Skip to comments.Israel has no more claim on God's promises and blessing than Paraguay
Posted on 12/11/2004 12:20:16 PM PST by Presby Conservative
Israel has no more claim on God's promises and blessing than Paraguay December 10, 2004 In the wake of the General Assembly action calling for divestiture of holdings in some companies doing business with the government of Israel, there has been a disturbing amount of theological ignorance displayed in the pages of The Layman. I refer to prooftexting from Old Testament verses in which the Lord promises blessing and protection for Israel. The assumption of many writers, both clergy and laypeople, seems to be that the Israel of the Old Covenant and the modern state of Israel are, if not one and the same, at least equal in God's purview and interest. This line of thinking is quite contrary to the Reformed theological tradition, and most other theological traditions as well.
Our Bibles are divided into the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, the blessings of God were poured out the Old Covenant people the Jews. In the New Testament, since the Old Covenant has been fulfilled in the incarnation and the veil of the temple torn in two, God's blessing is on the people of the New Covenant, the church. The nation of Israel has completed its divine purpose by producing the promised Messiah. The modern state of Israel shares only a name with the Bibilical nation of the Hebrews and has no more claim on God's promises and blessing than Paraguay. Simply stated, in Jesus Christ the church is the new Israel. Circumcision was the sign of the Old Covenant, baptism is the sign of the New Covenant.
What may be at work here is the insidious influence of dispensationalism, a theological system arising in Britain in the 1830s, largely through the writing of J.N. Darby, and popularized by the Scofield Bible. Dispensationalism denies the finality of the New Covenant and teaches that God's working with humanity is vested in Israel and that at some future date the temple will be rebuilt, sacrifices reinstituted, and the Law of Moses restored. Dispensationalists take wholesale the references to Israel in the Old Testament prophets, read them literally, and apply them to contemporary Israel. There are those holding to a Reformed/Presbyterian theology, myself included, who see Dispensationalism as heretical on its face because it denies the sufficiency of Jesus' death and resurrection for the sins of humankind: Jesus came to fulfill the Old Covenant, not to interrupt it. In our generation, the most popular treatments of Dispensationalism are The Late, Great Planet Earth and the Left Behind Series. These books are an intriguing stew of equal parts of The National Inquirer, the Scofield Bible and Jeanne Dixon.
The Layman has a marvelous educational opportunity to perform a great service for its readers and also the entire denomination by running a series of articles "God and the Nations: A Reformed Understanding." This might help us get over the notion that any critical statement opposing, or action taken, not in the partisan interests of the government of Israel is somehow an attack on God's chosen people. (The Rev.) Deane A. Kemper Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
"They are not all Israel who are called Israel..."
I am not certain of your point. Here are both your and my passages, in substantial context. Since some have become confused by the various pronouns used here. Thus, I have taken the liberty of making those referring to the Jews RED, and those referring to Gentile believers in BLUE. I probably have made some mistakes, and am willing to be corrected.
1(A)I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,
2that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.
3For (B)I could wish that I myself were (C)accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen (D)according to the flesh, [Paul's "brethren," his "kinsmen according to the FLESH," is Israel. They are the actual physical Israel, Israel in the FLESH. (AKA, the Jews)] 4
[Paul's "brethren," his "kinsmen according to the FLESH," is Israel. They are the actual physical Israel, Israel in the FLESH. (AKA, the Jews)]
4who are (E), to whom belongs (F)the adoption as sons, and (G)the glory and (H)the covenants and (I)the giving of the Law and (J)the temple service and (K)the promises,
[As to "the flesh," Yeshua (Jesus)is of the Jews, an Israelite.]
[Although Esau was a child (descendant) of Abraham. (of the flesh) Esau's descendents were NOT "children of the promise." Thus, they were not regarded as Abraham's "descendants."]
9For this is the word of promise: "(W)AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON."
11for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that (Z)God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
12it was said to her, "(AA)THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER."
13Just as it is written, "(AB)JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
15For He says to Moses, "(AF)I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
["children of the promise..."]
17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "(AI)FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
18So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He (AJ)hardens whom He desires.
21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
25As He says also in Hosea, "(AX)I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, 'MY PEOPLE,' AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, 'BELOVED.'"
28(BD)FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY."
32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. they stumbled over (BL)the stumbling stone,
1Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
2For I testify about them that they have (A)a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
5For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law (F)shall live by that righteousness.
8But what does it say? "(K)THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
11For the Scripture says, "(O)WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
13for "(S)WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
18But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; "(AB)THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD."
20And Isaiah is very bold and says, "(AE)I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME, I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME."
21But as for Israel He says, "(AF)ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE."
[According to the FLESH]
3"Lord, (G)THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE."
4But what is the divine response to him? "(H)I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL."
5In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time (I)a remnant according to God's gracious choice.
6But (J)if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
8just as it is written, "(M)GOD GAVE them A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY."
9And David says, "(N)LET their TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO them.
10"(O)LET their EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND their BACKS FOREVER."
12Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their (T)fulfillment be!
13But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as (U)I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
[Paul's "fellow countrymen" were the Jews.]
16If the (AA)first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.
18do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that (AD)it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
19(AE)you will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."
21for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.
23And they also, (AK)if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
24For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
25For (AL)I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this (AM)mystery--so that you will not be (AN)wise in your own estimation--that a partial (AO)hardening has happened to Israel until the (AP)fullness of the Gentiles has come in;
26and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "(AQ)THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB."
[Notice that Paul is speaking about the Jews here.]
30For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience,
31so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.
32For (AX)God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
34For (BB)WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?
35Or (BC)WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN?
[AMEN and AMEN!]
This author(ess?) displays a woeful lack of understanding of the Bible, and Eschatology!
Actually God's dealings with Israel are not yet complete. According to the prophecies in Daniel; God's judgement was to befall Israel for 70 Sabatical Weeks or 70 sets of 7 years. After the 69th week (69th set of 7 years) Massiah would be cut -off and there would be a period of time between the 69th and 70th sabatical week. This happened when Christ was crucified on the cross exactly at the end of the 69th week. So God's dealings with Israel still have one more set of 7 years before it is complete. That 7 years is known as the time of Jacob's Trouble in the Old Testament. It is a time of testing and tribulation for Israel and the world just before God's dealings with Israel is complete and Christ returns... also known as the Tribulation. Now that Israel exists again, God's Word can literally be fulfilled once again and finally.
Sh'ma Yisrael, Adonai elohenu, Adonai echad!
I'll leave that judgement to God.
The Biblical Old Testament teachings are in regards to Israel (12 tribes) as a chosen people (not the Jews specifically), with promises of blessings and prosperity (Deut. 23:15), which still holds true today. It is still conditional on obeyance to YHWH's law of the 10 commandments, not the ritual law of sacrifices that was done away with at the cross. With Y'hshua's redemptive work, these promises and blessings are now available for the aliens, strangers, Gentiles, etc. as well. They can all receive the "adoption of sons" and become "an heir of YHWH through Y'hshua". The conditions still are based on accepting Y'hshua as Saviour and obeying the 10 commandments of Exodus 20. Those who obey and do his commandments have always been blessed and will receive the greatest blessing of all by being an heir with Y'hshua in his Kingdom.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Nothing has changed. The name of the game is obey. Obey YHWH's law, not man's traditions, theology, doctrines, false commandments, or whatever other term that exists. The promises are still the same and are conditional on obeyance.
In the Old Testament, the blessings of God were poured out the Old Covenant people the Jews
The blessings of YHWH were not poured out just on the Jews. They were poured out on God's people since the days of Adam on down and the blessings are vast and innumerable. Noah was blessed (Gen 9:1). In Gen 12:2 we see that Abraham was blessed and he received the Promise of the Covenant (Gen 12:7) 236 years before Judah was born. The land from the Nile to the Euphrates was to be an inheritance for Isaac and his descendents. The sign of the circumcision was proof of this inheritance. The land where the Iraqui war is currently being fought is over this inheritance. The Palestinians are the Edomites of Esau who lost his right to this land when he sold his inheritance to Jacob (Israel) for a bowl of soup. They've held a grudge against Israel ever since. YHWH hates Esau and loves his people Israel (12 tribes, not just the Jews). Mal. 1:3,4. They are now being ousted out of land that really isn't theirs. So are all the other disobedient non-Christ believing peoples made up of Moabites, Ammonites, Canaanites, and other Muslim and so called Christian groups as well. The blessings were not only for Jews. When we speak about blessings, it is important to be specific and name the blessing, etc.
In the New Testament, since the Old Covenant has been fulfilled in the incarnation and the veil of the temple torn in two, God's blessing is on the people of the New Covenant, the church.
This new covenant hasn't taken place yet. This is a big misconception that everyone believes to be true. The new covenant will not come into effect until when YHWH joins together the house of Judah and the house of Israel (Ephraim).
Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
See also Eze 37:15-28; Jer. 31:33; Eze 36:24; Isa 24:5,6; there are over 50 verses on this topic.
The reunification of the two houses hasn't occurred yet but it won't be long. Now you know the rest of the story --- about the war, that is.
The nation of Israel has completed its divine purpose by producing the promised Messiah.
The nation of Israel didn't accomplish that. Again you need to be specific. Y'hshua came specifically from the Lion tribe and lawgiver which is Judah (Gen 49:10). Judah is one of the 12 Israelite tribes. Y'hshua did not come from the other 11 tribes, which is what your statement implies.
The modern state of Israel shares only a name with the Biblical nation of the Hebrews and has no more claim on God's promises and blessing than Paraguay.
The state of Israel is made up of various peoples as I've mentioned earlier. Jews who claim to be Jews but are not will be ousted or destroyed. The same with any other peoples who as I've said do not accept Christ as Saviour and Keep his Commandments.
Simply stated, in Jesus Christ the church is the new Israel.
Who do you call the church? Mother Babylon, the Evangelicals, etc.? What do you call the new Israel? Does it include only the region of the Oslo Accord? Is Gaza included? What about the West Bank? Is Iraq included? We need specifics.
Dispensationalism denies the finality of the New Covenant and teaches that God's working with humanity is vested in Israel and that at some future date the temple will be rebuilt, sacrifices reinstituted, and the Law of Moses restored.
As I've pointed out earlier, the New Covenant is not in effect yet. No point in discussing the rest.
Jesus came to fulfill the Old Covenant, not to interrupt it.
He fulfilled the ritual part of the Mosaic law, which was a shadow of what was to come in Y'hshua's role as Messiah and Redeemer not only of lost house of Israel but for all man-kind.
YHWH Bless You in your search for the TRUTH.
Er, yes yes and yes. Go to PCUSA.org and use their search function to check out their position on Israel, Sudan, Cuba and a host of other foreign policies. The divestment tactic is something they did at least once before in Sudan. Below is the link to one of the stories and a follow up google of Canada's Talisman Oil Company eventually tells us PCUSA was successful in getting them to move out of doing busines in Sudan because of pressure from stockholders.
Has it changed the situation in Sudan one iota? No.
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