46 Comments

True Israel


Spent this evening reading at a few of my favorite web sites and wanted to share one excellent teaching I came upon written by Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.

Reformed on the Web

I believe that the reading of Old Testament passages in a literalistic way is the result of a wrong hermeneutic. To be sure, one must be literal in their approach to the Bible, but not literalistic. To read scripture in a literal way is to read it in the genre of which it was written.

For example, the Bible is written in many genres, such as: narrative, poetry, proverbs, didactic, apocalyptic, etc…., but just as no one reads a comic book the way they do a newspaper, even so apocalyptic literature should not be read as narrative or didactic scripture should. For example: The book of Proverbs contain many truths, but are not to be taken as absolutes. For instance, Proverbs 22:6 states that we are to train up a child in the way he should go and when he gets old he will not depart from it. Yet we have known many a child that was brought up in the Christian faith, who never followed it as an adult. This is because, though the Proverb is a good principle to live by, nevertheless it is not an absolute. Election belongs to the Lord and unless God regenerates that child, then it will be lost forever. Therefore, Proverbs should not be read as didactic scripture.

The book of Revelation is not to be read in a literalistic way, but in a literal way. If we take everything in Revelation, in a literalistic way, then the beast in Revelation 13 would be a Godzilla type creature. Instead, however, we recognize that the book of Revelation is apocalyptic and is expressing an idea rather than a series of literal, actual events. It is replete with symbolism and figurative language.

The didactic or instructional passages, such as Paul’s epistles, are to interpret the rest of scripture. This is because the Apostles have the greater light. They have been given the mysteries and revelations and are unfolding these things through their writings. Therefore, the scriptures that instruct are the scriptures that should interpret all else, while using the method known as ‘the analogy of faith.’ This method is the method of interpreting scripture with scripture.

My purpose in stating all this is to show that the Bible is to be read literally, but not in a literalistic way. We interpret scripture in the genre in which it was written. Old Testament Jews did not follow this approach. They missed Christ and his kingdom because they were reading scripture in a literalistic way. This is why the apostles were having a hard time understanding Christ’s death, resurrection, and kingdom. This is why they asked whether the kingdom would now be restored to Israel. Christ certainly restored it and did so above and beyond what they expected. For instance, many today are looking for the restoration of the fallen tabernacle of David, but Peter is plain that God is restoring it within the Church age. Let’s read Acts 15:14-17.

Continue reading here

46 comments on “True Israel

  1. PJ
    Have you listened to and followed the study guides in the last two studies of Replacement Theology in the link I provided earlier?

    In 1 Corinthians 10:32 it speaks of three groups of people
    Give none offence, neither to the JEWS, nor to the GENTILES, nor to the CHURCH of God: (emphasis mine in caps)
    Hershel said “All those in Christ are the true Israelites?” Where in scripture does God call His church “Israelites?

    • No Kelli i haven’t listened to it. If its another dispensational teaching i wouldn’t be interested in it. When time allows i’ll check it out and decide if it is…

      Are you in disagreement that Christ is the True Israel?

      True Israel is faithful Israel because they have faith in the only faithful Israelite who has ever lived—Jesus the Messiah. Only Jesus completely fulfilled all of the Father’s righteous laws for Israel. As the only faithful Israelite, Jesus is an Israelite according to the flesh, and He enjoyed all the benefits that come from being born into the nation that possessed the oracles of God. As the faithful Israelite Jesus is the true Israel because He is the true Son of God (Matt. 2:13–14).

      By faith in Jesus, the true Israelite, all people can be reckoned as true Israelites. All who are united by faith alone to Jesus the Christ are the true Israel of God (Gal. 6:16).
      …our Father has graciously made us His children having freed us from bondage in order to live coram Deo, following Jesus, the true Israel of God. (excerpted from The True Israel of God, Ligonier Ministries)

      1: Israel was a nation in the Old Testament.
      2: Jesus is now the true Israel.
      3: As the true Israel, Jesus assumes and fulfills the nation Israel’s mediatorial role.
      4: All who are in the true Israel—Jesus Christ, are also Israel.

      Also see:

      True and Bogus Israel (video)

      Jesus Christ Is Israel

      What Does Christ as “True Israel” Mean for the Nation Israel? A Critique of the Non-dispensational Understanding By Michael J. Vlach, Ph.D.

      In 1 Corinthians 10:32 it speaks of three groups of people “Give none offence, neither to the JEWS, nor to the GENTILES, nor to the CHURCH of God”

      There are some excellent commentaries on the verse you mentioned HERE As you im sure read, the chapter (not just the verse you pulled out) is concerning offending others by our new found liberty through Christ (eating and drinking, etc).

      The bottom line is Kelli, if indeed Christ IS the True Israel (which He is), and we abide IN HIM, then we (the church…believers-both jews and gentiles) are true “Israelites” by faith.

      The only Christians i have come in contact with who disagree with this, are those who wrongly believe God has 2 plans for salvation: one for jews and another for everyone else: its called dual covenant theology. Sadly many dispensationalists follow this belief as well.

    • I’ll also add, on top of PJ’s post:

      “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”
      (Rom 9:6-8)

      And again,

      “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:”
      (1Pe 2:9)

      It is the elect, who are the called according to God’s promise, joined to the body of Christ (true Israel). Outside of Christ’s body, there is no people, no hope, no salvation, for anyone, regardless of where they trace their physical generation. We live under a new Covenant, the old one having passed away (Heb 8:13), which is based not on blood, nor on the will of man, but by the will of God who has chosen us to spiritual adoption in Him, so that there is no more Jew or Gentile, only the children of God.

      To say otherwise is to create two separate covenants of God, with two separate peoples, with two separate means of salvation, as some of the more consistent dispensationalists have taken their logic.

    • It is the elect, who are the called according to God’s promise, joined to the body of Christ (true Israel).

      Amen Ricardo.

  2. Replacement theology accusations are just another red herring. I believe that if one studies the bible carefully, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the gospel is a gospel of inclusion. Both Jews and Gentiles are included , by the one means into a single kingdom. However , there is an element of truth in replacement theology that needs to be grasped, such as , what if God never replaced the old covenant with the new, or the old temple with the new, or the temple sacrifices with the one sacrifice that Christ made.Something for you to think about Kelli.

  3. Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

    PJ, In Romans 2:28-29 This is speaking to who?

    excerpt from Hershel, “We see that only those who have a clean heart, who are born again, in Christ, are the true Israelites.” Where does God call His church Israelites? Confused…True Israelites?…Can you point that out to me in the Word, where the church is now called “Israelites?”

    The links you have provided have not given me enough evidence to persuade me.

    The plan for Israel Romans 11:1-5
    The partial blindness of Israel Romans 11:7-10
    The purpose for the Blindness of Israel Romans 11:11-12

    Ephesians 1:9-10
    Having made known to us the mystery the of will of Him, according to the good pleasure of Him, which He purposed in Him for administration (dispensation) the fullness the of times, to head up the all things in the Christ, the things [both] in (upon) the heavens and the things upon the earth; in Him,

    Romans 11:25 Not for I do desire you to be ignorant, brothers, the mystery this, in order that not you should be from yourselves wise, that hardness from part the Israel has happened until (until) which the fullness the Gentiles should enter in;

    PJ, take the time to go over the audio and as well as the study guides and please show me the error in the teachings using the Word of God. We are replacing the Word of God with the systems of man. No wonder we have so many denominations.

    • The links you have provided have not given me enough evidence to persuade me.

      Kelli, im not trying to persuade you. You must be persuaded of the truth by the Word and Spirit.

      I’m truly sorry that all the links, scripture, and other comments from others who replied are not enough Kelli….but i don’t think adding more will change your heart. You seem to be convinced. I’m going to take a “wild guess” here and say you follow dispensational theology. As one who (thankfully) was shown in the word that dispensationalism leads to many unbiblical beliefs–especially as it concerns the modern state of Israel, and the salvation of lost Jews (dual covenant/two plans of salvation) nothing you could ever point me too would change my stand. If you’ve read here at the blog for any time then you know i followed (faithfully, but with many questions) dispensational theology for over 20 years. It was the unanswered questions which finally forced me to take a closer look at my theology. And, it was the Spirit of God which pointed out in the Word how wrong i had been.

      There is but one people of God–they are all those who (by faith) believe upon Jesus Christ

      Rom. 3:22, “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.”

      Galatians 3:16-29, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,”[i] who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

      What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

      For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  4. If the nation called Israel still separate and relevant with the New Testament redemptive outline then Paul would have addressed it with some sense of clarity. The verse mentioned by Kelli is met with several verses where Paul says that the Jews/Israel were cut off and yet individual Jews can still be grafted in by faith in Christ. When we embrace the church and Israel as two redemptive groups we have a dualistic redemptive stream. And one has Christ and one rejects Christ. So how can the one which rejects Christ be redeemed? Even Paul, after suffering the rejection of his Christo-centric gospel message, said he turned to the Gentiles.
    There are multiple passages which indict the Jews for their rejection of Christ. The word “Israel” means “he who has been saved by God” and seems to be used in that context without being always associated with the Hebrew nation.

    • The verse mentioned by Kelli is met with several verses where Paul says that the Jews/Israel were cut off and yet individual Jews can still be grafted in by faith in Christ.

      2 Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. (romans 11)

      Amen, there has always been a remnant of believing Jews…jews who believe upon Jesus Christ. And for even those who reject Jesus today we have hope, for,

      if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (verse 23)

      The key word being “if”. For all those, both jews and gentiles who do not believe are lost. period.

      There is no other way to eternal life but through Jesus Christ.

  5. There are so many “isms” and denominations and various theologies that people follow. Many get caught up in these different belief “systems”. Where does Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior factor in?
    This article IS THE CHURCH (spiritual) ISRAEL? ministered to me. Perhaps this link will minister to others or it maybe the weakest link to you:

    • Shannon i agree…there are many isms and various theologies today. But what we need to look at, when checking them all out, is if they hold to the basic simple teachings of the Gospel. What is referred to in a message posted earlier this week as ‘brick walls’. (please see, Doctrine And Unity) These are basic doctrines to do with salvation….truths which are “essential to the gospel of Christ”.

      I’m sorry but i did remove your link Shannon. I believe the teaching was totally in error.

      Edited to add: Sorry, i ended the last line rather abruptly… had someone at the door Aha!

      What i want to add…and this is for everyone: I have been shown, by the fruit it has produced, how dangerous dispensational theology can be. Its why i post about and against it often. So, please don’t fill your comments with links to a form of theology which i honestly see as highly unbiblical and dangerous. Quoting from such a teaching is fine, if it pertains to your comment or question, but please do not just add link after link to aberrant teachings from dispensational teachers. Know that i’ll remove them before allowing your comment through…

  6. PJ, Ricardo, Mondoray27, Henry,
    Just rereading all of the comments this morning and know I cannot persuade either of you all as well but probably should conclude this by going over what Ricardo posted as this could go on and on. Thought Pastor Bill did an excellent job by going over the beliefs of Calvin and Jacob Arminius and the Five Points of Misunderstanding and as well as the teachings of Replacement Theology by using the Word and wanted to share and understand PJ you are already set in your beliefs.

    Ricardo uses:
    “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”
    (Rom 9:6-8)

    kelli: Romans chapter 9, 10, 11 are speaking of the Jewish people

    Ricardo:
    And again,

    “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:”
    (1Pe 2:9)

    kelli: Peter wrote his letters to the Diaspora which is the designation for the Jews who had been displaced from Jerusalem. This group of the Diaspora was located just to the East of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor.
    Galatians 2:7 states that Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and Peter was the apostle to the Jews.

    Ricardo: It is the elect, who are the called according to God’s promise, joined to the body of Christ (true Israel). Outside of Christ’s body, there is no people, no hope, no salvation, for anyone, regardless of where they trace their physical generation. We live under a new Covenant, the old one having passed away (Heb 8:13), which is based not on blood, nor on the will of man, but by the will of God who has chosen us to spiritual adoption in Him, so that there is no more Jew or Gentile, only the children of God.

    kelli: Ricardo, you used Hebrews and who was the letter written to but to the Hebrews. The letter was written to Hebrew Christians because of the emphasis on the Levitical priesthood and sacrifices and as absence of any reference to Gentiles.
    Who are the elect? Are not God’s elect, the Jews? Is the elect of God all saved? No, but we know there is a remnant of Jews who have not bowed to Baal.

    This has been good, gets us all in the Word🙂

    • Who are the elect? Are not God’s elect, the Jews? Is the elect of God all saved? No, but we know there is a remnant of Jews who have not bowed to Baal.

      Under the new covenant Kelli, the elect are all those saved through faith in Christ. All–from both jews and gentiles. Its actually as simple as that.

      Ricardo is correct in saying,

      It is the elect, who are the called according to God’s promise, joined to the body of Christ (true Israel

    • “kelli: Romans chapter 9, 10, 11 are speaking of the Jewish people”

      Romans 9 is speaking of the children of Promise, as shown in the quote, which specifically says so. And then Paul goes forward to divide the children of the flesh from the children of promise, directly removing your emphasis that is on physical generation, and puts it back on God “who calls”.

      “For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)” (Rom 9:9-11)

      Now if it is on God who calleth, it cannot be by man who reproduces.

      The other chapters, even when speaking of the Jews according to the flesh, differentiate between them and the Elect of God, who, again, are characterized as being neither Jew nor Gentile, man or woman, but all one in Christ Jesus, as well as the heirs of Abraham.

      Gal_3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      Furthermore, it is impossible that anyone who does not believe in Christ can actually be part of Christ. If the Jews are not part of Christ, what are they? If you reject the Son, you do not have the Father, no matter how much you claim you do.

      1Jn_2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

      “kelli: Peter wrote his letters to the Diaspora which is the designation for the Jews who had been displaced from Jerusalem. This group of the Diaspora was located just to the East of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor.
      Galatians 2:7 states that Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and Peter was the apostle to the Jews.”

      I would rank this as a silly opinion, since, basically, you are saying that the Jews are the royal priesthood of God, not Gentiles. So what are Gentiles then? If they are not the children of promise, nor are they a royal priesthood from God, what is left for us? Presumably, when we are called Kings and Priests (but not in the Raul Cruz sense) in Revelation, does God leave out all the Gentiles again? What are we, the peasants of the Jews?

      But we believe that whoever believes in Christ is joined to the body of Christ, in full equality with everyone else.

      1Co_12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

      Your conception has no basis within the spirit of scripture.

      “Who are the elect? Are not God’s elect, the Jews? Is the elect of God all saved? No, ”
      ————————————————————————————————————–

      I replied to your argument piece by piece, so I only came to these blasphemous remarks at the very end. The Jews are the elect, but not us? Why then did Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, spend so much time on a subject that did not apply to us dogs?

      But as to the claim that not all the elect are saved:

      Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

      Joh_6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

      And whoever does fall away was never of the elect:

      1Jn_2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

  7. Kelli I’m confused by your position as related to the verses you used.

    Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

    Paul is saying that the true Israelite is the one who is in Christ. In context he is saying that Jews and Gentiles who have faith in Christ are the same in Christ. Who is the Church if not those who are in Christ by faith? In other words the true Jew is any person who has faith in Christ.

    Look at what Paul wrote to the Ephesians “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.”

    How are Gentile and Israel joint heirs? (Rom. 3:22, “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.”)

    What is the “one body” they are members of? (Colossians 1:24 “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.”)

    The true Israel, the body of Christ, are those who believe and choose to follow Jesus. IMHO the Church did not replace Israel, it is a continuation of Israel, because the true Israel was and always has been those who enter covenant with God and remain faithful to their covenant with Him.

    • Im glad you brought up the confusion Steve for last evening, rereading through Kelli’s comments, i too was confused.

      I’m really not sure what she is trying to say, prove, or disprove at this point.

      Kelli, perhaps you can be a little clearer….what exactly is it that you’re saying?

    • Steve
      I specifically used Romans 2:28-29 and who is this speaking to? Is this particular verse talking to a gentile or a Jew?

    • Kelli, the letter was written to the church in Rome.

      Are you asking if those two particular verses were written (only) to a specific ethnic group?

  8. Since this discussion been Sleepless in California oh well
    Who are the elect?

    • Kelli,

      Who are the elect of God?

      Answer: Simply put, the “elect of God” are those whom God has predestined to salvation. They are called the “elect” because that word denotes the concept of choosing. Every four years in the U.S., we “elect” a President—i.e., we choose who will serve in that office. The same goes for God and those who will be saved; God chooses those who will be saved. These are the elect of God.

      Throughout Romans 9, Paul systematically shows that God’s sovereign election has been in force from the very beginning. He begins with a crucial statement: “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel” (Romans 9:6). This means that not all people of ethnic Israel (that is, those descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) belong to true Israel (the elect of God).

      Reviewing the history of Israel, Paul shows that God chose Isaac over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau. Just in case anyone thinks that God was choosing these individuals based on the faith or good works they would do in the future, he adds, “Though they [Jacob and Esau] were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad – in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls” (Romans 9:11).

      At this point, one might be tempted to accuse God of acting unjustly. Paul anticipates this accusation in v. 14, stating plainly that God is not unjust in any way. “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Romans 9:15). God is sovereign over His creation. He is free to choose those whom He will choose, and He is free to pass by those whom He will pass by. The creature has no right to accuse the Creator of being unjust. The very thought that the creature can stand in judgment of the Creator is absurd to Paul, and it should be so to every Christian, as well. The balance of Romans 9 substantiates this point.

      ….there are other passages that talk to a lesser extent on the topic of God’s elect (John 6:37-45 and Ephesians 1:3-14, to name a couple). The point is that God has ordained to redeem a remnant of humanity to salvation. These elect individuals were chosen before the creation of the world, and their salvation is complete in Christ. As Paul says, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

      Read more at Got Questions

      1Thess. 1: 2-10 – “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come”

      Eph. 1:4-6 – “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved”

      Read more at Sermon Index, Who Are God’s Elect?

  9. Quote from Kelli

    Where does God call His church Israelites?
    End quote

    Ephesians 2:12
    That at that time you 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 you who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

    Here Paul is addressing Ephesians, who were “Gentiles” alienated from the covenants , but through the blood of Christ the Ephesians [ and we] have now been brought into the covenant and commonwealth of Israel, and furthermore , Paul quashes any notion of separation between Jews and Gentiles wherefore we read in the following verse that;

    For he is our peace who hath made both one , and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.
    Having abolished in his flesh the enemity , even the law of commandments contained in ordinances : for to make in himself of twain one new man , so making peace.

    vs 19
    Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners , but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

    Now I might be so bold as to ask why Dispy’s strive to erect a barrier that has already been removed by Christ.

    • And I fail to see where you provided evidence or the explanation of why the church is called Israelites? Is that not saying something that is not in the text?

    • The evidence has been posted by a number of people Kelli…

  10. “Eisegesis” is when you bring your fixed position and belief into the text instead of proper exegesis to find the context.

  11. For henryfrueh:

    Paul DID address it in Romans 8:28-39 and Romans 9-11. God has the redemption plan for believing Israel still today. He has temporarily closed their eyes and heart so the Gentiles could be grafted in. There will be many Jews saved during the Tribulation period as the 144,000 witnesses carry the gospel of Christ to those who will be saved.
    Henry, what verses are you speaking of that “seems” to be used in that context without being always associated with the Hebrew nation? You do not mention what verses you are speaking of.

  12. Shannon, can you post for us the scriptures which state “144,000 witnesses (will) carry the gospel of Christ to those who will be saved”

    Thanks

    • Revelation 7:4,9,13-14

    • Making me do your work for you? aha…just teasing.

      rev.7:4 -And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

      rev. 7:9- After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

      rev. 7: 13-14 – And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

      Shannon, these scriptures do not say,

      “144,000 witnesses (will) carry the gospel of Christ to those who will be saved”

      So where did you get this idea?

      Revelation chapter 7 –

      And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

      2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

      3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

      4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

      5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

      6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.

      7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.

      8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

      9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

      10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

      11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

      12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

      13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

      14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

      15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

      16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

      17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

  13. PJ you used in regards to elect:
    Eph. 1:4-6 – “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved”

    kelli:
    Ephesians 1:3-14
    It is all one sentence. This is speaking about believers. No mention at all in this text about choosing some to be saved.

    • What does this mean?

      Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    • Definition: Predestination

      Source, Bible Study Tools: Dictionary

      Dictionaries – Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology – Predestination
      Predestination

      The Concept. Divine predestination means that God has a purpose that is determined long before it is brought to pass. It implies that God is infinitely capable of planning and then bringing about what he has planned, and Scripture speaks of him as doing this ( Isa 14:24-27 ; 22:11 ; 37:26 ; 44:7-8 ; 46:8-10 ). Prophecy in its predictive mode is to be understood accordingly. God plans and makes his plans known, as he chooses, to his servants the prophets ( Amos 3:7 ). God’s purpose is one of love and grace ( Deut 7:6-8 ; Isa 41:8-9 ), above all because in love he predestined what should come to pass in his plan to save and to restore sinful humanity through Christ ( Eph 1:5 ). Colossians 1:26 speaks of this purpose as “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but now is disclosed.” This implies that all that is in God’s good purpose for us, individually or as part of the people of God, is by God’s initiative and thus is a work of grace, something that we could never instigate or deserve ( Deut 9:4-6 ; 2 Tim 1:9 ).

      God’s Predestining Purpose. From the call of Abraham ( Gen 12:3 ) his descendants, in particular the progeny of Jacob/Israel, are predestined to fulfill the purpose that God has for them ( Psalm 105:5-10 ). They are to be seen in the world as his people ( Deut 7:6 ; Psalm 33:11-12 ), holy and obedient to him, living to his praise ( Isa 43:21 ), a priestly nation bringing the knowledge of God to other nations ( Exod 19:5-6 ). The New Testament bears witness also to this purpose and foreknowledge of God concerning Israel ( Rom 11:2 ).

      It is also made clear in the Old Testament in a number of ways that the purpose of God embraces all nations. He has foreordained it when a nation is used to chasten Israel and then when a Gentile ruler sets them free ( Isa 10:5-6 ; 44:28-45:1 ). Yet irrespective of Israel Yahweh has a plan determined for the whole world as his hand is stretched out over all nations ( Isa 14:27 ). God “determined the times set” for the different nations “and the exact places where they should live” ( Acts 17:26 ). In relation to the nations the word of the Lord in Isaiah 46:10 is,

      “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”

      Predetermined also, and thus mentioned variously in the prophets, is the purpose of God to be fulfilled in a Messiah of the house of David (Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-9 ;Jer 23:5-6 ;Ezek 34:23-24 ;37:24-28 ). It was also planned and foreordained that through Israel the knowledge of God should go out to the nations that they might be drawn to the worship of the Lord, a purpose to which the New Testament in turn bears witness (Gal 3:8; Col 1:27 ). In the New Testament it is stressed repeatedly that the divine plan to be fulfilled in Christ was predestined. Paul speaks of the purpose in him as “God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began” ( 1 Cor 2:7 ). “God’s eternal purpose” it is called in Ephesians 3:11. Although there was a human responsibility for the death of Jesus, all that happened was by “God’s set purpose and foreknowledge” ( Acts 2:23 ). So also was the resurrection of Jesus ( Acts 2:31 ), and furthermore he is “appointed as judge of the living and the dead” ( Acts 10:42 ).

      The people of God in the New Testament, like Israel in the Old Testament, have a destiny to fulfill. They are appointed to have an inheritance ( Matt 25:34 ), to receive God’s kingdom ( Luke 12:32 ), to have “the hope of glory” ( Col 1:27 ), which is “eternal life” ( Acts 13:48 ). This appointed destiny for God’s people can also be spoken of as their being chosen to be born anew (James 1:18 ), to gain salvation ( 2 Thess 2:13 ), and to be adopted as children of God through Christ ( Eph 1:5 ). In terms similar to those applied to Israel, the people of God in the New Testament are chosen to be holy, to be obedient, to live to God’s praise ( Ephesians 1:6 Ephesians 1:11 Ephesians 1:12 Ephesians 1:14 ; 2 Tim 1:9 ; 1 Peter 1:2 ), and, going beyond anything in the Old Testament, “predestined to be conformed to the likeness” of God’s Son ( Rom 8:29 ). In practical terms Ephesians 2:10 says that “we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

      Both Old and New Testaments also speak of individuals being predestined to fulfill a divine purpose. Jeremiah ( 1:5 ) is spoken of as being set apart before he was born to be a prophet to the nations. The servant of Yahweh in Isaiah 49:5 is conscious of being “formed in the womb to be his servant.” In Genesis 25:23 a statement is made concerning the destinies of Jacob and Esau before they were born. In the New Testament Paul speaks of himself as set apart from birth to know God’s Son and to make him known ( Gal 1:15-16 ).

      A final question that has concernedand divided Christian people down through the ages is whether some are predestined to life and salvation and others predestined to condemnation (“double predestination”). On certain things Scripture is clear:

      (1) we all, because of our sinfulness, deserve only God’s condemnation;

      (2) our salvation is entirely because of God’s grace and God’s initiative;

      (3) the dominant emphasis is not on the fact that some are chosen by God and some are not, but on what is the purpose of God for those chosen: “to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Rom 8:29 ), or, “adoption as his children through Jesus Christ to the praise of his glorious grace” ( Eph 1:5-6 ; NRSV ).

      What, then, should be said of Paul’s argument in Romans 9-11? In those chapters much is said in positive terms of God’s purpose, grace offered in turn to Jews and to Gentiles. Much also is said of human responsibility in the rejection of God’s grace on the part of many in Israel and thus their failure to obtain God’s salvation. The only verse that can be and is often taken to speak of predestination to condemnation is in the form of a hypothetical question (and one capable of very diverse interpretations, as the commentaries indicate): “What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrathprepared for destruction?” ( Rom 9:22 ). It would be hard to fit together a predestination to judgment and the operation of human free will and our responsibility. The failure to find the salvation offered to humankind by a gracious and loving God seems more wisely assigned to the way men and women “reject God’s purpose for themselves” ( Luke 12:30 ) rather than to a prior, unalterable rejection by God.

  14. PJ read it in context
    Who was it written to? Faithful saints, these are already saved, these are believers.

    Ephesians 1:1-14 (KJV)
    1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
    2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
    4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
    7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
    8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
    9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
    10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
    11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
    12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
    13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    • Ahaha! of course they are believers…did someone say they were not?🙂 All of the letters in the new testament were written by believers to believers. In the case of Ephesians (the book/letter) it was written to the church at Ephesus and traditionally believed to have been written by Paul.

      The specific scriptures i posted in Eph. (1:4-6) was part of a response to you asking “who are the elect”? As part of my reply i pointed you to the words (and highlighted them as well) “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”

      The elect are those in Christ who (according to God’s word) were “predestined”. Do you understand the meaning of the word predestined?

      Kelli, what ARE you trying to say by all your commenting under this post? I know its not only me who is confused and is trying to figure out just what point you’re trying to make!

      Come on girl…spit it out, for going in circles (as we are) is taking us no where.

  15. Just wondering how many here even listened to the audio and looked over the study guides of the original link I gave as most, if not all, of these questions raised or debated were answered by Scripture.

    • Your link was removed.

      Kelli, are you reading the comments i and others are leaving?

      If you are you would have read this one from Saturday afternoon in which i wrote,

      What i want to add…and this is for everyone: I have been shown, by the fruit it has produced, how dangerous dispensational theology can be. Its why i post about and against it often. So, please don’t fill your comments with links to a form of theology which i honestly see as unbiblical and dangerous. Quoting from such a teaching is fine, if it pertains to your comment or question, but please do not just add link after link to aberrant teachings from dispensational teachers. Know that i’ll remove them before allowing your comment through…

  16. Kelli
    There are many concurrent themes that are threaded throughout the scripture, and many of these have already been raised previously, however , you either refuse to see them , or are unable to see them , and unfortunately, this is the curse of dispensationalism, and I should know, because I was once where you are now.
    As no one has yet covered the topic of the covenants, as this is also pertinent to establishing that the church is [true] Israel, and that true Israel is the church, it might be worth looking at
    It should be noted that all the covenants that God had previously made with Israel, and various individuals , were all fulfilled in Christ, every single one.There is not a single promise previously made , that had not been fulfilled in Christ.But the main focus here should be on the covenant of law, which was imposed on the nation of Israel as a means of maintaining , by way of obedience , favour with God, till such time as Christ would come and fulfil the requirements of the law.In Christ , the law covenant was fulfilled and thus expired, but also in Christ , is the establishment of the new covenant of grace.

    Hebrews 8:6
    But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the
    mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

    So how is this made manifest ?

    Galatians 3:9
    So then they which be of faith[all believers] are blessed with faithful Abraham.
    Galatians 3:14
    That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ;
    that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
    Galatians 3:29
    And if ye be Christ’s , then ye are Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the
    promise.

    Can it be much clearer than that !, in Christ , we have received all the blessings promised to Abraham.

    Under the new covenant , everyone , regardless of whether they are a “Jew” or a “Gentile” , are required to be be grafted into the olive tree[Christ].

    Romans 11:24
    For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these , which be the natural branches , be grafted into their own olive tree.

  17. I’ll add my two cents into this discussion. Something I’ve not seen mentioned in here yet is, one, consider these words:
    All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exodus 12:47-49 ESV)

    … and the following people, Rahab, Ruth and others who were not of the bloodline of the nature Jews, people who became members of natural Israel by marriage; and two, remember “Israel” was a name change that is a type and shadow of God’s people who were once of the world then once born again become citizens of True Israel to begin a war against their own human nature, Satan and the world’s citizenry.

    From the very beginning it has been God’s plan for full inclusion of people groups from every tribe, kindred, tongue and nation.

    Israel today is a historical anomaly. True Israel has always been and is everyone given the same faith as Abraham to live for the Glory of God, not the devil.

  18. PJ,
    Since, per your request, I did not post a link in my last comment to you, I am curious as to why you did not post my comment on the word “predestination”. Perhaps it would have been helpful for other readers understanding.

    • shannon, im not posting your last comment because all you did was quote something unrelated to this topic, from a dispensational teacher.

      Also, if you look through the comments, i asked you a few questions pertaining to your comments which you just ignored! What i began to notice…as did others, is you and Kelli both appear to just want to ‘drop’ an idea or question within a comment, then, when anyone takes the time to respond and/or answer by pointing out what THE WORD OF GOD says, or in one instance, that your point isn’t in the Word (concerning 144,000 witnesses (will) carry the gospel of Christ to those who will be saved”), you just ignore it and go on to making still another comment about something else.

      That, my friend, is not a ‘discussion’…and it is sure not a manner in which to discuss a bible-topic at a blog or Christian discussion forum.

      This post is still open for comments. Its a good bible-based message. If your (and Kelli’s) only point was you didn’t agree with it…then you should have just simply said so. That would have saved other commenters from chasing rabbits down rabbit trails.

      God bless you sister…both of you. I pray you find the answers you’re looking for some day.

  19. There were two groups of people before the cross, Gentiles and the Jews.
    After the cross, Jesus said He promised He would build His Church
    Matthew 16:18
    And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
    As a result, there are now three divisions of mankind: Jews, Gentiles and the church.
    Paul tells us we are to “Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God”
    1 Corinthians 10:32
    The church are those who are born again and have His Spirit indwelling them. And outside of the church, we still have Gentiles and Jews who are not saved. But the church does NOT replace Israel.
    We are not called Israelites. Nor are we called True Israel. We can read in the text something that is not there.
    The Church is the Church.

    • There were two groups of people on the earth then, and there are two groups today: Those saved (in Christ) and those lost (in need of and without Christ). The job, or ministry if you will, of the first group is to take the good news of the Gospel to the second group. This is how our God sees mankind and how we should look upon mankind as well.

      And His ultimate desire FOR all mankind is very clear in the scriptures below,

      “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4).
      “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

      I am truly (and deeply) sorry that you cannot grasp the truth of who true Israel is Shannon. I sincerely mean that; That you are unable to see that because Jesus, as the second Adam, true seed of Abraham, and True Israel, means those who are abiding IN HIM, are (under the new and better covenant) Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise, AND True Israel as well,

      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. – Galatians 3

  20. Hey thanks for blogging my tiny article/answer. Again, most of the Pdf’s were not articles or essays per se, but answers to questions I received somewhere on the web. The answer got to big for the comment section and so I just Pdf’d it and linked to it.

    Again thanks and I am very humbled that anyone would consider blog what I have written. Blessings.

    • You’re very welcome…

      Some evenings i just want to read and your website is one of the few i have bookmarked which i visit often. Your articles may have started out as responses to questions, but they have evolved into excellent teachings! Thanks for sharing them with others…

    • Your welcome and thanks for bookmarking my site.

      I too enjoy your blog and though I don’t always comment, nevertheless I read what you put out. Blessings.

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