Paul claims his true heritage is from Abraham, which dispels the idea of him being a Jew and affirms with his own words from 2 Corinthians 11.22 “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.”
Paul further defines his lineage with these words from Romans. “For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.” But God did cast away the final generation with these words, “That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah.”
This is why Paul said, ” For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ instead of my brethren, and my countrymen according to the flesh.” Showing their divorce from God.
Many consider the elect and foreknowledge of God to be modern day Jews but scripture just does not support that.
Paul was not out to promote the Law Covenant, or Judaism, but the pre-law faith of the father’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They are the ones Paul’s roots are from and where he obtains his instructions for faith, as should we.
This faith of the father’s is something before Moses and before “The Law and Prophets. The law was added till faith comes.” And, “The law was given to make sin exceedingly sinful.” It was an addendum to something before that.
The law was designed to bring us to our knees and accept the gift of righteousness by faith.
The Law culture centered on sin and sacrifices, is not the New Covenant focus. The Glory is what we set our sights on. As Paul said “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” This is what we set our sights on.
You become your fixation. What you focus on becomes you. As it says here from Romans 3 “19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become [e]guilty before God.” Why? Because the focus on sin creates guilty sinners.
What those of Moses did over and over, of putting up and taking down, of feasts and sacrifices for sin, were just pictures of what Christ did once, then He returned to His natural habitat of Spirit and Truth, for us to follow Him there. This is why we are on a pilgrimage. We are going somewhere in the faith.
The Law culture with all their offices, buildings, fixtures and feasts are fulfilled and expired, having been dealt the final blow of the cross as shown in Colossians 2. He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”. They are shelved only to be used for correction purposes only. The purpose of the Mosaic Testament was temporary. Christ’s New Testament is eternal, being present, future and past.
From Exodus 3
Even Moses was instructed by “The Great I AM” to promote the faith of the fathers with these words, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.” So what is it to be remembered forever, Law? And what is supposed to be our fixation, Sin? No way! It was “The Covenant of God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” and not the Law culture with the feasts and sacrifices . That was the plan B used as a redirect for a wayward people.
God goes on to instruct in Exodus 3 saying to Moses “16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me.” If you remember, Paul validated his apostleship with similar words as seen here “having seen the Lord” because the Lord appeared to him in His eternal form as well. He defined his encounter with Christ, not as a burning bush but as “the bright light from Heaven” who visited Paul many times.
Nevertheless it is this burning brightness that scores a likeness from that realm on our invisible part. We use words like heart, soul, mind and spirit to define our invisibleness.
If we clearly understood His kind of appearing, a second coming appearance to impress us has no relevance because we too can be of those “having seen the Lord” now in His natural element of Spirit and Truth. This is how He interacts with our invisible part which we are called to participate in saying “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
This becomes our duty of seeing Him and knowing Him perfectly, because we accept Him as he is. We, too, are “accepted in the beloved.” As the book of Job said, “He who is perfect in understanding is with you.”
Christ spoke to us in John 14 saying “those who have seen Me have seen the Father”. And “from here on you have known Him and seen Him“. And so we take Him at His word.
This is why Paul prayed that the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened, showing we have a different set of senses. But this takes faith as defined in Hebrews 11. Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. By this the elders and forefathers obtained rapport with God the Father.
We see in Deuteronomy 29 that
God offers the Law culture another chance . They were reminded of the initial promises to the father’s, and re-introduced to them 40 years later, after their sentence in the wilderness for unbelief was complete, God reiterating with these words;
29. 1″These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb” meaning, other then the Ten Commands written on something that resembled the condition of their hearts, stone.
It is here we ask why all of the modern day expositors overlook this plea from God to get the Israelites back on track with the pre-law Covenant of the fathers, being Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They say without a blood sacrifice there can be no annulment of The Law. But the writer of Hebrews says that “For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself” meaning no sacrifice is necessary. Who also says “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the [f]immutability of His counsel, [g]confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two [h]immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we [i]might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.” Meaning, He doesn’t need a sacrifice to make good on His word.
The writer of Hebrews continues to redirect us from the Law saying: 18 For you have not come [g]to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and [h]darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned[i]or shot with an arrow.”21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”
So we return to the softer approach of faith of The Covenant besides the Law in Deuteronomy 29 that reiterates what God gave in Abraham, to include “all nation’s” saying:
10 “All of you stand today before the Lord your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones and your wives—also the stranger (meaning Gentiles) who is your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water— 12 that you may enter into (a different) covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath, which the Lord your God makes with you today, 13 that He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and that He may be God to you, just as He has spoken to you, and just as (identical to) He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in Exodus 3 before the 40 year stint in the wilderness.
The Lord goes on to describe this Covenant “besides” the “Ten commandments” to include the gentiles and all future would be believers saying;
14 “I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, 15 but with him who stands here with us today before the Lord our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today.
This is Just like Christ asked the Father in John 17.20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who[j]will believe in Me through their word.”
Showing for us that the 40 years was an expected detour, but not God’s perfect will. His perfect will was and is for us to have the same faith in Christ as Paul and the pre-law forefathers.
Moses completed this re-introduction to the pre-law Covenant of faith from the father’s and how to activate it with these words from Deuteronomy 30, 11 “For this commandment which I command you today is[c]not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”
Which if you think about it, this should be fairly soothing to those who are bound by keeping laws of having to do this and do that to try and please God, now they can do a work of faith by implimenting God’s Word.
What God had proved to the Israelites after they crossed the red Sea, was that He was perfectly capable of feeding them and housing them and clothing them and keeping them warm and giving them shoes, with clean teeth and great opportunities to advance toward Him.
Christ reiterated this by saying, for even the lilies of the field are clothed more than Solomon how much more shall He clothe you?
Deuteronomy 30 is where many years later that Paul taps into the Hebrew scriptures, to circumvent the law, to tap into the pre-law faith of the fathers and graft it into the New testament, bridging over the redundancies that the faithless floundered in, even up to the annulment of the Law culture and all its embellishments. He created a bypass so that we wouldn’t have to walk through the wilderness, and the subsequent meandering till Christ came and made all things new.
Paul quoted Moses succinctly from the discourse from Deuteronomy 29-30 when defining the faith of the fathers and belief in Christ, as seen here from Romans 10, the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”12 For there is no preference for the Jew over Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever callson the name of theLordshall be saved.”
As with all the old testament analogies, the 40 years and all that followed of those who reject the call, were given so that we wouldn’t have to experience their mistakes first hand and avoid those pitfalls ourselves.
Ultimately Christ closed that era as Paul spells it out in Galatians 3 like this “13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”, 14that the blessing of Abraham would come upon the Gentiles (affirming the law bypass) in Christ Jesus, for us to receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”.
That’s a good point, faith not works, as a means of righteousness and perfect standing with God.
Note the term “gentiles”. This is a reiteration of what the Lord promised to Abraham during his life, that “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”. Seed being singular meaning Christ, and all the nation’s means Gentiles. This concept is always coupled with the completion of the Gospel. Christ is the completion of the Gospel and why at Pentecost those speaking in tongues of all nations, (meaning Gentiles) professing the Glories of God, signifying that the Hebrew scriptures are infatically all fulfilled.
Hebrews 1.1″God who in past times spoke to the father’s through the Prophets, has had His final say so with His Son”. It is over.
It is the Jews that call the Gentiles “Goyim” which means “cows”. I don’t think God likes that insult to people made in His image and likeness or of the redeemed from all Nations, as tho they alone are special.
Like Paul told Peter in his hypocrisy “God is a respecter of no man” in context of Peter favoring the Jews by withdrawing from the Gentiles as seen in Galatians 2.
If we truly understand the wilderness lessons second hand, we are the luckier ones. Even if not, we are fortunate to be able to get back on track with true faith after we step out of that.
The same can be said of Paul who transitioned from law, who said “now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” Meaning it happened to him so that we don’t have to go through the same sufferings. So we can learn from the lessons of the 40 years and Paul’s transition by their mistakes. This is what it means when Paul says “to the Jews first”. Not meaning as a matter of preference, but because they needed God’s help the most. After all God called them “brood of vipers, whited tombs, sons of Satan” showing their opposition”. This shows God’s grace and not the Jews favoritism. No doubt about it, they were the enemies of God.
It is the grace of God, that we don’t experience everything first hand, and the purpose of scripture.
Paul further promotes the faith of the father’s being Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in Galatians 4 ” 21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman (was born by the Spirit) through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: (the first alagory refers to law) from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, which corresponds to Jerusalem (on earth) which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above (being compositionally different) is free, which is the mother of us all.” Speaking of, The Kingdom of God at hand.
Notice: there is no talk of a third covenant but the one already empowered and put in place for our crossover and salvation.
This corresponds to The New Covenant established by the blood of Christ who is the heir of the promises to the Father’s as Paul explains here “16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, or jews, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.” This is for all who are “in Christ” who are renewed in the spirit of their minds by this Gospel we profess.
So it is us who are heirs of these things of Christ regardless of race or color as Paul further explains “Therefore know that only those who are of faith (the qualifying factor) are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying,“In you all the nations shall be blessed.” And We are9 “So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” Showing for us that modern Jewery has no preference with God as Paul also clarifies here saying “26 For you are all offspring of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is not the Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all (equal) one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”.
Even as Paul also says in Galatians “God is a not a respecter of persons”.
Our only access point is faith is the Christ of the cross. Not as though He is still hanging there. No, He is risen and accended to Glory now calling believers to join Him there, so we follow.
Time for calibrating your focus and purpose.
Christ told the eleven right before the cross, “you shall not follow Me now (meaning the cross) but you shall follow Me after, meaning, to the Father in Glory. Some of us already did that. Can you hear the wind of the Spirit say “Come up hither?” Where? With us the elect.
We are those who have put off the body of the sin of the flesh and put on another body in the image of Christ in Glory. (Collosians 3) This is our objective in conjunction with Christ. (Eph 4.13)
The Kingdom of God is at hand, exclusively for you who do this, if you are able to receive it.