Am I A Jew?

April 13, 2013


I have been somewhat amazed that in the last few years I have had several people ask if I were Jewish. This is somewhat unique since for most of my life people have teased me about being Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes even though I spell my name without the “c”. I have been a SSGT and a SSG Shultz as well as a SK2 Shultz and even in the Navy I had a fellow sailor named Hogan in my unit and my shift leader when I was in Greece was named Hogan.

There seemed to be no escape from that comparison. I have found though as I am getting older the younger folks don’t get it when I joke with them and say, “After all, I am Sgt Shultz, I know nothing, nothing”. So maybe I will be free from that at last. Maybe all the “c” Shultzs should sue them for character defamation or something since we sue everyone for anything in this culture.

While strolling the streets of Thessaloniki or Salonika as the natives call it I was approached by a shopkeeper who dragged me gently into his shop saying, “Come in, I love the German people.” I had to doubt that a bit considering WWII and all, but I told him that he was almost right as I am descended from German stock but I am an American. Kaiser Wilhelm said that there is no such thing as a German-American so I would not have called myself that. Without missing a beat he said, “I love Americans.” I am convinced sales and currency are what he loved most but at least he thought I was German, not Jewish.

To those who have asked me about my heritage, I have replied that there are no Jews in my family that I know of, but we have always been right friendly so there might be some in the tree but not in any recent branches. I do know that some Jews changed religion to escape persecution and many were German so maybe way back somewhere an ancestor changed to Methodism and hid his Hebraic background or maybe was genuinely converted. Oddly, when my mother was mad at me she called me, among other things, “You little A-rab!” I don’t think she would have called me that today. An elderly Thai lady who obviously needed glasses once mistook me for Japanese. She thought I was really handsome so she must have had a thing for Japanese men but thinking me handsome only confirmed to me that she was near blind. A guy could get a real identity crisis if he wasn’t careful.

If I am of Hebrew stock as well as German that is kind of cool and I am tickled but I have no way of proving or disproving that. If I knew for sure I would wear a Star of David with a Cross on it to show my pride in my Hebrew heritage while proclaiming Christ as the Messiah and my Savior. I wish that my mother had let me take Hebrew lessons with a childhood chum. It would have been a great asset to me now, but neither she nor I ever expected that I would one day be a preacher so why would a Methodist need to speak Hebrew.

If I were of Hebrew stock would that give me an edge with God? There are some who think so and teach that Christians need not witness to Jews because they have their own covenant with God and we Gentiles have ours. There is even a Rabbi in Germany that subscribes to this. He states that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead and is the Gentile Messiah, but he is waiting for the Jewish one. Man, so close and yet so far.

To say that we need not witness to any group, let alone the Jews is heresy of the first order and contradicts the Word in many ways. Not only that but to deliberately keep the Gospel from any group of people is worse than murder for you cut them off from a chance at eternal life and condemn them to Hell. What a horrendous handling of the Word of God!! Jim Jones only took 900 souls with him and those who deprive the Jews, or anyone else, of the Gospel is the worst holocaust perpetrator of all!

Matt 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV)

What do the people who say Jews have their own salvation plan do with the Great Commission? While the word translated as nation is normally used of the nations outside of Israel, Israel was still a nation. The word is ethnos where we get ethnic. Being a Jew is a matter of ethnicity as far as man is concerned though God looks at other criteria as well. He was not cutting out the Jews here.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (KJV)

They would first be witnesses in the three major divisions of Israel and then go to the goyim or non-Jewish nations. Why? Since those areas would be primarily made up of Jews why waste the time in Israel? If the Gospel was only for the Goyim why did the eleven not leave Jerusalem and get on with it? Instead they had to be convinced by Peter that the ethnos/goyim were even to be a part of the Church. (Acts 11:1-18) The Jews thought the Gospel was only for them. Why, if they had their own provision?

To whom was the message delivered on Pentecost? Throughout the message Peter addresses, men of Judea, and those who dwell in Jerusalem, men of Israel, quotes a prophecy of Joel that was directed to Israel, not Gentiles. He calls them men and brethren. Brethren would not have been term used by a Jew of a Gentile in those days. If you weren’t a Jew you were dogs not brethren.

Acts 2:36-41
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (KJV)

Why does the house of Israel have to know that God had made the one that they crucified Lord and Christ if it didn’t really matter to them? Why did Peter direct his speech to them in such a way that convicted them so much that they wanted to know what they should do? If they did not need Christ why did Peter tell them to repent? The promise is to Israel and to their children. Peter may well have thought that those afar off were dispersed Jews thus prophesying that the Gentiles would come into the vineyard as well without consciously knowing it thus his surprise in Acts 10 when he is sent to Cornelius’ house and they get saved.

Rom 1:14-16
14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16 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. (KJV)

This verse alone should be the deaths knell of the heresy of “let the Jews alone they don’t need the Gospel”. Jews don’t respond to the Gospel because of the heresy and hatred that branded them Christ killers and persecuted them unto death rather than having the Gospel preached to them in love.

To the Jew first shows that while Paul was a debtor to the Gentiles to preach it to them the Gentiles were also debtors to provoke the Jews unto jealousy and seek to win them to the Gospel that was primarily their promise and covenant. This is why Paul on his missionary journeys at first always started with the synagogue in every town. Only after they heard did he go to the Gentiles. He owed it to them since they were the firstborn and the Gentiles were the adopted sons.

Acts 13:45-46
45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. (KJV)

Wait a minute!!! The Jews have their own program. What is Paul talking about them judging themselves unworthy of salvation if all Jews are saved? What does he mean we turn to the Gentiles if the Gentiles were the only ones affected by the Gospel in the first place???? People need to read their Bible more and make their preachers and leaders conform to God’s Word rather than allowing them to rewrite or ignore the Word because the followers are emotionally or traditionally charged yet spiritually ignorant. No pope, or televangelist has the authority to override God’s authority to write His Word, as He wants it not as they want it.

Some are saying, Ron, you are a preacher so why should we listen to you? Well, Shazam, at least you are thinking while you read. Wherever I preach or teach I tell the folks to go home and study the Scriptures to see if these things are so, not just quote Dr. Ron or Chairman Ron. That is the main reason that there are so many dying liberal and growing entertainment churches, cults and wacko preachers because people pay more attention to what men say and the thrills than what God says. If the Word and the pope or preacher, disagree then go with the Word! God has said what He as said and He means what He says therefore He has preserved what He said and it is not to be added to or taken away from so the modern revisers need to shake in their boots.

Acts 4:10-13
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (KJV)

Again, here are two Apostles addressing Jews and they are telling them that there is no other name under heaven that will save … them as well as any other man. They didn’t say whereby the Gentiles must be saved but rather we thus identifying themselves with the Jews to whom they were preaching.

I love verse 13. We are so enamored with degrees in our culture that we would most likely not know many true preachers of God because we would not like their pedigree. We would ignore an Amos or even these unlearned and ignorant men, Peter and John. Some of the world’s biggest heretics have the finest degrees that money can buy but they haven’t been with Jesus. Some of the best preachers that I have ever known have had no degree or what many would call a basic one. Lack of a degree doesn’t mean that they are wonderful either as there are folks that are great motivational speakers or who have down home charm but are not doctrinally straight either. Look to the Book and not their degrees or lack of them. Learn to discern. (Heb 5:14)

Rom 9:1-8
1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (KJV)

Do Israelites have an advantage? In a sense, because of all people they should know the Law and Prophets and know that they speak of Jesus. Jesus even told them to search the Scriptures, but they were not Bereans. They have the firstborn right to the promise of the Messiah and salvation, but like Esau they have not seen it or understood its value and sold it for thirty pieces of silver when they paid Judas for his treason. Now, they are selling it for ritual and form and writings of the Rabbis. Some have sold it for secular things. We, like Jacob, did not deserve the blessing. Unlike Jacob, we did not deceive to get it. We just received what they rejected.

Many of us Gentiles have fallen into the same traps. We listen to people because they have titles and degrees and fail to search the Scriptures thus we are deceived out of our right to be saved. Many only know tradition, theologies, emotional thrills, or ritual without reality relying upon their cultural interpretations rather than rightly dividing the Word. Still more of us are like Demas who have departed from the truth loving this present world more than Christ. We have rejected what was once delivered unto the saints to be received by all men.

They are not all Israel, which are of Israel. That throws genetics out. If because of genes all Jews are saved then all of them would be saved and yet we know that Judas and the rich man, both Jews, were lost. If even one can be lost then the gene theory dies the death it deserves. Paul throughout his epistles speaks to the children of faith and the children of the flesh. Isaac was not the literal firstborn of Abraham and yet God rejects Ishmael and made Isaac the rightful heir. The flesh profits nothing. It is faith that makes us heirs to the promise not our genes or ethnicity.

Every American has a birthright to vote but not all exercise it. We are all given an education but not all of us appreciate it and seek to get the most of it or use it. All honorably discharged veterans have certain rights but not all use them. Just because you have a right to something does not mean that you will exercise that right or fully partake of its benefits. A Jew has a birthright, but not all exercise it or partake of its benefits. Indeed, to the Jew first and then to the Gentile, but if you are first in line and stand aside that position had no benefit to you. If I give you a present and you give it to someone else the present has no benefit to you. God still offers His Son as a gift to the Jew, but the Jew must accept it.

Gal 1:6-9
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (KJV)

Those who preach that there are two Gospels, one for the Jew and one for the rest of us better take heed to this passage. The gospel they are preaching is not another gospel but a perversion of the one Gospel and they are accursed. That is the Word saying that, not me. Let he who has an ear. A lot of other folks need to hear this passage as well, but for certain those who preach that Jews do not need Jesus are false prophets and need to check their own salvation.

John 12:31-32
31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (KJV)

As the kids would say, what part of “all” don’t you understand? He did not say I will draw the elect or the Gentile until me. He said I will draw all to me. The word “men” is supplied for us by the translators to show the intention of the word was to include all men/mankind. Either way, there is no separation of Jew or Gentile. He will draw all unto Him but not all will receive Him. Only the Jews of faith are truly Israel and when two-thirds of the Jews are killed in the Tribulation the remnant will cry out to Christ for salvation and at that time all Israel will be saved for only the saved will be alive. Not all who are genetically Hebrew will be saved. It is sad, but it is truth.

Am I Jew? I don’t know if I have any of that gene in me or not, but even if I did I would still have to receive Jesus as my Messiah or that rich heritage and even advantage would be of no benefit to me. So now that I am saved, am I Jew? No, I am a Gentile grafted into the Vine, Who came as a Jew, but I am not a Jew any more that a Gentile who did things that were in the Law though he did not have the Law explained to him was a Jew. (Rom 2:13-15) He was just a moral Gentile who followed whatever light he had even as some Jews ignored the light they had and were no different in heart than a Gentile who did not keep the Law at all.

Much error has come about because theologians cannot distinguish law versus grace and the Church versus Israel. God made the distinction clear between old and new covenants but man has mucked it up. That is another sermon.

Rom 10:1-17
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV)

Preach the Word to Jew and Gentile alike for there is no difference between them. Paul gave us the way to have his prayer for the Jews answered. They need to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ and they get to have that faith by sending a PREACHER to them not letting them believe that they have their own deal going on.

Ps 122:6-9
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
7 Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
8 For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
9 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good. (KJV)

Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) (KJV)

Don’t just pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Seek her good by taking the Gospel of peace to them. There will be no earthly peace in Jerusalem until Jesus sets foot again in Israel as their King. Let them have a foretaste of that peace and glory by introducing them to their Messiah, the Prince of Peace!

Shalom!!! Maranatha!!!!

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