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
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
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
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.