Thursday, September 2, 2010
Who Are the Gentiles?
The Scriptures clearly define who the Gentiles are. It has been argued amongst certain Israelite camps that there are 2 sets of gentiles:
1. The other nations that are not Israelites, they are gentiles.
2. The Gentiles that were grafted into the covenants were Israelite foreigners.
We will establish two truths:
1. All other nations are not gentiles.
2. A Gentile is not an Israelite that has “become” a Gentile.
We must first understand that all other nations are NOT gentiles. The Bible tells us that the Gentiles originate from the sons of Japheth. In Genesis 10:1-5 it is written,
"Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families in their nations."
Historical and anthropological evidence maintain that these nations comprise the so-called "white race" or European people groups. It is very intriguing, to say the least, that this truth is not discussed in Christian churches, particularly. The sons of Ham and the sons of Shem do not fall into the category of Gentiles according to the biblical record known as the "Table of Nations" in Genesis 10.
The second point to be addressed is that a Gentile is NOT an Israelite that has “become” a Gentile.
The question we must ask is this, why would Israel have to be grafted into a covenant that was made with their forefathers? Rather, it is the other nations that need to be grafted in. The very essence of a covenant is that it is immutable. Immutability is the quality of being unable to change. (See Hebrews 6:13-20) The gifts and calling of God concerning Israel are irrevocable. (Rom. 11:29)
Another point that is made is that Israelites are called "strangers" because they were "scattered abroad." The writings of Peter and James are used to substantiate the fact that Israelites are referred to as strangers. However, this is irrelevant. Let us be clear that it was Paul’s commission to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, although it was Peter who preached to the first Gentile. (Read Acts 10)
We should also ask the question, "Why did Peter have to vindicate his ministry to the Gentiles in Acts 11 if the Gentiles were indeed Israelites and not of another nation?" Cornelius was of the Italian band. In the 11th chapter of Acts it is recorded that there was contention because those who came against Peter said, “…Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them." The designation "uncircumcised" is referring to other nations, not Israel.
Finally, when we read the Scriptures in comprehensive context, it is clear that the ultimate spreading of the Gospel was to the Gentiles and not so-called "Israelite foreigners," as some are teaching. (See Acts 1:8) The Messiah, Jesus the Christ demarcates very clearly the breakdown of the witness: in Jerusalem, in all Judaea (JUDAH), and in Samaria (ISRAEL), and unto the uttermost part of the earth (THE GENTILES). It is clear here that the Gentiles are people of a different nationality and not Israelites.