Discourse 1012 - Looking up the biblical quotations of the "Friends of Israel" in the Bible.

The "Israel movement" in the Christian congregations / Christian Evangelical Zionism - Part 2




Looking up the biblical quotations of the "Friends of Israel" in the Bible. / WÄCHTERRUF - Prayer Network for Germany.

Did the Jews not want to kill Jesus at all? / Letter on prayer, Margie Kinsella 00, 2013-01-26

Must we suffer for the guilt of our forefathers? / Commentary Ingmar Bauer 00, 2013-02-07

The "Mitternachtsruf" ["Call at Midnight"] – a call in the wrong direction? /     Discourse 1011

Shema Yisrael ‒ Hear, O ISRAEL - the judgment of God on his people. /    Part 5, Discourse 1015


The following quotations (in a black frame) have been taken from the website "WÄCHTERRUF – Gebetsnetz für Deutschland" [WATCHMAN’S CALL ‒ a Prayer Network for Germany].


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)


1. “The people or race who bless Israel will experience the blessing of God themselves” (see Genesis 1-3). This is a fundamental spiritual law for the relationship of non-Jewish peoples to Israel, and it is still valid today.


Genesis 1-3 treats of the creation of the heaven and the earth (Gen 1), the creation of humanity (Gen 2) and the Fall and its consequences (Gen 3). In none of these three chapters is a single word to be found about Israel. Any correctly believing Christian familiar with the Bible knows as much. So it is a complete falsehood to refer these biblical passages to Israel. The obvious assumption is that the reader isn’t going to know the Bible anyway, and will be too lazy to check the reference.

This blessing of Jacob is actually mentioned in Gen 27,29, where we find the following passage:

Gen 27,29 May peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, And may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you." Gen 27,29;


This prophecy now refers, without any shadow of doubt, to the Millennium, the Thousand Year Kingdom of the Messiah, where the descendants of Jacob, to whom the Lord gave the name of Israel, become “chief of the nations” (Jer 31:7) ‒ in other words, a world power. But through Abraham, on the other hand, all human beings, and not just the Israelites, have received the blessing of God:

And in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed.

Gen 18,18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed. Gen 18,18;

In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.

Gen 22,15 ¶ Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 22,16 and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 22,17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 22,18 "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." Gen 22,15-18;

And in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Gen 28,14 "Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Gen 28,14;


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)


2. “Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God” (Isa 40,1). Non-Jewish people who believe in the God of Israel are encouraged by God himself to comfort Israel. To whom could this invitation better apply than to Christians from Germany, in view of the suffering that our people inflicted on the Jewish people?


The full text reads as follows:

Comfort, O comfort My people, says your God. Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed.

Isa 40,1 "Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God. 40,2 "Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins." 40,3 A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. 40,4 "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; 40,5 Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." Isa 40, 1- 5;

Here the attempt is being made to persuade the Germans that they especially, as Germans, in view of the suffering “that our people inflicted on the Jewish people”, are obliged to make this kind of restitution. But this prophecy too naturally relates to the Millennium. Here it is not a matter of the guilt of the Germans, but of the guilt of Israel toward God because they delivered his Son to the cross, and still describe him as a fraud and blasphemer right up to the present day. This guilt of Israel will only be wiped away on the Second Coming of the Messiah, when they convert to their God and his Son Jesus Christ. The statement above in Isa 40,3, too, refers to the coming of the Messiah and of Elijah, who is to come before the Messiah. John the Baptist, who came in the spirit of Elijah (Lk 1:17), made the same appeal to the Jews (Lk 3:4-6).

God passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession.

Mic 7,18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love. 7,19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea. 7,20 You will give truth to Jacob And unchanging love to Abraham, Which You swore to our forefathers From the days of old. Mic 7,18-20;

(See also Chapter 10: “The Millennium”)


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)


3. God’s eternal covenant of grace with Israel, concluded with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, remains valid to this day (see Romans 11): “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom 11:29). God’s promises of grace to Israel, especially in the Last Days, are being fulfilled before our eyes and will continue to be fulfilled. We are privileged to have a share in this if we intercede for Israel.


At present we are not even at the start of the Last Days, let alone at the end of the Last Days when all these prophecies will be fulfilled. First the dominion of the Antichrist must come and the reorganization of heaven and earth by God must take place, and only after that do we reach the Millennium, when God’s promises of grace to the Jews will be fulfilled.

(See also Chapter 08: “The reorganization of heaven and earth.”)


Since its rejection of the Son of God, their Messiah, and their handing him over to the Romans to be crucified, Israel has no longer had any contact with its God. Right up to the present day they reject the Son of God as their Lord and Messiah. But as the Lord tells us, whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either.

No one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jn 14,6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Jn 14, 6;

Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father.

1Jn 2,23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 1Jn 2,23;

Unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins.

Jn 8,22 So the Jews were saying, "Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?" 23 And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." Jn 8,22-24;


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)


The spiritual allegiance of this German prayer movement with Israel expresses itself not least in its very name. The name “Wächterruf” [“Watchman’s Call”] is suggested by a biblical passage from Isaiah (Isa 62,6-7): “On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; And give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”


Here yet again we find a biblical passage that actually refers to the Millennium being reinterpreted to point to the present. If we look at the context before and after these two verses, we recognize that none of these descriptions can possibly fit the Jerusalem of our times.

Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning.

Isa 62,1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. 62,2 The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the LORD will designate. Isa 62, 1- 2;

These days there is no justice to be found in Jerusalem. The premature resignation of Ezer Weizmann and Benjamin Netanyahu (the latter now re-elected in 2010!) from the two highest offices of state, that of President and that of Prime Minister, on charges of bribery and corruption proves the contrary. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert similarly had to resign because of corruption in 2006. The last President of Israel but one, Moshe Katsav, also had to leave office because of corruption and for raping a secretary. A member of parliament and the leader of the religious Shas Party, Ariel Deri, was likewise found guilty in court of corruption and fraud.

And those who gather new wine will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.

Isa 62,8 The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm, "I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies; Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored." 9 But those who garner it will eat it and praise the LORD; And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary. Isa 62, 8- 9;

That applies to the time of the Millennium, when the Temple will be rebuilt. At the present time the Israelis would find it hard to drink new wine in the courts of the sanctuary when the sanctuary itself ‒ the Temple ‒ does not yet exist.


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)


We can take this promise, in an extended sense, as applying to our prayer for Germany. But, if in addition, we treasure in our hearts and in our intercession the original meaning of this promise, that is undoubtedly going to make our Lord particularly happy. On this note I wish for you all that you may be guided by the Holy Spirit in prayer for Germany and in prayer for the fulfillment of God’s good intentions toward Jerusalem and Israel. Yours, Harald Eckert (Chairman, Christians For Israel)


So what is supposed here to apply to Germany “in an extended sense”? The whole thing is a hypocritical and shameless falsification of the Bible, based on the assumption that readers will be unfamiliar with Scripture and will be too lazy to check the texts. It seems that not the Holy Spirit but a different spirit altogether has been in charge here.

But if we are to quote Scripture and point to Old Testament prophecies referring to Israel, the prophecy of the prophet Hosea must also be mentioned ‒ this having a special significance for Israel and Judah in the Last Days:

I will deliver the house of Judah by the LORD and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.

Hos 1,5 "On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel." 1,6 Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to him, "Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. 1,7 "But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen." Hos 1, 5- 7;

‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.

Zech 4,6 Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. Zech 4, 6;


In 1948 Israel occupied Palestine by force of arms, ‒ as we can see, contrary to the statements of Scripture and the Will of God ‒ drove out the inhabitants and established a Zionist state. They are “the house of Israel”, in the above prophecy of the prophet Hosea, on whom God will no longer have compassion, that he would ever forgive them.

It is quite a different matter with the “House of Judah” mentioned by the prophet, on whom God will have compassion and whom he will save, but not with weapons or war. These are the believing Orthodox Jews in the Diaspora, who trust in their God and humbly accept what the Almighty has allotted to them. They did not go to Israel but remained in the Diaspora as ordered by Scripture. They will only return when the prophecies come to be fulfilled, and their Messiah returns and brings them back to their land. And if the impression is not misleading, it is these same faithful Jews in the Diaspora worldwide from whose descendants a remnant will escape ‒ the remnant that will convert to their God and his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!" declares the LORD.

Jer 23,1 "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!" declares the LORD. 23,2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: "You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds," declares the LORD. 23,3 "Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. 23,4 "I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD. 23,5 "Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.


(See also Discourse 46: “Statement by M. A. Friedmann, Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox Jewish Community in Vienna”)

(See also Chapter 09: “The return home of the redeemed.”)



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Did the Jews not want to kill Jesus at all? / Letter on prayer, Margie Kinsella, 00 2013-01-26)

Dear Friends, You have all read the words: "his blood be upon us and upon our children" Matthew 27,25. Although the statement was made by "all the people", we read earlier in verse 20 that it was the elders and chief priests who were persuading the multitudes that they should "ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus". By the time Pilate was asking what he should do with Jesus we hear the answer from "all": “Let Him be crucified!” (verses 22 and 23). Finally, Pilate washed his hands of the situation and said: "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it."
ONLY AFTER THIS, after Pilate said he was "innocent" of Jesus’ blood, did the whole crowd cry out "His blood be upon us and upon our children." If Pilate had not mentioned the blood of Jesus, no doubt the crowd would not have thought to be the ones to claim it. It was a cry of desperation, having been stirred up by the chief priests and elders, and now in a frenzy wanting to get rid of Jesus. In the book of Acts, we read that Peter and the other apostles were brought before the council and were asked by the high priest: "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!" Acts 5,28. Oh how soon they forgot their own words. (They already brought this blood on them with their self-curse at Pilate. /FH)

We ask the question, how much power, how much influence, how much effect upon the next generations has this cry had?

It is a fact that there have been Messianic believers in Jesus who have been aware of this curse–that somehow it is the source of keeping them from full participation in the grace of salvation. And so we take this opportunity to ask you the reader to consider what we have to say on the subject and consider the prayer we offer.

To examine the question further, we’ll quote Ted Pike’s article Are Jews Still Guilty For The Crucifixion? Pike writes: “The Jewish religion as it is today traces its descent without a break through all the centuries from the Pharisees. Their leading ideas and methods found expression in a literature of enormous extent, of which a great deal is still in existence... The Talmud is the largest and most important single piece of that literature...” (Pike’s source: The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Article on "Pharisaism," p. 474.) Pike says “The Talmud is emphatic that it was necessary to kill Jesus because He was "one of the three worst enemies of Judaism. (Source: Git.56a; a false prophet who seduced and deceived the people". Git.56b-57a.)”
Pike goes on to say that “any Jewish person who enters into agreement with these teachings and Pharisees, is likewise guilty of their acts.” (For example, a child is not guilty of the father’s sins unless he has come into agreement with the sin. If murder was committed, and the son approves of and is in agreement with the murder, then the son’s will, his thoughts on the subject, makes him likewise guilty of murder.)
The Jews of today may not know the exact words the Talmud uses, but hatred of Jesus AND Christians (who for centuries persecuted them and used the name ‘Jesus’ to justify that persecution), is definitely a common emotion. As I was once told: “don’t come into this house and use that name.”
And so Pike asks: “Is the modern Jew guilty of the death of Christ?” Pike goes on to say: “The answer is simple. If he agrees with the Talmud that the Pharisees did the right thing by having Jesus crucified, then that Jew today is as guilty as the Jewish mob that sided with the Pharisees 2,000 years ago, shouting ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him.’ Mark. 15,13. If however, the modern Jew disassociates himself from loyalty to the Pharisees and their claims against Christ, then he is free from any guilt.”
The problem with Pike’s observations is that the Jewish people are not thinking about what the Talmud says, nor specifically thinking that they would do the same thing if they had been present. Not having read the New Testament, they don’t have a clear idea of the forces at work, especially the jealousy of the leaders over the popularity of Jesus. Yet, somehow, this self-curse is affecting the Jewish people.
Pike makes the final statement: “Today, no evangelical leader has the privilege of removing guilt from Jews who still reject their Messiah and embrace the teaching of His murderers.”

I  EMPHATICALLY  DISAGREE  WITH  THAT  STATEMENT!

In the book of Acts, there is no doubt that the Apostles when speaking to the Jewish people put the blame for Jesus’ death on them (Acts 2,36, 4,10, 5,30.) But notice, twice there are clarifying statements: “the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God”. In Acts 2,23 Peter talking to “men of Israel” says about Jesus “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified and put to death.” At another time, Peter and John describe the whole picture of who was involved: “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done." Acts 4,27-28.

NOW THE QUESTION:  DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT AS FOLLOWERS OF JESUS, TO FORGIVE, CANCELL, AND MAKE NULL AND VOID THE SELF-CURSE “HIS BLOOD BE UPON US AND UPON OUR CHILDREN.”?
Our answer is YES, and here are the reasons. First we have been given the ministry of reconciliation 2 Corinthians 5,18-19. Yes, reconciling the world, including the Jewish people, to God Himself through Jesus Christ. We learn from the prophet Daniel chapter 9 how to pray for this reconciliation: it is through repentance for sins committed by one self and all the people. We are called to “stand in the gap” and be the one’s reconciling the Jewish people, and our own people, to the Lord.
Next we note that Jesus said from the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23,34. Then after His resurrection, He gave His followers these words: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." John 20,23. Yes, even before His crucifixion, early in His ministry, after teaching the ‘Our Father’ prayer, Jesus said: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6,14-15. Of course, most of us are like Peter and are wondering how many times we have to forgive those who offend us. It becomes a personal thing. But Jesus does not limit it to “those men who offend you”. Rather He simply says: “forgive men their trespasses.” And in John we have read: “if you forgive the sins of any…”
My friends, let us take the words of the Master to heart and be the ones who simply say: “I forgive the Jewish people who today may consciously or unconsciously be identifying with the self-curse of the Pharisees, leaders and Jewish people as described in the Bible and in the Talmud …those who cursed Jesus and called for his death and likewise proclaimed “His Blood be upon us and upon our children”. We believe that doing so will allow for the doors to be opened for a new and greater revival among the Jewish people. After all, forgiveness is the keys to the kingdom Matthew 16,19

LET US PRAY: Father, we stand in the gap on behalf of today’s Jewish people and repent for the acts of their ancestors of having had Jesus killed and calling for His blood to be upon them and their children. By the Power of the Name of Jesus, we break the curse associated with these words His Blood be upon us and upon our children.” We ask this because it was the Messiah who GAVE HIS LIFE for all mankind; no one took it from him as it is written in John 10,15-18. It is true that having killed an innocent man, the curse of the law which speaks against such killing of the innocent fell upon Your people Deut.19,10. However, it is also written that the Messiah has taken the curses of the law upon Himself Galatians 3,13. Finally we note that Jesus has taken all the punishment for the sins of the Jewish people Isaiah 53,10. It was the Messiah Jesus who from the cross said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” Luke 23,34. We thank you, Lord, for the power and authority given to us in and through the Name of Jesus/Yeshua. We appeal to the Blood of Jesus to wash away the consequences of this self-curse and let all the Jewish people be set free. We pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen

Shalom In His Name,
Margie
To the Jew First

(Books from Margie Kinsella: : A Short History of Christian Persecution of the Jewish People.
A short history of Israel's relations with the Palestinians.)



Right at the start of her “Letter on prayer” above, the author Margie Kinsella makes it quite clear where her concern lies. She writes here:

ONLY AFTER THIS, after Pilate said he was "innocent" of Jesus’ blood, did the whole crowd cry out "His blood be upon us and upon our children." If Pilate had not mentioned the blood of Jesus, no doubt the crowd would not have thought to be the ones to claim it.


So now we finally know – it wasn’t the Jews, it was Pilate who was responsible. Both for the death of Jesus, and also for the fact that the Jewish mob cursed themselves and their children.

But perhaps the matter is not quite so simple after all. As Ms. Kinsella admits, there were some among the Jews at the time – she calls them “Messianic believers in Jesus” – who were altogether aware of the effects of this curse. These included above all the disciples of Jesus – and later, of course, Paul and others.

Admittedly they were also quite well aware that these Jews were not just excluded from “full participation” in the grace of salvation (as Ms. Kinsella rather euphemistically puts it), but that for these Jews, under these conditions, there was no possibility of salvation left at all. Not just because they had had the Son of God murdered and laid a curse on themselves, but because they were unwilling to acknowledge that their Messiah had come and had rejected him. And this, too, was just what Jesus Christ had told them:

Unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins.

Jn 8,22 So the Jews were saying, "Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?" 8,23 And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 8,24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." Jn 8,22-24;

I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me;

Jn 5,43 "I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. Jn 5,43;



As the Lord tells them here, they will die in their sins if they do not believe that he is the Messiah. And here we are right at the heart of the matter – something which Ms. Kinsella, in her “Letter on prayer”, has evidently quite overlooked. The important thing for the Jews – including Jews living today – is not that they need to be liberated from any kind of curse. Nor is it even the crucial thing that they had the Son of God murdered.

When Ms. Kinsella writes, “We ask the question, how much power, how much influence, how much effect upon the next generations has this cry had?”, she documents her own onesidedly Jewish point of view. For in a Christian perspective the question is perfectly easy to answer. This curse has had just as little effect on the next generations of the Jews as the curses aimed at the Son of God and at Christianity by the billions of other people in the last two thousand years have had on their succeeding generations – namely, none whatsoever.

In the eyes of God, all human beings are responsible for their own guilt and not for that of past generations (for many Germans too, this point is hard to comprehend!).

Everyone will die for his own iniquity.

Jer 31,29 "In those days (in which we are /FH) they will not say again, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’31,30 "But everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge. Jer 31,29-30;


This same biblical verse is one that the Jews in Germany carefully avoid quoting – not wanting to “shake the certainties” of the Germans in any way. After all, the leader of world Jewry and President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), Edgar M. Bronfman, once said to Lothar de Maiziere, former Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, on his taking up his position in New York in September 1990: “There will be a terrible end for the Germans, if future generations cease their payments to Israel and world Jewry – then the German people will vanish from the earth.”

As a consequence of this blackmail of the German people, the Holy Spirit has patently denied the Jews the realization that this promise in Jer 31,30, after all, applies to themselves likewise, and so the guilt of that generation which put Jesus to death can have absolutely no implications for subsequent generations. And as Ms. Kinsella is evidently also lacking this realization, she laments: “Yet, somehow, this self-curse is affecting the Jewish people”.

Some Christian commentators, especially in the USA, think that either they must condemn the Jewish people (the anti-Jewish school, like "Brother Nathanael") or whitewash them (the pro-Jewish school, of which Margie Kinsella here is an example). In truth both attitudes result from an overestimation of one’s own merits, and a lack of biblical understanding. It is not a matter of serving up any kind of “special menu”, either in the one form or in the other.

The Jews did what they did. Full stop. Why should anyone think that we as Christians could be in a position to condemn or to forgive an entire people? Above all the murder of his Son is a thing that only God himself can forgive. Just imagine a situation where your own child is taken into custody and murdered. And now some quite uninvolved person living next door shows up, and declares that he forgives these murderers – without having once been asked or desired by them to do so.

Quite apart from the fact that we would have to ask what concern it is of this man in the first place, such a “tolerance” of murderers would only be plausible if the person himself had the mentality of a murderer or if he were actually mentally sick.

We do not stand over the Jews and they do not stand over us. They are human beings just as we are, and since the sacrificial death of Jesus they too can only be saved in the same way as the people of all other nations likewise – through the quite personal acceptance of the vicarious sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ for their own sins as well. And so the question “Are the Jews still guilty of the crucifixion?” is completely obsolete, because it has already been answered long since.

And just this, now, is the crucial point. The fact is that the Jews, from a Christian point of view, had the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, put to death. In doing so they not only disobeyed the commandment of their God that they should not put innocent people to death, they also – more importantly – broke the most important commandment, that they should love their God. This breach of the law had the consequence that God at the same time terminated his covenant with the people of Israel. They lost their preferential position as the “People of God”, and lost contact with their God altogether. They became God-less – in both senses of the word.

So since then there has no longer been a “People of God of Israel”. God actually confirmed this, not least in the fact that on the death of Jesus the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Mt 27:51). This was an indication of the separation of Israel from its God. Some forty years after the crucifixion, in the year 70, the Roman legionaries of Titus proceeded to burn down the temple in Jerusalem along with its sacrificial altar, and razed the city to the ground. And 65 years after that the entire people of Israel was driven out of its country into the Diaspora.

(See also Discourse 111: “The pseudo-Christian betrayal of the Israelites - The destruction of the Temple.”)


This was no more than Jesus had already prophesied to them in his lifetime:

Behold, your house is being left to you desolate until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!

Mt 23,32 "Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 23,33 "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? 23,34 "Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 23,35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 23,36 "Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 23,37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 23,38 "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 23,39 "For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’" Mt 23,32-39;


From this time on, there was and there is only one possible option remaining for anyone – whether Jew or heathen – to come to God and become the “people of God”: namely, by believing in Jesus Christ.

No one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jn 14,6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Jn 14, 6;

Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father.

1Jn 2,23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 1Jn 2,23;


And anyone who does not have this faith in the Son of God – whatever nationality they may be – cannot be saved and will die in their sins.


Israel in the light of the Bible.


Based on the Old Testament

God has completely taken away his compassion from the house of Israel (Hos 1:6). They are no longer his people (Hos 1:9). Only the house of Judah will be saved by the Lord. Not by war, however, but by his Spirit (Hos 1:7). And only in the Millennium, when the Son of God has entered on his thousand years rule on earth (Hos 1:10; 2,18 Eze 34:25; Isa 2:4), will the Lord once more accept Israel as his people (Hos 2:23; Jer 31:27-28).


Based on the New Testament

It is God’s will that we should listen to his Son (Mt 17:5). This same Son of God has told us that anyone who rejects him rejects God as well (1Jn 2:23; Lk 10:16; Jn 5:22-23. 15:23). The people of Israel today deny the Son of God and abuse him as an impostor and blasphemer. As a result of this denial of the Son, Israel has also rejected the Father and so is a God-less people. (Jn 8:24)


The "Friends of Israel" in the Christian congregations are thus selling their birthright as Disciples of Christ for the lentil stew of a vicarious agent of godless impostors. – For Israel there is no spiritual conversion to their God, and no return to their homeland willed by God, unless they convert to Jesus Christ!! (Mt 23:38-39; Gal 5:4) - (See also Discourse 111)



So when the Reverend Ted Pike, the object of Ms. Kinsella’s strictures in her “Letter on Prayer” above, writes in his article:

If he (the modern Jew) agrees with the Talmud that the Pharisees did the right thing by having Jesus crucified, then that Jew today is as guilty as the Jewish mob that sided with the Pharisees 2,000 years ago, shouting ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him.’ Mark 15:13. If however, the modern Jew disassociates himself from loyalty to the Pharisees and their claims against Christ, then he is free from any guilt.


- then he is, from the biblical point of view, entirely correct. What Ms. Kinsella here again overlooks in her criticism of this statement is the fact that it is not a question here of the Jewish mob of the time and of their guilt, but rather of the attitude and spiritual stance of that modern Jew living today who continues to represent the same position. He is not guilty, then, because of a kind of “clan liability” supposedly imputed to him by Scripture, but rather because he himself, quite personally and deliberately, has made the same wrong decision.

As a commentary on this argument of Ted Pike’s, Ms. Kinsella then writes:

The problem with Pike’s observations is that the Jewish people are not thinking about what the Talmud says, nor specifically thinking that they would do the same thing if they had been present. Not having read the New Testament, they don’t have a clear idea of the forces at work, especially the jealousy of the leaders over the popularity of Jesus.


There isn’t any problem here with Ted Pike – the problem is with Margie Kinsella’s understanding (or rather misunderstanding) of the Jews. From the Jewish point of view, a Jew who rejects the Talmud is no longer a Jew (see below, note 1).

And there are indeed some Jews who ask themselves what they would have done if they had been present – as we see from a statement by the well-known Jewish American actress and comedian Sarah Silverman, who recently declared in one of her stage appearances that she was pleased that Jesus Christ was crucified, and she would do it herself again without hesitation, if she had had the opportunity 2)[If that was a joke by a Jewish comedian, it was in the worst possible taste. - FH]

(See also Discourse 1014: “Reverend Ted Pike: "The Jewish Anti-Defamation League rewrites the New Testament."”)


Fortunately Ms. Kinsella then cites some biblical passages designed to demonstrate the conformity of her utterances with Scripture. We will now examine some of these. By way of introduction she writes:

Now the question: Do we have the right as followers of Jesus, to forgive, cancel, and make null and void the self-curse "His blood be upon us and upon our children."?
Our answer is YES, and here are the reasons.


That God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.

2Cor 5,18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 5,19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2cor 5,18-19;


Her quoting this biblical passage in this connection is somehow revealing. Yes, truly, God reconciled the world – including the Jews – to himself in Christ. And for this to happen, there doesn’t have to be any kind of atonement by Ms. Kinsella! – But the Jews to date have strictly refused to accept this reconciliation of God in Christ, and describe Christ as an impostor and blasphemer who according to the Talmud “burns in hell”.

With reconciliation, it is a similar situation as with forgiveness. Some people think that Christians are obliged to forgive everything to all and sundry – “automatically”, that is to say, without the person who has made himself guilty in our regard having to ask our forgiveness. But our Lord tells us, in the Lord’s prayer, to pray: “... And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”. So just as we have to ask our Father in heaven for the forgiveness of our guilt, in the same way those who have incurred guilt in relation to us must ask us for forgiveness.

Not, that is to say, in some sort of “instinctive” way or “by intent”, but face to face, clearly and unmistakably, as we too must do before God in our daily prayer. If this does not happen, then the guilt is not forgiven. Neither is our guilt forgiven by our Father in heaven, nor is the guilt of the guilty party forgiven by us. And if anyone is unwilling to ask for forgiveness, their guilt will be retained – right through to the Last Judgment.
 


Forgiveness.

Like love of our neighbor, forgiveness is another of those commandments of the Lord which have been taught to people by the Catholic church for centuries in a completely incorrect form. The Lord tells us in Mt 18:21-22 that we must forgive our brother 490 times a day. And this has been interpreted – and continues to be so – as meaning that a Christian must forgive all other human beings for everything, always and everywhere.

But if we look more closely at this statement of the Lord’s, we can recognize a twofold mistake in this Catholic doctrine. First of all, the Lord does not speak here of "all human beings", but of our brother (Mt 12:50) – in other words, a correctly believing Christian like ourselves, whom we are obliged to forgive. Which means that all the godless people and idol worshipers of this world are excluded from this commandment!

The second, and very much more insidious misinterpretation is the reversal of the significance of the act of forgiveness. An act of forgiveness is like a request: it must be pronounced, if it is to be possible for it to be fulfilled. But the teaching of the Catholic church is that we should forgive everybody for everything unrequested.

And yet our Lord Jesus Christ explains this very point in Lk 17:4, where he says: “If he returns to you… saying, ‘I repent’, forgive him”. And this is something we are hardly likely to experience in the godless world of today. Even among Christians it tends to be the exception rather than the rule when a brother returns to us, repents and asks for our forgiveness.




And it is just the same with reconciliation: if a person doesn’t want reconciliation, you can’t force it on them. As with faith, here again you have complete freedom of choice. Anyone who want to “liberate” a person from this responsibility is just demonstrating their total arrogance and complete lack of Christian faith.

God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,

Dan 9,4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments. Dan 9, 4;


This covenant was broken by the Jews through their murder of the Son of God two thousand years ago, and so has been dissolved by God. They demonstrated at that time that they did not love God, nor were they willing to keep his commandments. Our Lord Jesus Christ then, on the cross, concluded the New Covenant of God with all human beings (1Cor 11:25). Since then, the Old Covenant is no longer in force. Wanting to invoke it now is rather like someone’s wanting to take out a mortgage on the house of their neighbor.

Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.

Lk 23,34 But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. Lk 23,34;


Based on this passage, Ms. Kinsella thinks that Jesus forgave the Jews. Yes, this is again the result of casual and thoughtless reading of the Bible. First of all, the Lord here did not forgive them himself, he asked the Father to “Forgive them” (just like Stephen in Acts 7:60). For nobody – not even the Son of God – can forgive murderers. The life of every human being is a gift of God, it is God’s property and anyone who takes it (whether his own or the life of another!) is stealing from God and makes himself guilty before God.

And then, too, the Lord here did not ask forgiveness for the Jews. He prayed to the Father for forgiveness on behalf of the Roman soldiers who crucified him – “for they do not know what they are doing”. These soldiers were just carrying out orders. They truly did not know who Jesus was, or that they had just fixed the Son of God to the cross.

It was very different with the Jewish Sanhedrin, the high priest Caiaphas and the mob who later cried “Crucify him”. As the following biblical passages prove, they all knew very well what they were doing and why they were doing it (Jn 19:11). And that is why the Lord did not in fact pray for them.

That You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.

Mt 26,63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." 26,64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." 26,65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what do you think?" They answered, "He deserves death!" Mt 26,63-66;

If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross."

Mt 27,39 And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads 27,40 and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross." 27,41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, 27,42 "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. 27,43 "He trusts in GOD; let GOD rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’" Mt 27,39-43;


And then Ms. Kinsella quotes the mistaken interpretation of Christian forgiveness referred to earlier.

If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them.

Jn 20,23 "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." Jn 20,23;


Before the disciples could forgive anyone their sins, they must have spoken to the person in question and established the fact that they were sincerely repentant. Otherwise they did not forgive them. This is a point that is repeatedly overlooked. And when it comes to most of the Jews living today, nothing can be said of contrition, let alone repentance.

And so it is not the case that we should press “forgiveness” on them – unsolicited, and in total overestimation of our own importance – rather we must preach the gospel to them, so that they may know first of all that they are lost and in need of redemption through Jesus Christ. Only when they have recognized that there is no other possible option left to them can they themselves ask for God’s forgiveness, in a spirit of conversion and contrition.

And here we again find that passage in the Lord’s Prayer being pressed into service. Without, however, the two previous verses being quoted, where the Lord tells us to pray: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”. So if our Father in heaven forgives our guilt because we have asked him to do so in this prayer, and if we too must forgive our debtors in the same way, it follows that our debtors too must ask us for forgiveness of their guilt.

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Mt 6,14 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 6,15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Mt 6,14-15;


Quite apart from the fact that the murder of the Son of God cannot be forgiven by Christian people, because this is the prerogative of the Father in heaven – but even if we were in a position to do so, the Jews would first have to come to us and ask us for forgiveness. I wish Margie Kinsella the best of luck, if she wants to invite the Jews to take this course.

Likewise the concluding prayer in this “Letter on prayer” is just another case of the stringing together of self-righteous truisms which are an abomination to God (Mt 6:5-6). They testify to the author’s complete ignorance of biblical Christian faith. Here what is needed is not a “collective prayer” based on vanity, but rather the conversion of the sinner and the sinner’s own prayer of repentance to God and his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For those Jews who pronounced this curse on themselves at the time, the judgment has long since been fulfilled – two thousand years ago. Either they then, in their lifetime, still prayed to their God for the forgiveness of their sins, or they did not – and based on that, they are either saved or lost.

The Jews living today have exactly the same possibility as all other people of this world of having their sins – whatever their sins may be – forgiven: by converting to Jesus Christ and asking our Father in heaven for forgiveness, in the name of the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus.

And when Ms. Kinsella feels it is incumbent on her to “set free the entire Jewish people”, this makes a mockery of the sacrifice on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. HE “first set free the Jews” two thousand years ago. But by contrast with many people from the other nations since then, most of the Jews at the time, and since, have refused to accept this offer, have died in their sins and will go to damnation. As their Messiah indeed prophesied to them, “The last shall be first and the first last” (Mt 20:16).

For the Jews – including, and above all, those who at the time had the Son of God murdered – there was and has not been a single second in their lives in which they had no chance of having their sins forgiven by God!! Up to the death of Jesus on the cross they had the possibility of receiving forgiveness from God for their sins through prayer, by invocation of the tamid (the sacrificial lamb offered by the priest twice daily, morning and evening, for the sins of the people, on the sacrificial altar of the Temple). From the time of the death of Jesus on the cross, all human beings have been able to invoke this vicarious sacrifice, the “Lamb of God”, and so likewise obtain God’s forgiveness of their sins.

(See also Discourse 111: “The pseudo-Christian betrayal of the Israelites - The altar of burnt offerings in the Temple.”)


Any Christian who now believes that he is obliged to pray to God for the forgiveness of the sins of others – or indeed for the sins of the entire world, as in the Catholic church – has either not understood the gospel, or is acting out of vanity and self-importance. No human being can obtain forgiveness of his sins unless he comes to faith in Jesus Christ, himself acknowledges his guilt - either before his brother or in prayer to God - and asks for forgiveness, invoking the redeeming sacrifice of the Son of God. If he prays in spirit and in truth, his sins will be forgiven him (Jn 4:23-24).

Along with general prayers (e.g. in cases of sickness), we can pray for unbelieving persons that the Holy Spirit may lead them on the path to faith (but they will still have to decide for themselves!) and that their correct understanding will then be increased and their true faith strengthened. But the individual can only acknowledge his sins himself – this is the only way to obtain forgiveness either from God or from human beings.

If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

Lk 17,3 "Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 17,4 "And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him." Lk 17, 3- 4;



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Must we suffer for the guilt of our forefathers? / Commentary, Ingmar Bauer, 00, 2013-02-07)

In connection with your remarks on the above question ("Did the Jews not want to kill Jesus at all?" / FH), I would like just to raise two issues:

You quote Jer 31,29, and relate “those days” to the present time. But is this not meant as a reference to the Millennial Kingdom of Peace? Or is it only the following verses that relate to the Millennium?

Then you write:

"… the guilt of that generation which put Jesus to death can have absolutely no implications for subsequent generations”.

It is clear that God punishes each individual only for his own guilt. But it is also frequently the case today that subsequent generations must suffer from the consequences of the sins of their forefathers, for example when a whole country has been laid waste by war. Or did you mean it in a different sense?

I think it is quite possible that the self-cursing of the Jews at the time of the execution of Jesus had an effect on two or three generations afterwards, even if the guilt of it rests with the first generation.

As for what concerns the forgiveness of guilt, I am entirely of your opinion, but there is also, in my view, a further possibility. Namely, that a person goes to his “debtor” and offers him the forgiveness of his guilt, as Jesus Christ also took the first step. Whether the debtor accepts the forgiveness is something for him to decide. He can do this, as you point out, by admitting his guilt, repenting sincerely and asking for forgiveness.

Nonetheless I would hesitate to advise such a course when there are grounds for supposing that the guilty party will only see it as a reproach, and react angrily to our overture. Then it would be better to bring this offer of forgiveness only before God, in prayer, and ask God to move the guilty party to conversion.

Ingmar Bauer [ingmarbauer@yahoo.de]



Thank you for your visit to Immanuel.at and for your comments. In the interest of logical coherence I would prefer to answer your first question at the end, so let me deal here, first of all, with your second question:


“Then you write:
‘… the guilt of that generation which put Jesus to death can have absolutely no implications for subsequent generations’.

It is clear that God punishes each individual only for his own guilt. But it is also frequently the case today that subsequent generations must suffer from the consequences of the sins of their forefathers, for example when a whole country has been laid waste by war. Or did you mean it in a different sense?”

According to my understanding of the matter, we are concerned here not with physical guilt but with spiritual guilt. If the fathers have laid the world waste, then the sons will have to build it up again. But the “sour grapes” intended here are in my view lack of faith and false belief. In those days it was Baal, Moloch, Astarte etc., today it is any religion which does not proclaim Jesus Christ as the Son of God and sole Savior of humanity, in other words Judaism, Islam, Catholicism 3), Buddhism, Hinduism, animism, shamanism etc. etc.

At the Last Judgment a person will not be condemned because his father had a false faith or no faith at all, but because this person himself has not converted to the correct biblical and Christian faith. This is also what our Lord gives us to understand in the following saying:

Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.

Lk 9,59 And He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." 60 But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God." Lk 9,59-60;


These “dead” of whom the Lord speaks here are not physically dead. They are “dead” in a spiritual sense. They are unbelievers. They have no Christian faith, and so do not have any spiritual life either.

And so it is too with the Jews, at the time of Jesus and to the present day: anyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of humanity is so to speak “non-existent” in the eyes of God. Not, however, on account of the lack of faith of his fathers – who were spiritually “dead” – but rather because of his own decision not to accept the true faith and to remain spiritually “dead” likewise.


“I think it is quite possible that the self-cursing of the Jews at the time of the execution of Jesus had an effect on two or three generations afterwards, even if the guilt of it rests with the first generation.”

Yes, undoubtedly. And this “effect” continues to the present day! But not on account of the guilt of the fathers, but because of these people’s own deliberate decision to assume responsibility for this guilt in their turn.

The background to this is that these people have chosen rather to adhere to their fathers than to trust in God. As we find it written in Lk 9,60, above, the subsequent generations prefer to go back to the dead in spirit, rather than converting and following Jesus. And thus many feel guilty – for good reason – but project it, wrongly, on their forefathers’ generation.

If they were to convert, separate themselves from their fathers (the spiritually “dead”) and come to faith in Jesus Christ, they would recognize that they are free from the guilt of their fathers.


“As for what concerns the forgiveness of guilt, I am entirely of your opinion, but there is also, in my view, a further possibility. Namely, that a person goes to his debtor and offers him the forgiveness of his guilt, as Jesus Christ also took the first step. Whether the debtor accepts the forgiveness is something for him to decide. He can do this, as you point out, by admitting his guilt, repenting sincerely and asking for forgiveness.”

You put this quite correctly – “by admitting his guilt, repenting sincerely and asking for forgiveness”. But that means that this person has accepted the Christian faith. An unbeliever will not be in any way interested in this “first step”, let alone in admitting his guilt to God, repenting sincerely and asking for forgiveness – while still remaining an unbeliever. A believing Christian, on the other hand, knows that his guilt will be forgiven, in the name of the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus, if he asks for forgiveness. So it is his own decision whether he repents or not.

It follows from this that we do not have to “approach” a believing Christian. He knows that he will be forgiven, and so can decide for himself what he does. An unbeliever, on the other hand, cannot be approached at all, because he knows nothing about admitting his guilt to God and/or is not prepared to admit his guilt, repent and ask for forgiveness, and so we cannot forgive him either – certainly not without our even having been asked to do so.

Our Lord Jesus Christ likewise only took this “first step” for the people who are prepared to accept faith in him. The redeeming sacrifice is valid only for those people who actually accept this vicarious sacrifice for their sins (and so admit their guilt, repent and ask for forgiveness). Anyone who does not take this step of his own accord will not be saved, and we cannot save him either. He remains lost and is one of the “dead”.

And this too finds expression in the Lord’s answer to the question of the disciple in Matthew:

Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.

Mt 8,21 Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." 8,22 But Jesus *said to him, "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead." Mt 8,21-22;


The deeper meaning in this statement of the Lord’s has in the past frequently been brushed under the carpet – out of opportunism in the Christian faith. This Jewish disciple of Jesus wanted to bury his deceased father in accordance with the Law of Moses, before following Jesus. But the Lord said to him, “Follow me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead” – so revealing that already at this time the Mosaic-Jewish faith was a dead letter, and only faith in Jesus Christ leads to life.

In the era of forgiveness by grace, those Jews who follow this dead faith – the “Law” – are already spiritually dead and have no salvation. This too is what the Jew Paul long since told them:

You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Gal 5,3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 5,4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. Gal 5, 3- 4;


The Lord offered this disciple the opportunity of following him on the path of the grace of God. If he accepted this, then he was saved. If he did not accept it, then this “first step” of the Lord was of no use to him at all. He remains with the “dead” whom he has chosen to follow.


“Nonetheless I would hesitate to advise such a course when there are grounds for supposing that the guilty party will only see it as a reproach and react angrily to our overture. Then it would be better to bring this offer of forgiveness only before God, in prayer, and ask God to move the guilty party to conversion.”

If he is a believer, then he knows that he will be forgiven if he asks for forgiveness. No action on our part is needed for this to take place. Moreover, we must always examine the situation carefully to see whether the other person is really culpable, or whether perhaps we may have formed an incorrect estimate of the facts, and so incurred guilt ourselves (Mt 5:25).

If he is not a believer, then we shouldn’t care about getting him to ask us for forgiveness – instead we should follow the Lord’s commandment and proclaim the gospel to him: “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God!


And this now is the place to deal with your first question as well.


“You quote Jer 31,29, and relate “those days” to the present time. But is this not meant as a reference to the Millennial Kingdom of Peace? Or is it only the following verses that relate to the Millennium?”

Yes, there you are again completely right. Jesus Christ became man in order to fulfill the promises of the Old Covenant regarding the Messiah and his kingdom on earth. As he said to the Jews, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Mt 5,17).

And when you write above that Jesus Christ made “the first step”, that too is correctly formulated – only I suspect that you meant something a little different. The first step of the Son of God was that he became man in order to fulfill the promises of the Old Covenant to the Jews and set up the kingdom of God on earth, the Millennial Kingdom of Peace of the Messiah.

If you remember our last discussion in Discourse 111 (“What would had happened if the Jews had believed in Jesus?”), that was "Plan A". And that too was what the Lord enjoined on this Jewish disciple, in Lk 9,60 above: “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God”.

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.

Mk 1,15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Mt 1,15;

Mt 12,28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Mt 12,28;

Lk 10,9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Lk 10, 9;

Lk 11,20 "But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Lk 11,20;

Lk 10,10 "But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 10,11 ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 10,12 "I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city. Lk 10,10-12;


This commandment of the Lord’s in Lk 10,10: “But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out...”, incidentally, is something that many missionaries of our time would do well to heed – rather than provoking the Islamists in Turkey, for example, to such a degree, with their incessant preaching of the gospel, that the Turks polish them off with 160 knife wounds.

All these statements about the kingdom of God’s having come were preached by the Lord (first of all!!!) to the Jews. This was in actual fact the “first step” of Jesus. But the Jews did not accept him, and handed over the promised Messiah to be crucified. In doing so they thus broke the supreme commandment of the Old Covenant, “You shall love the Lord your God” (Deut 6:5), and consequently God dissolved the Old Covenant.

Unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins.

Jn 8,21 Then He said again to them, "I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come." 8,22 So the Jews were saying, "Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?" 8,23 And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 8,24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins." Jn 8,21-24;


So since that time there has been no covenant any more in place between God and the people of Israel. God actually confirmed this in the fact that at the death of Jesus the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Mt 27:51). This was the sign of the separation of Israel from its God. Around forty years after the crucifixion, in the year 70, the Roman legions of Titus proceeded to burn down the Temple in Jerusalem along with its sacrificial altar, and razed Jerusalem itself to the ground. And 65 years after that the entire people of Israel was driven out of its country into the Diaspora.

And here we can recognize that it is not enough just to take the first step. The offer must actually be desired and accepted by the other person, in order to become a reality (including, and above all, in connection with forgiveness). If you hold out to a beggar a 500 euro bill, the man will only be helped when he actually reaches out and takes the money.

And improbable as it may seem that the beggar would not take this offer, in the case of the Jews of that time – as well as billions of people, incidentally, to the present day – the sad truth was, and is, that they have turned it down and/or are not interested in it. And that is why God dissolved the Old Covenant at that time, and it was God’s "Plan B" that came to fruition. As a result, the Millennial Kingdom of Peace of the Son of God on earth has been “postponed”. But that promise of which Jeremiah prophesies:

Everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge.

Jer 31,29 "In those days they will not say again, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ 30 "But everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge. Jer 31,29-30;


was and is also a conditio sine qua non of this alternative plan, and came into force after the sacrificial death of Jesus as an advance fulfillment of the Millennium (Deut 24:16). This promise is the actual basis of the New Covenant. And just as the Old Covenant was solemnized with blood (Ex 24:8), so too this New Covenant of the Son of God was established with his blood:

This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

Lk 22,19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 22,20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Lk 22,19-20;

For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hbr 9,11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 9,12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 

9,13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 9,14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 9,15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Heb 9,11-15;


And this New Covenant has now been concluded by God not just with the Jews, but with all human beings who are willing to come to the knowledge of the truth. And when the Son of God says that he is “the way, the truth and the life” (Jn 14,6), then this also means that God wants all human beings to come to the knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ. The original sin is redeemed.

God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1Tim 2,3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 2,4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2,5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 2,6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. 1Tim 2, 3- 6;

Even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men

Rom 5,18 So then as through one transgression (fall of man) there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. Rom 5,18;


So from this point in history on and up to the Millennium, the Jews no longer enjoy any kind of special position – they are no longer the “People of God”. But they are not excluded from this New Covenant either, as some Christian denominations instruct their members. They are human beings just as we ourselves are, and so God wants them too to come to the knowledge of the Son of God.

This New Covenant, then, is no longer concluded just with a single people, but with all human beings who are willing to accept this offer on God’s part. In this New Covenant of God with all human beings every individual – whether Jew or non-Jew – has the freedom to decide in accordance with his own will, in all that he does and in what he omits to do, and so too is responsible for his own actions – and only, be it noted, for his own actions.

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed i

Jn 3,16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 3,17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 3,18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Jn 3,16-18;


This "Plan B" – the New Covenant – was that “first step” of the Lord’s, which you were probably referring to. This was the vicarious sacrifice of the Son of God for the sins of all human beings. In this New Covenant there is just one condition: what is needed here, without any exception, is the “second signature” of faith in the Son of God and his redeeming sacrifice on the cross for our own sins. Otherwise this contract or covenant, as far as the person is concerned, remains null and void.

He who believes in Me will live even if he dies. 

Jn 11,25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, Jn 11,25;





Notes


1)
The heart of the uniqueness of the Jews, and the essence of the Jewish people, lies in a work which is known as the Talmud. The Talmud is the core of Judaism. Understanding of the Talmud is understanding of Judaism, defamation of the Talmud is the defamation of Judaism, to turn away from the Talmud is to turn away from Judaism www.hagalil.com/judentum

2)

0

"How The Jews Mock Jesus Christ".
(Real Jew News)



3)
The appearances of Mary of the Catholic Church in Medjugorje proclaim, in a series of public communications from 1981 into the 90s, the familiar message: “I am the mediator between you and God.” 
("Erscheinungen und Botschaften der Gottesmutter Maria - Vollständige Dokumentation durch zwei Jahrtausende" [“Apparitions and Messages of Mary the Mother of God – Complete Documentation over Two Millennia”], by G. Hierzenberger and O. Nedomansky. Aschaffenburg: Pattloch/1993 – page 469.)




The "Israel movement" in the Christian congregations. /    Christian Evangelical Zionism - Part 1, Discourse 101

The "Mitternachtsruf" ["Call at Midnight"] – a call in the wrong direction? /    Discourse 1011

Report from the camp of the "Israel movement". /    Part 3, Discourse 1013

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League rewrites New Testament. /    Part 4, Discourse 1014

Shema Yisrael ‒ Hear, O ISRAEL - the judgment of God on his people. /    Part 5, Discourse 1015

The Foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 prophesied in the Old Testament! /    Part 6, Discourse 1016