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The impossibility of a restoration of the earthly nation of Israel and other abolished shadows of the old covenant


More scripture then usual, but instead of just linking to these chapters in Hebrews I felt to post them in their entirety, if for only my own benefit. I want to be able to refer back to this post in the days ahead as my hope is to post portions of a study on the topic.  (Holman Standard Bible and footnotes)

Chapter 8:  Now the main point of what is being said is this: We have this kind of high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a minister of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that was set up by the Lord and not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; therefore it was necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. 4 Now if He were on earth, He wouldn’t be a priest, since there are those offering the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 These serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was warned when he was about to complete the tabernacle. For God said, Be careful that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain. 6 But Jesus has now obtained a superior ministry, and to that degree He is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been legally enacted on better promises. A Superior Covenant 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second one. 8 But finding fault with His people, He says:

Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by their hands to lead them out of the land of Egypt. I disregarded them, says the Lord, because they did not continue in My covenant. 10 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. 11 And each person will not teach his fellow citizen,[e] and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins.

13 By saying, a new covenant, He has declared that the first is old. And what is old and aging is about to disappear.

Chapter 9:  Now the first covenant also had regulations for ministry and an earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tabernacle was set up, and in the first room, which is called the holy place, were the lampstand, the table, and the presentation loaves. 3 Behind the second curtain, the tabernacle was called the most holy place. 4 It contained the gold altar of incense and the ark of the covenant, covered with gold on all sides, in which there was a gold jar containing the manna, Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. 5 The cherubim of glory were above it overshadowing the mercy seat. It is not possible to speak about these things in detail right now. 6 With these things set up this way, the priests enter the first room repeatedly, performing their ministry. 7 But the high priest alone enters the second room, and he does that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was making it clear that the way into the most holy place had not yet been disclosed while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is a symbol for the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the worshiper’s conscience. 10 They are physical regulations and only deal with food, drink, and various washings imposed until the time of restoration. 11 But the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come.[h] In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), 12 He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our[i] consciences from dead works to serve the living God? 15 Therefore, He is the mediator of a new covenant,[j] so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 Where a will exists, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in force while the one who made it is living. 18 That is why even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. 19 For when every command had been proclaimed by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded for you.[k] 21 In the same way, he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the articles of worship with blood. 22 According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. 23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these. 24 For the Messiah did not enter a sanctuary made with hands (only a model[l] of the true one) but into heaven itself, so that He might now appear in the presence of God for us. 25 He did not do this to offer Himself many times, as the high priest enters the sanctuary yearly with the blood of another. 26 Otherwise, He would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now He has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment— 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but[m] to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

Chapter 10:  Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the actual form of those realities, it can never perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year. 2 Otherwise, wouldn’t they have stopped being offered, since the worshipers, once purified, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in the sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, as He was coming into the world, He said:

You did not want sacrifice and offering, but You prepared a body for Me. 6 You did not delight in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings. 7 Then I said, “See, it is written about Me in the volume of the scroll— I have come to do Your will, God!”

8 After He says above, You did not want or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings (which are offered according to the law), 9 He then says, See, I have come to do Your will.[o] He takes away the first to establish the second. 10 By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. 11 Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. 12 But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. 13 He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after He says:

16 This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts and write them on their minds,

17 He adds:

I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts.

18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25 not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. 26 For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries. 28 If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane[q] the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the One who has said, Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay,[r][s] and again, The Lord will judge His people.[t] 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God! 32 Remember the earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to taunts and afflictions, and at other times you were companions of those who were treated that way. 34 For you sympathized with the prisoners[u] and accepted with joy the confiscation of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves have a better and enduring possession.[v] 35 So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised.

37 For yet in a very little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. 38 But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him.

39 But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.

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13 comments on “The impossibility of a restoration of the earthly nation of Israel and other abolished shadows of the old covenant

  1. For me this verse implies the writer of the book of Hebrews saw a decline in the observances of the Law having seen the destruction of Jerusalem:

    In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:13 ESV)

    What they also saw was the fast growth and fervency of the New Covenant among the Jews even after the destruction in 70 AD.

    Of course as time marched on there were bastions and pockets of Jews remaining faithful to the writings and prophets and psalms. History shows them everywhere, why there is a small Synagogue in my little remote part of the world! Having traveled to about thirty countries I tell my sons in all these places, for the most part you will find a Jewish banker or dry cleaners or Bakery and a Chinese restaurant !

    What is clear is there is astrong emergence of Judaism anew around the world to which my hope and a prayer for present day True Believers is as Paul wrote hoping as much and more so seeing he was the preeminent Pharisee of Pharisees:

    I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.” So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. (Romans 11:1-16 ESV)

    • What is clear is there is a strong emergence of Judaism anew around the world….

      Wonder if the fact that so many Christians are incorporating the two (Judaism and Christianity) could partly account for this Michael?

      By the way, good comment brother! Thank you for including Romans 11.

  2. You may think that believing that the nation of Israel is still God’s apple is benign as it pertains to our spiritual walk. But you would be wrong. The pro-Israel view leads to a lack of evangelism to the Jews, and it also makes people believe they are representing God because they support secular Israel. And as we have seen in American evangelicalism it leads to self righteousness and doctrinal cliques.

    • Amen Henry. Unequivocally supporting all actions taken by ANY State or Nation is saying it’s government/people are without sin, which is ridiculous. Its no wonder so many do not see the need to evangelize Israeli Jews.

    • According to the scriptures “Christ is our righteousness”, but in the minds of many, the degree that they support Israel IS their righteousness. And they pull scriptures out of context in order to support that concept. And I think that you are hitting it right on the nail by pointing out that this can only end in a false sense of piety and self righteousness. As with the abortion issue, this then becomes a litmus test as to what constitutes the Christian faith. Personally I strongly oppose abortion (but not in a way that would pass the litmus test) and I strongly support Israel (also not in a way that would pass the litmus test), but to make unscriptural and arbitrary interpretations of these issues doctrinal essentials to the detriment of genuine scriptural doctrinal essentials leads to heresy. This is a throwback to liberal activism based “righteousness” of the past that was strongly and rightly condemned by conservatives and still is. But now conservatives have developed their own version of activism based “righteousness”. Its bizarre. And diabolical.

    • Basing someone’s salvation and promise of eternal life on anything besides Jesus Christ, is bizarre and diabolical George. Amen.

      We here in the West appear to have added a number of extra litmus tests by which we judge another’s Christian faith, in the same manner that the Pharisees added to the law….not the least of these involving any and all reactions to modern day Israel.

  3. PJ- The new covenant as it is outlined in Jeremiah 31 includes the continuation of Israel as a physical nation forever. Jeremiah 30-33 contains what I like to call Jeremiah’s Covenant Revelation. Jeremiah 33 deals with the Davidic Covenant. The continuation of the Davidic covenant is important and this chapter outlines that the continuation of the Levitical ministry will continue as well. The everlasting covenant is the sure mercies of David, cross reference Isaiah 55:3 and Hebrews 13:20. There are not two separate new covenants, there is only one and you MUST include all of the scripture references in that one covenant plan. And it still states that Israel must continue as a nation before the LORD forever.

    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

    • Orange, my reasons for sharing the three chapters from Hebrews (alone) are because they are highlighted in the message (The Hope of Israel: What Is It?) im hoping to get posted this week. They’ll be plenty of opportunity to disagree once that gets up, aha!

    • The continuation of Israel as a physical nation forever? There was in fact a LONG period, from the time the Jews were driven out of their homeland by the Ottoman’s until the Zionist’s reestablished it, that Israel as a physical nation has ALREADY ceased to exist. That certainly implies that the same thing could happen in the future, and that previous cessation of Israel as a nation lasted for generations. So if THIS is the interpretation of the Davidic Covenant, then it has already failed. That is certainly not a problem for me since I see the Church as being the ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant and NOT a “physical” anything.

      “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” – I Peter 2.9-10

      The “holy nation” was NEVER physical, but it was indeed once Old Testament Israel. But it is now New Testament Israel which IS the Church. In both cases “Israel” is comprised of both believing Jews and believing Gentiles. In the Old Testament, believing Jews were the rule rather than the exception, while in the New Testament it is believing Gentiles. But in both cases there has forever been a path to salvation for all who would simply receive the mercy of God.

  4. The rejection period (including during the Ottoman Empire) was foretold as laid out in a separate covenant beside the covenant that God made with Israel at Sinai, see Deuteronomy 29:1. The end of Deuteronomy 29 shows their scattering of the people of Israel and Deuteronomy 30:1-10 shows God’s purpose in regathering them into the land forever. Therefore Jeremiah 32:37-41 cannot be fulfilled in any other way but by the nation of Israel. The new covenant does not negate this covenant from Deuteronomy 29:1 as it is a separate covenant beside the Mosaic Covenant.

    The church is not the ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.

    “The holy nation was never physical”???? What does that mean? Does that mean that the holy nation was never comprised of Israelites? What would you do with passages like Matthew 10:5-6 and Romans 15:8-12? The picture that Paul painted was one God being faithful to His promises to the nation of Israel and believing Gentiles rejoicing alongside that nation.

    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

    • The rejection period (including during the Ottoman Empire) was foretold as laid out in a separate covenant beside the covenant that God made with Israel at Sinai, see Deuteronomy 29:1. The end of Deuteronomy 29 shows their scattering of the people of Israel and Deuteronomy 30:1-10 shows God’s purpose in regathering them into the land forever.

      Perhaps somewhat off topic but your comment concerning “regathering them into the land forever” made me recall a question someone asked here at the blog last year.

      The land was and always has been, God’s. He even refers to those promised the land as aliens and sojourners…tenant’s in God’s land. And as the promise referred to in Deuteronomy was conditional (keeping the covenant would result in possession of the land, while breaking the covenant would result in expulsion from the land) the question was asked, as the people in today’s Israel are in no manner “keeping the covenant” or meek (“the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace” Psalm 37) why should we not be looking for yet another expulsion from the land?

      Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.’ Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you eat meat with the blood still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land? You rely on your sword (*your own strength*), you do detestable things, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Should you then possess the land?’ “Say this to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those who are left in the ruins will fall by the sword, those out in the country I will give to the wild animals to be devoured, and those in strongholds and caves will die of a plague. I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end…….” Ezekiel 33

      I believed it was an interesting question…

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