Cut `Em Off At The Cross Part IV
ut `Em Off At The Cross is a series of writings, based on the prophetic texts found in Obadiah, wherein the LORD reproaches the identity seen in the Old Testament as Edom. This is the mysterious name which stands in the way of those who were escaping the wrath of God, by moving through the "crossway" – and it was the wicked Spiritual entity identified asEdom, which sought to stop those seeking salvation at Calvary:
"Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape…" (Obadiah 1:14).
In the previous 3 essays, we've shown how Edom is a physical identity under the Old Covenant, and a Spiritual identity under the New Covenant.
Unfortunately, vast numbers of believers have been taught the "other Gospel" of the end times – a system which reverses the true identities found in Bible prophecy -- to the detriment of the millions who have fallen under the strong delusion. At this late date in the prophetic calendar, it is tragic that so many Christians are experiencing a prophetic reiteration of the prophecy directed to the Judaeans by the Apostle Paul, in which he also anticipated the state of the believers in Christ at the end of the age:
"For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according toknowledge…my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because thou hast rejected knowledge" (Romans 10:2, Hosea 4:6).
Obviously, both verses cited above turn on the issue of identity – i.e. just who is in view that is to be turned away, because they have rejected knowledge. It is self evident that both verses are addressed to "Israel," yet it is inconsistent to apply the appellation of "my people" to physical Israelites under the New Covenant.
Few stop to realize that very same prophet Hosea, who hosted the LORD's Spiritual rejection of "His people" because they rejected His knowledge, also said that God would draw to Himself those who werenot His people:
"…and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people: and they shall say, Thou art my God" (Hosea 2:23).
Since Hosea is an Old Testament era prophet, and the LORD said through Him that He would call those who were "not my people," it is exceedingly clear the "not my people" could not have been referencing the physical children of Israel. In fact, the Apostle Paul, back in the New Testament, quotes this very verse as he tells the Roman Christians that they have now become God's people:
"Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles…As he saith also in [H]osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved" (Romans 9:25).
Most believers fail to see the Spiritual depth of terms such as "my people," or even the "chosen," or the "elect" of God; and this is largely because of a wholesale orientation to one primary, albeit false, worldview. But what if that view is indeed in error, and vast numbers of seemingly devout believers have inadvertently embraced the "other Jesus?" (Galatians 1:8)
For example, to the disciples, Jesus very unambiguously stated that they were now the chosen people:
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you" (John 15:16).
Even the Apostle Peter, clearly writing to the Christians, confirms that we are the "chosen" people:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people…" (I Peter 2:9).
The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Romans, clearly distinguishes between the physical Jews, and the believers in Christ, whom he refers to as the "elect" of God:
"Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it…." (Romans 11:7).
This is only the tip of the textual iceberg, in that there are dozens of verses, plainly applied to the Christians, in which the LORD refers to us as "my people" – and yet whenever we see such a phrase, we irrationally assign that sacred role to the physical family of Jacob.
Even worse, when God says He will call His people out of a group who were previously known as not my people, He also prophetically addresses those whowere His people, but are now no more His people:
"I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel: but I will utterly take them away….for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God" (Hosea 1:6, 10).
In spite of starkly unpleasant statements like the above, we've all been taught to cite verses supporting the supposed inability of God to change course concerning Israel, even as we routinely ignore verses which speak of such things. For instance, at the provocation in the wilderness, God says that Israel will know His breach of covenant:
"After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise" (Numbers 14:34).
God clearly tells us the covenant with the family of Israel was not broken by Him, for they are the ones who broke the covenant:
"…I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 31:32).
Through the prophets Ezekiel and Amos, God even says there is an end to His patience with Israel's backsliding; but He will give them one final opportunity to be redeemed:
"Alas, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel: An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. An end is come, the end is come…." (Ezekiel 7:2, 6).
"The end is come upon my people of Israel: I will not again pass by them any more" (Amos 8:2).
Ultimately, JESUS CHRIST Himself pointedly tells the Jews their standing has been revoked, as God has determined to call those who were not His people, into the ranks of the chosen:
"Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matthew 21:43).
The truth is a hard saying, but it is still the truth. When God promised to "remember" Israel, thus fulfilling His promise that Israel's "seed" would be multiplied "as the stars of heaven" (Genesis 26:4), through those same prophets He said He would accomplish this by transforming Israel into a spiritual house:
"I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel…I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jeremiah 31:31, 33).
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (I Peter 2:5).
The truth is staring us right in the face, but most cannot see it, because blindness has happened to the last generation of Spiritual Israelites:
"…blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in…This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Romans 11:25, Ephesians 4:17,18).
This Spiritual blindness affects both Gentiles and Jews, who are not in Christ; but the Gentiles and the Jews who have joined into one Spiritual body in Christ, are the true Remnant of Israel, and they are that which the Apostle Paul calls the Israel of God:
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16).
Thus, the Christians are the Spiritual Jews, which relegates the physical Jews to the role of Spiritual Gentiles – who are identified in Obadiah as associated with the identity therein labeled as Edom:
"Neither shouldest thou have stood in thecrossway, to cut off those of his that did escape…" (Obadiah 1:14).
--- James Lloyd
(To Be Continued)
A further look at the issue of just who we are in Christ is seen in the James Lloyd book entitled THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL REVISITED.