God led the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage
to form them into a holy nation.
He told Moses, “If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my
covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all
people. . . And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an
holy nation” (Ex 19:5-6).
God gave the
Hebrews the Promised Land as a place to keep his commandments.
He spoke through Moses, “Ye shall do My statutes, and keep My
judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety”
God warned his
people that if they did not obey Him, He would punish them.
“If ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these
commandments . . . I will set my face against you, and ye shall be
slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you”
The Hebrews did
not keep God’s commandments.
Psalms laments, “He cast out the heathen also before them, and
divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel
to dwell in their tents. Yet they tempted and provoked the most
high God, and kept not his testimonies” (Ps 78:55-56).
Israel’s enemies to punish them.
“Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they
trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave
them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword”
Worse yet, the
Hebrews served other gods.
Jeremiah cried, “They are turned back to the iniquities of their
forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after
other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah
have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers” (Jer
God removed the
Hebrews from the Promised Land.
“The Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I
have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I
have chosen” (2 K 23:27).
Those that turned
to God returned to the Promised Land.
Jeremiah prophesied, “Thus saith the Lord, That after seventy
years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my
good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” (Jer
The Jews rejected
the Son of God, the Messiah sent to save them.
Jesus foretold, “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be
rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain,
and be raised the third day.” (Luke 9:22).
Because the Jews
crucified Jesus, God took the kingdom from them.
Jesus decreed, “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and
given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Mat
God gave the
gospel to the Gentiles.
Paul taught, “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the
Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of
the Spirit through faith” (Gal 3:14). Elsewhere, he wrote, “The
Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers
of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph 3:6).
The Gentiles were
made into a holy nation.
Peter taught, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an
holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 P 2:9). Paul explained, “Ye
are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the
saints, and of the household of God’ (Eph 2:19).
and carnal heresies entered the church after the apostolic age.
Paul warned, “After my departing shall grievous wolves enter in
among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men
arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”
(Acts 20:29-30). Jude complained that these ungodly men were “turning
the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord
God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4).
teachers can enslave members in wickedness.
Peter warned, “There shall be false teachers among you, who
privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that
bought them . . . Many shall follow their pernicious ways” (2 P
warned of an apostasy after their ministry.
Paul wrote, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day
shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man
of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thes 2:3).
The apostasy of
the apostolic church left the Gentiles without God’s word. Amos
prophesied, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I
will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst
for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall .
. .l run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find
it” (Amos 8:11-12).