God's Grace is For All

Some have suggested that God grants more grace to the descendants of Israel than to Gentiles. Is that true? Is there Anglo-Israelite superiority with God? What is God's plan for those Gentiles that are not Israelites?

COGwriter

This article focuses on grace and race.

Basically, it is the result of a request I received online in the Fall of 2012.

Notice an email I received from a non-Israelite person in Africa that included the following:

No, there was no racial troubles at all. It was just the sentiments expressed by some brethren of African origin (Black as some would say). We had a barbecue at family day and during that social meeting I noticed that some brethren were misunderstanding the message of the Israelitish heritage. They felt it precluded them from God's favour and they felt it was being used to justify wrongs commited against the african race in the past. They also felt that there was a subtle hint of superiority complex in as far as that doctrine is concerned...Anyway may you do an article just explaining the relevance and equality of all brethren despite race in God's Church.

I basically responded that God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, KJV) and does not love those of Israelite backgrounds any more than He loves those with Gentile (non-Israelite backgrounds). God has a plan. His plan is to offer salvation to ALL, and nearly all, irrespective of their race who will ultimately accept His generous offer. And I said that I would prepare an article.

This is that article, and it is intended to address those issues in more depth. A related sermon is Race and Grace: Do you view race as God does?

We Are Saved By Grace

Christians are not a saved race.

Notice how one is saved:

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10, NKJV throughout, unless otherwise noted)

You cannot save yourself. Nor does the ethnic background of your parents change whether or not you can be saved.

Per the tenth chapter of the Book of Genesis, all nations and races sprang from Japheth, Ham and Shem, the three sons of Noah. From the three sons sprang 16 grandsons of Noah.  If God did not want various races and ethnic groups, He would not have 1) made it possible for there to have been multiple races or 2) preserved the races during the Flood.

But Aren't the Descendants of Israel the Chosen People?

Some may point to passages, however, showing that God chose the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel to be His people. Notice, for example, the following:

6 "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)

God chose the descendants of Israel to receive the promises God gave to their ancestors.

Why?

To be examples.

God had several plans for the descendants of Israel, one to be an example of how good His laws were:

5 "Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. 6 Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'

7 "For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? 8 And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? (Deuteronomy 4:5-8)

But, to a major degree they failed to do that. But with God's Spirit, Christians magnify (Isaiah 42:21, KJV) and exalt that law and make it honorable (Isaiah 42:21, NKJV).

Another plan was for them to be an example for those of us called in this age:

1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? (1 Corinthians 10:1-22)

Christians, who are called the firstfruits (Revelation 14:4), are to learn from the example of the children of Israel, and not sin as they did. Nor adopt pagan practices. Like the children of Israel were to be examples for Christians, as firstfruits, Christians are to be examples to those in the world now ("the light of the world" as Jesus said), but also for those who will be called later (1 Corinthians 15:23-25; cf. Revelation 20:4-6). The Apostle Paul praised the Thessalonians who turned from idols to Christianity as examples to others (1 Thessalonians 1:6-10).

(There were also physical promises to those descendants that are addressed later in this article.)

Some may point to the following indicating that there is a spiritual bias:

21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things."

26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He." (John 4:21-26)

But notice that Jesus said that while the Samaritans were confused, the time would come that they would be able to worship as well. The Samaritans did not worship God in spirit and truth as they had combined paganism into their worship.

Jesus told His followers to try to reach everyone and that He was here to also save Gentiles:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

Notice also:

8 "Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,
My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench,
Till He sends forth justice to victory;
21 And in His name Gentiles will trust." (Matthew 12:18-21)

Yet, this idea that God would call the Gentiles, was not, at first, truly understood by the apostles. And actually, it took two visions from God, as well as an outpouring of His Spirit for the apostles to understand that salvation was available to all.

Notice this account from Acts 10 and 11:

10: 1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!"
4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?"
So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do." 7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.

9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
14 But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean."
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common." 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate. 18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there.
19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are seeking you. 20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them."
21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, "Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?"
22 And they said, "Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you." 23 Then he invited them in and lodged them.
On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself am also a man." 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?"
30 So Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.' 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God."

34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ — He is Lord of all — 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins."

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Then Peter answered, 47 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

11:1 Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, 3 saying, "You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!"
4 But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: 5 "I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. 6 When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying to me, 'Rise, Peter; kill and eat.' 8 But I said, 'Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.' 9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, 'What God has cleansed you must not call common.' 10 Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea. 12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man's house. 13 And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, 'Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.' 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"
18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." (Acts 10:1-11:18)

Later, the Apostle Paul really that his primary mission was to reach those that were NOT physically Israelite:

1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

6 But from those who seemed to be something — whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man — for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. 7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), 9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. (Galatians 2:1-9)

And that is probably part of why God had him taken to Rome and various other lands (Greece, Sicily, Malta, Asia Minor, Crete, Rhodes).

Notice also:

42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us:

'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.'"

48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:42-48)

6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. 7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: "Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they."

12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. 13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, "Men and brethren, listen to me: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:

16 'After! this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.'

18 "Known to God from eternity are all His works. 19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath." (Acts 15:6-21)

19 "Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. 21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come — 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles." (Acts 26:19-23)

7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. 8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, 9 and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:

" For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles,
And sing to Your name."

10 And again he says:

"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!"

11 And again:

"Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!"

12 And again, Isaiah says:

"There shall be a root of Jesse;
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In Him the Gentiles shall hope." (Romans 15:7-12)

15 I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient — 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation, 21 but as it is written:

"To whom He was not announced, they shall see;
And those who have not heard shall understand." (Romans 15:15-21)

The Gentiles were part of the plan as the New Testament shows, but so also were the Jews (Acts 26:23).

Jews are Not Less Worthy, Nor Gentiles More Worthy

The late Dr. Herman Hoeh correctly wrote:

Let's have one fact understood! God condemns DISCRIMINATION. It is a sin! Unfair treatment because of race or color is always wrong. ...

Did All Races Spring from Adam ?

Here is a question that has puzzled rnany! Is Adam the father of the Mongolian, the Hindu, the Negro and the \White European? Or was Adam the father of only the Nordic people? Are Negroes and Orientals descendants of "pre-Adamites? "

Notice the plain, simple Bible answer: "The God that made the world and all things therein made of one [blood] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth . . . having determined the bounds of their habitation" ( Acts 17 :24-27 ) . Every NATION sprang from one man, This is a "Thus saith the LORD! " Notice I Corinthians 15:45: "The first man Adam became a living soul." There were no "pre-Adamites." Adam was the first man. From him came Eve. Eve is "the mother of all living" human beings ( Gen. 3:20) . The Scripture is plain. All nations and all races came from Adam. ... Adam was made by God. (Hoeh H. The Race Question. Plain Truth, April 1957).

The Bible is clear that there is no salvation difference between those who are Jewish physically and those that are not:

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)

9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. (Colossians 3:9-11)

11 For there is no partiality with God. (Romans 2:11)

28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. (Romans 2:28-29)

The above is also proof that those that are not racially of Israelite heritage are not less worthy in God's sight either.

Some Catholics and some Protestants believe that those of Israelite heritage are much more subject more to God's wrath than God's grace. We will briefly look at two such false assertions, the first from a Catholic monk and the second from an early Protestant leader.

Notice the following account of taken during an inquisition in France:

On the 14th of September, 1492, about thirty persons were committed to the inquisitional dungeons of Toulouse upon a charge of Judaism...Of there was Anthony Ferrar, who had been a pastor or teacher in the Sabbatarian church of that city. After remaining in prison ten days, he received a visit from an Italian monk named Gregory...

Greg.--But Anthony, you must be a liar and a deceiver, for I have been credibly informed that yourself, and all of your friends, were of the cursed race of Israel.

An.--It is false, we were honest Frenchmen, and Christians, followers of Jesus... An.--We say that the ten commandments are still binding.

Greg.--Yes, and instead of observing the festivals of the Holy Church, and honouring the holy day of the Lord, on which he rose from the dead, you were accustomed to meet for worship upon the old Sabbath, or Saturday.

An.--We did, indeed, rest and attend divine worship upon the seventh day, even as God commanded. (As quoted in Davis, Tamar. A General History of the Sabbatarian Churches. 1851; Reprinted 1995 by Commonwealth Publishing, Salt Lake City, pp. 87-88).

Keeping the Sabbath does not make people physically Jewish and does not change race, despite the views of various inquisitors and others who may seem to claim differently. There are Catholics who believe that history has been negatively impacted by secret Jews who pretended to be Christian, but who held to Church of God doctrines, such as the Sabbath.

Antisemitism has no place in real Christianity. It is horrific that various Catholics and Protestants have taken a different position.

The next position to discuss is from Protestant reformer John Calvin (Middle French: Jean Cauvin) who was born on 10 July 1509 and died on 27 May 1564. He became a leading French theologian of the Protestant Reformation. He broke away from the Roman Catholic Church in his 20s. John Calvin later fled to Basel, Switzerland. He started to have increased fame in 1536 when he published the first edition of his work improperly titled as Institutes of the Christian Religion. He worked to persuade people to his faith in Geneva and elsewhere.

Notice what John Calvin taught about Jews:

"The Lord so blinded them and delivered them up to a reprobate mind, when he wished them to be examples of horrible blindness and prodigious stupidity [specula horrendae caecitatis, et prodigiosi stuporis]."

"I have had much conversation with many Jews: I have never seen either a drop of piety or a grain of truth or ingenuousness—nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew."

(Puckett D. John Calvin's Exegesis of the Old Testament. Westminster John Knox Press, 2001, p. 86

He simply does not view Jews that way Jesus or His followers in the Philadelphia remnant of the Church of God do. John Calvin never seemed to understand that "God is love" (1 John 4:8,16). Martin Luther, perhaps I should add is no better (see also The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong).

Martin Luther wrote:

My heart is fuller of these thoughts than my tongue can tell. I have come to the conclusion that the Jews will always curse and blaspheme God as all the prophets have predicted. He who neither reads nor understands this, as yet knows no theology, in my opinion. And so I presume the men of Cologne cannot understand the Scripture, because it is necessary that such things take place to fulfill prophecy. If they are trying to stop the Jews blaspheming, they are working to prove the Bible and God liars ("Martin Luther's to George Spalatin," from Luther's Correspondence and Other Contemporan, Letters, trans. by P. Smith (1913), Vol. 1, pp. 28-29).

Furthermore he wrote:

I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that those miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews and who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them…They are so blind and stupid that they see neither the words found in Genesis 17 nor the whole of Scripture, which mightily and explicitly condemns this lie…They are real liars and bloodhounds who have not only continually perverted and falsified all of Scripture with their mendacious glosses from the beginning until the present day. Their heart's most ardent sighing and yearning and hoping is set on the day on which they can deal with us Gentiles as they did with the Gentiles in Persia at the time of Esther…The worse a Jew is, the more arrogant he is, solely because he is a Jew — that is, a person descended from Abraham's seed, circumcised, and under the law of Moses. David and other pious Jews were not as conceited as the present-day, incorrigible Jews...I wanted to present this to us Germans so that we might see what rascals the blind Jews are and how powerfully the truth of God in our midst stands with us and against them (Medieval Sourcebook: Martin Luther (1483-1546): On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543)

Martin Luther advised his followers:

...to burn down Jewish schools and synagogues, and to throw pitch and sulphur into the flames; to destroy their homes; to confiscate their ready money in gold and silver; to take from them their sacred books, even the whole Bible; and if that did not help matters, to hunt them of the country like mad dogs (Luther’s Works, vol. Xx, pp. 2230-2632 as quoted in Stoddard JL. Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 1922, p.99).

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch (Martin Luther (1483-1546): On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543 as quoted from Luther's Works, Volume 47: The Christian in Society IV, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971). pp 268­293).

On the other hand, Herbert Armstrong taught:

The fact that they are Jewish and we are not makes no difference {to how his party was treated}…In many ways I have had a deep personal interest in Jerusalem since December 1, 1968. On that date, in a formal ceremony at the palace of the late President Shazar, Ambassador College entered into this joint participation formally with Hebrew University and the Israel Archaeological Society. ‘Do you want a formal, legal contract?’ I was asked. ‘My word is good,’ I replied. ‘And I believe yours is, too, without any legal entanglements.’ That was good enough for them, and our friendship and mutual participation has grown ever since…Mayor Kollek had done a remarkable job of restoring this area. There were about four synagogues -- each in a different room in the same building -- now very modern, very bright and beautiful on the interiors. I was really impressed with all the plans Mayor Kollek told us he has in mind for renewing and re-beautifying the city of Jerusalem...On July 4 there will be a big ‘4th of July Celebration’ in Jerusalem, hosted jointly by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Teddy Kollek, and myself…We've been participating in this foundation for twelve years. A whole square in front of the main headquarters building in the newer area of Jerusalem is named ‘The Herbert W. Armstrong Square’ (Armstrong H. Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Volume 2, 1986/1987).

We in the true Church of God are not antisemitic.

Christians Have Been Called Jews and Are Subject to Persecution

There are Catholic private prophecies encouraging persecution that may be pointed to as partial justification to provide the type of persecution that the Philadelphia remnant will be subject to according to the Bible (Daniel 11:28-35; Matthew 24:9-14; Revelation 12:13,17; 14:8-12).  

History shows that some Greco-Romans consider Christians who hold to early Jewish Christian practices to be Jews. 

Notice that this goes back until at least the 4th century according to a Catholic priest and researcher B. Bagatti:

From 326…The authors speak of “inhabitants” and of “Jews”, and these can only be the Judaeo-Christians…

Epiphanius…these Christians of Jewish race {are} not to be called Christians or Jews but Nazarenes.  A late confirmation that the community of Jerusalem was not considered “Christian” but Nazarene is found in the relation of Severus ibn al Moqaffa (10th century) inserted into the History of the Councils...(Bagatti B. The Church from the Gentiles in Palestine, p. 58 and Bagatti. The Church from the Circumcision, p. 13)

The Bible (Acts 8:1) and secular history records that Christians were for centuries considered to be a secret cult or a secret sect by various ones.  In the end, the faithful in the Church of God will refuse to accept the new ecumenical emperor worship that the militaristic Beast and False Prophet will encourage; they will resist this religion even though it will likely use the name “Catholic.”  

Orthodox seers and writers have also taken positions against those with original Judeo-Christian practices.  One example would be a 1249 A.D. vision of “Blessed Hieronymus Agathaghelos” which claimed that “the blasphemies of the Sabbatians have stained and soiled for many centuries” (Cited in Tzima Otto, p. 135). Dr. Otto herself refers to those with Nazarene/Judeo-Christian beliefs as “Christian traitors” (ibid, p. 240). 

Notice something from Dr. Helen Tzima Otto discussing aspects of that writing:

…those trying to…move Christian worship from Sunday to Saturday, (under the excuse that this is only explicitly mentioned in the Scriptures)…Here obviously there is a major controversy among people pretending to be Christians but promoting the Sabbath day (like the Talmudic Rabbis do)…Yet what kind of punishment are these traitors from within Christianity going to receive from…the Public Executioner of the Sabbatians…?  That would imply that the people these Christian traitors are conspiring with, will eventually against them…(Tzima Otto, pp. 144, 240)

So the Orthodox scholar suggests that Sabbath keepers point to the Bible as proof of their position and that is apparently an unacceptable “excuse” to her.  She apparently feels that they are just Jews who are pretending to be Christians.  She also believes that some who will support the Greco-Romans will betray them (which is consistent with Daniel 11:32-35).

Also notice what is in a book written in the 19th century by an anonymous Catholic clergyman writing under the name Maurice Pinay:

In the Middle Ages, the Popes and the Councils were successful in destroying the Jewish revolutionary movements which appeared within Christianity in the form of false teaching and which were introduced by those who were Christians in appearance but Jews in secret. The latter then recruited upright and good Christians for the arising heretical movement by persuading the latter in a crafty way.

The secret Jews organised and controlled in secret manner the movements, which were the creative and driving force of wicked false teachings, such as those of the Iconoclasts, the Cathars, the Patarines, the Albigensians, the Hussites, the Alumbrados and others. (Pinay, Maurice. The Plot Against the Church, Part Four Chapter One. Translated from the German and Spanish editions of the same work. 1962)

The above book is still recommended by and for many Catholics (though some others distance themselves from it).  Hence, some of the Greco-Romans have considered some of whom we in the Continuing Church of God include in our tracing of our spiritual ancestors (like some of the Cathars and Albigenses) to have been a secret Jewish group that only professed Christ.

Several Greco-Romans have taught that a secret sect with Jewish practices that opposes idols will harm the “Catholic Church,” and that many believe this is bad and will require action. And part of the "final phase of the work" will be that Christians will give their testimonies when persecuted:

12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls. (Luke 21:12-19)

This is an aspect of the final phase of the work that most prefer not to wish to embrace, but is never-the-less going to come to pass.

9 That this is a rebellious people,
Lying children,
Children who will not hear the law of the Lord;
10 Who say to the seers, "Do not see,"
And to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things;
Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. (Isaiah 30:9-10)

The Continuing Church of God is attempting proclaim the entire message and not just the "smooth things" that many seem to prefer to hear.

So, do not be surprised if charges from antisemites affect you. Even if racially you do not resemble any Jews, spiritually you do.

Who Did Jesus Die For?

Did Jesus mainly die for the Jews or people of Israelite or some other heritage?

No.

God sent His Son for everyone:

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

God loved the whole world--all of humanity--that love is not limited any one race--nor is it not given to people of all races and combinations thereof.

Notice also the following:

8...God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another...16 God is love... (1 John 4:8-11, 16)

There is not one verse in the entire Bible that teaches that the atonement was meant to be limited to any particular race.

Luke 19:9-10 shows that Jesus came to save the lost:

9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Notice that Jesus came to save the lost, not just a small amount of elect people.

John 12:47, Jesus stated:

47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world...

The idea of Jesus coming to save more than a few is clearly being taught. Will He not succeed?

1 John 4:14, John states:

14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

Again, can Jesus be Savior of all without offering salvation to all?

John 12:32, Jesus stated:

32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.

Is Jesus intending to draw all to Him in order to eternally punish most or to save them?

Hebrews 9:28 teaches:

28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Notice that Christ will bear the sins of many (the word in Greek, polus, implies most). So while not all will accept His sacrifice, clearly many will.

Colossians 1:16, Paul states:

16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

Does Jesus intend for most of His creation to suffer eternally? Is God not intelligent enough to plan a creation that will result in nearly all being saved?

Romans 5:15-21, Paul states:

15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Since Jesus' free gift is for all men, will not all humankind have an opportunity to receive it? Since by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous certainly many does not mean a few. For grace to reign, does this not mean that most will accept it?

1 Corinthians 15:22, Paul states:

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

All died in Adam, all will be made alive in Christ. All will have an opportunity for salvation, not just a few.

Notice what Abraham declared in Genesis 18:25:

25 Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Certainly properly offering salvation to everyone is the right thing a loving God would do. Does your church believe that God will do right by all?

Colossians 1:20, Paul states:

20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Notice that Jesus will reconcile all to Himself having made peace through His sacrifice. A sacrifice that will be made available to all.

Revelation 15:3-4, states:

"Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested."

Notice that all the nations shall come and worship God. Notice that the implication of verse 5 is that only very few will not glorify God's name--which means that people of all races will.

John 5:21-22, Jesus taught:

21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,

Has your church judged those that even God the Father has not judged? Does Jesus want to give life to the many or to the few?

What does your church teach?

The true Church of God teaches that the real God is a loving God who has a plan that will offer salvation to all and that nearly all (probably over 99.9%) will accept Jesus' offer of salvation.

1 Timothy 4:9-11, is Paul teaching that Jesus is the Savior of all men or only a few?

9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.

Hebrews 7:24-27 teaches:

25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Notice that Jesus is able to save the uttermost--they are those that are not now near to Him. Also, notice that Jesus died for all and not just a small amount of elect.

Isaiah 25:6-8 teaches:

6 And in this mountain
The LORD of hosts will make for all people
A feast of choice pieces,
A feast of wines on the lees,
Of fat things full of marrow,
Of well-refined wines on the lees.
7 And He will destroy on this mountain
The surface of the covering cast over all people,
And the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces;
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth;
For the LORD has spoken.

Notice that this feast is for all people, that the veil over people will be destroyed, and death will no longer occur.

Revelation 21:6 shows:

6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts..."

Does this sound like Jesus intends that salvation will be available to all or only a relative few?

2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Paul teaches:

14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Notice that Paul clearly teaches that Jesus has died for all. Not a few elect (like the Calvinists teach), not the relative few that accept Christ in this age (as most Protestant/Baptist/Evangelicals teach), not a minority of humankind (as most Roman Catholics teach).

For Jesus to die for all, ALL must have an opportunity for salvation. And since God is all knowing, certainly He knows how to have a plan of salvation where the most possible will be saved.

2 Peter 3:9, Peter explains:

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

In Luke 3:6, the New Testament is very clear that:

...all flesh shall see the salvation of God

Salvation will be offered to all who ever lived, with a few understanding the offer in this age, and everyone else in the age to come.  The Bible simply does not teach that there is a limited atonement only for the elect.

1 Timothy 2:1-6, Paul wrote:

1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time...

Notice that God desires that all are to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Can not God make His desire, His will, come to pass? Also notice that Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for all--not just the relatively few elect--and His testimony will come to pass in due time. Are some improperly judging before due time?

Ephesians 1:10, Paul states:

10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him.

Notice when He will gather all: in the dispensation of the fullness of the times. Does your church teach this? If not, does it really understand what the Bible teaches.

Psalm 77:7-9 asks:

7 Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
8 Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?

Since the intended answer to all those questions is "no", then it should be obvious that a time for God to be favorable and pour out His mercies will still come.

Isaiah 25:9 teaches:

9 And it will be said in that day: "Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."

Notice that these people are not yet saved. This is a time in the future. When is the time? Actually it is the time the veil over then nations will be destroyed (Isaiah 25:7).

Psalm 65:1-2 shows that there is a time in the future that all flesh will come to God:

1 Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; And to You the vow shall be performed. 2 O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.

Does your church really understand that ALL FLESH will come to God?

Psalm 22:27-28 teaches :

27 All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
28 For the kingdom is the LORD's,
And He rules over the nations.

Has this happened? Are not many of the original families of the earth dead as nearly all perished in the great flood? Thus, this is something other than the millennium. This is a prophecy for the future when all will truly have an opportunity for salvation.

Psalm 72:4-5 teaches:

4 He will bring justice to the poor of the people;
He will save the children of the needy,
And will break in pieces the oppressor.
5 They shall fear You
As long as the sun and moon endure,
Throughout all generations.

Has this happened? Is this not for the future? Since this discusses "all generations" is it only for a millennium?

Psalm 86:8-9 teaches:

8 Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
9 All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.

Since there are nations that died out during the flood and afterwards, how can this be unless God has a time in the future for this to occur?

Notice that while God currently lets the nations weary themselves in vain, Habakkuk 2:13-14 shows that eventually all will have knowledge of God:

13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts
That the peoples labor to feed the fire,
And nations weary themselves in vain?
14 For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea.

The fact that it is of God that they now do not, clearly supports that God will offer salvation when He decides.

Philippians 2:9-11, Paul states:

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Notice that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. How can they do that if they did not even hear the name of Jesus Christ in this life? Now it is important to distinguish just acknowledging Jesus is the Christ does not grant salvation--even the demons know (James 2:19). But certainly acknowledging that Jesus is the Christ is an important step and one that is necessary for salvation (Acts 2:38-39;4:10-12).

Lamentations 3:31-33, Jeremiah teaches that God has a plan of compassion for those He has cast off:

31 For the Lord will not cast off forever. 32 Though He causes grief, Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies. 33 For He does not afflict willingly, Nor grieve the children of men.

He does not afflict willingly, but according to His mercies for the plan which will allow Him to show the most possible compassion.

Jeremiah 16:19-21 shows that Jeremiah asks and then God answers that once God will cause those Gentiles who inherited lies to to come to Him:

19 The Gentiles shall come to You
From the ends of the earth and say,
"Surely our fathers have inherited lies,
Worthlessness and unprofitable things."
20 Will a man make gods for himself,
Which are not gods?

21 "Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know,
I will cause them to know
My hand and My might;
And they shall know that My name is the LORD.

God will at that time cause them to know Him. This simply has not yet happened, but will. And notice that this will be a time that people will realize that they have relied on false religious ideas of others (often called traditions). An article of related interest may be Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings.

Ephesians 2:4-7, Paul states:

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Notice that His grace is shown in the ages to come. Has your church judged Him before the time?

Titus 2:11, Paul states:

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (NKJV)

Has the grace of God yet appeared to all men? Of course not. Thus, there is certainly a prophetic implication of this passage by Paul.

What about the expression "has appeared"? Does that mean that God's grace has been seen already by every one? No. There is a mistranslation of word order.

Here is the literal word order (Strong's numbers for the Greek words):

2014............. 1063...3588..5485. 3588. 2316. <9999 >......... 4992....3956.. 444
hath appeared... For.. the... grace... of.... God...that bringeth.....salvation to all..men (Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright (c) 1994 by Biblesoft).

Thus a more literal translation is that:

It has appeared that the grace of God brings salvation to all men.

Paul goes on to state that for those who now know, they need to living Godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:12).

1 Corinthians 4:5, Paul states:

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.

Notice that God will be praised and that judgment is not be before the time when the Lord comes. Why then do most professing Christians have a judgment that condemns most who have ever lived?

1 Corinthians 15:28, Paul states:

28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Notice that this prophesy specifically states that a time is coming when all things will be subject to Him. This will be the time that all who have not had an opportunity will have an opportunity for salvation.

Revelation 21:3 teaches:

3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Notice that there is a future time when they shall be His people.

As the following verses show, the truth of God will be hidden until a certain time:

Matthew: 10:26:

26 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

Mark 4:22-23:

22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.

Luke 8:17-18:

17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. 18 Therefore take heed how you hear.

Luke 12:1-2:

2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

It should be clear to all that God has His time table for when He will have the truth known in order to call all. And that that time has not yet come. It happens in the "age to come":

Matthew 12:32:

32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

Mark 10:29-31:

29 So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

Luke 18:29-30:

29 So He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life."

Hebrews 6:4-6:

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

The fact that almost all sins, including blasphemy against Jesus can be forgiven in the "age to come," shows that even current sinners can still be forgiven after the resurrection (see also What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrection?). The fact that many of the first shall be last and the last first shows that there will be some called later in the age to come. The fact that the time all who blasphemed the Holy Spirit will realize that they are the only ones NOT forgiven in the "age to come" shows that all others can be (see also What is the Unpardonable Sin?).

Ephesians 3:8-11, Paul mentions that he was going to be able to preach things hidden to some of the Gentiles:

8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Colossians 1:26-28, Paul says about the same thing:

26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

The mystery has to do with God's plan to offer salvation. It was HIDDEN from generations, hence there was no way that most could have had salvation prior to Christ. And it is still a mystery that most do not know even today.

Isaiah 65:17-20, teaches when the hundred year period will occur:

17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
And joy in My people;
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
Nor the voice of crying.

20 "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.

Notice that the above shows that there will be some who after everything is restored will be accursed. Thus while most will accept the offer of salvation, some few sadly will wish to remain in their sins ("sin is the transgression of the law", 1 John 3:4, KJV).

Perhaps it should be pointed out here, that it has been documented as far back as the second and fourteenth centuries, that some who professed Christ did understand that there was a one hundred year time period where those that had not been called would have an opportunity for salvation (please see article Hope of Salvation: How the Church of God Differs from Protestantism).

1 Corinthians 4:5, Paul tells Christians:

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.

Notice that the time of final judgment has not yet come.

Many who have professed Christ apparently never understood the "age to come" that Jesus and others in the New Testament taught about (or the Old Testament for that matter).

God Has a Plan, But it is NOT John Calvin's

At risk of repeating several of the scriptures mentioned previously, let me state that God has a plan.

Before the foundation of the earth, God had a plan to send His son to die for the sins of many (Hebrews 9:28).

Calvinists, who get their name from John Calvin, believe that God has a plan and seemingly believe that the plan is quite racially biased (more on that plan is in the article John Calvin, Calvinism, TULIP, and What is Predestination?). Basically it teaches that God had a plan to condemn the entire world, but because of His love, He chose about 2% or less of the world, and almost all Caucasians, to be saved. Though the Calvinists do not word it that way, that is really what there plan teaches when you connect the dots.

God has a plan, but it is not John Calvin's.

God sent His Son who taught against racial injustice and who was willing to not only violate certain segregation practices in His day (John 4:7-9), He also praised  those of a race that the religious leaders shunned (Luke 10:30-37; 17:15-19). 

God has a plan where former enemies will come together of different ethnicities as it says in Isaiah 19:23-25:

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.

24 In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria — a blessing in the midst of the land, 25 whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance."

God has a plan where people will be judged, not by outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7) nor power (Revelation 20:12), but by their character (1 Samuel 16:7; Romans 2:16) and works (Revelation 20:12-13). Notice the following passage about the white throne judgment:

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. (Revelation 20:12)

God has a plan where:

4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:4-5, KJV)

God has a plan which will result in people of every nation and race will be saved:

9...I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"  (Revelation 7:9-10)

God has a plan where people of every nation will be able to rule:

9...You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.  (Revelation 5:9-10)

God has a plan where "all flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Luke 3:6):

21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved. (Acts 2:21)

God has a plan.

And His plan will come to pass (Acts 2:21; Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 46:10).

What About Anglo-Israelism? Doesn't That Teach Racial Superiority According to Race?

While some who twist the scriptures for their own personal and political reasons claim Anglo-Israelism and that race is a factor in salvation, that, as the scriptures previously shown demonstrate is not what the Bible teaches.

So then, what of Anglo-Israelism and the world today? If it is of any relevance, what is it? Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong understood that the Bible taught about this:

Notice now again how God first called Abram, and the twofold nature of His promises: "Now the Eternal 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 in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 12:1-3).

Notice the twofold promise: 1) "I will make thee a GREAT NATION" -- the national, material promise that his flesh-born children should become a great nation … 2) "... and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- the spiritual promise of GRACE. This same promise is repeated in Genesis 22:18: "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." This particular "one seed" refers to Christ, as plainly affirmed in Galatians 3:8, 16.

Right here is where those who profess to be "Christians" -- and their teachers -- have fallen into error and scriptural blindness. They have failed to notice the twofold promise God made to Abraham. They recognize the messianic promise of spiritual salvation through the "one seed" – Christ…

We have seen how both sets of promises, right of birth and gift of grace, were unconditionally made by God to Abraham. Both the birthright and the sceptre were repromised by the Eternal to Isaac and to Jacob. But the fact that should open your eyes, as a joyous truth newly discovered, is that from that point these two sets of promises became separated! The sceptre promises of the kingly line culminating in Christ, and of grace through Him, were handed on to JUDAH, son of Jacob and father of all Jews. But the astonishing truth is that the birthright promises were never given to the Jews!

Let that be repeated! Realize this! The birthright promises were never given to the Jews!

Turn to these passages -- read them in your own Bible!

"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah ..." (Gen. 49:10).

"... But the birthright was Joseph's" (I Chron. 5:2). (Armstrong HW. THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN IN PROPHECY. 1954, 1967, 1972, 1975, 1980 edition, Worldwide Church of God)

Of course it is well understood that the sceptre went to Judah and was handed down through the Jews. King David was of the tribe of Judah . All succeeding kings of David's dynasty were of the House of David, tribe of Judah. Jesus Christ was born of the House of David and the tribe of Judah.

So, while birthright promises passed through the Anglo-Israelite descendants, that has NOTHING TO DO WITH GRACE in the 'salvation sense' of the word.

Notice that the Bible is clear that the birthright was given to Joseph, not to Reuben, the firstborn, or Judah, from whom Christ traced His genealogy):  

1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel--he was indeed the firstborn, but because he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel, so that the genealogy is not listed according to the birthright; 2 yet Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came a ruler, although the birthright was Joseph's (1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

  Furthermore, notice these prophecies for the latter days by Jacob specifically for Ephraim and Manasseh:  

16 Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth…(Genesis 48:16)  

19 "…He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations." 20 So he blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel will bless, saying, 'May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!' " (Genesis 48:19-20).

The fact that Jacob/Israel specifically placed his name on Ephraim and Manasseh for blessings implies that they would likely be the ones to first be subject to other prophecies, as “the time of  Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), which occurs with the start of the Great Tribulation.  This blessing from Jacob given to “the sons of Joseph” was also referred to in the New Testament (Hebrews 11:21 ), which also indicates that there was something important about it. 

Also, notice these prophecies for the latter days by Jacob:

1 And Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:  

2 "Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father…

22 "Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall.

23 The archers have bitterly grieved him, Shot at him and hated him.

24 But his bow remained in strength, And the arms of his hands were made strong
By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),

25 By the God of your father who will help you, And by the Almighty who will bless you

With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

26 The blessings of your father Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers (Genesis 49:1-2,22-26).  

It is only the United States and the groups of English nations now composed of the United Kingdom (including Scotland, Wales, Britain, and Northern Ireland), Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who have historically fulfilled these prophecies given to Abraham and his descendants.  And although Manasseh was born first, God had Jacob give the “right hand” blessing to Ephraim (Genesis 48:13-14) and God later declared, Ephraim is my firstborn” (Jeremiah 31:9).  This may be why Ephraim emerged as a major global power before the USA.  

It should also be mentioned that since Jacob’s name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28), that in the statement in Genesis 48:16 he is clearly indicating that biblically one or both of the sons of Joseph could be referred to by the name Israel.

Perhaps this would be a good time to explain that although we faithful in the Continuing Church of God believe that the American and British descended peoples are basically descended from Manasseh and Ephraim respectively, we are not part of the “Christian Identity Movement” and teach against racial prejudice (e.g. LOVE AND SALVATION FOR ALL RACES AND PEOPLES. Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God). Additionally, we do teach that God is calling some now who have Israelite or Gentile backgrounds and that ultimately God will offer salvation to everyone in every possible ethnic group. Furthermore, perhaps it should be mentioned that I personally believe that I am ethnically of Gentile stock and that I am not primarily a descendant of Israel, despite living in an Anglo-Saxon land.

Now it needs to be understood that, while the Anglo-Saxon descended peoples have received physical benefits because of the birthright, all need to realize that they will be the first affected by the Great Tribulation--there is a reason that the Great Tribulation is called in Jeremiah 30:7 the time of Jacob's trouble (Jacob the one who was later named Israel). More on this can be found in the articles Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel, Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves?, and When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?

Summary

Although there were certain physical promises and opportunities for those of Israelite heritage, since God is no respecter of persons, all can be saved.

The Jews are not less worthy of salvation than the Gentiles. The Gentiles are not inferior to the Jews or others of Israelite heritage.

Notice the following from the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God:

LOVE AND SALVATION FOR ALL RACES AND PEOPLES

Racial hatred is wrong.  While there can be racial differences, the Bible does not teach that one race is superior in His eyes to any other. The Bible commands all humankind to love their neighbors as themselves (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39; Acts 17:24-29). Jesus came to bring joy to all peoples (Luke 2:10). The Bible shows that salvation is now freely offered to both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 10:34-35; Romans 10:12-13; cf. Joel 2:32) and that God intends to save people “of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9). Christian love should be shown to people of all ethnicities (Romans 13:10; Luke 10:30-37). “Our God is the God of salvation” (Psalm 68:20) “And all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6).

God has a plan so that all can be saved, irrespective of race. God is NOT a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, KJV).

How are we saved?

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

God’s Word shows that God loves everyone (John 3:16-17). God also commands all mankind to love their neighbors as themselves (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39; Acts 17:24-29). Jesus came to bring joy to all peoples (Luke 2:10)--this is not limited to one race or group.  God's Word shows that salvation is now freely offered to both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 10:34-35; Romans 10:12-13; cf. Joel 2:32) and that God intends to save people “of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9). 

Not only can all be saved, prior to the age to come, God will save people of all races.

And that is the position of the Continuing Church of God.

A related sermon is Race and Grace: Do you view race as God does?

Notice also the following:

Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God's plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love  and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the 'Little Flock' and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved? A version of the main article was also translated in the Spanish language: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.

Thiel B. God's Grace is for all. http://www.cogwriter.com/grace-and-race.htm (c) COGwriter 2012/2013/2014/2015/2016 1231

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