Saturday, April 04, 2015

If or Since… THEN! ... and don't be an Identity thief !!!

If or Since… THEN! 
“For we are his workmanship…” ~ the Apostle Paul
“What God hath wrought!” ~ Alexander Graham Bell
"What hath God wrought?" ~ yours truly

Part 1 :: Since~!

If you don’t believe Jesus is the divine Son of God His Father, and especially if you oppose or defy “the idea” of such, you might not want to waste your time reading this. But if you do, please read on. But you might not like what you read as “the ideas” contained here are seen by some believers as an offense.

A humorist once told this story:….. Henry Kissinger brought the finished manuscript of his autobiography to a publisher. They were thrilled, but after looking at it were fearful they would never publish it. They returned it to him asking that he edit it down from 1500 pages to a more readable say 400 pages give or take. They never thought he would or could do it. But they received it back at 423 pages. Asked how he did it, Henry said, “It wasn’t that difficult. I simply took out most all of the “I’s.”  “I” have come to the conclusion after my 65 years in life that narcissism is the sin of Satan full blown. Pride was his sin at the first, and his opinion of his worth exceeded the truth of that worth. So it is with fear and trembling that “I” write this piece.

I am writing out of conviction, and if it is the truth of the (Convicting) Holy Spirit… YOU must decide. If you are inclined to skip over the scriptures I cite, you will have skipped the Writing  of writings, the revelation of the basis of everything, of life itself, of all goodness and all things reasonable.

You will find this writing perhaps repetitive, and the same ideas expressed more than once or even twice. Someone said that to memorize a musical phrase the musician needs to repeat it flawlessly 35 times. Then is becomes committed to his/her memory. So this writing is both for you, and for me a continuing exercise in the memorization of certain essential Biblical truths. If you wish to skip my wordy writing, a very concise study: Jews, Gentiles, and Christians by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum can be found here: (and more valuable studies  here:

God’s plan was perfect before the beginning. Before God said “Let there be…” His plan included the creation, the foreknown sins of satan and of Adam, and the remedy by which God would save all who would and will believe His Gospel. The remedy is the good news of salvation from everlasting destruction through faith by in His Son Jesus the Christ. Some one preached a message: If the Vision is Big Enough the Details Don’t Matter. The point? It is that if we study the forest and the trees long and carefully enough we will see well enough to remove the devil from the details and not defoliate the whole thing. God who is True, Authoritative and unstoppable will complete His plan, that plan perfected before the beginning and now being carried out in Time and History.

We live now after the Time of the laying of the stone in Zion.

Hebrews 1:1  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. … Hebrews 2:1 ¶  Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2  For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3  how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4  while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

The Power of God in the Messiah crucified and risen is the greatest power there is, and yet that Power is most grossly underestimated and under appreciated by mankind for whom it was exerted. God is offended by one thing more than any other: that men and women don’t believe Him! Yet for all Israel’s unfaithfulness God responded over and over in mercy. And for all the sins of the gentiles He would in time extend great mercy to the gentiles who believed Him.

Paslm 78:
38  Yet he, being compassionate,
        atoned for their iniquity
        and did not destroy them;
    he restrained his anger often
        and did not stir up all his wrath.
39  He remembered that they were but flesh,
    a wind that passes and comes not again.

We ought never to think that God is not offended by other things. He gave Moses and the children of Israel the Law from Sinai to acquaint them with many things they were doing wrong (and to give them a pattern of heavenly life!). But why do we sin? Why do we steal, murder, adultery, lie and covet? Is it not because we do not believe God? Sin says to God “no!” In my sin I say to God “I will do as I please.” We sin in ignorance of and/or with knowledge not trusting He is and that He is just and powerful. Conversely do we not show our belief, faithfulness and trust in God by doing what we are told to do? He has made Himself known to all men! We have faith because God has made Himself known to us and we
have said “YES!”

Romans 1:20 …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:

The God we cannot see, even the “invisible things of him” He reveals to all, so we all are without excuse in our denying Him. What are the invisible things? I think they (some) are His righteousness, His power, His holiness, and His goodness. And importantly I believe God reveals that He has no beginning or end.

Ecclesiastes 3: 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Hebrews 7:15  This becomes even more evident when another priest [Jesus] arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16  who has become a priest [our everlasting High Priest forever] not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible [endless] life.

Since God is…

All mankind, and even you who may have read this far in unbelief, are without excuse for our ignorance. We ignore the teaching of the things God has made and forget the invisible, eternal God who IS. But God in mercy comes calling out to us:

Hebrews 1:1  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son

Psalm 19:
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
7   The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

10  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12  Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13  Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Romans 1:20 …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;

Part 2a ::  If~!

If you are a believer… or since you are a believer…

Part 2b :: If~ à THEN~!!!

People sometimes ask Christians, “What about people who never hear about Jesus”or “who never read a Bible? Will they be saved?”

My personal take is that God has not been unjust to any man or woman, but that He has given each enough revelation of Himself and opportunity to all to believe Him for salvation. THIS is not a doctrine of the church or of God, not that I know of, and I may likely be wrong to believe it. Certainly God is never unjust, of that we may be sure. But…

…what about you? If you have read this far you have heard at least something about Jesus. Have you heard about Him before this? Have you a Bible; have you read it? I’m not one to say you are saved. I believe I’m saved, but God does have the final word on ALL matters. Whom you believe and trust, and how you live your life is not up to me.

I trust God to keep the promises of Jesus made and made to me. Those promises are not made only to me; they are made to many (if not all). Yet they are conditional on our faith.

I believe you will either benefit in the same way I do, or suffer the way all unbelievers do. Most people don’t like this expression of assurance that Christians present as absolute. A Bible teacher said: “The truth almost always appears negative when it first appears.” The truth often reveals in us something unpleasant in us. It is generally that we find we are not as is said today: “all that and a bag of chips.” We are not what we thought we were. We were wrong about this, that and/or the other. Simply having to admit we are wrong is a thing that narcissistic humanity is loathe to do!

But moving on presuming you are a believer, or that you are still interested in reading…

Today is “good Friday” 2015. Almost 2000 years ago “they” crucified Jesus.  Who were they? For much of that same 2000 years much or some the gentile church has believed it was the Jews that killed Christ. But here is a problem already. Why do I (dare to) use the phrase: “gentile church?” Paul writes to the gentile believers in Ephesus :

Ephesians Ch. 4:4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Paul writes to the believers in Colossae:

Colossians 1:13  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
17  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

Jesus is the head of the body. The body is the church. And there is one body, there is one church. In the age we live in almost 2000 years after Jesus rose from the dead we see on the earth many “churches” named. In the city I live there are thousands of “churches.” But in Jerusalem after Jesus ascended back to His and our Father, the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost and the Church was born. Even Catholics, Orthodox and Reformers agree on that. But which church was born on that day?
I am sometimes asked “What church do you go to?” Not to be silly, or to be proud I answer “You mean there is more than one?” Sometimes I answer “The one that Jesus loves.” Why do I not say “The Seventh Baptist Church, Rev. A. B. Ceester Founder.” ???
Because if the person asking is a believer I want them to know they are my spiritual sibling, not my doctrinal rival! And that is what Christendom has devolved into today in too many cases: doctrinal competition.

Paul received reports of factions in Corinth. He wrote about them in 1st Corinthians, notably in Ch.’s 1-3 and another mention in Ch. 11. The believers were separating into cliques. By his writing we see that these cliques were quarreling and contending for dominance. In Ch. 11 Paul writes:

17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
18  For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Divisions are schisms, and heresies are sects. The Greeks were known for their pursuit of intellect and wisdom. But they were sinners. Sin has perhaps caused one thing more than any other which causes most all human troubles: war. War doesn’t happen without some small or large division of humanity, almost always as a result of covetousness. Satan went to war coveting the authority of God to rule and possess heaven. He though he knew better than God how to run heaven. And after Adam sinned, Cain went to war with his brother Abel thinking to eliminate Abel who some how had “outdone” him before God. Sin causes war. It causes enmity in the most “humble” settings, between children over a toy or (and/or) over the attention of their daddy. In that we are sinners we so often forget that God is our FATHER, that God is good and just, and that what He says and asks of us always works out for our good. Divisions like those in Corinth likely flourished in many cities in the early centuries of the church.

v Yet a more disturbing division eclipsed the church in those early times. It was the division of the very body Jesus came to form. It was a body that resolved and removed the only really meaningful division in human history, the division of the Jews from the rest of the world’s people.

God is a giver. He is a giver because He is a lover. But God IS who He IS. He cannot be another. He is who He is! When Moses was being oriented by God to carry out God’s plan of the Exodus from Egypt, Moses proved to be very insecure. God is not insecure.

Exodus 3:13  Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.”’

God gives to Himself a very powerful name: “I AM WHO I AM.” It is also written “I AM THAT I AM.” By simple deduction we can say that God is who He is and is not any other being. My dad was who he was, and he was not my uncle or my sister. We can only be who we are. An angel can only be the angel it is. The pencil on your desk can only be that pencil, it cannot be the pencil on my desk… barring some miracle. Miracles did (do?) happen, yet the  miracle of Moses rod is not the same as the miracle of Aaron’s rod.

Reality (a Greek word) and Truth (an Hebrew word) describe the nature of things as they are. Sin has brought decay and death into this world. Sin is the child of satan’s thought, but that thought is illegitimate. It is a real thought, and produced real results, but thankfully those results could never overcome God, or God’s thoughts, purposes and plans. God will do as He will and who will oppose Him?

Yet even those who believe in Jesus as Savior stumble over Jesus as Lord! A Lord is (from Strong’s concordance): supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Mr. (as a respectful title):— God, Lord, master, Sir.

That we who name and claim Christ a Savior AND Lord are so divided in our belief and in what we teach is clear evidence that we stumble over Jesus as Lord, as He who is supreme in authority.

Jesus came to bring us into everlasting Life, and as He says of Himself “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” The implications are huge: If we do not trust Jesus, we trust someone or something else and that person or thing is NOT the Way, or the Truth or the Life, and by that thing or person we CANNOT come to the Father!

We should settle it right now that only Jesus who IS the Way, or the Truth and the Life, and it IS He ALONE who can lead us to God. “For we are his workmanship…” wrote the Apostle Paul.
“ Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker: For he is our God, And we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To–day, oh that ye would hear his voice!” The Psalmist (David?)

Yes! God is our God. But He is our MAKER. Had He chosen not to make us… God owns us! We need to see and believe and UNDERSTAND what that implies: that if we reject his ownership we reject Him. Anything owned is owned. For a person to reject its owner is for that person to steal itself from its owner. This kind of theft is separation, it is divorce, division and is death. It is the death of the relation of the owner to the person owned. If a husband rejects his OWN wife, he rejects himself as her OWN husband.

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
(Exo 19:5)

For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee (the children of Israel) to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
(Deu 14:2)

For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
(Psa 135:4)

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
(1Pe 2:9)

The Jews were God’s choosing, yet God was not always their choosing! When Jesus came to bring the New Covenant in His blood to the Jewish people, not all chose to believe Him and receive Him as their Lord, Savior or Messiah. Yet He was all these.

John 1:11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Those who did receive Him were the apostles, and certain other Jews, those who followed Him after He began to preach and endured, those who arrived in the upper room and awaited the promise Jesus had made: to be endued with power from on high.

If I reject God as my own, and (shockingly?) God does allow me that choice, then is God not free also to reject me as His own? We are deceived if we think we can deny and disown God without consequence. And yet this is the end of man when he discards God as owner. God’s chosen people were sinners, ALL have sinned, and when God saw their frequent wicked condition He wanted to kill them all and start over!

One thing I have learned is that God wants His people to persevere in their faith and relationship to Him (and each other) by the Gospel. If salvation were just swallowing a pill, if it were just learning the alphabet or how to ride a bicycle, we might not value it as the Gospel should be valued. We might not honor God as He should be honored if His Gospel were just a bedtime story. Yet I fear too many who name and claim Jesus treat His revelation of salvation by the Gospel in such a small way. The more I learn about the Gospel the more valuable it seems.

Perhaps I should have stated this already: If you have a saving relationship with Jesus the Messiah and do not believe the Old and New Testament to be God’s inspired revelation and absolutely trustworthy, you are missing much. Why? Because some other “revelation” will come along and seduce your mind and spirit to believe in what God has not inspired. Is God not God? Is God not able to reveal Himself? Is He not able to inspire men to write down His true words and history? Is He not able to preserve the texts of those and keep them from being altered by men? If your God is not able, then He is not God at all.

God’s Bible is true. Jesus is the Truth. And Jesus is… (drum roll) ... Jewish. If you are saved by God, it was a Jew who saved you. It was a Jew who took your sin to the cross and received the punishment and death your sins had earned for you. Jesus did was not conceived in the womb of an Italian or a Greek, or a German, Japanese, Bolivian, Nigerian, South African, Norwegian, Iraqi or an Iranian. Jesus was born of an Israeli woman of the house of Israel’s second King David, David of the tribe of Judah: Judah the son of Jacob, Jacob also named Israel by God, Jacob the son of Isaac, Isaac the son of Abraham. The name Jew we have from the name Judah. I’m not sure that “Jew” did not start out somewhere as a pejorative. Nevertheless a Jew is a man or woman related back to Abraham, Abraham a son of Heber, Heber a son of Shem, Shem the son  of Noah. From Heber we get “Hebrew(s)” and from Shem we get Semite and anti-Semite.

Seeing that God chose to direct the course of human history as He did, we cannot at all say to Him that He was in error by choosing this man Abraham, or any of his sons, in particular Isaac, and making them distinct as Hebrews or Jews from that time forward. The salvation of any gentiles is accomplished by Jesus the Jew, a biological son of Mary. Jesus was the Word MADE FLESH, and it was Jewish flesh of which Jesus was made. That is God’s doing. If you have a problem with Jesus being a Jew, take it up with God. Rethink it. If you have a problem with Jews in history or as a nation today, consider first that God put them through a lot just by making them different than gentiles, second that your salvation was a result of the faithfulness of at least some of these Jews, and third that Jews are human and all of them have sinned except for the Son of God Jesus the Jew. Jews are never more hated than by satan. Jews are the family tasked by God to bring the Word of God into the world, Jesus being that Word. By the Jews God also gave us (all, Jews and gentiles) the law, the prophets and the entire Old Testament.

Chuck Missler, a Bible teacher for more than 50 years has said that 5/6ths of the Bible is about Israel. I don’t know how accurate that is, but it is sure that Israel is a Biblical reality and an important one. Israel, the people arising out of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are and remain today a holy enigma. Israel is an integral part the mysteries of God and the plan of God. Jews themselves have been known to say, “We know we are the chosen people but what are we chosen for?” Yet if you will believe God, that is if you will trust God and seek Him out, He WILL TELL you why He chose you. If you are Jewish He will tell you why your people were chosen. And if you are a gentile He will tell you why your people were NOT chosen. “What,” you ask? “Haven’t you just written about the evils of division? How is it now that you cite this God ordained “division” between Jews and gentiles?”

God called Abram and soon afterward renamed him Abraham. The story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob begins in Genesis Ch. 12. This historic choice of God will never end as Abraham and his descendants are a family even today, the family and nation we call Israel. Contrary to the teaching of Roman Catholics, Orthodox and most protestant denominations God has not replaced the children of Israel with gentiles in the church. How subtle is the anti-Semitism of these groups, these heresies who claim the Jewish Messiah and deny the Jewish people their God ordained identity.  If the French were said to be no more French because they were now replaced by another people group, how do we suppose the French would take such a declaration? I fear that many who say Israel is no more a nation (in spite of the event of May 14, 1948) might be among those who say that the European colonists in New World committed genocide against the North and South American Natives. Yet Israel’s many enemies would commit genocide against Israel and Jews tomorrow if not for the hand of the Almighty restraining them.

What is today called replacement theology, more benignly known as “Covenant theology” has been around for at least 1600 years with roots reaching back to Origen, a Christian writer, teacher, and theologian born in the late second century CE. Known as an “early church father” (certainly Paul, Peter, James, Jude, John, Matthew, and others were earlier fathers), Origen began to allegorize the scriptures in a way which taught that the church is now spiritual Israel and it’s members, it’s GENTILE members are all made  spiritual Jews by faith in the Christ. It is almost comical; I think that today very few gentile pew sitters would likely be bold to declare themselves Jews of any sort. And if the gentile believer is now transformed into a spiritual Jew, what becomes of a Jew who believes in the Christ?

Simple common sense, Biblical interpretation, history and archaeology teaches truly that Israel is 1) the new name the angel of the Lord gave to Jacob, 2) the family name of the 12 children of Jacob and their descendants, 3) the name given to Canaan, the land God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all their descendants, even that land today in which Jews, Christians, Muslims and gentiles reside. Do the Jewish people have a future in that land? According to God’s covenants 1) with Abraham, 2) with the children of Israel and 3) with the house of David YES THEY DO! Yet satan has bred into non-Jews an opposition that can only be removed from the human heart by God in faith. I submit that through faith and by necessaity, loving God with all ones heart, mind, soul and strength and loving ones neighbor as oneself is absolutely essential in defeating anti-Semitism (and it will prove to defeat “racism” of any variety!).

Everything God does is a part of His big picture plan to establish the people of God as His own peculiar treasure. After Adam sinned almost everything up God did until and including Jesus and the birth of the church is a response to the sin problem. At Pentecost the apostles were baptized by the Holy Spirit and endued with power from on High just as Jesus promised they would be. And from that Pentecost in 30CE until Peter went to the gentile Cornelius in Joppa in 37 BC we know of only two possible gentile believers, the “good” thief on the cross beside the Lord and the Ethiopian eunuch whom Phillip taught the scriptures. From sometime in 30CE to sometime in 37 CE the Church of Jesus Christ was Jewish. How clear it is and how difficult to say it is other wise, that while God certainly had a plan and purpose for gentiles who believed God, that God’s plan for gentiles was enabled by the Jews.

Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at well of Jacob, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). Samaritans were “half breeds” partly Jewish and partly gentiles. Yet here was Jesus preaching to a non-Jew, even declaring Himself as the Messiah. She believed Him and brought others to Him! The plan for the gentiles is seen in this and in other events where Jesus interacted with non-Jews. But what is clear is that God started something with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that continued through time until Jesus was crucified, risen and ascended and continued through the birth of the church and for seven years His plan concerned the Jewish people and their Jewish Savior Jesus. In Joppa the plan of God “blossomed” for the gentiles. Yet it was not until the council in Jerusalem (See Acts Ch. 15), which may have been in 47 CE, almost 17 years after the church was birthed, that the very Jewish apostles certified that God had opened the way of salvation and God’s Kingdom to gentiles by the same means He opened it to them.  They were somewhat forced into the matter by Jews who insisted that  gentiles follow the law, and in particular that they be circumcised.

Acts 15: 5  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
6  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
7  And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them [the gentiles] the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
And [God] put no difference between us [Jews] and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Peter went on to note that those who would require the gentiles keep the law of Moses were requiring something of them that they, the Jews were not even able to bear.

Acts 15:10  Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we [Jews] shall be saved, even as they [gentiles shall be].

So it is clear that there only one way of salvation, and this way of salvation is the same for the gentile and the Jews. That is why Paul would write: “there is neither Jew nor greek.” Paul also wrote there is neither male nor female, showing that for males and females there is only one way of salvation. It is senseless to say that male and female do not exist anymore, or that females have now become spiritual male, or visa versa, or that there is now only one new sexual gender. It is senseless to say that the relationships between men and women have changed at all. The New Testament in fact emphasizes the differences between men and women.  Paul also wrote there is neither bond nor free. Again this meaning the way of salvation is the same for slave and freemen and for masters. God did not erase the institution of slavery in the world. Again the New Testament gives wise counsel to slaves and masters as to how they should now live in the gospel by the Holy Spirit within the very real context of master slave relationships. Slaves have not become masters, not even spiritual masters, nor have masters become slaves. Masters might grant freedom to their slaves as a result of the gospel, and slaves might gain their freedom by lawful means. And the gospel since that time has led nations to outlaw slavery. If slavery is legal today in some nation, faith and salvation of a slave will not free him or her from their master, nor will the faith of a master place a legal requirement on a master to free his or her slaves.

It is seen in Paul’s letter to Ephesus that Jews and gentiles are by their faith in the same Savior joined together into one body which he names the ONE NEW MAN. God receives Jews by their faith in His Son Jesus. He receives gentiles by their faith in the same Jesus.

Ephesians 2: 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

The body is one body, but the distinctions remain. In the New Covenant there are no distinctions, BUT in these, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land Covenant and the Davidic Covenant the Jews are made certain promises that don’t extend to the gentile believers. One such distinction can clearly be seen in this promise.

Matthew 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee; what then shall we have?
28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Jesus spoke this to His chosen Apostles of whom there were no gentiles. He is speaking of their role to come in the millennial Messianic Kingdom. It seems presumptuous for gentiles to think they will share in this role. As one Messianic Jew teaches, we believing gentiles are partakers with the believing Jews but we are not “takers over.”

God recognizes and rewards faith without regard to ethnicity, race, sex, social status, legal status or criminal record! But in saving them God does not make males into females or masters into slaves. Nor in saving them does God make Jews into gentiles or gentiles into Jews. With regard to our spirits God saves ALL, male, female, slaves, freemen and masters, and Jews and gentiles through their faith by His grace.  This is certified by the decision of the Jerusalem council regarding circumcision for gentiles. After hearing the whole matter, James, the acknowledged Prince (chief leader) of the council set before them a plan of action:

Acts 15: 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me.
14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.
15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,
16  “‘After this I will return,
    and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
        I will rebuild its ruins,
            and I will restore it,
17  that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord,
    and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
      says the Lord, who makes these things
18  known from of old.’
19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,
20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”
22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers,
23 with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings.
24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions,
25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth.
28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements:
29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

The decision was to not require the gentiles to be circumcised. In fact it was, James said, the Holy Spirit who did not require that of Gentiles. The counsel AND the Holy Spirit DID require ONLY these four things of them: that they abstain from foods sacrificed to idols, from blood (as food), from the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. Perhaps it seems a stretch but wasn’t the Lord saying in effect to the gentiles, “you are saved through faith as the Jews and in abstaining from these four things you will keep your spiritual garments clean?”

[Note: James says to the counsel: “For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.” There are interesting commentaries as to why James said this.]

Are you a gentile believer, saved by the blood of the Lamb, not your own any longer but bought with that precious price? If so, do not allow man to tell you that you have become a Jew spiritually or otherwise. You were a spiritual being as a gentile in unbelief, and it was satan’s spirit that ruled your mind and flesh. When you saw/heard Jesus calling you to faith and repentance and said yes, your spirit was regenerated in the Messiah and the Holy Spirit, you became a NEW CREATION. What that will mean in heaven is not clearly known. But in this life your faith saves you from hell, from the same hell that unbelieving Jews will enter unless they repent in the faith of Jesus. You as a gentile are grafted into the cultivated olive tree. Romans Ch.’s 9 to 11 make it plain, God has by the blood of Jesus opened the way of salvation to you. He has make you gentiles partakers, PARTNERS with His redeemed Jewish remnant, that remnant being the cultivated tree.

Romans 11:11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

God has more to do with our salvation that we do. He is The One who makes the way of salvation, apart from Him there is NO Savior!

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [the gentiles].

Isaiah 43:11
I, even I, am Jehovah; and besides me there is no saviour.

The distinction between Jew and gentile has not disappeared either in the church or in the world. The restoration of the land Israel (often mis-called Palestine)  to the Jews for as their own  homeland in 1948 certainly shows it to be so. Do we think this event, this rebirth of a nation to be some anomaly, some random act of men?

Isaiah 66:
8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? shall a nation be brought forth at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Jehovah: shall I that cause to bring forth shut the womb? saith thy God.

What God starts He finishes! With Abraham, Isaac and Jacob God started a family, a nation (a nation being itself a large extended family) named Israel from whom the Messiah would be born in flesh into the world. God didn’t choose an Italian or a Chinaman. It is worth noting that He did choose Abram from  Ur of the Chaldees, and from a family/nation of idolaters. God chose Abraham to be the man whose descendants through Isaac would be distinct from all other family/nations. We should let God finish with the Jews. We should not, as many wish to do today, even those who name and claim the Jew Jesus as their own, we should not finish them the Jews off! As gentiles we need to submit to God’s plan. Yet it is or should be obvious that God’s plan for the Jews and Israel is not finished.

Unbelieving Jews and the nation of Israel are under tremendous pressure today. The Islamic clerics (most) and the radical Muslim terrorists are unabashed in their desire for and public calls for the destruction of Jews and the possession of Israel by the caliphate. Muslims are so fearful of their own political/religious leaders that they will n ot oppose them in their evil desire and plans for Israel (and for the USA!). God who allows a measure of pressure and condemns those who exceed that measure, God who keeps Israel will bring Israel to faith.

The distinctions God ordained for the Jewish people were not placed on them at the same time. Abraham never was under the law of Moses. Moses never knew of God’s covenant with the house of David. And the New Covenant was not enforce until Jesus went back to heaven. Yet in Jeremiah Ch. 31 a most amazing thing is prophesied: God declares the New Covenant to the children of Israel through the mouth of Jeremiah, His prophet and a Jew! The prophecy starts in Jeremiah 30:1 and goes through to the end of Ch. 32. It is surely a prophesy that satan hates. In particular please read: Ch. 31:8, & 31-37 

Jeremiah 31:8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country
        and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
    among them the blind and the lame,
        the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together;
        a great company, they shall return here.

Here they return from the north. Today Jews are returning to the land of Israel from Russia, and from many other nations even farther away! This cannot refer to the return of the Jews found in Ezra and Nehemiah. In that return they came back from the east, from Babylon.

Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
32  not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.
33  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34  And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

As can be seen by comparison the new covenant will not be at all like the Mosaic covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was a covenant mediated between God and the people by the Levitical priesthood. In the New Covenant God write His law on the hearts of His people.

Jeremiah 31:35 ¶  Thus says the LORD,
    who gives the sun for light by day
        and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
        the LORD of hosts is his name:
36  If this fixed order departs
        from before me, declares the LORD,
    then shall the offspring of Israel cease
        from being a nation before me forever.”
37  Thus says the LORD:
    “If the heavens above can be measured,
        and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
    then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
        for all that they have done,
            declares the LORD.”

In Ch. 31:35-37 we have a promise of God that surely shows God has a future which includes Israel as a people and nation. Or will anyone insist that this fixed order will depart? God never said it would. As to measuring the heavens, perhaps the USA’s space program is an attempt at this! In any event the specificity of these verses is too great for them to be hyperbole. God made the heavers and the earth; and He is powerful enough to destroy them. Instead He offers His word as the Creator of them, that Israel is safe because the Creation will remain beyond the scope of man’s powers and ability, and intellect.

God’s commitment to Israel’s future is guided by His love for the patriarchs, for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, the prophets, right through to John the Baptist.

The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. God’s gifts to and callings for the Jews are not always the same as His gifts and callings for the gentiles. Gentiles who declare that God has made them spiritual Jews might be accused of identity theft.

Romans 11:
25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my covenant with them
    when I take away their sins.”
28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
    or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
    that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

The prophesy of the Jewish New Covenant which God opened to Jews first and also to gentiles by the blood of Jesus:

Jeremiah 30: 1 ¶  The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2  “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you.
3  For behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the LORD, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.”
4  These are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah:
5  “Thus says the LORD:
    We have heard a cry of panic,
        of terror, and no peace.
6  Ask now, and see,
        can a man bear a child?
    Why then do I see every man
        with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor?
        Why has every face turned pale?
7  Alas! That day is so great
        there is none like it;
    it is a time of distress for Jacob;
        yet he shall be saved out of it.
8  “And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him.
9  But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
10 ¶  “Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD,
        nor be dismayed, O Israel;
    for behold, I will save you from far away,
        and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
    Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,
        and none shall make him afraid.
11  For I am with you to save you,
        declares the LORD;
    I will make a full end of all the nations
        among whom I scattered you,
        but of you I will not make a full end.
    I will discipline you in just measure,
        and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
12  “For thus says the LORD:
    Your hurt is incurable,
        and your wound is grievous.
13  There is none to uphold your cause,
    no medicine for your wound,
    no healing for you.
14  All your lovers have forgotten you;
        they care nothing for you;
    for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy,
        the punishment of a merciless foe,
    because your guilt is great,
        because your sins are flagrant.
15  Why do you cry out over your hurt?
        Your pain is incurable.
    Because your guilt is great,
        because your sins are flagrant,
        I have done these things to you.
16  Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured,
        and all your foes, every one of them, shall go into captivity;
    those who plunder you shall be plundered,
        and all who prey on you I will make a prey.
17  For I will restore health to you,
        and your wounds I will heal,
            declares the LORD,
    because they have called you an outcast:
        ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’
18 ¶  “Thus says the LORD:
    Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob
        and have compassion on his dwellings;
    the city shall be rebuilt on its mound,
        and the palace shall stand where it used to be.
19  Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving,
        and the voices of those who celebrate.
    I will multiply them, and they shall not be few;
        I will make them honored, and they shall not be small.
20  Their children shall be as they were of old,
    and their congregation shall be established before me,
    and I will punish all who oppress them.
21  Their prince shall be one of themselves;
        their ruler shall come out from their midst;
    I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me,
        for who would dare of himself to approach me?
            declares the LORD.
22  And you shall be my people,
    and I will be your God.”
23  Behold the storm of the LORD!
        Wrath has gone forth,
    a whirling tempest;
        it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
24  The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back
        until he has executed and accomplished
        the intentions of his mind.
    In the latter days you will understand this.
Jeremiah 31:1   “At that time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.”
2  Thus says the LORD:
    “The people who survived the sword
        found grace in the wilderness;
    when Israel sought for rest,
3  the LORD appeared to him from far away.
    I have loved you with an everlasting love;
        therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
4  Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
        O virgin Israel!
    Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
        and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
5  Again you shall plant vineyards
        on the mountains of Samaria;
    the planters shall plant
        and shall enjoy the fruit.
6  For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
        in the hill country of Ephraim:
    ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
        to the LORD our God.”’
7  For thus says the LORD:
    “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
        and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
    proclaim, give praise, and say,
        ‘O LORD, save your people,
        the remnant of Israel.’
8  Behold, I will bring them from the north country
        and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
    among them the blind and the lame,
        the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together;
        a great company, they shall return here.
9  With weeping they shall come,
        and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back,
    I will make them walk by brooks of water,
        in a straight path in which they shall not stumble,
    for I am a father to Israel,
        and Ephraim is my firstborn.
10 ¶  “Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
        and declare it in the coastlands far away;
    say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
        and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’
11  For the LORD has ransomed Jacob
    and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
12  They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
        and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD,
    over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
        and over the young of the flock and the herd;
    their life shall be like a watered garden,
        and they shall languish no more.
13  Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
        and the young men and the old shall be merry.
    I will turn their mourning into joy;
        I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14  I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance,
    and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
        declares the LORD.”
15  Thus says the LORD:
    “A voice is heard in Ramah,
        lamentation and bitter weeping.
    Rachel is weeping for her children;
        she refuses to be comforted for her children,
        because they are no more.”
16  Thus says the LORD:
    “Keep your voice from weeping,
        and your eyes from tears,
    for there is a reward for your work,
        declares the LORD,
        and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17  There is hope for your future,
        declares the LORD,
    and your children shall come back to their own country.
18 ¶  I have heard Ephraim grieving,
    ‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined,
        like an untrained calf;
    bring me back that I may be restored,
        for you are the LORD my God.
19  For after I had turned away, I relented,
        and after I was instructed, I slapped my thigh;
    I was ashamed, and I was confounded,
        because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
20  Is Ephraim my dear son?
        Is he my darling child?
    For as often as I speak against him,
        I do remember him still.
    Therefore my heart yearns for him;
        I will surely have mercy on him,
            declares the LORD.
21  “Set up road markers for yourself;
        make yourself guideposts;
    consider well the highway,
        the road by which you went.
    Return, O virgin Israel,
        return to these your cities.
22  How long will you waver,
        O faithless daughter?
    For the LORD has created a new thing on the earth:
        a woman encircles a man.”
23  Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I restore their fortunes:
    “‘The LORD bless you, O habitation of righteousness,
        O holy hill!’
24  And Judah and all its cities shall dwell there together, and the farmers and those who wander with their flocks.
25  For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
26  At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.
27 ¶  “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast.
28  And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the LORD.
29  In those days they shall no longer say:
    “‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
        and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
30  But everyone shall die for his own sin. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
31  “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
32  not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.
33  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34  And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
35 ¶  Thus says the LORD,
    who gives the sun for light by day
        and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
        the LORD of hosts is his name:
36  “If this fixed order departs
        from before me, declares the LORD,
    then shall the offspring of Israel cease
        from being a nation before me forever.”
37  Thus says the LORD:
    “If the heavens above can be measured,
        and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
    then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
        for all that they have done,
            declares the LORD.”
38  “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when the city shall be rebuilt for the LORD from the tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.
39  And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah.
40  The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the LORD. It shall not be uprooted or overthrown anymore forever.”

The prophecy of the rebirth of the land of Israel:

Isaiah 66:
5 Hear the word of Jehovah, ye that tremble at his word: Your brethren that hate you, that cast you out for my name's sake, have said, Let Jehovah be glorified, that we may see your joy; but it is they that shall be put to shame.
6 A voice of tumult from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of Jehovah that rendereth recompense to his enemies.
7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child.

8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? shall a nation be brought forth at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Jehovah: shall I that cause to bring forth shut the womb? saith thy God.

10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn over her;

11 that ye may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

12 For thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream: and ye shall suck thereof; ye shall be borne upon the side, and shall be dandled upon the knees.

13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14 And ye shall see it, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like the tender grass: and the hand of Jehovah shall be known toward his servants; and he will have indignation against his enemies.

15 For, behold, Jehovah will come with fire, and his chariots shall be like the whirlwind; to render his anger with fierceness, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16 For by fire will Jehovah execute judgment, and by his sword, upon all flesh; and the slain of Jehovah shall be many.