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The Father of All Who Believe

• Greg Boyd

In the fourth part of our Long Story Short series, Greg zooms in on the calling of Abraham in order to discover the ways in which God’s Kingdom is like a mustard seed.

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Today, Greg begins with a look at the calling of Abraham.

In Genesis 12 the Bible shifts from a story of how mankind is destroying itself to how God is pursuing mankind and restoring us.

After this shift we could get the impression that God is a tribal God. There are portraits in the Old Testament narrative that can seem to point towards this. While sometimes glimpses of truth emerge (as in Amos 9:7 “Are you not like the Cushites to me, O people of Israel?” declares the Lord. “Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?”), God does not lobotomize people to think true thoughts.

As Greg explains, no one had a view of a God who was equally for all people. The view that Amos 9:7 supposes is radical and unprecedented.

In Genesis 12:1-3 we see how God starts small like a mustard seed:

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and pin you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

The Israelites were always meant for the benefit of the entire globe, not just themselves. It is a fundamental kingdom principle is that if we are blessed we should enjoy it and use it to bless others.

Paul comments on Abraham’s story in Galatians 3:16-18

To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

Paul argues from Jesus to highlight the text. Not the other way around. If anyone believes how Abraham believed towards Jesus, then they become the seed. Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise of Abraham.

Further, Paul argues in Galatians 3:28-29

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

The oneness we have in Christ is to be manifest across any and all human-contrived lines. All right relatedness comes through Christ. Everything else is considered null and void. God loves Israel and all the peoples of world. We are to do the same. What God is doing transcends race, nationalities, and property. Racism is particularly demonic because it cuts to the core of this amazing gospel message.

Greg then poses the questions: Why did God choose Abraham? What could have happened if Abraham said no? Were there others God called?

Take Genesis 11:27-32

Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.

Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

Greg points out that Terah left Ur and headed towards the promise land, but for some reason he stopped in Haran. Some scholars speculated that it was possible God originally called Terah to go to Canaan, but Terah somehow got sidetracked.

Greg also notes how all the heroes of the Bible have their flaws. Abraham lied about his wife being his sister out of fear that the Pharaoh would kill him to have her. Noah gets drunk, passes out naked, and curses his son. David has all the women in the world and still sleeps with Bathsheba. Moses kills a man. This reveals how God works with and uses flawed and sinful people. We have all screwed up in our various minor or major ways, but our identity is not defined by the messes we create, but by Christ crucified. No matter how terrible or ugly your screw up, God is not done with you. Satan, the accuser, wants to use our screw ups to take us out. We don’t have to trust our brain, which is damaged, we can trust Jesus. Jesus paid all the death consequences of sin. When we think we need to pay for our own sin, we act as if the cross wasn’t enough.

Greg end by encouraging us to start serving and get back in the game. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. When we take a hit, fear and shame will seek to keep us in chains, but when we fall, we are to as soon as possible get back up, knowing that fear, shame, and death have been defeated. The most vulnerable person is the person who is idle.

Lastly, it was not until decades past the initial promising of a child that Isaac was born. Trust between Abraham and God was developed during these years, but God wasn’t in a hurry. Down the road Abraham’s descendants were slaves in Egypt for 400 years during which God’s promise of being a great nation seemed hopeless. Imagine at year 300, being a slave in Egypt seeing no evidence of God’s promise. However, God still was faithful. Using that as an analogy can help us trust that even though the world seems just as dark as it has always been, God will be faithful to his promise to bring complete restoration and righteousness through the coming of his kingdom and victory won on the cross.

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Sermon Series: Long Story Short

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Focus Scripture:

  • Genesis 12:1-3

    Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and pin you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

  • Galatians 3:28-29

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

  • Galatians 6:15-16

    Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule -- to the Israel of God.

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9 thoughts on “The Father of All Who Believe

  1. Ken Revell says:

    Abraham, The Father of all Who Believe: This message was an eye opener ! We tend at times to be overly captivated by Israel in a way that we lose sight that God loves the entire world. This message along with last weeks message on Noah has forced me again to struggle with the Scriptures and has challenged all my seminary paradigms. Many of the evangelical paradigms are limiting and I believe crippling . Painfully my eyes are Being opened , My perceptions of being shattered but I also believe my heart is being open as I am seeing who Christ who died for an entire creation in blood and agony. I am now I’m beginning to see for the first time the cross changes everything!

  2. Jimmy says:

    I love Greg Boyd and consider him the best teaching pastor in the US. But he is wrong wrt Israel and the land. God is the one who established the Nations of the earth and set their boundaries (Acts 17). Nations will always exist and God deals with them separately. Greg should reconsider his position and reevaluate the significance of the modern State of Israel.

    One of Gregs mentors, TF Torrance, a theologian Greg holds in the highest esteem, recognized the hand of God in the events resulting in the establishment of the Nation of Israel after nearly 2,000 years in exile.

    Torrance sees an analogy in Israel’s liturgy that illustrates the role of Israel in the reconciliation of the world to God. He explains that on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) two goats were incorporated into the liturgy and presented as an offering for sin at the entrance to the sanctuary. One goat slaughtered on the altar for atonement and the other the high priest conferred the sins of Israel and sent into the wilderness. Both kinds of sacrifice were incorporated and needed to explain God’s atonement for sin. Torrance reflects upon this two-fold sacrifice and sees them fulfilled in Christ as he was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness after his baptism, despised and rejected and then, of course, as the lamb that was slain. Torrance further sees that it also illustrates the relationship between Israel and the Church: He writes, ” The Christian Church went out from the resurrection side of the Cross into history as the Church of the Lamb who had been slain but is forever triumphantly alive; but the Jewish Church went out from the dark side of the Cross into history as the Church of the scapegoat, cast out and scattered over the earth under the shadow of the crucified Jesus. Each had its distinctive mission to fulfill in bearing witness to the nature of atoning reconciliation provided by God, but each in ways that were the obverse of each other and thus mutely and unknowingly supporting each other. Both participate in the mediation of God’s reconciling love through his Servant in whose vicarious passion the Holy One of Israel and the people of Israel, the Redeemer of mankind and mankind itself, are internally bound together.” (The Mediation of Christ p37)

    Open your eyes. The prophecy of the dry bones found in Ezekiel chapter 37 is being fulfilled today. The resurrection of the Nation of Israel, the Hebrew language and the return of the covenant people to their covenant land after 2,000 years is unprecedented in human history. Like Greg said, how this will all play out only God knows.

    But please consider the following ways that Israel witnesses to God and continues to play their role in the history of redemption.

    1. Israel is an object lesson that confirms God’s ongoing covenant of grace not only with Israel but also with the world. The God revealed in the Hebrew scriptures keeps His word and promises.

    2. Israel’s death, resurrection & return to their ancient homeland is an object lesson. It points us back to the death, resurrection & ascension of Yeshua that preceded it. Like Yeshua before them, Israel has been a nation scorned and rejected. The Jews in diaspora are like the scapegoat that was led alive into the wilderness of nations. Theologically speaking, all of this had to follow their rejection and murder of Yeshua their brother and Messiah just as their resurrection and return to their home followed the resurrection of Yeshua and his return to his home in heaven.

    3. Israel is an object lesson that demonstrates how God has historically revealed himself. We know God by what he has actually done in history, and through revelation and his incarnation within the community of Israel.

    4. Israel is a testimony to salvation as a free gift of God’s grace. Israel witnesses to the fact that despite our antagonism and rebellion against God, and although God is a God of judgment, His mercy triumphs over judgment as seen in the symbolism of the Ark of the Covenant where the meeting place was the mercy seat which was above the Ark concealing the tablets of the Law which called for judgment.

    5. Israel is a negative object lesson revealing that despite God’s love, patience and mercy, Israel, like all of mankind, continues in their sin and rebellion against Him. Although Israel continues to be a sinful nation, she yet remains the servant of God… serving His purpose that the World come to know who He is and what He is like.

    6. Israel reveals God as a person whom we actually encounter in history.

    7. Israel reflects that there is a sovereign process of judgment going on throughout history and every nation has to give account to God.

    8. Israel resurrection and return witnesses to the coming day of the Lord, to a new creation when Messiah will come back to the earth in judgment, mercy, and renewal.

    9. Over the course of more than 3,000 years of intense and intimate dealings, God carefully, patiently and deliberately imprinted himself upon Israels very essence.

    The Jews are saturated in the Torah… the self-revelation of almighty God. They’ve been taught the Torah and then have instructed their children for millennia in the ways of living that will lead to life. The very word of God has penetrated and been deeply imprinted into Israel’s conscious and subconscious minds… their very DNA.

    Even in their current state of unbelief, Israel is a light to the nations, a glaring example of what is released from a nation so saturated and bathed in the ways of God.

    10. Israel, by her very presence in the Promised Land, witnesses to the fact that God is doing something great and dramatic in history.


    1. chris says:

      In the comment above, Jimmy said the prophecy of the “Valley of the dry bones” is just now being fulfilled. But the Jesus and the Apostle said it was being fulfilled in their day, LOOK: The prophecy of the “Dry Bones” and the “Two Sticks” actually begins in chapter 34 with the prophecy of the “Good Shepherd”, so one must read Ezekiel 34-37 together!!! There, Ezekiel foretold of how one day God Himself would come as a Good Shepherd King and give Israel a “NEW Spirit”. Through that Spirit, God would call the DESCENDANTS the nine lost tribes back from the nations and REUNITE them with the three tribes of Judah (the Jews), making Israel “ONE Kingdom under ONE King again” (as it was under David). Then, in the Gospel of John 10:14-16, Jesus said: “I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—…. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen (Judah). I MUST bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be ONE FLOCK and ONE SHEPHERD.” Here Jesus said that He is fulfilling the prophecies of Ezekiel 34-37. Indeed, that He MUST bring back the other sheep (other tribes) and make Israel ONE FLOCK again as promised. And indeed He did—and here is how, LOOK: The Prophet Hosea said the tribes of the Kingdom of Israel had become so wicked that God was going to cast them out of the Promised Land and scattered them among the nations wherein they would become “NOT MY PEOPLE”. This means they would simply become GENTILES (NOT MY PEOPLE). But Hosea also foretold that one day God would bring the DESCENDANTS of the lost tribes back into Israel, REUNITE them with Judah and once again call them “MY PEOPLE”. (See Hosea 1-2). In Romans 9:25-26, the Apostle Paul proclaimed Hosea 1-2 was being fulfilled through the GENTILES who were receiving the Holy Spirit (New Spirit) and coming into the Israel according to the Promise / Spirit, LOOK: “…..but also from the GENTILES. As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people who are NOT MY PEOPLE; and I will call her ‘my loved one who is not my loved one,” and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are NOT MY PEOPLE,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ”. Here Paul say the Spirit filled GENTILES were fulfilling Hosea 1-2, a prophecy which could ONLY be fulfilled by the return of the lost tribes!!! Moreover, Paul went on to say that “once the full number of gentiles (descendants of the lost tribes) have come into Israel—in this way, ALL Israel (meaning ALL 12 tribes) would be saved”; Paul then quoted two prophecies about the promised restoration of Israel! (See Romans 9-11:26). All of the Apostles began to understand the fulfillment of the restoration of the tribes back in Acts 15. There, the Apostle James proclaimed the gentiles who were receiving the Holy Spirit and joining with them (Judah) were fulfilling the “Restoration of David’s Fallen Tent”—another prophecy which could ONLY be fulfilled by the return of the lost tribes. So what does this mean? The BIG picture is that by scattering and sowing the people of Israel like seeds into the gentiles, the promised salvation of Israel automatically became a promise of salvation for people of ALL nations. Amen!!! So Jimmy, the promised restoration of Israel has and is being fulfilled through the Israelites (Jews and Gentiles) according to the promise. Those of the Israel according to the flesh who refuse to believe in the Good Shepherd-King have been “cut off” from Israel. But they can be grafted in anytime, if they come to believe and receive the New Spirit. (Rom 11:23). Now clearly the Israel according to the flesh is fulfilling prophecy today, but NOT the prophecies of the “dry bones”, as that is fulfilled through Jesus and the Spirit-filled Jews and Gentiles. Rather, the Israel according to the flesh is actually fulfilling is the consummation (final destruction) described in Daniel 9:27. (please read it in the KJV). The consummation of the “desolate” (Jerusalem) is detailed in Revelation 16-18 which tells how in the Harlot (Ezek 16), who believes she is still “Queen” (that her marriage contract / old Covenant is still valid) rises to rule the world Empire (Beast) through the money (merchants) in the very last days. But it does not go well for her. Finally brother, the Apostle Paul warned the Galatians not to become children of the old Jerusalem in their hearts; but sadly, many Christians today have done just that and thus will lose their place as children of the NEW Jerusalem. But there is still time, as God still warns: “…come out of her My people”. Peace!

      1. Jimmy says:

        These kinds of conversations can quickly deteriorate into who can list the most scriptural support for their argument. I refuse to go there because scriptures do not all weigh the same. The overarching covenantal commitment Yahweh made with Abraham, then Isaac then Jacob is the ruling principle. Centuries after Jacob’s bones were dry, the prophet Jeremiah prophesied, “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
        for all that they have done, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 31:37)

        I spend a great deal of time in Israel. Jeremiah goes on in verses 38-40 to describe something astonishing. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when the city shall be rebuilt for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes (Ben Hinnom), and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the LORD. It shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”

        If you visit Jerusalem today, the valley of Ben Hinnom, Gehenna in the Greek NT, the place Jeremiah called the valley of slaughter because of child sacrifice (Jeremiah 7:32) is now a public park. I was just there the other night enjoying live music and food trucks. The place where the air was once filled with the voices of screaming children being burned alive, today is filled with music and laughter. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are faithful regardless of whether or not we are. Like Joseph before him, Yeshua will reveal himself to his brothers and they will be reconciled. The covenant stands and with it, the land promise..

        1. Chris says:

          Yes indeed, God will not cast off “ALL of the offspring of Israel”. But again, you do not seem to understand what Jeremiah meant by “ALL of the offspring of Israel”. Remember, NINE of the twelve tribes had been scattered amongst the nations and become gentiles (NOT My people). Only the THREE tribes of the Kingdom of Judah (the Jews) remained. However God promised that later He would make a New Covenant, wherein Israel would be resurrected (as from the dead / dry bones) by the New Spirit and reunited with the Jews. Jeremiah 31 reiterates these prophecies: In verse 15 Rachel is pictured weeping for her children “because they are no more”. But she is told that one day children of the lost tribes (Ephraim) would return to her:
          “…Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for …“They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants, declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land. “I have surely heard EPHRAIM’S moaning: ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return…” … “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a New Covenant with THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt… “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts’.”
          This prophecy was fulfilled through Jesus New Covenant and the Jews and Gentile (descendants of the lost tribes) who by FAITH entered into it and received the New (Holy) Spirit. The Covenant God made with Abraham was based on FAITH, so the Covenant promises were ultimately intended for Abraham’s descendants of faith / born of the Promise (Spirit). The Apostle Paul explained that only the Isralites who have faith are considered Abraham’s TRUE offspring:
          “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his physical descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ In other words, it is NOT the children by PHYSICAL DESCENT who are God’s children, but it is the children of the PROMISE (Spirit) who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring” (Rom 9:6).
          So just being physically born an Israelite, does NOT an Israeli make! To be a TRUE Israelite and partake in the promises, one MUST enter into the New Covenant and have the New Spirit! Indeed, Jesus told many Jews that they were NOT TRULY Israelites:
          “The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because YOU ARE NOT MY SHEEP (Israel). My sheep listen to my voice…” (John 10:25).
          Jimmy, you began your exhortation by telling us to open our eyes—to look at what you think you see being fulfilled in the PHYSICAL realm. But I tell you to open your SPIRITUAL EYES. Jesus said without those eyes you could NOT SEE His Kingdom. Indeed, He told us the Kingdom (Israel) would no longer be seen with “observation” (physical eyes)—that it would no longer be found “over here or over there” (in this world) but that it would ONLY be found “WITHIN” our heart through His Spirit. King Jesus transformed and transferred the Kingdom of Israel into the Spiritual Kingdom. Now all of the physical elements of the old Kingdom (such as land boundaries, sacrifices, Holy days, etc…) are only to be seen as foreshadows, pictures and metaphors to be utilized for the Israelites according to the Spirit. The restored Israel is a Kingdom of Love and peace. The old Israel according to the flesh is still striving in its own strength in the physical world. Moreover, whereas you may see “live music and food trucks” in some beautiful parks, that land was violently stolen—and NOT from child sacrificing pagans, but from good, God-fearing, moral, monotheistic people (Palestinian Muslims and Christians). And while you are gazing at the beautiful parks of Israel, be sure to look at the beaches of Tel-Aviv, which are acclaimed to be the world’s hot spot for homosexuals. No brother, what you are seeing is NOT the promised restoration of Israel, but the end time “Sodom and Egypt” described in Revelation 11.
          “…Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city (great Harlot)—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified”.
          Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. Moreover,
          “In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people who have been slaughtered on the earth.” Rev 18:24.
          Jesus said this of “Jerusalem, Jerusalem” in Matt 23:35-38. Brother, you are not supporting the TRUE Israel, but the end time Great City / Great Harlot. So please pray to receive the HOLY Spirit of the King of Peace and heed Rev 18:4 to “come out of her My people, lest you partake of her plagues”. Peace!

  3. Jimmy says:

    I think you may have moved into presumption Chris. I won’t be responding to you after this. The Lord called us to Israel to comfort his people and to remind them of who they are. We leave the results to the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Similar to World War II, there are today, many theatres of action in the advancement of the kingdom., each theatre has its own commanders, tactics, and strategies but we’re all moving toward a common goal. Clearly, there isn’t agreement re Israel across the body of Yeshua as there isn’t agreement in any number of doctrines or dogma which is why we have over 40,000 denominations. I frankly don’t care what you think. While I do believe “all” means “all”, I try to abide by the old saying, “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity”. The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. Israel was the womb of the incarnation and, IMO, God does not kick the surrogate to the curb after using her. Many great theologians like TF Torrance and Karl Barth agreed; Israel’s miraculous resurrection demonstrates that they continue to play a role in the history of redemption. Yes, the city of Jerusalem reeks with religion… just as Tel Aviv reeks with hedonism, nevertheless, God no longer holds their transgressions against them. Eventually, everyone will see who is who and what is what. Until then, I hope you find the good works that were prepared beforehand and that you walk in them.

    1. Chris says:

      In Romans 9 and Galatians 4, the Apostles Paul made it clear that there are now TWO Israels: the old Israel according to the flesh (under the old covenant) and the Israel according to the Spirit (under the New Covenant). The PROMISE that God will “no longer hold Israel’s transgressions against them” is ONLY for the Israel according to the Spirit—those who have entered into the NEW Covenant:

      “This is the COVENANT I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jerm 31:33

      This promise has been fulfilled through Jesus New Covenant and His Holy Spirit who puts God’s Laws on our hearts. But only those who have entered into the New Covenant can receive this Spirit! The old Israel according to the flesh has NOT. But yet, you attribute it to them simply because they have made their way back to that old piece of dirt. It seems that you do not understand the Israel according to the Spirit at all. And it is too bad you will not be responding again, for I would really like to know where you think the Scriptures tell Christians to “comfort” the Zealots who are still under the old Covenant and “remind them of who they are”. LOL… they know full well who they are and what they THINK they are entitled to. But the truth is, they have been cut off from Israel. Moreover, Christians are ONLY called to try to bring them back into Israel through belief in Jesus. As “if they do not persist in their unbelief, they will be grafted into Israel, for God is able to graft them back in.” (Romans 11:23).

      Finally, Jesus said: “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you (old Israel) and given to a people who will produce its fruit (fruit of the SPIRIT).” Matt 21:42. The Kingdom has been taken away from the old Israel according to the flesh and given to those of the Holy Spirit. But like the gentile Galatians, you seem to have been “bewitched” and joined with the old Jerusalem according to the flesh in your heart. Thus, I fear you will loose your place in “the NEW Jerusalem which is above”, who Paul said is OUR mother (the CHRISTIAN’S MOTHER): “Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”. (Gal 4 / Isa 54).

      2000 years ago, the Apostle Paul proclaimed that this promise of the RESTORED Israel was being fulfilled then—through the Christians. Not as a promise yet to be fulfilled by some future event. Hopefully you will reread these Scriptures and reconsider the residence of your heart / soul; as where your heart is now will determine your eternity!

    2. Chris says:

      Jimmy, you should not think the promised “Resurrection” of Israel is occurring just because physical Jews have moved back into Palestine. The Resurrection of Israel is marked by the spiritually dead Israelites receiving the New Spirit: “…Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT IN YOU AND YOU WILL LIVE…” Ezek 37:14

      And the promise that God will “no longer hold Israel’s transgressions against them” is only for those Israelites who have received that New Spirit: “This is the COVENANT I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts…” ….. “….I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jerm 31:33

      These promises were fulfilled when Jesus the Messiah died for Israel’s sins and gave those who believe in Him the Holy Spirit—who gives us New (Spiritual) Life and writes God’s Laws on our hearts. But the Israelites who have not entered into Jesus Covenant and received His Spirit will remain accountable for their sins until they do. And many Jews will never be saved. Indeed Paul said that only a remnant would be saved. So your thinking that “ALL Israel” means that every single Israelite, is Scripturally incorrect. The “All Israel” means that descendants of ALL twelve tribes would be included in the restoration. Look: “Israel (the Jews) has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in (into Israel), AND IN THIS WAY (the gentile / descendants of the lost tribes returning to Israel) ALL Israel (all twelve tribes) will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” Rom 11:26-28

      The prophecies Paul quoted here, could ONLY be fulfilled with the return of the lost tribes. Which is what he was referring to when he said “ALL Israel”.

    3. Chris says:

      As for the cast off Surrogate. In Romans 9 the Apostles Paul explained how there were now TWO separate Israels: the old Israel according to the flesh and the restored Israel according to the Spirit. In Galatians 4, Paul allegorized the TWO separate Jerusalem’s as two women/mothers: the physical city of Jerusalem represented by the “cast off” slave mother Hagar whose children are still in slavery to sin; and the New Jerusalem from above (spiritual) as the free mother Sarah. But then Paul also quoted from Isaiah 54, the allegory of the restoration of the barren woman Israel, and said that “she was OUR MOTHER” (the mother of the Jews and Gentiles who live by the Spirit). So Paul proclaimed that barren woman Israel’s arms were being filled with children born by the Spirit.

      Now these allegories can be confusing; for while Paul pictured the barren woman Israel as being restored through the New Spirit children, he also allegorized the old physical Jerusalem as a completely separate woman who was still cast off. But I do not have a problem with this as I understand we are not talking about a real woman, but only allegories meant to try to explain difficult spiritual realities.

      Also, the allegorical woman Israel was really not a “surrogate” mother but an adoptive mother. For after she was divorced and cast out she became barren (childless). However, the children promised to her would be the descendants of her lost offspring:

      “Then you (barren Israel) will say in your heart, ‘WHO BORE ME THESE? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these—WHERE HAVE THEY COME FROM?’  ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips. Isa 49:21

      So she does NOT bear these children, but yet they are descendants of her lost children. And they come back from “the gentiles”! Moreover, they are also the children of her New Covenant Husband the slain / resurrected Messiah of Isaiah 53: “…Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people.”… “But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants…” Isa 53:8-10. (NLT).

      Isaiah 53 and 54 go together. Indeed, right after the Messiah suffers and dies without descendants, He comes back to life and produces MANY children—Spirit children which fill the barren Israel of chapter 54.

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