by Pastor Bertrand L. Comparet
In this series, we shall see that the New Testament is as much an ISRAEL book as the Old Testament. In my last sermon, we saw that Jesus Christ strongly emphasized that He had come only to His own people ISRAEL, and sent out His disciples with the direct command, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the HOUSE of ISRAEL." Also, He promised His disciples that, in the millennium, they should sit upon 12 thrones, judging the 12 Tribes of ISRAEL, not various religious denominations.
Then we started to study what Paul wrote on this subject. Most people have been taught by their churches that Paul started a new religion with Israel left out of it. On the contrary, as we shall see, Paul still taught good Israel doctrines. We saw that in his Epistle to the Romans, which most people think was a message to the Gentiles. Paul was writing only to those particular people in Rome who were "saints" and that, as Paul knew very well. Psalm verse 14, tells us that ALL of the saints are the Children of Israel. Therefore Paul understood that he was writing to the Israelite colony in Rome. We saw that the same thing was true of Paul's Epistles to various other cities, I & II Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, also the letter to Philemon.
But let's examine the Epistle to the Romans still more closely. Romans is generally regarded as supremely the book written to the Gentiles. It might surprise you to know that there is no such word as "Gentiles" in the Bible in its original language. Oh yes, I know that you can find it in your King James version of the Bible, also in the less accurate of the modern English translations. But it was never in the original languages and has been put in by the translators. Neither Hebrew nor Greek has such a word as "Gentile", nor any word which is equivalent to it. The word "Gentile" comes from the Latin word "gentilis", which means "one who is not a Roman citizen." If you were to use the word accurately, you would have to say that Jesus Christ and all of His disciples were Gentiles, for none of them were Roman citizens. Paul was the only one of the Apostles who was not a Gentile, for Paul was a Roman citizen. But what does the Bible say in the original languages in which it was written?
In the Old Testament, which was written in Hebrew, whenever you see the word "Gentile" in your English Bible, the Hebrew used the word "goy" if it was in the singular, or the plural form of it, "goyim". This word means precisely "NATION" and nothing else. You remember that God told Abraham "I will make nations of thee". (Genesis 17:6) In the Hebrew, God said "I will make goyim of thee". It would have been utterly too silly to translate this "I will make gentiles of your descendants." so the translators here translated it correctly as "nations". Again, you remember that when the twins, Jacob and Esau were still in the womb of Rebekah their mother, they struggled together and she prayed to God to tell her why this was so and God answered her, "Two nations are in thy womb." In the Hebrew original this says, "Two goyim are in thy womb." Certainly God never told her that "two Gentiles are in thy womb". So here the translators had to translate it correctly, "Nations". But, this is exactly the same word which they translate "gentiles" in many other places.
The New Testament which most of you have was translated from manuscripts written in the Greek language. Whenever, in your New Testament, you see the word "gentile", the word in the Greek was "ETHNOS". "Ethnos" means "nation", just as the Hebrew word "goy" does. In many places, it would have been silly to translate it "gentile", so the translators had to use the correct word "Nation" For example in Luke 7, we read that a certain Roman officer, a centurian, had a servant who was dying. The centurian asked some elders of the Jews to intercede for him with Jesus and ask Jesus to heal his servant. The Jews did urge Jesus to do this for the centurion saying "that he was worthy for whom He should do this, for he loveth our ethnos and he hath built us a synagogue." Surely no Jew would have praised the centurion for loving the gentiles, nor would he have built a synagogue for gentiles. So, they had to translate this one correctly as "nation" not "gentile". But, everywhere you see the word "gentile" in the New Testament, it is the same word "ETHNOS" in the Greek. This word "ethnos" has no pagan, or non Israel, nor even non Greek connotation. The Greeks distinguished between Greeks and Barbarians, which all educated men like Paul knew. So he said in Romans 1:14, I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians." So just remember that Paul never once wrote "gentile" in all his writings, he only wrote "ethnos", which means "nation". Therefore, do not be misled by the translation where you read in Romans 1:13, "that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles," for Paul actually wrote, "even as among other nations." Paul had made converts who lived among other nations, both in Greece and in Syria and in Asia Minor. You must carefully judge from the general context in which the term occurs, whether the particular nation of which he speaks is an Israel nation or a non Israel nation. If it is a non Israel nation, then the common term "gentile" may as well be used, even though inaccurately, because we are accustomed to it.
But for further proof that Paul was not writing to gentiles in the Epistle to the so called Romans, note how Paul tells these "saints" in Rome to whom he writes, in Romans 4, That "Abraham is our father, as pertaining to the flesh," and "Abraham, who is the father of us all." Certainly he could not have told any "gentile" that Abraham was his father, as pertaining to the flesh!
Again, this is consistent with what Paul wrote to the "Saints" in the city of Corinth. In I Corinthians 10:1-4, he writes, "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that ALL OUR FATHERS were under the cloud, and ALL passed through the sea; and were ALL baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did ALL eat the same spiritual meat; and did ALL drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock which followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
Paul could not have truthfully told gentiles that their fathers, like his, had all passed through the Red Sea with Moses and had all been protected by the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night and had all eaten the manna and had all drunk of the water which poured out of the rock in answer to Moses' prayer. Only to ISRAELITES could he have said this with the slightest spark of truth.
Not even the prophets of the Old Testament were more firmly convinced of the great and continuing destiny of Israel than was Paul. I know that you have been taught, in your churches, that Paul threw all this into the rubbish heap and started a new religion without Israel in it. Where they get that idea I certainly don't know. Listen to this, from the Epistle to the Romans, and see if you can find anything here to show that Paul thought that Israel was all through. In Romans 9:4-5, Paul speaks of the "Israelites: to whom pertaineth the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the service of God and the promises; whose are the fathers; and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came."
You have been taught that gentiles are "adopted" as the children of God, but did you notice that Paul says that it is the "Israelites to whom pertaineth the adoption?" How could Paul make it any clearer than this, which is in Romans 11:1-2, "I say then, hath God cast away His people? God forbid! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the Tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew! Remember what he says about those whom God foreknew! "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified." Since God's people Israel are those He foreknew, then this is written about them.
So we see that in the New Testament, the writings of Paul very clearly constitute Israel books, just as much so as the Old Testament. But what of the other books in the New Testament, which were not written by Paul? Are they also Israel books? We will consider them in my next broadcast.