N T R O D U C T I O N
Christians, we find ourselves often confusing the various Gentiles mentioned in
the Bible, in a way which makes it difficult to understand the Scriptures
thus – we are blending and confusing these Gentiles so that we do not know how
to distinguish between a regular raw Gentile of the world and the proselytes
– and even making yet another confusing mixture of the two with a third
type of Gentile: The Gentile of our day who are believers in Christ on a
free basis by faith alone, no Israel as a mediator.
I found it convenient to deal with this problem which has been harassing
Christianity for so long, trying to assist the reader in making a right and
Biblical distinction between Gentiles, as we also shall be comparing these with
the Jewry in times past.
the calling of Abraham in Gen. 12 and all the way up to Acts 28, 31 – a long
interval indeed – God has kept a sharp line of separation and even
segregation between Abraham and his heirs and the Gentiles. Or ‘Non-Jews’
as we really are.
believing Gentile was not made possible before God’s chosen people, Israel,
fell from God as we learn from Acts 28:25-28. Particularly verse 27 is
clarifying of this:
the heart of this people (Israel) has grown dull, and their ears are heavy and
are hard of hearing and they have shut tight their eyes, so that they may not
perceive and have knowledge and become acquainted with their eyes and hear with
their ears and understand with their souls and turn to Me and be converted,
that I may heal them.’ Paul quoting Isa. 6:9, 10.
this quote from Isa. 6 from Paul to unbelieving Israel, were the final words
ever spoken by God to His chosen nation. The quote worked as a ‘Goodbye’ – from
now on Israel was on their own, and God cut off all contact, a situation still
in effect today!
the destruction of the disobedient nation came upon them a few years later –
and in September 70 A.D. the disaster was a fact. The Jews were scattered all
over the civilized world, just like Moses, Jesus and Peter had prophesied. From
135 A.D. emperor Hadrian banned all Jews from the land, whatsoever.
the fall of Israel, it was always ‘Jews first, then Greek’ –Israel was
sat above the nations, Ex. 19:5-6. But their disastrous fall in 62 A.D. when
Paul spoke the judgment from God against them, suspended Israel from her high
position with God, and at the same time He let Paul know the Mystery which had
been hidden in God from before the creation of the world, in the form of a totally
new dispensation, the dispensation of the Grace of God, Eph. 3:1-9.
that point on, all people everywhere whether Jew or Gentile – could on equal
level believe in Christ for salvation, Eph. 2:14-15; Col. 3:11.
proselytes mentioned in Rom. 11 cannot be looked upon as representing the raw
Gentile of the world, but they were grafted as proselytes into the
Jewish Messianic olive tree, after God first having broken the genuine
branches off because of their unbelief!
C H A
P T E R 1
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
word ‘Gentiles’ in our translations derives from the Greek ethnos,
meaning nations or foreigners, strangers, and in some instances, actually
when Israel is mentioned in Scripture, the Gentile may be mentioned as ‘The
Foreigner among you’. And Gentiles/Foreigners were not mentioned unless
Israel first was mentioned!
really underlines the stern fact that we Gentiles were absolutely considered secondary
– we could only sit in the ‘Passenger seat’, while the Jews held the driver’s
seat. Paul’s often used sentence ‘Jews first, then Greek’ – was far from
new. It was a well-known doctrine already from the calling of Abraham and on,
only it had different looks, all according to the times of the Hebrews
as they went fourth through history.
distinct separation of the Hebrews formally, took place at the plain below Mt.
Horeb as we read Ex. 19:5-6,
therefore, if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My covenant, then you
shall be My own peculiar possession and treasure from among and ABOVE ALL
PEOPLES, for all the earth is Mine. 6: And you shall be to Me a kingdom of
priests, a holy nation. These are the words you shall speak to the Israelites.’
can then learn from Bible history, that God let the Hebrews (starting with
Abraham) have a total ‘Deadline’ to fully obey His calling – of 2000 years. It
started in Gen. 12 and ended in Acts 28. They did not keep any of the covenants
given between themselves and God.
of which God had Israel separated/segregated from the nations – as a
holy nation – so He ultimately could send His Kingdom by Christ, the millennial
covenant relationship between God and Israel ceased in Acts 28:25-28 as
mentioned above, but nevertheless – this relationship shall be taken up again –
and in the meantime it is the Church, the Body of Christ according to Paul’s
revelation taught in Ephesians and Colossians, which is the preacher of God’s
salvation in Christ. We, the Church, are not to replace Israel and living in
their pact and covenant blessings, far from it, we are rather operating as
God’s present messengers of grace in lack of Israel. An arrangement
that shall cease from the same instance as Elijah returns from heaven together
with Moses, to administrate and cast the Great Tribulation upon the Israel of
today – very soon. The dispensation of the Church is by all means a temporary
administration of salvation – it shall be followed by God’s re-opening of
His New Covenant offer to Israel through the prophesied Great Tribulation,
Matt. 24:14; Rev. 11; Matt. 17:11; Mal. 4, Ezek. 36.
let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
later called Abraham, was separated from out of his Chaldean people at Ur –
after first God having created many nations (ethnos) in Gen. 11 out of
the rebellion demonstrated by the tower at Babel. He sent them the
linguistically confusion (groups of ethnos all of a sudden speaking
different languages than other groups formed at the very same time and place).
God obviously found that He no longer would deal directly with all the world,
but He chose to limit His ‘Class’ of students, by calling Abraham and thus
safely and slowly creating a new nation for Himself, Israel, elected to be
taught the ways of the Lord – whilst we, the Gentiles/Ethnos would have to go our
own ways, Acts 14:16.
recognize in this move, the very truth of Paul’s words: ‘For all mankind
have sinned, falling short of the glory of God’ – which means: Both
Gentiles in history as well as later on, Jewry, fell from God and had to pay
the penalty. Which was and still is, to be scattered in the world. We were
scattered at Babel, and the Jews were scattered in 70 A.D. because of their
persistent denial of Christ. And they still are, in spite of 35% of Jewry
having formed a nation in Palestine.
forming of ancient Israel was for the purpose of the prophesied Kingdom with
Christ as their King – a holy nation, made up of a Royal priesthood under their
King Christ Jesus. He chose this little nation to be the vessel of God for the
salvation of the world. But He could not use them if they would not first accept
Christ. That was then, as we read the Book of Acts.
separation/segregation of the Hebrews under the Law of Moses, also called the
Sinai-Pact, was for the purpose of the Kingdom to come, and as such they were
also to be kept free of idolatry. They were not allowed to worship Heathen gods
or images, whatsoever. If they did, the righteous punishment would fall upon
them from God, ultimately God would destroy them. God’s warning of the
idolatry seen with us ancient Gentiles – leaves us no great glory, does it?
This topic is a main one throughout the Old Testament times, as we learn of the
great struggle laid upon Israel’s prophets rebuking and reproving Israel for
the least we are reminded of Salomon, David’s son, and his decadence turning
over to worship his many Heathen wifes idols and alien gods – tempting
the good Lord. God warned the Israelites at an early stage in history against
committing sin by doing the same evil deeds as the Canaanites had done before
the land was taken:
the land is defiled; therefore I visit the iniquity of it upon it, and the land
itself vomits out her inhabitants. So you shall keep My statutes and My
ordinances and shall not commit any of these abominations, neither the
native-born nor any stranger who sojourns among you. For all these abominations
have the men of the land done who were before you, and the land is defiled –
lest the land spew you out when you defile it as it spewed out the nation that
was before you. Whoever commits any of these abominations shall be cut off
from (among) his people.” Lev. 18:25-29. Ref. also Peter in
Acts 3:23 – using ‘exterminated from among the people’ in relation to
not accepting Christ! Thus the Holy Ghost reminds Israel after Pentecost, of
the fact that to resist Christ is likened with idolatry! And thus the
death-penalty was at hand.
19:33-34 is nevertheless learning Israel to be gentle and mild towards
the proselytes living with them:
if a stranger dwells temporarily with you in your land, you shall not suppress
and mistreat him. But the stranger who dwells with you shall be to you as one
born among you; and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in
the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Norwegian translation is a better and more correct one, for it has nothing said
of the strangers among Israel as if they are just passing through, staying only
for a short visit. It rather presents the stranger as one who has deliberately
immigrated to Israel or to stay with them regardless of whether it was at
Sinai or later, in the land. This has to be correct, for why else would God
make ordinances to love the strangers as themselves? You only love such
individuals if you get to know them properly. Jesus said: Love thy neighbors
Pharisees in the time of Jesus and the apostles had made this commandment to
something else entirely: The Gentiles were hounds, mastered by the superior
class: Jews. Thus we find Jesus in Matt. 15:24 using that false doctrine to slap
the Pharisees present in their faces spiritually, by healing the daughter of
the Gentile woman. That is why Jesus deliberately referred to that false
Pharisaic doctrine – as if that was some ordinance which they, the
Pharisees, would like Him to abide by – but Jesus then just elegantly did as
opposed to this heresy. He healed her ill fared daughter, thus rebuking the false
doctrine of Gentiles as merely common dogs.
Gen. 10:32 we find that ethnos is translated nations – in regard
to the times after Noah and the flood. It is the same in both the English Bible
and the Norwegian Bible. The descendants of Noah and his family, characterized
Abraham onward, it became a ‘Them’ and an ‘Us’ – it was a total wall between
the Hebrews and the Gentile peoples, a wall of partition. Jesus, pointing to
the land of Israel, taught this very same existing spiritual wall of partition
in Matt. 21:33 – ‘..who planted a vineyard and put a hedge around it…’
–in Norwegian is says: Put a fence around it. This very fence, or wall of
partition, was torn down in Eph. 2:14-15 as God had given Paul the dispensation
of the grace of God for all the world. But it was standing throughout the Book
of Acts time line. The wall fell as Israel fell from God.
by Abraham, we find the beginning of that partition, as follows:
I will bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses or uses insolent
language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be
God, even if He had said that in the future all the world would be
blessed by Abraham’s people, give this blessing to all the world – as if there
were no separation/election of Abraham at all? Of course not. The separation
and election of the Hebrews stood fast all the time, up until Acts 28 and the
fall of Israel in 62 A.D.
spoken to that separated and segregated and elected holy nation cannot
ever be applied on any other nations. Words spoken to Israel, were for Israel
very fact created the Gentile-phenomena as such. For in the times, we have been
using the Gentile aspect in the meaning of us as ‘Non-Jews’, haven’t we? In
other words, if there were no Jews, we would not have considered ourselves as
a little infant can understand that promises given a certain particular group
of believers, like Israel, and in the form of specific pacts and covenants –
could not have been given all other common peoples outside of that specific
group. Or else, it would all have been totally absurd. Why give a segregated
group promises at all, if it shows that the promises were meant for all the
world to enjoy?
fact that Israel over the years had a class of so-called proselytes, Gentiles
living with them as if they were Jews – did not ever mean that these proselytes
represented all the Gentile world as such. Proselytes were no longer considered
as the nations, but they belonged to Israel, and had to take both
Israel’s blessings as well as Israel’s penalties just the same.
already saw the original promise given Israel’s children at Sinai, read in Ex.
promise given them, if they obeyed, was that God should make them into a
kingdom of priests to Him. That is the early promise of the millennial
kingdom, which Jesus came to fulfill – just like Paul said to the Galatians
in Acts 13:32:
are bringing you the good news (Gospel) that what God PROMISED to our
to whom? Us Gentiles? No way – it was promised to the forefathers of Israel,
no others. And the reference here is to Jer. 31:31 – the New Covenant which was
to be offered Israel by Christ and later on by His apostles as we read in Acts.
Ref. also Hebr. 8-9 chapters.
was entirely segregated, and what God spoke to them, promises or otherwise,
were spoken to them solely and exclusively.
in O.T. times were kept out of the covenants (Eph. 2:12) – and could only
become proselytes in Israel, living on the blessings God had laid upon Israel.
Jews first, then Greek, said Paul, and said the prophets.
disrespect the ordinances given to Israel by God, of keeping separated and
segregated from Gentile-world, and think we can read ourselves into the
blessings of Israel just like that, we will cast ourselves into full confusion
as to whether God said what to whom!
this is just the case, especially with the Pentecostalism and the Charismatics.
They read themselves into any Scripture and passage that suits their wishes,
chasing for their miracle and blessings. Even Evangelicals has the same
thinking, however without the miracles, tongues and healings. They think that
what Jesus taught Israel in the Gospels were for the Church! How utterly
misunderstood. They disregard Jesus’ own words: I am not sent to others than
the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Matt. 15:24.
the Bible shows us that Gentiles could only live on the blessings given Israel,
in a very limited sense – and not as genuine Israelites really. The contingent
of proselytes was always kept in control. They were exceptions from the general
rule…a rule which said: This I have given Israel only!
shall give this my better attention as we have a look at Gentiles in the times
seen in N.T. Scriptures. Bear with me just a little longer, and we will get to
indeed such malpractice and error, often seen with the Pentecostals and
Charismatics, making New Covenant promises given to Israel, valid for the
Church. But the New Covenant (New Testament) was offered only to Israel as a
private affair between Christ and Israel.
Gentiles have always been shut out of the covenants of Israel, including
all the blessings within those covenants, Eph. 2:12.
when the Grace Gospel finally arrived, at Israel’s fall in Acts 28 – as we
learn Paul’s doctrine in Ephesians and Colossians, we find no clue of any
‘Covenant’ with God, but a free gift – the salvation by faith in Christ, no
works, Eph. 2:8. The New Covenant was suspended entirely at Israel’s fall in
Acts 28 – period!
it shall be re-opened to Israel in the Great Tribulation, after the Church has
ended its time, Matt. 24:14. Today we have just the great free grace of God,
and no such covenant as Israel.
C H A
P T E R 2
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Some believers thinks gullibly that just as we enter
from Malachi over into Matthew, we come right into Church-time and Church
doctrine. This is why we often call such Christian groups for ‘Evangelicals’.
nothing could be farther from truth.
studying the Gentiles’ status in N.T. Scriptures, we find the very same
segregation and election of Israel as we have seen in O.T.!
simply find Israel as the one and only He spoke to – and He Himself proclaimed
publicly what I already referred from Matt. 15:24:
was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
is an outright
over the entire earthly ministry of Jesus, as well as His disciples:
nowhere among the Gentiles and do not go into any town of the Samaritans. But
go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
the four Gospels and the Acts (and epistles written in Acts time line) is the
same as reading oneself into Israel’s New Covenant promises (see Mark 16) with
its miracles and signs. For Paul taught in Eph. 2:12 that we Gentiles were kept
out of all of that! More of this below, shortly.
believers today have a tendency towards de-gentilizing us by teaching that ‘A
Gentile is a person which has not believed on Christ’ – and vice versa – a Christian
is a Gentile who has stopped being a Gentile! How ignorant can we get?
Gentile is a Non-Jew, and as we come to faith in Christ, we become a Christian
Gentile, as opposed to an unbelieving Gentile. It is simple really.
we shall have a look at a more detailed definition of the Gentile-issue:
N.T. Scripture we find 4 types of Gentiles defined,
The world outside Israel in general.
Secondly – As
proselytes in Israel or with Israel (in the diaspora)
As Jesus-believers Messianic proselytes in the Apostolic assemblies
Fourth – As
Jesus-believers equally together with believing Jews, alike in Christ. Or as
unbelieving lost Gentiles; excused if one never heard of God and Christ, but
lost if heard of Him but still will not believe. (See Rom. 2:14-15).
in the first example were such that were left to themselves, just like
Paul explained to the idolaters in Acts 14:16 – Gentiles walking in their own
ways, not the ways of the Lord. What this group of Gentiles had, is described
in Rom. 2:14-15 – the Law of their conscience, which either condemned them or
freed them – they were themselves a law, and Paul explicitly says of
them that they who have not the Law of Moses….
in second example were those who were considered as strangers,
foreigners, proselytes in Israel of old and were circumcised and keeping the
Law. The same whom later were called Greek. In O.T. times they were better off
actually, for with the rise of Phariseism after Babylon-deportation (500 B.C.)
– the ill doctrine I mentioned, of us Gentiles as hounds and common dogs under
their masters, the Jews, made the Gentiles a poor and suffering sub-race in
Israel. Their cheaply employed servants and waiters. In modern Phariseism, the
Talmud scriptures, we are called for ‘Goyim’ – cattle and beasts – fit only for
slaughter, or at our best, to be slaves of the superior race, the Jews.
Unbelievable but true.
Gentiles in third example were to be held as proselytes in the faith in
Christ, however it was under the New Covenant faith, not the free Grace such as
we have now after Paul and his revelation in Ephesians and Colossians of the
Mystery. Such proselytes were defined in two separate groups under the
apostles. They were a limited number only, and had laid upon them a
special purpose only, which are explained by James in Acts. 15, and by Paul in
ones in Acts 15:14-20 – regarding the little group from the house of Cornelius
(Acts 10) was defined as a closed group (some say about forty believers) – and
the purpose of those few souls was to be a group chosen by God within Israel’s
land as a testimony of the truthfulness of the prophets (verse 15 and 16) after
which God should send Christ to raise up the fallen house of David – so that
(by Israel’s imminent kingdom) ALL THE OTHER PEOPLES AND THE GENTILES
should seek the Lord. In other words: The group at Cornelius’ house was for a sign
and a testimony to the Lords name, to foretell the establishing of the
Davidic throne on Zion, according to the prophets.
is why we cannot find Peter going to Gentiles on a regular basis ever – but we
find, Gal. 2:7-8: “…Peter had been entrusted to proclaim the Gospel to the circumcised
– ….God Who motivated Peter and worked effectively through him for the
mission to the circumcised…”
proselytes mentioned, had to keep the commandments in Lev. 17 – of food and
meat ordinances etc. –but in our time the entire Law with its commandments and
ordinances has been abolished, Eph. 2:14-15. For sure! Also see Col. 2:14-16.
the other group of proselytes, those under Paul’s ministry to the “…proselytes
and kings and the descendants of Israel…” Acts 9:15. They had the specialty
of being used only to make the Jews jealous and angry, driving them hopefully
to repentance and faith in Christ! There never were no free admittance of each
and every Gentile into ‘Miracles, signs and wonders, and baptism of the Holy
Ghost’ – they could only come as proselytes, if Israel FIRST had turned down
Christ, Jew by Jew as Paul offered them the New Covenant salvation with its
Kingdom on earth. A branch from the Jewish olive tree had to be broken off first,
and then only, could a Gentile be grafted in. It had to be offered up an
‘Untaken seat’ – before there could be room for a Gentile. Imagine if we
Christians today should operate like that!
matter entirely, was the fact that the proselytes themselves, after having
accepted Christ under Paul’s ministry, they brought their fellow countrymen,
the unconverted raw Greek into the faith. Such proselytes became the main
issue in the epistle to the Galatians, as the Messianic Pharisaic converts demanded
such uncircumcised proselytes to be circumcised.
also find such ones, in great numbers in Ephesus, causing the silversmiths in
the Diana Temple to raise uproar against Paul. His converts among proselytes
and Gentiles stole the attendants from the Diana worship, and the craftsmen
lost their big income. Acts 19:23-41.
Paul was never sent to any other than the proselytes which attended the
Synagogue services in the Empire. Paul did not go out of the Synagogues if Jews
there would not accept. He simply turned his attention to the proselytes inside
there, sitting in the rear…and thus talked in an offensive way directly to
them, over the Jew’s heads – which was forbidden. They went furious with Paul
whenever he stopped talking to them, and turned his attention towards the
proselytes, the Greek.
please, dear Christian believer, do not for a second think that these
proselytes in Rom. 11 makes up a role-model for Gentiles of today. And thank
God for it as well!
then we arrive at the fourth type of Gentiles such as us! When we are
either believers in Christ, and then have received salvation in Christ in the
heavens up above the heavens, by grace and faith alone; or – God forbid – are
unbelieving Gentiles, lost and have no heaven up there with Christ which awaits
us. If we die in this state of mind, we will be dead forever, and God will not
raise any such unbeliever to eternal life. There is, however, no hell or
eternal punishment in the form of torment and fire and such horror. No, there
will be like one was never born. That is the Bible, for sure.
only thing is, that if a Gentile out in a godforsaken dessert or wilderness or
jungle, has a good conscience and not have heard of God, Jesus, the
Gospel or any such thing, he will be saved in due time accordingly. His
God-given conscience will defend him if it is good. But if bad – then he will
go lost just like those who eventually reject the message of Christ. Rom.
dwell a bit with those proselytes mentioned by James, my group # 3 above, this
sort of Messianic proselytes will emerge again as we find the millennial
Kingdom established. Then it will be in the manner James told, ALL THE OTHER
PEOPLES AND THE GENTILES –which we learn from Zech. 8:23 – in which the setting
is the millennial reign of Christ:
those days ten men OUT OF ALL LANGUAGES OF THE NATIONS shall take hold
of the robe of him (priest) who is a Jew, saying, Let us go with you, for we
have heard that God is with you (it is Jews first again!).”
wall of partition is back up – and Israel is again the chosen nation of God and
Christ, sat far above all other nations.
it has to go through the horror of the Great Tribulation – in which God shall
have the Jews cleansed and made holy for Himself. See Ezek. 36 where God and
Christ are sending the tribulation to revenge their name, because Jewry in the
dispersion since 70 A.D. has been profaning the name of the Lord (Christ) among
the nations where they lived. The Jews in Zech. 8:13 are left with a rather
gloomy characterization as a people, and their ways have been ways of curse and
damnation to the world around them:
as you have been a curse and a byword among the nations, O house of Judah and
house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing…”
salvation goes through the purging in the Great Tribulation, in which God will reverse
that gloom and doom – making them a nation to be a blessing, just as He
promised Abraham in Gen. 12 and 15. The blessing will arrive in full as we see
the rise of the millennial Messianic Kingdom with Jesus on the throne.
only shall there be many proselytes – but it seems to me that even whole
nations can submit to the Kingdom politically as well as spiritually and thus
receive the great blessings laid upon Israel in the millennia. Jesus will allow
for national covenantal obligations.
on the other hand – as taught by Zech. 14:16-19 – the remorseful nations that
warred against Jerusalem in the tribulation – must obey and report to Jesus and
participate in the Feast of the Tabernacles, for if they don’t then God shall
hold back rain over that land as a penalty. Christ shall reign as King with
His Iron Rod, and smite all ungodly and disobedient group or nation that will
not submit to the Kingdom.
the millennia it will be a greater multitude of proselytes than ever seen in
Biblical times. The wall of partition will however exist. It will still be
‘Jews first, then Gentile’.
James’ words at the Apostolic Conference in Jerusalem in Acts 15 will come
and Gentiles in the New Testament will be the role-model for the Kingdom to
it just amazing how foolishly the Christian-Zionists in the world today are
using O.T. Scripture from Zech. 14 and the Feast of the Tabernacles as if that
ordinance is in operation in our time? The Bible says that this rule and law
of Christ at the throne in Jerusalem can only come to effect in His physical
presence – and cannot be taken valid in advance. So all the heretical movement
of the Christian Zionists are on a collision course with God and His Word. If
this ordinance had been in effect today, then there would fall no rain on any
nation not obeying that rule. Such dumb practice and beliefs are bringing
bywords and disgrace upon Christianity and makes us look like clowns in the
eyes of the world.
sincerely hope that this little Booklet has been of some help to the reader –
and that you from here on will be cautious and dividing the word of Truth in a
right manner thus learning to know what is for us, the Body of Christ, and what
is only for Israel.