Wednesday, February 5, 2014
This is a typical e-mail I receive from people who believe that God has not fulfilled His promises to Abraham:
I am wondering what your stand on the physical people and country of Israel is. From what I am reading in the Bible, I understand that all born again Christians are spiritual Israel. However, Romans chapter 9 and chapter 11 pertain to Israel according to the flesh and are still in the Bible. So are lots of Old Testament promises to the Ancient physical Israel. I do not see that accounted for in your writings. Is replacement theology your only stand? The Bible even in NT is clear that The Lord has a physical and a spiritual Israel to deal with. Would you direct me to a place where you clarify those things? Where are the Jews according to the flesh at the moment according to you?
Thank you - name removed for privacy
Thank you for writing and allowing me to explain this much misunderstood issue. You have correctly understood, in my opinion, that all born again people are Spiritual Israel. Whether they be Physical descendants of Abraham or not, they too become Spiritual Israel, as stated in Romans 11. Believer's are grafted in to Israel, which is likened unto an olive tree, and unbelievers are torn out. The only "Replacement Theology" I advocate is that God has replaced unbelievers with believers in Spiritual Israel (grafted in, torn out, also see Rom 11). Physical birth through Abraham means nothing, only faith and Spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ can bring salvation:
Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
I am not saying God cast away all "His" people (Rom 11:1), I am saying just as the sinner who refuses to accept Christ's sacrifice cannot be saved, neither can a physical descendant of Abraham be saved, but by accepting Jesus:
Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
This scripture makes it clear that if a physical descendant of Abraham dies without accepting Christ, they die in their sins, and there is no other covenant to save them. The Bible supports no dual covenant theology to save first the physical descendant of Abraham, aka, the children of Israel, then lastly, to the believer in Christ, aka Gentiles. In fact it explicitly states that it is a new and better covenant, offered first to the children of Israel, and rejected for the most part, and then taken to the Gentiles.
Heb 8:6 But now hath he (Jesus) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
You refer to promises not being kept, as of yet, to the physical seed of Abraham? You probably have overlooked or not understood the importance of the following scriptures:
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
And what of the children of Israel who did not obey and believe on Jesus Christ:
Act 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Jesus is the fulfillment of all promises to Abraham, He is also the fulfillment of the law and the prophets Col 2:14, Mat 5:17-18, Joh 19:30, He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (Rev 21:6). As for what of the people today who call themselves "Jews" or "God's Chosen People"? I do not believe they are physical descendants of Abraham, but, even if they were it would not matter, because, Jesus is the Seed of Abraham, and apart from Him, is only death.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
And finally what of the two Israel's? Not two Israel's, but two Jerusalem's, one above and one below. It is, as Paul first mentioned in an allegory, to explain the difference between the two covenants, one the law, Jerusalem below, which "gendereth to bondage" (Gal 4:24). The other, Jerusalem above, freedom and forgiveness for once and for all through the covenant with Jesus Christ, sealed with His shed blood at the cross.
Two Jerusalem's, one destroyed, as promised by the Lord, and did happen in 70 AD, never to be rebuilt again, at least by men (Act 7:48-49). And one we enter into Spiritually and await the New Jerusalem to come, from Heaven, not from ancient physical Israel:
Heb 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband
Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
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