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The Israel of God in Gal.6:16

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Quasar92, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter

    The purpose of this section is to present a dispensational view of Galatians 6:16, the only passage produced by all Covenant Theologians as evidence that the Church is the spiritual Israel, or that Gentile believers become spiritual Jews. The verse does not prove their case. The passage reads:

    "And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."

    The Book of Galatians is concerned with Gentiles who were attempting to attain salvation through the law. The ones deceiving them were Judaizers, who were Jews demanding adherence to the Law of Moses. To them, a Gentile had to convert to Judaism before he qualified for salvation through Christ. In verse 15 Paul states that the important thing for salvation is faith, resulting in the new man. He then pronounces a blessing on two groups who would follow this rule of salvation through faith alone. The first group is the “them,” the Gentile Christians to and of whom he had devoted most of the epistle. The second group is the “Israel of God.” These are Jewish believers who, in contrast with the Judaizers, followed the rule of salvation by faith alone. Covenant Theologians must ignore the primary meaning of kai [the conjunction which is usually translated “and”] which separates the two groups in the verse in order to make them both the same group.

    In a recent work, Dr. S. Lewis Johnson, former professor of Greek and New Testament Exegesis at Dallas Theological Seminary, has done a detailed study of Galatians 6:16. In his introduction, Johnson makes the following observation:

    In spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there remains persistent support for the contention that the term Israel may refer properly to Gentile believers in the present age . . . .the primary support is found in Galatians 6:16 . . .

    I cannot help but think that dogmatic considerations loom large in the interpretation of Galatians 6:16. The tenacity with which this application of “the Israel of God” to the church is held in spite of a mass of evidence to the contrary leads one to think that the supporters of the view believe their eschatological system, usually an amillennial scheme, hangs on the reference of the term to the people of God, composed of both believing Jews and Gentiles. Amillennialism does not hang on this interpretation, but the view does appear to have a treasured place in amillennial exegesis.

    In speaking of the view that the term refers to ethnic Israel, a sense that the term Israel has in every other of its more than sixty-five uses in the New Testament and in its fifteen uses in Paul, in tones almost emotional William Hendriksen, the respected Reformed commentator, writes, “I refuse to accept that explanation.” . . .

    What I am leading up to is expressed neatly by D. W. B. Robinson in an article written about twenty years ago: “The glib citing of Galatains 6:16 to support the view that ‘the church is the new Israel’ should be vigorously challenged. There is weighty support for a limited interpretation.” We can say more than this, in my opinion. There is more than weighty support for a more limited interpretation. There is overwhelming support for such. In fact, the least likely view among several alternatives is the view that “the Israel of God” is the church. [Toussaint and Dyer, Pentecost Essays, “Paul and ‘The Israel of God’: An Exegetical and Eschatological Case-Study” by S.Lewis Johnson, pp. 181-182. Quoted in William Hendriksen, Exposition of Galatians, New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1868), p. 247, and D. W. B. Robinson, “The Distinction Between Jewish and Gentile Believers in Galatians,” Australian Biblical Review 13 (1965): 29-48.]

    Johnson presents three views concerning this verse. Only the first insists that “the Israel of God” is the Church as a whole while the other two limit it to Jewish believers. The first view is described as follows:

    This first is the claim that “the Israel of God” is simply a term descriptive of the believing church of the present age . . . . The Israel of God is the body who shall walk by the rule of the new creation, and they include believing people from the two ethnic bodies of Jews and Gentiles [Ibid., p. 183].

    The basis for the first view is:

    The list of names supporting this view is impressive, although the bases of the interpretation are few and feeble, namely, the claim that the kai . . . before the term “the Israel of God” is an explicative or appositional kai; . . .and the claim that if one sees the term “the Israel of God” a believing ethnic Israel, they would be included in the preceding clause, “And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them” [Ibid., p. 184].

    Johnson rejects this view on three grounds. The first is for grammatical and syntactical reasons for which there are two [Ibid., pp. 187-188]. The first is that this view must resort to a secondary or lesser meaning of kai:

    It is necessary to begin this part of the discussion with a reminder of a basic, but often neglected, hermeneutical principle. It is this: in the absence of compelling exegetical and theological considerations, we should avoid the rarer grammatical usages when the common ones make good sense [Ibid., p. 187].

    Because the latter usage serves well the view that the term “the Israel of God” is the church, the dogmatic concern overcame grammatical usage. An extremely rare usage has been made to replace the common usage, even in spite of the fact that the common and frequent usage of and (kai) makes perfectly good sense in Galatians 6:16 [Ibid., p. 188].

    Second, Johnson points out that if Paul’s intention was to identify the “them” as being the “Israel of God,” then the best way of showing this was to eliminate the kai altogether. As shown earlier, this was exactly what Hendriksen wanted to do by leaving kai untranslated. The very presence of the kai argues against the “them” being “the Israel of God.” As Johnson notes, “Paul, however, did not eliminate the kai” [Ibid., p. 188].

    The second ground for rejecting this view is for exegetical considerations, which deals with context and usage. Concerning usage, Johnson states:

    From the standpoint of biblical usage this view stands condemned. There is no instance in biblical literature of the term Israel being used in the sense of the church, or the people of God as composed of both believing ethnic Jews and Gentiles. Nor, on the other hand, as one might expect if there were such usage, does the phrase to ethne (KJV, “the Gentiles”) ever mean the non-Christian world specifically, but only the non-Jewish peoples, although such are generally non-Christians. Thus, the usage of the term Israel stands overwhelmingly opposed to the first view.

    The usage of the terms Israel and the church in the early chapters of the book of Acts is in complete harmony, for Israel exists there alongside the newly formed church, and the two entities are kept separate in terminology [Ibid., p. 189].

    For those who would cite Romans 9:6 as evidence, Johnson shows that this verse is no support for such a view for the distinction is between Jews who believe and Jews who do not:

    Paul is here speaking only of a division within ethnic Israel. Some of them are believers and thus truly Israel, whereas others, though ethnically Israelites, are not truly Israel, since they are not elect and believing . . . No Gentiles are found in the statement at all [Ibid., p. 189].

    Even many Covenant Theologians have agreed with this view of Romans 9:6 and do not use it to support their view of Galatians 6:16. As for context, Johnson observes:

    On the contrary, the apostle is concerned with correcting the gospel preached to the Galatians by the Judaizers, particularly their false contention that it was necessary to be circumcised to be saved and to observe as Christians certain requirements of the law of Moses in order to remain in divine favor . . . The apostle makes no attempt whatsoever to deny that there is a legitimate distinction of race between Gentile and Jewish believers in the church . . . . There is a remnant of Jewish believers in the church according to the election of grace . . . . This approach fails to see that Paul does not say there is neither Jew nor Greek within the church. He speaks of those who are “in Christ.” . . . But Paul also says there is neither male nor female, nor slave nor free man in Christ. Would he then deny sexual differences within the church? Or the social differences in Paul’s day? Is it not plain that Paul is not speaking of national or ethnic differences in Christ, but of spiritual status? In that sense there is no difference in Christ [Ibid., p. 190].

    The third ground for rejecting this view is theological:

    . . . there is no historical evidence that the term Israel was identified with the church before A.D. 160. Further, at that date there was no characterization of the church as “the Israel of God.” In other words, for more than a century after Paul there was no evidence of the identification [Ibid., p. 191].

    Johnson’s summary concerning the rejection of the first view is:

    To conclude the discussion of the first interpretation, it seems clear that there is little evidence—grammatical, exegetical, or theological—that supports it. On the other hand, there is sound historical evidence against the identification of Israel with believing or unbelieving Gentiles. The grammatical usage of kai is not favorable to the view, nor is the Pauline or New Testament usage of Israel. Finally, . . .the Pauline teaching in Galatians contains a recognition of national distinctions in the one people of God [Ibid., p. 191].

    “the Israel of God” is the believing Jewish remnant within the Church. This is Johnson’s own view and is the common dispensational view. Johnson describes this view as follows:

    The second of the important interpretations of Galatians 6:16 and “the Israel of God” is the view that the words refer simply to believing ethnic Israelites in the Christian church. Does not Paul speak of himself as an Israelite (cf. Rom. 11:1)? And does not the apostle also speak of “a remnant according to God’s gracious choice” (cf. Rom. 11:5), words that plainly in the context refer to believing Israelites? What more fitting thing could Paul write, it is said, in a work so strongly attacking Jewish professing believers, the Judaizers, than to make it most plain that he was not attacking the true believing Jews? Judaizers are anathematized, but the remnant according to the election of grace are “the Israel of God.” . . .

    Perhaps this expression, “the Israel of God,” is to be contrasted with his expression in 1 Corinthians 10:18, “Israel after the flesh” (KJV), as the true, believing Israel versus the unbelieving element, just as in Romans 9:6 the apostle distinguishes two Israels, one elect and believing, the other unbelieving, but both ethnic Israelites (cf. vv. 7-13) [Ibid., p. 185].

    By: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

    Source: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org...d/israelaf.htm

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  2. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

    Bible Research > Interpretation > Galatians 6:16
    The Israel of God
    (Galatians 6:16)

    by Michael Marlowe, Dec. 2004.
    14 ἐμοὶ δὲ μὴ γένοιτο καυχᾶσθαι εἰ μὴ ἐν τῷ σταυρῷ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, δι᾽ οὗ ἐμοὶ κόσμος ἐσταύρωται κἀγὼ κόσμῳ. 15 οὔτε γὰρ περιτομή τί ἐστιν οὔτε ἀκροβυστία, ἀλλὰ καινὴ κτίσις. 16 καὶ ὅσοι τῷ κανόνι τούτῳ στοιχήσουσιν, εἰρήνη ἐπ᾽ αὐτοὺς καὶ ἔλεος, καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν Ἰσραὴλ τοῦ θεοῦ.

    14 But far be it from me to boast, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

    The proper interpretation and translation of the last phrase in Galatians 6:16 has become a matter of controversy in the past century or so. Formerly it was not a matter of controversy. With few exceptions, "The Israel of God" was understood as a name for the Church here. [1] The καὶ ("and") which precedes the phrase ἐπὶ τὸν Ἰσραὴλ τοῦ θεοῦ("upon the Israel of God") was understood as an explicative καὶ. This understanding of the grammar is reflected in the Revised Standard Version's "Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God," and in the New International Version's "even to the Israel of God." It is not necessary, however, to understand the καὶ as an explicative in order to get substantially the same sense. If it be regarded as an ordinary connective καὶ, as Marvin Vicent says, "The ὅσοι ['as many as'] will refer to the individual Christians, Jewish and Gentile, and Israel of God to the same Christians, regarded collectively, and forming the true messianic community." (Word Studies in the New Testament vol. 4, p. 180). So the rendering "and upon the Israel of God" (KJV and others) is acceptable enough, if it is not misunderstood. In any case, it seems clear that in this verse Paul cannot be pronouncing a benediction upon persons who are not included in the phrase "as many as shall walk by this rule" (the rule of boasting only in the cross). The entire argument of the epistle prevents any idea that here in 6:16 he would give a blessing to those who are not included in this group.

    The phrase has become controversial because the traditional interpretation conflicts with principles of interpretation associated with Dispensationalism. Dispensationalists are interested in maintaining a sharp distinction between "Israel" and "the Church" across a whole range of theological matters pertaining to prophecy, ecclesiology, and soteriology. They are not comfortable with the idea that here Paul is using the phrase "Israel of God" in a sense that includes Gentiles, because this undermines their contention that "the Church" is always carefully distinguished from "Israel" in Scripture. This is a major tenet of dispensationalist hermeneutics. C.I. Scofield in his tract, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (New York, Loizeaux Brothers, 1888) wrote, "Comparing, then, what is said in Scripture concerning Israel and the Church, [a careful Bible student ] finds that in origin, calling, promise, worship, principles of conduct, and future destiny--all is contrast." Likewise Charles Ryrie in his book Dispensationalism Today(Chicago, 1965) explained that the "basic premise of Dispensationalism is two purposes of God expressed in the formation of two peoples who maintain their distinction throughout eternity." (pp. 44-45).

    The traditional Protestant and Catholic approach to this matter is quite different, however, because in these traditions "Israel" is often interpreted typologically. The Church is understood to be a "Spiritual Israel," so that many things said in connection with Israel in Scripture are applied to the Church. For instance, the words of Psalm 122, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee," are understood as in Matthew Henry's commentary: "The peace and welfare of the gospel church ... is to be earnestly desired and prayed for." This is in keeping with the method of the apostles, as for instance in Galatians 4:26, where the apostle Paul speaks of "the Jerusalem that is above." Therefore when Paul speaks of "the Israel of God" in 6:16, the meaning of this expression is readily grasped. Rather than seeing a contrast, a deeply meaningful typological relationship is perceived.

    As a young Christian I attended a church where the Dispensationalist approach was taught, and I remember how it was frequently supported by the statement that in Scripture "the Church is never called Israel." Galatians 6:16 was explained as if the phrase "and upon the Israel of God" referred to a Jewish subset of those people who "walk by this rule," that is, the Christians of Jewish ethnic background as distinguished from those who are of non-Jewish background. Apparently this unqualified assertion that the Church is never spoken of as "Israel" continues to be important to dispensationalists, because in a recent article a prominent dispensationalist author calls it a "horrendous mistake" when "the Israel of God" in Galatians 6:16 is understood to include Gentiles. [2] There does not seem to be any reason for this interpretation aside from the desire of dispensationalists to exclude all typological interpretations and to defend their contention that "the Church is never called Israel."

    Aside from typological considerations, this dispensationalist explanation of the meaning of "The Israel of God" in Galatians 6:16 seems contrary to the tenor of the epistle, in which it is said that "in Christ Jesus ... there is neither Jew nor Greek." This is the central idea of the epistle, as expressed in the third chapter: "you are all one in Christ Jesus ... if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring" (3:26-29). Scofield himself acknowledged this when he wrote, "In the Church the distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears." This raises several questions. If "in the Church the distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears," as Scofield says, then why would Paul make such a distinction in 6:16? And if it is true that the Church is never called Israel in Scripture, and "all is contrast" between the two, then in what sense can Christians of Jewish background be called "Israel" any longer, if they are in the Church? If someone in the Church is being called "Israel," then the all-important distinction between Israel and the Church has been breached. If it is said that people of Jewish background may still be called "Israel" after they have become Christians, then it must be admitted that the strict terminological distinction between "Israel" and "the Church" has broken down at this point. Further, if it is said that only persons of Jewish backgound can be so called, then we may rightly ask what has become of the teaching that "In the Church the distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears"? Do we have a separate class of "Jewish Christians" who alone are entitled to the name "Israel of God"? If so, what is the significance of this? Are there two types of Christianity, two Churches? My own experience of dispensationalist teaching suggests to me that in fact this is the view held by many dispensationalists today: the idea is that there is a "Jewish" Christianity and a "Gentile" Christianity, and in some sense the "Jewish" Christians are thought to be more important and especially favored by God. [3]

    The older dispensationalist writers, such as Darby, Scofield, and Chafer, avoided some of these embarrassing questions and implications because their distinction between Israel and the Church was more consistent and more radical. Scofield believed that the Jews of the end times were to be saved according to the Law of Moses, with renewed animal sacrifices. His scheme of interpretation envisioned a time when the parenthetical "Church age" has ended and the Law of Moses is reinstituted for salvific purposes. After this change of "dispensations" people will be saved according to a different gospel, the "Gospel of the Kingdom." Paul's doctrine (called the "Gospel of the Grace of God") was no longer in effect. Paul's teaching on the unity of the Church did not apply because the Church has been "raptured" and is no longer in the earth, and God is no longer dealing with the Church. In this manner the distinction between "Israel" and "the Church" was upheld without denying the unity of the body of Christ. But it is difficult to speak of Scofield's "Israel" of the end-times as consisting of "Jewish Christians," because they are not in the Church, and they are not dealt with on the same terms as the Christians who are of the Church. They are "God's earthly people," according to Scofield, as distinguished from the Church, who are God's "heavenly people." They are the "wife of Jehovah" and not the "bride of Christ," and so forth. Such teachings of the classic dispensationalist theology rigorously maintained the distinction between "Israel" and "the Church." If this distinction is to be upheld in Galatians 6:16 then presumably the "Israel of God" must be taken as a reference to the eschatological Israel who are to be saved by a different gospel, after Paul's own gospel dispensation has ended. [4] But one rarely hears this kind of pure and radical dispensationalist teaching now. Today dispensationalists seem to be in a muddle, having moved away from consistency in distinguishing Israel and the Church. Israel may now be spoken of as a part of the Church, and so there is a special and privileged class of "Jewish Christians" within the body of Christ. [5]

    These features of dispensationalism raise many serious theological problems which I will not go into here. My main purpose here has been to show what notions are being brought to the text when a dispensationalist says it is a "horrendous mistake" to interpret Paul's "Israel of God" as a way of referring to the Church in Galatians 6:16. The dispensationalist complaint against the traditional understanding of Galatians 6:16 is, in my opinion, an example of sectarian "end-times prophecy" baggage being brought to the text, and it does not represent a serious attempt to understand the phrase in its context.

    Other agendas are at work among non-dispensationalist scholars who have argued against the traditional view. When I was a seminary student in the early 1990's one liberal professor's favorite topic was "anti-semitism" in the Church, and he was an outspoken opponent of evangelization of the Jews. This professor taught a course on the Pauline epistles in which he objected to the traditional interpretation on the grounds that it was anti-semitic. He maintained that in Galatians 6:16b Paul was blessing the nation of Israel, not appropriating the name "Israel" for the Church, nor even using the phrase "Israel of God" for Christians of Jewish background. In his opinion, Paul's statement should be read as an affirmation of the kind of religious pluralism that prevails in liberal circles. I am not aware of an exegetical commentary which adopts this very dubious view, but the HarperCollins Study Bible (1993) prepared by liberal scholars does have a note at Galatians 6:16 which reads, "Israel of God, the church as the true Israel ... or, alternately, the whole people of Israel." Although the annotator of Galatians here (indentified as Richard B. Hays of Duke University in the list of contributors) goes on to say "the argument of Galatians appears to support the former interpretation," the alternative he gives is not "Jewish Christians" but "the whole people of Israel." The pluralism and the opposition to Jewish evangelism I encountered at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is probably one reason for this, and also one reason why the New Revised Standard Version (1989) revisers inserted the word "and" before the RSV's "upon the Israel of God." Here again a good deal of baggage is being brought to the text, consisting of ideas which are completely foreign to Paul's gospel.

    It may be wondered whether some dispensationalists have also adopted the view that "the Israel of God" simply refers to Israel according to the flesh. As noted above, it would be entirely in keeping with the earlier dispensationalist writers to maintain that Paul is blessing Jews who are outside of the Church, as the "earthly people of God." The fascination with the secular state of Israel which is so characteristic of dispensationalists today has apparently led many of them to think that the restoration of the Jews as "God's people" has already occured, despite the fact that the Church has not been raptured and the Jews continue to reject Christ. Dispensationalists insist that this unbelieving Israel according to the flesh must be blessed by everyone. If this is the case, why indeed should Paul not be blessing them as the "Israel of God" in Galatians 6:16? But of course the premise is all wrong, because there is no blessing for those who reject Christ.

    In conclusion, I will state my opinion that the attempt to limit the meaning of "Israel of God" to the carnal sons of Judah betrays a fundamentally wrong approach to biblical interpretation, and to New Testament theology in particular. I give below some excerpts from writers whom I believe to be more in touch with the meaning of Paul's expression. Even in these authors I find, however, an insufficient appreciation of Paul's expression. "Peace be ... upon the Israel of God" is not so much a polemical or ironic usage directed against the Judaizers (Luther and Calvin) as a positive blessing and affirmation of the Church as the true spiritual Israel. It is a mistake to see bitterness in this blessing.

    Justin Martyr on "the true spiritual Israel" [6]
    Jesus Christ ... is the new law, and the new covenant, and the expectation of those who out of every people wait for the good things of God. For the true spiritual Israel, and the descendants of Judah, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham (who in uncircumcision was approved of and blessed by God on account of his faith, and called the father of many nations), are we who have been led to God through this crucified Christ.

    John Chrysostom on Galatians 6:15-16 [7]
    Observe the power of the Cross, to what a pitch it hath raised him! not only hath it put to death for him all mundane affairs, but hath set him far above the Old Dispensation. What can be comparable to this power? for the Cross hath persuaded him, who was willing to be slain and to slay others for the sake of circumcision, to leave it on a level with uncircumcision, and to seek for things strange and marvellous and above the heavens. This our rule of life he calls "a new creature," both on account of what is past, and of what is to come; of what is past, because our soul, which had grown old with the oldness of sin, hath been all at once renewed by baptism, as if it had been created again. Wherefore we require a new and heavenly rule of life. And of things to come, because both the heaven and the earth, and all the creation, shall with our bodies be translated into incorruption. Tell me not then, he says, of circumcision, which now availeth nothing; (for how shall it appear, when all things have undergone such a change?) but seek the new things of grace. For they who pursue these things shall enjoy peace and amity, and may properly be called by the name of "Israel." While they who hold contrary sentiments, although they be descended from him and bear his appellation, have yet fallen away from all these things, both the relationship and the name itself. But it is in their power to be true Israelites, who keep this rule, who desist from the old ways, and follow after grace.

    Martin Luther on Galatians 6:16
    Lectures on Galatians, 1519.[8] "Walk" is the same verb that is used above (5:25). "Walk," that is, go, by this rule. By what rule? It is this rule, that they are new creatures in Christ, that they shine with the true righteousness and holiness which come from faith, and that they do not deceive themselves and others with the hypocritical righteousness and holiness which come from the Law. Upon the latter there will be wrath and tribulation, and upon the former will rest peace and mercy. Paul adds the words "upon the Israel of God." He distinguishes this Israel from the Israel after the flesh, just as in 1 Cor. 10:18 he speaks of those who are the Israel of the flesh, not the Israel of God. Therefore peace is upon Gentiles and Jews, provided that they go by the rule of faith and the Spirit.

    Lectures on Galatians, 1535.[9] "Upon the Israel of God." Here Paul attacks the false apostles and the Jews, who boasted about their fathers, their election, the Law, etc. (Rom. 9:4-5). It is as though he were saying: "The Israel of God are not the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel but those who, with Abraham the believer (3:9), believe in the promises of God now disclosed in Christ, whether they are Jews or Gentiles."

    John Calvin on Galatians 6:16 [10]
    Upon the Israel of God. This is an indirect ridicule of the vain boasting of the false apostles, who vaunted of being the descendants of Abraham according to the flesh. There are two classes who bear this name, a pretended Israel, which appears to be so in the sight of men, and the Israel of God. Circumcision was a disguise before men, but regeneration is a truth before God. In a word, he gives the appellation of the Israel of God to those whom he formerly denominated the children of Abraham by faith (Galatians 3:29), and thus includes all believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, who were united into one church.

    William Hendriksen on Galatians 6:16 [11]
    Paul continues: 16. And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace (be) upon them and mercy, even upon the Israel of God. According to the preceding context, this rule is the one by which before God only this is of consequence, that a person places his complete trust in Christ crucified, and that, therefore, he regulates his life by this principle. This will mean that his life will be one of gratitude and Christian service out of love for his wonderful Savior. Upon those — all those and only those — who are governed by this rule peace and mercy are pronounced. Peace is the serenity of heart that is the portion of all those who have been justified by faith (Rom. 5:1). In the midst of the storms of life they are safe because they have found shelter in the cleft of the rock. In the day of wrath, wasteness, and desolation God "hides" all those who take refuge in him (Zeph. 1:2 ff.; 2:3; 3:12). See on 1:3. Hence, peace is spiritual wholeness and prosperity. Peace and mercy are inseparable. Had not the mercy of God been shown to his people they would not have enjoyed peace. God's mercy is his love directed toward sinners viewed in their wretchedness and need. See N.T.C. on Philippians, p. 142, for a list of over one hundred Old and New Testament passages in which this divine attribute is described.

    So far the interpretation runs smoothly. A difficulty arises because of the last phrase of this verse. That last phrase is: "kai upon the Israel of God." Now, varying with the specific context in which this conjunction kai occurs, it can be rendered: and, and so, also, likewise, even, nevertheless, and yet, but, etc. Sometimes it is best left untranslated. Now when this conjunction is rendered and (as in A.V., A.R.V., N.E.B.), it yields this result, that after having pronounced God's blessing upon all those who place their trust exclusively in Christ Crucified, the apostle pronounces an additional blessing upon "the Israel of God," which is then interpreted to mean "the Jews," or "all such Jews as would in the future be converted to Christ," etc.

    Now this interpretation tends to make Paul contradict his whole line of reasoning in this epistle. Over against the Judaizers' perversion of the gospel he has emphasized the fact that "the blessing of Abraham" now rests upon all those, and only those, "who are of faith" (3:9); that all those, and only those, "who belong to Christ" are "heirs according to the promise" (3:29). These are the very people who "walk by the Spirit" (5:16), and "are led by the Spirit" (5:18). Moreover, to make his meaning very clear, the apostle has even called special attention to the fact that God bestows his blessings on all true believers, regardless of nationality, race, social position, or sex: "There can be neither Jew nor Greek; there can be neither slave nor freeman; there can be no male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (3:28). By means of an allegory (4:21-31) he has re-emphasized this truth. And would he now, at the very close of the letter, undo all this by first of all pronouncing a blessing on "as many as" (or: "all") who walk by the rule of glorying in the cross, be they Jew or Gentile by birth, and then pronouncing a blessing upon those who do not (or: do not yet) walk by that rule? I refuse to accept that explanation. Appeals to the well-known "Eighteen petition prayer of the Jews," [12] to the meaning of the word Israel in other New Testament passages, etc., cannot rescue this interpretation. As to the former, Gal. 6:16 must be interpreted in accordance with its own specific context and in the light of the entire argument of this particular epistle. And as to the latter, it is very clear that in his epistles the apostle employs the term Israel in more than one sense. In fact, in the small compass of a single verse (Rom. 9:6) he uses it in two different senses. Each passage in which that term occurs must therefore be explained in the light of its context. Besides, Paul uses the term "the Israel of God" only in the present passage, nowhere else.

    What, then, is the solution? In harmony with all of Paul's teaching in this epistle (and see aslo Eph. 2:14-22), and also in harmony with the broad, all-inclusive statement at the beginning of the present passage, where the apostle pronounces God's blessing of peace and mercy upon "as many as" shall walk by this rule, an object from which nothing can be subtracted and to which nothing can be added, it is my firm belief that those many translators and interpreters are right who have decided that kai, as here used, must be rendered even, or (with equal effect) must be left untranslated. Hence, what the apostle says is this: "And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace (be) upon them and mercy, even upon the Israel of God." Cf. Psalm 125:5. Upon all of God's true Israel, Jew or Gentile, all who truly glory in the cross, the blessing is pronounced.

    O. Palmer Robertson on the Israel of God [13]
    [​IMG]The recognition of a distinctive people who are the recipients of God’s redemptive blessings and yet who have a separate existence apart from the church of Jesus Christ creates insuperable theological problems. Jesus Christ has only one body and only one bride, one people that he claims as his own, which is the true Israel of God. This one people is made up of Jews and Gentiles who believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

    The Centrality of Messiah and the Theological Direction of the Messianic Movement," Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism Bulletin 68, May 2002). Klett's phrase "immanentized the eschaton" is very apt, but he does not seem to realize that this confusion has for a long time been normal in popular Dispensationalism. In 1970, Hal Lindsey's book The Late Great Planet Earth showed it clearly enough. "Messianic Judaism" is more of an outgrowth than a cause of this confusion. The great majority of people involved in "Messianic Judaism" are not Jewish--they are mostly Gentile charismatics, who apparently have become so carried away with their end-times fantasies about the Jews that they have begun to play the part themselves. One well-informed source, Stan Telchin of the "Jews for Jesus" ministry, estimates that between eighty and ninety percent of the people involved in "Messianic Judaism" are Gentiles, and he complains that for all its emphasis on Jewishness the movement has failed to attract Jews. He tells of one Jewish woman who was repelled by the spectacle of Gentiles "worshipping the symbols of Judaism," searching their family histories for Jewish ancestors, and trying to observe the ritual commandments of the Torah like Orthodox Jews. She left this "Messianic" scene "filled to overflowing by the wanabees and the Pharisees" and joined an ordinary Christian church where Christ was the center of attention, not Judaism (Messianic Judaism is Not Christianity [Grand Rapids: Chosen, 2004], p. 82).

    1 Thessalonians 2:14-16.

    Jesus of Nazareth" in the Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 7, p. 170).

    New Testament Commentary: Exposition of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, reprint ed. 1995), pp. 246-7.

    The Israel of God: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Phillipsburgh, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 2000), p. 49.

    Bible Research > Interpretation > Galatians 6:16
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  3. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

    The problem here is to try and make Galatians 6:16 mean the nation Israel when it clearly doesn't.

    Jesus represents the "Israel of God" which Isaiah prophesied at Isaiah 49, and there it shows that Israel as well as the Gentiles are in view.

    Let's walk with Jesus and Paul and make sense of this:

    Jesus, (God's Servant Israel), makes it clear that clear in John 10 as He declares to the Pharisees who His people are. Particularly at John 10:11-17:
    11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
    12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
    13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.
    14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,
    15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
    16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
    17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.

    Jesus clearly makes no distinctions here...His people will be ONE FLOCK WITH ONE SHEPHERD. If Jesus makes no distinctions, where does this idea that God has two peoples come from? It comes from an erroneous theology.

    *Paul argues this in Romans 2, 3 and 4...and then he brings it home Romans 9, 10, and 11 also.

    *Paul makes the point in Philippians 3:2-3

    *Paul makes the point in Galatians 4:21-31

    * Peter argues this in 1 Peter 2:1-9

    NO...THE "ISRAEL OF GOD" is made up of all people who have had their hearts circumcised by Christ, which God clearly stated to Israel at Deuteronomy 10:6-7...which Paul makes clear in Romans 2:28-29:
    28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
    29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

    Those who try to make a difference in who "THE ISRAEL OF GOD" is, are clearly in error and making God a God of partiality...which scripture clearly declares HE IS NOT!!! God's Israel is ANYONE who comes to faith in Christ...and this is the error of those like Darby and Schofield in particular.

    Don't believe me...get in your word and check it out!!!

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  4. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

    New Zealand
    In Ephesians 2:11-22, Paul tells us that Christian believers are the true Israelites of God, also Galatians 6:16 He pointedly contradicts the dispensational assertion that God has different redemptive purposes for national Jewish Israel and for the church. According to Paul, the purpose of the New Covenant is to remove the ethnic distinctions between Jew and Gentile, which had been dividing them. Paul says that Jesus came to tear down the barrier wall which formerly divided the two, in order to make the two peoples into one so as to combine the Christian Jew and Gentiles together into the one living temple of the Lord: the Christian church. In this spiritual temple, Christ is the chief cornerstone, and the foundation is the prophets and apostles.

    Rapture believers will concede that this is God’s purpose for the present age, but they say ethnic Jewish Israel’s separate role resurfaces again after the Rapture when the Gentile church is removed from the earth. This dual redemptive purpose then carries on throughout the millennial age after Christ comes back. If true, this means that it is Jesus’ purpose to make the two peoples one is only temporary. John 17:22, Ephesians 4:4-6, Romans 2:11, +
    They think God intends to divide ethnic Jews from the Gentiles in a rapture to heaven of Christian believers.
    Of course, this is nonsense. In fact, such a view makes the future millennial age different from Christ’s redemptive purpose under the New Covenant. On these terms, the as yet future millennium means a return to Old Testament types and shadows and ignores the fact that the reality is Christ. This not only means that redemptive history takes a giant U-turn after Christ comes back, amounting to a reversal back to the Old Covenant which preceded the coming of the Messiah and it completely ignores the very thing Christ came to do: make the two peoples one by removing all ethnic divisions which previously divided believers!

    All Scripture; especially the Prophetic Word, must be read through a Christ centered hermeneutic, not the dispensational one that sees an ethnic Israel on earth and the ‘Church’ taken to heaven. No Bible verse says such a thing will happen.

    This truth destroys the ‘rapture to heaven’ theory. There is no separate Israel of God and His true Church.

    Jesus is the true Israel, the Olive tree and everyone He bought by His blood, people from every tribe, race, nation and language are His Christian followers and are God’s Israelites. 1 Peter 2:9-10, Revelation 5:9-10
    And the Lord’s people have the task of being His witnesses and displaying His Light to the nations. Escaping to heaven is simply impossible, John 3:13 and believing such fables is a serious error, that leaves people in the dark about the truth of God’s plans for our future.
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  5. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter


    The exegetical meaning of what Paul wrote in Gal.6:16, as to who the "Israel of God" is, simply referred to those Israelites who believed in Jesus. All of whom belonged to His one body of Christ, His Church, with the advent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, in Acts 2:1-3.

  6. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

    Whom can you cite in the historic true Christian Church that did not believe that it encompassed all within the Church irrespective of ethnicity?
  7. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

    That they have.

    I rest my case.

    Jude 3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
  8. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter


    As I previoudly rested mine in the OP.

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  9. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter



    We come now to something that is crucial and needs to be defined to understand the new covenant. Is the Church Israel? For if it is ,we are obligated to keep Sabbath day at least in a general sense. If the Church is not Israel then what sense would there be to keep the Sabbath. Scripturally we find the Church is not Israel the nation but a separate entity under an entirely new covenant. Israel is called the wife of Jehovah, while the Church is called the bride of Christ, showing distinctions in how God relates to each. The word Israel is always descriptive of the physical descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. It was Jacob who’s name was changed to Israel and had 12 sons that became that nation.

    Many transfer the promises and the covenants to Israel to the Church, but there is absolutely no reason to do this. The Church is not spiritual Israel. Look it up you’ll never find the term or concept in the Bible. There are only two verses that are used to validate this view, both are unsupported in their context.

    Gal.3:29 says that those who belong to Christ are Abraham’s seed. The seed of Abraham does not mean one is Israel. It Means those who are justified by faith are spiritual descendants of Abraham but this does not make them descendants of Jacob who is Israel. They partake in the spiritual blessings that come through Israel. While there are two different groups of people who can be descendants of Abraham one of which is the Arabs, they do not share in the promises of Jacob. Only Israel is descended from the physical posterity of Jacob.

    The other verse is Gal.6:16 where Paul is addressing both believing Jews and Gentiles in the church "As many as walk according to this rule (Gentile believers) and upon "the Israel of God." In its context this term means Jews who are believers, who believe salvation is by faith in Christ contrary to what the Judaizers were teaching that the law was needed also. Paul also addresses this in Rom.9:6-8 that there are two Israel's, one that consists of Jews and the elect, the true Israel which are the physical posterity and also have the faith of Abraham, they are the Israel of God mentioned in Gal.6. As Paul states, " for they are not all Israel who are of Israel." (Rom.9:6). There is also "Israel" after the flesh found in 1 Cor.10:18. The Church is never called spiritual Israel or is a new Israel replacing the old. Nor does it say believers become Jews. Both gentiles and Jews participate together in the New Covenant. as Eph 2 addresses the middle wall of partition being broken down and God makeing a new entity.

    In the N.T we have three terms used alongside each other, Israel, Gentiles and the Church. The Church consists of both believing Gentiles and Jews while Israel as a nation is in unbelief as are the Gentiles. The Church and Israel are two distinct groups and God has a different program for each. Both are brought in make up the body of Christ. The name Israel is used 20 times and the church 19 times in the book of Acts, both are kept distinct While there is no difference in salvation for both, Gods plans are different for each. In the book of Acts Israel and the church exist alongside each other, nowhere is the church called the new or spiritual Israel.There are certain areas the differences of Jew and gentile are erased but in all areas.Such as we becoming one in Christ all the same way 1 Cor.12:13 , according to the NT a Jew is one that is not only outwardly by the flesh but inwardly,this obviously can't be for a gentile so for a gentile. there is no such thing as a spiritual Jew from the inside only, but there is such a thing as spiritual gentiles.

    If you claim to be Israel then you were cut off according to Romans.11. And where the natural branch once was, God grafted in unnatural ones the Gentiles. It doesn't get any clearer. The teaching of God abandoning Israel the nation or replaced by the Church did quite well for almost 1,500 hundred years until he actually gave them back their land AND STARTED TO REGATHER THEM FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD JUST AS HE SAID HE WOULD. God said in Neh. 1:8 if you are unfaithful I will scatter you.' but he also said...

    Jer.30:18, 31:8 "Behold I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the ends of the earth."

    Isa.43:5 I will bring your descendants from the east and gather you from the west...

    It is a nation that is being gathered today for the tribulation, they are gathered first in unbelief until that fateful day where in Romans 11 Paul says they will all be saved after the fullness of the gentiles has come in. The Church is dealt with differently than the nation of Israel, God has a different plan for both.

    Source: Let us reason

    The Vine and the Branches

    1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
    2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesaso that it will be even more fruitful.
    3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
    4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
    5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
    6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
    7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
    8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
    9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
    10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
    11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
    12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
    13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
    14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
    15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
    16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
    17 This is my command: Love each other.

    From the Bible Dictionary Themes:

    2212 Jesus Christ, head of the church
    Jesus Christ rules and governs his people and directs them towards the fulfilment of God’s purposes. All power and authority within the church derive from Jesus Christ as the head.
    Jesus Christ rules the universe in the interest of the church

    Eph 1:22-23 See also Eph 1:10; Col 1:18

    All power and authority within the church derive from Jesus Christ as the head
    Jesus Christ is recognised as head of the church Eph 4:15 See also Eph 5:23; Col 2:19

    Within the church Jesus Christ alone rules with authority Mt 23:8-10 See also Jn 13:13; 2Co 4:5

    The church owes obedience to its head Jn 14:15 See also Jn 14:21,23; Eph 5:24; 1Jn 3:24

    All human authority in the church derives from its head Eph 4:11 See also Gal 1:1

    Jesus Christ is the cornerstone and builder of the church
    Eph 2:20-22 See also Mt 16:18; Ac 4:11; Ps 118:22; 1Pe 2:4-6

    Jesus Christ’s role as head of the church
    He loves the church Eph 5:25 See also Jn 10:11; Eph 5:2,23; 1Jn 3:16

    He cares for the church Rev 7:17 See also Jn 10:14-15,27-28; Jn 17:12; Eph 5:29-30

    He provides for the growth of the church Col 2:19 See also Eph 4:15-16

    He prays for the church Jn 17:20-26; Ro 8:34; Heb 7:25

    He judges the church Rev 2:23 See also Ro 14:10-12; 2Co 5:10; Eph 6:8

    He will present the church blameless before God Eph 5:27 See also 2Co 4:14; Col 1:22; Jude

    The teachings that the Church of Jesus Christ is Israel, or any part of Israel is a completely misconstrued heresy.

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  10. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

    2 Corinthians 3:3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
  11. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter


    Imagine how it would have been, had Jesus disciples given Him the one you are giving me in the above. The Holy Spirit does not give everyone ALL the gifts He gives to whom He will. Capiche?!

  12. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

    Your mistake is in assuming that God will not teach us as individuals. I know for a fact that he is completely able to chastise His children with or without a teacher. The scriptures are able to teach, correct, rebuke, exhort and train us. 2 Timothy 3:16
  13. Anguspure

    Anguspure Kaitiaki Peacemakers NZ Supporter

    New Zealand
    Paul addresses this pretty completely in his letter to the Romans:

    "Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

    I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

    If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either."

    Clearly the branches that do not continue in Him are cut off and other branches are grafted in as befits the purposes of the Gardner.

    As in grafted branches we, the wild olive shoots, become part of the same tree and in this tree: There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3)

  14. Brian Mcnamee

    Brian Mcnamee Well-Known Member

    God does not have two brides...maybe he does as Jacob labored for Rachael and got Leah instead and then had to labor another 7 years for the intended bride all along. The nation of Israel is made a covenant to Abraham's descendants as a one sided covenant as God alone passed through the sacrifices and consumed by fires and nothing was required of Abraham. The New covenant promised in Jer 31 gives the covenant it was replacing in the context and it is not the covenant made with Abraham for the land.
    1 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,[fn] says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

    Note this new covenant is replacing the covenant made in the day God took them out of Egypt.

    In psalm 105 the covenat made for the land of Cannan if reafffirmed as an everlasting covenant.

    O seed of Abraham His servant,
    You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
    7 He is the LORD our God;
    His judgments are in all the earth.
    8 He remembers His covenant forever,
    The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
    9 The covenant which He made with Abraham,
    And His oath to Isaac,
    10 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
    To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
    11 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    As the allotment of your inheritance,”
    12 When they were few in number,
    Indeed very few, and strangers in it.

    This dispensational view agrees that there is only one covenant for the forgiveness of sins and not a separate forgiveness based on being Jewish. Prophetically there is a destiny for national Israel to be brought under the new covenant through the events of the tribualtion and 2nd coming.

    here is Jer 3
    14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
    16 “Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,” says the LORD, “that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.
    17 “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.
    18 “In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers.

    On most of these discussions I point to ZEch 14 as this is the day that Israel is saved and it is the 2nd ocming of Jesus and the beginning of the 1000 year reign. Jer 3 is another passage that points to this day.

    The timeling of a final 7 years with the midpoint being the abominationof desolation is coming. The rapture is a side issue and the events will play out as written weather there is a rapture or not. The study of the illuminati and their affiliates, Masons, Jesuits, CFR, UN and many more point to a certain organized effort to bring in the exact kind of global goverment the dispensationalist see as being present for the Anti Chrst to take over in. The fact that Israel is the center with Jerusalem and the tempel mt also being exactly prepared to have the retrun of the daily sacrifices at the same time a oneworld government is rising is a lot of evidence in favor for things to play out as futurist see them. The standing back and saying the events of Revelation are past seems to be willingly ignoring the specifics scriptures detailing these events. I liken it to Noah's day when the ark was almost finished and the masses did not think it had any meaning. Now the Tempel Insititute has replicated everything necessary to resume the sacrifices. Hosea links the return of the sacriifce with the coming return of the kingdom.
    hosea 3
    4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days.
  15. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

    You know that Romans 4 totally annihilates this line of thinking? As I read your post I see you're almost there...but you took a wrong turn when it comes to Abraham. Particularly at Romans 4!

    I encourage you to read Romans carefully, Then read Hebrews 8...perhaps you'll get a fuller understanding.
  16. Devin P

    Devin P Well-Known Member

    United States
    The "Church" IS Israel. All we need to prove this, is Romans 11.

    Romans 11:1 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.

    Here we see that he is the seed of Abraham, but as he says in Romans 9

    Romans 9:6-9 - 6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That 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. 9For this is the word of promise,..."

    He is the seed of Abraham, but it's not the physical, literal seed he's referring to. He's referring to the spiritual seed, by being the seed of Abraham via faith.

    Romans 11:14-27
    14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
    15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

    He's referring to the Jews (verse 14), since he was born one himself. (verse 15) He's referring to them being casted aside and unmarried to the Father out of unbelief and their own arrogance as shown later in this passage.

    16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
    17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

    Here in verse 16, he's referring to the Savior, being the first legitimate fruit to come from this promise that the Father made with Israel. Making the point that the flesh, by the law, cannot be justified, aside from faith in our Father, and His Word. In verse 17, he's referring to natural Israel, and how it was broken off of that good olive tree because of a lack of faith, and instead, attempted to justify themselves by their works, instead of by trusting Elohim.

    18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
    19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
    20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
    21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

    18-21 is saying that, Israel was grafted out by a lack of faith, and you were only grafted in, because of your faith. Both were the works of Elohim, therefore, neither the ones grafted out, nor the ones grafted in have any right to boast, all is the glory of the Father, because none of these things were done apart from Him and his infinitely sovereign will.

    22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
    23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

    22-23, displays the mercy of the Father on those that love (believe and trust in) Him. 23, showcases the fact that the Jews, if they drop their arrogance and repent, and have faith not in themselves but in Elohim, that they once again, will be grafted back into the tree they once belonged to. The good olive tree, the tree that is of Israel. To deny this tree's connection to Israel, is to deny the fact that our Savior is the king of Israel. The jews, are that of circumcision, but those that are the Savior's aren't of the circumcision of the flesh, but of the heart. -----(Romans2:28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. 29 On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter.[a] That man’s praise[b] is not from men but from God.)-----

    24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert 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?
    25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

    24 is talking about why it's good for us NOT to get big headed by our salvation, taking it and making it about OUR "goodness" or OUR "ability", because if Elohim didn't even spare the natural, why would we think we'll be spared? When we by nature don't even belong? 25 is talking about the fulness of US, the gentiles. But, if you look back up in these verses, we see this is referencing something. What? (Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree)

    It's referring to our fulness, as in, what Yeshua said, He is the bread, the meat, and the water. The root sustains us. The root feeds us. The root, is why we are alive. We are alive in the Savior. That is our fulness. We've been off, running our own ways since the dawn of man essentially. He has brought us into Him, and now, instead of striving and working for our own fulfillment, we find it in the Word, and Elohim. Our fulness, is because of the root. Because of Yeshua, and our Father. No longer is our desire to be full, based on our own works, we now find it, through the Spirit of the Lamb.

    26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
    27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

    This, is a small chapter that supports this. It's not as the comments prior have stated. It's not a misreading into the scriptures. It's truth, and it's supported by so many verses. Not to mention, there's more in Romans 11.

    Romans 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.

    Does our gospel that is accepted by the majority today make the Jews jealous? No. They think we're bamboozled by a false messiah. Do you know what gospel WOULD make them jealous? The realization, through scripture, that we are part of Israel now. What else would we have to boast about? Boast about what? That we're saved through faith, and them works? No. The fact that we claim to be Israel, and can back it up with scripture, THAT is what is supposed to make them jealous. Not that we should boast, as this whole chapter warns against, but the way the current "gospel" preaches things, there's no way for this scripture to be fulfilled. None whatsoever. Not only that, but today's approach to scripture, leaves many inconsistencies that just don't add up. Faith without works being dead, is one of them. Looking at it from this way, there are no inconsistencies. Because, as Abraham was saved by faith, He still kept the Father's laws, or as it's better translated (instructions) - Genesis 26:4-5

    We are Israel, if you believe in the Savior. Otherwise, Galatians 3:28 makes no sense. There is no difference between Jew, nor Gentile (greek and their paganism we are still influenced by today) in the faith on our Savior. Why is there no difference? Because we are one. We are Israel, and are to obey the instructions of the Father. Not FOR salvation, but as a sign of our salvation. Just as Jews are to, but they are not having faith in the Father for their salvation, they are having faith in the law.

    That is how we become one. The key, is in faith, but our path, is to be walked by the instruction of the Father. It's something we will break, but we strive not to, because it's written on our hearts, and it's something we desire to keep, even though we'll never be able to. Does this mean we are circumcised? Not by means of the flesh, but by means of the heart, and therefore, the spirit.
  17. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

    This doesn't prove the church is Israel Devin. You're making the same mistake many make in not understanding that Israel is the church.

    Christ started His church with 12 Apostles, of which one (Matthias), replaced Judas. They were all Jews as well as the many that were saved at the preaching of Peter's 1st sermon in Acts 2. The Church started in Jerusalem.

    After the stoning of Stephen the persecution scattered the church into Judea and Samaria, as Acts 8:1-2 says.

    What you're saying above is correct when it comes to ethnic Israel for the most part because they are mostly in unbelief. You can know this because Paul makes the distinction by saying "a remnant" will be saved. However no where is he making the case that the church replaced Israel because Paul sums up Romans 11 clearly showing the Gentiles and Jews that trust Christ are one olive tree because they have been grafted together. Finally, Paul makes the point that "it is in that way that ALL Israel shall be saved.

    Understand there is Israel according to the flesh...and Israel according to the Spirit.
  18. Devin P

    Devin P Well-Known Member

    United States
    I never said that the church replaced Israel. That's nowhere in scripture. I'm saying that because of faith, we've been grafted in, because that's what the bible says. There is one Israel, Jews and Gentiles are both a part of it. The root of Israel is the Savior, and in our Savior there is no distinction between Jew, or Gentile, all are one. Not, all are one, plus, the gentiles. No, all are one. Even our Savior Himself says He was only sent for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 15:24.
  19. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

    New Zealand
    Literal Israel and Spiritual Israel

    Throughout the New Testament, as well as in some prophecies of the Old Testament, the Bible makes a transition from literal Israel to spiritual Israel. Hosea 2:23, Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 3:29; Romans 9:8

    In Revelation 12:1-17, we find this transition from literal to spiritual Israel in the prophetic language of symbols. In verse 2, the symbolic woman is pregnant. Her child is Jesus who was born a Jew in the land of Judah. In verse 4 the dragon/Satan seeks to destroy the child Jesus when He is born. This was fulfilled by Herod: Matthew 2:13-16. In verse 5 the child is caught up to God in heaven, representing the resurrection of Christ.

    As the prophecy progresses in verse 6, the woman no longer represents ethnic Israel but has now transitioned to spiritual Christian Israel: fleeing from persecution during the prophesied 42 months of the Great Tribulation. Verses 7-12 describes the victory gained over Satan by Jesus’ death on the Cross and how Satan and his angels are finally thrown down to the earth, for the 42 month period before Jesus physically Returns.

    Then, in verse 13 the woman is again brought to view, being persecuted by Satan. In verse 14 she is given wings of an eagle so as she can escape. Verses 6 and 14 present a major prophetic transition to God’s people. Both the woman and her place have changed from ethnic Israel in the Middle East to spiritual Israel and the new place God has prepared for her. Note that some Christians remain: verse 17 and Satan persecutes them. They are the ‘many’ that agreed to the 7 year treaty of peace with the Anti-Christ, Daniel 11:32a and do not go into exile: Zephaniah 14:2

    It is important to understand three truths outlined in the prophecy and confirmed both in the New Testament and in the history of the church:
    After the death of Christ, the Israel of God, transitioned from literal Israel to spiritual Israel. From an ethnic people to all peoples. 1 Peter 2:9-10
    1. God’s faithful people: the woman, are moved from the holy Land to a place of safety on earth, given to her by God, to avoid the Great Tribulation.
    2. The new Israel of God: all true Christians, are the focal point of the New Testament and the inheritors of God’s promises to ancient Israel.
    Thinking that God still has a plan to redeem ethnic Israel; the Jewish people, conflicts with many prophesies that say how Judah will be judged and only a remnant will survive. It is Christians, from every race, nation and language who are God’s true, righteous people. Galatians 6:16; the Overcomers [Israelites] of God.
    The ‘woman’ in the latter part of this prophecy represents spiritual Israel: all faithful believers in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28; Romans 2:28-29

    Revelation 12 presents us with a prophetic outline of God’s Christian people in the symbolic form of a woman. In the first part of Revelation 12, the woman is the literal House of Judah located in Palestine, The latter part of the same prophecy makes use of the same symbols that took literal Israel on their journey to Caanan; to now describe the journey of the woman, the Christian Israelites of God, to a safe place on earth where they can worship Him in safety, until the 1260 days of the Great Tribulation have passed. Ref: James Rafferty
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  20. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter