THE SALVATION OF THE JEWS
by Pastor Jory Steven Brooks
Although God has a covenantal relationship with Israel, the
fact that Jews reject Christ and Christian salvation has been a
long-standing problem for theologians. "The Christian dilemma"
has been dealt with in various ways. In recent years, a new
conjecture has arisen in some quarters that Jews really do not
need Jesus or the New Covenant for salvation. They reason that
"if God blinded the Jewish people to the identity of Jesus as
Messiah, how could He send them to hell for not seeing what he
had forbidden them to see?"
(Of course those theologions do not understnd the plan of
salvation, if they did they would have had no such thoughts -
JEWISH SALVATION REQUIREMENTS
The Talmud lists four strict requirements which must be met
for a Jew to be able to enjoy the world to come: "Whoso keeps to
the land of Israel [i.e., continues to dwell there] and speaks
the sacred language [Hebrew] and enjoys its fruits in purity
[sinlessness], and recites the Shema [Deut.6:4] morning and
evening, to him the good news will be brought that he is a son of
the world to come." (jShab. 3c, 23) "He may be assured that he
belongs to the life of the world to come." (Str.-B., 111, 206ff,
quoted in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament ii:715,
How many Jews do you know who complete all four of these
onerous requirements and are qualified for the life to come
according to Jewish teaching? On the first requirement, over half
(55%) of Jews live outside of the Mideast and therefore have
forfeited eternal life. The task gets even tougher from here: few
Jews outside of the Mideast speak Hebrew, and hardly anyone, Jew
or non-Jew, recites Deuteronomy 6:4 (in Hebrew?) unfailingly
morning and evening their whole life through. As a result, all
such people are therefore also unqualified for the life to come
in the eyes of Orthodox Judaism. If that is not enough of a
barrier, we can confidently add that not one person alive can
claim true "purity" or sinlessness except for those who have
their sins washed away "in the blood of the lamb" (Rev.7:14; cf.
12:11). So Jews seeking eternal life through Judaism have four
enormous strikes against them.
BIBLICAL WAY OF SALVATION
In contrast to the teaching of Judaism, the New Testament
asserts that salvation is only possible through our faith in
Christ and His blood which was shed for our sins. Romans 1:16
says, "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." The Biblical world of that
day was largely divided between the Hebrew and Greek languages
and cultures, and the Apostle was essentially referring to the
world in terms of Jews and non Jews. He is making it clear that
there is only one way of salvation - belief in Christ - and it is
the same for both Jew and non-Jew. Acts 4:12 agrees and adds,
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other
name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." The
great faith chapter, Hebrews 11, emphasizes "the righteousness
which is by faith." (v.7) Nowhere is it ever stated or implied in
the Word of God that salvation is only a matter of obedience to
Despite the Bible's clear teaching on salvation (or we might
better say, in abject contradiction to it), there has arisen a
newly popular teaching among dispensationalist Christians known
as Dual-Covenant Theology. Its premise is that God has a special
covenant with the Jewish people and a completely different one
for the "Gentile Church." It is actually a "dual salvation"
hypothesis which claims that Jews are saved by their "race" and
obedience to the Old Covenant and do not need to believe in
Christ for salvation as everyone else does. This theory is also
known as "two covenant" or "Christian Zionism," and it is causing
quite a stir in the fundamentalist and dispensationalist camps. A
growing number of prominent Christian leaders have already been
linked to it.
One of the most visible proponents of this patently-false
heresy is the John Hagee, pastor of the large San Antoniobased
Cornerstone Church. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle
Newspaper, Hagee stated that he believes Jews already have a
covenant with God and do not need Christ at all.
Hagee told the newspaper: "I believe that every Jewish
person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of
God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption"
(Houston Chronicle, April 30, 1988). Hagee continued, "I'm not
trying to convert the Jewish people to the Christian faith... In
fact, trying to convert Jews is a waste of time. Jews already
have a covenant with God and that has never been replaced by
Christianity." (Houston Chronicle, April 30, 1988, sec, 6, pg.
1). Among the many heresies in these statements is the
implication that the New Covenant has not replaced the Old - at
least for Jews - and may in fact be illegitimate.
Paul warns Jewish Christian believers of heretics in his day
who proclaimed "another Gospel" which was a different and false
way of salvation: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him
that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and
would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. 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" (Gal.1:6-9).
Twice in this passage we are told that these heretics were
"accursed." This word is a translation of the Greek, "anathema,"
meaning someone under a religious ban or excommunicated. The
English word, "accursed," has a similar meaning, derived from the
Middle-English word, "acursen," meaning to pronounce a curse upon
or excommunicate. These verses emphasize that such people in
God's eyes are really not a part of the true body of Christian
believers at all.
Christ Himself made this clear in Matthew 7:21-23: "Not
every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which
is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have
we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out
devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will
I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ve that
work iniquity." It is clear that religious rituals are no
substitute for saving faith.
A BLESSING TO ALL THE EARTH
Although distressing, Dispensationalist "Christian Zionist"
theology is so ridiculous as to cause one to laugh in amazement.
A good example is the way in which they explain the Abrahamic
promise that "in thee shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed" (Gen. 12:3). Hagee's book, "Final Dawn Over Jerusalem,"
gives a list of Jewish people who have blessed the world; with a
heavy inclusion of Hollywood actors and actresses such as Goldie
Hawn, Dustin Hoffman, and Barbara Streisand. As CBA Marketplace
Magazine (March, 1998, p.56) wisely observed, such entertainers
hardly qualify as the fulfillment of God's covenant to Abraham!
A CURIOUS ORIGIN
You may wonder where this kind of bizarre reinterpretation
of salvation and the covenants originated. The website
"Jewish-Christian Relations" gives the details: "Paulist Press
recently published a translation of Elijah Benamozegh's book,
"Israel and Humanity." It ... makes available to the
English-speaking world the thoughts of an important
nineteenth-century Italian rabbi in the theological discourse of
what has come to be called the "dual covenant" theory.. Jews
should remain absolutely committed to Judaism, which he prefers
to call "Hebraism" and Gentiles should learn of the One God
through Christianity. As a thoroughly Orthodox rabbi, Benamozegh
does not attempt a theological fusion of Judaism and
Christianity, but he is theologically progressive when he
examines Christianity's relationship with Judaism."
Dual covenant theology was originally in large part a Jewish
idea to make itself legitimate in the eyes of Christians. As
such, it has no New Testament Biblical basis and misleads both
Jews and Christians into thinking that Christ is of no importance
to those who fulfill certain onerous religious rituals or have
the proper racial pedigree.
We are advised to reject such heresy and inform others of
the Biblical facts concerning salvation. As the Apostle Paul
explained, "I do not set aside the grace of God: for if
righteousness comes through the law [i.e. religious rituals],
then Christ died in vain" (Galatians 2:21).
Some years back it was announced on the TV news that there was
held a large meeting of Christian leaders and Jewish rabbis. The
Christians gave their testimony of Christ. A Rabbi stood and
addressed the group and said that the religious Jews were also
children of God, and would receive eternal life. Apparently there
was not one Christian leader who stood up and gave the Jews and
Jewish rabbis the truth of the matter, as proclaimed in the New
Testament, and in the very words of Christ, that only through Him
is there salvation, that He alone is the door to the sheepfold,
that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus.
The Jews are not "lost" - they are blinded as most of the
population of the world is. They will have their day of
salvation, at the fulfilment of the Last Great Feast - the White
Throne Judgment. See my study on this Website called "The White