“How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!”
—Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2
Pastor Ben Williams — who worked in Sheldon Emry’s ministry — delivered this sermon on how to approach fundamentalist Judeo-Christians with the kingdom identity message and break the mental and spiritual spell that they are under, a process which he calls “Steps back to reality.”
When trying to inform Christians of our message — the message of the covenants and Israel — we find that quite often they will get angry at us. They will dislike us — or at least dislike what we are saying. And sometimes they even become indignant and want to argue with every little thing we come up with.
This leads us to ask the same question that Paul asked in Galatians 4: 16:
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
God help us to approach other Christians and other people with the right spirit – a spirit of wanting to help them. If we approach it honestly, we should get an honest reaction. So as long as we have that part correct, then let’s pray that God will open their eyes.
But quite often, we just get arguments back instead of an open mind, but when truth makes them mad at us, then it reveals a problem that we have here in America — and around the world. It reveals the basic problem of Christianity itself has been subverted into something that no longer will accept truth for truth’s sake. They would rather defend their church doctrines than to pursue truth.
And so that’s a real problem — a spiritual problem.
Now, it’s not a spiritual problem to have error in your thinking — because we all have error in our thinking. But the spiritual problem would be that you want to protect that error against truth.
There are at least three main objections — and I would like to take us through these three steps in what I call “Steps back to reality.” When someone becomes really religious, and becomes a so-called “Judeo-Christian” — and it’s really religious out there — they really are working outside of reality. They are out here in Never Never Land, so we have to take them through steps back to reality, back to basics.
The objections that must be overcome — among others — are at least these three:
-Number One: The Old Testament has been done away with — and with the Old Testament goes the Law.
-Number Two: The Jews are Israel.
-Number Three: What difference does it make?
It’s important when we are talking to fundamentalists who are generally willing and ready to accept only a very small amount of truth, to keep our arguments very simple and logical.
In terms of the first argument that the Old Testament has been done away with — or that the Law has been done away with — here are some scriptures that speak for themselves:
Matthew 5, Christ says
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Now, when you point this out to them, they will often say, “Well, he came and fulfilled them, which means he finished them and did away with them.” So we need to know what the word “fulfill” means. Turn to Colossians 1 where the same Greek word — plerosai (G4137) — is used where Paul is speaking:
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God
We know Paul can’t end the word of God or put it to an end. So the word “fulfill” here simply means “to do” and “to complete to the best of your ability.” Also in Colossians 4:
16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
See that you fulfill the word of the Lord — that certainly does not mean you finish it or put it to an end. When Jesus Christ said he came fulfill the Law — he meant he came to do the Law. Philippians 2:
1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
So you see that “to fulfill” has a very simple meaning — and not what they have said concerning the Law, which meant to do away with it. 1 Timothy:
8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.
We know that the law is good if a man uses it lawfully — it doesn’t sound like the Law was done away with if we can still use it lawfully. And it points out that the Law is for purposes of dealing with sin — with those who would teach bad doctrine, or commit crimes. Those are with whom the Law would deal.
1 John 3
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our…
Law. Does it say that? No, it says, “…he was manifest to take away our sins. And in him is no sin.”
Jesus was manifest to take away the sins, not the Law — because if he took away the Law, there could be no sin — because sin is defined by the Law. Therefore, if we have no Law, we have no need to worry about sins — we have no need of Jesus — we have no need of his grace — we have no need of salvation — there’s no Law, there’s no sin, everything is fine, that’s it. But that’s not the way it is, is it?
We have sin — therefore we do need Jesus who gave us grace which is the remedy for the sin. He didn’t do away with the Law — because the Law is what tells us what sin is. In Romans 4:
15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
Same thing again. Romans 5:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Now, we put these together, and it’s very clear that if there is no Law with which to describe and point out sin, the sin is not imputed — we have no need for grace or salvation. If we have sin, we must have Law. 1 John 5 — is a good verse for those who say that the law of Christ is just that “we love one another”:
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
If you want to know how to love on another, turn to this Book of Love — of Law — that’s how you love one another. If we try to love one another the way we think we should do it, we’re going to kill each other. We have to have the rule book to teach us how to love one another. 2 John:
5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
Apparently, they loved one another with the Old Law, too.
6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
That answers that question — whether or not the Law has been done away with.
The second objection that I listed — that the Jews are Israel — is an argument that’s thrown out against us who say that we are Israel. It’s easier to prove that the Jews are not Israel than it is to prove that we are. But here are some simple scriptures that show that the Jews cannot be Israel of today. 2 John:
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
There are those who would say the Jews have the God of the Old Testament — they just simply don’t accept the God of the New Testament. This scripture plainly says that you can’t have one without the other:
10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
This, of course, could be directed to Jerry Falwell and some other people who are bidding godspeed to the people over in Israel who are doing all kinds of damage in the Middle East under the premise that they are Israel and worshiping the God of the Old Testament. God help us from these false prophets.
The Jews — in terms of what they teach — are anti-Christian — they are against Christ — they do not keep the words of the Old Testament. They keep more closely the words of The Talmud, which has nothing to do with the Old Testament except to pervert it.
Some people say, “We are a new covenant church, a New Testament church. We don’t teach the Old Testament. So we aren’t concerned about Israel so much. We’re Christians.” They should read Hebrews 8, which was obviously written to Israelites:
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with…
Christians? Well, what does it say?
I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Oh, the new covenant has to do with the house of Israel and the house of Judah — well, that’s news to some “New Testament” Christians.
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people
Let’s put two and two together here. If the new covenant people are those whose heart has received the Law and whose God is the God of the Bible, then what does that say about the Jews who say they don’t accept the New Testament God?
It tells me — A — they don’t accept Christ — B — they can’t accept the father — C — they are not the house of Israel or the house of Judah. That’s logical. Matthew 10:
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The gospel was to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel — not to the so-called “gentiles” who are supposed to be the non-Israelites, according to fundamentalist teachings. As you know, the fundamentalists will say, “Well, the Israelites rejected it, so they went to the non-Israelites with it.” That’s not what the Bible says — the Bible says that some of the Israelites rejected it, but that didn’t mean the rest of them couldn’t hear it.
All those scattered through the nations of Europe and the rest of the world, didn’t mean that they couldn’t hear it. And it had to go to them as well. They went on to take it to Jerusalem, and then to the rest of Judea and Samaria, and then to the uttermost parts of the world — to the rest of the Israelites scattered through the rest of the world.
1 John, more proof the Jews are not Israel:
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
They can’t love the God of the Old Testament without loving the God of the New Testament — and his people whom he begat.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
It’s not too hard to prove the first point — that the Jews are not Israel. At this point, you should show them the film “Heirs Of The Promise” which demonstrates how we — not the Jews — are fulfilling God’s promises to Abraham.
Now let’s go to the third step — you’ve convinced them that we’re Israel, and they say, “Okay, you’ve convinced me, but what difference does it make?” First of all, the question itself reveals some basic problems — the fact that they would even ask that question to begin with. If you have to ask that question, it means you have a problem — or you’re asking it without sincerity. You’re really only trying to escape the situation or put up a road block.
But it’s not a very good argument. A person who would ask that may think this information is essential or important in terms of getting salvation. If that is the case, then it suggests that these people are still trying to figure out what must be done to get salvation. If they say, “Well, it’s not important for me to know this. All I have to do to be saved is believe in Jesus, have faith, or whatever.”
You have to realize that there’s nothing you can do to be saved. There’s nothing you can do to get salvation. You have to accept it as a gift and then go from there. The error here is these people are still striving after salvation through works. And you may say “Faith is in works.” Yes it is, if you think faith is going to get you salvation. Salvation comes through whatever intent or mind you may have. If Jesus The Sovereign saves you, it has nothing to do with your abilities. You are totally unable to save yourself in terms of the salvation of Christ.
The knowledge of Israel’s identity and the covenants is not for the purposes of saving yourself. It’s for the purpose of serving, learning how to serve the One who has saved you. It’s for the purpose of educating yourself so that you can serve. If this doctrine is the truth — it will set you free. John 8:
32. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Free from ignorance and free from error — free to serve your savior in a good fashion. If we are to be officials, servants, and administrators in this kingdom of Christ, we have to know the truth. Accuracy is important.
The word “sin” is derived from a root word that means to miss the mark. That’s what sin literally means. If you sin, then you miss a mark. Judges 20:
15 And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered seven hundred chosen men. 16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.
And if you read it in Hebrew, it reads “….and not sin.” So when we miss the mark, it is a sin. Is accuracy important? Is accuracy in knowing who the Israel people are important? Does it make a difference? Well, apparently, if you get the wrong people, then you are living a sin, or trying to understand history through a sin. You’ve missed the mark. You’ve got the wrong people. It’s going to foul up your whole theology.
Accuracy of Bible interpretation is important because we can’t walk as closely to God as we need to walk with him if we have a major error in our theology — and this would be a major one. 2 Timothy 3
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
Notice, it doesn’t say it’s profitable for getting salvation. What is truth profitable for? It’s to give us the hope, the faith. It makes us righteous. It makes us more correct..
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
The fact that we are Israel must make a big difference because almost all scripture is written concerning Israel — in one way or another. It’s written from the Israel perspective — it’s got the Israel language that it’s written in — Hebrew — it’s written in such a way that often only an Israelite who understands its heritage can understand it. If it isn’t important, we can just throw away about three-fourths of our Bible, and then try to live on what’s left.
The fact that we are Israel must be important — it must make a difference because of God’s covenants. Luke 1:
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham
This shows that God’s covenants have to do with a racial lineage. What is this oath to Abraham? Genesis 28:
10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
It must be important — God keeps his covenants, so it’s important to know who Israel is. In the Book of Revelation 21, we read that the gates of New Jerusalem are named after the twelve tribes. The symbolism is that you get into Jerusalem in some way or another through Israel:
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel
Tell me it’s not important that we know who Israel is. Tell me it doesn’t make any difference if we are Israel. I think I want a part of New Jerusalem, and I’d like to know what that means. I’d like to know why these gates have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel on them. I think it’s important. I don’t claim to know every reason, but I do claim to know it’s important.
The fact that we are Israel must be important because the books of Hebrews, James and Peter were written to Israelites. James 1 starts this way:
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greetings.
The Book of Peter begins in a similar way:
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia
Now, “strangers” here refers to those Israelites who were scattered throughout the world. [The Greek reads, “eklektois parepedemois diasporas” or “the chosen expatriates of the dispersion”]. These books were addressed expressly to Israel — it must be important — it must make a difference.
Before the argument begins, fundamentalists will say it’s important to know who Israel is because they are over there in that little country that was begun in 1948. So they are quite willing to accept the fact that it’s worthwhile to who Israel is to understand the Bible — until you tell them it’s not who you think it is. And then they’ll say it’s not so important after all.
If it’s not important to understand the majority of the Bible teaching concerning the affairs on this earth and the history that involved Israel, then God help us. It’s the difference between truth and error, between bondage and freedom. If truth sets you free, then error must bind you down. It makes a difference in understanding the Bible or not.
It makes a difference in having a strong and lasting faith in this word. If we don’t understand it, how can we truly have faith in it? And to be comforted by it?
It’s often difficult to get misinformed, fundamentalist Christians out of their ruts — and of course, we can’t do that. We can talk until we’re blue in the face and not talk them out of the rut they are in, but Jesus does — and he continues to do so — opening doors for us. 2 Timothy 2:
1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
We must first understand and then teach others as God leads them to us. 1 Peter 3:
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
There is a goal for all of us to reach for. If we have that truth — if we have that sword, and it is sharp — the word of God, the truth — and if we used it correctly, then those who would come against us will actually be belittling themselves.