Minister of Peace

“Reorganizing the letters of shalom spells out moshel (king). The purpose of a true king is to make peace. King Solomon’s name means ‘peace.'”

Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh
found on twitter

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)

Most Christians will immediately connect the words of Rabbi Ginsburgh with the passage from Isaiah and arrive at the Messiah, the Savior, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. He came as a teacher and prophet, a humble man of God, who was led like a lamb to the slaughter. He will one day return as the Lion of Judah, the conquering King of the Jews, who will restore Israel to a place of high honor and bring peace to all the world.

In Rabbi Ginsburgh’s blog post The secret of peace, he describes the following:

In the Torah portion of Behar, we read that as a consequence of observing the sabbatical and jubilee years, God’s promises us, “…You shall settle the land securely… and you shall settle securely upon it.” This twice repeated promise recurs a third time at the beginning of the next Torah portion, Bechukotai, which is often read in conjunction with the portion of Behar: “And you shall settle securely in your land,” and is immediately followed by the blessing of peace, “And I will grant peace in the land.” Rashi asks, “If you were to say, ‘We have food and we have drink, but if there is no peace then they are worthless!’ for this reason the Torah continues, ‘I will grant peace in the land.’” From here we learn that peace is as important as the sum of all other blessings.” Another blessing that concludes with “peace” is the Priestly Blessing. The Amidah, the main prayer repeated three times a day, also concludes with a blessing for peace. Peace is the link that connects all the prophetic visions of the ultimate redemption and it is the universal catchword and today, everyone wants peace…

We are promised peace in the days of the Messiah, but we are not content to wait (and it’s difficult to be content when there’s no peace). We want our peace; our shalom right now. But in a world of chaos and turmoil, where can it be found?

We seek peace everywhere; with our families and friends, with our neighbors and co-workers, in every area of our lives, but we don’t often find it. We substitute true peace for temporary entertainment and distraction, and the desire to distract ourselves has become a multi-billion dollar industry (just look how well the movie The Avengers has done at the box office recently). I’m not sure that even people of faith can find a true and lasting peace in the world around us. Is it any wonder that those who do not even seek God can find no true and lasting peace at all?

So we wait for the Prince of Peace to come. Rabbi Ginsburgh’s commentary continues:

Obviously, the messianic goal doesn’t end with peace amongst Jews alone, but aims even higher, to achieve universal peace. The Mashiach will teach the entire world how to make true peace: peace between the soul and the body, family harmony, fraternal peace, peace between Jews and the nations, and peace between all of humanity. As the prophet Zechariah said of the Mashiach, “And he shall speak peace to the nations, and his rule shall be from the sea to the west and from the river to the ends of the earth.” [The word “peace” (shalom) appears explicitly in this verse, and in the initial letters of the words, “peace to the nations, and his rule shall be from the sea.”] World peace does not marginalize the unique light of the Jewish nation. On the contrary, the peace that spreads out so far, “to the ends of the earth,” is the perfect setting from the special qualities of the Jewish nation to be revealed, for in the end, peace between Jewish souls comes from the most exalted source of all.

The Master said that Salvation is from the Jews,” (John 4:22) but then, so is peace. This is another reason why we Christians, and indeed, the entire world, owes the Jews a debt that can never be repaid. It is their King who will finally come and bring peace for everyone, not just the nation of Israel, but the nations of the earth.

…but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. –Micah 4:4 (ESV)

In spite of what I said before, Rabbi Ginsburgh believes we can achieve a sort of peace in the present world through pursuing righteousness.

These three circles of peace can help us understand Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s words in the Zohar regarding the Mashiach, who is called, “the minister of peace” – “The minister of peace is a righteous person who is at peace with the world, at peace in the home [peace among Jews] and at peace with the Divine Presence.” These three circles of peace form a progression, with each higher than the previous one. We hope to see all three revealed speedily in our days by the minister of peace, the Mashiach.

It’s interesting that Rabbi Ginsburgh says that a righteous person is at peace with the Divine Presence rather than at peace with God. The Divine Presence, also known as the Shekhinah, is that expression of God which descended upon the Tabernacle in the desert (and later Solomon’s Temple) and inhabited it; God dwelling among His people. This is just an opinion, but maybe we weren’t designed to understand peace between us and the great, unknowable Ein Sof God, but only that expression of the Divine that allows itself to enter into our world.

Is that the secret to being at peace with God, by being at peace with the Minister of Peace, the blood of the prince, the “I am” who was before Abraham, the Messiah, Jesus?

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41 thoughts on “Minister of Peace”

  1. “This is another reason why we Christians, and indeed, the entire world, owes the Jews a debt that can never be repaid.”
    You may want to rethink this statement and take a second look at what it means “salvation is of the Jews”. As far as I can tell in my studies, no debt was incurred by Christians from “the Jews” but by Jesus/God alone. No one else can place a claim on providing my salvation but God. The Jews need salvation as much as anyone; they do not provide it.
    Not to put down “the Jews” but to stop an elevation of them as “saviors” do I comment.
    Psalm 79:9
    Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.

  2. Israel was always meant to the the beacon that would lead the rest of the world to God. Consider Isaiah 49:6 and Isaiah 51:4. By extension, Jesus said of himself that he was (and is) the light to the world (John 8:12) and he passed that torch (if you’ll pardon the obvious pun) to his disciples, including us, when we said that we are a light to the world (Matthew 5:14).

    There’s an unbroken chain in the transmission of God’s Word from God Himself, to His people Israel, and to Israel’s firstborn son of Creation and the firstborn of the dead Jesus Christ. Jesus is called the King of the Jews, which hardly divorces his work of salvation from the Jewish people. We thank, praise, and honor God for our salvation and redemption from sin, however He chose to provide those gifts through the birth of Jesus and the light of His nation Israel, which was always to be our guiding light, since the very beginning.

    God is God alone, but Jesus doesn’t exist in isolation. We was born, lived, died, and was resurrected within a specific context so that “The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:2)

  3. Most of what your response to me does not directly relate to my comment. So you believe that Christians owe their salvation to Israel?

    In your view Elijah has an unpayable debt to the ravens, Moses to the Eqyptians for drawing him out of the waters, Israel to the snake pole. The birds would have done nothing if not directed by God. Certainly the bible teaches “except for my name sake” God would have wiped out Israel for their deeds were evil and not good.

    I guess all of Israel owes a debt that can not be repaid to the gentiles. For as Jesus came from the tribe of Judah, and so you credit our salvation to all of Israel, so Abraham came from the gentiles and there would be no Israel, for Israel does not exist in isolation.

  4. “There’s an unbroken chain in the transmission of God’s Word from God Himself, to His people Israel, and to Israel’s firstborn son of Creation and the firstborn of the dead Jesus Christ.”

    Actually, Jesus line does not go back to Mt Sinai only, but prior to Moses, even back to Noah, even back to Adam. There were “Preachers of Righteousness” transmitting God’s Word long before there was an Israel. “Before Abraham, I am”.

    Again, I’m not trying to take away anything that is rightfully belonging to the Nation Israel. But what does not belong to them, but to God only is my Salvation that came through the line of Judah and is a person, Yeshua.

  5. Steven, all I’m saying is that Israel is the chosen people by which God shined his light to the rest of the world. I wouldn’t kill the church to acknowledge that fact occasionally and say “thanks.”

  6. Someone suggested a verse from Romans that applies particularly well to this conversation. Thought I’d share it:

    For they (the Gentile believers) were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.Romans 15:27 (ESV)

  7. I can’t find a scripture that says “Give thanks to Israel for he is good”!

    On the other hand we all need to get a grasp on Psalm 50:14

    I’m pretty sure this was written to Israel?

    His light shines forth out of the perfected Mt. Zion, not imperfect Israel. Is there a difference? Oh yes, and a very important one. Shalom

  8. Steven, I never said Israel takes the place of God. I just said that it was and is part of God’s plan to bring the nations of the world to faith. My quote from Romans 15:27 should be somewhat illuminating.

  9. I don’t believe that Israel will bring the nations of the world to faith. The fruits of the Kingdom will be brought forth by “a nation” other than Israel.

    Matthew 21:43
    “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”

    Perhaps I’m wrong in my interpretation of what is “a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof”, I would be willing to hear another version than the one I was taught………that the ‘ethnos’ or ‘nation’ was the word Paul used to describe ‘gentiles’ so I’m pretty sure Jesus did not mean Israel.

    Who takes the governance of the kingdom from the scribes and pharisees? I assume God?

    Who then gives it to another? Is God a supersessionist?

    I’m probably coming across snarly and I don’t mean to. I think what you might be trying to do is offer some bases for a repair of the relationship between Jews and Gentiles and I love you for that. Truly, all good things come from above, even the restoration of Israel. We who believe in Jesus to obedience will share in the one Kingdom and eat of it’s fruits together.

    As for Romans 15, “for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem” I do not think he meant all of Israel or “the Jews” but those who through labors of love and materials, sent out “witnesses” of the gospel to parts of the earth. The “spiritual things” of which we are partakers with the Saints did not belong to Israel as a whole. Shalom

  10. “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

    When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.Matthew 21:43-46 (ESV)

    Christ’s intended audience seems to be “the chief priests and Pharisees” who were looking for a way to arrest him because he was calling them on being corrupt religious authorities, not all Jews everywhere. In fact, the passage states that the general Jewish audience believed him to be a prophet.

    We’ve had this conversation before and you know that I don’t support the supersessionist interpretation of the New Testament. Is God supersessionist? No. But human beings can be.

    I can see from your comments that you’re not trying to throw the Jews as a people “under the bus” so to speak, which is commendable. I know we’re not going to see entirely eye to eye on this matter, but if we fail to recognize that it was the Jewish Apostles who first transmitted the Good News of Jesus Christ to the nations near them, we are denying the Apostles themselves.

  11. Actually, I agree and understand entirely that the 11 were the apostles to the nations. But, to say that Israel accepted the Son of God would be something I would disagree. See, Jesus was not sent to the gentiles….but to Israel….who rejected him. I can’t see it any other way although I would love it had they not rejected him. I do believe they will one day say “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” or else we will all be waiting a very long time. Oh, that’s right….we have waited a very long time. But, God is patient. If the tree bears fruit it will be accepted, but if not…it will be cut down.

    God placed a stumbling block before Israel and Judah, and all but a very few did not stumble. But, we still have hope in Messiah.

    I don’t want to throw the Jews under the bus, I want a restored relationship between God and his chosen through the New Covenant. I want that based on truth. Maybe this scripture sums up my view on this conversation, May God Bless those who believe whether they be Jew of Gentile.

    He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Shalom James 🙂

  12. 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”;Romans 11:26

    It is true that Israel is temporarily blinded for the sake of the nations, but this will not always be the case, as we see from the words of Paul. Also, not all of Israel rejected Jesus:

    Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

    Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.Acts 2:36-41

    Everyone Peter is addressing is a Jew and as we saw, at that point in time, 3,000 Jews accepted Jesus as the Messiah. Admittedly, not every last man, woman, and child in Israel accepted him, but neither have all Gentiles. As Paul says though, one day, they will.

    You make it sound like Jesus went to the Jews, they rejected him, so he abandoned his “mission” to the Jews and turned to the Gentiles. That’s not how I read the Bible. The plan was always to redeem Israel *and* the nations. In the end, that’s how it’ll work out.

    Blessings.

  13. Steven,

    How right you are…I am going to rewrite the verse in my Bible. Jesus really said “salvation is from the Gentiles….Or even better, “salvation is from God.” This Jesus did not know what he was talking about…..

  14. Dan, Yes… even better….”salvation is from God”….that’s my entire point. Jews are not God. I do not owe my salvation to them, but to the only one who hung on that cross. Our salvation is of A JEW, not THE JEWS.

    James: “You make it sound like Jesus went to the Jews, they rejected him, so he abandoned his “mission” to the Jews and turned to the Gentiles”.

    Yep…..that’s what happened and will continue until they say “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. And, many will come from the nations and eat with the Fathers…in the kingdom….but “the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness”.

    “When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
    And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
    But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    What children of the kingdom? Those in Israel without faith! Shalom

  15. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.John 4:22

    Judaism is the receptacle that God used to contain the Word of God and knowledge of God. It is the vehicle by which God planned to carry His message to the World through the Jewish King and Messiah, Jesus Christ. Jesus was born into a Jewish context, grew to adulthood in occupied Israel as a Jew, taught as a Jew, lived as a Jew, and died as a Jews.

    He was resurrected as a Jew.

    He knew that a large number of his people would temporarily reject him and this was the plan for the sake of the Gentiles, according to Paul. This isn’t a matter of “Plan A” not working so Jesus switched to “Plan B”. If that were the case, then God can try, fail, and change His plans. In other words, He isn’t an all-knowing God.

    Yes, only God can save and we all achieve salvation that we did not earn when we come to faith in the Jewish Messiah and worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But Jews have been and continue to be part of the plan. In the end, we will all be joined together. See the end of the book of Revelation. The Jews are still there.

  16. Yes James, I agree with most of what you said. But, it was NOT God’s PLAN A that the Jews would reject Christ…..although he did know in advance that they would reject him. How do I know this?

    Jesus said O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

    So, yes, plan B!

  17. Plan B: Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord
    Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
    And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
    …..but he that believeth not shall be damned.

  18. “Judaism is the receptacle that God used to contain the Word of God and knowledge of God.”

    No, Israel was the receptacle of the Torah which is not the same as “Judaism”, at least as it is known today, but Israel could not hold the water, so to speak…..they broke the covenant (broken means broken, broken covenant means it does not exist anymore). The Abrahamic Covenant can not be broken, it still exists, but the one made at Mt Sinai with Israels fathers is BROKEN. That is why God sent his own son into the world, “the word made flesh” that in HIM men might be saved and a New Covenant…..not like the one at Mt Sinai….could be mediated. Those who have not entered into the New Covenant are NO LONGER IN COVENANT WITH GOD. The fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant is by faith to those who believe and are baptized. The Gentiles are given equal opportunity in the New Covenant. There is no Jew nor Greek, but we are all one in Messiah.

    James, of course those of Israel who are “believers” are in Revelation, that is part of the restoration of all things. But, the unbelievers of Israel are in Revelation also. The unbelievers will go into the lake of fire, but the believers will be saved.

    The Holy Spirit was not given to the unbelieving jews who are “condemned already” but to “believers in him who was sent” and have entered into the New Covenant. Many are called but few are chosen.

  19. Steven, as far as you quote of Matthew 23:37-39, please see my comments on the words of the Master in today’s morning meditation. I agree that there is a newer covenant, the Messianic covenant, that ratifies (not replaces) the Sinai covenant and that it is not like the older one, but the Sinai covenant isn’t invalid and still applies to all Jews. Even when Jews have been unfaithful, God may have temporarily exiled them or imposed other sanctions, but He never permanently rejected the Jews. Paul (again, I repeat this) promised that *all* Israel will be saved (future tense) and they will be.

    The Jewish people the rightful inheritors of the promised made at Sinai to Israel. Not all Jews have accepted Jesus as the person through which they enter the Messianic covenant. For that matter, not all Gentiles have accepted that fact either. Paul promises a time when Israel will accept him and we see it in Revelation.

    As I mentioned before, we’ve had this conversation previously. I wasn’t able to convince you of my position then, and I doubt I’ll be able to convince you now. All I can hope and pray is that someday God will choose to reveal to you that He has not abandoned the Jews and that He has always kept His promise to them that they would forever be a people before Him.

    The next issue of Messiah Journal, published by First Fruits of Zion, will be out soon. The second part of my four-part series on supersessionism will be in there, talking about how supersessionism is expressed in the theology and doctrines of the church. I just submitted the third part (which will be published in the summer sometime) which talks about the visible expressions of supersessionism in the current church. My final article (which I have yet to write) describes the church which is beyond supersessionism (this is happening in some churches right now) and able to see that God continues to nurture His people Israel and the Jews as the inheritors of Sinai.

    I hope you’ll take the time to read them.

    Blessings.

  20. James, you don’t have to convince me that God has not abandoned the Jews and I never said that. By your repeating that again and again, I can only believe your purpose is to make it appear I have said that. Why would you do that? hmmmm

    God makes it clear, the Jews abandoned him.

    “Paul (again, I repeat this) promised that *all* Israel will be saved (future tense) and they will be.”
    All cannot mean *all* in the sense you are teaching it, for those God swore would not enter into his rest includes those who are without faith and remain in unbelief.

    “The Jewish people the rightful inheritors of the promised made at Sinai to Israel.”

    Yes, they are the rightful heirs of the promises at Sinai to Israel. Read Leviticus 26 to see the terms of that covenant for breaking it. I think you will, after reading them, agree the Jews did in fact inherit the promises for breaking the covenant. The holocaust being the most recent example but according to the PROMISE, for they have not repented and continue to break the covenant, a worse yet is about to come upon them. They do not keep the land rests, nor the jubilees in Israel. Idols are everywhere in Jerusalem, etc. etc, etc.

    “He has always kept His promise to them that they would forever be a people before Him.”
    I agree, but Israel was cast out of the land for walking after other gods. Having forsaken God and not keeping his law.

    “ and ye have done evil more than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the stubbornness of his evil heart, so that ye hearken not unto me: therefore will I cast you forth out of this land into the land that ye have not known, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; for I will show you no favor.”

    After all the evil Israel did to God and continue to do to this day, he will still “choose them again” and remove their heart of stone.

  21. It’s a little more complicated than that. If the Jews, for the most part, have not accepted the Messianic covenant, it’s because, like Paul said, because God temporarily hardened their hearts for the sake of the Gentiles; you and me. This caused Paul a great deal of pain and at one point, he said he’d surrender his salvation if even some of his people (the Jews) could be saved. However, he realized (and taught) that they would all be saved in the end.

    If it’s part of God’s plan that Judaism be temporarily hardened against Jesus as Messiah, then it’s part of God’s plan. As you pointed out, God didn’t abandon the Jews and I maintain that He still hasn’t. As you say, someday they *will* say, “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” I know some Jews who already say that. In God’s plan, one day they all will, and after that, so will the remainder of an unbelieving world.

  22. Yeah, I’ve heard that doctrine of demons before James. There is no “broad path to destruction, many there be that go that way”.

    The truth is, everything that offends will be gathered up and burned in the fire, taken out of the Kingdom. What remains is what is unshakable. Our God is an all consuming fire.

  23. “Why have I written a history of the Jews? There are four reasons. The first is sheer curiosity. When I was working on my History of Christianity, I became aware for the first time in my life of the magnitude of the debt Christianity owes to Judaism. It was not, as I had been taught to suppose, that the New Testament replaced the Old; rather, that Christianity gave a fresh interpretation to an ancient form of monotheism, gradually evolving into a different religion but carrying with it much of the moral and dogmatic theology the liturgy, the institutions and fundamental concepts of its forbear.”

    by Paul Johnson from the Prologue of his book A History of the Jews

    Apparently, I’m not the only Christian who feels our faith owes a debt of gratitude to Judaism.

  24. Steven,

    There is no use to argue with someone who blatantly changes the words of the Master to fit his bias. You are not the first nor will you be the last. When the time come Yeshua will tell you: “I never knew you.” Or maybe you will want to erase this one too and put your own version in?

  25. Easy, Dan. It’s one thing to disagree with someone regarding their theology, but neither you nor I get to decide who the Master accepts and who he rejects.

  26. I’m “borrowing” the following quote from Derek Leman’s blog post, Isaiah 45, Every Knee. It echoes my own statements in this blog about how Israel was always to be a light to the Gentiles and the realization of that light is in the Son of Israel, Jesus.

    God made the world for all people and he called one people, Israel, first. He did this so that all peoples would look to Israel and know truth. God’s purpose is righteous, to show humanity covenant goodness. Israel is his witness. The story of Israel is the story of good news for the world. Israel itself is a Bible of truth to which the gentiles may look. The reality of exile and destruction is not denied, but the promise lives on pointing forward. In the future time, every knee will bow because every person will see that God is good.

    The early messianic movement, even before Paul’s letter was written to the Philippians, used Isaiah 45:23 in a hymn (Phil 2:5-11). They saw in Yeshua, the Ideal Israel himself, the fulfillment of this promise. Yeshua in the hymn is both Israel (the one to whom people look to see truth) and God himself (the knees bow to Yeshua in the hymn). The story of Yeshua is the story of Israel. The swearing allegiance to Hashem is swearing allegiance to Yeshua. The pieces come together in Yeshua, from creation to consummation of all things in the world to come. God is reconciling all things in Yeshua, the Son of Israel.

  27. Dan, I don’t believe I have changed the words of the Messiah for I do believe that Yeshua came from the tribe of Judah on his Mothers side. It is my opinion that is all that it means “salvation is of the Jews”.

    Jesus came down from above, he is not from below. Only God gets credit for sending the word into the world and for our salvation. The Jews are not providing salvation, salvation was sent from above by God the Father, and the Jews are not God nor from above.

    What I have done is object to interpreting the masters words…. broadened to the point that the Jews are credited with our Salvation. Only in Yeshua, a gift of the Father who came down from heaven, one who is not from below can claim that.

    No flesh should glory in his presence. “That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

    Like I said before “all good things come from above”. But, if you want to make the Jews out to be GOOD, I won’t argue further with you.

    Mark 10:18
    “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”

    To the Jews: Don’t glory in yourselves as though you are good. All glory belongs to God only, if you will glory, glory in him. Shalom

  28. We’ve reached an impasse, Steven. You seem to believe that everything God said about Israel being a light to the nations and the Torah going forth from Zion ended when Jesus came and that Jesus was all but divorced from Israel and the Jewish people. My objections to this opinion and the scriptures backing up my position have already been stated so I won’t repeat them here. I suggest we all retire to our corners, so to speak, and ponder for a time whether this conversation did anyone any good.

    In the meantime, life and blogging goes forward and Steven, you might want to simply bypass this issue, since we won’t reach a resolution between us, and read other “meditations.” Also please continue on your own blog, since I follow your writings and occasionally comment there as well.

    Blessings, all.

  29. Yes James

    “You seem to believe that everything God said about Israel being a light to the nations and the Torah going forth from Zion ended when Jesus came and that Jesus was all but divorced from Israel and the Jewish people.”

    But, my last word is…. that is not what I ever said. Shame on you!

  30. But, my last word is…. that is not what I ever said. Shame on you!

    Ouch.

    OK, I want to be fair but this back and forth conversation makes it difficult to crystalize your exact view, Steven. As far as I can tell, it’s a modification on the traditional church view of supersessionism. Would you consider creating a concise write up on your own blog of your views? It might help me understand the nuances of what you’re actually saying.

    The Bible really does say that Israel is to be a light to the nations (Isaiah 49:6 and Isaiah 51:4) and that the Torah will go forth from Zion (Micah 4:2). And yet when you say:

    Jesus came down from above, he is not from below. Only God gets credit for sending the word into the world and for our salvation. The Jews are not providing salvation, salvation was sent from above by God the Father, and the Jews are not God nor from above.

    …there seems to be a bit of a disconnect happening. I certainly don’t dispute that God is the author of all good and of salvation, but He used the Jewish people to transmit His will and specifically in the form of the Jewish Messiah/King. Can you deny that we rely on confessing Christ for our salvation?

    Really, I’ve tried to be as [polite, courteous, and respectful in this conversation. Not sure why I deserve a “shame on you” comment, but if you feel I’ve wronged you, please correct me in a more productive manner.

    If you choose not to, I understand. I also don’t believe that admitting that we have different viewpoints on this matter and have reached a functional impasse is such a bad thing (but then, online, text-only communication can be unreliable at transmitting intent).

  31. Steven,

    Your pagan ancestors did not know about Noach until my Jewish ancestors introduced him to them. before that your ancestors dance around a piece of rope yelling Hulla-Bulla…..

  32. I think we both have the same ancestor….Noah. But, if you think I owe you a thank you for the work of your ancestors….Thanks Dan! Shalom 🙂

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