The Book of Acts: Chapter 28 (pt 11 of 15)

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In my last post is was explaining how Paul quoted Isaiah warning them that because the nation had not turned, and accepted Yeshua as their Messiah, a judicial blindness had been imposed on them. Paul wrote about this blindness in II Corinthians, chapters 3 and 4:

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness, and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the result of the glory that was made ineffective. But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds, but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit —II Corinthians 3:12-18

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the 0image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the one who shined in our hearts to give us the light of the glorious knowledge of God in the face of Christ —II Corinthians 4:3-6

The only way for the blindness of the Jews (or anyone, for that matter) to be removed is through faith in Yeshua. He has now been powerfully proclaimed to the Jewish leaders, and by and large they did not believe. The blindness remains, and it will only be removed through faith in Jesus as the promised Messiah. Since the Jews would not bring Gentiles to faith by being a “light to the Gentiles,” they were blinded, and the light of the gospel was taken from the Jews. I better explain that. Way back in Genesis, you learn that it wasn’t just those from Abraham’s gene pool who could become part of God’s promises. Any slaves they may have owned with considered family members—and the children born to a slave! Any foreigner could become an “Israelite,” if they renounced their gods and were circumcised. Sadly, the Hebrews had forgotten their mandate to be the “light” to the world and lead them to YHWH. They began to see themselves and an exclusionary society with sole ownership of the promises of God.

One of the purposes of the Children of the Promise was to make all the Goyim, the Gentile nations, jealous, so they could see the goodness and care of Yehoveh. I believe that when Paul cited that passage from Isaiah 6, he was formally announcing the beginning of the “times of the Gentiles.” Paul makes it clear that a day will come when “the full number of the Gentiles has come in,” and then God will turn again to His people, opening their blind eyes so that “all Israel will be saved:” The purpose of The Church is to make the Children of the Promise jealous. They are to look to us and say, “Hey! They have what was promised to us!” Look what Paul wrote:

For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. So all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all —Romans 11:25-32

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Story of Acts

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