Does the Bible teach that God is done with the nation of Israel and all of the promises given to Israel throughout the Old Testament are actually for the church? There is not one verse in the Scriptures that supports this erroneous teaching. On the contrary, God makes it clear throughout the Bible the Jews have been and always will be His special chosen people.
The second chapter of Ephesians makes plain that Israel is beloved by God, and our Heavenly Father, in His infinite mercy and grace, has incorporated the Gentiles into the His promises given to the nation of Israel through faith in Jesus Christ.
11Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh-who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands-12that 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. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16and that he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
17And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with saints and members of the household of God, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:11-22
Paul makes clear that God considers those saved from the nation of Israel by faith in Christ Jesus are, in a sense, distinct from the Gentiles, though saved in like manner, because of the spiritual privileges and blessings bequeathed to them as children of Abraham. Notice that in verse eighteen Paul says, For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. He refers to the Jews and Gentiles through the word both, indicating that God is still dealing with His chosen people, the nation of Israel.
Initially, the gospel of salvation came exclusively to the Jews until Cornelius and his household was added to the redeemed. 13“And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call from Simon whose surname is Peter, 14who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15“And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.
16Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17“If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” 18When they heard these things they became silent; “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” Acts 11:13-18
The gospel was first preached to the Jews, then the Samaritans, and finally the Gentiles. Jesus said to His apostles before He ascended, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 The church is fulfillment of this commission, but that doesn’t mean that Israel is replaced by the church in the overall plan and purposes of God.
It is important that we remember the blessings that God has bestowed upon mankind have come down to us through the nation of Israel.
I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, 4who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. Romans 9:1-5
What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. Romans 3:1-4
Israel, God’s chosen people, was selected from among all the nations of the world, to be God’s special people to display His glory and be a conduit of His grace. And He has displayed His glory through the nation of Israel though they have often been rebellious and disobedient to Him, even rejecting the promised Messiah. Even this was to God’s glory and praise.
22“Men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-23Him being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;24“whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
25For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face For he is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest n hope. 27For You will not leave my soul in Hades Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
29“Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
33Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 35Till make Your enemies Your footstool.”’ 36Therefore let house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:22-36.
Through this violent act of disobedient rejection salvation became possible for all who believe because Christ was crucified for us as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) as prophesied in the Scriptures, the oracles of God given to the Jews. And though the Jews rejected their Savior, not believing what God said to them in His Word, it was to the house of Israel that salvation first came as Peter preached on that day of Pentecost.
If God fulfilled His promise to the Jews to bring them the Messiah through the lineage of David so that they could have their sins forgiven and be reconciled to Him, and if God has blessed the Gentiles with saving faith as promised through the oracles of God given to the nation of Israel, why would we believe that He would then negate all of His promises to the Jews to save the nation and have His Son rule upon the earth from Jerusalem? Their rejection of Jesus Christ is for the blessing of the Gentiles until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Paul explains this very thing in Romans chapter eleven.
11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! 13For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22Therefore consider the goodness and the severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25For I do not desire, brethren, 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.
26And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” 28Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 9:11-29
God’s Word is clear, He is not done with Israel. He is at this time calling out a people for Himself out of the Gentile nations as promised in the Old Testament. He has also promised in the Old Testament corporate salvation of the nation of Israel when Jesus Christ returns as their Messiah delivering them from their enemies. We boast against Israel to our own harm.
Many Scriptures point to Christ’s return to redeem and rescue the Jews from the destruction determined against them by the surrounding nations. Zechariah chapters twelve and fourteen give us insight into what will occur at that time.
9“It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
11In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;13 the family of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves. 1 In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. Zechariah 12:9-13:1
Since Jesus during His first appearance did not seek to destroy all the nations coming against Jerusalem, this corporate salvation of the Jews occurs at Christ’s Second Coming when He defends and saves His people, the nation of Israel. The return of Christ is foretold in Zechariah 14:3-5:
3Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. 5Then you shall flee through My mountain valley For the mountain valley shall reach Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You.
This is the same mount that Jesus ascended into heaven from, and the angels told His apostles, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11
He will return physically to fight for and save His people Israel. Notice in verse five of Zechariah chapter fourteen, that the saints will be with Him, this prophesy is repeated in Revelation 19:14 When Jesus comes to fight against and destroy the nations attacking His people Israel. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Romans chapter nine, Zechariah chapters twelve and fourteen, and Revelation chapter nineteen clearly reveal that God is not finished with His people, the nation of Israel.
Those who twist the Scriptures, ignoring the vast number of verses in which God promises to save His people physically and spiritually are doing the exact thing that Paul warned against when he told the Gentile believers not to be haughty against Israel, but rather to fear and hold fast to Christ through faith. We must be obedient to the Scriptures and believe what God tells us in His Word, rejecting the vain opinions of men that oppose the truth of God. To accept and approve these false doctrines leads to grievous error within the body of Christ and great harm to many hapless souls who fall under the influence of destructive doctrines.
image: David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net/ETPR
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