Cast out the Bondwoman 

25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is,   and is in bondage with her children.  26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all... 
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.  30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son
of the freewoman.  Heb 4:25-30


Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, there had been a wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles.  God created this sense of separateness based on a shared history, natural genetics and a covenant relationship with Himself because it was pointing to the true wall of separation that would be unveiled with the advent of Jesus and the establishment of the Church.  When the wall between Jews and Gentiles was torn down in Christ Jesus, the true separation was revealed to be – and in fact, in the mind of God, has always been – between the spiritual seed of God and the natural man.
 
One of most explosive verses in Paul’s letters, explosive then and explosive now – if you have an ear to hear it - is Galatians 4:25.  I want to examine the implications of this verse and the 3 key reasons why it is so explosive.
 
The first is that it points to the fact that the history of Israel is allegorical.  This means that although the events and people were factual and very real, they were all pointing to Christ and His Church.  All the triumphant prophecies regarding Jerusalem or Israel in the Old Testament refer to the Church.  This is not “replacement theology”.  The Church does not replace Israel.  Israel was always a type of God’s ultimate manifestation and that for which Jesus gave His life on Calvary: His glorious Church composed of Jew and Gentile.  In admonishing a largely Gentile church in Corinth, Paul writes the following:

“…Now all these things happened unto them (referring to the children of Israel in the wilderness) for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends (goal) of the world (age) are come.” I Cor 10:11

Secondly, in this verse, Paul makes the radical assertion that Hagar represents, not just the Arab people in the natural, but everyone who is bound by the law, including unconverted Jews and judaizing Christians, then and now.  Sarah represents Christians -- Jew or Gentile -- who walk in the Spirit not relying on nationality, genealogy, or the works of the law under the old covenant but rather relying on faith and the grace of God which is no respecter of persons.
 
Thirdly, this verse points out that while most Christians are focused on a city in the Middle East, God’s focus has always been on His heavenly Jerusalem or the Jerusalem that is above.  The problem for most Christians is that they do not understand what “heavenly” refers to or what Paul meant by “above”.  In their carnal understanding, they locate this Jerusalem out in the clouds or in the afterlife when actually it is simply the Church which is God’s spiritual Zion to which we are joined when we are born again (Heb 12:22).  The natural Jerusalem is still in bondage along with all those (Jews, Christians and Moslems) who refuse to see the truth.  They refuse to cast out the bondwoman, which interpreted means to make the distinction between flesh and Spirit and to choose the Spirit.
 
In focusing on the fleshly Israel and refusing to understand the Word by the Spirit, Christians are disenfranchising and disinheriting themselves from the promises of God, which is, of course, the aim of the enemy.  When God tells us that our true citizenship is in His heavenly Jerusalem, why would we be obsessed with that which is below?  I guess it is much easier to put on a skullcap – metaphorically and literally, as in the case of some like Pat Boone who actually converted to Judaism -- and celebrate Jewish holidays as so many Zionist Christians are doing today than to put on the mind of Christ and celebrate our new identity in Him where there is neither Jew nor Gentile.
            

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