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BBefore we answer this false doctrine let me point out one important problem for those who hold it. Israel is back in the land as an independent nation after nearly 2500 years. This in itself is a miracle. Where are the other nations that existed this long ago. Only those who have never gone out of existence, like Egypt, are still with us. The Bible tells us that God will scatter His people throughout the world, and that in the last days He would bring them back to the land. He has done this in our day.
Let’s look at their arguments for what they believe and answer each one of them from the Scriptures.
They say that Galatians 3:29 teaches that only those who are in Christ are Abraham’s seed. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Answer: Rather than teaching that only those who are Christ’s are the sons of Abraham this verse teaches that those who are in Christ are also Abraham’s seed. There is nothing in the verse that says the Jews are no longer Abraham’s seed.
It must also be noted that it says promise, not promises. The question is what promise is Paul talking about. The answer is found in the context. Galatians 3:14 says, “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
The nice thing about the Word of God is that we don’t have to guess what is meant on most things because they are explained, either in the context or in other related passages.
They teach that the promise of the land of Canaan to Abraham was only a “starter.” The real Promised Land is the whole world. To support this they use Romans 4:13. “For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” They claim it will be the “Church” that inherits the world, not Israel.
Answer: There is nothing in this verse to exclude the Jews. It simply tells us that it is not through the law, but through the righteousness that is of faith. Our eternal inheritance as Christians, and the eternal inheritance of the Jews, are both by faith, not by works.
They teach that the nation of Israel was only the seed of the future “Church” which includes people of all nations. They support this idea with Malachi 1:11: “For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place, incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Answer:This passage in its context says that God will not accept polluted offerings from His people, the nation of Israel. It in no way eliminates Israel from the future plans of God. It also tells us that His name will be spread among the Gentiles throughout the entire world.
They teach that Jesus taught that the Jews would lose their spiritual privileges, and be replaced by another people. Matthew 21:43: “Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
Answer: In this passage, Jesus was talking to the chief priests and elders. This is seen clearly in verse 45: “And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.” Jesus is not talking about taking the kingdom of God away from Israel, he is talking about taking it away from the chief priests and the Pharisees. You will notice that the Kingdom of God is given to a nation, not the “Church.”
They teach that a true Jew is anyone born of the Spirit, whether he is racially Gentile or Jewish Rom. 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.”
Answer: This passage does not say that the “Church” replaced Israel. It its context it is talking about those who follow the letter of the law as opposed to those who follow the spirit or intent of the law.
They say that Paul shows that the “Church” is really the same “olive tree” as was Israel, and the “Church” is now the tree. Therefore, to distinguish between Israel and the “Church” is, strictly speaking, false. Indeed, people of Jewish origin need to be grafted back into the “Church” (Rom 11:17-23).
Answer: This claim is demonstratively false because this passage clearly teaches that the Gentiles are the “wild olive branches,” who get our life from being grafted into the olive tree. The tree represents the covenants, promises and hopes of Israel (Eph. 2:12). The olive tree gives life to the Jews (the “natural branches”) and Gentile alike (the “wild branches”). The Gentiles are reminded that they are grafted into the olive tree. The “wild branches” are not to boast against the “natural branches” because they can be grafted in again. The olive tree is NOT the “Church”. Christians are simply grafted into God’s plan. We are added, the Jews are not taken away. There are only some of the branches broken off.
They teach that the promises made to Israel in the Old Testament, unless they were historically fulfilled before the coming of Jesus Christ, are now the given of the “Church”. They do not interpret these promises literally, but spiritually and symbolically. They make the references to Israel, Jerusalem, Zion and the Temple, when they are prophetic, refer to the “Church” (II Cor. 1:20). “For all the promises of God in Him (Jesus) are Yea, and in Him, Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
Answer: The New Testament references to Israel clearly pertain to Israel, not the “Church”. No promise to Israel and the Jewish people in the Bible is figurative, nor can they be relegated to the “Church”. The promises and covenants are literal, many of them are everlasting. Christians can participate in them because we have been grafted into the olive tree. Christians are not usurpers of the covenant and do not replace physical Israel. Gentile Christians are joined into what God had been doing in Israel. God did not break His covenant promises with Israel (Rom. 11:29).
God is not finished with Israel as a nation. The new covenant doesn’t take away from the promises to Israel, it expands those with whom He as a covenant to include the Gentiles. Paul is clear that God has not done away with Israel by establishing a new Covenant with Gentile Saints.
Romans 11:1-2 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people.
Can it be more clear than this? God did not break His covenant with Israel and start a new one with the Gentile saints.
Ro 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
The “them” in this passage is the Jews. God’s purpose here is to provoke the Jews to jealousy and cause them to return to Him.
In this next passage we have the illustration of being Grafted into the Olive Tree.
Romans 11:17-20 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Here God warns the Gentiles not to be proud and suggest that they are of some importance and Israel is of no importance.
In these next two verses God makes it clear as a bell!
Romans 11:23-24 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
Again, if God has replaced Israel and taken all the blessings that were promised to Israel and given them to the Gentile Saints – (Church) , why does God refer to Jewish Tribes in Rev 14 – The 144,000 Jews — 12,000 from 12 Tribes becoming Saints?
No! God is not finished with the nation of Israel. He will keep His promises to Israel. If He doesn’t we have no assurance that He will keep His promises to us.
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