(Romans 9:1-5) “I am telling the truth in the Messiah, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from the Messiah for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Messiah according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”
A time is coming when Christendom is going to be split in two. The split will be over the status of Israel. Today Replacement theology is running rampant within the wider Body of the Messiah. Even professing evangelical churches are taking sides against Israel. Most of the main line denominations are moving away and distancing themselves from the nation of Israel. Since the time of Augustine (354 AD- 430 AD), who spiritualised the Millennium, set the benchmark for the theology that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel. Their reasoning is based on their assumption that because Israel as a nation are estranged from God that God has now turned his grace towards the Gentiles, hence we see the Church as now His people in the earth.
Those who promote replacement theology and reject Israel’s birthright to the Land of Israel are in fact going against what God has said in His Word. Added to this they do not understand the nature of God’s covenants. What does God say about Israel?
1. God chose the Jewish people to be His unique nation through the patriarch Abraham. (Genesis 12:1-3)
2. God promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit the land of Israel from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River and everything in between to be for them “an everlasting possession” and cut the blood covenant to seal the deal with Abraham which was to be an everlasting covenant. (Genesis 15:10-19; 17:7-8)
3. God promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore and that they would possess the gates of their enemies and that through Abraham’s offspring, the Messiah, salvation would be offered to the nations of the world. (Genesis 22:15-18)
4. God gave Israel their name through the patriarch Jacob when He wrestled with the Messiah who was in the form of a man before He became a flesh and blood human at His incarnation. (Genesis 32:22-30)
5. God said He would restore Israel as a nation in the last days even though Israel went into exile because of their disobedience and they would be re-gathered to the land again. After almost 2,000 years of exile in 1948 a nation was reborn in a day. (Isaiah 66:8) In the near future Israel as a nation will be spiritually restored because God never goes back on his covenant promises. (Ezekiel 36:17-37; 37:1-14) (Zechariah 12:10-14)
6. God established the City of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel through King David who called it the City of David and God chose to put His name in the Temple there forever on Mt Zion. It is the place where Yahweh, the God of Israel, dwells (Isaiah 8:18; 74:2), the place where He is king (Isaiah 24:23) and where He has installed his king, David (Psalm 2:6). It is then the seat of the action of Yahweh in history and the seat of the Messiah in His future millennial kingdom. See also: (2 Samuel 5:7-10) (2 Chronicles 7:16) (1 Kings 9:3)
7. God named the Land of Israel. It was never called Palestine by God, by the prophets, by the apostles or by the Lord Jesus Himself. The Bible calls the land Israel. The name Palestine was an invention of the Romans when they sought to divest the Jews of their ethnicity.
8. God Himself is going to judge the nations that will divide Israel and afflict His people Israel. He will fight and destroy the armies of those nations that will attack Israel in the future who have ransacked Jerusalem. (Joel 3: 1-3) (Zechariah 14:1-3)
9. God has ordained that when the Lord Jesus comes back He will reign over the nations and Jerusalem will be lifted higher in prominence over all of the other kingdoms. (Isaiah 2:1-5) Those who take a stand against Israel and their inheritance from the Lord being the land of Israel take their stand against the Word of God.
10. God said the land of Israel belongs to the descendants of Isaac, being the Jews, and not to the descendants of Ishmael, being the Arab nations. (Genesis 17:18-22)
There are multiple passages of scripture in the Old Testament that clearly reveal a Messianic age that is to come after this age where Israel will be the head and not the tail and that will be a blessing to the nations. The Bible passages relating to the Messianic Age to come are so literal that you have to do some kind of monkey tricks with the Biblical texts to spiritualise them away or in some way try to make them apply to the Church.
In the New Testament Paul had no such theology that did away with Israel as a nation. In the Book of Romans we are clearly told that Gentiles who believe in the Messiah for salvation are grafted into Israel. These wild branches, not ethnically Jews, are grafted in among the natural branches which are Jews who believe in the Messiah for salvation and it is the root, being the Messiah the true vine, that sustains the believing branches and causes them to bears spiritual fruit. (Romans 11:15-18) (John 15:1-8)
Jewish and Gentile believers are made one new man in the Messiah with the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile broken down by the atoning death of the Messiah. (Ephesians 2:11-22) If the Olive Tree (Israel) is gone so are the branches. All who believe are the spiritual descendants of Abraham, the father of faith. (Romans 4:11, 16-17) Believing Gentiles are by inclusion and extension a part of the Commonwealth of Israel and inherit the blessings of the new covenant made with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah, a covenant cut in the blood of the Messiah. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) (Luke 22:20)
At the end of this age after the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, also called the time of Great Tribulation, every surviving Jew will be saved. At present their hearts are still hardened by and large as a nation but it is a partial hardening which will be dissolved when they come to faith in the Messiah. In that day “All Israel will be saved!” (Romans 11:25-27) You see God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. (Romans 9:29) If God cannot be depended upon to keep His covenant promises to Israel then how can we depend on Him to keep His promises to us as the Body of the Messiah?
On the Day of Pentecost David’s fallen tabernacle was restored as prophesied in the Old Testament and God has always intended the Gentiles to be a part of Israel. (Acts 15:16-17) (Amos 9:11-12) Having said this in no way does it do away with God’s promise to spiritually and nationally restore Israel at the end of this age. He has shed covenant blood over this matter with Abraham the father of the Jewish nation. Their current national restoration is also partial but in the Messianic Millennial Kingdom to come they will be fully restored nationally.
From the time of Constantine the Gentile ‘Church’ or Western and eastern Orthodox Christendom started to Hellenise the scriptures and disassociate believing Gentiles from the Jewish roots of Biblical Christianity. In fact in the New Testament we see that the first assembly of believers were Jewish and that Gentile believers were received into the fellowships as spiritual descendants of Abraham along with the believing Jews. They were one new man and one new family in the Messiah but in no way did they lose sight of their Jewish roots or seek to remove themselves from true Biblical Judaism which is totally fulfilled in the Messiah, the true vine and the root of all the believing branches attached to the Olive Tree (Israel).
The Bible is a Jewish Book, written by Jews and to be understood and interpreted from the perspective of a first century Jewish believer. Denominations with their varying doctrines and man-made religious structures are man’s invention and were never intended by God. The first century Body of the Messiah did not disassociate itself from its Jewish roots. They all had the same doctrine which was the apostle’s doctrine and the believer’s gave themselves first and foremost to receiving it and living by it. (Acts 2:42) We have apostolic doctrine today in the New Testament. There was only one set of doctrine held in common by every Assembly of believers. Paul writes about this; “There is one body (the Body of the Messiah, the faithful Assembly of believers) and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-5)
The apostle Paul, a Messianic Torah obedient Jewish Rabbi, carried a burden for the salvation of the Jewish people and if we really love the Lord Jesus then we will love His brethren the Jewish people as well. To not love the Jews and to oppose their restoration to the land of Israel is to oppose God, to violate the covenant promises made to them sworn in the shedding of blood, and to oppose the Word of God.
A division is coming within the Body of the Messiah; it is a growing fissure but it will become a chasm. At the very end of this present age the only friends Israel will have in their time of deepest trial will be born again, blood washed, spirit filled Bible believers, who love God, love the Lord Jesus, move in the power of the Holy Spirit, who know their Bibles concerning Israel’s final restoration, and have a revelation of the sacredness of a blood covenant, who love the Word of God and love Israel!