Tag Archives: Israel

Other Husbandmen

The Vineyard of the Lord of Hosts

Vineyard

Vineyard

Please complete the reading assignment below and answer the following questions as homework.  Check the comments for answers.

READING ASSIGNMENT: Isaiah 5, Luke 20:9-18, Matt 21:33-44

Luke 20:9-18

Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.

Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.


HOMEWORK:

1. What is the vineyard?
2. Who is the man who planted it?
3. Who are the husbandmen hired by the man?
4. What is the fruit of the vineyard? (hint: Is 5:4, John 15:2-6, Matt 3:10, 7:19, Lu 13:7-9)
5. Who are the servants sent to the husbandmen?
6. Who is the man’s son?
7. What is the promised inheritance?
8. To whom is the vineyard given after the husbandmen are destroyed? (hint: Matt. 21:42-44)

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NOT REPLACEMENT…EXPANSION! part 3

The Abrahamic Promise

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

…And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

…And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

…I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
(Gen 12:1-3,7; 13:14-17; 28:13-14)

The Promise Fulfilled in Christ

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. …There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:16,28-29)

The Dispensational Challenge

Fred Klett

Dispensationalism is the most popular system of theology in Evangelical American Christianity today. Most likely, the books you read, the sermons you hear, and the “Christian” movies and music you watch and listen to are presenting their message from a dispensationalist view point. Dispensationalism arose in America as a result of the liberal/fundamentalist controversy and as a consequence of the premillennial revival of Millerism in the mid-1800s. Dispensationalists have a high view of Biblical Inspiration and interpret the Scriptures in a straight forward literal manner. Unfortunately, adherents to the dispensational system tend to slander those that hold to more traditional Christian interpretation of the Scriptures by calling them “Replacement Theologians” and by claiming that only the dispensational system presents a solid Biblical for the future of the nation of Israel.

Both of these claims were handled by Dr. Fred Klett, a Jewish Evangelist, in an article which I summarized in the first two parts of this series (part 1, part 2). Dr. Klett, in the third part of his article tackles the logical and most difficult question that arises from parts 1 and 2. How do we reconcile what the Bible teaches about Gentiles being grafted into Israel (a so-called “Spiritual Israel”) and what the Bible teaches about God’s future plans regarding the political/ethnic nation of Israel?

Commonwealth of Israel

Klett reconciles these two Biblical truths by pointing a very important concept pointed to by Paul in Ephesians 2 -

That at that time ye 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 …Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (Eph 2:12, 19)

The Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) defines a commonwealth as follows:

A state; a body politic consisting of a certain number of men, united, by compact or tacit agreement, under one form of government and system of laws.

A commonwealth then, is a political body of people who, by agreement [Covenant], are united under a system of government. Klett provides the illustration of the kingdom of Great Britain during it’s heyday. Peoples from North America, Africa, and India have been subjects of the commonwealth of Great Britain. Those people submitted to British rule were not themselves English, but they were citizens of the commonwealth. Says Klett: “So it is with those who are ruled by the Jewish Messiah. Have they not submitted to the King of Israel? Are they not voluntary members of His Kingdom, under His rule and in His service? Those who believe have accepted Israel’s King and are now members of His Kingdom, known as the Commonwealth of Israel. Israel is the Kingdom of the King of Israel.

At it’s core then, are the ethnic Hebrew peoples (most of whom are in rebellion), but the enlarged Commonwealth is made up of all of those who are in submission to Jesus Christ as King, just as much as an Irishman is a citizen of the UK, though not an Englishman. Ultimately, the King will again subdue the native people of his Kingdom and engraft them back into their native Kingdom (Romans 11), but this does not void the citizenship of those that have been made fellow citizens with them, of the larger kingdom.

Christ, Our Mediator and Federal Head

So, how is it then that Gentiles come to be engrafted into the Israelite Kingdom, without first being made into Hebrews and without living in obedience to the Covenant that God at first made with the Hebrew peoples? The answer is given by the Apostle Paul in the third chapter of Galatians: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ …For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:16,26-29).”

Here, the Apostle explains that the promise made to Abraham finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ. This same Jesus Christ was made under the law to fulfill all righteous requirements of the law on our behalf to merit salvation for his people. He bore all our sin and guilt in order to satisfy the law’s justice so that he could wash us and make us clean. This same Jesus is both son of Abraham and son of David. He is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises and thus the heir of God’s blessed inheritance. SO, how is it that Gentile believers take part in this inheritance? Answer: by being IN Christ!

Ephesians 2:11-14:

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye 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: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

According to the Apostle, to be without Christ is to be outside the promised blessings of Israel, but to be IN CHRIST, is to be a joint heir (Romans 4 and Galatians 4) with Christ and to take part in the blessing which our Mediator and Federal Head has attained for us on our behalf. Yes, Christ is our circumcision, He is our law obedience, He is our Sacrifice, He is the promised seed, He is the son of David – all the promises in Him are Yeah and Amen (2 Cor 1:20)!

What God has promised the nation of Israel by the Prophets of Old, He has not failed to provide – “When someone gives IMMEASURABLY MORE than that expected, the gift giver is no liar.” In order to properly understand God’s Plan for the Ages we need to center our Biblical hermeneutic squarely on the person and work of Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, the Messiah of Israel, and the Captain of our Salvation.

Let’s affirm the great expansion of blessing the Messiah has brought. He has tremendously expanded the promises to Israel, and He has greatly enlarged Israel by bringing Gentiles into His spiritual commonwealth, the Kingdom of God. This was promised to Israel by Isaiah when he said “You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy…of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end” (9:3 and 7) and “Let no foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, `The LORD will surely exclude me from his people…these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer” (56:3 and 7). We have now come to “Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God…to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn…” (Hebrews 12:22-23)

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Old Testament Saints: Members of the Church

Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon

The link below will take you to an article published by Charles Spurgeon in his magazine “Sword and Trowel” published in March, 1867. The article is written in response to the Dispensationalist crisis that was beginning to simmer in his day and served as a rebuttal to articles lately being published by Plymouth Brethren in their magazine “Things New and Old”. The title of the article is “Old Testament Saints: Members of the Church”, and it deals with the question of whether there is one or two peoples of God – one faith or two?

“There Be Some That Trouble You” (Gal 1:7)

LINK: Old Testament Saints: Members of the Church

A few brief notes follow:

The early gentile believers were keenly aware that in believing in Jesus Christ, they were joining themselves to the one true people of God – the Hebrew descendants of Abraham “to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises…”. It is because of this fact that new Gentile converts began dutifully submitting themselves to the Old Covenant religious law and began circumcising their children and observing the feasts and Holy Days of the Old Covenant Israelite religion.

The epistle to the Galatians was written to correct this error on the basis that the Gentile believers were engrafted into Christ, the heir of all the promises, by faith. In being in Christ, all the promises to the fathers were theirs without having to be a part of the Old Covenant. In fact, Christ fulfilled all the required righteousness of the Old Covenant on behalf of all His people.

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. …For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal 3:16,26-29

From Spurgeon’s perspective, there is only one people of God, because only those that are in Christ are the people of God. Although there is a “difference of dispensations”, there is one plan of Salvation that runs through them.

So far as dispensations reach they indicate degrees of knowledge, degrees of privilege, and variety in the ordinances of worship. The unity of the faith is not affected by these, as we are taught in the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The faithful of every age concur in looking for one city, and that city is identically the same with the New Jerusalem described in the Apocalypse as “a bride adorned for her husband.”

So, there is one faith and one plan of Salvation differently administered through the various dispensations of Scripture. In this one faith then, are comprised the one people of God – the true Israel, the body of Christ.

That Covenant [God's Plan of Salvation] was declared to Noah; it was still further opened to Abraham and Isaac, it was confirmed to David; Isaiah rejoiced in its sure mercies, Jeremiah was privileged to relate many of its special provisions; and Paul avers in his epistle to the Hebrews that this is the Covenant under the provisions of which the precious blood of Christ was shed; it is the blood of the new Covenant. The priesthood of Christ is declared to be after the order of Melchizedec; it was, therefore, revealed in the days of Abraham. The word of the oath by which he was consecrated is communicated to us in the 110th Psalm, and so it was well known to David. In like manner, the gift of the Holy Spirit, though not bestowed till after the ascension of Christ, was explained by the Apostle Peter, on the day of Pentecost, to be the fulfillment of prophecy that was spoken before the Incarnation. The dispensational succession of events does not affect the Covenant. If it did, then Abraham could have no more interest in the Jewish than in the Christian economy…Had none of those believers any interest in the death of Christ, they must have died in their sins; but if they were interested in His death, why not in all the blessings that ensued?

Next, Spurgeon handles his major point of contention with the Plymouth Brethren of his day – whether the Church was in Paul’s mind in his epistles to Galatians and Romans, or whether he was only considering the justification of individual believers. The Brethren believed that the Gentiles were justified by faith like Abraham was and so Abraham served then as their moral example or moral father. As Paul did not have the church in mind, Abraham was not in his mind, a part of the same body as Gentile believers after Christ.

Spurgeon’s answer to this is to refer to Galatians 4 where Paul uses Abraham’s physical sons as an allegory for his Spiritual descendants.

22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid (allegory for law, slavery to sin), the other by a freewoman (allegory for grace in Christ). 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai (Sinaitic Covenant define Old Covenant nation of Israel), which gendereth to bondage (slavery to sin), which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem (Old Covenant is subserviant to the New Covenant) which now is (New Covenant is in Effect), and is in bondage with her children (Those not trusting in Christ are in bondage to sin and subject to the curse of the law). 26 But Jerusalem which is above (New Covenant of Grace, the Church or New Covenant Israel) is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, ‘Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate (more spiritual children born to unbelieving Gentiles than to the wife of Jehovah) hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we (Church, Jew/Gentile believers in New Covenant), brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise (By faith members of New Covenant). 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman (The Judaizers will not be heirs, but those that are in Christ). 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. Gal 4:22-31

Spurgeon’s point here, is that in this allegory, Paul is contrasting those that are in slavery to sin, bound by the law, and those that are in the Church – the one true faith of all ages – the body of Christ, which is the New Covenant of Grace. Spurgeon goes on to say that those that came before had just as much interest in Christ’s death as those that came after. Christ’s death served to “gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” from all dispensations.

When Jesus heard it [the faith of the Gentile Centurion], he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matt 8:10-12

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NOT REPLACEMENT…EXPANSION! part 2

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal 3:26-29

Fred Klett

In the first post of this series, I looked at the first half of an article by Dr. Fred Klett, a Messianic Jew and Jewish Evangelist, that dispatches with the notion that believing the New Testament teaching regarding the true nature of New Covenant Israel leads to a “replacement theology.” The replacement theology notion is a misnomer and a strawman. According to the New Testament, Israel has not been replaced in God’s plan, but has fulfilled it’s destiny. It has been greatly expanded through the work of Jesus Christ. In Christ, all the Old Covenant promises are fulfilled, so those that are in Christ receive all the promised blessing.

In the second half of his article, Dr. Klett provides some quotes from the most important and most respected Covenant theologians regarding the future state of the Biblical nation of Israel in God’s plan. From these quotes we see that an understanding of God’s future plans for ethnic Jews and a restored Israel is not the sole domain of dispensationalism.

Romans 11:17-24

“And if some of the branches be broken off [Jews by nature], and thou, being a wild olive tree [NOT Jews], wert graffed in among them [into Israel], and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree [Israel]; …And they also [natural branches = Jews by nature], if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in [Israel]: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature [Gentile nations], and wert graffed contrary to nature [a Gentile as an Israelite is contrary to nature] into a good olive tree [Israel]: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?” [The Jews can naturally be graffed back into "Israel"] (bracketed notes are mine)

John Calvin

“I extend the word Israel to all the people of God, according to this meaning, -When the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also shall return from their defection to the obedience of faith; and thus shall be completed the salvation of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both; and yet in such a way that the Jews shall obtain the first place, being as it were the first born in God’s family.

…as Jews are the firstborn, what the Prophet declares must be fulfilled, especially in them: for that scripture calls all the people of God Israelites, it is to be ascribed to the pre-eminence of that nation, who God had preferred to all other nations…God distinctly claims for himself a certain seed, so that his redemption may be effectual in his elect and peculiar nation…God was not unmindful of the covenant which he had made with their fathers, and by which he testified that according to his eternal purpose he loved that nation: and this he confirms by this remarkable declaration, -that the grace of the divine calling cannot be made void.”

Charles Hodge

“The second great event, which, according to the common faith of the Church, is to precede the second advent of Christ, is the national conversion of the Jews….that there is to be such a national conversion may be argued…from the original call and destination of that people. God called Abraham and promised that through him, and in his seed, all the nations of the earth should be blessed…A presumptive argument is drawn from the strange preservation of the Jews through so many centuries as a distinct people.

As the rejection of the Jews was not total, so neither is it final. First, God did not design to cast away his people entirely, but by their rejection, in the first place, to facilitate the progress of the gospel among the Gentiles, and ultimately to make the conversion of the Gentiles the means of converting the Jews…Because if the rejection of the Jews has been a source of blessing, much more will their restoration be the means of good…The restoration of the Jews to the privileges of God’s people is included in the ancient predictions and promises made respecting them…The plan of God, therefore, contemplated the calling of the Gentiles, the temporary rejection and final restoration of the Jews…

He shows that the rejection of the Jews was not intended to result in their being finally cast away, but to secure the more rapid progress of the gospel among the heathen, in order that their conversion might react upon the Jews, and be the means of bringing all, at last, within the fold of the Redeemer…

The future restoration of the Jews is, in itself, a more probable event than the introduction of the Gentiles into the church of God. This, of course, supposes that God regarded the Jews, on account of their relation to him, with peculiar favor, and that there is still something in their relation to the ancient servants of God and his covenant with them, which causes them to be regarded with special interest. As men look upon the children of their early friends with kinder feelings than on the children of strangers, God refers to this fact to make us sensible that he still retains purposes of peculiar mercy towards his ancient people.

As the restoration of the Jews is not only a most desirable event, but one which God has determined to accomplish, Christians should keep it constantly in view even in their labors for the conversion of the Gentiles.”

John Murray

“To the Jew first, and also to the Greek…It does not appear sufficient to regard this priority as that merely of time. In this text there is no suggestion to the effect that the priority is merely that of time. The implication appears to be rather that the power of God unto salvation through faith has primary relevance to the Jew, and the analogy of Scripture would indicate that this peculiar relevance to the Jew arises from the fact that the Jew had been chosen by God to be the recipient of the promise of the gospel and that to him were committed the oracles of God…

While it is true that in respect of the privileges accruing from Christ’s accomplishments there is now no longer Jew or Gentile and the Gentiles “are fellow-heirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Eph. 3:6), yet it does not follow that Israel no longer fulfills any particular design in the realization of God’s worldwide saving purpose…

Israel are both “enemies” and “beloved” at the same time, enemies as regards the gospel, beloved as regards the election…”Beloved” thus means that God has not suspended or rescinded his relation to Israel as his chosen people in terms of the covenants made with their fathers.

Unfaithful as Israel have been and broken off for that reason, yet God still sustains his peculiar relation of love to them, a relation that will be demonstrated and vindicated in the restoration.”

Geerhardus Vos

“The elective principle, abolished as to nationality, continues in force as to individuals. And even with respect to national privilege, while temporarily abolished now that its purpose has been fulfilled, there still remains reserved for the future a certain fulfillment of the national elective promise. Israel in its racial capacity will again in the future be visited by the saving grace of God [Rom. 11.2, 12, 25]….such conversions (of Jewish people) remain for the present but sporadic examples, though at bottom expressive of a divine principle intended to work itself out on the largest of scales at the predetermined point in the future.”

Klett writes…

God has not replaced the Jewish people with the church. Quite to the contrary, God has grafted Gentile branches into the tree of believing Israel, a tree made up of all true believers, both Jewish and Gentile, a tree rooted in the faith of the patriarchs (Romans 11:17-24). God has expanded Israel, not replaced it.

In the next post we will look further at the present nature and future of the nation of Israel from the Scriptures.

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NOT REPLACEMENT…EXPANSION!

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal 3:26-29

Fred Klett

One of the dubious claims by those that hold to a dispensational perspective of eschatology is the strawman argument that those that don’t share their “unique” view of redemption history are replacement theologians; or worse, anti-semites. Fred Klett, a Messianic Jew and Jewish Evangelist provides a rebuttal by explaining the New Covenant perspective on Israel in refreshingly plain Scriptural terms for those that have ears to hear. The link to his article can be found HERE.

A brief summary follows:

The Big Picture

We derive our understanding about Israel based on what the Scripture teaches, not based upon the preconceived notions we bring to Scripture. The Scriptures teach that God’s singular purpose in history is to restore a people to Himself through the seed of Abraham – Jesus. This gospel promise of justification is found in the Abrahamic Covenant. Hear the words of the Apostle Paul:

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. …That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Gal 3:7-8, 14

Part of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant was for the blessing of Abraham to be upon all nations; for all nations to receive the promise of the Spirit. Part of the fulfillment for national/ethnic Israel, then, is to bring Messiah into the world and to gather His elect seed from all nations. Only in Christ are all the Covenantal promises of Scripture fulfilled:

For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Col 1:20

Klett says:

Gentiles who come to believe in the Jewish Messiah convert to Biblical Judaism! Our New Covenant faith is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant faith. Christianity is New Covenant Judaism, the true religion of the Jewish people — even if most Jewish people don’t know it yet! The concept of “Spiritual Israel” is a Biblical doctrine. It doesn’t mean “replacement”…it means EXPANSION! God has joined Gentiles to the true faith of Israel –He has expanded the nation spiritually!

The scattered people of God are all gathered into one body, the body of Christ – His Church. These gathered peoples are the body of Christ, His brothers, His flock, children of Abraham, and citizens of Israel (Rom 8:29, Heb 2:10-11, Mk 3:35, John 10:15-16, Rom 4:16-17, Rom 11:17-24, etc)

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. John 10:15-16

That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, I have made you the father of many nations… Rom 4:16-17 (ESV)

Citizens of Israel

“And if some of the branches be broken off [Jews by nature], and thou, being a wild olive tree [NOT Jews], wert graffed in among them [into Israel], and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree [Israel]; …And they also [natural branches = Jews by nature], if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in [Israel]: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature [Gentile nations], and wert graffed contrary to nature [a Gentile as an Israelite is contrary to nature] into a good olive tree [Israel]: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?”  [The Jews can naturally be graffed back into "Israel"] Rom 11:17-24 (KJV, bracketed notes are mine)

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ [Gentiles are those that do not have Christ], being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel [Gentiles are aliens (foreigners) to Israel], and strangers from the covenants of promise [Gentiles are estranged from the Covenants], having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. …Now therefore ye are no more strangers [Gentiles are no more strangers to the Covenants] and foreigners [Gentiles are no longer foreigners from Israel], but fellowcitizens with the saints [Gentiles are Israelites just like Moses and Abraham], and of the household of God” Eph 2:11-19 (KJV, bracketed notes are mine)

The New Covenant

Klett says:

We are all covenant breakers before God. God made a covenant with Adam and we have all followed in the footsteps of our first father. What was said of Israel is also true of us “They like Adam have transgressed the covenant” (Hos 6:7). We can only be saved from the curse of the first covenant of Works made with Adam if God provides a Covenant of Grace for us. This is what is in focus in the covenant made with Abraham (Gen 12:3, 22:18). The blessings promised to the nations refers to the reversal of the curse we came under through Adam. The New Covenant (Jer 31:31) brings to fruition the promise of blessing for the nations made to Abraham (Gal 3:14). Without the New Covenant all are in Adam and under the curse. Yet, the New Covenant is made with the house of Israel and the House of Judah (Jer 31:31)! Gentiles must join themselves to the Holy Nation in order to be a part of this covenant. Yet amazingly I have been told by an opponent of the “Spiritual Israel” doctrine that Gentile believers do not have the New Covenant! He told me that since the covenant was made with Israel only Jewish people have it! Oy Vey! Do you see where the denial of the doctrine of “Spiritual Israel” logically leads?

…How can anyone reasonably deny that through the great salvation provided through the Jewish Messiah, Gentile believers have become spiritually Israel? This is the truth Jesus taught and this is the doctrine Paul taught — pretty good theological company to find oneself in!

In the next post, we’ll look more closely at Romans 11 and at quotes from a few so-called Replacement Theologians about the future restoration of Israel.

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