Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“Israel is an empty vine. He brings fruit to himself.”
The verse above from Hosea seems self-contradictory. How can a vine be empty if it is bearing fruit? But what God was saying is that Israel was empty of any fruit that was acceptable to God. All of Israel’s converts were converts to Israel, and not to God.
Jesus reinforced Hosea’s condemnation of Israel’s religious leaders when he said, “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You go compass land and sea to make one convert, and when he is made, you make him twice as sure of Gehenna as you are” (Mt. 23:15). “Gehenna” is a reference to the lake of Fire, the place of eternal torment and damnation.