6 Comments

Your Thoughts: Israel and the Church, Two Separate Destinies


Today I received the link to the article below within a newsletter I subscribe to. The article, written by Jack Kelley (Grace Thru Faith) is a response to concerns he has about extremism within the Hebrew Roots Movement,

While Hebrew Roots appears to teach that because of the Lord’s death, obedience to the Law is a privilege and not a requirement, a number of its teachers seem to be going well beyond that. They claim that in fact Torah observance is a requirement for all believers. Some have also abandoned the Greek based New Testament in favor of translations from Aramaic texts, due to alleged errors in the Greek based texts. They say those who call the Lord by His English name (Jesus) are actually worshiping a pagan god, which according to them makes traditional Christianity a pagan religion. They want us to believe that the only acceptable name for the Son of God is Yeshua (His name in Hebrew), and the only acceptable way to worship Him is by obeying the Torah and observing the Feasts of Israel.

Feel free to offer your comments on the above, but what I’d really like to hear are your thoughts on what he writes about Israel and the Church having separate destinies.

For instance,

In the Old Testament, God promised Israel that He would return one day to dwell among them in their land on Earth forever (Ezekiel 43:1-7). In the New Testament, Jesus promised the Church that He would come back and take us off the Earth to be with Him in His Father’s House (John 14:1-3). Both these promises will come true, so Israel and the Church will fulfill their prophetic destinies in different locations. The purpose of the rapture of the Church is to remove us from the time and place of the end times judgments that will take place on Earth (1 Thes. 1:10, 1 Thes. 5:9, Rev. 3:10). The purpose of the end times judgments is to completely destroy all the nations to which Israel has been scattered (Jeremiah 30:4-11) and to purify Israel in preparation for the coming Kingdom (Zechariah 13:8-9)…..

Concerning the Millennium and Israel,

The primary purpose of this Kingdom (known to the church as the Millennial Kingdom) is to give Israel its long promised Kingdom Age, although the entire millennial world will benefit from it….

Israel will be the preeminent nation on Earth during the Kingdom Age, and surviving tribulation believers and their descendants from all nations will come to Jerusalem to learn the ways of the Lord. He will settle their disputes, making war between nations a thing of the past.

The wealth of neighboring nations will pour into Israel. Camels will be brought from Midian. Gold and incense from Sheba will adorn the Lord’s Temple in Israel. Flocks from Kedar and Nebaoith will be received as offerings on His altar there. (Midian and Sheba were descendants of Abraham and Keturah, the wife he took after Sarah died. Kedar and Nebaioth were sons of Ishmael. Their descendants are all part of the Middle Eastern Islamic nations of today.) The ships of Tarshish (Great Britain) will bring gold and silver from afar. Any nation that refuses to serve Israel will be utterly ruined by divine decree.

And the Millennium for the Church,

Meanwhile, life will be far different in the home of the Redeemed Church. Although the Kings of the Earth will bring us their splendor, no unbeliever can ever set foot in the place, nor even a believer in his natural state.

Our mansions in the sky will be built of the purest gold as will the streets that run before them, their foundations made from precious stones. There will be no Temple in the New Jerusalem because the Lamb of God will dwell there and is our Temple. The energy source that will light and warm us is the Glory of God, and our radiance will in turn provide light for the nations of Earth. (Rev.21:9-27) Other than calling us Kings and Priests, the Bible doesn’t mention any kind of work for us. Our glorified bodies will have been released from their dimensional bonds, allowing us to appear and disappear at will, traveling back and forth through time at the speed of thought as we plumb the limitless delights of God’s Universe..

Our eternal home is not on Earth, but it’s not at the Throne of God either. Coming down out of the heavens but never landing on Earth, our home could be called a low orbit satellite in today’s terminology…

And finally,

One God, Two Destinies: So the destiny of Israel has its place outside of the Church and the destiny of the Church has its place outside of Israel. The two are not the same and were never intended to be seen as such. The only thing these two groups will have in common is their belief that Jesus (Yeshua) died for their sins and rose again on the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

But just as gentiles who converted to Judaism in Old Testament times became part of Israel, Jews who convert to Christianity in New Testament times become part of the Church. No matter what our background happens to be, conversion to Christianity makes us a new creation, neither Jew nor Gentile, part of an entirely new race of mankind.

In the beginning there was one classification of mankind. But in calling Abraham, God created a new classification. From then on there were two, Gentiles and Jews, and they are forever different. It remained that way until the cross, when as Paul explained, a third classification was brought into existence. Taking some from among the Gentiles and some from among the Jews, but making them different from either, God created a new classification called the Church. No matter what their former status was, from Pentecost until the Rapture everyone who comes to faith in the Lord becomes part of the Church and will inherit the Church’s destiny.

Those who choose to express their gratitude for the free gift of salvation through living by the Torah are free to do so. In the same way, those who choose to express their gratitude by striving toward the victorious Christian life described in the New Testament are free to do so. But anyone who teaches that either form of expression is required to achieve or maintain their salvation has run afoul of clear Biblical instruction to the contrary.

This disagreement over the proper response to God’s gift of salvation is not new. In the earliest days of the Church there were those among the Jewish believers who insisted that the only path to salvation for Gentiles was to first put themselves under the laws and practices of Judaism. The council of Jerusalem put that idea to naught and authorized Gentiles to be received directly into Christianity. Still the “Judaizers” followed Paul from city to city trying to undo what he had done. Later, Gentiles who called themselves Christian forced whole communities of Jews to convert to Christianity upon pain of death. Both of these efforts were thought by their proponents to be pleasing to God, but in the end we can see that neither was.

That’s because when God looks into our future it’s not Jews and Gentiles He sees. It’s Israel and the Church. Each has its unique origin and each has its unique destiny.

I’d encourage you to read the entire article, Israel, The Church, And The Hebrew Roots Movement.

6 comments on “Your Thoughts: Israel and the Church, Two Separate Destinies

  1. I do not believe there are two desitinies. And Israel as God’s chosen did give way to the Church of Jesus Christ. And even though there are hints that God will give some gracious miracle to the Jewish remnant in the end because of Abraham, it is clear they will enter God’s kingdom by faith in Jesus Christ which, again, makes them part of the church. In the end, all the redeemed with come throuigh Christ and all will spend eternity together with Him.
    Even at the Mt. of Transfiguration Moses and Elijah gave witness to Christ. But what I do find wrong is the author’s ascertion that believers in Jesus are free to live under the law which the author dilutes by saying it is their “expression” of their salvation. They may be saved, but the New Testament expressions of our faith are not a choice. We either live in the covenant of the Spirit or we live under the beggarly elements of the law. Not really a choice. And paul says that those that demand the Old Covenant expressions promise them freedom, as the author suggets, but in reality bring them into bondage.

    • Thanks Henry, i was hoping someone would comment on his beliefs about the law and salvation.

      Is this (the way he explains it) what is known as Dual Covenant theology?

  2. I think his escatology is very muddled. I went to his website because I was intrigued to know on what basis he feels animal sacrifices will start up again in the Temple under the command of the Lord during the Millennium. He wrote a seperate article on that topic. In this article he explains the return to animal sacrifice in these words:

    “Maybe natural man needs both (a Savior, and The Law.). Maybe, like Israel, he needs a strict application of God’s Law and the bloody, barbaric ritual that comes from his failure to keep it so he never forgets the awful consequences of sin. And maybe, like the Church, he needs to know for sure that God sent a Savior to do for him what he cannot do for himself. And that’s to save him from those consequences…………….
    . …………..Next time we’ll see if that does the trick, or if, like all of God’s other attempts to dwell among His people, this one also ends in man’s failure and God’s judgment. Stay tuned.”

    My comment: Stay tuned for what? To find out if Christ’s work is finished? As Christians we know that it is. To find out if salvation is offered to all who believe? As Christians, we know that it is. He really thinks we’re going to be put through this new test involving the shedding of blood in the Millennium, because God wants us to pass this new millennial test? The only test remaining for us is to believe in the Son and what he has done. The ultimate sacrifice is a finished work. Sacrificial offerings are a thing of the past.

    JD Ellis

    • Yes i agree…i even thought this message was somewhat muddled. That was one reason i wanted to hear from you-all.

      One one hand he rightly states,

      No matter what our background happens to be, conversion to Christianity makes us a new creation, neither Jew nor Gentile, part of an entirely new race of mankind.

      Paul explained it this way. His (God’s) purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility (Ephes. 2:15-16)

      Calling it a mystery previously unknown on Earth. He said, This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus (Ephes. 3:6).

      And then writes,

      So the destiny of Israel has its place outside of the Church and the destiny of the Church has its place outside of Israel. The two are not the same and were never intended to be seen as such.

      …. when God looks into our future it’s not Jews and Gentiles He sees. It’s Israel and the Church. Each has its unique origin and each has its unique destiny.

      Both cannot be true.

  3. First of, we all always need to define what ‘Church’ even means. In the basest sense, it’s a ‘calling-out’ or in otherwords, an assembly. This same concept is used through out the Scripture, especially the by David in the Psalms.

    However ultimately, the gateway into getting to the truth of this comes in Matthew’s use of prophecy: “So [Joseph] got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

    This prophecy is in the context of speaking about Israel. Either Matthew understands, rightly, that the Messiah is the true Israel, or this makes no sense. If Jesus is the true Israel, it makes sense against a Marcionite ethos to cut off the Old Testament and also the two track future for the Jewish people. Israel was always about the Messiah, the throne, the land, the promise, the temple, it’s all about Him. Both Jew and Gentile have a place. All the shadows are now realized.

    Cal

  4. Good word, Cal.

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