The narrative of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 is one of, if not the best, commentaries on Jesus’ statement that in the New Creation there would be no marrying or giving in marriage. And yet, by and large, the commentators ignore the connection. I have yet to find a single commentator who makes that connection as a matter of fact. Yet to me, that connection is so clear, so powerful, so convincing!
The story of the Ethiopian Eunuch is one of the most thrilling narratives in the entire book of Acts, but is of course, inextricably tied to every preceding conversion story. What follows here is but a taste of one of my presentations at the recent Preterist Pilgrim Weekend, held July 18-20, in Ardmore, Ok. DVDs and MP3s of the seminar will be available shortly. Ever so briefly, here are a few of the highlights from the story of the Eunuch
The Eunuch was, first of all, an Ethiopian. The OT foretold the time when Ethiopians would worship the Lord (Isaiah 68). Now, Ethiopians were Cushites, and, they were of the negroid races. In other words, they were not Israelites, period. Anyone claiming that this man was a native Israelite must produce the proof, and there is none.
The man was almost certainly a “proselyte of the gate” meaning that as a foreigner, (allogenes, i.e. other seed”) he had joined himself to the God of Israel. According to Deuteronomy 23, after the third generation of joining themselves to YHVH, the seed of foreigners could enter the Court of Israel. So, the prediction that Ethiopians would come to the Lord and worship Him is a stunning prophecy.
Critical Note here: Ethiopians and all foreigners could always go into the Outer Court of the Temple, which was, in Jesus’ time, called the” Court of the Gentiles” (allogenes). In fact, the Outer Court was always for those not of the tribes of Israel. So, being allowed into the Temple after three generations signified that they were now considered “Israelites” because they had become “naturalized” citizens (Cf. Exodus 12:49f; Numbers 15, Etc.).
If foreigners could still not enter the Court of Israel after three generations, but were still confined to the Outer Court, then the “after three generations they may enter” was totally meaningless! They could always enter the Outer Court!
The Ethiopian was a Eunuch, and as such, was permanently banned from entering the Court of Israel, no matter if he was of the twelve tribes (Deuteronomy 23). His physical deformity prevented him from producing “sons of God” i.e. being fruitful and multiplying. And this is where we find such a powerful commentary on the “no marrying or giving in marriage” but you will have to listen to my presentation to catch the full power of the Eunuch’s conversion.
Isaiah 56 however, foretold the time when Eunuchs and foreigners– those not of the house of Israel– would be accepted as equals into the Messianic Temple of God! What an incredible prophecy!
In the story of the conversion of the Eunuch, we see the fulfillment of Isaiah 56. Here is the acceptance, without physical circumcision, into the “House of God.” And just like Isaiah foretold, this Eunuch could now produce “fruit” through sharing the story of Jesus!
So, ever so briefly, the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch proves several things (developed more fully in my lesson at PPW-2013):
The nature of the Messianic Temple– Very clearly, if the conversion of the Eunuch was the fulfillment of Isaiah, then the Messianic Temple was never to be a literal, physical temple!
All men, of any nation, are welcome in the Temple of God! Those who claim that the Temple of God was exclusively the “abode” of Israel are simply wrong, dead wrong.
All men, of any nation, or any “condition” can produce fruit unto God.
All men, of any nation, can have fellowship in the Temple of God!
There is soooo much more to the story of the Eunuch. Be sure to order the DVDs and MP3s when they are available. You will be thrilled, challenged and comforted!