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« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2008, 12:39:56 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Israel - The Olive Tree
by A. Edwin Wilson


ISRAEL - THE OLIVE TREE

"The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken" (Jeremiah 11:16).

You will notice in the above Scripture that God calls Israel a green olive tree. As stated in previous articles, the olive tree symbolizes Israel in her covenant relationship with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The "green" has a definite meaning of "evergreen," setting forth the truth that it is an everlasting covenant. In Romans 11:16-24 we have the parable of the olive tree. (Please get your Bible and read this passage of Scripture now.) The first fruit is holy, the lump is holy, the root is holy, and so are the branches. God chose and separated unto Himself a nation. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are the roots; the twelve sons of Jacob, the trunk, and the branches are their descendants. The covenant which God made with Abraham was the covenant of salvation by grace (Romans 4:1-4). Because of unbelief SOME of the branches were broken off and the wild olive branches grafted in.

Right here I want to correct a common error in the thinking of the majority of Christians. In verse seventeen we have the expression "some of the branches." God did not cut off ALL the branches, neither did He cut down the tree. The Jewish roots, the Jewish trunk, the Jewish branches still exist; and the Gentiles, symbolized by the wild olive tree, were grafted in among the natural branches instead of some of the branches which were cut off. Key words in this whole discussion are the words "some" and "among" in Romans 11: 17. The wild olive tree is not the church, neither is it a particular group of Christians. It simply refers to the Gentile nations that are now privileged to receive spiritual blessings via the covenant which God made with Abraham through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH THE JEW: HAS NEVER BEEN THROUGH WITH THE JEW, AND WILL NEVER BE THROUGH WITH THE JEW.

In Ephesians 2:11-13 we see the relationship of Gentiles to God and that their salvation has come through the covenant which God made with Abraham-salvation through faith in the shed blood of the Lamb of God. In Romans 11:29 we read that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance; so God's purpose concerning Israel will yet be fulfilled. The Gentile Christians today - with but few exceptions-are doing exactly what God told them not to do in Romans 11:18-20. They are boasting and bragging against Israel. God's warning is found in verses 21 through 24. Some of Israel was cut off because of unbelief; the Gentiles shall be cut off for the same reason, and Israel put back in her place. In the twenty-fifth verse of this chapter we have the specific statement of God Almighty that the blindness of Israel is partial and temporary. In Romans 9:4 we see that Israel is the only people with whom God has made a covenant-no covenant with the Gentiles-only Israel.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF ALL THIS? Though hated for the gospel's sake, they are still beloved for the fathers' sakes (Romans 11:28 ). Israel is still God's firstborn son. Israel will yet be God's witness to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 43:9-11).
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« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2008, 12:42:13 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
A Live Jew
by A. Edwin Wilson


A LIVE JEW

After the failure of Adam and Eve to obey the Lord, resulting in their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, God dealt with the human race as a whole. Their failure was manifested and resulted in their destruction by means of the flood - Noah and his family excepted. Starting again with the human race, failure again was manifested at the Tower of Babel.

After that God chose to bless mankind through a chosen family, that of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Genesis 12:3 states very explicitly, "In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." That simple statement means that all the families of the earth are to be blessed spiritually and physically through the nation of Israel.

One way of bestowing these blessings on the human race has been to have a live Jew appear and be used of God to resolve a crisis when it appeared. For instance, Joseph, a live Jew, was sent by God into Egypt to be the means of blessing not only Egypt and the children of Israel but the whole world. Moses, a live Jew, was brought onto the scene to resolve a crisis when it developed between Pharaoh and the several million children of Israel. Joshua, a live Jew, appeared and stepped into the breach when Moses was removed from his place of leadership. When an edict was issued, ordering the extermination of all the Jews in the world at the suggestion of Haman, Mordecai, a live Jew, was present to resolve that crisis under the leadership of the Lord.

Only God knows the tragedy that would befall the world and its inhabitants if the nation of Israel, God's means and channel of blessing to the world, were exterminated. When God took the reins of government out of the hands of the nation of Israel and gave it unto the Gentiles, Daniel, a live Jew, appeared on the scene, and for about seventy-five years directed the affairs of state according to the will of God. Other live Jews such as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, also appeared at times of crises.

Then in the fullness of time when a real crisis had arisen, a live Jew, Jesus of Nazareth, appeared with the answer to every question and solution to every problem. But He was rejected, crucified and then He returned to heaven until Israel shall acknowledge her offense. Before He returned to heaven He promised that when there arose a crisis of such proportion that Israel would call upon Him, He would return.

In the meantime, other live Jews have appeared on the scene in times of crises and through them God has blessed the world. For instance, when natural resources for production of TNT were exhausted during World War One, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a live Jew, appeared on the scene with a formula for synthetic acetone. This made possible the manufacture of gunpowder and ammunition which turned the tide of battle in favor of the Allies. Again, in World War Two when it seemed that all was going against the Allies, Dr. Albert Einstein, a live Jew, Otto Hahn, a live Jew, and Lise Meitner, a live Jewess, appeared on the scene. Through the combined efforts of these three of the house of Israel, the atom bomb was produced and the victory given to the Allies. When polio was spreading over the world in epidemic proportions, Dr. Salk, a live Jew, appeared on the scene with vaccine which has almost eliminated polio from the ranks of mankind.

We look for the present crisis to wax worse and worse until the LIVE Jew, Jesus Christ, returns. When He returns all problems will be resolved and peace and prosperity, bringing joy and happiness, shall be the portion of those who will live on the earth during the thousand years that follow. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
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« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2008, 12:44:10 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Why I Love The Jew
by A. Edwin Wilson


WHY I LOVE THE JEW

My attitude toward and regard for the Jew is a matter of recognition and appreciation - a recognition of my indebtedness to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and my appreciation for their many blessings. These have created within me a love for them. I will classify the blessings under two heads: First, material, and second, spiritual. I will not at this time attempt to enumerate Israel's blessings to the Gentiles in the fields of music, art science, medicine, finance and literature, but choose to speak only of Israel's contribution to World War I and World War II.

In World War I when the tide of battle was going against the Allies because of an ammunition shortage, it was a young Jewish scientist who came to the rescue. Natural resources which produce acetone, used in the manufacture of TNT, became exhausted. David Lloyd George, who was the prime minister of England at the time, advertised extensively for someone to produce a formula for synthetic acetone, and within a short time such a formula was on his desk. It had been developed by Dr. Chaim Weizmann. With a mass production of this product, gunpowder was available in great abundance. And with the resumption of the attack by the Allies, armed with sufficient ammunition, the tide of battle turned in favor of the Western Allies. This event, incidentally, was an occasion for the issuance of the Balfour Declaration which was to open Palestine as a national homeland for the Jews. For political reasons this Declaration was repudiated by the issuance of the White Paper, and the doors of the homeland were virtually closed to Israel. The present and continued state of the suffering of England can be attributed to her breaking faith with her Jewish benefactors.

Not only did World War I come to a close because of the blessings of Israel, but the same is true of World War II. As the Jews fled persecution in Germany, three individuals, namely, Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, and Albert Einstein, left at various times and by different routes. Soon after coming to America they were brought together manifestly by the Lord God Almighty, and pooling their separate findings in the realm of atomic research were able to produce a formula for the splitting of the atom. All of us remember the dropping of the atom bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima which brought the activities of World War II to a sudden cessation. Again, the promise of God made to Abraham, "Thou shalt be a blessing, " was fulfilled.

The material blessings we have received from the nation of Israel are innumerable, and I speak now of three spiritual blessings for which not only I but all the redeemed will be forever indebted to the Jews. First of all, Israel gave us our God. God, the true and living God, is Jehovah, and we read in Genesis 9:26 that He is the God of Shem. The Jehovah of the Old Testament, who is Jesus Christ of the New Testament, is the descendant of David and of Abraham. He was called the King of the Jews at His birth and again at His death. John the revelator designated Him as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

I have eternal life because of my personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. According to the Word of God, He alone can save: and Israel was the channel through which God determined that He should come into the world. In the second place, not only did I get my God from Israel, but the revelation which has been given by God, called the Holy Bible, was given to me by the nation of Israel. According to Romans 3:1-2, the oracles of God were committed unto the Hebrew people; therefore, if it is an oracle of God it must of necessity have been given through a Jew, and if it was not given by a Jew, then it was not an oracle of God. In the light of Scripture every book in the Bible was written by a Jew, including the Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles, for Luke himself was a Grecian Jew.

The third great blessing of Israel to all people is yet to be manifested. The Jews are to be Jehovah's witnesses to the four points of the compass. They are the ones who will fulfill the prophecy of Matthew 24:14. They are the ones who will evangelize the world by the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom during the tribulation and the millennial reign of Christ.
 
Because of these things, how can I do other than love the Jew? I am supremely conscious of two expressions from the Word of God ", , . and I will bless them that bless thee" (Genesis 12:3), and "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,' they shall prosper that love thee" (Psalms 112:6). Now you know why I love the Jew!
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« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2008, 12:54:39 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson


TO THE JEW FIRST

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth,' to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).

It has not been so long since I heard a discussion between two servants of the Lord, relative to the Jew in God's purpose. One contended that God was through with the Jew, that he was cast off and that any effort to evangelize him would be futile. The other contended that not only was the Jew still very much in God's program, but that also in this present dispensation the gospel was to be preached to the Jew FIRST. This discussion sent me back to my Bible to see "What saith the Lord." In the next few articles in this chapter I hope, D. V., to give you the result of my study in the word of God, pertaining to the Jew and his place in God's plan of the ages.

Since the Apostle Paul was the one used by the Holy Spirit to give us God's order as pronounced in Romans 1:16, I began a study of the life and ministry of Paul as set forth in the Acts of the Apostles. Three days after Paul's conversion as recorded in the 9th chapter of Acts, the Lord commanded Ananias to go to Paul and minister unto him. Ananias remonstrated with the Lord hoping to be spared this meeting with the arch-persecutor of the Christians. But the Lord insisted that he go, and in Acts 9:15 we read, "But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." You will note that when Paul was set aside to be an apostle to the Gentiles, he was also set aside to go to the children of Israel. This is important because Paul was not an apostle to the Gentiles alone, as so many think, but also to the Jews. Not only was Paul also an apostle to the Jews, but as we follow his missionary journey, we will find he went to the Jews FIRST.

In Acts 9:20 it says, "And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God." This tells us that the first preaching that Paul did was in the synagogues where the Jews were assembled. Again in Acts 9:22 we read, "But Paul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus proving that this is very Christ." We have the second reference to Paul's preaching, and it is to the Jews; and again in Acts 9:28, 29. "And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him." This third reference to his preaching shows him disputing with the Grecians, who were Helenists or Grecian Jews.

"And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they had also John to their minister" (Acts 13:5). Here we find Paul and Barnabas beginning their first missionary journey, and on the Island of Cypress in the city of Salamis, they were preaching to the Jews in the synagogues. After some unpleasant experiences with false prophets in Paphos and the sorcerer Elymas, we find Paul and Barnabas at Antioch. "But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down" (Acts 13:14). Here Paul preached to the men of Israel.

The opposition in Antioch became so furious that Paul announced his intention of turning to the Gentiles. "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, 10, we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46). Mark this verse of Scripture well, for many superficial readers of the Word reason that here is the time and place that Paul turns his back upon the Jews. In this brief study you will see that Paul says this very thing THREE TIMES. Now back to verse 46 quoted above. WHY did Paul say it was necessary that the word of God should FIRST have been spoken to the Jew? I will tell you why-it is because during Paul's entire ministry the gospel was to be preached to the Jews first. You will notice that whereas Paul says in verse 46, ". . . 10, we turn to the Gentiles," that in the very next city to which he went, which was Iconium (Acts 14:1), he and Barnabas went immediately to the synagogue of the Jews and preached to the Jews, and also the Greeks, and a great multitude of both Jews and Greeks believed. Here is what Paul did. When the Jews in Antioch refused to receive the gospel, Paul then turned to the Gentiles of THAT SAME CITY. His turning from the Jews to the Gentiles was strictly a local experience and NOT national; nor was it world-wide, for you see in Acts 14:1, that he went to the Jew FIRST in the very next city.
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« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2008, 12:56:35 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

"And on the sabbath day we went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither" (Acts 16:13). When Paul reached Philippi, in answer to the Macedonian call, he goes on the sabbath (the day on which Jews worshipped-not Christians) down along the riverside where the Jews worshipped for reason of ablution if they were not in the synagogue, and there he found a number of women. (Had there been ten Jewish men, they would have had the worship in the synagogue.) Here we see in Macedonia, Paul is still going to the Jew FIRST.

"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered and risen again from the dead, and that Jesus whom I preach unto you, is Christ" (Acts 17:1-3). In Thessalonica, Paul goes to the Jews FIRST. Why does the Scripture say in the second verse quoted above, "". . . as his manner was. . ."? I will tell you why-because Paul was not disobedient to the heavenly vision but preached the gospel according to God's command, "". . . to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews" (Acts 17:10). Paul and Silas in Berea go to the Jew FIRST.

"Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him" (Acts 17:17). While Paul is waiting at Athens, he goes to the synagogue and preaches the gospel there in Athens to the Jew FIRST.

"After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth. .. " and he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks" (Acts 18:1 and 4). Paul in Corinth is found preaching the gospel to the Jews first and also to the Greeks, but we find in the 6th verse of the same chapter, "And when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." Because of the opposition, Paul says, "". . . henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles."

Here again we have the same experience of Paul in Antioch-turning from the Jews to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46). This is the second of the three times Paul says, "I am going to the Gentiles"; and here, as the first (Acts 13:46), we find it is local, not national nor world-wide. Look-in the very next city into which Paul goes from Corinth, which is Ephesus: "And he came to Ephesus and left them there; but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews (Acts 18:19). He went immediately into the synagogue of the Jews, and preached the gospel to the Jew FIRST.

Acts 19:8 reveals to us that three months of Paul's preaching in Ephesus was in the synagogue, to the Jew FIRST, and also to the Greek: "And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God."

"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Here where Paul is speaking to the elders of the Ephesian church he tells them that his witness was "to the Jew first, and also to the Greeks." Notice, however, that the Jew is still mentioned FIRST.

In Paul's defense before Agrippa (Acts 26:19, 20, 23) he says, "Whereupon, 0 king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision; but showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. That Christ should suffer and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles." Paul tells us that he preached first unto the Jews of Damascus and Jerusalem, and then to the Gentiles. In verse 23, he speaks of the light unto the people (Jews) and to the Gentiles.
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« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2008, 12:58:49 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

In Acts 28: 1 7 we read, "And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together." Paul is a prisoner in Rome calling for the Jews, but in Acts 28:28 he says, "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it." Paul for the third time says that he is turning to the Gentiles.

This closes the missionary journeys of Paul, and we have no record of any further ministry. We can only judge his turning to the Gentiles in the light of the two previous times which are found in Acts 13:46 and Acts 18:6 where he went to the Jews FIRST in the very next city.

Really, there is just one thing for us to settle for ourselves, and that is the question-Are we living in the same dispensation in which the Apostle Paul lived and ministered? I am answering that for you: WE ARE, and if the gospel is still the power of God unto salvation, as Romans 1:16 says, it is still TO THE JEW FIRST. The giving the gospel to the Jew first is as binding on us as it was on the Apostle Paul.

The experience of two great missionary statesmen and founders of missionary organizations, should be very informing and helpful to us. I refer to J. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, and John Wilkinson, founder of the Mildmay Mission to the Jews - two great men of God and their pre-eminently successful Missions. On the first day of every year, J. Hudson Taylor would make out his personal check to the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, and send it to his friend John Wilkinson, with this notation - "To the Jew first." John Wilkinson received this check with a grateful heart, and in turn made out his check to the China Inland Mission, mailing it to his beloved friend, J. Hudson Taylor, with the notation-"and also to the Greek."

Can it be possible that the gospel is still the power of God unto salvation but not still to the Jew first? I don't think so. In Deuteronomy 32:8, 9 we learn that the Lord established the nations of the world in time and place according to the number of the children of Israel. Jacob (the children of Israel) is the lot (measuring rod) of His inheritance. Acts 17:26, 27 reveals unto us that the times appointed and the boundaries of national habitation - which were determined according to the location and number of the children of Israel - are for the specific purpose of enabling mankind to find God. Since Israel was chosen and designated to be Jehovah's witnesses to the ends of the earth (Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 43:9-12), all the rest of mankind appears in time and place in relationship to the Jew. That is the reason the gospel is to the Jew first.

A brief summary of the Apostle Paul's ministry, as recorded in Acts, is our criterion for accepting his statement that it is to the Jew first. In Acts 9:15 we see that Paul was a chosen vessel to the Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel. He began his ministry (9:20) going into the synagogues of the Jews first to preach Christ. In 9:22, arriving in Damascus he preached to the Jews. In 9:29, back in Jerusalem he preached first to the Grecian Jews. In 13:2-5, at Salamis he preached to the Jews first. In 13:14-16, at Antioch he preached to the Jews first. In 13:46 Paul spoke of turning to the Gentiles, but in 14:1, when he came to Iconium he went to the Jews first. These two experiences show us that when he had gone first to the Jews in a certain city and they refused to hear him, he then turned to the Gentiles in that city, but going into another city he went to the Jews first. In 16:12, 13 he went on the sabbath (Jewish day of worship) to the riverside where prayer was made (plenty of water for Jewish ablutions), where a group of women had gathered (it takes ten men for a synagogue). The above experiences make it very plain that this was a group of Jewish ladies meeting for worship, and here Paul again went to the Jews first.
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« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2008, 01:00:52 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

In 17:1-3, at Thessalonica Paul went to the Jews first AS HIS MANNER WAS. This explicitly states that it was Paul's practice and procedure to go always to the Jew first. In 17:10, in Berea Paul went to the Jews first. In 17:17, in Athens Paul went to the Jews first. In 18:1-4, at Corinth Paul went to the Jews first. In 18:19, at Ephesus Paul went to the Jews first. In 19:8, again in Ephesus Paul went to the Jews first. In 20:21, visiting the Ephesian elders on his way to Jerusalem, Paul called attention to the fact that he gave his witness to the Jews first and also to the Greeks. In 26:20, in his defense before Agrippa, Paul explained that he went to the Jews first at Damascus, Jerusalem, and all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles. In 28:17, arriving in Rome and being imprisoned, Paul first of all called the chief Jews together. This brief summary of Paul's missionary journey shows unmistakably and irrevocably that Paul went ALWAYS TO THE JEW FIRST.

The missionary plan and program as unfolded by our Lord's ministry and teaching was after this order. At His first advent He went ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He sent His disciples ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Not until after His death, burial, resurrection and ascension was the way opened for the Gentiles. The tenth chapter of Acts, recounting Peter's experience in the household of Cornelius, manifests the door being opened to the Gentiles. In 10:45 we learn that when the door was opened to the Gentiles, it was to the Jews and ALSO to the Gentiles, rather than to the Gentiles INSTEAD OF to the Jews. This marks a new departure in the preaching of the gospel, one that is seldom recognized by Bible students today.

I want to repeat that when the Lord opened the way for the Gentiles, it was on the basis of preaching the gospel to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles, rather than of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles instead of to the Jews. In Acts 11:18 we read again that God ALSO granted repentance unto the Gentiles. Israel isn't completely cast off; Israel isn't completely set apart; Israel today still figures foremost in God's plans and purposes. "And if SOME of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in AMONG them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree" (Romans 11:17). This verse of Scripture and its context give the truth of God concerning Israel, to the effect that the Gentiles are grafted in among the Jews; and if any Gentile bears any fruit at all to the honor and glory of the Lord, it is because of the sap which flows from the Jewish roots, up through the Jewish trunk, out through the Gentile branch.

In Romans 11:25 God tells us that not all Israel is blinded but just part of them, so that today there are many in Israel who see the truth. Neither is this blindness permanent. Israel's blindness will be lifted when God completes His work of taking out of the Gentiles a people for His Name, to be united with that remnant of the election according to grace from Israel, to comprise the body of Christ in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile. God's unlimited and unqualified blessing upon any missionary endeavor demands that such endeavor be in accordance with His eternal purpose which is stated in Romans 1:16 as to the Jew FIRST, and ALSO to the Greek.

To summarize God's program for missions: At the time of our Lord's first advent the gospel was to be preached only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. After Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit, it was to be preached also to the Greeks, but to the Jews first. After the rapture of the saints and the sealing of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists (see Revelation 7) the gospel is to be preached only to the Gentiles. The Jews who are to be saved in, during, and out of the great tribulation will be saved as a unit-a nation shall be born in a day - by the visible appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ unto them as their Messiah, "and so all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26).

In I Corinthians 14:40 the Spirit of the Lord says, "Let all things be done decently and in order ." In a universe created and controlled by God Almighty who possesses omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, all things of necessity must be in order. In the beginning God dealt with the human race as a whole. They failed to obey Him and He called out Abraham, and from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob came the Hebrew people to whom were committed the oracles (words) of God. From them came the Messiah, and they in turn were to be Jehovah's witnesses to the ends of the earth. The Gentiles had no part at this time in God's purposes (see Ephesians 2:11-13). Because of Israel's refusal to receive their Messiah and to carry the glad tidings concerning Him to the ends of the earth, God set the nation aside temporarily (Romans 11:25), and placed Gentiles in among the remnant of Israel (Romans 11:17). To this group were given the privileges of carrying the gospel to all. (This was done in the first century.) The commission as given by God was to be followed after this fashion: When the Lord Jesus Christ himself came He said, ". . . I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24). When He sent out the twelve He said, ". . . 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" (Matthew 10:5, 6). There was to be no witness to the Gentiles until after His blood was shed (Ephesians 2:13). With His death, the commission concerning the preaching of the gospel was extended to take in all creatures (Mark 16:15). But with the inclusion of the Gentiles in the Great Commission we find a particular order being commanded by the Lord. In Luke 24:47, though it was to be among all nations, they were to begin at Jerusalem. In Acts 1:8, again it is stated that their witness begins in Jerusalem. In this connection we have the order as given through the Apostle Paul: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,' to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). Romans 11:28 also calls attention to the fact that though the Jews are set aside as a nation they are still beloved for the fathers' sakes.
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« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2008, 01:02:58 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

These passages of Scripture give to us the progression or order in giving the gospel to the ends of the earth. It was preached until Pentecost to the Jews only. Afterward, it was preached to all nations, both Jew and Gentile; but because of Israel's particular place in the favor of God, it was to be preached to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Regardless of what one's interpretation or concept of this may be, history bears out the fact that wherever and whenever God's order is carried out-to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile-the Lord's blessings and provisions have proven that this is His divine order for missions. Let us sum it up in these words: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature-to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile."

WHY IS THE GOSPEL TO THE JEW FIRST. . . Because therein is the righteousness of God revealed. Please note Romans 1:16, 17a, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. . ." Paul's discussion of the revelation of the righteousness of God is after this fashion:

1. Paul declared that he is a debtor both to the Greek and to the Barbarian; both to the wise and to the unwise. 2. He declared he is ready to preach the gospel to them that are at Rome, because he is not ashamed of the gospel. 3. He is not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. 4. The Divine order is TO THE JEW FIRST, and also to the Greek. 5. The above four declarations are made because therein is the righteousness of God revealed. The most common error in the interpretation of this portion of Romans is due to an oversight. I have found very few Bible students anywhere who realize that the righteousness of God is revealed in preaching the gospel to the Jew first, but after calling it to their attention, it is easy for them to see it. The question which now arises and which I propose to discuss is "wherein is the righteousness of God revealed by the preaching of the gospel to the Jew FIRST."

In God's plan of the redemption of the human race, He is using two instruments, or two servants, in carrying out His purpose. The first instrument, which is also the primary one, is "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." He is the Seed of the woman which shall crush the serpent's head; the Seed of Abraham in whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed; the Lion of the tribe of Judah; the Son of David whose throne shall be established forever, and the Son of God who put away sin by sacrificing Himself, even Jesus the Christ.

The second instrument God is using in the redemption of the human race is the Nation of Israel. God called both Israel and Jesus His Son and His firstborn. God called both Israel and Jesus out of Egypt. God established Israel's primogeniture, and it still prevails.

In Genesis 9:26-27 it says, "And He said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." God's blessings are upon Jehovah, the God of Shem. Japheth, the progenitor of the Gentiles, is promised enlargement. There are about 13,000,000 descendants of Shem in the world today, but Japheth has 1,800,000,000 descendants.) Yet Japheth has to dwell in the tents of Shem.

How can nearly two billion Gentiles dwell in the tents of only thirteen million Jews? The significance of that statement is to be found in the fact that all of Japheth's blessings are to come from Shem; that is, today, the Gentiles are to receive their blessings from the Nation of Israel.

God gives expression to the same thought in Genesis 12:1-3, "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 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 key expression of these verses is to be found in the latter part of the third verse, ". . . in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed," that is, all the families of the earth, both Jew and Gentile, shall be blessed by Abraham and his posterity. Abraham's posterity is referred to in the Scriptures as the seed of Abraham.
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« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2008, 01:05:11 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson

When the word seed is in the plural it means Israel collectively, and when the word seed is singular, it means Jesus Christ individually; so that the blessings of Abraham to all families of the earth are to be both from Israel and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now the blessings of Shem, Abraham, and Israel to all the families of the earth are threefold:

1. God made Israel a depository for His truth. The oracles of God were committed unto Israel. Every book in the Bible was written by a Jew. The Jews kept the Bible intact until the coming of Christ, the establishment of the Christian Church, and the closing of the Canon of the Scriptures.

2. God appointed Israel to be the channel through whom the personal Redeemer was to come. Jesus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, was the descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

3. Israel was designated to be Jehovah's witness to the whole world that all men might know of Jesus the Christ. Israel has fulfilled two of the purposes for which God brought her into being; namely, she has given us the Bible, and she has given us the Saviour of the world; but she has failed to be a witness to the nations. All the prophetic prophecies of God are in agreement that Israel will yet fulfill her third mission and preach the gospel to every creature in all the world.

In Romans 9:4, 5 we read, "Who are 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, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen." You will note the sevenfold difference between the Jews on one hand and the Gentiles on the other hand; namely, the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the law, the service, the promises, the fathers-and to these is added an eighth; namely, ". . . as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever."

The children of Israel are the only people with whom God has dealt nationally, with whom He made covenants, with whom His glory dwelt, to whom He gave the law, from whom He required a service, and to whom He made promises. These facts reveal the difference between the Israelites and the other peoples of the world. In Amos 3:2 God says, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth."

Though Israel refused to be God's witness to the whole world, and even though from 70 A.D. to May 14, 1948, she was cut off nationally, she has never lost her primogeniture. God's righteousness is revealed in giving her priority in point of order in the reception of the gospel. The very righteousness of God demands that the gospel be to the JEW FIRST, because salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22).

Leading missionary statesmen tell us that over two-thirds of the human race has never come in contact with the gospel, much less has even heard of it. After two thousand years of Christian missions two-thirds of the human race is still untouched. There must be a reason, and there is a reason. The world will never be evangelized until the nation of Israel is converted and becomes in reality, Jehovah's witnesses. We read in Romans 11:13-15, "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" Note the following: Paul tells us that he magnifies his office as the apostle to the Gentiles in the hope that the Jews might be saved. Paul's diligence and unceasing efforts to reach Gentiles with the gospel was to stir up the nation of Israel to jealousy that they might be saved. In verse 15 Paul tells us he wants to see Israel saved because it will be then and then only that the entire world will have the opportunity to hear the gospel. Many people tell me that there are so many Gentiles who have never heard the gospel of Christ in comparison to the number of Jews, that we should exert every effort to reach the Gentiles at this particular time. The Scriptural truth is that the Gentiles will never be reached in any appreciable numbers until Israel is converted.

It is because of God's purpose in Israel; it is because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance; it is because the Gentiles shall dwell in the tents of the Jews; it is because Israel is to be a blessing to all families of the earth; it is because Israel is to be Jehovah's witnesses; it is because of all these things that the righteousness of God is revealed in the preaching of the gospel to the JEW FIRST, and also to the Greek.
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« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2008, 01:07:19 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Why We Must Give The Gospel To The Jew
by A. Edwin Wilson


WHY WE MUST GIVE THE GOSPEL TO THE JEW

"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said unto him, They have no wine. Jesus said unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour has not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew,.) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine,. and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse,. but thou has kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory,' and his disciples believed on him" (John 2:1-11).

A Significant FIRST

There is something very significant about the "first appearances" in the Bible, and this, the first miracle which our Lord performed is no exception. The fact that it is His first miracle, coupled also with the fact that it is symbolic, demands our closest attention. Get the whole picture of the miracle in your mind. On the third day, Christ and His mother attended a marriage. When they wanted wine, it was revealed that they had none. After Jesus' remonstrance with His mother, He set things in motion to supply the wine. There were six empty waterpots of stone near by. Jesus commanded them to be filled to the brim with water. After the waterpots were filled with water, Jesus again commanded the servants to draw out and carry it to the governor of the feast. When the governor tasted the water which had been changed into wine, he observed that it was good. Calling the bridegroom to him, he complimented him upon having good wine at the last instead of the customary way of saving the bad wine for the last. This was the first miracle Jesus performed. It manifested His glory and caused His disciples to believe on Him. This is not just simply an account of the miracle which the Lord performed, for Christ did not perform miracles for the sake of miracles. His miracles were performed not only to minister to those present, but primarily to teach the fundamental lessons which would not be easily forgotten. The need ministered by the miracles of our Lord, though satisfied in each instance, continued to exist elsewhere. However, because the lesson involved had been taught, we do not find the miracle repeated, and we can very readily see that the primary purpose of the miracles was for instruction in the deep things of God for those who have ears to hear.

The Significant LESSON

Now let us consider the lesson which our Lord is teaching in this first miracle of His ministry. Our Lord's ministry is spoken of as being for three days.

Hosea 5:15 says, "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early." Again in Hosea 6:2 we read, "After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." We learn that the Lord is going to have two days between His two advents, and on the third day He is going to raise up Israel to live again in His sight. II Peter 3:8 tells us, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." We learn that one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day with the Lord. Interpreting Scripture in the light of Scripture, we know that all miracles and parables about marriage and marriage feasts are typical of the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper that follows.
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« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2008, 01:08:54 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Why We Must Give The Gospel To The Jew
by A. Edwin Wilson

Mary Typifies Israel

Mary, the mother of Jesus, typifies the nation of Israel because she is the one through whom the SEED had come. Mary attempts to dictate to Him what to do, even as the nation of Israel attempts to dictate to the Lord. She is rebuked for not having reverence for the Lord of Glory.

Nation of Israel Without Joy Now They were without wine at the feast; and Israel at the time of Christ's return will be without that which alone brings joy to the heart of Israel: The Saviour-King.

Man's Number for Six Thousand Years
 
Six is man's number, and the empty waterpots of stone show us Israel's condition at the time of our Lord's return. Jesus now turns to the servants and commands them to fill the empty waterpots with water. You will notice that it was not until the waterpots were filled with water that the water became wine. Water is a symbol of the WORD of God. Christ could have filled the empty waterpots miraculously, but the main lesson of this miracle is that He commanded the servants to fill the six empty waterpots with water.

A Command to Christians

Prophetically, that is a commandment to us to give the gospel to the Jews, and until they have been given the WORD, the miracle transforming the water to wine cannot be effected, and they can know no joy. You will recall in the teaching of the "valley of dry bones" that no miracle took place until the Word of God was preached to the dry bones, and in this first miracle of the Lord, nothing supernatural happened until the WORD was given. God can save Jews without our help, but for reasons, good and sufficient to Him, it has pleased Him to bring about reconciliation between Himself and Israelites through the ministry of redeemed men and women. THE GOSPEL MUST BE PREACHED TO JEWS BEFORE THEY CAN BE SAVED.
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« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2008, 01:11:20 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
The Necessity Of Witnessing To The Jew First
by A. Edwin Wilson


THE NECESSITY OF WITNESSING TO THE JEW FIRST

"Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord I with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) There his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth,' but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe,' nevertheless let us go unto him.

Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go" (John 11:1-7,11,14,15,38-44).

It is apparent that our Lord is telling something far more important than a simple recitation of the facts concerning the death of Lazarus.

This raising of Lazarus is the seventh miracle, or "sign," as John calls them, recorded in John's Gospel. The whole experience of Lazarus' death and resurrection is a sign given us by our Lord.

Now it is for us to learn the sign and its significance. When we remember that the Lord Jesus Christ was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, we know that this sign pertains to Israel. This incident in the life of Lazarus is a type of Israel's rejection and restoration.

In verse 11, Jesus said, "Lazarus sleepeth"-meaning, his death is not eternal. He also tells us in the same verse that he is going to awaken Lazarus from his sleep.

Israel's rejection is not permanent, only temporary, and she shall yet be restored in all fullness of glory. Romans 11:25 says, "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 fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Now in this verse we note two things-the blindness is partial and it is temporary.

It is true, the two days that our Lord is absent from the land, Lazarus is in a state of sickness and death.

In II Peter 3:8, we read, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. " Here we learn that one day is as a thousand years; and the significance of the two days teaches that our Lord is going to be out of the land for two days (two thousand years), then come back into the land, or return to the earth. Israel is in a state of rejection during His absence from the earth, and when He returns it will be for the the purpose of raising or restoring Israel to her place of spiritual leadership. (Israel's restoration nationally speaking will take place prior to that time. In fact, Israel was restored to her place among the nations on May 14, 1948.)

Now let us observe how Jesus raised Lazarus. First of all, the fact is established that Lazarus is dead; and we know that Israel is actually cut off from the Lord spiritually. But in connection with this do not forget Romans 11:28, "As concerning the gospel - they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. "

The Lord could have removed the stone miraculously, or he could have called Lazarus to come through the stone, but He did not. The Lord could have by the exercise of His supernatural power removed the graveclothes Himself from Lazarus, but He did not. We learn from this that our Lord could save Israel by a miracle and without the help of any human being if He chose to do so; but it hath pleased God Almighty to save both Jew and Gentile through the instrumentality of the preached Word as given by redeemed men and women.
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« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2008, 01:13:13 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
In Witnessing To Jews, There Are Stones To Be Removed
by A. Edwin Wilson


IN WITNESSING TO JEWS, THERE ARE STONES TO BE REMOVED


First, there is the stone of GENTILE PREJUDICE. We never have a real Jewish problem until the Jews confess Christ as their Saviour. The problem is "What shall we do with these Hebrew Christians?" They are outcasts from their own people, and in too many of our Christian churches, they are not welcome. It has been stated that it is easier for a Jew to accept Christ than for a Gentile to accept a Jew. God forbid that any of my readers should ever lift a hand or utter a word against the lost sheep of the house of Israel, for God's curse will rest upon such a one (Genesis 12:3). But that stone of prejudice must be removed.

Second, the stone of JEWISH HATRED OF CHRISTIANS AND OF CHRIST must be removed. Up until the time of Hitler's purge of the Jews, practically all of the programs had been instigated by and in the name of the so-called Christian church. A brief survey of Jewish persecution will show you in a short time why the Jews have hated Christ and His followers. That stone can only be removed by Christians manifesting the love toward Israel that God required.

Third, the stone of IGNORANCE must be removed. Contrary to popular opinion, the Jew does not know even the Old Testament. The majority of them believe absolutely nothing. He must be taught the Scriptures, which is a task requiring great patience.

After the stone is removed and Israel comes forth, she is still bound by graveclothes. Her Judaistic and legalistic inheritance and training constitute her graveclothes. This can only be removed by leading her into the full light of the glorious freedom which we have in Christ Jesus.

Yes, Israel could be saved by supernatural power of the living Christ without the aid of any human witnessing, but God has not so pleased to work. His plan is for redeemed men and women to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, which surely includes the Jew. In fact, God's order is "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Will you heed the words of the Saviour and help to "take away the stone" and "remove the graveclothes" from the lost sheep of the house of Israel?
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« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2008, 01:15:34 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
First Things First
by A. Edwin Wilson


FIRST THINGS FIRST

 
The creation of the universe and the revelation of God pertaining to man's redemption set forth God's work as being progressive and orderly. If our lives are conformed to His plan for us there must be order also in them. God has had a way of requiring certain things first of all at the hands of His creatures.

First, in the garden of Eden the Lord required that man recognize the sovereignty of God by abstaining from eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Second, it was not long until He required that the first-born of man and beast should be dedicated to Him. Third, He required a tenth of the increase of man's possessions for His own. Fourth, He required the first fruits of the harvest to be publicly dedicated to Him as a part of worship. Fifth, in Matthew 6:33 He required that His disciples seek the kingdom of God first. Sixth, in Matthew 7:5 He required us to first cast the beam out of our own eyes. Seventh, in Matthew 5:24 He required us to first be reconciled to our brothers. Eighth, in Matthew 23:26 He says to cleanse first the inside of the cup. Ninth, in Matthew 10:6 He required His disciples to go first and only at that particular time to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Tenth, in Romans 1:16 in the inauguration of His world-wide mission program, He required that the Jew should be first, that is, given priority.

It is my firm conviction that modern mission programs are floundering on the sea of despair and failure because such programs refuse to recognize Israel's priority. The majority of Christians with whom I am acquainted are missing great blessings of the Lord, both spiritual and material, because they refuse to acknowledge that the gospel is to the Jew first in this present era. Our Lord's mission program briefly is as follows. At His first advent the Lord Jesus Christ Himself with His disciples went only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. At His second advent, during the time of the Tribulation the Lord's evangels (the hundred and forty-four thousand of Revelation 7) will go only to the Gentiles. In between these two specific missionary movements all believers in the Lord are commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel to EVERY creature, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

A careful study of the chronology of the New Testament will reveal that Romans 1:16 was written some thirty years after the inauguration of the present Christian era and therefore, is in force today as much as it was in the day in which it was written. The Apostle Paul, who is the teacher and example for modern missions, always obeyed the instructions of Romans 1:16 and went to the Jews first, regardless of the place in which he ministered. The manifold blessings of God upon groups and individuals are placed in line with God's plan and purpose. The failure of the majority to put the Jew first results in their following the course that is at a tangent with God's line of blessings.

As I think of the blessings of the Lord awaiting any who will claim them, I beg of you to consider God's desires concerning His firstborn son Israel (Exodus 4:22). Notice just a few Scriptures. In Mark 16:15 the Lord says, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." In Luke 24:47 the Lord says, "". . . should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." In Acts 1:8 the Lord says, "... ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." And in Romans 1:16 the Spirit of the Lord says, "to the Jew first."

These particular passages emphasize two things for certain. First, the gospel is to be preached in all the world to every creature. Second, it is to be to the Jew first. "Beginning at Jerusalem" means to the Jew first because Jerusalem was the capital of Jewry. Several questions may have arisen by now. First, you live in a community where there are no Jews and have no opportunity to witness personally to the Jews. You put the Jew first by praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalms 122:6). You give God no peace until He has restored Israel (Isaiah 62:6, 7). In the next place, when you make distribution of your tithes and offerings you put the Jew first by giving to those who are witnessing among the Jews. You yourself individually are responsible to the Lord for the handling of your funds and you cannot rid yourself of that responsibility by giving them to a church and permitting it to distribute them as it sees fit.

For years we have tried to put the Jew first in our prayers, thoughts, giving and ministering and I want to give you this personal testimony that the blessings of the Lord have been too numerous to enumerate. Believe me, Genesis 12:3, "I will bless them that bless thee" is as true today as when the Lord uttered it hundreds of years before the birth of our Lord. Now is the time to put first things first.
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« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2008, 01:17:16 AM »

Prophecy - Signs
Home Or Foreign Missions?
by A. Edwin Wilson


HOME OR FOREIGN MISSIONS?

Recently several have asked questions wanting to know our evaluation of mission programs. Some are interested in what is called home missions while others are interested in foreign missions, and still others favor African missions and such like.

It is interesting to note in the Word of God that there is no such division of missions as listed above. We find two things pertaining to God's plan of evangelizing the world, first as stated in Mark 16:15 where Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." According to this commission there is no such thing as home and foreign missions, but rather the gospel is to be preached to every creature in the world regardless of where he is.

After Christ's ascension, and with the calling of Saul of Tarsus to be the great missionary apostle, God laid down His order of missions and it has not been changed unto this good day. With the setting aside of Israel as a nation, and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, the door of the gospel was opened also to the Gentiles. God's love for His people did not change, though they were set aside as a nation; and the divine order of missions, instead of being divided between home and foreign, is very simply expressed in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

God divides missions into two orders: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (or Gentiles). He has never changed that order; and many mission programs suffer, and many missionary - minded Christians are robbed of blessings because they do not recognize and follow God's appointed order. Franz Delitzsch, the great commentator of a century ago, said that any mission program which did not recognize Israel's priority as stated in Romans 1:16 was like a bird trying to fly with one wing.
 
Jesus has outlined it very easily and simply in His Word. For instance in Luke 24:47, He tells them: "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." In Acts 1:8, He again tells them to begin in Jerusalem: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Then as stated in Romans 1:16, He says "". . . to the Jew first. . ."

Every city into which the Apostle Paul went he ministered to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles, even though he was called to be an apostle to the Gentiles. There is but one apparent reason for his phenomenal success as a witness to the Gentiles, and that is, he followed the divine order of going to the Jews first.

If one is the least bit interested in missions, it will repay a hundredfold to put Israel first on the mission list and then consider the Gentiles. This, from the Word of God.
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