Questions and Answers
Who are the chosen people of God; the Jews or Christians?
The Apostle Paul wrote, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:26-29)
All those who know Christ are God's chosen people, His elect, and have inherited the promises made to Abraham.
In the era of the Old Testament, the Hebrews were chosen as the special revelatory people of God. Their purpose was to receive the knowledge of God and to reveal this knowledge to the world.
Note: The Hebrews were the revelatory people, not Jews per se. The Hebrews consisted of all the descendants of Jacob, his 12 sons, plus descendants of other Semitic peoples who joined the Hebrews. Hebrews intermarried heavily with the Semitic Canaanites. Many Hebrews, being Semitic Canaanites, were not Jacob's descendants. The term Jew refers to the Judahites from the dominant southern tribe of Judah. The northern Hebrews were not Jews. Further, Judaism or Judah-ism was not the religion of the OT. Judahism began its formation in the post-exilic period, was given its primary shape and form by the Pharisees, and was enhanced during the writing of the Talmud. Listen to what the Lord said to the Pharisees: "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." (Mark 7:9) ... "Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered:" (Mark 7:13)
The Hebrews' position as the revelatory people was of such importance that God sealed the relationship with a covenant from Mt. Sinai. The heart of this Covenant can be found in Exodus 20 through 24. In fact, both the Sinai Covenant and the entire book of Deuteronomy, which represents a renewal of the Sinai Covenant, can be broken down along the lines of an ancient treaty. (This form of treaty is also seen in the Hittite suzerainty contracts between king and vassal):
However, the Old Testament shows us that the Hebrew people demonstrated almost constant infidelity to the Covenant. Their infidelity brought God's judgement resulting in the destruction of northern Israel as a political entity by the Assyrians in 722 BC (2 Kings 17:7-22) and the exile of southern Israel by the Babylonians in 587 BC (Jeremiah 6).
The Old Testament teaches us that God constantly sought to restore the Hebrew people. Southern Israel was restored after 70 years of captivity. Northern Israel, though, was never restored as a sovereign nation.
(Repeat note: The Jews were the Hebrews of Southern Israel or Judah. Members of the small southern tribe of Benjamin were absorbed into Judah. As a result, these Benjamites were also known as Jews. Following the Assyrian conquest of the north, many Hebrews of northern Israel disappeared from history through intermarriage with pagans. The Samaritans were the descendants of these mixed marriages. 2 Chronicles indicates, however, that many other northern Hebrews remained in Israel throughout and beyond the Assyrian period and subsequently came under the domination of the tribe of Judah. See 2 Chronicles 34:9 and 35:17-18. In time, these Hebrews, though not of the tribe of Judah, would also become known as Jews.)
After the post-Babylonian restoration of southern Israel, or Judah, God sent men such as Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra, Nehemiah and Malachi to restore proper worship. However, Jewish infidelity would finally reach an intolerable level. The prophecy of Zechariah, written in the late 6th century BC (a few years after the return from exile), foretold the consequences in store for the Jews. The 11th chapter says:
"Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not. For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them."
"And I [the Messianic Shepherd] will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. ... And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day: ... And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD."
The prophecy of Zechariah foretells that the Jews would do something so horrible, that God would break His Covenant with them. In effect, the Jews would cease to be the chosen people.
Notice that the Messianic Shepherd says, "Give me my wages - thirty pieces of silver." Thirty pieces of silver is the price the chief priests of Israel paid Judas for Jesus. (See Matthew 26:15 and 27:3-10.)
It is the Jewish rejection of Jesus, which caused God to break the Covenant with them. Jesus told the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree in Luke 13:
"He also spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."
For the three years of Jesus' earthly ministry, Jesus came seeking fruit from the fig tree of Israel. And for three years the tree was barren. The Father said "Cut it down." But Jesus said give it one more year. And, in fact, the Father gave Israel 40 more years. But the tree remained barren and Israel was destroyed by God's instrument, the Romans, in 70 AD.
In Luke 19, Jesus said to the Jews:
For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
He also said in Matthew 21:43:
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
The Jews lost their position as the chosen people of God. Their temple was destroyed. Their capital city was destroyed. Their nation was destroyed and they were scattered.
Today's "Jews" were so scattered and diluted, many or most bear little resemblance to the Biblical people. Those who now call themselves "Jews" are a racially mixed lot descended from many different peoples who converted to Judaism over the centuries and millenia. See - Are Jews a Nation, Race or Religion? and Who are Jews of Color (JOC)? Some calling themselves "Jews" probably do have traces of Hebrew, or at least general Canaanite, DNA, while many are descendants of converts (Berbers, Slavs, Khazars and others), and have no Hebrew lineage. There is probably no such thing as a pure Jew or Hebrew left. (Note: Even when Jesus was on earth, there were many "Jews" outside Israel who were converts from other people groups. And even though Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were at the core of Hebrew identity, many Semitic peoples not descended from Jacob had joined the "Jews".)
The mixed up nature of today's "Jews" may be reflected in the Lord's words to the Church of Philadelphia:
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. (Revelation 3:9)
Do a web search for Israeli army images, and you will see a menagerie of people groups of all different skin colors and appearances.
As ethnically diluted as they now are, those calling themselves "Jews" remain true to the Biblical era Jews in one respect. They persist in rebellion against God in their rejection of Christ. Their primary religious work, the Talmud, is filled with blasphemies against Christ and Mary. If you wish to learn more about the vile nature of the Talmud, see the following writings by Judaic scholar Michael Hoffman: The Truth About the Talmud
No wonder the Lord said to the Jews of His day, "If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8: 42-44)
Many "Christian" zionists falsely interpret Genesis 12:3 to coerce unwavering support for all actions and policies of the modern state of Israel and for near worship of this mixed-race group of so-called "Jews". In that passage, God told Abraham, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." The Apostle Paul explains for us in Galatians 3:16, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Christ alone is the seed of Abraham. The person blessing Christ will be blessed and the person cursing Christ will be damned. And it is in Christ alone that all families of the earth are blessed. Paul explains further in Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." The people who know Christ are the chosen. And these, the chosen in Christ, share in the promises made to Abraham.
Nonetheless, Paul said in Romans 11:28-29 that the Jews have not been rejected forever. He explains in Romans 11 that a remnant will return to God and be grafted back into the tree of God's Kingdom, the same tree into which the wild branches of the Gentiles had been grafted.
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." (Romans 11:25-27)
As stated, there are probably no ethnically pure Jews left. It is uncertain exactly who this remnant is. It probably consists of those people who have a trace of Jewish blood. The persecuted Palestinians may have more Hebrew DNA than their "Jewish" persecutors. Some of the Palestinians are probably descended from Jewish rural farmers who survived Roman exile of the city Jews.
In the end times, God will bring this remnant of Jews back in, and they will share the position of Chosen People with the saved peoples of the world (not a position separate and apart as claimed by the heretical dispensationialists). The Lord said that He has one fold of sheep, composed of all peoples (John 10:16). As such, a remnant of Jews still have a place in God's plan, as part of Christ's Church. The full Church is meant by Paul when he says that "all Israel shall be saved". (See Galatians 6:16).
Zechariah 12:10 says this of the future Second Coming of Christ, "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
The period prior to the Second Coming, the Great Tribulation, will be painful for the Jews. Zechariah 13:8-9 says that two-thirds will be killed. But of the remnant of Jews, the Lord says this, "And I [God] will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God." Having the knowledge of the New Testament to help us understand the Old, these remnant Jews will be God's people as part of the larger body of Christ in which there is neither Jew nor Greek.