The spiritual condition of the Jewish people in Israel, and throughout the world, is the same as it was approximately 2000 years ago when the Lord came into this world. When the Lord came to minister to his own Jewish people, the majority of them rejected him as the Messiah, even though the prophets had prophesied of his coming. (Micah 5:2, Isaiah 53:1-12, Zechariah 9:9)
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own (Israel/Jewish People), and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:10-12)
That should not surprise you though because the history of the children of Israel is filled with rebellion against the Lord. When the Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah) arrived on the scene he never minced words, and he never played games with people. He made it clear to his own people, that they were doing the very same things which their forefathers had done.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:29-37)
Many people do not realize that it was the Lord Jesus Christ himself, whom the children of Israel were rebelling against for all of those previous centuries. Yes, Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, and it was he who led Israel for all of those years. So when Jesus arrived on the scene, Israel merely continued to do what they had been doing all along, in rebelling against the Lord. Jesus Christ told them that they killed and stoned the prophets which were sent to them, and that he wanted to gather them as a mother hen, but they would have none of it. The spiritual condition of Israel for the most part is exactly the same as it was back then. The Lord also came forth with a parable (of the vineyard) whereby he declared once again that Israel killed the prophets which were sent to them, and he also prophesied of his own death, at their hands, in that very same parable. (Matthew 21:33-46) To declare that the Jewish people are still “God’s Chosen people” in spite of their willful rejection of the Son of God, is absolutely ludicrous.
Stephen Was Killed For Preaching The Same Message Which Christ Preached
Stephen was a Christian who was filled with faith and power according to the Word of God, and he met with opposition from the Jewish leaders in Israel.
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. (Acts 6:8)
The Lord was truly using this man Stephen, and as usual the kingdom of darkness was not happy with what was happening. The religious crowd came from the synagogues because they were upset at the things which Stephen preached. (Acts 6: 8-15) Stephen then testified before them all and rehearsed the entire history of the children of Israel (read Acts 7) with a boldness that was truly inspiring. Stephen then got right to the very heart of the matter and said this:
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:51-60)
Stephen referred to the Jewish religious crowd as being “stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart” and that was a very accurate description. They were not “born again” of the Spirit as the Lord, which the Lord had deemed as a necessity for entrance into the kingdom of God. (John 3:1-8) Stephen was basically saying the very same things which the Lord Jesus Christ had said to them. Stephen also mentioned the prophets which their forefathers had slain (killed), and he told them that they also resisted the Holy Ghost just like their fathers did! Stephen was about to exit this world by way of murder because of his faith in the Lord. After Stephen was killed, the people laid his clothes at the feet of a young Jewish man named Saul, who later was converted and became the apostle Paul, perhaps the most famous preacher of all time.
The Jewish Apostle Paul Preached The Same Message That Christ And Stephen Preached
The Jewish apostle Paul was converted in dramatic fashion, even when he was on the way to Damascus to persecute and drag in some more Christians. Paul (formerly Saul) was there when Stephen was murdered as I said before, but that was not the only time that Paul consented to the death of those who preached Christ. You can read about Paul’s conversion experience in Acts 9:1-31 and hear him give his testimony in Acts 26:1-32 and I encourage you to do that. This is what the Jewish apostle Paul wrote to the people at Thessalonica:
As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. (1 Thessalonians 2:11-16)
There has been a lot of talk in recent years claiming that the Jewish people were not responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, which is truly hard to fathom because that is what the scriptures teach us. I mean it is all over the scriptures (and shown in this article), and it flows perfectly together with the Old Covenant books also. In the passage above the Jewish apostle Paul who was converted himself plainly declares that the Jewish people KILLED the Lord Jesus. Not only that but Paul declared the very same things which the Lord Jesus Christ, and Stephen declared, in saying that the Jewish people also killed their own prophets. All three passages from the Bible (Word of God) agree with each other, and that is the way the scriptures work.
I bring forth this message to you today to combat the false teaching that the Jewish people are still in covenant with God in spite of their rejection of Jesus as Lord and Messiah. Once again I refer to a statement that “Christian” Zionist John Hagee made regarding the Jewish people:
“Trying to convert Jews is a waste of time he (Hagee) said.
Everyone else whether Buddhist or Baha’i needs to believe in Jesus, he says. But not Jews, Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced with Christianity he says.
The Jewish people have a relationship with God through the law of God as given through Moses, Hagee said. I believe that every Gentile person can only come to God through the cross of Christ. I believe that every Jewish person who lives in light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption.
The Law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation. And God has not said Hagee.”
[Statement DH005 , Christian Research Institute, Charlotte, NC]
Whenever I read this statement from John Hagee I find it hard to believe that more people do not speak up about these things. If there is any group of people that are responsible before the Lord, and who need to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ it is the Jewish people. The only covenant that a person (Jewish or Gentile) can have outside of Jesus Christ would be a covenant with death. God offers all people a covenant with “everlasting life” (John 3:16) through his Son Jesus Christ. If, and when, a person rejects Jesus Christ they simply remain in a condition of spiritual death, which will ultimately land them in an eternal Hell, unless they change. To declare that the Jewish people are in a relationship with God, by living in light of the Torah, through the Law of God is incomprehensible and it goes against everything that the Lord Jesus and his disciples ever preached. The Law of God shows the Jewish people (and the rest of us also) that we are dead in our sins, and in need of a Saviour. The Law of God was meant to be a schoolmaster to lead the Jewish people to faith in Jesus Christ. The Law of God stops every mouth (Jew and Gentile) from trying to justify themselves before a holy and righteous God!
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:19-20)
That is why the Lord Jesus Christ poured out his heart to his own Jewish people when he said: Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? The Lord used extremely strong language when he spoke to his own (Jewish) people, and he was basically calling them snakes in no uncertain terms. The bottom line is that the Gospel message is still the same and Jesus Christ is till the only way by which a person can be saved. (John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)