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Israel and the Church - is there any difference? Created 20 January 2018

    1. Why is this important to every Christian?
    2. Background
    3. Replacement theology explained
    4. Definitions
    5. The Core of the issue
    6. My view on this issue (this will answer outstanding questions for you)
    7. Arguments for and against Replacement theology, including Hebrews 8:13 - 'God has made the Old Covenant obsolete'
    8. Churches upholding Replacement theology
    9. What about the crooked and corrupt Jews of this world?
    10. Geo-politically speaking, is Israel always right?
    11. The Zionist movement
    12. Church men who preached or still preach Replacement theology
    13. CONCLUSION and Summary
    14. Extra: Shall NT believers pursue Jewish holy days and traditions?
    15. What I have learned since I wrote this article?

Why is this important to every Christian?

Where you stand on this issue will determine whether or not you are working with God or against Him, regardless of what you may think you're doing. So, whilst you may be doing everything else right, you may be opposing God’s way if you get this issue wrong. And, if you are getting this one wrong you will need to give an account for it[1] - the Bible guarantees it. 

Where you stand with respect to Replacement theology likely will determine where you stand with respect to the End Times. And how you understand the End Times will likely determine how you will respond to the Deception which God will send in order to fulfill His purposes.

Background

In the Old Testament, there were two attitudes towards the people of God; those for them and those against them. Before the Jews were named “the Jews”, notable scenario’s of those working with God include Abel (as opposed to Cain), Lot (as opposed to the people of Sodom), Jacob (as opposed to Esau). It was a black and white issue - nothing in-between. 

Then, in the New Testament, there seems to be a subtle change - whilst Jesus decidedly came for the Jews only, they (the Jews) were divided in either working with His plan of salvation or working against His plan of salvation. So, before we had ‘the Jews vs. everyone else’. But as John the Baptist ushered in the ministry of the Messiah, even the Jews were now divided. John himself was killed - not by a non-Jew, but by the Jewish king, Herod. Jesus was killed - not by the non-Jews - but effectively by the Jewish leaders [2]. So now the scene changed to ‘those for Jesus, the Son of God’ vs. ‘those against Jesus, the man who claimed to be the Son of God [3]. It too was a black and white issue - there was nothing in-between.

Replacement theology explained

Replacement or Covenant theology holds that the Jews gave up their position as ‘the people of God’ once they denied the Son of God. Jesus said that He will deny whomever denies Him[4]

Dispensationalism (loosely referred to as ‘Anti-repalcement theology’) holds that though the Jews denied the Son of God, He has stayed true to His original covenant with them through Abraham to whom He promised the land of Israel “as an everlasting possession”[5]

Replacement or Covenant theology holds that the New Testament term “Israel” should mean Church[6][7] and the term “Church” should also mean Church. Thus, what is "Church" today really is the 'spiritual Israel'.

Dispensationalism holds that in the New Testament “Israel” means Israel and “Church” means Church[8]

Definitions

Before we go on, let’s define what exactly we are talking about:

You decide

As I have outline above, if God did indeed forsake Israel following the resurrection of Jesus, and if you or I today positively pursue the interests of the Jews, we may be working against what God wants to achieve Not only that, we may well choose the wrong side when the End times truly commences. But if God did not forsake the Jews and if you and I oppose them (the Jews) we will no doubt work against God’s plan for them and likely ‘choose the wrong side’ when the End times truly commences. 

In short, this too is a black and white issue. Having no attitude regarding the Jews by default means that you are not in support of them and thus oppose them. There still is no in-between.

What happened after Jesus’ ascension?

Attitudes for and against the Jews prevailed during the ministry of Jesus on earth. The Jews were pitted against everyone else, particularly the Romans under Julius Caesar. Even Jesus made the finest distinction calling the half-Jew people of Samaria (the Samaritans) ‘non-Jew’.  But then, after He ascended the distinguishing mark of the people of God seems to have changed from ‘being Jew’ to ‘being Believer’. Or did it? 

The Core of the Issue - the place where you’ll need to make up your mind, or it will be made up for you

    1. Is it in the character of God to cancel a covenant with anyone on the back of the sinfulness of that party? 
    2. Is it God’s way to have different purposes for different people, or, as in this case, different purposes for different peoples?
    3. Does God know the end from the start? Did He know Adam may sin and did He know the Jews may deny His Son?
    4. What does the Bible say?
    5. Is the Church not 'spiritual Israel'?

My view on this issue, answering the questions in reverse order

5. Israel and the Church are not the same thing because God chose each of them to fulfill a different purpose. Deuteronomy 7 records that God chose Israel "to be [His] special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth" and "because the Lord loves" them (the Jews)[15]. So, the Bible says that God chose Israel because the Lord loves them and so that they could be His "special treasure". Not because they boast any special characteristic (compare v.7), but because He decided sovereignly to love them. He just loves them, period. That is His prerogative - He is God. There needs to be no reason for Him to love the Jews. It is His decision and He needs to justify it to no-one.

Why then did the Lord choose you to be part of His Body on earth, ... why has He chosen the Church? Unlike Israel whom God chose to be His special treasure, He chose the individual and corporate members of the Church for one reason; "for good works on earth"[16]. If that does not fit into your theology, please take it up with the Author of Scripture. In Ephesians 3, Paul expands on the idea that the Church was chosen to do "good works": "10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,  11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,  12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him." 

It should be clear, God chose Israel to be His "special treasure", and He chose the Church "for good works". These are altogether different purposes in God's overall plan - the one simply cannot replace the other.

4. In Romans 11, Paul - who had a running battle with Jews who vowed to not eat or drink till they had killed him [13] (and therefore no incentive to offer them any 'favors') - wrote: ‘God caused the Jews to not ‘get’ Jesus as His Son till all those Gentiles whom He wants in His Kingdom have come in’ (paraphrase). See how The Message renders vv. 25-29. So, whilst Jesus, before His death, resurrection and ascension, marked many Jews (not all) as having a ‘hardened heart’ towards God, it was God - not the Jews themselves - who made them blind[14] to see the truth of the Gospel. So, the Jews being blind to the Gospel, Paul says, is part and parcel of God’s overall plan. In my mind, where the NT says “Israel” it means the nation and/or state of Israel.

28 Concerning the gospel they (the Jews) are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. (vv. 28-32)

Where it says "Church" it means the Church or the Body of Christ. Anything else is reading stuff into the Bible which simply is not there. 

3. When God created Adam, He already knew that he may sin. Notwithstanding, He still went on to create him and his wife, Eve. Adam’s potential as well as eventual sinfulness did not make God change His mind about creating Adam. Importantly, even though He knew the fallen, sinful, untrustworthy, rebellious, unfaithful and wicked nature of Adam and all his descendants (including the nation of Israel), He still entered into a covenant with Israel, likely knowing they would rebel against Him, as their fallen nature would dictate.

2. God routinely uses people for different purposes. For the Church, he has appointed Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists and Pastors [17]. To these He has given gifts of healing, speaking in tongues, working miracles and so forth. He chose Paul to go to the Gentiles whilst choosing Peter to minister to the Jews. He chose John the Baptist to baptist and Stephen to be the first martyr. In His overall plan, God has routinely used different people for different purposes. The idea that He has not done so as pertaining to the Jewish people seems out of touch with His ways. In fact, He says so in simple terms: the Gentiles have received the Gospel so as to draw the Jews to jealousy [so that they too may receive His grace].

1. It is not in the character of God to break a covenant. If anything, He is extremely serious about holding up to a commitment, especially a covenantal promise. Personally I believe this may be because nothing else reflects the integrity of a person more than their willingness and ability to uphold a promise. We ought to know that God’s character has no blemish - respectfully, His integrity has and will forever be intact. 

Arguments for and against Replacement theology

I have outlined my initial thoughts on the matter above. From a Scriptural view, however, I have found the the 'pro-Replacement theology camp' to rely mainly on the following arguments, which I would like to address - there are three main ones:

  1. Replacement theology has been around since the early church days, therefore, teh contrary argument - say Despensationalism - is 'the new kid on the black' and therefore invalid.
  2. Hebrews 8:13 teaches that God has cancelled the Covenant made with the Jews.
  3. Being a Jew has always been defined as 'one keeping covenant with the Lord'. So, whoever keeps Covenant with the Lord today is who is a Jew. The rest are non-Jews.
Pro-Replacement theology argument Anti-Replacement theology argument
1. Replacement theology has been around since around 200AD when Theologian and Philosopher Justin Martyr (about 100 to 165) first wrote about it. Others like Hippolytus of Rome, Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240 AD) and Augustine (354–430) also promoted this view. 1. Appealing to the lengthiness of the existence of a doctrine is no way to prove the truthfulness thereof. Orthodox Jews to this day promote the teaching the Jesus was merely a prophet.
2. Hebrews 8:13 clearly states that God has cancelled the Old Covenant (in return for the New Covenant): "13 In that He says, “A new covenant,He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." (NKJV) 2. There are several points here - see the full context below: 1) by the time Hebrews was written a new covenant had already been established (v.6). From v.13, however, this is no longer clear; the words "is becoming obsolete and growing old" in respect of the Old Covenant indicates something contrary to "has made the first [Covenant] obsolte earlier in v.13 but consistent with the Greek word that is translated "obsolete" (which is "palaioo"). In Greek, palaioo can be translated 'in the process of being made expired', much the same as an aged person is not yet 'expired'. It leaves a sense of 'near outdatedness', but not absolute outdatedness or having alraedy expired. Now, compare Romans 11 where Paul says that the Jews will remain blind to Christ untill 'the correct number' of the Gentiles have come in: "25 I do not desire that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved." The rejection of Christ by the Jews is a work of God. It is part of His plan (compare vv. 28-29). Despite them having already crucified Jesus, the writer of Hebrews states emphatically, "All Israel will be saved". It is very clear - there is no spiritualisation or ambiguity about these words. The first deduction is this: The First Covenant is not yet expired. It is growing old but not yet expired as far as the Jews are concerned. It will nevertheless be expired as and when the full number of the Gentiles have come in. Therefore, God has not permanently rejected Israel, the Jews, and He has not had the Church take their place. He has a parallel plan for each. The second deduction is this: The First Covenant was given exclusively to the Jews. Gentiles never received it. It has no bearing on Gentiles whatsoever. When the Epistle to the Hebrews was written, it was written to the Jews (hence "Hebrews"). Accordingly, the writer needed to 'make the case for Christ' in relation to the Law of Moses. In doing so, he needed them to 'lay down their loyalty to the Law' and 'adopt a new loyalty to the living Christ who would write His Law on their hearts instead (compare v.10). Thus, the writer of Hebrews is saying, 'follow Christ'. What he is not saying is 'the Jewish people, or "Israel", do not matter to God any longer'.
2.a) See the the full context of Hebrews 8:13 to the right. 2.a) 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “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— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (NKJV)
3. In the Old Testament times anyone could be called a Jew. Whomever upheld the Covenant of God was called a Jew. Accordingly, everyone today who uphold the New Covenant with God as per Hebrews 8:10 is called a Jew, which means that the people who live in the land of Israel are not Jews at all. The Church has become the 'spiritual Israel'. 3. A rather disingenuous argument. Yes, people Gentiles who married into any of the 12 tribes of Israel (the sons of Jacob who was renamed "Israel"), converted to Judahism. This was possible, but certainly not the norm, and the idea that the people of Israel was named after their covenant-upholding, and not their natural heritage, is false. The twelve tribes of Jocob were first called the Israelites in Exodus 9. The Covenant which God made with Moses was made in Exodus 24. Thus, the Jews were called Israelites - not on the back of them upholding God's Covenant - but on the back of their natural lineage as the sons of the man named Israel (Jacob). That practice has remained intact since Exodus 9. Accordingly, what is called Israel or the Jews today refers - not to the Church - but to the decendants of the man called Israel who moved to the Promised Lnad, which became the land of Israel - the same land which they - the Jews - occupy today, as God said He would ensure. "He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:12)

 

Churches upholding Replacement theology

(U.S. Membership Denominational Ranking: Largest 25 Denominations/Communions –2004 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches) (Pro- Replacement theology in bold. Number of 'members' in the USA are shown in brackets). Source

1. The Roman Catholic Church – 66,407,105 
2. Southern Baptist Convention – 16, 427, 736
3. The United Methodist Church – 8,251,042 
4. The Church of God in Christ – 5,499,875
5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – 5,410,544 
6. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – 5,038,006 

7. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc. – 5,000,000
8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. – 3,500,000
9. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – 3,407,329 
10. Assemblies of God – 2,687,366
11. The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod – 2,512,714 
12. African Methodist Episcopal Church – 2,500,000 

13. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America – 2,500,000
14. Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc. – 2,500,000
15. The Episcopal Church – 2,333,628 
16. Churches of Christ, Corsicana, Texas – 1,500,000 
17. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – 1,500,000 
18. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. – 1,500,000
19. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. – 1,484,291
20. African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church – 1,430,795 
21. United Church of Christ – 1,330,985 
22. Baptist Bible Fellowship International – 1,200,000
23. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, Joplin, Mo. – 1,071,616 
24. Jehovah’s Witnesses – 1,022,397 
25. Church of God, Cleveland, Tenn., – 944,857

This is one of the few areas where Catholics, Anglicans ("Episcopal") some other Protestant churches together with the Greek Orthodox church and Jehovah's Witnesses agree.

What about the crooked and corrupt Jews of this world?

Herod was king of the Jews - a Jew through and through. Yet, he was very, very corrupt. He executed babies in order to prevent the rise of King Jesus[18] . His son, executed John the Baptist in the interest of pleasing a dancing girl[19] . Not only did Herod do a wicked thing but his sister-in-law - Herodias - too, as she prompted him to kill the man of God, John the Baptist.

Many (yet not all) Jews over the ages have been wicked and corrupt. It should be no surprise to anyone that there are many wicked and corrupt Jews today as well. Yet, we ought to remember that Jesus is and was a Jew. So is Paul, Peter, Matthew and many of the characters who brought us the Scriptures and established the early church. They are all Messianic Jews, followers of Jesus.

Geo-politically speaking, is Israel always right?

No, I do not believe so. But how can they be? They’re no being led by the Holy Spirit are they? Only those who habitually follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in pursuit of Jesus’ way can routinely do the right thing. I do not believe we should be expecting flawlessness from the Israeli’s. They are going to go about it in the wrong way from time to time. Still, even though they are doing things the wrong way around, our loyalty to the Lion of the tribe of Judah [20] - Jesus Christ - should see us in support of the people with whom He has made an eternal covenant. Note how John the Revelator in Revelation 5:5 does not refer to Jesus according to his Abrahamic lineage - a queue which may have indicated that "Judah" meant 'those of faith'. Instead, he links the Lion of the tribe of Judah to King David - a historical figure with who the Body of Christ (the Church) has no connection whatsoever. It should be clear that in writing Revelation 5:5, John the Revelator was referring to the actual tribe of Judah - the Jews as we know them today. And Jesus still is the Lion that comes from that tribe. Jesus is still a Jew. Israel is still the land Israel and this passage is still relevant:

I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Genesis 12:3)

The Zionist movement

Over the ages, the Jews have been exposed to more persecution than any other nation. In a way, I don’t feel sorry for them - this too I see as part of Jesus’ plan for them. In a way they brought it over themselves when they spoke a curse over themselves as they petitioned to have Jesus crucified. 

The organized Zionist movement took shape only in 1897 when the first world council or congress was held. It was organized by Theodore Herzl. None of Herzl’s male relatives survived. Even his grandson - Stephen Norman - committed suicide, much like other members of his family. Interestingly, Herzl’s loyalty to his mother tongue - German - and his deep devotion to the Germanic culture stands in sharp contrast with the creation of the state of Israel largely as a result of Nazi Germany's persecution of the Jews during WWII. 

The creation of the state of Israel (1947) some 45 years or so after Herzl’s death in 1903 and was not without opposition within Jewish quarters. Though the Rothschild clan - a family which reportedly holds strong connections with the ‘Illuminati’ or one world government - has sponsored the building of various institutional facilities in Israel, including the Supreme Court and Parliament House, they were reportedly no fan of Herzl’s. 

Image result for israel rothschild parliament

Quoting from this website,

"In the same general area of Jerusalem we can, therefore, find the Knesset and the Supreme Court, built by the Rothschilds and, following a perpendicular leyline, several blocks away, sits the Rockefeller Museum (another elite family). You might start to understand who owns this area now".

 

Source of the excerpt to the right. Link to the Rothschild Wikipedia page. Writes Wikipedia, "Herzl appealed to the nobility of Jewish England - the Rothschilds, Sir Samuel Montagu, later cabinet minister, to the Chief Rabbis of France and Vienna, the railroad magnate, Baron Hirsch. He fared best with Israel Zangwill, and Max Nordau. They were both well-known writers or 'men of letters'—imagination that engenders understanding. Hirsch's correspondence led nowhere. Baron Albert Rothschild had little to do with the Jews. Herzl was disliked by the bankers (Finanzjuden) and detested them. Herzl was defiant of their social authority." 

Book on Conspiracy theories

 

Church men who preached or still preach Replacement theology

It is claimed that 'Reformed theology' existed in the Church since the earliest days. When we look at the Theologians and church bodies listed below, it certainly is clear that this is the case. However, there is one of two possibilities which one may derive from this fact:

Appealing to the amount of time a doctrine has been common practice should never testify to the truthfulness thereof, nor should to prove the godliness of the institution that does so. Islam and Budism has been around for many hundreds of years, yet true Christians know that these are false religions. When we look at the amount of false teaching that has prevailed amongst Christians over the ages, it should be no strange thing to count Replacement theology as one of these.

CONCLUSION and Summary

The Jews and the geo-political area of Israel are not without flaw. Many (if not the vast majority) Jews today are secular, idolatrous, wicked people who are yet to see the light of the Gospel. Others are deeply religious and generally ‘good people’ but are also yet to see the light of the Gospel. These all belong to the Lion of Judah. He has reserved a time for them - that time in which “the full number of the Jews have come in”. Only God knows how far we are off that very moment. In the meantime, as a believer in Jesus Christ, we honour those pele whom He honours and we pray for those who are yet to see His light.

6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; 10 and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. 11 Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them. (Deuteronomy 7:6-11)

Extra: Shall New Testament believers pursue Jewish customs and traditions?

Make up your own mind about this but my decision is not to do that, or even to get close to doing that. Support and prayer for the people of Israel is one thing. Pretending to be a Jew is another. In Paul’s words, 'did you receive the Spirit by grace or by upholding the Law?'[21] 

The practice of using Jesus’ Hebrew name - Yesua - may be along similar lines. Question to those who do this: why do you not also refer to Peter as “Petra” which is the Greek form of his name, as it was written, and, why do you write “God” as opposed to the Hebrew way of doing so, “YHWE”?

I do not believe that any Gentile believer can genuinely revert “back to the Law”. Such behaviour is completely pretentious because the Law was never given to Gentiles in the first place. As a Gentile believer today, I have only one option - grace through Jesus Christ. No second option exists for me. Any guilt in terms of legalism is entirely a function of my (or my culture’s) own creation. 
Similarly, celebrating Yom Kippur or the Hanukkah or any other Jewish tradition (including circumcision) as a non-Jew is to conflate or to confuse a love for and support of the Jewish people with one’s own faith in Christ. Culture and faith is not the same thing. As a Gentile you do not have a natural lineage with Jacob and his sons. Your heritage and culture did not miraculously change when you repented and believed. Thinking so is being foolish in pretentious confusion. 

If your husband or my wife is Jewish, sure, celebrate Yom Kippur in solidarity with them. But do not think of yourself more holy or more godly or more committed to God because of it.

What I have learned since I wrote this article?

(I am not neccessarily endorsing any one of these preachers except for their view on Replacement Theology)

David Pawson presents the topic in a much clearer, better informed way than what have done. Listen to the MP3 podcast here . Click on the link and a new page will open in your browser (1 hour 13 minutes). The lecture is very informative and thorough.

Mark Blitz discusses the origins of Replacement Theology.

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Footnotes:

[1] 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (1 Peter 4:4-5) [back]

[2] 14 Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!” (Mark 15:14) [back]

[3] 20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. 21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” (John 19:20-22) [back]

[4] But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:33) [back]

[5] When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. 8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:1-8) [back]

[6] And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. (Galatians 6:16) [back]

[7] 11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:11-12). In this example, Paul equates 'citizens' of the "commonwealth of Israel" with being a believer in Christ (thus, the Church). [back]

[8] Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. (Acts 12:1) In this example, if the term "church" really meant 'Israel', it would render this verse to say that the unbelieving Herod persecuted the unbelieving Jews or Israelites because of their belief (faith) in Jesus as the Saviour. It makes little or no sense. [back]

[9] Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 6:13) [back]

[10] 3 You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ just as the Lord God of your fathers promised you. (Deuteronomy 27:3) [back]

[11] Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12:27) [back]

[12] 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:3-5) [back]

[13] And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. (Acts 23:12) [back]

[14] 25 I do not want you, believers, to be unaware of this mystery [God’s previously hidden plan]—so that you will not be wise in your own opinion—that a partial hardening has [temporarily] happened to Israel [to last] until the full number of the Gentiles has come in; (Romans 11:25, Amplified) [back]

[15] 6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8) [back]

[16] 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10) [back]

[17] 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;  14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,  15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—  16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16) [back]

[18] Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. (Matthew 2:16) [back]

[19] 21 Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 22 And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23 He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”24 So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!” 25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. (Mark 6:21-26) [back]

[20] 5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5) [back]

[21] O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?  2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?  4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? (Galatians 3:1-4) [back]

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Please consult the Bible and test what is written here. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in this area. Keep that which is good and reject that which is not Scriptural. Should you come to a different understanding than I please let me know - perhaps I can learn from you.

28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

(Romans 11)

 

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