How To Witness To God*s Chosen People
This article is lengthy (several type-written pages) so I suggest you read it when you have more than just a few minutes or perhaps read it at more than one sitting.
The people of Israel are God*s Chosen People. They always have been and always will be. A Biblically knowledgeable Christian will know that. A Spirit-filled Christian will automatically love Israelites.
Humanly Jesus is an Israelite. Divinely He is the Son of God. His genealogy is given in detail in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38.
God gave the Bible to mankind chiefly through the Israelites
Romans 3:1-2: What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
God gave salvation to the Gentiles through the Israelites
John 4:22: Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
God uses faith in the salvation of both Israelites and Gentiles
Romans 3:30: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision (Israelites) by faith, and uncircumcision (Gentiles) through faith.
Some Israelites are offended by being called Jews so in this article I shall call them Israelites except when the Bible itself calls them Jews. Some are offended at the name of Jesus. You might use the Hebrew word for Jesus, Y*Shua. Use your judgment.
Some Israelites are not offended by Christians or by the New Testament but some totally reject the New Testament and only accept what the Old Testament says. The Old Testament is, as I understand, the Torah, which most Israelites will accept as the Word of God. I have heard that some Israelites have been won to Christ using only scriptures from the Old Testament (Torah).
In our witnessing to Israelites try to personally demonstrate love and respect for them. I like to connect the Old Testament prophecies about their Messiah to the New Testament fulfillments of those prophecies. While most Israelites in our time do not believe Jesus is their Messiah, God promises that there will always be a remnant of believing Israelites. Believing Israelites in our time call themselves Messianic.
Many of God*s promises to the people of Israel have been fulfilled but many have not. He will keep every promise. His promise to restore unnumbered multitudes of them to Himself is yet to be fulfilled. We*ll touch on some New Testament passages that teach what Christians should know about God*s love for Israelites. We are greatly helped as Christians if we understand where Israelites and Gentiles fit in God*s plan of the ages. Some Israelites are already aware that Christians love them and it may be helpful to show them the New Testament*s (Christianity*s) references to them.
Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 2:9-10: Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Romans 11:1-32: I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers* sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
The next passages are ones that I would use with an Israelite who prefers only the Torah. In my haste to get this article uploaded into the website I am certain that there are other Old Testament passages that I have missed that would be helpful in witnessing to an Israelite. If you are aware of any that I have not included please inform me of them. Thank you!
God Is Broken-Hearted Over Israel*s Rebellion From Him
Hosea 11:8: How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
Isaiah 65:2: I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
Hosea 13:6: According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
Israel Would Be Dispersed Among The Gentiles
Hosea 8:8: Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.
Hosea 9:17: My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
Joel 2:17: Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
Amos 9:9: For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
Obadiah 1:2: Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.
Warnings Against Anti-Semitism
Genesis 12:1-3: Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father*s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Obadiah 1:12,18: But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. . . . 18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
There Will Always Be A Believing Remnant of Israelites
Ezra 9:8: And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
Isaiah 1:9: Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Ezekiel 6:8: Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.
Joel 2:12: Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
Regathering Of Israel Promised
Hosea 13:9: O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
Jeremiah 23:3: And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
Micah 2:12: I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
Amos 9:14-15: And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
A Remnant Of Israel Will Be Saved In All Generations
Zephaniah 3:13: The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
Isaiah 10:22: For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
Romans 9:27: Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
Romans 11:1-5: I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
The Fact Of Sin
Psalms 14:2-3: The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Psalms 53:1b: . . . there is none that doeth good.
The Penalty Of Sin
Daniel 9:7-11: O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. 8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
Isaiah 59:2: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Psalms 9:17: The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Psalms 55:15: Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.
Ezekiel 11:21: But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.
The Sacrifices For Sin Would Cease
Hosea 3:4: For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:
God Has A Plan Of Peace And Blessing For You And Your Life
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Yearly Sacrifices For Sin Were Required
Leviticus 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
Messiah Would Be Born In Bethlehem
Micah 5:2: But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Messiah Would Be Rejected By Israel
Isaiah 53:3-12: He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Israel Will One Day Humble Themselves And Return To God
Isaiah 45:23: I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Hosea 3:5: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
A Once-For-All Vicarious Payment For Sin Would Be Made By Messiah
Isaiah 53:5-12: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
The Gift Of Forgiveness Is Received By Faith And Is A Choice And A Commitment
Isaiah 56:4-7: For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
A Pure Heart Is Necessary
Psalms 15:1-2: LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
Psalms 24:3: Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
No Human Hearts Are Pure
Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Pure Hearts Are A Gift From God And The Work Of God
Ezekiel 36:26-27: A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
We Must Ask God For A Pure Heart
Psalms 51:2-4: Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Psalms 51:9-10: Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Joel 2:32: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
Hosea 14:2: Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
A Pure Heart Will Change Our Behavior And Our Relationship With God To One Of Blessing
Jeremiah 32:39: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
Ezekiel 11:19-20: And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Turning To God From Sin Is Necessary
2 Chronicles 7:14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Israel Will Be A Light To The Gentiles through Messiah
Isaiah 42:6: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Jesus (Y*Shua) Claimed To Be Messiah And That He Came To Fulfill The Law And The Prophets
John 4:25-26: The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
Matthew 5:17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
He Accepted The Authority Of The Old Testament And Testified To The Infallibility Of It
Matthew 5:18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
The Israelites Of His Time Knew this
Luke 20:21: And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly:
He Rebuked The Israelites For Their Ignorance Of the Old Testament
Luke 24:25: Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Matthew 22:29: Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Jesus (Messiah) bore our sins as Isaiah prophesied that He would
Matthew 8:17: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
1 Peter 3:18: For Christ (Messiah) also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Jesus (Messiah) Alone Purifies The Hearts Of Israelites And Gentiles Alike
Revelation 1:5b: . . . Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Ephesians 3:17a: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
Acts 15:8-9: And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them (Gentiles) the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; (Israelites) 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
A True Israelite Must Be Made Right In His Heart
Romans 2:29: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Care to discuss How To Witness To God*s Chosen People with Ron?