I recently responded to a question about a ministry that promoted dual-covenant theology.
Dual-covenant theology is the belief that there are two ways to salvation. One is by virtue of being a Jew, the other is by being a Christian. This is my quick response concerning that…
It is always important not to get caught up in personalities, but to rely on personally examining the scriptures to prove all things and to determine what is true.
I personally am very pro-Israel and do believe that we should support Israel and the Jewish people everywhere. Of course the best way we can do that is to share the Gospel with them.
There are many scriptures where Jesus Himself tells the Jews they cannot rely on their ability to trace Abraham as their forefather as their means of salvation (ie: John 8:37-40).
Also scripture says that we are all sinners convicted by the law, and the law cannot save us…
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Rom 3:9-19
The opposite side of the spectrum from dual-covenant theology is replacement theology, where some believe that the “Church” has replaced Israel and that all promises to Israel now apply to the “Church”. This of course is the primary view of the Catholic church and most of the reformed catholic/protestant churches and is just as wrong (if not more).
In any case, what is the background we should understand?
Scripture depicts two different “views” of the messiah. There is the Meschiach ben Yosef (Messiah son of Joseph) who is the suffering servant and sacrificial lamb after the model of Joseph who was betrayed and sold in to slavery by his brothers. We know that this is when Jesus came the first time to be the Lamb of God and pay the price for our sins.
There is also Meschiach ben David (Messiah son of David), the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and reigning King who will come to reestablish the line of David, deliver Israel from her oppressors, establish the Kingdom of Israel, and rule over all the nations from Jerusalem. We know that this is when Jesus returns and establishes His Millennial (1,000 year) kingdom (Rev 20:1-6)
The Jews of Jesus’ time (as well as modern day Jews) were looking forward to Messiah. But, since deliverance from Roman oppression was what they believed was their immediate and most pressing problem, they were looking for the Messiah to come deliver them from Roman rule and set up the Kingdom of the Messiah.
When Jesus came the first time, he did not meet their expectation as the Reigning King that was to deliver them from Roman rule and establish His Kingdom as promised in scripture. They neglected the prophecies about Messiah being the suffering servant. They were looking for the Lion, but Jesus came first as the Lamb.
While there were many Jews that did believe, the political and religious establishment was more interested in preserving their power and influence as well as keeping their Roman authorities satisfied with their handling of the people so they could maintain their position.
As to the question of whether it was the Jews or the Romans who put Jesus on the cross, it was neither…
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. John 10:18.
If anyone wants to belabor the point, one can say that by extension, it was ALL WHO HAVE SINNED that put Jesus on the cross
Everyone is saved by the same faith and same covenant, both before the first coming of Messiah and afterwards. We are all saved by looking to Messiah. Before Jesus, from the very first sin, they were looking forward based in the promise of Messiah (Genesis 3:15). After the cross, we are all saved by looking back to Messiah.
God has never totally abandoned the Jews. For the first 100 years the vast majority of believers were Jews. He has preserved them as a people for thousands of years in spite of being taken captive, diaspora, antisemitism, pograms, holocosts, and many attempts at genocide. There is currently a growing number of Jews (Messianic Jews) who have realized Jesus is the Messiah. In Revelation we see that God will send 144,000 witnesses, two witnesses with the power of Elijah that will die and come back to life, and even angels declaring the Gospel.
Additionally, some confusion comes from a need to determine the context of scripture and specifically who the scripture is being directed to… When reading scritpure, one must determine is God speaking about an individual, a family/familial bloodline, a nation, or mankind as a whole?
Promises of God preserving Israel as a Nation do not have anything to do with individual salvation. God’s restoration and preservation of Israel as a nation are for His purposes and in keeping with His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc…
The current nation of Israel is a secular nation gathered together in unbelief as a fulfillment of prophecy and to set the stage for the events leading up to and during the tribulation period. After the tribulation, Messiah Himself will gather together the faithful children of Israel and establish His Kingdom and Millennial reign.
In any case, it is natural for a Christian to have a love for Israel and the Jews and seek to bless them, because (far from replacing them) we gentiles have died to our old lineage, been reborn into a new family, we have been grafted in, adopted, and given a new name. We are now one family under the Father in Heaven and we have the same inheritance in Israel and Jerusalem. So come Lord Jesus!
I have some additional information from my previous blog posts here:
To the Jew first
A cup of trembling
And how God deals with the nation of Israel is a pattern of how God deals with nations: