The Gospel – The Restoration of Isra’el
“The gospel” of the Bible is NOT “the gospel” that Christianity has taught and proclaimed for the past 1,900 years. The “gospel” was spoken to Abraham (Galatians 3:6-9), prophesied by Moses and the prophets, and this same message was taught by John the Baptizer, and then nine months later, by Yeshua (Jesus). It was this same message that He taught and trained His eighty-two disciples (the Twelve and the Seventy, Luke 10:1) to go out, teach and proclaim as well. This message was called “the gospel of the kingdom.” Sometimes, it was called “the kingdom of heaven” or “the kingdom of God.” There’s even a third phrase found in the Jewish Prayer book, “the kingdom of the Almighty.” All three phrases trace back to a phrase used by King David in the inauguration of his son, Solomon (I Chronicles 28:5).
The truth is that the cross and resurrection were NOT the gospel; instead, “the gospel of the kingdom” – the “good news” about the kingdom is that God was about to initiate the process of beginning the restoration of Isra’el. The true gospel is seen in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the teaching of the One New Man in the book of Ephesians, and the teaching of the Olive Tree in Romans 11. The reason that Paul was sent out into the nations was that He was looking for the descendants of the Northern Kingdom, who had been sifted out among the nations (Amos 9:8-9).
The Restoration of Isra’el – The Prophetic Contexts?
For example, if we look at the prophetic context for the prophecy of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34), it is given within the prophetic context of the Restoration of Isra’el (Jeremiah 30:1 – 33:26), and this section is also known as “book of consolation.” Some even claim that it goes from Jeremiah 30:1 – 38:22. Also, the prophetic context of the famous renowned chapter of Isaiah 53 is also “the Restoration of Isra’el” (Isaiah 50:1 – 58:14). And even the calling of “fishermen” as disciples is also a part of the prophecy concerning “the Restoration of Isra’el” (Jeremiah 16:14-16). A perfect passage to describe the life and ministry of Yeshua (Jesus) is Isaiah 49,
And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, in order that Israel might be gathered to Him (for I am honored in the sight of the LORD, and My God is My strength),
He says “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Isra’el; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49: 5-6, NASB)
Mainstream Judaism argues that the “Servant” in this passage is Isra’el, and Christians argue that it is a prophecy about Yeshua (Jesus), but does it really make that much difference? Whatever is true of Isra’el would it likewise not be true of the Messiah of Isra’el? Consequently, if we are preaching the “new covenant” (trans. “New Testament”) and Isaiah 53 apart from “the Restoration of Isra’el,” then we are preaching them out of context, and by doing so, we have opened the doors wide for misinterpretation, misunderstanding, and errors.
Christianity’s Gospel – “NOT the Biblical Gospel?
The cross and resurrection is NOT the gospel, which Christianity has taught as the gospel for over 1,900 years, but the suffering of the cross was what Yeshua (Jesus) was willing to go through to open the way so that the restoration of Isra’el could take place. It is well documented that Isra’el is God’s Bride and Wife (Ezekiel 16), so when Paul uses the Greek word ekklesia (congregation; trans. “church”), he is using a word that was used, along with sunagoge (synagogue), as synonyms for Isra’el that were well known to those who had read the Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures. I believe Paul used ekklesia since it was politically understood, and not a religious term, as sunagoge. But it was Christianity who turned this political term – ekklesia – and transformed it into a religious term in the centuries after the events described in the New Testament.
How Christianity Changed the Gospel
When Christianity as a distinct religion came into existence near the beginning of the second century, C.E., they altered and changed the original “gospel.” How did they do this? They did this by removing it from its original framework and contexts – Second Temple Judaism, the Hebrew Scriptures, and the history of Isra’el – and then, afterwards, they refocused and repackaged it, subtracting Isra’el and the Jewish people from as much of the message as possible, including observing the Sabbath, the biblical feasts, and the dietary laws, and then they even re-identified it as a “Christian” message.
The Restoration of Isra’el & the New Testament
The restoration at the time was not about giving the Jewish people a homeland (that came later), since they were still living in Isra’el at the time; instead, it was about re-uniting the older brother – the southern kingdom of Judah – and the younger brother (aka, the “Prodigal Son”) – the northern kingdom of Isra’el (aka, Ephraim), which also includes Christians, those from the nations. This is what the parable of the prodigal son is actually teaching when we place it back into its prophetic contexts. Christianity does not get this because they have separated the teachings in the New Testament from those of the Tanakh, or what Christians have been erroneously taught to call the “Old Testament.” The phrases “Old Testament” for the first 39 books of the Bible, and “New Testament” for the last 27 books of the Bible is a man-made invention; there is no verse or passage which defines these two phrases this way. In fact, the phrase “Old Testament” is only used in 2 Corinthians 3:14, and if you will analyze the chapter, you will discover that the words “Old Testament” is the English translation of the Greek palaios diatheke, and refers to the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, which would be better translated as “older covenant” or “ancient covenant.”
Where are the Two Kingdoms Today?
Many of the descendants of the Northern Kingdom can be found in the churches around the world. Now am I saying that every Christian is a descendant of the Northern Kingdom? No, but they are among them, as well as those from the nations, and then the Jewish people are those who are descended from the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The word “Jew” is a shortened form of “Judean.” So it is part of the gospel of the restoration for Jews and Christians in teshuvah (repentance and forgiveness) to repent for things that have happened in the past, forgive one another, and then to work on reconciling with one another. The sins of Christians against the Jewish people is heavily documented, for example in Dr. Michael L. Brown’s book, Our Hands Are Stained With Blood: The Tragic History of the Church and the Jewish People. And for Jewish men and women, they will need to have an open and forgiving heart to forgive all of the atrocities of the past, and God wants both of us to work together as ONE KINGDOM, ONE PEOPLE, and ONE COMMUNITY as we move forward toward the Messianic Kingdom.
How can God bring the Messianic Kingdom when His people are so fragmented, so divided, and so full of anger, bitterness, hatred, and division? Christianity has been teaching for as long as I can remember that we were waiting on the Lord to get everything ready, and then God would send Messiah back to get “His Bride;” however, the truth is that we are not waiting on the Lord, but He is waiting on us. We and Religion are the problems. Religion is a facade, a mirage, a masquerade, a false path that makes us think that we are honoring and obeying God, but it is keeping us divided, separated, and from fulfilling the will and word of God, which is to see His Kingdom Reunited as One kingdom and One people. And until we humble ourselves and admit our sins and faults to one another, and seek reconciliation with one another, God will continue to wait for us to get ourselves together and prepared for the Messianic Kingdom.
Religion has divided all of us as God’s people. The Jewish people have been right in believing that the Torah, the “Law” of God, is eternal, and it has not ended. And God has been deeply offended by Christian teachings and attitudes that have been in opposition to God’s Torah. We have treated His commandments like garbage in that we have believed that we have the right to just throw them out, but we were wrong. We do not have that right, nor do we have the right to decide what day of the week we want to keep as the Sabbath. God is King, and only He can make that decision. We do not have the right to change any of His laws or feast days to make things easier for us. In our treatment of God’s commandments – His laws, statutes, ordinances – we continue to sin against Him.
Christians have been right in believing that Yeshua (Jesus) is the long-awaited promised Messiah; however, they have failed in that they have presented Him as a “Christian” – not as He was, which was a “Torah-observant, Orthodox Jew” of the Second Temple period. Christianity has also failed in that they have developed many misinterpretations about the New Testament, particularly in their attitudes and teachings against Judaism and the Written Torah, just as Rabbinic Judaism has developed against the teachings of the New Testament, who many mainstream Jews falsely believe teaches anti-Semitism. But much of this is because how Christians have treated them over the centuries.
Salvation – the Biblical View
Christianity is also wrong in their view of salvation. It is not an event. It is not completed by someone just going down to the altar and saying “the sinner’s prayer.” Instead, it is a life-long process. Saying “the sinner’s prayer” is only the FIRST step. Being immersed in water is also part of the process of our repentance. Christianity stopped using “baptism” (water immersion) as where we made our public confession of faith in 1850 when tent revivals were starting and becoming popular. The denomination I grew up in did not even begin until 1914, which is 64 years after Christianity created the altar call as a replacement for water immersion, or Baptism. We replaced God’s process with our own, which we did not have the right to do.
But Salvation is an Exodus, where we need to leave our old life of sin behind, and follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in and through His Anointed One, Yeshua, to the Promised Land of His coming Kingdom. Our inner transformation does not happen when we say the “sinner’s prayer,” but it happens bit by bit during the course of the journey. It is a matter of us picking up our own crosses and following Him each and every day to the finish line, and this includes walking in obedience to the Written Torah as Yeshua had done, and it is only then when we will inherit salvation.
We Need to Live the Whole Bible – NOT just Parts
It is time we live by the whole Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, and not just part of the Bible. When we live and practice only part of the Bible, and we divide ourselves from one another, we deeply offend God. By embracing God’s commandments and making them a part of our life walk with Him, we are demonstrating our love, loyalty, and commitment to Him as our Creator, King, and Redeemer. It is time we learn that there is no conflict between “grace” and God’s commandments. So live and preach the truth of all of God’s Word – NOT just the parts we like.