The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Children of Abraham and Sarah in the book of Galatians

Posted by israeliteindeed on October 29, 2014

If you study the book of Galatians for yourself, it is clear that the recipients of Paul’s letter were Gentiles who had already entered Christ by faith, but were being confused and led astray by Judaizers who wanted “to pervert the gospel of Christ.” (1:7) There are many such teachers today who are perverting the gospel of Christ and leading Christians astray in like manner. Some wish to “Judaize” Christians by insisting they use Hebrew words rather than their own native language, or follow other Jewish laws in order to please God. Others teach Christians to have fellowship with unconverted Jews, and to further the earthly aims of those Jews even when that involves behaving unrighteously and hurting other people. This second heresy is just as dangerous as the first, for we are commanded to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather to expose them. A compromising fellowship with workers of iniquity (regardless of their ancestry) can never be considered pleasing to God. I remind you that there is not a single command in the whole New Testament from Jesus or any apostle, for us to support earthly goals of earthly, unconverted Jews. Christians are to evangelize the whole world (including unconverted Jews), but we are not to support them or consider them in any way our brethren, lest we pervert the gospel.

We need to pay very close attention to this letter of Galatians! Paul, the self-proclaimed “Hebrew of Hebrews” understood the situation well, and was very zealous for the purity of the gospel. He even proclaimed a curse on anyone who would present “another gospel” by changing any part of it (1:9).

Paul reminded the Galatians how he had behaved as an enemy of God while he was following the dictates of Judaism (1:13-14). Judaism had become corrupted since the time God made a covenant with the fathers, and it is still corrupted today, especially in that it still denies Jesus–cutting its adherents completely off from the God they claim to be serving (I Jn. 2:23; 2 Jn. 1:9).

Paul went on to explain that “false brethren” wanted to spy out the liberty of the Galatian Christians and bring them into bondage, for any religion that does not have God is a religion of bondage (2:4-5). And from the time Christ came, the only way out of bondage was to enter the door of Christ. Many false teachers, traditions, and additions and subtractions from God’s Word had turned the nation of Israel into an Israel in name only. But God would show His Salvation (Jesus) and kingdom (the Israel of God) to those who obeyed His command to repent.

Many people think that since the Old Testament Hebrews worshiped God prior to the coming of Jesus, so Christ-rejecting Hebrews today are worshiping God in spite of their rejection of Jesus. This simply isn’t true. Without Jesus, they have absolutely NO access to God. Paul called such men “false brethren” (2:4). Old Testament Hebrews were accepted based on their faith as they looked forward to the Messiah (they were not accepted based on ritual, traditions, or family lines). All such people of faith who were alive when Jesus came, received Him and were given the right to become children of God (John 1:12). Those who did not have true faith rejected Him when He came, and they themselves were also rejected. The same continues to hold true today.

Every individual Old Testament Hebrew that disobeyed God’s Word–whether given through Moses or the other prophets–was spiritually cut off (the Vine, the Olive tree, the nation of Israel). Just do a quick search of the phrase “cut off” through the Old Testament with a Bible study tool. Every individual disobedient Hebrew may not have been evicted from his physical land, but we can be sure he was “cut off” from salvation (the Israel of God/the Kingdom of God) as God’s Word promised (just as Eve most certainly died when she ate the fruit, even though the carnal man would say she did not die). God’s eventual dislodging the Hebrews as a whole from the land was a separate judgment on the nation for becoming as wicked as other nations, and did not affect the salvation status of those who had remained faithful to God–they were still part of God’s Israel.

Let us remember that to disobey “God’s Word” is to disobey Jesus, who is the very embodiment of His Word. Once Christ had appeared to the surviving remnant of His day, the command for every man to repent and enter Him was set in stone. Everyone who refused or refuses Him, was and is cut off from the Father as well. In other words, Christ’s kingdom–which exists right now–is the only people group that worships God. There are no others. Members of His kingdom are “free indeed” because they have entered the Son. The Jews who reject Jesus are still in bondage. This is why Paul used the bondslave Hagar to symbolize unconverted Jews in Gal. 4, but we will get to that later.

Possibly these false brethren who were harassing the Galatian Christians claimed they were the people of God too (based on either their bloodline or their religious practices) along with the Christians. What is certain is that even Peter and Barnabas began to cave under the pressure of their fellow Jews, and separate from Gentiles (dividing the Church), until Peter was reproved by Paul (2:11-21). Paul reminds the Galatian converts that they received the Spirit of God by faith, not by becoming Jews (3:1-6). Abraham was not a physical “Jew,” as the term “Jew” refers to someone from the tribe of Judah–only 1 of 12 tribes. Nor was he a physical “Israelite” (Jacob/Israel came later). But he was a man of faith who obeyed God! And this obedience/faith has always been the necessary ingredient for anyone claiming to be “the people of God.” In fact, Paul told the Galatians that ONLY children of faith are sons of Abraham–

Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (Gal. 3:7)

If you don’t remember anything else from this post, I pray to God you remember this verse. Notice Paul did not say only those who are of faith are Christians, even though this is also true. He said people of faith are sons of Abraham, and ONLY people of faith are sons of Abraham. THERE ARE NO OTHER SONS OF ABRAHAM. Please let that sink in.

Of course, I am speaking spiritually, just as Paul was–something Judaizers dislike very much because they must give up their carnal mind focused on the flesh to agree with Paul (and God). Paul also taught that there are no other Jews in any true sense of the word, but those whose hearts have been circumcised (Rom. 2:28-29); and that not all Israel is truly Israel, but true Israel is made up of “children of God” born not of flesh but of Spirit (Rom. 9:6-8). Jesus taught the same thing to Nicodemus–that to enter His kingdom (God’s Israel) one had to be born of the Spirit, not just the flesh (John 3:5-7). Abraham has descendants on this earth which are innumerable just as he was promised, but they can’t be found by tracing genealogies (which we are expressly commanded to ignore–I Tim. 1:4), or ethnically cleansing regions of Biblical/historical significance. Find those who have faith in Jesus, who are worshiping God in Spirit and truth, and you have found the very children of Abraham, who are blessed with their father, and treasured by God. Bless these righteous people, and you will blessed. Bless instead a people who are wicked, and you will be cursed.

These things also belong to the wise: it is not good to show partiality in judgment. He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” him the people will curse; nations will abhor him. But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. (Prov. 24:23-25)

Unfortunately many people in the west cannot receive this truth because the west has been saturated with false doctrine which they have been taught from their youth, which is even further reinforced by their idolatrous nationalism. They stumble because some preacher or commentary told them that all people with a certain blood lineage are sons of Abraham/people of God/chosen people/etc., and that we must “bless” them according to Gen. 12:3–not with the gospel, but with earthly benefits!! This is a damnable lie. God’s ways are not like man’s ways. God’s way of providing children for Abraham put an utter end to pride and all means of being justified by the flesh. The promises which were made to Abraham and to his SEED were literally MADE TO Jesus Christ–

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. (Gal. 3:16-18)

The promise was made to Jesus! And according to this passage, the covenant was confirmed in Christ before the law was ever given. So the giving of the law to the Hebrew custodians of the law, did not annul the terms of the covenant, which has always been intended to bless all nations (3:8). The “inheritance” is eternal life in the kingdom of God. This inheritance is entered into by faith. There is only one kingdom of God. There is not a spiritual kingdom of God and an earthly kingdom of God simultaneously as some think; Christ has come and the Old Covenant is obsolete. Any earthly kingdom calling itself the kingdom of God is an impostor, for Christ’s kingdom is NOT of this world (Jn. 18:36).

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:26-29)

Paul is speaking very clearly. Those who are Christ’s are “Christians.” Christians are Abraham’s seed. Christians inherit the promises made to Abraham. ONLY Christians. Christians can be Jewish, or they can be Gentile, but they must be Christians to be children of Abraham. People label it “replacement theology” in order to denounce it, but I am only showing you what Paul wrote by the Spirit of God. And he gets even clearer in the next chapter of Galatians.

For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. (Gal. 4:22-26)

Truly only those who are in the Son of God are “free.” Everyone else is still in the flesh. Paul is very clear here that this includes his Jewish countrymen who are still trying to reach God through the first covenant. They are children of Hagar and are still slaves. Notice that Paul was not afraid to “spiritualize” the earthly history of Abraham’s two sons. Many try to interpret this story in a fleshly way (claiming literalism), saying that Hagar is the Palestinians and Sarah is the Jews. Paul would denounce such a teaching as utter heresy. Paul says Hagar is the unconverted Jews, and Sarah is everyone who is converted. To reject the teaching of Paul is to reject the teaching of God.

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. (Gal. 4:28)

Who is Paul speaking to, saying “we are children of promise”? The Galatians! Gentiles! In God’s eyes, they are considered children of the “free woman” Sarah.

But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. (Gal. 4:29)

Just as Ishmael persecuted Isaac, even now the Jews are persecuting the Christians!–This is Paul’s clear inference. Remember the whole letter is meant to rescue the Galatian Christians from unconverted Jews who are trying to lead them astray. And how does Paul answer this crisis?–by spiritualizing the Old Testament Scripture yet again:

Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. (Gal. 4:30-31)

Who shall not be heir?–The children of the bondwoman, unconverted Jews. Who shall be heir?–the children of the freewoman–Christians (both Jew and Gentile).

Paul had obviously embraced the humbling which the gospel had brought to him. He was glorying in nothing other than the cross. He considered himself crucified to the world. Circumcision (or any other rite of Jewishness) meant nothing to him, but only being a new person in Christ Jesus. He was once a child of Hagar, unconverted and in bondage. But he became a child of Sarah and a citizen of the “Jerusalem Above” (God’s kingdom) when he was born again. This is why Paul didn’t advocate for saving the physical Jerusalem/Israel from pagan nations as so many apostate and earthly-minded Christians are doing today. He knew there was only one kingdom of God, and only one Way into it, so he focused on getting people into that kingdom.

I know I keep writing about this subject, but it gets clearer to me every day. And every day, it also becomes more clear how evil and damaging both dispensationalism and earthly zionism are. These are imaginations born in the hearts of carnal men who rejected God’s truth, dispensed abroad to undermine the gospel and lead many astray. They keep people focused on earthly things, and fellowshipping with those who walk in darkness. We live in a time of massive deception and apostasy. Please love the truth so that you are not deceived. God bless you.

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