Sunday, January 20, 2008

God is Finished With Israel?

Many people try to claim that God is through with the literal nation of Israel. They claim that followers of Christ have replaced them. I believe there are many serious problems with this idea. I recently had a friendly conversation with a preterist that lets me hunt his land. He made a few bold claims, and then lumped everyone that believed that Israel had a future with God into a dispensational pre-tribber category. I just had to ask him a few questions! Below is a fairly simple solution that can be used if you run into the same situation.

Jer. 31:37
Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done.

I brought this passage up to my preterist friend, and of course he quickly reminded me that we are the descendants of Israel, and that the passage is saying that God will never reject us.

But to apply Christians to this passage is simply torturing the text due to presuppositions. Yes, I understand that we are Abraham's descendants by faith, but, the last portion of this passage says, "because of all they have done."

The "they" is clearly the literal and physical nation Israel because that is who is being spoken to and about in the passage. Because of this it seems impossible to claim that the descendants being spoken of could be us. If it were, the verse would be saying this:

"Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the CHRISTIANS because of all that the JEWS have done."

Why would He reject any Christian for what Jews have done? This makes absolutely no sense! Problem solved, my preterist friend.

17 comments:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Good post.

Theolog said...

New Covenant is made with Israel. In the New Covenant age gentiles art grafted into Israel and unbelieving Israel is cut off. The After the Kingdom of God came into being by the advent of Christ Christ became the King of Israel and all that trust and obey him as King are New Covneant Israel.

There are no prophecies in the Holy Scriptures that teach that a pagan Israel arise again because pagan Israel is not important.

The important thing is Jesus Christ and the work He did. The Old Covenant is not about Israel it is about the coming spiritual Kingdom of God on earth and heaven.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Theolog, the New Covenant is not yet established.

The New Covenant will be established in the future when Israel turns and repents.

The Scriptures know nothing of Gentiles being grafted into Israel.

God Bless

Matthew

raul delgado said...

theolog,
Sounds like you are a proponent of replacement theology? Are you a full or partial preterist?

Raul

PWTribune said...

So what is happening in the below passage, theolog? Just curious.


Zech 12:
10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit [a] of grace and supplication. They will look on [b] me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.

Zech 13
1 "On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

The Orange Mailman said...

Theolog-

The New Covenant was confirmed with Israel in the blood of Messiah. Gentiles are grafted into ethnic Israel, and unbelieving Israel is cut off. BUT, the passage you are alluding states unequivocally that God has the ability to graft them back in again, and in fact will graft them back in after the fullness of the Gentiles is come in. Therefore all Israel (meaning ethnic Israel) will be saved. Please read the entire passage.

Also note that PreMillennialists believe that "pagan" Israel, or unrepentant Israel will pass through the time of Jacob's trouble, then will repent as a nation and embrace the God of Israel. Israel as a nation will no longer be "pagan" but will all know the LORD. How do you read Isaiah 2:2-4?

Matthew-

I believe that Ephesians 2:11-13 and Romans 11:11-24 teach that Gentiles are grafted in to ethnic Israel. I also believe that the New Covenant was established at Christ's first advent, but is only effective for those who believe. When Israel as a nation repents, the New Covenant will be effective for Israel as a nation. For now, only individual Israelites are saved by the blood of the New Covenant.

Have fun and stay busy - Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

OM, does that mean that believing Gentiles inherit the land of Canaan?

PWTribune said...

Yeah, Orange. That sounded kind of weird! :) Ethnic Israel?

PWTribune said...

.

Theolog,

Another thought. It seems VERY odd when you call nation Israel "pagan." And that God has rejected them forever because of their pagan qualities and that they are not important. Who do you think YOU were before Christ cleansed you? You were "pagan." So why can Christ elect pagan Gentiles from the pagan Gentile GROUP to become spiritual Israel, yet he cannot elect "pagan" Jews from a pagan group to be spiritual Israel? It make no sense. Sorry.

The Orange Mailman said...

Hey guys-

The church is destined to live in the New Jerusalem which will descend and be the capitol city of both Israel and the entire world during the thousand year reign of Christ. So in the sense of living in the land of Canaan like other Israelites, no. But there will be an inheritance for every Gentile who is a child of Abraham by faith within the kingdom of God right along side Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The New Jerusalem has names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on the twelve gates of pearl and the names of the twelve apostles written on the twelve foundations. The ultimate goal of God is to bring Israel and the church together in one entity. In fact, the church is the true Israel with believing Gentiles grafted in.

Have fun and stay busy - Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

OM, if you read Rev 21, you see that there are nations living outside New Jerusalem. These will include the descendents of the Millennial nations, both Jew and Gentile.

The New Jerusalem is for resurrected saints who have been brought into heavenly blessings.

If the Gentiles are brought into ethnic Israel, it is illegitimate to deny them the land blessings that are part of God's promises to Israel.

In order to maintain the distinction you must spiritualize those apsects of the covenants in order to apply them to Gentiles. This is a slippery slope to the same kind of methodology that the 'Replacement theologians' use.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

PWTribune said...

It's official. Matthew CAN speak/write more than a five word sentence! :)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yeah.

PWTribune said...

...

Kathy Hall said...

Hi Dave,

I'm blogging again. I couldn't let misrepresentation of the Scriptures go on at Joel's. I need to take time to digest all the heads and beasts and things.

Happy Belated New Year,
Kathy

Kathy Hall said...

I think I should have said a "Belated Happy New Year"...

The Orange Mailman said...

Hey Matthew-

Thanks for the response. I'm aware that my views may seem odd, and even lean toward replacement theology, but I do not ascribe to replacement theology or supersessionism. I like to throw out phrases that are going to catch people's attention, and it looks like I caught yours (and Dave B.'s).

Gentiles are grafted into what I believe we could safely term "the elect of Israel". These are the true Israelites, the true children of Abraham by faith. Gentiles maintain their ethnicity as per Romans 15:8-13. Just for kicks, look up every OT reference quoted there. Although they maintain their indivual national identities, the fact remains that Gentiles are in a relationship with the God of Israel on an equal playing field as any Israelite brought under the New Covenant established in Messiah's blood.

I agree with you that during the Millennial Kingdom that Gentile nations will exist outside of the New Jerusalem, while resurrected saints live within the New Jerusalem. The Resurrection Himself will alter the way death and life operate here on earth in the Millennial Kingdom.

But you do raise one really good point. It would be illegitimate to deny Gentiles the same blessings that Israelites will receive for their inheritance. But how will Israelites receive their inheritance? Abraham died without the promises being fulfilled, but looked forward to living in a city whose builder and maker is God. This is the inheritance of saved Israelites and Gentiles as well.

I'm sure that I would agree with a good many more comments you would write. I have taken a bit of time to try to see what exactly will take place in the age to come. How will the church and Israel interact with each other in the Kingdom that is to come? I don't claim to entirely know, but I think many never attempt to look beyond the wisdom of this age.

I hope this explain a bit more where I'm coming from.

Have fun and stay busy - Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman