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by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXV

November, 1945

Number 4

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

This is the alt of this series.  A sister sent me a note, saying, "Please give scripture for the Pauline Interval."  This is a joke on me.  I thought I was doing this all the while.  

Paul says he is a herald and apostle and teacher of the nations, Second Timothy 1:11.  He says, again, that callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering, Romans 11:25.  If Israel is calloused in part, until Paul, the herald and apostle and teacher of the nations, finishes teaching the nations, this is the Pauline Interval.  When the complement of the nations has entered, the Pauline Interval will be at an end.  THEN, it will be Israel's time to be blessed.  The nation of Israel is not being blessed now.  The few Israelites who are not calloused, are being blessed.  The nation is not.  All Israel shall be saved after the complement of the nations has entered, Romans 11:26, 27.  

Recently I have come across the theory that the Greeks are Israelites.  I know of no history or scripture that bears this out.  I am forced to regard it as nothing more than a supposition.  I have no quarrel with those who want to teach this, but I much rather not try to prove something that is so far-fetched.  The theory seems to be based on, or, rather, uses as a text to prove the assumption, John 7:35, where we are told that the Jews wondered if Christ intended to go to "the dispersion of the Greeks."  That there were Israelites dispersed among the Greeks, no one would deny.  That the Greeks, themselves, known then as Hellenists, were Israelites who had gone there from either, the Assyrian or the Babylonian captivity, is nothing more than assumption.  When we consider how jealously Israel guarded and practiced the rite of circumcision, it is unreasonable to assume that enough of them to compose a nation, had, within a Jew centuries, completely abandoned this rite.  No one can point to a Jew or an Israelite in any so-called gentile country, who does not see to it that his male children are circumcised promptly, although the observance of this ritual has subjected them to much ridicule.  

The Lincoln Library says, "Greece was occupied by the Hellenes, an Indo-European people, at some time after 2000 B. C.  They came as undeveloped tribes in search of homes, and immediately demolished an earlier civilization which had flourished in the pre-historic period, established themselves as maters of the entire peninsula, and made it their home henceforth, while the earlier occupants were entirely driven out or annihilated.  This was probably accomplished by a gradual process covering several hundred years; for the Hellenic people comprised different groups, who may be supposed to have swept down the peninsula in successive waves.  These groups were closely related to one another but showed different characteristics.  They were known in later times, when the Greeks were reconstructing their own ancient history, as Achaeans, Aeolians, Dorians, and Ionians, and with the development of the Hellenic civilization, the special characteristics of each group produced a peculiar culture easily distinguished from other groups."  

Is there anything in this description that resembles Israelites?  It requires a very strange imagination, to picture the ten tribes being carried away into Assyrian captivity, and then emerging as a war-like people able to destroy a civilization and build one of their own, and finally construct such an empire as to be able to conquer the world, as the Grecian Empire did, under Alexander the Great.  

The theory that I am opposing, says that the Greeks were uncircumcised Israelites.  The theory takes in other so called gentiles.  The idea is, that Paul's ministry was largely to these supposed uncircumcised Israelites, and was close akin to the ministry of the other apostles, which was to circumcised ones.  

The truth is, Israel has been set aside for the time, while the ministry of Paul goes to the nations.  It is not exclusively to non-Israelites, for there is, of Israelites, a remnant according to the choice of grace, Romans 11:5.  This is the period during which the ecclesia which is the body of Christ is being constructed.  It is composed of Circumcision and Uncircumcision saints, and they have been reconciled in one body, Ephesians 2:16.  The great majority of Israelites and of non-Israelites are not in the body, and never will be.  

Paul mentions the kingdom of God in his earlier epistles, in a way that we could not be certain whether or not he means the kingdom of the heavens, emphasized in Matthew.  Later he clears it up, for we are told that the kingdom which he mentions is one whose allotment flesh and blood cannot enjoy, First Corinthians 15:50.  This is the opposite of the kingdom of the heavens.  The kingdom in Paul's writings is the celestial kingdom, Second Timothy 4:18. 

The kingdom OF the heavens will be on earth.  The celestial, or heavenly kingdom is ON the heavens.  The former is heavenly in character; the latter, heavenly in location.  The twelve apostles point Israel to the former; Paul points us to the latter.  The kingdom of the heavens is the one in which Israel will be the supreme nation, and is IN the kingdom of God, just as Glennville is in Georgia.  Recently I made a trip to Saint Louis, Missouri.  But I emphasized, in talking to others, that I was going to Saint Louis—not that I was going to Missouri.  So does Matthew emphasize that Israel is to be in the kingdom of the heavens.  In other Circumcision writings it is said they will be in the kingdom of God.  This is true, but they will be in only a part of that kingdom.  When ever the kingdom of God is mentioned in their scriptures, they understand that the kingdom of the heavens is to be their special portion of the kingdom of God.  We will never be in the kingdom of the heavens.  That kingdom grew near, but when Israel failed to repent it drew away.  It will not come until after the complement of the nations has entered.  

When Paul wrote the Galatian letter the Jewish ecclesia was still functioning, and believers among the nations, although they had their own assemblies, were regarded as guests at Israel's table.  Therefore he wrote, "Now may it not be mine to be boasting, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but a new creation. And whoever shall observe the elements by this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God," Galatians 6:14-16.  Why should it be contended that the Galatian saints were the Israel of God?  Paul says, "them—AND the Israel of God."  The great trouble with the Jewish ecclesia was that the people thought that their being the Circumcision in flesh, was the all-important thing.  They were not a new creation, but the kingdom will evolve into this blessed state, and its thought should have filled their hearts.  In stead of this, they were taken up with the supposed importance of circumcision in flesh.  Paul promises here that a correct recognition of the value of the cross is pleasing to God—whether this recognition be by the ecclesia or the Israel of God. 

Several subscribers have sent money to help build our meeting house in Glennville.  The house is now in process of construction, but we will have to have more money in order to pay for it fully.  I thank all who have donated.  If those who have not, will each send a small amount, it will help greatly, and I will be very grateful.  If any who have donated will send more, it will also be appreciated. 

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