“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
“I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.” (Ecl. 7:25)
I just recently was handed an email from one of our readers expressing his disagreement with a statement I made in my article “Upon This Rock” from a few months ago. I was going to write this reader a reply regarding his complaint but decided instead to write this article in the hope that it will be beneficial to other readers as well. I will share the e-mail with all our readers at this point and proceed from there.
The reader wrote: “Mr. Vermaat, in his article “A Christian Israelite view upon this rock” says: “Jesus commission [commissioned] Paul to labor among those of the dispersion and not to any heathen, non-Israelite people.” The scripture says: Isaiah 8:20: To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.
If I apply this to Bob Vermaat it fits because Paul calls himself an apostle to the Gentiles – who are not Israelite peoples. Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: Romans 11:25 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 fulness of the Gentiles be come in. Romans 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for [his] mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
So, Bob Vermaat is a deceiver and not worthy to call himself a follower of the Messiah Yehoshua!!”
From time to time we who write the various articles in our magazine will get a critique about some points or wording in the things we write. When that happens, we will always consider that critique for its constructive criticism and file it away for future use and reference. We certainly appreciate the views of our readers. Sadly, though, this e-mail is neither constructive, nor sound. Indeed, it makes me very sad for it shows that this e-mail sender, even though he reads Christian-Identity material, seems oblivious to what Paul is saying in the verses quoted.
So, with this said let us look at the word gentile, the word that my detractor seems to have trouble with as to the way I used it. To begin with let us look at how Webster’s dictionary describes it. Webster, “gentile” = of the same gens, i.e. Tribe, clan, related by birth or descent,= race, non-Jewish”. End of quote.
Now we know that “gentile” is a confusing word, for as far as I know there is no linguistic foundation for the word in the English language, thus it is often misapplied. Now let us look at Strong’s Concordance and see what it has to say about the word “gentile” as quoted in the verses mentioned. “Gentile” #1484 in the Greek New Testament. “Gentile, Greek, Ethnos” = a race, (as of same habit) i.e. A tribe, (same lineage), non-Jewish. Heathen = Godless, nation, people.
From this Greek word Ethnos, we get our English words ethnic or ethnically, meaning people of a common bond, such as birth or descent and habit. So, you can see that Gentile does not describe a rainbow coalition of every Tom, Dick or Harriet on this planet. In all his travels Paul basically followed the paths of the migrating Israelites in dispersion. As his custom was, in basically every place, Paul went to the local Synagogue to dispute with them and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to convert them to follow the Lord. The Synagogue was and is another place where we find the Ethnic groups that are bound by both birth and descent.
I still maintain that Paul followed the Lord’s command when he said, “But go ye rather to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matt. 10:6). Now, we must realize that the migrating Israelites during their long journey over many years eventually lost complete sight and knowledge of their God and in that case, can be classed as Gentiles, but only in the sense that they were non-Jewish and Godless and not because they had become non-Israelites, but because they had lost touch with their heritage and identity. When we read the Epistle to the Romans in the Ferrar Fenton Bible we begin to understand that a large part of this Epistle is a discourse between Paul and some Jewish distracters. In chapters 10 and 11 Paul explains that God has never forgotten his for-ordained people, Paul also uses the words Israel and Gentile interchangeably and in 11:14 Paul indicates that those Gentiles he is talking about are, in reality, kinsmen, in other words, Israelites. In this same chapter Paul uses the analogy of the Olive Tree.
Now I am sure that most if not all of you know that the Olive Tree is the symbol or emblem for Israel. Paul explains that the wild olive branch, which constitutes the recently converted Israelites of the dispersion, can and will be grafted back into the natural Olive Tree, indicating a redemption by being brought back into a relationship with the God from whom they have been divorced, whereas the natural branches that are broken off are those that then and now reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ, i.e. the Talmudic Jew. Furthermore, Romans 9,10,11 are a sure indication that Paul is primarily talking about kinsmen, namely Israelites. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that all of Paul’s converts were, of necessity, Israelites, but that is not made clear in the Epistle to the Romans. I am sure that most readers agree with the facts that I have brought out in this missive, but I am also equally sure that some, oblivious to Paul’s meaning, simply repeat the mantra that flows from the pulpits of most mainstream churches. In closing I would like to address Mr. Emails last statement where he mentions that I am a deceiver and not worthy to call myself a follower of Messiah Yehoshua. Ouch! If I may, Mr. Emails, I would like to point to a prophetic message in Zephaniah where the prophet states, “For them will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent.” (Zep. 3:9) The old Hebrew language has faded into the past, so has the N.T. Greek, but the great majority of our Israel nations embrace the English tongue, so do a great many people in the non-English speaking countries. It has become the medium by which most people on this globe can and do communicate. Paul calls himself an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, thus a Hebrew, yet Paul communicated and wrote his Epistles in Greek, the most common language at his time, but that time is past and now in the twenty-first Century the most common language is English. With that said I will make my final statement and it is this, by the Grace of God and the in-working of the Holy Spirit I endeavor to, with all that is in me to serve the Lord God and my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ and to hopefully by my writing be a beacon for Biblical truths and a benefit to all our readers.
PS. If you, dear reader, have differing thoughts or something to add, I would be delighted to hear from you. You can contact me via letter to either our U.S. or Canadian address or via email.