The Grace of God

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

Cut Off

First, two things to remember:

1. Whatever things were written before (about Israel) were written for our learning (Rom. 15:4).

2. All these things happened to them (Israel) as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come (I Cor. 10:11).

Keeping these two things in mind, we need to consider God’s dealing with Israel when Israel–as a whole–stopped obeying God.

“Cut Off”

Throughout the writings of the Law and the Prophets, it was written that those who disobeyed God in specific ways were to be “cut off” from among their people. That would mean they were no longer considered part of God’s congregation/assembly. Keeping the two aforementioned Scriptures in mind, it should be easy then to understand that the modern teaching of OSAS (“once saved always saved”) is a lie. If an Israelite could be cut off from God’s people for particular sins, and those things were recorded for our learning, then we too can be cut off from God’s people if we do not continue in God’s goodness (Rom. 11:22).

But there is another lesson in this that I’d like to bring out, which is: Being born a Hebrew in the Old Testament in no way kept a person from being “cut off” from God’s people. Blood or family relations didn’t save during the times of Moses, didn’t save during the times of the prophets, and still doesn’t save today. This is important because the false teaching of Talmudic “Zionism” teaches that if people are related to Abraham (or more specifically his son Jacob), they are the chosen people, or “God’s people.” Such is not the case, and both testaments are clear on this.

Let us look at specific examples of sins that were punished in the OT (Old Testament) by the sinner being “cut off.” With each one, I’ve included NT (New Testament) parallel Scriptures, which further demonstrate that the New Covenant completes and fulfills the Old. Notice that responsibility is placed on each person, under either covenant, to keep the covenant or be cut off. To be “cut off” from God’s OT “congregation” was exactly the same as being “cut off” from the NT Body of Christ/the True Vine/the Olive Tree.

“Cut Off” for:

OT: Not being circumcised if male–Gen. 17:14
NT: Circumcision of the heart unto obedience is a non-negotiable for the believer; it is defined spiritually in Rom. 2:28-29 and Phil. 3:3–We are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. I Cor. 7:19 makes it clear that obedience is the principle issue.

OT: Eating leavened bread during Passover–Exo. 12:15
NT: Sinning willfully–“eating leaven” after having knowledge of the Truth (Christ, our Passover slain for us) leads to damnation–Heb. 10:26-27.

OT: Anointing man’s flesh or anointing “an outsider”–Exo. 30:32-33
NT: Laying hands on people who have not been proven righteous leads to partaking in their sins (I Tim. 5:22). No flesh is to glory in God’s presence (I Cor. 1:29).

OT: Profaning the Sabbath–Exo. 31:14
NT: There remains a rest for the people of God, into which we must labor to enter, or we can fall “according to the same example of disobedience”–Heb. 4:9-11.

OT: Partaking of the Lord’s sacrifice while unclean, eating the fat or blood–Lev. 7:20-27; 17:10-14
NT: Partaking of the Lord’s supper while defiled by sin, and without self-examination, a man becomes guilty and brings damnation to himself–I Cor. 11:27-31. Bringing a gift to God’s altar while there is a need for reconciliation with a brother results in our worship not being accepted–Matt. 5:23-24.

OT: Shedding animal blood unlawfully–Lev. 17:3-5
NT: There was a prescribed way to be cleansed by blood–a way that foreshadowed the True Way, and in the New Testament it is revealed that the blood of Christ is that Way. It is the only lawful way to have sins forgiven–I Pet. 1:18-21, Heb. 9:22, etc.

OT: Committing sexual immorality–Lev. 18:29; 20:17-18
NT: Such will still cause one to be cut one off from God’s family/kingdom under the New Covenant–Acts 21:25, I Cor. 6:9-10, I Cor. 10:8; I Thess. 4:3, Jude 7, Rev. 22:15. I Cor. 5 explicitly teaches that the sexually immoral are to be rejected from the fellowship of the Church until they repent; we are not to pretend they are God’s people.

OT: Eating the sacrifice when it was more than 2 days old–Lev. 19:5-8
NT: This seems to teach a general principle that we cannot rely on old victories, but must have a new and fresh relationship with God by offering our bodies a living sacrifice continually–Rom. 12:1. Yesterday’s manna is gone; today we need to partake of Jesus (and His death/resurrection) again to remain alive. Jesus taught the cross must be carried daily–Lk. 9:23. We must take heed when we think we stand lest we fall–I Cor. 10:12. And we must be diligent to continue to grow spiritually lest we stumble–2 Pet. 1:5-11.

OT: Sacrificing children to the devil–Lev. 20:1-3
NT: Abortion/ritual child sacrifice, not parenting righteously; no murderer has eternal life–Eph. 6:4; Mark 9:42; I John 3:15.

OT: Consulting witches or familiar spirits for knowledge–Lev. 20:6
NT: Sorcery disinherits a person from the kingdom of God–Gal. 5:20-21; Rev. 21:8, 22:15.

OT: Attempting to serve the Lord as priest while being unclean–Lev. 22:3
NT: The highest of standards are required for the N.T. priests of the Lord–I Pet. 2:9. Those who attempt to teach others while being unclean will be judged more severely–James 3:1. Bishops and deacons must be blameless and have a good testimony–I Tim. 3:1-13. Every saint who hopes for the final redemption is to purify himself just as He is pure–I John 3:3.

OT: Not being afflicted in soul on the Day of Atonement–Lev. 23:29
NT: Considering the blood of Jesus as “a common thing” and insulting the Spirit of grace by trampling the Son of God underfoot is worthy of even more punishment than rejecting the laws of Moses–Heb. 10:28-31. To take the Lord’s supper unworthily without proper sincerity and self-examination results in judgment/damnation–I Cor. 11:27-32)

OT: Not observing Passover–Num. 9:13
NT: It is clear that any who do not look unto the Lord’s death and resurrection as the source of their redemption cannot be considered God’s people–Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Acts 4:12, etc. Jesus commanded His disciples to eat the Passover meal as a remembrance of His broken body and shed blood–Luke 22:15-20. Paul commanded NT Christians to eat the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him, proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes–23-26.

OT: Presumptuously sinning or despising God’s Word–Num. 15:30-31
NT: Sinning willfully after knowing the truth results in there remaining no sacrifice for your sins–Heb. 10:26-31. We must receive with meekness the implanted Word which is able to save our souls–James 1:21. It is the Word of God by which we are born again–I Pet. 1:23, and unless we are born again, we cannot see the Kingdom–John 3:3.

OT: Not purifying oneself after being contaminated by the dead–Num. 19:13
NT: Being “contaminated by the dead” could be seen as communing with unbelievers; we are to have no intimate fellowship with them, lest the Lord refuse us as His sons and daughters–2 Cor. 6:14-18.

OT: Not purifying oneself after any uncleanness–Num. 19:20
NT: Everyone who hopes in Jesus “purifies himself just as He is pure”–I Jn. 3:3. The Church is to have “no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”–Eph. 5:27. The pure in heart shall see God–Matt. 5:8. People who only have a “form of godliness” while being impure are rejected–2 Tim. 3:1-5. For this reason the Lord called the Pharisees “whited sepulchers” (painted tombs) and commanded them to cleanse themselves inwardly–Matt. 23:25-28.

OT: General disobedience and serving other gods (I Kin. 9:6-7)
NT: We are to flee from idolatry–I Cor. 10:14. Idolatry and other forms of disobedience are listed as “works of the flesh” and “they who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” To remain in Christ, we must have our flesh crucified–Gal. 5:19-24.

Hopefully it is clear that while the OT foreshadowing rituals have been superceded by the NT redemptive reality, God has always and will always expect absolute obedience from His covenant people. Hopefully it’s also clear that no Jew or Hebrew was ever exempt from the possibility of being “cut off” if he disobeyed.

More Examples:

Here are examples of specific people who were “cut off” in the OT–

1. Saul was rejected as king because of disobedience and rejecting the Word of the Lord–I Sam. 15:26, and the Spirit departed from him–I Sam. 16:14. His life ended with suicide–I Sam. 31:4.

2. The house of Jeroboam was “cut off” because of his idolatry–I Kin. 14:7-14.

3. The house of Ahab was “cut off” because of his sin, including murder–I Kin. 21:19-22; 2 Kin. 9:8.

4. In the days of Jehu, the Lord “cut off parts of Israel” because of sin–2 Kin. 10:32.

5. Uzziah was “cut off from the house of the Lord” because of pride and burning incense unlawfully–2 Chron. 26:16-21.

6. Evildoers are “cut off” from the earth, Israel, Judah, or the city of the Lord/Jerusalem–Psa. 34:16, 37:9, 37:22, 37:28, 37:34, 37:38, 94:23, 101:18, 109:13, 109:15; Prov. 2:22; Isa. 9:14, 22:25, 29:20; Jer. 7:29, 44:7-11; Lam. 2:3; Ezek. 14:8, 14:21, 17:9, 21:4; Hos. 8:4, 10:15; Mic. 7:15; Zeph. 3:7; Mal. 2:12.

7. After the apostasy of Israel, those Israelites who would not humble themselves under the yoke of Babylon would “perish” and “be consumed,” but those who would serve the Babylonians (acknowledging God’s righteous judgment) would “remain in their own land” and “live”–Jer. 27:8-17.

Hopefully we see that the Old and New Covenants had this similitude: under both covenants a man could be “cut off” because of sinning and/or not keeping the terms of the covenant. This truth undermines the present day lies of both OSAS and Zionism. Yes, we can be cut off after entering the New Covenant by faith. And yes, OT Jews/Hebrews were also cut off for disobedience, and were never guaranteed as “God’s people” unless they kept the covenant. The promises were only theirs by obedient faith.

Paul seems to sum up this whole thing nicely with his picture of the Olive Tree in Romans 11–a Tree which both Jews and Gentiles from the beginning have been part of by faith. He is very clear that both the “natural branches” and the “grafted-in branches” can be cut off and lost.

What does this teach us about Jews/Israelites today? Are they God’s people?

The simple answer is: Only if they have obedient faith in Jesus Christ.

He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.(Jn. 5:23)

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (I Jn. 2:22-23)

Dear reader, if a Jew/citizen of Israel does not honor the Son, he has been “cut off.” He is an antichrist. It’s that simple. Let no one deceive you with empty words.

The only people who are not “cut off” are those who exercise obedient faith in God’s Word.

Abraham, technically a gentile called out of a pagan nation, became the father of both Jews and Gentiles (including some OT Gentiles like Rahab, Ruth, some of David’s fighting men, etc.) who have his faith. These, along with the God-honoring gentiles who preceded Abraham (like Noah) are God’s children. The saints who went before had to obey the light they were given, and we also must obey the light we are given in our own age. Now that the True Light–Messiah Jesus has come, God commands all men everywhere to repent and obey Him personally. Those who refuse will be cut off and burned in the fire, even if they are Jews (Matt, 3:7-12).

And he (Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. (Heb. 4:11-12)

The promise given to Abraham is to His Seed–Christ, and those who are in 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. (Gal. 3:16)

Therefore it is of faith…that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”)… so that he became the father of many nations. (Rom. 4:16-18)

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:29)

God bless you!

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