Yes, Israel was made God’s ‘First born son’ (Exodus 4:22)
Yet, even this was by adoption for the Yahweh said, “I will adopt you as My People, and I will become your God.” (Exodus 6:7)
It was Israel and not Spiritual Gentile Israel that Yahweh said,
For thou art an Holy people unto Yahweh thy Elohim: Yahweh thy Elohim hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the Earth.
There can be very little doubt that Israel was God’s First-born son. Israel was chosen as God’s ‘special possession’. Yet being chosen by God is not the same as being the only ones saved. In fact, there is no suggestion that we must become one of the tribes of Israel (Natural Branches) to be saved, neither does it suggest that the Houses of Judah and Israel must become Gentile (Grafted branches) to be saved. Truly salvation by God, comes from where we are. However, there are prerequisites to become adopted sons of God. The Children of Israel were given all the requirements, yet they did not recognize their Messiah because they had added so many man-made rules and traditions to God's Law/Torah that they were consumed with their religiosity.
The New Testament Church is Spiritual Israel today. This principle is amply recognized in several of the firstborn sons of Yahweh, disinheriting themselves from blessings as displayed from Esau, Ismael, Ephraim, Ruben, the firstborn sons of Egypt dying, offerings of the firstlings of the flock etc. Although the firstborn sons of Yahweh, Israel, was initially blessed, their inheritance was then made available to the younger(gentile) brother. The older also receiving double portion, but younger serving as the undeserving inheritor, proves to foreshadow the ultimate plan of Yahweh, time and time again throughout the scriptures.
The prophetic view of the end of times came with the realization that Israel, as a national whole was doing a poor Job of obeying the commands of the Lord. They were not Torah observant. They Read the Word, but did they hear the Word? Keep the Word!?
“He also struck down all the firstborn in their land, The first fruits of all their vigor.” Psalm 105:36
This verse does not only confirm this, but points us to the fact that our first fruits, our own effort was not good enough, and our right to salvation, therefore not earned through either hereditary or own effort, but due to the blessing passing on to the undeserving “second son” or Gentile nations.
It is thus impossible to ignore, the influence which Judaism and Christianity have mutually exerted on each other and It should always be remembered that the entire first Church was Jewish. All of the Twelve Apostles were Jewish. Their first assignment was to preach to "the lost sheep of Israel." (Matthew 10:6) Yeshua was reluctant at first to even share the Gospel with the Canaanite woman who asked for His help because His focus was also the Jewish people. (Matthew 25:22-28). In the early ages of Christianity, the followers of Yeshua still celebrated some of the Jewish ordinances, in particular those relating to the Feast of Pentecost, so-called from the Greek word “pentekoste”, fiftieth day, kept up on the fiftieth day after the feast of the Passover, see Leviticus 23. 15; Deuteronomy 16. 9; and Acts 2. 1 This was a favorite period among them for the observance of the rite of baptism, which was, as pointed out earlier, interestingly this too, of Essene origin!
As the nation began to reject their promised King and Messiah (Matthew 12:14-21), Yeshua began to conceal Truth from the nation, by speaking in parables (Matthew 13). He focused on preparation. His disciples for the age which would follow, and on His primary mission of arriving in Jerusalem at the time appointed for His crucifixion. One difference between Christianity and other religions is that all others are founded on man’s attempts to satisfy/appease/reach God. Christianity alone is the Truth that Yahweh reached out to us. He sought us out. He bought us back. It is all Yahweh’s work. God's design for ultimate blessings promised to the Gentiles came more into perspective.
The significance of Yeshua’s crucifixion during the period of Passover cannot be emphasized enough. During the Passover meal and service where Judaism would naturally expect the participants to hear about the miraculous deliverance of Israel through the first Exodus, we see Jesus pointing his disciples to his substitutionary death for sinners a second and even greater deliverance. This was exquisitely planned by our Creator. Anybody who does not recognize this symbolism is truly blind. On the night of Yeshua’s betrayal at the "Last Supper", after Judas had gone forth to finalize his plot to betray Him, Yahweh brought the eleven disciples, as illustrations of genuine, believing Israel into the "New Covenant" which had been promised to Israel hundreds of years before by the Prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Isaiah. This Covenant of Redemption refers directly to the Covenant within the Trinity which established the plan of salvation, i.e. the agreement within the counsel of Yahweh, that the Father would appoint the Son to give up his life of divinity, lower Himself to the level of a lessor creation, and ultimately die for mankind. (Titus 1:1-3).
Paul, a servant of Yahweh, and an apostle of Yeshua the Messiah, according to the faith of Yahweh's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after holiness; In hope of eternal life, which Elohim, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (Titus 1:1-2)
This “New” Covenant was not new at all. It was established at the creation of the world. Yeshua’s life, death and resurrection would be the story of the spreading of the Gospel message of Yahweh by verbatim example of Christ and these same men who were made Apostles of the Church. The nation Israel was to be brought back to Yahweh under the terms of this “New” Covenant, though for a period of time during which they were to be disinherited as firstborn son because of their rejection of Yeshua as Messiah. The Examples of Ishmael, Esau, Ruben as firstborn sons, losing their inheritance, being strikingly clear, Israel would remain spiritually blind and ultimately follow these firstborn sons’ example in losing their inheritance to the gentile nations. No amount of historical, scientific or argeological evidence can invalidate the evidence of the divinely planned unfolding prophecy hidden in the scriptures. No amount of words left out, books burned and false prophecies, can hide the Truth for those who study scripture with the Holy Spirit as a guide!
Yeshua's official rejection of Israel and His plan for the establishment of a Body of believers was announced at Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:17-19). The district of Caesarea Philippi lay twenty-five miles north of Galilee. Its inhabitants were mainly Gentiles. A few months afterwards, during His final week in Jerusalem, He announced to the nation and its leadership.
Yeshua saith unto them, did ye never read in the Scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is Yahweh's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of Elohim shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall Fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall Fall, it will grind him to powder.
Yeshua therefore wept over Jerusalem as He saw the awful destiny that would arrive upon the Firstborn sons’ land because of their rejection of Him. This was to be Jesus" last and most important withdrawal from Galilee before His final trip south of Jerusalem (Matthew 19:1). He remained outside Galilee, throughout the recollection of Matthew 17:20, when He returned from the North. For the second time the conditional provisions of the Covenant of the Land were to be implemented. This time their exile ("Diaspora") was to last not 70 years but 2000!
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 23:37)
The resurrection of Jesus and His appearances to friends and disciples over the next 40 days, reassured them significantly for they had all forsaken Him when He died (Matthew 26:31). Promising to send them " another Comforter" (John 14:16), Yeshua told His followers to wait ten more days. During their gathering in Jerusalem on the appointed day (the Feast of Pentecost following Passover) the Jewish followers of Yeshua were empowered by the Spirit of God and baptized into a new community of believers known as the Church, the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 3:1-21)
All of those who first learned the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) were Jewish (including converted Jews and those dispersed to other states). It was just later on the persecution of the early Church by the Jewish enemies of Yeshua in Jerusalem that they were dispersed from there, and began to get the message to the rest of Judea and Samaria, and eventually, to all the Gentiles living in Israel, and to other Nations (Acts 8:1; 10:1-48; 13:1-4). Still, when Paul, the "Apostle to The Gentiles" would extend to any new territory, he would first seek out the Jewish people and proclaim the Gospel to them. Only then would he begin to prophesy to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:5; 14; 14:1-5; 17:1-5; 18:1-6) Typically, some of the Jews would believe and the rest would not. Here is an example from the visit to Antioch in Pisidia (modern-day province of Antalya in Turkey):
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spake with them and exhorted them to go on in the good will of God. On the next Sabbath, almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Yahweh. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying. Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what Yeshua has commanded us: "'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honoured the word of the Yahweh; and all who were appointed for Eternal Life believed. (Acts 13:42-48)
Paul summarized:” For I am not ashamed of the good news of the Messiah: for it is the power of Yahweh unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
There is power in unity, a network and in community. As our network grows, our influence grows, making us more powerful and impactful for the Kingdom of God. Yeshua and his Apostles knew this and never meant to abolish the Torah of Moses from one who was born a Jew. Moses featured prominently in Jesus' transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-3, Mark 9:2-4, and Luke 9:28-30 along with Elijah when God declares that Jesus is His Son with whom he is well pleased. In these passages and others in the New Testament Moses is taken upward as an exemplar and representative of Yahweh's will. Throughout the Christian New Testament Moses is mentioned more than any other Old Testament Prophet or figure. Moses is pictured as the Law Giver in the Christian writings who exemplifies a man of God. Moses features prominently in the famous story Yeshua told concerning Lazarus in Luke 16: 19-31.
In this tale a poor, but a morally sincere man named Lazarus and a rich man live in the same township. Lazarus suffers daily while the rich man has everything he could desire. They both go on the same day and the rich man wakes up in the Underworld and sees Lazarus with Father Abraham in Heaven. He begs Father Abraham to help him but is reminded that, on Earth, he endured a life of ease while Lazarus suffered and at present it is but just that the characters are inverted. The rich man then asks Father Abraham to commit somebody to warn his family, as he has five brothers still living, and tell them how they should better live to avert his destiny. Abraham responds, "They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them." The rich man protested saying that if someone should rise from the dead to warn his family then they would surely listen. But Abraham said, "If they will not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither would they listen should someone rise from the dead." This story emphasizes how Moses' teachings provided everything anyone needed to know about how to live a good and decent life and enjoy an afterlife with God. If one is failing to ignore Moses and the Prophets and justify one's life choices, one would just as easily dismiss someone returning from the dead (Yeshua). And this is exactly what happened.
Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians (I Corinthians) that each should adhere to the faith in which each was called? They therefore also acted in conformity with the Torah by forbidding circumcision to Gentiles, according to the Halakha, as it is forbidden to one who does not bear the yoke of the Commandments. Yeshua the Nazarene as well gave us a shadow image of how the “realm of God” will run in that future “Day of the LORD” when the Messiah will reign for a thousand years. Yeshua portrayed this era when the foundation of social, political, and religious society will be based on the precepts of living a life of Torah observance.
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Yeshua of Nazareth, a man approved of Elohim among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which Elohim did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of Elohim, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have impaled and slain: Whom Elohim hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held by it. (Acts 2:22-24)
Bear in mind, this was not a Christian speaking to or against the Jewish masses. This was a “Man of Israel” speaking in the temple of Herod to thousands of Jewish “Men of Israel.” On that same day, three thousand “men of Israel” were baptized in the mikvahs surrounding the synagogue. Why? They were baptized in the same way that the Hasidim or Essenes were baptizing in the wilderness and along the Jordan River.
The household of God includes House of Judah, the House of Israel and the adopted sons of the Gentiles. Bible prophecy applies to Yahuwah’s physical People the Jews in a physical sense and to Yahuwah’s People the Community of Believers in Yahushua in a Spiritual sense.
For I could wish that myself were accursed from the Messiah for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the Flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the honour, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of Elohim, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the Flesh the Messiah came, who is over all, Yahweh be blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 9:3-5)
The conclusion that the Prophets envisioned would come within history and geography, as they saw it…., It would begin with a call from God. Watched over by a sudden mighty intervention of God, usually depicted in the mirror image of the Egyptian exile… and God’s mighty intervention would precipitate the entering of the promised land by the multiplication of believers that followed through the wanderings in the desert. It culminates with a new leadership established by Yahweh Himself that leads into a full scale eschatological war, the final battle of Earth’s history. Not only would God break into history to radically transform human society, human nature, and the natural world, but he would also clear the way for His people on Earth through a great final war against their enemies to conquer the promised land. That war and its effects would help put in motion the blessed goal that Israel might have acquired gradually by obedience, but answered not.
Because they did not Read the Scripture, or Hear the Scripture, or Keep the Holy Scripture!