The president made a midnight trip to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to honor the return of fallen soldiers in Afghanistan. Obama took part in a solemn process, transferring the remains of 15 soldiers and 3 DEA agents from the back of the C-17 to a base mortuary. At least 55 U.S. forces have been killed in October — the deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban.
Does the Nation of Israel have a Distinct and Separate Future from the
Church in the Kingdom of God?
by - Alan Nairne
To answer this question I believe we must understand the meaning of the Covenants, God’s purpose for “Israel, and the nature of an “Israelite”. Whilst we can pick up some clues from the Old Testament histories, the New Testament teaching is definitive as to the true significance of the covenants and histories of the Old Testament. This I cannot enough emphasize. In fact I will go so far as to say that without the NT the OT cannot be properly understood. Why is this so? Because Christ is the whole meaning and purpose of the OT. As Paul says concerning the Jews, who had the oracles of God (Rom.3:2), “…the children of Israel…their minds were blinded: for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains untaken away; which veil is done away in Christ” (II Cor.3:14). It was this blindness that not only caused the Jews of Jesus’ day to mistakenly believe in a permanent and dominant national future for Israel and all she represented, but also caused them to reject their Messiah and his saving work.
I am afraid that much of today’s interpretation of the Scriptures is very reminiscent of the way the Jews of Jesus’ day interpreted them. We may not merit the plagues of Rev.22:18-19, or Paul’s “anathema” of Gal.1:8-9 (AV), but it is better to make sure we stand on Biblical ground!
Writers on this subject usually point out that many of the Church Fathers (i.e. during the first few centuries AD) refer to a “millennial kingdom” in which the nation of Israel features prominently. Surely, we may think, they being so close to the Apostolic age should know what the Apostles taught? It is true, where there is clarity of statement (some Fathers are ambiguous), that both views are fairly equally represented. The other view is, of course, that there is no earthly millennial kingdom to follow the Second Coming of Christ. So they are not really any great help. Anyway, we base our view on Scripture, not on the Church Fathers, however valuable their writings may be. All that those Fathers who see a millennial kingdom indicate is that they agree with the views of the Jews, and, perhaps the majority of Jewish Christians of their times. That the Apostles did not so interpret the OT Scriptures I hope to show.
If we say, “Well, this “other view” sounds like the ‘Replacement Theology’ I have heard spoken against – but I would like to see how they arrive at their ideas” – fine, I hope you see that there is a credible alternative understanding of Scripture. Alternatively, you may like to critique this paper. Equally fine. But I do hope you will do two things. One is, use OT and NT Scriptures in keeping with the sense of the whole NT. The other is, set forth a detailed description from Scripture of the proposed millennium and Israel’s place in it, in a way that is not at variance with the NT. But, failing both these responses, or “Well, I am happy to believe what I have always understood, which the majority of Christians believe, anyway, and, what does it matter?”, I guess what I have to say is not for you. To those who may wish to use this paper, I hope that my use of the KJV or RV will be no stumbling block. The use of any version will yield the same results.
Perhaps we can now briefly refresh our memories concerning the early salvation-histories about which the NT draws definitive conclusions.
II. Christ – the termination of OT redemptive prophecy
Salvation-history is continuous from the first promise of redemption given to Adam and Eve following the sin which they brought into the human race. This promise decreed warfare which would take place between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent (Gen.3:15). Whilst this warfare would in each generation be played out on the stage of human history, the prophecy related primarily to THE SEED who is Jesus, the Son of God. Paul makes this clear in the Galatian epistle (3:16) that although Abraham received covenant promises concerning his seed, the promise was not to Abraham’s “seeds”, the many, but to one SEED, who is Christ. Prophecy largely terminates upon HIM. It is only in Christ we inherit these redemptive promises. Rev.19:10 is to a similar effect – “…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” As Paul states, “Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to everyone that believes.” Rom.10:4. Even when the church was seen afar off in the OT prophecies (Eph.3:5), its purpose was that “…unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph.3:21). And to the Colossians “…he is the head of the body, the church: ….that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Col.1:18).
In postulating a millennial kingdom, with Jewish dominance, sacrifices, temple, priesthood, etc., there is a subtle shift of emphasis away from Christ’s preeminence, to say nothing of it being in plain contradiction to the messages of Galatians and Hebrews, as I hope we shall see.
III. The covenant promises to Abraham were redemptive
The covenant promises concerning God’s favour to the human race continued down through Abraham’s descendants. But the promises were not to all his descendants, but only to those who specifically embraced them, and this involved the election of God. It was very personal. Hence the rejection of not only Ishmael, Abraham’s son through the slave girl Hagar, but also of Esau, in favour of Jacob his twin – both sons of Isaac, with Sarah, Abraham’s true wife as their grandmother..
Continuing the history of Abraham’s clan, Jacob’s sons went down into Egypt, their descendants remaining there in excess of four hundred years, numerically becoming a threat to the stability of Egypt, where they were made slaves; the knowledge of the God of their Fathers being all but lost.
The books of Exodus to Deuteronomy tell us of God’s redeeming power to deliver his people from Egypt, and of the arrangements he made at Sinai for his people to live and worship him acceptably. These arrangements, moral, civil and religious, are broadly comprehended under the term “The Law” – the so-called Mosaic covenant.
It is important to see that the clans of Jacob received their formal constitution as a nation at Sinai. Without this “Law” with its Levitical priesthood, elaborate sacrificial and purificatory ritual, and civil and hygiene laws, there would have been no “nation”. Moreover, the Lord made it clear that in the event of apostacy the nation would be judged to the point of non existence (Deut.28 and Lev.26). Yet, even in the event of apostacy God’s purposes will not fail, for he will ensure that a “remnant” will be left (cf. Lev.26:42ff) through whom the covenant promises would continue until their fulfillment in the Messiah. (cf. Rom.11:1-5) This feature is the burden of the prophets. But it is important to recognise that these purposes are fulfilled, not through an apostate nation, but through the remnant within that nation. More of this later.
Concerning the covenant at Sinai, we need to understand that, in essence, nothing had changed. Paul tells us (Gal.3:19) that the law was added, or, came alongside, that which was already in existence – i.e. the Abrahamic promises. That is, the Abrahamic covenant “embraced” the Mosaic covenant. The way of personal salvation, revealed in the Garden of Eden, (Gen.3:21; 4:4) through faith and sacrifice, was still the same for each individual. The “Law” was given, not to procure salvation, but to provide a format within which godly Hebrews could, as a matter of love to their God, in thankfulness, and in the spirit of the law (see Deut.10:16 & 30:6) live lives that were pleasing to him. The covenant was also given so that the Lord could display his power through the nation (Ex.34:10). Conversely, in the event of rebellion, chastisement would follow, and for total apostacy, rejection and destruction.
The NT makes it quite clear that the nation, land, priesthood, tabernacle, temple, offerings, were, like Eden, and so much else, picture books of the reality that was to come, and a vehicle to ensure that God’s Deliverer would be able to come in the “fulness of time”. What kind of duration was envisaged for the law – and, by implication the nation? “Until the seed should come to whom the promises were made” (Gal.3:19).
We have seen in the first paragraphs of this section that it was through Abraham’s offspring that the covenant promises were passed down through the generations. Nevertheless, it may be a shock for me to tell you that being Hebrew or Jewish is nothing to do with blood. When Abraham was told to circumcise his household (Gen.14:14; 17:10-14) he did so, and included his 318 fighting men who would not have had his blood in their veins. These multiplied down the generations, and we are told that of those that went down into Egypt 70 were from the loins of Jacob – but they were so numerous that they needed the land of Goshen to live in, only a tiny minority of whom would have descended from Jacob.
Can we forget the Moabitess Ruth who became part of the covenant people and a forbear of the Messiah? Or Uriah the Hittite and other Gentiles in the lists of David’s mighty men who were adopted into the covenant people? To become a Jew was open to any Gentile.
Nevertheless it is clear that neither the accident of birth into the chosen nation, nor even undergoing the seal of circumcision was guarantee of being part of the “remnant”, for such had to have the necessary faith to receive the promises of redemption through the coming Deliverer. What does Paul say? “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Rom.9:6ff).
In the same place he deals with the election of Abraham’s progeny, already considered. In Romans 2 he says, “he is not a Jew which is one outwardly….but he is a Jew which is one inwardly.” (vv.28-29). There was, therefore a nation within a nation.
To the same effect is his argument “Know therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham…” (Gal.3:7), and “..if you are Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal.3:29). At the end of the chapter he blesses the church in the words “peace…and mercy…upon the Israel of God.” (Gal.6:16). Some, who wish to retain a permanent status for Israel constituted as of old, would have us believe that Abraham has a future “earthly” seed and a “heavenly” seed. But such an interpretation (based partly on the “stars” and “sand” of Gen.22:17) is reading things into Scripture to fit a preconceived scheme, and in doing so denies the total teaching of the NT.
The book of Hebrews makes it clear that the Mosaic provisions of the Levitical priesthood, the sacrifices and the law were only temporary – “he takes away the first [covenant], that he may establish the second.” (10:9). Earlier in chapter (8:13) the writer had said “In that he said a new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away.” How can we square with these Scriptures the teaching that Israel and its Old Covenant shadows are to be restored? The book of Hebrews is devoted to teaching otherwise.
IV. How about Romans chapters 9-11??
We must conclude from these Scriptures that the olive tree of Romans chapter eleven is nothing less than the totality of the promises to Abraham. The natural branches therefore will have comprised those “of faith” in Israel, since they were first in opportunity. The people of God (“the election” (Rom.11:1-12)), Jews from OT times, and now Jews and Gentiles – form the olive tree, since the Abrahamic promises in Christ must now extend to all nations as was their original intent. Paul writing to both the Ephesian Christians (Eph.2:11-22) and those at Colossae (3:10-11) makes it clear that racial and national distinctions are forever gone.
What, then, did Paul mean when he said in Romans chapter eleven that “all Israel will be saved”? (v.26). It is totally within the sense of Scripture as we have looked at it, to believe that “all Israel” will be the totality of the elect, both Jew and Gentile, that is, the completed olive tree. I find that perfectly satisfying.
Now, undoubtedly, Paul gives us to understand that there will be a turning to God of Jews, resulting in unprecedented blessings to mankind (Rom.11:11-12). What sort of blessings? Ethnic Jews (the Scripture implies no more), natural branches that they are, will be grafted back again into the olive tree and comprise, with the Gentiles blessed by their response, the Church of God (vv.13-21).
It appears to me that those who believe in a special future for Israel that, in the purposes of God, are distinct and separate from the Church, are seeking to build up the Old Covenant that became obsolete (Heb.10:9) was “waxing old and is ready to vanish away” (Heb.8:13)
Moreover they must also (and do!) maintain the reestablishment of the Old Covenant. They have to, for without it the nation has no religious significance.
To the contrary, as we have seen, Israel “after the flesh” was only a means to an end – which end was eternal redemption through the Christ. Israel, had she seen “the things which belong[ed] unto [her] peace” (Luke 19:42) would have been foundational for the Church because she would have received her Messiah. The old forms having fallen away, she would have constituted the Church, the true Messianic people, and would have continued to be called “an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation….the people of God” (1 Peter 2:9-10) along with the Gentiles who likewise responded. As it is, they did not. The Gentiles did receive Jesus as the Christ, and therefore became the Messianic people as described by Peter.
But one way or the other, both the falling away of the old forms, and the demise of old fleshly Israel had to be permanent. For one thing it was apostate. For another, as long as it continued in its then present form Israel posed a threat to the true church. As it was, their long history of rebellion in slaying of prophets and wise men (Matt.23:31-36) culminated in the murder of God’s Son, and upon that generation was promised the final judgment – “behold your house is left unto you desolate” (Matt.23:38). In the following chapter Jesus spells out this judgment – a razing of the temple to the ground, the nation pictured as a rotting carcase to be devoured by vultures (Matt.24:15-28). Until this took place in AD70, Israel was the prime mover in the persecution of the infant church.
What was the reason for this rejection of Messiah? Because in their unbelief and rebellion they wanted a political Messiah who would deliver them from the Roman oppressor, and create a powerful nation to whom the Gentiles would be subservient. This was a carnal interpretation of the OT prophecies, and is the picture created by those who believe in a restoration of the nation in God’s purposes!
To those who so teach, the question must be asked – where biblically do you fit the idea of a revived Israel, dominant among the nations?
The short answer by those who propound it is – during the Millennium. I say “the short answer” because some see Israel beginning to take her place (in their understanding of future biblical history) some seven years before the Second Coming and the commencement of the Millennium. I regard these interpretations as peripheral and cannot deal with them in this paper. I shall therefore confine myself to examining the concept of the existence of Israel in a future Millennium, upon which the whole matter stands or falls.
V. Will there be a millennial kingdom??
The idea of a Millennium – a period of 1000 years to follow Christ’s Second Coming is gained from the book of Revelation chapter 20. The fact that this period is mentioned only once in Scripture may not disqualify it from consideration if it is in keeping with other Scriptures. But I do not see it as such for the following three reasons, at least.
Firstly, that it occurs in a highly symbolic portion of Scripture ought to sound a warning. The book of Revelation is full of symbolic numbers – 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 24, 42, 666, 1,000, 1260, 1600, 7000, 12,000, 144,000, 200,000,000 – a little search will find more. Is it not foolhardy to base such a concept foundational to a whole prophetic programme on a figure which any consistent hermeneutic would interpret as symbolic? Nevertheless, it is this very numeral that is used as a literal basis for supporting a great superstructure of the doctrine of the Millennium, with Israel’s dominant place in it
Secondly, it is argued that chapter 19 which portrays the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus, immediately precedes the one thousand years millennium verses in chapter 20 of Revelation. Again, if the book was generally interpreted with each chapter chronologically following the previous one, it could be admissible. But the chapters lends themselves, indeed, demand, and usually are, interpreted in cycles. Whilst there are many variations in exactly how the cycles are to be arranged, chapter twenty can be seen to commence a fresh recapitulatory cycle. Again, it is perilous to built such a comprehensive prophetic scheme on such an uncertain foundation.
Thirdly the consistent testimony of the N T is that the Second Coming of Christ is the termination of history. Consider the following Scriptures:-
For the ungodly
What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?…..For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Matt.16:26-27
The Lord is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. II Pet.3:9-1-
Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all…Jude 14-15
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him,…and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Rev.1:7.
For the Church
Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God. Luke 12:18.
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire. I Cor.3:19
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you….but rejoice…that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad with exceeding joy. I Pet.4:12-13
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. James 5:7
Gird up the loins of your mind…and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:13
Let your loins be girded..and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord…when he cometh. Luke 12:35-37.
And now, little children, abide in him; that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. I John 2:28
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Col. 3:4-5.
It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like him..I John 3:2.
Consider also the following Scriptures to the same effect – II Tim.4:8; Phil.3:20; I Cor.1:7-8; Luke 19:13; I Thess.5:23; Phil.1:16; Phil.1:9-10; I Thess.5:9-10; I Cor.11:26.
Consider also the parables of Jesus in Matthew chapter 13 concerning the harvest, which, he explains is the end of the age. This is but a small selection of Scriptures from the NT. The consistent testimony is that Christ’s Second Coming is not the beginning of a new time of probation for the ungodly, and a new start for Israel, or anybody else, but the termination of history with the resurrection of both wicked and godly dead, followed by judgment, and the eternal state. This is the consistent testimony of all the historic creeds. As I said earlier, we base our understanding of Scripture upon Scripture, not tradition, however ancient. But when the tradition totally conforms to Scripture we do well to ponder seriously before departing from their testimony.
But what are we to do with all these prophecies in the OT which speak of a glorious future for the nation of Israel? Well, first of all we need to see what the NT says about the OT prophecies. There are a number of Scriptures which set out principles of interpretation.
VI. The New Testament use of Old Testament prophecies
Consider firstly Paul’s testimony to king Agrippa in Acts 26 – “…I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.” (vv.22-23).
Secondly, Peter says:- “Of which salvation [i.e. our salvation] the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that preached the gospel unto you…” I Peter 1:9-12.
In the first Scripture the expression “none other things” is pretty restrictive! Paul would restrict the message of the OT to redemption. Even Peter in the second Scripture is restrictive. “UNTO US they did minister the things…” So the burden of the Spirit of Christ in the prophets of old was redemption and the Church. Of course, it ought not to be necessary to say it, but clearly the Apostles were referring to the prophecies concerning the “age to come”, the “days of Messiah”, the “New Covenant” age, etc. in which they were themselves ministering. In saying “not unto themselves” they were not, of course, denying the other main burden of the prophets for their own times which concerned the apostacy of Israel and Judah, their captivities, and restoration. But the promises of restoration in the near future often merged into pictures of glorious prospects of the true Israel under her Deliverer in the present age.
In looking forward to this coming when the significance of the Old Covenant was to cease, and with it “Israel after the flesh” (I Cor.10:18), how could the Spirit of God convey the spiritual nature of the Church other than under the forms then existing? Is it not the same with ourselves concerning “heaven” described as having streets of gold, a temple a 1500 miles high cube (or maybe a pyramid) with a wall all around only 216 feet high! And those gates of pearl (some oysters!)!!!
Other OT Scriptures when interpreted literally often yield just as ridiculous results. Consider Ezekiel’s parcelling out the land of Israel – using cubits it is far too small, using rods there is not room for it in Palestine! To say nothing of the fact that the restrictive features of the natural terrain are totally ignored. Moreover, are we going to reconstitute nations long since vanished – Moab, Ammon – for them to feature in end-time drama? And as for the lion eating straw as the ox (Isa.11:7), God could do it, but are we to believe he will recreate the lion’s digestive system to suit?
How did the Apostles understand and use the OT prophecies? Let us consider their use of a couple of representative NT Scriptures. James’ words to the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 -
“…Simeon [Peter] hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, “After this I will return, and will build againthe tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called….” (vv14-17).
The Apostles saw the “tabernacle of David” as a picture of the new people of God which included Gentiles in this present age. That is its plain meaning. What more familiar picture of the Church do we have in the NT but that of a Temple?
Take Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 -
“…[Jesus] ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death:…Men and brethren , let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried,…Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ…” (vv.23-31).
David, “being a prophet” recognised that God’s promises to him and his offspring related to none less than the Messiah himself, and that the Davidic throne was but a picture of the heavenly throne of “great David’s greater Son”. I believe we need to understand that these men of God in the OT had a lot more spiritual discernment than we give them credit for. They knew that they, and the history of their nation, were but shadows of the eternal substance. They did not entertain illusions of an indefinitely continuing present state of affairs. Why do so many of us ignore the Divine interpretation of these promises, and do not accept the fulfillment that even the Patriarchs, David and the Prophets saw?
Did Abraham think that he had the land for ever? No; but he knew that what it pictured was for ever. What does the writer to Hebrews tell us?
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out unto a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; …By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country,…for he looked for THE city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker IS GOD….these all [the heroes of faith in this chapter] died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they …desire a better country, that is, an HEAVENLY: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a CITY.”…these all…received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:8ff.
I assume my readers will know the Scriptures which refer to Jerusalem as the New Covenant heavenly city, but, hoping that you will read the contexts of all these Scriptures, you will find them in Gal.4:21ff and Heb.12:18ff. And, best known, perhaps, that in Revelation 21, also pictured as the bride of Christ. The true biblical significance of Jerusalem, or Zion is in its prefiguring of the corporate people of God (also pictured as the Bride of Christ) in this age. This is in contrast to Babylon of old, with the whore, prefiguring the corporate manifestations of a persecuting secular and religious world as described in the book of Revelation chapters 17 and 18. In each case there are two cities and two women It may be exciting to remember the Six Day War, and follow the career of Saddam Hussein and his visions of a new Babylon, but the Scriptures focus upon no such things any more than that of a biblically significant end-time Jerusalem located in Palestine.
Then was the promise to Abraham and his people of possession of the land to its utmost borders (Gen.15:18) never fulfilled? We are told that this is yet awaited. But the promise was utterly fulfilled, for we are told by Joshua (21:43,45 and 23:14)
“So the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein…there failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house off Israel; all came to pass.”
Solomon in his day acknowledged this in almost identical words (I Kings 8:56). The selfsame boundaries promised to Abraham are also specified (I Kings 4:21,24). To ignore this testimony and insist that Israel has still “everlasting” title to the land is to ignore the explanation given in the NT and substitute something from Judaism.
VII. General Conclusions
Throughout the whole of the NT there is not a whisper of a 1000 years earthly Millennium after the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and, without doubting the sincerity and godliness of my brothers and sisters who do so believe, nevertheless we distort the Scriptures when we insist on this. I recognise that the NT quotes only a relatively few from the mass of the OT Scriptures, and that patience and discernment is required to understand some of them – and the writer to the Hebrews had to lament that so many of his readers lacked this (5:11-14).
We need this same patience and spiritual discernment to understand these and many O T Scriptures that are not used in the NT. It is all too easy to put them wholesale into a “Millennial bin” against a future earthly, national fulfillment, but it is bad hermeneutic. Fortunately such handling does not preclude the teaching of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, but if to attract Jews we teach them these things as part of the Gospel, we risk diluting it and sending them into a “bypath meadow”. Restoration of Jewish nationalism and Judaism was no part of the Apostolic Gospel – it was precisely the opposite.
I know that perhaps most of us were taught these things from our youth. It was so in my own case. And, as I also know, early thought patterns resist change. “Surely”, we say, “the establishment of a Jewish state in 1948 was prophetically significant?” Well, I am glad for the Jews sake that they have their land. But is it any more significant than the preservation of the Arabs who also have their own lands?
Let us, as Scripture teaches evangelise the Jews both in their own land and worldwide, and believe that God’s purpose is for a turning worldwide of Jews to Him, with its consequent worldwide blessing. Keeping things in perspective, there are far more Jews living in America than ever there are in Israel. I have read, too, (in fact, copied and distributed) the article in a 1999 Renewal magazine of the Jerusalem rabbis’ reading the NT and turning to the Lord. Praise the Lord! May all Israelis worldwide turn to the Lord and bring in God’s promised blessing to even more Gentiles. But let us not build up a Judaism with which Paul had constant conflict, and which God destroyed in AD70. The Lord’s purposes now are greater than that; they are worldwide in keeping with the original promise to Abraham.
A last word (but one!). If Jewish Christians wish to incorporate their culture into their worship and service, that is excellent. As in my worship and service my “Englishness” will be apparent – that, too, I hope, is excellent!. I trust that our cultures will liberate us and not inhibit us. But let us not say that there is anything essentially superior in Jewish culture for the Christian. (A buzz word these days, is “roots”). But I fear that the supposed importance of our “Jewish roots” is taught today. But there is none (Gal.3:28,29).
We have already seen that inheriting the covenant promises has nothing to do with race or blood. Nevertheless Christians and Israelis make a racial claim of descent from old Israel as title to the promised land. There are further grounds on which that can never be fulfilled. Do any Israelis claim genealogical continuity back to even NT times? Most modern Jews are of Khazaric descent. Now whilst this can be debated, the Khazari race seems to lie behind the Ashkenazik Jews of Eastern Europe, and these Khazars converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. Judaism, both medieval and modern has nothing to do with the OT. It originated in Pharisaic/Talmudic teaching. Judaism never approaches the Bible except through the Talmud, and therefore Judaism today owes far more to Eastern Europe than ever it does to the Old Testament.
We really do need to remember that this very Judaism, and all it stood for led that generation, (because they did not understand the prophecies but interpreted them rather similarly to those of us today who teach a Jewish restoration) to reject their Messiah. (Acts 13:27ff). Celebration of the new order under OT typical figures is fine, but that is a very different thing. The modern vogue is too much like establishing the old again. The only true Jew has always been one who by faith has embraced the promises of God.
Whole chapters – even books – have been written on the various aspects of this subject. There is much which I cannot deal with in a short paper such as this. It is suggestive rather than exhaustive. Although I believe that what I have set forth has credible and ancient origins in the history of interpretation, neither it, nor the alternatives I have sought to displace should be made a test of fellowship or orthodoxy. THAT covers only the fact of the personal Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with resurrection (or “rapture”) upon which we all agree.
Finally, I wish to say that I have many friends whom I esteem in the Lord, who, whether they have investigated these things or not, believe in what I sought to correct in this paper. Actually, there are very few folks with whom I have the opportunity to discuss such matters. Sadly, most Christians I know do not have a detailed interest in Scripture. So this subject is not a big deal for me . I have not sought to “convert” them, and I am not on a crusade. It is far more important that we should all learn to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbour as ourself. And I trust that no one will interpret anything written in this paper as anti-Semitic. Israel, as always, even in rebellion, is still “beloved for the Fathers’ sakes” (Rom.11:28).
But I am concerned with what is biblically true concerning the whole range of Scripture, and have always been willing to unlearn what I thought I knew. Moreover, I have not just discovered these things. I have seen and embraced them for probably twenty-five years at least. I am still learning, and I find that exciting.
So in closing I wish you all God’s richest blessing, and trust that, as the Berean Christians, we will search the Scriptures, daily, to see whether these things are so. Acts 17:10:ff.
Maranatha! Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (I Cor.16:22, Rev.22:20).
Alan Nairne Witney, England
For a critique of this article by William B Chalfant go here
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Part II A Critique of the Premillennial View of Scripture and Review of its Historical Development with a consideration of Revelation 20:1-6.
Old Khazaria adopted the religion of Talmudic Judaism about 740 A.D.
Khazaria was reborn on May 14, 1948.
The most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated.
New Kharzaria (Israel)
Hoax of the millenium
As long as Apostate Israel (New Khazaria) exist...there will never be any peace in the Middle East. Modern-day Jewry is of Eastern European/Aryan descent and thus they are not Semitic. Let the truth be told everywhere.
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