MESSIANIC ISSUES IN
Yeshua's Touch Messianic Ministries
The Purpose of This Study
A number of issues that are current in the Messianic community and the
Body of Messiah at large regarding the salvation of Jewish people and of
the nation as a whole must be addressed on the basis of the Word of God.
We will first deal with issues regarding the salvation of the nation of
Israel as a whole, and then the salvation of individual Jewish people.
Generally, while dealing with each of these issues, we will first address
those ideas concerning Jewish salvation that are clearly unbiblical, and
then establish the means of Jewish salvation that God has declared in His
"Salvation" Are We Dealing With?
has more than one meaning in Scripture. The salvation that we are
addressing is eternal life, the nature of which has been defined by
Messiah Yeshua while in prayer to His Father: "And this is life
eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus The
Messiah whom You have sent" (John 17:3). Kenneth Wuest translates it,
"...that they might have an experiential knowledge of you...."
The salvation that we are dealing with, then, refers to an eternity of
intimate and blessed fellowship with God the Father and with His Son,
I. THE SALVATION OF THE
NATION OF ISRAEL AS A WHOLE
Is the salvation of all Jewish people who ever lived and ever will live
guaranteed by Scripture?
Some theological background is in order here:
"In the last few decades of the
twentieth-century, since the awful tragedy of the Holocaust, a number of
Catholic and mainline Protestant theologians have proposed an alternative
to supersessionism [Manzon: or replacement theology: the church
has "superceded" or "replaced" Israel as God's chosen
people] that is known generally as two-covenant theology. The key
feature is the belief that Jews and Christians are related to God
separately by distinct covenants. Christianity offers a covenant
relationship to God for Gentiles through Jesus The Messiah. Judaism offers
a covenant relationship to God for Jewish people through Torah. These
covenants are distinct yet divinely sanctioned ways for their constituents
to relate to God. It would be categorically wrong to deny the legitimacy
of a favorable relationship to God for Jews or Christians on the basis of
one covenant or the other. So, even though most Jewish people do not
believe in The Messiah, according to two-covenant theology, Christians
should not deny that the Jewish people have a favorable relationship to
God, rather they should affirm that Jewish people are in a favorable
relationship to God precisely on the basis of Torah. Quite consistent with
this, those who take this dual-covenant view of Judaism and Christianity
have repudiated Christian evangelism and mission to Jewish people not just
as an affront, but as a theological violation of God's covenant with
- "The Future of Israel as a Theological Question," Craig A.
Blaising, Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Presented to The National Meeting
of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 19, 2000, Nashville,
put, because of certain covenants that God has made with Israel, some in
the church at large, and perhaps in the Messianic community, teach that
the salvation of all Jewish people who ever lived and ever will live is
Are they correct? Let's consider just a few of the words of Yeshua.
Then Yeshua said again to [the scribes and the Pharisees, v. 3], I go
away, and you shall seek Me and shall die in your sins. Where I go, you
cannot come.... And [Jesus] said to them, You are from beneath; I am from
above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to
you that you shall die in your sins, for if you do not believe that I AM,
you shall die in your sins. (John 8:21, 23-24)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you compass sea and the
dry land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold
more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:15)
The Son of Man goes, as it has been written of Him, but woe to that man by
whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if
he had not been born. (Matthew 26:24)
The scribes and the Pharisees whom Yeshua was addressing were children of
hell, meaning that their father is the Devil, and not God; will die in
their sins, meaning that their sins will be unforgiven; and will not go
where Yeshua will go, which is heaven. And what life would be so horrible
as to render it not worth being born if will be followed by eternal life?
It is clear, then, that Yeshua declared that Judas Iscariot was not to be
saved, but eternally damned.
Will all Jewish people, then, be saved on the basis of God's covenants
with Israel or on any other basis? Obviously not. In fact, Paul points out
that only a minority of Jewish people will be saved.
God has not rejected his people whom he chose long ago. Don't you know
what the Scripture says in the story about Elijah, when he pleads with God
against Israel? "Lord, they have killed your prophets and demolished
your altars. I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my
life." But what was the divine reply to him? "I have reserved
for myself 7,000 people who have not knelt to worship Baal." So it is
at the present time: there is a remnant, chosen by grace. (Romans 11:2-5)
Only a "remnant," a small minority, of Israelites of both
Elijah's day and of New Testament times will be saved. A majority, then,
will remain unsaved. It is worth highlighting, "So it is at the
present time." "The present time" is the Church Age, in
which we live. Only a minority of Jewish people alive today are guaranteed
salvation. God has made various promises to the nation of Israel as a
whole, but He has never promised that all Israelites of all ages will be
- What, Then, Did Paul
Mean When He Said, "All Israel will be saved"
"And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, "There
shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and He will turn away ungodliness
from Jacob. For this is My covenant with them, when I have taken away
their sins." (Romans 11:26-27)
This declaration will be fulfilled at a time yet future to our day, at the
very end of "Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7), the Great
Tribulation; but even then, two-thirds of Israel's population will die
And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the
bond of the covenant. And I will purge out from among you the rebels and
those who sin against Me. (Ezekiel 20:37-38)
And it shall be in all the land, says Jehovah, two parts in it shall be
cut off and die; but the third shall be left in it. And I 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
answer them; I will say, It is My people; and they shall say, Jehovah is
my God. (Zechariah 13:8-9)
God will first purge out Israel's rebels and sinners, who will constitute
two-thirds of the nation, by means of death. They will obviously die
unsaved, and only the remaining one-third will God bring into the bond of
the New Covenant and call, "My people." It is at this point in
history - and at no previous point - that "all Israel will be
saved" (Romans 11:26).
- II. THE SALVATION OF
INDIVIDUAL JEWISH PEOPLE
Today we are under the New Covenant, and salvation of individual Jewish
people under the New Covenant is clearly conditional.
He came to His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received
Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who
believe on His name. (John 1:11-12).
Yeshua came to His own Jewish people and, for the most part, they did not
receive Him or believe in His name. They were not given authority to
become God's children; but those who did believe on Him were given
authority to become God's children.
The condition for the salvation of any Jewish person today is belief in
Messiah Yeshua. The apostle John declared, "For God so loved the
world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16); and Yeshua
Himself said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me has
everlasting life" (John 6:47). And Paul: "By grace are ye saved
through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God. Not of
works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
What is the content of belief in the Son?
But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners The
Messiah died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we
shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies, we
were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being
reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:8-10)
...Yeshua The Messiah the faithful Witness, the First-born from the dead
and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us
from our sins in His own blood, and made us kings and priests to God and
His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The Scriptures make it clear that God sent Yeshua to be crucified unto
death to pay the penalty of our sins, that God resurrected Him bodily, and
that only through faith in The Messiah's sacrificial death and
resurrection will the sins of any Jewish person be forgiven unto eternal
life. He must repent from disbelief in the Messiah to belief in the
Messiah. John the Immerser said to a crowd of Jewish people, "The
time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God draws near. Repent, and believe
the gospel" (Mark 1:15). Here's the "Good News" in a
And, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which
also you have received, and in which you stand; by which you also are
being kept safe, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless
you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I
also received, that The Messiah died for our sins, according to the
Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day
according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
In order for a Jewish person to be saved, he must believe that The Messiah
died for his sins, that He was buried, and that He rose bodily from the
dead. The exclusivity of this way was emphasized by Peter in his address
to an audience of Jewish people: "And there is salvation in no other
One; for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we
must be saved" Acts 4:12
- A Corollary Issue: Is
It Biblical to Preach the Gospel to Jewish people?
Those who believe that Jewish people are guaranteed salvation by some
(imaginary) promise that God has made to them naturally repudiate all
preaching of the gospel to Jewish people. This position is easily refuted
not only by the preaching ministries of Jesus, Paul, Peter and other
apostles, but by this clear declaration of Paul:
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same Lord is
Lord of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him: for, Whosoever shall
call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on
him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom
they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how
shall they preach, except they be sent? even as it is written, How
beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!
According to Paul, both Gentile and Jew must be saved in exactly the same
way: by believing in Messiah Yeshua and calling upon His name. But how,
Paul asks, can they believe and call upon Him if they do not hear the
gospel? He then provides the answer: the sending of preachers - and the
sending of preachers to Jewish people, as well as to Gentiles, is regarded
- not as an affront - but as a thing of beauty!
Not only is the preaching of the gospel to the Jewish people biblical and
beautiful, but it is a priority: "to the Jew first, and also to the
Greek" (Romans 1:16), which priority Paul, "the apostle to the
Gentiles" (Romans 11:13), purposefully and conscientiously walked out
to the very last days of his life and ministry.
- A Corollary Issue: Is
the Keeping of the Commandments of the Law of Moses Necessary for the
Salvation of Jewish people Today?
Some in the Messianic community appear to believe that faith in Yeshua
plus the keeping of the Law are necessary for salvation. The issue of the
means of salvation has already been addressed, but this issue must be
The Scriptures are very clear in this matter.
For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness for everyone who
believes. (Romans 10:4)
[Yeshua] abolished in His flesh the enmity, the Law of commandments
contained in ordinances. (Ephesians 2:15)
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He
has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was
contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.
For truly there is a putting away of the commandment which went before,
because of the weakness and unprofitableness of it. (Hebrews 7:18)
Then He said, "Lo, I come to do Your will, O God." He takes away
the first so that He may establish the second. (Hebrews 10:19)
When Yeshua died on the cross, the Law of Moses was "nailed to the
cross," brought to an "end," "abolished,"
"blotted out," "taken out of the way," "put
The Law of Moses is no longer operative today. Even if the Law were
operative, "by the works of the Law none of all flesh will be
justified in His sight" (Romans 3:20). The Law of Moses has been
surpassed by the finished work of Messiah, and the Law never did justify
anyone. It suffices nothing for salvation. "By grace are ye saved
through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God. Not of
works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
1. Neither the Abrahamic, the Mosaic or the New Covenant nor anything
other than faith in Yeshua's sacrifice and resurrection guarantees the
salvation of any Jewish person.
2. The salvation of an individual Jewish person is guaranteed only on the
basis of faith in the Messiah, and the keeping of the Law contributes
nothing to it.
3. Therefore, it is not only Biblical to preach the Gospel to the Jewish
people, it is imperative. It is also a priority.
4. "All Israel will be saved," but only at the very end of the
Great Tribulation, and even then they will be a remnant.
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