This essay will examine the subject of the Jews as the chosen people of God. Whereas the historical Christian teaching is that the New Testament Church has replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people, many modern day Protestants now teach that the unbelieving Jews are still the chosen people of God, in spite of the fact that they have rejected their Messiah. The following article will examine the Scriptures of both the Old and New Testament to see what God himself, through his inspired writers, has to say about the topic.
The Old Testament Prefigures the New Testament: Before we begin our study, let us recall that the Old Testament pre-figures the New Testament. While the stories contained in the Old Testament are historically true, they are, at the same time, a foreshadowing of what was to take place - sometimes literally, sometimes spiritually - in the New Testament. For example: The story of Joseph is an allegory of Jesus. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, only to become the prince of Egypt, just as Jesus was betrayed by His brother's, the Jews, only to become the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There are many parallels between the story of Joseph and Jesus. From this allegory, we also know that at the end the Jews will realize what they have done, repent, and convert to Christianity, just as Joseph's brother's - the tribes of Israel - repented of what they did to Joseph.
Another allegory is seen with Moses who led the children of Israel out of slavery from the land of Egypt. This is another parallel of Jesus who leads us out of the slavery of sin. When in the desert, God fed the Israelites with "Manna from Heaven", and in the New Testament, Jesus feeds us with the True Manna from Heaven in Holy Communion. The Manna during Moses' day was only a "shadow" of the true Manna that Jesus would provide. "Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you; Moses gave you not bread from heaven, but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. ... Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die. I am the living bread which cometh down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world" (John 6:32,49-52).
The sacrifice of the Paschal lamb was a "type" of the Sacrifice of Jesus, who John the Baptist called "the Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). There are many parallels between the sacrifice of the Old Testament Paschal lamb and the Sacrifice of Jesus: one parallel is that Jesus died on the day the Paschal Lamb was sacrificed - Passover - showing that He was the true "Lamb of God" that the Paschal lamb merely pointed to.
The Old Testament also shows us, in a physical way, what occurs in our individual spiritual lives. The physical battles of the Old Testament often signify spiritual battles that we all must face to "enter the promise land". For example, after Moses led the "children of Israel" out of Egypt, God told them that they were to do battle with the seven Chanaanite nations, and that they were to utterly destroy them: "the Hethite, and the Gergezite, and the Amorrhite, and the Chanaanite, and the Pherezite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite, seven nations... thou shalt utterly destroy them. Thou shall make no league with them, nor show mercy to them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them... But thus rather shall you deal with them: Destroy their altars, and break their statues, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven things" (Deuteronomy 7:2-3,5).
Egypt signifies the world, or the ways of the world; the seven "nations" that God commanded the Israelites to utterly destroy, signify the seven capital sins, that we must do battle with. When we are told that the children of Israel "killed the women and children" this has a spiritual significance as well. Just as each "nation" has its women and children, so each capital sin has its women and children. The women signify the "occasions of sin", or those things which lead to sin. Just as women give birth, so occasions of sin "give birth" to sin: "if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of they members should perish, rather than that they whole body be cast into hell" (Matthew 5:29). In other words, remove any occasion of sin. What do the children signify? They signify "small sins" that eventually grow into big sins. If we do not overcome our lesser sins, or faults, they will grow into larger sins. It was necessary for the children of Israel to utterly destroy the nations, including the women and children: "we took all his cities at that time, killing the inhabitants of them, men and women and children. We left nothing. And we utterly destroyed them, as we had done to Sehon the king of Hesebon, destroying every city, men and women, and children" (Deuteronomy 2:34, 3:6). Similarly, we must fight the seven capital sins, and utterly destroy them; we must remove occasions of sin (women) and work to overcome even our smaller sins (children). There are many parallels that can be drawn from the Old Testament books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Joshua, and compared to the spiritual battles that we must face.
There are four ways to interpret the Bible. These four ways correspond the three theologican virtues - faith, hope, and charity - and to the faculty of reason. Anyone can interpret the Bible with their facutly of reason, for we all have a human reason; but faith, hope, and charity are supernatural gifts that are given by God, and without these gifts we will be unable to see these deeper truths contained within the Scriptures. Faith, is called the "pupil of the intellect" because it give us a supernatural vision to see things that we could not see without it. Without a pupil we are physically blind, and without the gift of faith we are spiritually blind. That is why we should all pray daily that God will increase our faith, for faith is a gift of God.
St. Augustine said: "The New Testament is contained in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New". It is the supernatural virtue of faith that enables us to see these Old Testament "types" and "shadows". St. Paul, because of his extraordinary role in the early Church, was given a great amount of faith. If you read his epistles he continually interprets the Old Testament as prefiguring the New (1 Cor. 10-11 is one good example). He even calls the Old Testament festival days "a shadow of things to come" (Col. 2:17). The Old Testament festival days are fulfilled in the New Testament festival days, such as Easter and Pentecost. These New Testament festival days often occur on the same day of the year as their Old Testament type.
That the Old Testament prefigures the New is an accepted fact even amongst Protestant writers. O. Palmer Robertson, a Protestant scholar, wrote the following:
"As the Israelites journeyed through the desert, God provided them with manna from Heaven, water from the rock, and a serpent on a pole. All these images found their fulfillment, not in more manna and water, or in a larger serpent on a taller pole, but in the redemptive realities that these Old Covenant forms foreshadowed. (see e.g. John 3:14; 6:51; 7:37; Romans 15:16) The very nature of the Old Covenant provisions requires that they be viewed as prophetic shadows, not as permanent realities".
While modern day Protestants recognize that the Old Testament prefigured the New, what they oftentimes fail to realize is that the Israelites of the Old Testament prefigured the Israelites of the New Testament; and the Israelites of the New Testament are Christians. The first Protestants were aware of this, as it has been taught by Christians since the beginning of the Church age. But for some reason, during the past few hundred years, many Protestants have departed from the historic teaching about the Jews. They have lost sight of what the New Testament clearly teaches, and reverted back to the Old Testament understanding of Israel.
If you notice, when God makes promises in the Old Testament, the promises are made to "the children Israel". This leads us to our first question: What, or who, are "the children of Israel"? What makes someone a "child of Israel"? And did Israel of the Old Testament find its fulfillment in the New?
The History of the Name "Israel": Israel is the name God gave to Jacob, the son of Isaac, and grandson of Abraham. "Thou shalt not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name. And he called him Israel. And said to him: I am God Almighty, increase thou and be multiplied. Nations and peoples of nations shall be from thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins." (Genesis 35:10-11). The name "Israel" when it is spoken of as a group of people is actually an abbreviated name for "the children of Israel", which means the descendants of Jacob. Since the Jews are the natural descendants of Jacob, they are the "children of Israel" in the Old Testament; they are, as the New Testament is careful to point out, the descendants of "Israel according to the flesh" (1 Cor. 10:18).
The Jews are the chosen race of people, because they are the natural descendants of Abraham, through his son Isaac, and through his son Jacob (whom God renamed Israel). God made a promise to Abraham, and to his seed (Gen. 15), that his seed would be blessed; this promise is recorded in the Old Testament as descending through his son Isaac (Gen 17:21) and then through Isaac's son Jacob (Gen. 28:4), and then through the seed of Jacob. "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him... and [said] God almighty bless thee... and give the blessing of Abraham to thee, and to thy seed after thee" (Gen 28: 1-4).
It is interesting to point out that "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob", which is the name the Old Testament often uses for God, is an "image" of the Blessed Trinity. That is why the Bible often calls God by that triune name. We can see the parallel to the Trinity when we consider that Father Abraham (who represents God the Father) led his son Isaac up the Mountain to be sacrificed (Gen. 22). Isaac, the son, carried the wood up Mount Maria, just as Jesus carried the wood of the cross up Mount Calvary. Mount Maria was later re-named Calvary, and it is the same mountain upon which Jesus was crucified. Jacob, who proceeds from both Abraham and Isaac, represents the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. When we realize that "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" represents the Blessed Trinity, we can understand why the promise that God made to Abraham, is recorded as descending through the children of Jacob; this was fitting since Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were an Old Testament "image" of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.
The "children of Israel", the natural descendants of Abraham, were the chosen people of the Old Covenant. It did not matter what sins they committed - as the Old Testament is filled with the sins of "Israel" - they remained the chosen people of God; for the chosen people of God were a race, the descendants of Abraham. This did not mean that God was pleased with all of them, or that all were saved. On the contrary, many of them are burning in hell right now. When some of the children of Israel rose up against Moses, God opened up the earth and swallowed their leaders - Dathan and Abiron - alive into hell, and the fire that rose up killed the other 250 Israelites that were with them (Numbers 16). This shows that just because they are of the chosen race, it does not mean that individually they will not go to hell for offending God. And if God killed the Jews who rose up against Moses, who was merely a "type" of Jesus, what would God do to the Jews who killed the Messiah? But, nevertheless, in spite of their many sins, the descendants of Abraham remained the chosen people during the Old Testament because of the promise that God made to Abraham. But as we will see, the promise found its true fulfillment in the New Testament, for the Old Testament was merely a preparation for what was to come; and the descendants of Israel were merely a "shadow" of the True recipients of promise.
Two Covenants - Two Israels: As we have seen, the name Israel, in the Old Testament, refers to the physical descendants of Abraham, through Jacob. They were the recipients of the promise that God made to Abraham; but as we will see, just as there are two Covenants, so there are two "children of Israel", and two recipients of the promise; the first recipient was "natural", and merely a "shadow" of the reality that was to come. The one according to the flesh, the other according to the spirit, for the promises that God made to Abraham found there true fulfillment, not in the Old Testament, but in the New.
In 1st Corinthians we read: "The first man, Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a quickening spirit. Yet that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man was of the earth, earthly, the second man, from heaven, heavenly" (vs, 45-47). The same principal applies to the Old Testament as compared to the New; and to the chosen people of the Old Covenant as compared to those of the New. For the Jews were God's chosen people according to the flesh (earthly), but the Christians are children according to the Spirit (heavenly).
God's promise to Abraham fulfilled: In the book of Genesis, God made the promise to Abraham and to his "seed". But who is this "seed" of Abraham? Certainly, the Jews in the Old Testament are the natural descendants of Abraham, and in that sense, they are his seed. But what did God mean when he made the promise to Abraham and to his seed? Was this promise to find its ultimate fulfillment in all of his descendants? And if so, why did he says "seed" and not "seeds" (plural)? Or was this promise to find its ultimate fulfillment in a future event? According to the New Testament, the fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham is ultimately fulfilled, not in the Jewish race as a whole, but in Jesus - the Messiah. Read what St. Paul wrote to the Galations: "To Abraham were the promises made and to his seed. He saith not, 'and to his seeds', as of many: but as of one, 'and to thy seed', which is Christ" (Gal. 3:16). Jesus was not only of the natural seed of Abraham, like the Jews, He was also the seed of God - God Incarnate, who was to save His people from their sins. Jesus was the literal fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham, when God told him: "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed..." (Gen. 22:18). The Jews were the chosen people because they were of the natural lineage of Abraham, from which the promise was to come; but the nations of the earth were not blessed by them, they were blessed by Jesus, who died for their sins.
Jesus, the Messiah and Savior of the world, was the fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham. The majority of the Jews, in their blindness, rejected Him, but that did not hinder God's plan; rather it fulfilled it. For from all eternity God knew that the original chosen people - the race from which the Savior was to come - would reject their Messiah and kill Him. God used the act of betrayal, as a Sacrifice for the sins of the world, and established a New Covenant with the house of Israel, as Jeremiah predicted, using that Sacrifice as the foundation.
"Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: the covenant which they made void..." ( Jeremiah 31: 31-32).
Jesus was the actual fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham, and those of the New Covenant are partakers of that promise. Why? Because the members of the New Covenant, whether Jew or Gentile, are members of Christ. When they enter into the Covenant, that is, when they are "born again of water and the Holy Ghost" (John 3), they become members of the mystical body of Jesus Christ, and heirs with Him according to the promise. It doesn't matter if they are Jew or Gentile, for all are made one in Jesus, as the New Testament teaches: "there is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ's, then you are the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3: 29-29). The promise that God made to Abraham descended through the Jewish race, but found its fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and His mystical body - the Church.
The Mystical Body of Christ: When the Bible calls Christians members of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 6:15) it is true, for we truly become incorporated into Jesus when we are born again through Baptism: "For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink" (1 Cor 12:14). In another epistle, the same apostle says that Jesus loves His Church "because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones" (Galations 5:30).
When we become members of Christ, we become heirs with Him according to the promise. "For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ... and if you are Christ's, then you are the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise... and because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts... And if a son, an heir also through God." (Galations 3:26-27, 29; 4:6-7).
The New Testament teaches that Christians, whether of the Jewish race of not, are the heirs according to the promise, and the children of Abraham. If Christ is a descendant of Abraham, then the Christians, who are members of His mystical body, are as well, for they are members of Him. That is why St. Paul said: "And if you be Christ's, then you are the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3: 29-29).
The member's of Christ - the New Testament Church - are, therefore, the New Israel, for they are the true recipients of the promise that God made to Abraham, and true spiritual children of Jacob (Israel). As we saw earlier, Jacob is an image of the Holy Ghost, just as Father Abraham was an image of God the Father, and Isaac is an image of God the Son. The members of the New Testament Church are the true children on Jacob, for they possess the Holy Ghost within them: "Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ?" and a "temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you" (1 Cor. 6:19). The Old Testament was merely a preparation for the New; and a shadow of what was to come. The Jews, the natural descendants of Abraham, are only true heirs if they become Christians, for Christians are members of the Body of Christ and Christ is the true heir.
The children of Israel in the Old Testament prefigured the children of God in the New: The children of Israel, who were the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (who were an image of the Trinity) prefigured the Christians of the New Testament, who are the children of God. The Bible tells us that those who have been born again are the "adopted" children of God. The children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Old Testament prefigured the children of God in the New Testament - the Christians. We can see from this how much greater the New Testament is than the Old, for the Old was merely "a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ" as St. Paul says (Col. 2:17). Christians, whether Jew or not, are the true "children of Israel" who the Old Testament Jews merely prefigured, for the Christians are member of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
When the Angel appeared to the Virgin Mary, he told her that her Son would reign in the house of Jacob forever. "And the angel said to her... Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most high; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever" (Luke 1:30-32). The "house of Jacob" is also "the house of Israel", because Jacob and Israel are the same person. Therefore, we can see that "the house of Jacob" (House of Israel) that Jesus will reign in forever, is the Church. The Church is, therefore, the New Israel, for Jesus does not reign in the house of those who rejected Him. Since the Jewish leaders did not accept Jesus, the Bible tells us that they have been "broken off" from the house of Israel. They are the physical descendants of Jacob, but they are not the spiritual children of God. St. Paul said: "For all are not Israelites that are of Israel... That is to say: not they that are the children of the flesh, are the children of God, but they, that are the children of the promise, are accounted for the seed" (Romans 9:6-8). And as we have read, this same apostle has told us that if we have been baptized into Christ, we are heirs with Him: "For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek... for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise" (Galations 3:26-29). The members of the Body of Christ are the New Israel, while the Jews who have rejected Jesus have been cut off.
"For the house of Israel, and the house of Juda have greatly transgressed against me, saith the Lord. They have denied the Lord, and said, it is not he" (Jeremiah. 11-12).
"My people did not hear My voice, and Israel harkened not to Me... They gave me gall for My food, and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink... Let their eyes be darkened, and their back bend down always. Pour out Thy indignation upon them: let Thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be made desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in their tabernacles, because they have added to the grief of My wounds. Add Thou iniquity upon their iniquity; and let them not come into Thy justice. Let them be blotten out of the book of the Living, and with the Just let them not be written" (Psalms 80: 12;62:22-29).
"What more is there that I ought to do to My vineyard that I have not done to it? ... And now I will show you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge and it shall be wasted; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trodden down" (Isaias 5:4-5).
In Matthew Chapter twenty one, Jesus draws from this Old Testament prophecy and applies it to the Jews. "Hear ye this parable" said Jesus. "There was a man an householder, who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen; and went into a strange country. And when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandmen that they might receive the fruits thereof. And the husbandmen laying hands on his servant, beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the former; and they did to them in like manner. And last of all he sent to them his son saying: They will reverence my son. But the husbandmen seeing the son, said amongst themselves: This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance. And taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen? They say to him: He will bring those evil men to an evil end; and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season. Jesus saith to them: ... "Therefore I say unto you that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof... And when the Chief Priests and Pharisees had heard his parable, they knew that he spoke of them" (Mat. 21:45).
In the above parable, Jesus told the Jews that the Kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to another.
"Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: the covenant which they made void..." ( Jeremiah 31: 31-32).
If you notice, the above prophecy says that God will establish a New Covenant with "the house of Israel". This again shows that those of the New Covenant are the New Israel; and if the New Covenant is with the house of Israel, those who belong to it are the new "children of Israel". It was taken from the unbelieving Jews and given to the Gentiles, but it is still the house of Israel; the unbelieving Jews are just no longer a part of it.
Now let's continue with the New Testament. Remember, God is the primary author of the Scriptures, both Old and New. What we read in the New Testament are God's own words. They are not, as many modernists today try to claim, additions by Anti-Semitic New Testament writers; they are the Word's of God.
The Jews who reject Jesus are under a curse: Just as the Old Testament foreshadows and prefigures the New, so the Jews of the Old Testament prefigure the Christians. And just as the reality is greater than its shadow, so the chosen people of the New Testament are greater than those of the Old. The Jewish Christians are, in a sense, twice blessed; for they are blessed with both the natural abilities of the Jewish race, as we read in Genesis 49:3, as well as the spiritual qualities of the Christians. But the Bible tells us that the Jews who rejected Jesus are under a curse: "For as many as are of the works of the law (i.e the Old Testament) are under a curse" (Gal. 3:10). "... the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men. Prohibiting us to speak to the Gentiles, that they may be saved, to fill up their sin always: for the wrath of God is come upon them to the end" (1 Thes 2:14-16).
Who does God say the wrath of God come upon to the end? The Jews! The ones that rejected Jesus. He calls them "adversaries" to all men. The word "adversary" is the definition of the word Satan. Thus, according to God, the unbelieving Jews have become as Satan to all men. This fits with what Jesus said of the unbelieving Jews when He told them that their god was the devil (John 8:44)? Have you heard this preached from a TV preacher? I haven't. But it does fit in with what we know about the Jews and their involvement in the Freemasons, which is a Satanic organization. One of our Popes called the Freemasons, "the mystical body of the Satan". Just as the Church is the Mystical body of Christ, so the Masons are the "mystical body of Satan"; and the unbelieving Jews are the leaders of that organization. So, although it is often not what we hear today, the New Testament is right: the unbelieving Jews are adversaries (Satan) to all men.
The unbelieving Jews have been broken off from the House of Israel: As we have seen, Jesus established a New Covenant with the House of Israel. "Christ annuls the first Covenant to establish the second" (Heb. 10:9). The New Covenant was intended firstly for the Jews, but not for the Jews exclusively. For Jesus was to be the Redeemer and Savior of all men. Jesus instructed His Apostles to preach the Gospel first to the Jews, the chosen people according to the flesh, and only later to the Gentiles. The Jews who believed in Jesus and obeyed the New Covenant are still part of The house of Israel; those that did not have been "broken off", as the Bible says: "For I say unto you, Gentiles: as long indeed as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I will honor my ministry. If, by any means, I may provoke to emulation them who are of my flesh (i.e Jews), and may save some of them. For if the loss of them be the reconciliation of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? ... And if some of the branches be broken off (from the house of Israel), and thou (Gentiles) being a wild olive, art grafted in them, and are made a partaker of the root... boast not against the branches... Thou wilt say then: The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well: because of unbelief they (the unbelieving Jews) were broken off. But thou standest by faith: be not high minded" (Romans 11). St. Paul is telling the Gentiles that the unbelieving Jews have been broken off and they have been grafted in, but that they are not to boast against them, lest they make God angry and He cut them off. He then says: "For if God hath not spared the natural branches, fear, lest perhaps he also spare not thee". He then says that if the Jews convert, they "shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again" (Romans 11).
The point is clearly made: the unbelieving Jews have been broken off from the house of Israel, while the believing Gentiles have been grafted in. When we speak of the Jews today, we are do not mean the Jewish Christians, but the unbelieving Jews; those who have been cut off from the house of Israel and to whom the promises of God do not apply. That is why it is completely incorrect to look to the Jews who have rejected Jesus as the "chosen people". They were the chosen people of the Old Covenant, but if they have rejected Jesus (and when we refer to the Jews today, that is who we mean), they are under a curse. That would almost be like looking up to Judas for being one of the Apostles even after he betrayed Jesus and is now in hell. In fact, the fathers of the Church taught that Judas represented the Jews that rejected Jesus. This is what St. Augustine wrote in about the year 390: "Judaism, since Christ, is a corruption; indeed, Judas is the image of the Jewish people; their understanding of Scripture is carnal; they bear the guilt for the death of the Savior, for through their fathers they have killed Christ. The Jews held Him; the Jews insulted Him; the Jews bound Him; they crowned Him with thorns and dishonored Him by spitting upon Him; they scourged Him; they heaped abused upon Him; they hung Him upon a tree (i.e the cross)" (St, Augustine).
Isaac and Ismael prefigure the Two Covenants: I found this next point interesting. It is found in the epistle to the Galations, which was written because some of the Christians who lived there were beginning to revert back to the Jewish religion. St. Paul wrote them the epistle to instruct them that the Old Law has passed and not to follow it. He draws a parallel, as he does in many of his epistles, from the Old Testament, and applies it to the New. What he says may surprise you, but remember, these are the words of God.
I am sure you know the story of Abraham and his two sons: One named Ismael, who was born of the slave girl Agar (Gen. 16:15); the other son was Isaac. Isaac was the Son of Sarah (Gen. 21:1-3), and was the son that God promised to Abraham (here we see another parallel to the Trinity since Isaac represents Jesus, who was the ultimate recipient of the promise). Sarah became jealous of Ismael and told Abraham: "cast out this bond woman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with my son Isaac" (Gen. 21:10). "So Abraham rose up in the morning... and delivered the boy, and sent her away. And she departed..." (vs. 14). As you know, the offspring of these two children (the Arabs and the Jews) have been fighting ever since.
What is interesting is that these two children, Isaac and Ismael, prefigured the two Testaments: the Old and the New. The first child, Ismael, who was born "according to the flesh" prefigured the Jews; the second son Isaac, who was "according the promise" prefigured the Christians. It is true that the Jews came from the lineage of Isaac, and not Ismael, but that does not matter. The two sons represented the two Testaments, and the Jews who rejected Jesus were pre-figured by Ismael. This is not my opinion, it is what God Himself said through the Apostle Paul. Read carefully what St. Paul wrote to the Galations.
"Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, have you not read the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bond woman [Ismael], and the other by a free woman [Isaac]. But he who was of the bond woman, was born according to the flesh: but he of the free woman, was by promise. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar: For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children." This refers to the Jews of his time. He continues: "But that Jerusalem which is above, is free: which is our mother." Here he refers to the New Testament Church as "Jerusalem which is from above", and calls it "our Mother". That is why the Church is called "Holy Mother Church". He compares two "Jerusalem's": one that is in bondage - the Jews, and the other that "is from above" meaning the New Testament Church. He says the same thing in Hebrews 12:22-23. Continuing now where we left off, in verse 28 of Galations, he writes: "Now we, brethren [i.e. the Christians], as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he, that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was after the spirit, so also it is now. But what saith the Scriptures? Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free" (Galations 4: 21-31).
The two children of Abraham (Ismael and Isaac) represent the two covenants. The Jews were the seed of Abraham "according to the flesh" but the Christians are the seed of Abraham "according to the promise". "And if you be Christ's" said St. Paul, "then you are the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3: 29).
Remember what St. Paul wrote to the Romans: "For all are not Israelites that are of Israel: Neither are all they that are the [natural] seed of Abraham, children; 'but in Isaac shall thy seed be called'; that is to say, not they that are the children of the flesh, are the children of God; but they, that are the children of the promise, are accounted for the seed" (Romans 9:6-8).
The unbelieving Jews sell their birth-right: In the same chapter of Romans, St. Paul makes another interesting point when he says: "The elder shall serve the younger" (Romans 9:12). This is another analogy of the two Testaments. The Old Testament being "the elder" and the New Testament being "the younger". There are many Old Testament "types" of elder children selling their birth-right, which prefigures the Jews selling their birth-right.
We have the story of the two sons of Isaac: Jacob and Esau. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob "for a mess of pottage". The elder sold his birthright to the younger; and although both were the children of Isaac, God said "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated". Jacob represents the "adopted children of God" (the Christians), while Esau represents the unbelieving Jews.
We also have the story of Ruben, "the first born of Israel", who lost his birthright to his younger brother Joseph, who is a "type" of Jesus. "Ruben... was the first born of Israel: but forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his first birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, and he was not accounted for the firstborn. " (1 Para 5:1-2). All of these firstborn children, who lost their birth right, prefigured the unbelieving Jews who were the firstborn of God, yet lost their birthright.
Several of the epistles of the New Testament were written primarily to explain to the first Christians that the Jews who rejected Jesus have been cut off as the children of God, and that the promises God made to Abraham have been fulfilled in Jesus (Romans, Hebrews, Galations). God did not reject the Jews, they rejected Him. The Jews as individuals are welcome to convert. Actually, they have more of a right to it than the Gentiles since Jesus came firstly for them. It is the Jewish race in general and the religion, that fell under a curse for rejecting Jesus. This cures was chosen by the Jews, when they said "His blood be upon us and upon our children". This curse descended upon all the Jews who rejected Jesus down through the ages. Again, God has not cast away the Jews, for many Jews became Christians; rather it is the Jews that rejected Him that are under a curse, and unless they convert they will remain under the curse that their forefathers brought down on them. Now the house of Israel is run by Gentiles, and not Jews, although the Jews are certainly welcome to enter if they convert.
"Hath God cast away his people?", asked St. Paul, "God forbid. For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people, which he foreknew. Know you not what the scripture saith of Elias; how he calleth of God against Israel? 'Lord, they have slain the prophets, they have dug down thy altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the divine answer to him? I have left me seven thousand men, that have not bowed their knee to Baal.' Even so then at this present time also, there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace" (Romans 11: 1-2, 5). The "remnant" that were saved became Christians.
Most preachers today, however, look to the Jews that have rejected Jesus as the chosen people to whom we should all look up to as the "children of God". This is completely wrong. The chosen people are the members of Christ, whether Jew or not. Those who look to the Jews who have rejected Jesus as the God's elect are missing the reality in favor of its shadow, for the Jews in the Old Testament prefigured the Christians. The Jews who have rejected Jesus are no longer chosen, but cursed, just as the Old Testament predicted and the New Testament says.
"And he (i.e. the Messiah) shall be a sanctification to you [Gentiles]. But for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offense to the two houses of Israel, for a snare and a ruin to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And very many of them shall stumble and fall, and shall be broken in pieces, and shall be snared and taken" (Isaias 8:14-45).
"Therefore I say unto you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof" (Mat. 21:43).
The kingdom was taken from the Jewish institution and given to a Gentile institution - the Church. So to say that the Jews of today who practice the Jewish religion and live in the state of Israel are "true Israel" and "God's chosen people" is to miss the picture. You could call the Jews of today "Israel according to the flesh", like St. Paul does in 1 Corinthians 10:18, but they are certainly not "God's chosen people". In the New Testament the Christians are the "Israel of God". "And whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them..." said St. Paul "and upon the Israel of God" (Gal 6:16). The Christians are the Israel of God, whether Jew or not.
The same apostle, in Romans chapter two, goes even further and says that Christians are actually the true Jews: "For he is not a Jew that is one outwardly... but he is a Jew that is one inwardly, in the circumcision that is in the heart, in the spirit...". In the book of Revelation, which is "the revelation of Jesus Christ", Jesus says: "I know thy tribulation... thou art blasphemed by them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2:9). Who is He talking about if it is not the Jews? He says the same thing in the next chapter, when he calls them "the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not..." (Rev. 3:9). So according to the New Testament, the Christians, whether of the natural lineage of Jacob or not, are the true Jews, while the unbelievers of the natural lineage of Jacob are not.
There are many predictions that the Jews will convert at the end; then they will again be God's chosen people with the rest of the Christians. In fact, later in chapter 11 of Romans, where St. Paul explains that the unbelieving Jews have been cut off from the house of Israel, he tells us that in the end they will convert (vs. 25-26), but that is not the case now. At this time, according to God, the Jews are Antichrist: "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son does not have the Father" (1st John 2:22-23).
The Jews, more than any other group, have rejected Jesus. I say more than any other, because Jesus came specifically for them. Having rejected Jesus, the original chosen race has become, according to God, "Antichrist". This explains why the Jews are now so involved in "Antichrist" movements, such as the Freemasons. Until the Jews finally convert, they will remain antichrists, for they are against Christ. I am sure you are familiar with what the Talmud says about Jesus. I won't even repeat it as it is far too blasphemous. So you can see how foolish it is to support, or look up to, the unbelieving Jews of today.
It is also interesting that many modern day Protestants do not praise the Jewish Christians as the "chosen people of God"; rather, they look primarily to the unbelieving antichrist Jews who live in Israel. If it were the Jewish Christians who were praised as the original chosen people of God, that would be more understandable, but it is not. It is the Jews who live in Israel, who have rejected Jesus, that are looked up to as though God loves them regardless. Well, you have to throw out the New Testament to believe that. God is not a respecter of persons and anyone who rejects Jesus is rejected by God: "Whosoever denies the Son does not have the Father" (ibid.). "God is not a respecter of persons. But in every nation, he that feareth him, and worketh justice, is acceptable to him" (Acts. 10:34-35). Many Christians these days believe they are somehow bound by the Bible to support the nation of Israel in the middle east. But why? These are the Jews that have been cut off from the house of Israel and are under a curse. The problem is that the distinction is not made between the children of "Israel according to the flesh" (1 Corinthians 10:18) and the children of Israel "according to the Spirit".
There is more that can be shown from the Bible, but this should suffice. As was stated above, the Apostles wrote several epistles to specifically explain that when the Jews rejected Jesus, they were cut off from the house of Israel, and the believing Gentiles grafted in. The new "house of Israel" consists of both Jews and Gentiles, but does not consist of the unbelieving Jews. This is what the New Testament teaches, it is what the Church Father's taught, and it has been believed by all Christians up until the past few hundred years.
Let us read what the Church fathers taught on the subject and compare it to what the New Testament teaches.
The first quote is from St. Cyprian, who died as a martyr by being fed to the lions. He was martyred in about the year 255 AD. In this quote, he is warning the Christians that they should be careful and pray much so that they are not cast off like the unbelieving Jews: "There is need of constant prayer lest we defect from the heavenly kingdom, as have the Jews to whom it was first promised. This the Lord makes unmistakably clear by saying: 'Many will come from the East and West and recline at the banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven, whereas those born to the kingdom will be driven into the darkness outside, there to wail and gnash their teeth" ... Our Lord shows that the Jews were formerly children of the kingdom, but after the name 'Father' disappeared from among them, so did the kingdom. The Jews have remained in darkness for having forsaken the light" (St. Cyprian).
The next quote is again from St. Cyprian: "Nor is it sufficient that we call Him Who is in Heaven Father. We must add to the name 'Our Father'. This name rebukes and condemns the Jews who not only spurned Christ faithlessly, but also cruelly executed Him Who was announced to them by the prophets and sent first to their nation. No longer may they call God their Father, because the Lord confounds and refutes them, saying "Your Father is the Devil" (Jn. 8:44). O sinful nation, O people weighed down with guilt, breed of evil-doers, lawless children, you have turned your backs on the Lord and have provoked the Holy One of Israel! We Christians say "Our Father", since He has begun to be ours, but ceased to be the Father of the Jews who have forsaken Him" (Cyprian).
The next quote is from St. Ambrose, a well known father of the Church. "The faithlessness of the Synagogue is an insult to the Savior. Therefore, He chose the barque of Peter and deserted the boat of Moses; that is, He rejected the faithless Synagogue and adopted a believing Church... Of these two ships, one is left at the shore, idle and empty; the other loaded and filled, is launched into the deep. For the Synagogue is left idle on the beach. Because of its own fault, it has lost Christ along with the warnings of the prophets. But the freighted Church is taken out into the deep, because it received the Lord together with the teaching of the Apostles. The Synagogue, I say, remains on the land, held fast as it were to earthly things. The Church is called forth to the deep, as though to search into the profound mysteries of Heaven" (St. Ambrose).
"Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be divided out of thy womb; one people shall overcome the other, and the elder shall serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23). "Who is the younger child that overcomes the elder but the Gentiles, who struggle with Juda... and who, though only the child of promise, supplant him who was the son according to the flesh" (Leo the Great).
In the next quote, Salvianus tells how the Old Testament foreshadowed the New: "The Jews formerly had only a shadow of things; we have the reality. The Jews were servants, we are adopted children. The Jews passed through the sea to the desert; we enter through baptism into a kingdom. The Jews ate manna; we eat Christ. The Jews ate the flesh of birds, we eat the Body of Christ" (Salvianus).
"Since the Jews, through their evil designs against the Savior have been cast away from grace, He has built out of the Gentiles a second holy Church: the Church of us Christians" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem).
"Since His spouse, the Synagogue, refused to receive Him, Christ answered: "This is a Harlot!" And He gave her a bill of divorce, as we read in Isaias (50:1): 'Thus says the Lord: Behold, you are sold for your iniquities; and for your evil deeds have I put your mother away. Because I came and there was not a man; I called and there was no one who would hear'. And so the Jews, the sons of the harlot, were repudiated" (St. Vincent Ferrer).
"Jews are slayer of the Lord, murderers of the prophets, enemies and haters of God, adversaries of grace, enemies of their fathers' faith, advocates of the devil, a brook of vipers, slanderers, scoffers, men of darkened minds, the leaven of Pharisees, a congregation of demons, sinners, wicked men, haters of goodness" (St. Gregory of Nyssa).
Some of the quotes may sound a little harsh, but they say basically the same thing as the writers of the New Testament (and even some of the Old Testament Prophecies). Listen what St. Steven said to the Jews who were about to stone him, as recorded in Acts chapter seven. He said this when he was "full of the Holy Ghost" (vs. 55). "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in you heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you also. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold of the coming of the Just One; or whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers. You who have received the law by the disposition of angles, and have not kept it" (Acts 7:51-53).
So, while it is true to say that the Jews are the children of God “according to the flesh”, if they are not Christians they have been cut off as the spiritual children of God, are no longer part of the house of Israel, and their physical lineage to Abraham will not profit them. This was prophecied in the Old Testament, is the teaching of the New Testament, and has been taught by Christians ever since.