(Mat 23:37 KJV) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war. (Joshua 11,23)
Christian Zionism is undoubtedly a dominant force shaping US foreign policy in the Middle East.
The Pew Research Centre recently discovered that 60% of evangelicals said they supported the state of Israel, and 32% cited their religious beliefs as the primary reason for such support. But does the Bible support the Sate of Israel existence today?
Discovering what the Bible actually, truly now has to say about the relationship between Israel and the Church, in history and prophecy, more then just an academic exercise.
Did the coming of Jesus, his death and resurrection and the founding of the Church, fulfill or postpone the past biblical prophecies concerning Israel? Is the Church central to God’s purposes on earth, or merely a temporary side show?
Covenantalism or Dispensationalism?
Covenantalists believe the Bible teaches that God has one ‘chosen people’ called out from among the nations. Dispensationalists believe the Bible teaches that God has two separate and distinct peoples – the Church and Israel.
If Covenantalists emphasize the continuity within God’s progressive revelation, Dispensationalists emphasize the discontinuity, distinguishing seven ‘dispensations’ in biblical history when God has tested mankind in a different way, and each time they have failed.
Covenantalists tend to regard promises relating to the Land, Jerusalem and the temple as annulled or fulfilled in the Church. Dispensationalists tend to see them as still in force and either being, or about to be, fulfilled in Israel today.
Judaism is a religious system. Israel is a sovereign nation. Zionism is a political system. These three are not synonymous.
I respect Judaism, repudiate anti-Semitism, encourage interfaith dialogue and defend Israel’s right to exist within borders recognised by the international community and agreed with her neighbours. But like many Jews, I disagree with a political system which gives preference to expatriate Jews born elsewhere in the world, while denying the same rights to the Arab Palestinians born in the country itself. Jimmy Carter is not alone in describing the Zionism practiced by the present government of Israel as a form of apartheid.
The apostle Peter, preaching after Pentecost, and citing Moses, similarly warned those who rejected Jesus, “Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.” (Acts 3:23). Covenantalists believe there has only ever been one people of God – whether under the old or new covenant – and one way to God – by Jesus, grace alone and through faith alone.
Most of the Jews even today and the Judaizers have refused God plan through the ages , that of Jesus being the messiah and they continue on with their own earthly, fleshly replacement, earthly goals, plans.
Even the Apostles didn’t always do this straight away. They brought their Jewish presuppositions with them which sometimes falsely colored their hopes and expectations.
We too need the same illuminating work of the Holy Spirit as we read the Bible, to see the harmony and progression in God’s purposes. But to do that we need to pray and ask God to teach us and to also still read the Bible ourselves now.. not wrongfully let someone else supposedly read and interpret the Bible for us.
(2 Tim 2:15 KJV) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
It is also this still important to rightfully also distinguishes, properly interpreting the valid prophetic and apocalyptic scriptures since prophetic messages often differs from the apocalyptic messages. Sometimes Biblical books contain both the prophetic and the apocalyptic. The Book of Revelation is one example Prophetic and apocalyptic literature like Revelation should be interpreted in harmony with the teachings of the entire Bible
Jesus and the apostles tell us quite plainly that some parts of the Hebrew Scriptures have been fulfilled, annulled or superseded. The question is therefore not whether the promises of the Old Testament should be understood literally or allegorically. It is instead a question of whether they should be understood in terms of Old Covenant ‘shadow’ or in terms of New Covenant ‘reality’.
When Christian writers forcefully interpret contemporary events in the light of prophecy, they run into errors and difficulties. For example,
– Hal Lindsey insisted that Russia’s place in history was predicted in the Bible but as Russia power declined, Lindsey switched his emphasis to Islamic Fundamentalism
-Traditionally some have held the view ‘Babylon the Great’ (Revelation 14:8 and 17:5), variously interpreted as the Roman Empire, the Vatican, and the European Community. – but too many now switched their Biblical interpretations, emphasis to Iraq, Babylon being rebuilt before the final battle of Armageddon and who knows what to next?
The superficial appeal of these kind of interpretations are mostly short-lived as the wreckage of previous false Prophetic claims do now testify evidentially.
For ultra-literalists, too often the biblical text seems to need a little false personal adding to the word of God, ‘enhancing’ to make their interpretation more obvious. Ultra-literalists have perpetuated the false principle of ‘enhancing’ the text to reinforce their own mostly false interpretations. While the ultra-literalists Dispensationalist Bible Scholars claim to provide ‘consistent interpretation’, they nonetheless reach very different conclusions, meaning they rarely agree with each other, and even contradict each other mostly still.
For the Love of Zion (the Bible tells them so) (Seminar 1/5), by Dr. Stephen Sizer Why is there such a close relationship today between the Christian Right, the American political establishment and the State of Israel? Why after 40 years, does Israel continue to occupy territory in Lebanon (the Sheba Farms), Syria (the Golan Heights) and Palestine (the West Bank) while Syria has been pressured to withdraw from Lebanon? Why is Israel allowed to retain nuclear weapons while Iran is threatened with a pre-emptive attack for aspiring to obtain nuclear technology? And how have Britain and America become the focus of so much hate in the Arab world and the target for Islamic terrorism – despite out commitment to the rule of international law, democracy and human rights? The answers to these questions remain inexplicable unless we factor in what is now probably the most influential and controversial movement amongst Christians today – Christian Zionism. Full Article Here http://www.cc-vw.org/articles/zcs1.pdf
Israel and the Church: Who are God’s Chosen People? (Seminar 2/5), by Dr. Stephen Sizer How often have you heard the Jewish people described as God’s ‘chosen people’? Probably so often that you have never even questioned it. It is so ingrained that to deny it is often seen as evidence of anti-Semitism. As is the assumption that God blesses and curses nations on the basis of how they treat Israel – which is sometimes used as a threat. This view goes back to Genesis 12:3. Jerry Falwell, for example, says God is blessing America because ‘America has been kind to the Jew.’1 He claims that God ‘will bless those who bless the Jews and curse whoever curses the Jews.’2 That is why Christians United or Israel conducts ‘a Night to Honor Israel’3 in as many cities as possible so that God will continue to bless America and Canada.
It may surprise you to discover that the New Testament never uses the term ‘chosen’ to describe the Jewish people. It is only used of those who follow Jesus. Does that mean God has two separate ‘chosen people’? Some like to think so. They are usually called ‘dispensationalists’ and this is a popular viewpoint among evangelicals in the United States.
In this chapter we will begin by looking at the evidence for two ‘chosen people’ and then tackle the ‘blessing and cursing’ issue. Then we will examine the term ‘Israel’ in the Old and New Testament. We shall then consider some of the biblical imagery God uses to describe his relationship to his people such as the analogy of the vine and the vineyard. We also need to define what we mean by words like ‘Jew’, ‘chosen’ and ‘children of God’. Full Article Here http://www.cc-vw.org/articles/zcs2.pdf
The Promised Land – From the Nile to the Euphrates? (Seminar 3/5), by Dr. Stephen Sizer In this chapter we will consider what the Bible has to say about the significance and purposes of the Promised Land as well its geographical extent. Then we will look at whether the land was intended as an ‘everlasting possession’ of the Jewish people or whether they were only temporary residents. Then we will examine the terms under which they were allowed to return after the exile, and whether the kingdom was nationalistic or universal. Finally we must consider what Jesus and the apostles have to say about all this. Full Article Here http://www.cc-vw.org/articles/zcs3.pdf
Battle for Jerusalem: The Eternal Capital of the Jews? (Seminar 4/5), by Dr. Stephen Sizer Many evangelicals, especially in America, accept unthinkingly the Zionist mantra that Jerusalem is the undivided, eternal and exclusive capital of the State of Israel. However, Jerusalem existed before the time of the Israelites. Today, Jerusalem lies at the heart of three world faiths – Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Israelis regard it as their capital. Palestinians do so also. Attempts to reach agreement in the wider Arab-Israeli conflict have partly stumbled over the contested status of Jerusalem. Jewish Zionists and their Christian supporters are strongly opposed to joint sovereignty or the recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. It seems time is on their side. The annexation of the Old City, the aggressive and illegal settlement programme, the systematic demolition of many Arab homes and the construction of the Separation Barrier have all created ‘facts on the ground’ in Jerusalem. Christian and Jewish Zionists also claim a higher mandate for this agenda – the Word of God. Full Article Here http://www.cc-vw.org/articles/zcs4.pdf
The Land in the New Testament, by David Devenish What does the New Testament teach about the land of Israel? Answer: absolutely nothing. There are no references to the importance of the land or of Jerusalem as a ‘holy city’. Some would say that this is simply an argument from silence and that there are sufficient promises in the Old Testament to establish the land as belonging to the Jewish people without the need for New Testament confirmation. However, not only is there silence about the land but the whole tenor of the New Testament message and revelation of God’s saving purpose amongst His people points in a different direction. To a Samaritan, despised by the Jews, Jesus makes special places of worship (including Jerusalem) a redundant concept (John 4:21). When marveling at the faith of a Gentile centurion, Jesus applied to the gathering in of Gentile peoples from all over the world the Old Testament promises of the bringing of God’s people from the east and west into the promised blessings alongside Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matt. 8:11).
Ryrie considers this the most important dispensational distinction, and approves the statement that… “the basic promise of Dispensationalism is two purposes of God expressed in the formation of two peoples who maintain their distinction throughout eternity.”17 In contrast, Christian theology has always maintained the essential continuity of Israel and the church. The elect of all the ages are seen as one people, with one Savior, one destiny. This continuity can be shown by examining a few Old Testament prophesies with their fulfillment. Dispensationalists admit that if the church can be shown to be fulfilling promises made to Israel their system is doomed. If the church is fulfilling Israel’s promises as contained in the new covenant or anywhere in the Scriptures, then [dispensational] premillennialism is condemned.18
Christ is Coming? Christ is here!, by Stan Moody, PhD, To properly study Christian Zionism, it is critical to examine certain presuppositions. Universally accepted among Evangelicals is the dogma that Christ’s so-called Second Coming will be personal, corporeal and visible. Once we begin from that premise, there is no alternative than to ask, “Where?” and “When?” The “How” and “Why” become subordinate. Thus, all our time is spent on the timing and locus of the event rather than on its nature. Even efforts to counter the extremism of Christian Zionism emanate from the assumption that Jesus has to return at some concrete/specific, cataclysmic moment in human history to rescue the world from the weight of its own sin. An inconvenient truth is that this was the mission of the First Advent. Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11 NIV). For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11-13 NASV).
The Meaning of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12), by Dr. Stephen Sizer We must begin our consideration of the Abrahamic Covenant not in Genesis 12 but Genesis 2. The covenant began with Gods creation of a paradise, represented in the garden. This was the place where people could receive all of God’s blessings and commune in fellowship with Him. This is where the image of land begins in the Bible. This land of paradise was lost in the Fall but a foretaste of heaven is reflected in the imagery of the promise made to Abraham.
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers”. Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:1-8)
The Rapture? (I Thessalonians 4: 15-18), by Father Daniel Swire The doctrine of a “Rapture” does not originate in the book of the Revelation. The word “rapture” is not actually found anywhere in any English translations of the Bible. It comes from the Latina word, rapere, which is is usually translated “caught up” in the English translations of 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Here is what we read in I Thessalonians 4: 15-18: For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)
The use of Scripture in Christian Zionism: a critical examination, by Chris Tilling In the next few posts I shall discuss the handling of Scripture in Christian Zionism (CZ). I will suggest it is marked by a proof-texting mentality that not only misunderstands the nature of biblical prophecy, but also displays a naïve and inconsistent hermeneutic. In a later post in this series I’ll also suggest why this subject isn’t merely a theological curiosity – and something best left alone – but impacts world politics. In fact, I suggest it also negatively distracts discipleship to Jesus and thus needs to be challenged. And the use of Scripture in Christian Zionism gets right to the heart of the problem, hence the focus of this small series.
Christian Approaches to the State of Israel, by John M Wilson Jews have an ongoing role in the furthering of God’s ultimate redemptive purposes. But no matter what standard or position one adopts, Christians must not be blind to Joseph Klausner’s objection that Christianity has sought to remove the national and political aspects of the prophetic hope (The Messianic Idea in Israel, p. 10). God works through the sacred and the secular. . . .[I]f God can call a pagan Persian named Cyrus ‘his anointed’ (Isa. 45:1), and another pagan king, Nebuchadnezzar, ‘my servant’ (Jer. 25:9), and accomplish his holy purposes among the nations through both, who can say what plans God may yet have in store for those who from of old have been his people? (ibid, p. 268). Real estate theology is, at best, precarious theology. . . .For centuries Jews suffered discrimination and victimization at the hands of Christians whose theological convictions seemed to permit [encourage] such unjust activity. . . .Therefore, we conclude, as long as Arabs and Jews argue from nonnegotiable theological absolutes, human beings can offer little hope for peace
47 thoughts on “What the Bible says about Israel and the Church, one in history and prophecy”
Straightway Forward.. onward christian soldier.
Again a good read.
Blessed are they who come in the Name of our Lord Jesus.
If more Christians actually would read their Bible themselves now they would have said the same thing too.
The Land in the New Testament
by David Devenish
What does the New Testament teach about the land of Israel? Answer: absolutely nothing. There are no references to the importance of the land or of Jerusalem as a ‘holy city’. Some would say that this is simply an argument from silence and that there are sufficient promises in the Old Testament to establish the land as belonging to the Jewish people without the need for New Testament confirmation. However, not only is there silence about the land but the whole tenor of the New Testament message and revelation of God’s saving purpose amongst His people points in a different direction.
To a Samaritan, despised by the Jews, Jesus makes special places of worship (including Jerusalem) a redundant concept (John 4:21). When marvelling at the faith of a Gentile centurion, Jesus applied to the gathering in of Gentile peoples from all over the world the Old Testament promises of the bringing of God’s people from the east and west into the promised blessings alongside Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matt. 8:11).
The promise of the restoration of David’s tabernacle is applied by James, the leader of the Jerusalem church, to the reception of the gospel by the Gentiles. This confirmed they are full participants in the people of God without needing to fulfil the outward requirements of the law (Acts 15:15-19). The promised future blessing of fruitfulness for an Israel coming out of exile is applied by Paul to the new people of God, both Jew and Gentile, who receive the Messiah and the promises of faith (Gal. 4:27).
The Old Testament form of worship, including the whole sacrificial system in the temple, is merely a shadow and thus declared obsolete. In the same book, written to scattered Jewish Christians, the writer declared triumphantly, ‘You have come to mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God’ (Heb. 12:22) without any hint that they should also await an earthly Zion. So far as the specific promises of the land itself are concerned, the New Testament enlarges them to the whole world! Abraham is described as heir, not of a small strip of land but the world (Rom. 4:13)! The meek shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5).
This is the glory of the mystery of God’s ways revealed in the New Testament. God had chosen Abraham and his descendants, the people of Israel, to be God’s special people as the bearers of His blessing to all the nations of the earth. Israel had failed to carry this blessing. (One prophet even ran away revolted at the prospect of Nineveh repenting and being blessed!) But Old Testament prophecy looked forward to the coming of a Messiah who would fulfil all the promises to Israel.
The Messiah himself and His dreadful death on a cross became the means by which ‘all men’ (spoken in the context of Greeks seeking Jesus) would be drawn to Him. This Messiah was vindicated primarily by His resurrection from the dead but also by the early fulfilment of His prophecy that the temple would be destroyed.
The mystery of God’s ways revealed to the apostles and prophets, and emphasised by Paul in his letter to the Romans, the Galatians and in particular the Ephesians, was that now the only basis for salvation and being part of the people of God was through faith in this Messiah. The result was that there is now ‘one new man in Christ’, composed of both Jews and Gentiles, eventually from all the nations of the world, incorporated into the people of God and heirs together of all the promises to Israel. Like Isaac, we are all children of promise (Gal. 4:28). The Gentiles who believe are heirs together with believing Israel (eg Rom. 2:28-29, 3:30) and thus receive the promise through Christ.
As N T Wright puts it, ‘The land no longer functioned as the key symbol of the geographical identity of the people of God, and that for obvious reasons: if the new community consisted of Jew, Greek, Barbarian alike, there was no sense in which one piece of territory could possess more significance than another. At no point in this early period do we find Christians eager to define or defend a “holy land”. Jesus and the church together are the new temple; the world I suggest is the new land.’ (NT Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, SPCK, 1992).
THE BLESSING OF THE WHOLE WORLD
This does not devalue the Jews, rather it means that we believing Gentiles are incorporated into the same promises as believing Jews, enlarged so that, for example, the temple becomes the dwelling place of God by His Spirit wherever Christians are gathered. Similarly, the promise of the land is not abrogated but enlarged to encompass the blessing of the whole world which will eventually, after Jesus returns, result in the inheritance not of one small land but of a renewed earth for which all creation is longing.
But what about the promise of the ‘everlasting possession of the land of Canaan’ (Gen. 17:8)? Again we must read this Scripture in its context. In the same chapter, not only is the promise of the land described as ‘everlasting’ but so is the covenant of circumcision (v13) and are the promises to Isaac (v19). In the New Testament, circumcision is no longer necessary to define the people of God because that is determined by how we respond to Christ in faith. Circumcision of the flesh is now nothing; it is circumcision of the heart by the Spirit that counts (Rom. 2:29). The lesser is enfolded in the greater, the ‘type’ into the ‘anti-type’, the ‘shadow’ into the ‘fullness’. Similarly, the promise to Isaac is described by Paul as being applied to Gentiles as well as Jews who believe in Christ, and thus both are children of promise. Unbelieving Jerusalem in this same section is described as children of Hagar (Gal. 4:25). The promises remain but their fulfilment is for those who receive the promise of the Messiah. It is therefore not at all surprising that in the New Testament the land is now included in the greater promise to bless the whole earth.
Furthermore the promise of the land, even in Old Testament terms, was not unconditional. Deuteronomy chapters 4 and 28 make it clear that if the Jewish people were to rebel against the Lord and embrace idolatry then they would be exiled from the land. There was in Deuteronomy a promise of return to the land but this was to follow a return to the Lord. It is clear from the New Testament that a return to the Lord involves an acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah and King. In considering this, John Stott makes the following points:
The Old Testament promises about the Jews’ return to the land are [accompanied] by promises of the Jews’ return to the Lord. It is hard to see how the secular, unbelieving state of Israel can possibly be a fulfilment of those prophecies.
The Old Testament promises about the land are nowhere repeated in the New Testament. The prophecy of Romans 11 is a prophecy that many, many Jews will turn to Christ, but the land is not mentioned nor is Israel mentioned as a political entity.
The Old Testament promises according to the apostles are fulfilled in Christ and in the international community of Christ. The New Testament authors apply the promise of Abraham’s seed to Jesus Christ. And they apply to Jesus Christ the promise of the land and all the land which is inherited, the land flowing with milk and honey, because it is in him that our hunger is satisfied and our thirst quenched. A return to Jewish nationalism would seem incompatible with this New Testament perspective of the international community of Jesus.
Jesus the Reconciler (Colossians 1: 19-20)
Dispensationally-driven Christian Zionists believe that the modern state of Israel is the centerpiece of God’s redemptive purposes. This contradicts traditional Christian teaching which has Jesus as Reconciler at the center of God’s purposes. To suggest otherwise is to violate the clear teaching of the New Testament.
Jesus ministered in a time much like our own time, when that which divides people is more pronounced than that which brings them together. There were at that time divisions within the Jewish community between Pharisees and Sadducees, between Zealots and those who lived a monastic existence in the desert. There were even stronger divisions between Jews and everyone else: They had nothing to do with Samaritans. Gentiles were “unclean.” And most among them hated the Romans.
What Jesus did, in this divisive atmosphere, was bring people together. He deliberately chose as his disciples those within the Jewish community who would otherwise have had nothing to do with each other. He embraced “untouchables” and in other ways challenged the exclusivism which raised religious and social barriers between Jew and Gentile, Jew and Samaritan, Jew and Roman. Nowhere do we hear him speaking about one purpose of God for Jews and another for what would become a largely Gentile church. He included all in one ministry of grace and reconciliation.
The apostle Paul, speaking as a Jew who had himself once exhibited a fierce exclusivism but had now found peace with God and his neighbors through Christ, wrote this about this central purpose of Christ:
He is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups (Jews and Gentiles) into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us … through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Eph. 2: 14)
So then you (Gentiles) are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord… (Eph. 3:19-21)
Jesus defined his ministry and purpose in terms of reconciliation. In him we learn that God’s highest purpose is to bring together what we in our sinful divisiveness make separate. In light of this it is inconceivable that a religiously exclusive nation-state, which has come to be characterized by the building of a literal “dividing wall of hostility,” can be at the centerpiece of God’s redemptive plan.
That Israel is a viable nation-state, which like any other nation-state can be the source of either bane or blessing to its citizens, its neighbors and the world, is not in question here. What is in question is the place given to Israel by those who wish to put it at the center of God’s redemptive purposes. For this there is no biblical justification, certainly not in light of the revelation we have received in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, reconciliation; bringing enemies together as friends; is seen to be God’s overriding concern:
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross . . . Colossians 1:19-20
The Dispensational Distinction Between Israel and the Church
by John Gerstner
Perhaps the central doctrine of dispensationalism is the distinction between Israel and the church. Dispensationalism sees Israel as an earthly people with earthly promises, and the church as a heavenly people with heavenly promises. Membership in Israel is by natural birth.15 One enters the church by supernatural birth. Dispensationalists view Israel and the church as having distinct eternal destinies. Israel will receive an eternal earthly Kingdom, and the church an eternal heavenly Kingdom.
Darby, the father of dispensationalism, stated the distinction in the clearest of terms: “The Jewish nation is never to enter the church.”16
Ryrie considers this the most important dispensational distinction, and approves the statement that… “the basic promise of Dispensationalism is two purposes of God expressed in the formation of two peoples who maintain their distinction throughout eternity.”17
In contrast, Christian theology has always maintained the essential continuity of Israel and the church. The elect of all the ages are seen as one people, with one Savior, one destiny. This continuity can be shown by examining a few Old Testament prophesies with their fulfillment. Dispensationalists admit that if the church can be shown to be fulfilling promises made to Israel their system is doomed. If the church is fulfilling Israel’s promises as contained in the new covenant or anywhere in the Scriptures, then [dispensational] premillennialism is condemned.18
Promise to Israel –
“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’ -Hosea 1:10
Fulfillment the church –
“What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.” -Romans :22-26
Promise to Israel –
“Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!'” -Hosea 2:23
Fulfillment in the church –
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9-10
Promise to Israel –
“On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old;” -Amos 9:11
Fulfillment in the church –
Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. “And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.’ “Known to God from eternity are all His works. -Acts 15:14-18 In the same manner there are many Old Testament passages referring to Israel that are in the New Testament applied directly to the church.
Spoken to Israel –
“And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls.” -Joel 2:28-32
Applied to the church –
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place…”But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’ -Acts 2:1,16-21
Spoken to Israel –
‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” -Exodus 19:6
Applied to the church –
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” -1 Peter 2:9
Spoken to Israel –
“My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” -Ezekiel 37:27
Applied to the church –
“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” -2 Cor 6:16
Spoken to Israel –
“Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” -Lev 19:2
Applied to the church –
“but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” -1 Peter 1:15-16
Spoken to Israel –
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah–” -Jer 31:31
Applied to the church –
“Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” -Luke 22:20
This has turned into a real Bible Study. This study is very encouraging for the Believer. I believe it is not one of convenience for us to read the Word, but of great nourishment in growth and too maintaining our Faith in whom we say we believe.
Think I will bookmark this study.
Pray you are well and Jesus keep you hedged in Him.
you can download it in full here here as well..
What the Bible says about Israel and the Church, in history and prophecy.htm
plus zcs1.pdf to zcs6.pdf
see also http://cid-74fd848f21ffb8e9.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/.res/74FD848F21FFB8E9!5590 Pictures of Montreal’s winter
thanks for the prayer.. i really cannot live without Jesus and his help, not at all..
Judaism IS a religion and it definitely isn’t a race like some have suggested. There are Jews of ALL races the world over.
Judaism HAS distinct ethnic groups in itself, but that does not make the entire group an ethnicity. Ashkenazic (German or Eastern European), Sephardic (Spain and Portugal), Mizrahim (Middle Eastern, North African) and smaller subgroups exist.
These include: Indian Jews (Bene Israel), Romaniotes (Greece), Italian and Chinese Jews. The customs are different, so are the base languages as a whole etc..
To clear up the ‘who is Jewish’ thing: Someone is Jewish one of two ways (according to Judaism):
A) Their mother is Jewish: If someone takes up another belief they are an apostate. Should they *want* to return to Judaism, they wouldn’t have to convert back into the religion, but apostasy implies a number of things, like not being buried in a Jewish cemetery for example.
B) One converts into the religion: Judaism doesn’t proselytize (because we understand that it’s not for everyone), but if someone wants to convert, by all means they are welcome to.
Being Jewish IS religious and not ethnic..Why do people want to know this? Of what relevance is this issue to being Jewish? Is Judaism an ethnicity? No. Although Judaism arose out of a single ethnicity in the Middle East, there have always been conversions into and out of the religion. Thus, there are those who may have been ethnically part of the original group who are no longer part of Judaism, and those of other ethnic groups who have converted into Judaism. . According to the simplest definition used by Jews for self-identification, a person is a Jew by birth, or becomes one through religious conversion. People are free to convert into Judaism; once converted, they are considered the same as if they were born Jewish. This is not true for a race. Clearly mainly here, there is a religion called Judaism, a set of ideas about the world and the way Jews should live their lives that is called “Judaism.” The fact is that Jews, whether one is descended by maternal lineage from those who stood at Mount Sinai and accepted the Torah , or whether one is a proper, full convert, or whether one is maternally descended from a proper, full convert, they are required to fulfill the Commandments of the Torah, Talmud. Judaism is studied in Religious Studies courses and taught to Jewish children in Hebrew schools. Jews are clearly not a race. Race is a genetic distinction, and refers to people with shared ancestry and shared genetic traits. You can’t change your race; it’s in your DNA. I could never become black or Asian no matter how much I might want to. Common ancestry is not required to be a Jew. Many Jews worldwide share common ancestry, as shown by genetic research; however, you can be a Jew without sharing this common ancestry, for example, by converting. A Jew could also be someone who converted to Judaism. Proper and true converts to Judaism are accepted as full Jews. Thus, there are Jews who have been Black, Asian, The traditional explanation, and the one given in the Torah, is that the Jews are a nation meaning a group of people with a common history, a common destiny, a common religion is undeniable.. Of course, Judaism is a religion, and it is this religion that forms the central element of the Jewish culture that binds Jews together as a nation. It is the religion that defines foods as being kosher and non-kosher, and this underlies Jewish cuisine. It is the religion that sets the calendar of Jewish feast and fast days, and it is the religion that has preserved the Hebrew language.Besides that you have to be dumb if you do not think the Jews preach they are a still chosen people, a false religious teaching of theirs. What difference does it make if it’s a culture, ethnicity, or race? It is completely irrelevant. http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/even-heaven-awaits-jewish-return-to-god-jesus-christ-and-rather-not-to-the-promised-earthly-land/
Now are so ignorant and do so often do post, quote Jewish Lies?? ARE YOU OFTEN NOW ARE PREACHING THE DEMONIC SPAWNS OF SATAN, JEWISH LIES.
The Sacred Namers are a group largely professing to be Torah Observant Gentiles, who believe that the only source of power and righteousness in creation is the use (and frequent use at that) of the Holy Name which the Creator gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. This group routinely pronounces anyone who does not use their terminology and their “correct” pronunciation of the name of G-d as Pagan. There is a deeply troubling quasi-psychotic hatred which can be easily found in these groups. Any word of term which is English or Greek is considered to be Pagan in origin. Even common words such as “Sacred”, “Holy”, or “G-d” will instantly brand you as a pagan idolater who has no hope of redemption. Jesus FALSELY is NOW called Yahshua by most sacred name folks . By some he is called Yasha, by some Yeshua, by some Yaohushua, by some Y’shua, by some Iahushua, by others Yehoshua, YAHVAHSHUA, and even Yhwhhoshua. THESE DEMONIC sacred name teachers believe and very vocally teach that unless one uses the Hebrew name and only the Hebrew name for God, he or she will be eternally damned.. THAT IS CRAP, MERE CRAP..
These people within the sacred name movement have made nearly a dozen Bible revisions a cause for an especially deep concern. What demonic processes have their leaders gone through as they came to the point of willingness to make their own bible? One of the most absurd, demonic of the claims made by sacred name movement teachers is that the complete New Testament was originally written in the Hebrew language. Nothing could be further from the truth. This claim is made without so much as a shred of empirical evidence. The historical fact is this: the New Testament was written in Greek. Therefore, the doctrine of the Hebrew only sacred name is made invalid. The sacred name movement teachers are compelled to fight a futile, demonic battle against an obviously original Greek New Testament.
Did Jesus ever once utter even the name Yahweh? Sacred name teachers gamely admit that according to what is written in the God inspired, written Holy Scriptures he did not. A long held and regularly used false teaching among more than half of sacred name movement assemblies and individuals is that the Greek word for Jesus means son of Zeus or has a meaning otherwise connected with or derived from the word Zeus. There are a number of variations on this fanciful teaching, a favorite being that Jesus means Healing Zeus. It is especially sad to see sacred name converts, who have no idea of the source of their information, promoting this error. In spite of the fact that the teaching cannot be backed by research, many in the movement believe it simply has to be true. The teaching is purely and simply a lie, a fabrication. This falsehood began in the teachings of some of the pioneer preachers of the movement. It continues among preachers and teachers who are movers and shakers in the movement today. This doctrine and its continued propagation epitomize other false teachings of the sacred name movement. Even after it has time and again been proven false, many FALSELY still cling to it. This is all demonic.
Now even a cursory examination of the doctrine, as taught by SN teachers, reveals how poorly thought out, ill founded, and false it is. The movement and its doctrine of the Sacred Name is of man and not of God. The Sacred Name Movement is just another tool the enemy uses to deceive and ensnare people. The problem with the Sacred Name cult is that they think we must all use just one particular Hebrew name for God and also just one particular Hebrew name for Jesus. They also have some other strange beliefs/practices such as making “tassels” for one’s clothing. The falsely deny the Trinity. And what you foolishly promote them too.. Jesus is Greek based and is the name of the Messiah in English, this we know for certain. Y’shua is a Hebrew equivalent as is Yoshua… but YAHShua? Never heard if him… it is neither English nor Greek nor even Hebrew, it is an invention of Americans who came out of sect of the Christian Church… a sect that rejects the very religion it came from as being pagan
Sadly Hebrew in many circles has been falsely even promoted as the favoured language above the language of the complete 1611 inspired translation, and given supreme importance as justified through the Old Testament (as well as the New in their case) being originally written in Hebrew, and the Jewish people being the original chosen people of God. Therefore, everything Jewish is being seen as being of God, and importance is placed on the Torah (the Jewish book of laws), along with the Talmud (the oral law), on a par with the New Testament, as Gentile believers find themselves fallen prey to this type of reasoning as the Galatians were at the beginning of the New Testament era ignoring the warning of their Savour Jesus:
Mark 7:13. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition (putting the Talmud on an equal basis), which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Paul (a Jewish believer from the strictive of the Jewish sects) made it clear … you can’t have one and the other, as the new has cancelled out the old:
Heb. 8:13. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Gal. 1:6-7. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Paul clarified it was the Jewish religion he was saved from, that was responsible for this falling away in his day, and was warning the Gentile Galatian Believers not to be entangled with it:
Gal. 1: 13-14 . For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
Read Acts 15: 5-24 and you will see the church made a distinction between the old and the new with this final conclusion:
Acts 15:24. For as much as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
This is just More apostasy has hit the Bible Belt. A new wave of Gentile pseudo-Christians are calling themselves Israelites with an elite interpretation of the Scriptures. These “seekers” meet in homes to “restore Israel”, proselytizing God’s elect personally with their anomalous books and message, putting truly saved Christians to shame with their “remnant” zeal. And like Seventh Day Adventists cult their salvation is synonymous with keeping the Law. (See Galatians 5:4: “You have been severed by Christ you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” See also Galatians 3:25).
The fact that Jesus resurrected on the first day of the week according to the Bible, and that Christians go to church on Sundays in celebration of His resurrection (Romans 14:5, John 20:19-20, Acts 20:7, Hebrews 4:1, 3, 9, and Colossians 2:16-17) does not seem to deter this group of former church-goers. Never mind that the Bible teaches that followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26). The core of their “good news” is that all believers are Jewish or “Israelites,” and no “Gentiles” were grafted into Jesus by adoption, at least not with the traditional definition of “Gentile” or “adoption” or “Jesus”, for that matter.
Do not bow to their lies, do not be led astray by their foolishness. Proclaim the Word and then if rejected shake the dust off your feet. From Jesus’ own words in Mark 13: 5 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
The Day and Hour Unknown
32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.33 Be on guard! Be alert[e]! You do not know when that time will come.” :
Titus 1:14. Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth..
Matt. 12:21. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
God is not a God of confusion as He makes Himself known by one name through His revealed word, namely the Holy Bible. And as He hast magnified thy word above all thy name … the one who would be audacious enough to replace or change His word would be the one who would be audacious as to replace or change His name. This is presently occurring in Christendom, as the Great Falling Away (from His word) process intensifies, and mankind is conditioned to receive another name … the name of the False Christ of the New Age: 2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
John 5:43. I (Jesus) am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
His Name under siege: Jer. 8:8 … the pen of the scribes is in vain.
.The Bible Teaches:Jesus said: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone…” Revelation 21:8