A Response to Pastor Dan Delzell’s Article in the Christian Post

Pastor Dan Delzell’s thoughtful article has so much in it to commend that I almost hesitate to attempt to add to it. He strikes the right chords, particularly regarding the necessity of saving faith in Jesus the Messiah.

I especially commend him for stressing Jesus’ Jewish identity because, as a Jewish believer in Jesus and the president of Chosen People Ministries, a worldwide evangelistic mission to Jewish people, I live with these issues day in and day out.

I would like to make a couple of comments. Pastor Dan’s “Three Level” model of the unfolding will of God in creation could easily be misinterpreted to mean that because we’ve reached “Level 2” – the New Covenant, the Gospel and Christianity – that somehow the Hebrew Scriptures and the Jewish people represented by “Level 1” are now in God’s rear-view mirror.

While of course I would agree with Pastor Dan that the New Covenant brings believing Jews and Gentiles together in a new relationship with God as a body that acknowledges Jesus as Head, I would like to add that this new relationship does not by any means mean the clear break from “Level 1” that Pastor Dan’s article may be taken to mean.

I prefer to think that the New Covenant fulfills, but does not replace, what has come before it, any more that the Davidic Covenant somehow replaces the covenant God made with Abraham.

In a related vein, Pastor Dan’s reference to Paul’s words in Romans 2:28-29, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God” must be carefully read in the entire context of Romans, particularly Romans 9-11.

Does Paul really mean in this passage that the only true Jews are Gentiles or Jewish people who believe in Jesus? If so, then why does Paul preserve the distinction, “To the Jew first and to the Gentile” in Romans 1:16? Who – if not the children of Israel – are the “beloved kinsmen” that Paul is willing to barter his own salvation for (Romans 10:1-5)? Who, if not the Jews, are those for whose sake salvation has come to the Gentiles (Romans 11:11) and whose final restoration in Christ must occur (Romans 11:27-27) to usher in Pastor Dan’s “Level 3?”

Both Pastor Dan and I certainly believe in the centrality of Yeshua – but I simply want to suggest that far from having become an irrelevant presence in the plan of God, the Jewish people have a key role to play even now in the events that will bring about the glorious moment of Messiah’s return.

Moreover, I am sure Paul would agree that the non-Jewish Christians of our day are a key element in bringing Paul’s beloved kinsmen the Good News that secures both Jews and non-Jews a place in God’s kingdom. (Romans 11:11)

May I add one final word as to why the continuation of God’s covenant with the Jewish people is so critical for Jewish evangelism? As Jewish believers, we know that the major roadblocks to faith in Yeshua are not theological, but historical – and even sociological.

Jewish people have generally not been treated well by the “Church,” and have therefore come to the reasonable conclusion that if one believes in Jesus – that person is no longer Jewish. This is not the teaching of the New Testament.

This message of God’s continuing plan for the Jewish people needs to be proclaimed in order to help Jewish people understand that receiving Yeshua is not the end of their Jewish identity or of the Jewish people, but a new beginning.

This does not take away from the message that personal salvation for Jew or Gentile is only found through the death and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah; I am simply reminding Pastor Dan and others that God still has a plan and purpose for the nation of Israel.

In closing – one more word from Rabbi Saul,

From the standpoint of the Gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:28-29)

Visit www.chosenpeople.com for resources that will help you in sharing the Gospel with your Jewish friends!

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25 Comments

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25 responses to “A Response to Pastor Dan Delzell’s Article in the Christian Post

  1. David.Schiller@bakerbotts.com

    Mitch – great post! Very gracious and loving, but at the same time boldly proclaiming the truth, with clarion clarity, that God has not abandoned His Chosen People according to the flesh, the Jews, that Yeshua Himself is a Jew, and that the LORD longs for His Jewish people to return to Him and embrace their Messiah, as Paul promises will happen in Rom 11.

    David

  2. Frank Adamick

    The Jewish people, the Jewish nation occupy a unique permanent place in the plan of God for the salvation of all humanity. They truly are God’s chosen people and what God chooses to bring unto Himself He will in no wise cast out.

    I am a servant of Yahweh, indeed one thing I do attest being immersed in Scripture you learn of the substitutionary suffering and death of Yahshua Messiah. His Passion and death paid for our sins. God raised Him from the dead; He ascended to the Father and acts as our High Priest, our Intercessor. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the assembly: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight.” (COLOSSIANS 1:14-22)

    Realizing this it was a fantastic blessing and revelation to me when I understood that it was actually the Son of God Himself, the Second Person of the Triune God, Yahshua, who heard the cries of His people all those years ago, the Israelites captive as slaves to Egypt, and delivered them from bondage by His mighty works. When Moses encounters God at Mount Horeb in Old Testament Scripture it is written: “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian;and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of YHWH appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when YHWH saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” (EXODUS 3: 1-6) “The angel of YHWH” who appeared to Moses is identified as “the God of thy father, the God of Abraham…Isaac…Jacob.” This is apparently the continuation of the manifestation of “the angel of YHWH” begun in Genesis 16:7. This one is more than just an angelic messenger from God. Frequently He received the respect, worship, and honor reserved only for God; yet He was consistently distinguished from God. Note the references in GENESIS: 16: 7-11; 21:17; 22:11-18; 24:7, 40; 31:11; 32:24-30; 48:15-16. He’s also referred to in JOSHUA 5:13-15 and JUDGES 13:3-23. He carried an identity with God; yet He was also sent from Him! It is sure that He was not the invisible God still He acted and talked as YHWH. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (JOHN 1:1-5)

    Now I can truly see. This was my first understanding that indeed it was Yahshua all along; from His solitary passing as fire through the midst of the sacrificial animals to seal His covenant with Abraham while Abraham slept. It was Yahshua who called Abraham back from sacrificing Isaac and preserved the son through whom the Messianic line would be drawn. It was Yahshua who struggled with Jacob all through the night and gave him the name Israel. It was Yahshua who guided the hands of Israel as he blessed Joseph’s sons. Yes, Yahshua working all along to shepherd His people. Yahshua’s voice calling to Moses out of the flame of fire in the midst of the bush.

    And when Messiah did enter His creation as a man as was foretold throughout the Old Testament prophets He was in fact rejected by men. The nation of Israel did sacrifice the Lamb of God at Passover. (LUKE 19:41-44) “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly.” (HOSEA 5:15) The prophetic Scripture Isaiah 53 speaks to Israel’s future national corporate confession when “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith YHWH of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.” (ZECHARIAH 12:10; 13:1-2) The Jewish people are the apple of God’s eye. (DEUTERONOMY 32:9-10) They are a peculiar treasure to Him (EXODUS 19:5) and they are the ones to whom Yahshua was originally sent: the lost sheep of Israel. God’s plan of Redemption is a work in progress and the Jews have yet to reach their perfection as a holy nation.(EXODUS 19:6) Messiah Yahshua is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for all His sheep. (JOHN 10:14-18)

    The relationship that develops between Yahshua and the woman of Samaria tells us important facts concerning how Yahshua views Himself and the vital connection of His chosen people to God. “Then said the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Yahshua answered and said unto her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give me to drink; you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water. Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman said unto him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Yahshua said unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman said unto him, I know that Messiah comes, when he is come, he will tell us all things. Yahshua said unto her, I that speak unto you am he.” (JOHN 4:9-10, 14, 19-26) Yahshua lived His entire life as an obedient Jew; recognized as a Jew, the Son of David, (MARK 12:35-37; LUKE 18:35-43) even by those who were not Jewish. He kept faithfully the Torah and the Feasts of YHWH in spirit and in truth at Jerusalem. Yahshua stated directly that He offered the gift of God, i.e. the Holy Spirit and everlasting life to Jew and Gentile. Yahshua declared to this woman of Samaria, that He was in fact both the Prophet spoken of by Moses (DEUTERONOMY 18:15-22) and the Messiah. He consistently said publicly, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (MATTHEW 5:17) After His resurrection Yahshua told His disciples, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (LUKE 24:44) He acknowledged these as the Oracles of God thus saying: salvation is of the Jews.

    The Hebrew Old Testament prophets wrote not only of Messiah’s First Advent as Suffering Servant and Kinsman Redeemer but they also provide many prophesies concerning His Second Coming as King of Kings, Lord of Lords and Almighty Judge. “And the word of YHWH came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith YHWH; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season: Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne: and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. As the hosts of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me. Thus saith YHWH; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.” (JEREMIAH 33:19-22, 25-26) Ultimately in the fullness of time it shall all come to pass as Messiah Yahshua has declared in Holy Scripture for “behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. I Yahshua have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (REVELATION 22:12-13, 16)

  3. Excellent reply. Whole-heartedly agree. Amen, Amen, Amen!!!!

  4. Gary Jones

    Brother Mitch, I like your response and agree with all you have said. I am a Gentile but love the Jewish people.

  5. Dr.Raymond Russomanno,MD

    Great read and info, especially to us gentile deep students who love and follow Messiah Yeshua!

  6. well thought and articulated, brother Mitzch! Shalom–David

  7. glenn

    Beautiful response by Frank Adamilick, 6:03 in the morning! It would take me all night to type it

  8. Richard

    For Mr. Delzell to imply that “Judaism ” was Level 1 and now Christianity is Level 2 sure sounds like replacement theology in sheeps clothes to me. Last time I checked, Hebrews 8 defines the “Newer” covenant and low and behold it is a quote from Jeremiah 31:33 and who is it with? The House of Judah and The House of Israel, not the house of Gentiles. They are welcome to come in, by way of grafting but they are no longer Gentiles at that point. To whom is the book of Jacob (aka James) written? 1 Peter:1? Ephesians 2:12-13?

  9. Charles Barg, MD

    Amen and amen!!! Excellent discussion of a very real problem in the church. cb

  10. Dean M.

    You are right, Dr. Mitch, that there are historical and sociological obstacles. There are also cultural, namely, Hebrew versus Greek. My question: Why would the Holy One choose Greek to express something supposedly higher in the spiritual evolution of mankind? Greek comes from Javan, a son of Japheth. Japheth is to enter the tents of She

    • Dean M.

      Japheth is to enter the tents of Shem, not the other way around. (was cut off in mid sentence–computer glitch)

    • Thanks for your comment Dean. God used the Greek language to express New Covenant truths as this was the lingua franca of the day. Even the Greek used by the NT writers is often filled with Aramaisms – which reveal the Hebrew thought expressed by the Greek language. The link to Greek philosophy or religions is quite different than the use of the language…Jesus and the NT writers express themselves “Jewishly” and in the context of their day. The great work by Alfred Edersheim, the Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, which is on line is a great way to look at the NT as a Jewish book, founded on the Hebrew Scriptures. The Apostle Paul condemns the philosophers of his day as falling short of the truth found in Yeshua.

      • Dean M.

        Dear Dr. Mitch, the Greek Orthodox Church teaches that the Septuagint constitutes not only a translation but a new and improved revelation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The NT uses the Septuagint whenever quoting the Tenach. Whatever Hebrew thought comes through, much is lost in the process.

  11. Merrilee

    This little old Christian lady can find several problems with Mr. Delzell’s article but here are two for starters.
    1. The Jewish people will continue to rule and live in Israel in the reborn earth.
    2. No where in the Bible does it say that the New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant it add’s a way to salvation but no where does it negate the Old Testament or the original Covenants.

  12. Pingback: The Chief Problem of The Chosen People Ministry | Timothy Law's Journal

    • I did not use the word superiority in my blog. The word used in Hebrew is bachar…to choose or be chosen. Read through Dt. 7:7-8

      The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers…

      Further passages include Romans 11:25-29 and of course the foundation passage in Genesis 12:1-3.

      God chose the Jeiwsh people for a purpose – this did not make Jewish people superior. It simply means that God has a plan to bless the world through the Jewish people – and through the Jeiwsh Messiah and that until His plan is completed, the Jewish people still fulfill a special role in His purposes.

  13. Linguistic study shows that it is not the New Testament but rather the Renewed Testament.

  14. Both articles are good, fall short of the truth.
    Yeshua said in John 4:22 that salvation is of the Jews and Revelation 7:1-8 states that the 144,000 (12,000 from 12 tribes of Israel) are sealed on their forehead and verse 9 means that through them a multitude to numerous to count will stand before the throne in white robes. These 144,000 Israelites have to be Messianis Jews / Israelites who believe in the Christian Bible, God, Yeshua and the Holy Spirit.
    Yeshus said in John 3:5 that in order to enter the Kingdom of God, you must be born again by water (Baptism) and the Spirit, that is why. Romans 8:14 states that all who are led by the Spirit are sons of God and why verse 15 and Galatians 4:4-7 state that we become sons through adoption and heirs with Yeshua as sons of God.
    John 1:12 and 1 John 5:13 says that you must believe in the name “The Son of God” because that will be your new name (Revelation 2:17) through adoption by the Holy Spirit through the 144,000.
    Revelation 14:1 makes it clear (except in the KJV and the NKJV) that the seal of God is the Son’s name and the Father’s name / “The Son of God”. Revelation 22:4 makes it clear just how important that name is to yourself and to God, that if you want to see God face to face you must have that name written on your forehead. Only those people who have the seal of God will not suffer from the sting found in Revelation 9:4.

  15. Something else that immediately jumped out at me as I read Delzell’s article is his statement that all there will be in the end is Heaven and Hell. While they are the only possible current destinations for souls who die, in eternity there is the new earth upon which we will be living in our glorified bodies. We were not made for Heaven, we were created to live on the earth and Heaven is only a temporary destination where we await our Lord’s return to earth and our return with Him.

    • Richard

      True, a point that is amazing and to calls to attention how many believers get their belief system from a pulpit rather than searching the scriptures to find what is true like a Berean. It is each persons responsibility to believe what he reads not read what he believes.

  16. What a well thought out, detailed article Dr. Glaser, I tremendously enjoyed reading it. Also, your response to the original article clearly showed & impressed upon me just how important to you the truth of GOD’s WORD is in it’s entirety. Your response was clearly written in a Spirit of love with the desire of being an help to others in sharing your knowledge. That in itself is so refreshing & how we should go about it, especially when so many others attempt to use these type of scenarios as platforms to show their supposed superiority. I completely agree with the truth that JESUS did not do away with the Old Covenant but rather fulfilled it in HIMSELF & neither did HIS fulfillment of the Scriptures disavow the Jewish Nation nor did it take Gentiles, such as myself, and set them up as a replacement for the Jews as HIS Chosen People. Another major factor in Middle East tensions that I just don’t understand, are “Christian” people who support a Palestinian state, even if it causes Israel’s own detriment, Then to confuse me even more, these same people stand in opposition to Israel taking any precautions for their own safety & who want Israel to make all the concessions with the Palestinians making none. How can they not see that these people who they empathize with are the same people whose whole goal & agenda is to push Israel into the sea, in addition to them living by the principle of their “religious” dogma which calls for the worldwide extermination & complete annihilation of the Jew & Christian alike. To make it even worse, these people use the Scriptures as their defense, taking things written therein completely out of context or quote certain passages that are nothing more than an outright misrepresentation of GOD’s HOLY WORD & do so whether they realize the dangers of their blasphemy or not. I mean where did these idiotic ideas of replacement theology start in the first place & when did it start gaining acceptance in some circles, which lead to it taking preeminence over the accepted truth, proven in the Scriptures themselves? I just can’t grasp how anyone claiming to be a true believer in CHRIST could even fathom using this train of thought, much less use it to justify their statements & to give false credence to such a ludicrous idea! A dubious, morally suspect, & morally corrupt train of thought, that lends itself to the belief that the Jewish People are no longer “the apple of GOD’s Eye” & thus relegates them to homeless wanderers. Wanderers with no rights to their Homeland since the “church” is now their replacement & that somehow overrides the Scriptures’ authority which clearly teaches that GOD HIMSELF chose them & chose to give them the land for all generations to come under HIS unbreakable covenant. I just wish people like that would remove the blinders from their eyes &, without bias or preconceived notions taught to them by unknowledgeable teachers, just read the WORD of GOD with the leadership, the direction, & the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT to reveal to them the truths HE wants us to know. Sorry for rambling on & on, so again, thanks for the great article response you gave Dr. Glaser & so glad I found your blog today!!

  17. Jim Ferrari

    G-d’s perfect love for Israel is ineffable and immovable.
    There are so many scriptures like “I Am their inheritance” and “I Am their possession”. How could such affection ever be measured or limited? Not
    possible. (Thanks)

  18. Susana Hernandez

    Good one, Mitch. I read that article as your email requested and saw these issues clearly. Your response is both loving and precise. Just right.

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