if they were going to experience something like that again. Now Jesus didn’t ridicule them and say, “Get that out of your head because we’re talking about spiritual things.” No He didn’t tell them that, because its not a mater of if, but rather when that Kingdom is going to be established, and that’s what He told them.
“And he said unto them, `It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,…'”
It’s not a matter if the kingdom is coming. You bet it is! Israel is going to have the glory, and then some, far more than she did under David and Solomon when they finally have their King, “The King of Kings.” And I tell you it’s getting closer, and closer every day. The more you read about the exploding technology, and the more you read about electronics and communications, the more it should just scream at us because it just brings us that much closer to the end of this Age of Grace, when Christ is going to return. And we know that He is coming, and if the world scoffs at us that’s beside the point. In fact, some one told me the other night, “Les, they’ve been talking about The Lord coming back for years and years now, and nothing’s ever happened.” I grinned at him and said, “My, I’m glad you said that, you’re fulfilling exactly what the Scriptures say.” And then I took him back to the Book of II Peter.
II Peter 3:4
“And saying, `Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.'”
People have been talking about these things for a long time, but not on a scale like it is today. The world is just screaming at us with all the things that are taking place – that The Lord is coming, and He’s coming soon, and we’d better be looking up, and we had better be ready. Now back to Romans Chapter 11, and so here in Paul we have this great man of God. You know I’ve said more than once that other than Christ Himself, I think the Apostle Paul is the greatest human being that ever lived. I think that he even overshadows Moses, and I also think that when the Bride of Christ is introduced to Christ in glory, I think that the Apostle Paul will be the one that will do the introducing. He has been such a fantastic instrument that God has used to bring this glorious Gospel, and the joy and power of it. So now verse 2.
“God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew….”
You know I’ve taught it for years, when the religious leaders of Israel and Rome consorted together (see that’s why they can’t call Israel the Christ killers), Israel didn’t do it alone. Oh they asked for it, they demanded it, but who carried it out? Rome did, and that’s exactly what Psalms 2 tells us.
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (of Israel) take counsel together, against the LORD,….”
And so I don’t know where people get it that Israel alone is guilty of killing the Christ. Jew and Gentile together crucified the Christ. But was God caught by surprise? No! It was all in God’s foreknowledge, He knew exactly what was going to happen. Jesus Himself told the Twelve just before He went up to Jerusalem to be crucified. And Jesus told them detail by detail of what was going to happen to Him.
“For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.”
So Christ told them these things, He knew, and He didn’t just know it from His earthly ministry, He knew it from eternity past.
“God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew….”
Nothing Israel did caught God by surprise. They were operating under a free will as a nation of people. Anymore, I don’t even try to understand how God could set this whole system of humanity in motion, back there in Genesis. He gave men and nations their free will, and yet everything they do is according to His plans. Everything they do is bringing everything to the end that He has planned, and it’s all according to His foreknowledge. Now that’s hard to comprehend, but God is able, He’s Sovereign. He’s Omniscient, and is absolutely in control of everything. God has not and will not cast away His people. Let’s go to II Samuel, Chapter 7; we always use this passage when we teach the Abrahamic Covenant. After God gave Abraham that Covenant promising a nation of people dwelling in the land, and that some day there would come a government. That Covenant concerning the government did not really come into play until God gives it to King David. Here we have it in this chapter where David is promised that coming from his loins would be a royal family of kings who would rule and reign over the little Nation of Israel. But through that line of kings would some day come the King of Kings, and that of course was Christ born of Mary with Joseph his legal father, and both Mary and Joseph come down those royal family blood lines of David, and Solomon. Here is the promise beginning with verse 14.
II Samuel 7-14-16
“I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, (And we know Israel has) I will chasten him with the rod of men, (And we know God has.) and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. (And here in verse 16 we find God’s promise to the Nation of Israel)And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”
God doesn’t lie, God can’t lie. God told David that this royal family would go down through history, and beyond history right on into eternity, and out of this royal family of David would come the King of Kings The Lord of Lords, and He is going to come as He did the first time to the Nation of Israel. That’s why they have to be in the Middle East at the time of His coming. He’s going to come back to the Mount of Olives as He left in Acts Chapter 1. So regardless what may take place in Israel tonight, rest assured one way or another the Jews are still going to be there when Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, because He has promised it, and God just cannot lie.