I was searching in all of the wrong places. I had zeal, but not according to knowledge. I was searching for reality, and so I became involved in all kinds of cults and the occult. I was in Hare Krishna for a while, chanting. And finally I became involved enough to find out I needed to become a vegetarian and shave my head. And as one who loves meat and who was already losing his hair, I said, “You’re not touching one hair on this head. I’m going to find another belief to follow.” So I was in all kinds of bizarre things, until ultimately, God apprehended me and transformed my life.
It’s no coincidence that the cults and the occult are disproportionally filled with Jewish people. They have the zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. But Paul tells us in Romans 10:13 how easy it is for Jewish people to be saved. He says all they have to do is call upon the Name of the LORD. That is it. But they can’t believe unless they hear. They can’t call upon One whom they have not heard. They can’t believe without an emissary, without someone being sent.
And so the pattern of the proclamation of the Gospel, one being called and sent to proclaim so people can hear, believe, and confess to be saved, is specifically dealing with the Jewish people in context. Although it’s a truth for the whole world and can be applied to everyone, in context it’s talking about the simplicity of Jewish people being restored to faith. Paul tells us in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Remember when you hear that Scripture, it is specifically dealing with the restoration of the Jewish people. – Jonathan Bernis
The use of the term “Israel of God” in Galatians is remarkable because it comes at the conclusion of a long treatise on why it is unnecessary for Gentile believers to become circumcised proselytes. Through the argument in Galatians, Paul maintains that Gentiles have become “sons of Abraham” (a technical term for proselytes) through faith. Paul uses the term “Israel of God” to imply something more than simply legal Israel in the conventional sense. It may also imply that Paul would not have been comfortable telling the Galatian Gentiles, “You have a place in Israel,” without further qualification. Instead, he would say, “You have a place in the Israel of God.”
In Ephesians 2:12 Paul uses the term “Commonwealth of Israel” while discussing the Gentile inclusion and the status of Gentile believers as fellow citizens with Jews… The Greek word translated as “commonwealth” is rendered as “citizenship” in the NIV. The concepts of “commonwealth” and “citizenship” were familiar to Paul. The Apostle Paul was a Jew from Tarsus, yet he had Roman citizenship. Though he had full participation in Rome and fell under the jurisdiction of Roman law, he retained his ethnic identity as a Jew. He did not live in Rome, but both Tarsus and Jerusalem were cities within the Roman Empire. He seems to have looked at a Gentile believer’s relationship to Israel in similar terms.
Paul and the apostles were looking forward to a future day when the powerful Roman Empire would be replaced by the kingdom of Messiah. The apostles believed that in the coming kingdom, Messiah will reign over the entire earth as the King of Israel. The kingdom of Israel will be the imperial power over all Gentiles. Paul viewed Gentile believers in Messiah as citizens of that future kingdom of Israel. Though they were not Jewish, they attained citizenship in Kingdom Israel, just as non-Roman subjects of the Roman Empire (like himself) could attain Roman citizenship. — D. Thomas Lancaster, Grafted In
We live in a world gone crazy where lawlessness is now the norm… We can no longer depend on traditional American culture for anything, nor can we by in large rely on the institutionalized church… It’s taking some time and effort to get that settled in my mind… But it’s reality…
So, today, we start with the life of King Solomon as recorded in Second Chronicles…
Solomon the son of David established himself in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great. 2 Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to all the leaders in all Israel, the heads of fathers’ houses. 3 And Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon, for the tent of meeting of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness, was there. 4 (But David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place that David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.) 5 Moreover, the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of the Lord. And Solomon and the assembly sought it out. 6 And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it (II Chronicles 1:1-6 NASB).
Solomon wanted the leaders of Israel to know and realize that their prosperity was based solely on the Blood of the Lamb, symbolized by the Sacrifices. The “tent” or “tabernacle” was a type of the wilderness struggle—though long and hard, the Tabernacle remained, and likewise, Jesus Christ, of which the Tabernacle is a Type, will “never leave us nor forsake us.”
The “Ark” was a type of the “land possessed,” representing the Throne of God and victory in the inheritance. The “Temple” represents the coming Kingdom Age. The first instance of the Whole Burnt Offering is Genesis 8:20. Of the five Levitical Offerings, it was the chief, usually preceded by a “Sin Offering.”
In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” 8 And Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 9 O Lord God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” (II Chronicles 1:7-10 NASB).
Many criticize Solomon for making such a request, claiming that he should have asked for other things. What do you think? Was Solomon wrong to ask for wisdom and knowledge?
God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.” 13 So Solomon came from the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem. And he reigned over Israel (II Chronicles 1:11-13 NASB).
Concerning Solomon’s request, First Kings 3:10 proclaims the Holy Spirit saying, “And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.”
Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15 And the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. 16 And Solomon’s import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king’s traders would buy them from Kue for a price. 17 They imported a chariot from Egypt for 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150. Likewise through them these were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria (II Chronicles 1:14-17 NASB).
This portrays a type of the coming Kingdom Age when prosperity will rule the Earth, completely ridding the world of all hunger and want, because Jesus Christ will be reigning supreme from Jerusalem.
Wise men lay up knowledge; but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction (Prov 10:14 KJV).