(Thoughts on Ephesians 2:12)
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is a remarkable book, one that is full of wonderful expressions of truth. In the first three chapters Paul lays out, in glorious fashion, the riches of the grace we have in Christ. His adoration for the gospel just keeps spilling out, and he even gets long-winded (in a good way) as he does so. Take a look at some of his gospel-saturated, lengthy sentences which span several verses at a time (e.g. 1:7-10, 1:15-21, 3:14-19). Some of the most magnificent portrayals of the New Covenant are found in this book.
With this in mind, it’s amazing to consider that today there is a popular teaching insisting that the New Covenant which Paul describes here in Ephesians and elsewhere is NOT the same New Covenant which was foreseen by the Old Testament prophets (e.g. Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:26-27). This is despite the fact that the author of Hebrews quotes from Jeremiah’s prophecy and explicitly states (Hebrews 8:6-13) that this New Covenant had been established in his own time (i.e. in the first century AD). The “problem” seems to be that Jeremiah and Ezekiel addressed their prophecies to “the house of Israel.” Dispensationalism and Christian Zionism are notoriously unwilling to acknowledge that the Church IS spiritual Israel, and their proponents often have harsh words for those who believe this. Shortly we will see that Ephesians 2:12, being just one such example in the New Testament, does not allow their position to stand.
[Please bear with this brief explanation before we get back to looking at Ephesians. Prior to Progressive Dispensationalism taking root in western Christianity within the last few decades, Classic Dispensationalists like H.A. Ironside, Charles Ryrie, Dwight Pentecost, and John Walvoord claimed that the Old Testament never foresaw the coming of the Church age, and that God will one day bring an end to the Church age and resume His program with national/ethnic Israel. This was the teaching of John Nelson Darby, who founded this theological system in the 1830’s, and of C.I. Scofield, who published his famous reference Bible in 1909. These men and others also taught (or teach) that the New Covenant is reserved for a future millennium period! Consider the following statements regarding Jeremiah’s prophecy of a coming New Covenant:
 “This covenant must follow the return of Christ at the [yet future] second advent… This covenant will be realized in the [yet future] millennial age… the new covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 must and can be fulfilled only by the nation Israel and not by the Church” (Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, 1958).
 “…the new covenant is with Israel and the fulfillment [will be] in the millennial kingdom after the second coming of Christ… the new covenant as revealed in the Old Testament concerns Israel and requires fulfillment in the millennium kingdom” (John F. Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom, 1959).
 “The Church, then, is not under the new covenant…it is Israel which is God’s covenant people” (Harry Ironside, Notes on the Prophecy of and Lamentations of Jeremiah, 1906).
One proposed solution by more recent Progressive Dispensationalists is that there are two new covenants (!) in Scripture, one for the Church (now) and one for national/ethnic Israel (later). This belief seems to be true for those who would affirm that the Church presently lives in the New Covenant (and experiences the taking away of sin), but who also assert that Romans 11:26-27 (“And in this way all Israel will be saved…and this will be My covenant with them when I take away their sins”) will only be fulfilled in the future for ethnic Jews. This belief doesn’t stand up either, as we will see. For a much fuller treatment of the implications of this facet of Dispensationalist teaching, please see the first half of this post from our series on Revelation 20.]
Having expressed these thoughts, let’s now look at a very pivotal section in Ephesians 2, verses 11-22. I don’t want to take anything away from the very valuable things Paul expresses earlier in this chapter, and in fact verse 11 begins with “therefore,” meaning that what Paul says next is based on what he has just said earlier. So here’s a quick summary of the first half of the chapter: Paul reminds the believers in Ephesus that they were once dead in their sins (verses 1-3), but that God in His mercy and love had made them alive in Christ (verses 4-5). They are now seated with God in Christ in heavenly places (verses 6-7). It was not by any works of their own that they were saved, but only by grace through faith. Their salvation was a gift from God, and they were created anew for the purpose of walking in good works (verses 8-10). With this as context, here’s what Paul says in verses 11-22:
11Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once werefar off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18Forthrough Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
It would certainly be profitable to break this passage down verse-by-verse, and there are so many rich truths here, but I’d like to mainly zero in on verse 12 which is highlighted above. First, we should note that Paul is specifically addressing Gentile believers (verse 11), that is, non-Jewish followers of Christ. One of his reminders to them is that they were once “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel.” By speaking this way, Paul clearly indicates that they are now part of “the commonwealth of Israel.”
There is simply no getting around the idea that Gentile (non-Jewish) believers are part of God’s people, Israel, here in Ephesians 2:12. And make no mistake about it, Jewish believers are part of this same covenant people of God, but no more so and no less so: “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him” (Romans 10:12); “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). There are no spiritual blessings which are available for males but not for females, nor are there any spiritual blessings which are available for Jews but not for non-Jews. Does Scripture leave us any room to believe that a future age will come along and change this reality? No, it does not.
In Ephesians 2:12 Paul also reminds His believing Gentile audience that they were once “strangers to the covenants of promise.” Again, by speaking this way, Paul clearly indicates that they are now recipients of “the covenants of promise” which were made to Israel. In the next chapter, Paul explicitly defines the mystery of Christ (which had been kept hidden in generations past) as the joining together of Jewish and non-Jewish believers in the partaking of the promise in Christ through the gospel: “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Eph. 3:6). In Galatians 3 Paul likewise declares that all the promises were made to Abraham and his offspring. He then defines Abraham’s “offspring,” contrary to what many might expect, as singularly Christ (Gal. 3:16). He finally adds that those who belong to Christ—with zero regard for ethnicity, gender, or status (Gal. 3:28)—are heirs of those promises (Gal. 3:29). So Paul says here in Ephesians 2 exactly what he also says in Galatians 3.
With these things established, can it be possible that any Old Testament covenants or promises are yet to be fulfilled for ethnic Jews only? Can Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Ezekiel 36:26-27 (which promised a coming New Covenant) be awaiting a fulfillment which Gentile believers will have no part in? No. Such an idea does great violence to all that Paul argues in Galatians, Ephesians, and elsewhere. Those who are still looking for such a covenant to arrive are about 2000 years too late, and far too narrow in their view of to whom this covenant belongs. The New Covenant is already here, and the heavenly Jerusalem is already a reality for God’s people (Hebrews 12:22-24).
I also highlighted Ephesians 2:19 because Paul refers to the Church as “the household of God,” very similar to the way he calls the Church “the household of faith” in Galatians 6:10. It would seem that these phrases are a New Testament equivalent to the oft-used expression in the Old Testament, “the household of Israel,” used by both Jeremiah and Ezekiel as we have seen. As mentioned near the beginning of this post, it seems that Dispensationalists and Christian Zionists tend to trip up over the Old Testament phrase, “the household of Israel,” because they are somehow convinced that the promises made to ancient Israel must only be fulfilled among their physical descendants.
However, we must let Scripture interpret Scripture. First, how often did Jesus and the apostles make the point that being able to physically trace one’s self to Abraham means nothing? Observe what Jesus said in John 8 to the Jews of His day who appealed to Abraham as their father, and observe whom Jesus said was their father instead. Observe what Paul says in Romans 9:6-8, “…For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring… This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.” Here Paul equates being a part of Israel with being a child of God. In this New Covenant age, then, can you be a child of God and not be a part of Israel? (Of course, I’m not referring to that nation in the Middle East which happens to bear this same name. By “Israel,” I mean God’s covenant people.) In Romans 2:28-29, Paul further says that “no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly…a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart…” In Galatians 6:15-16, Paul declares that only a new creation counts for anything, and then pronounces peace and mercy upon “the Israel of God.” If, despite the evidence above, you are one of the many who believe that Paul’s use of this phrase, “the Israel of God,” must refer only to Jewish believers, please examine this very well-written and informative article by Michael Marlowe.
Secondly, an honest appraisal of the New Testament will show that the inspired writers of the NT clearly apply many specific promises once made to ancient Israel to the Church, the body of Christ. Shall we rebuke them for promoting the allegedly false teachings of “replacement theology”? As we have seen above, the NT authors also declare that the Church is no longer alienated from ANY of the promises and covenants, because they are recipients of ALL of them. They are all found in Christ, but they are not to be found outside of Christ. Again, Jews are not left out, for a remnant from among them would call out to the Lord and be saved (they have done so throughout the last 2000 years). Paul makes this clear (see Romans 11:1-6, where he uses himself as an example).
Let’s look again at what Ephesians 2:12 says: “[R]emember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise.” What is “the commonwealth of Israel”? What is it not? As we consider how we are not alienated from this entity, if we try to replace this phrase with “national Israel” or “ethnic Jews,” we’ll see that this doesn’t work. If you are a non-Jew (ethnically speaking), can you say that because of Christ you are now fully integrated into the political nation of Israel? Or can you say that you are very much a part of the worldwide ethnic Jewish community? No, but I believe you’ll find that this explanation given by Albert Barnes in 1834 makes sense:
“Being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel – …This means more than that they were not Jews. It means that they were strangers to that ‘polity’ …or arrangement by which the worship of the true God had been kept up in the world, and of course were strangers to the true religion. The arrangements for the public worship of Yahweh were made among the Jews. They had his law, his temple, his sabbaths, and the ordinances of his religion; see the notes at Romans 3:2… The word rendered here as ‘commonwealth’ – πολιτεία politeia – means properly ‘citizenship,’ or ‘the right of citizenship,’ and then ‘a community,’ or ‘state.’ It means here ‘that arrangement or organization by which the worship of the true God was maintained.’”
Indeed, Paul says this of his own “kinsmen according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3),
“They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 9:4-5).
Paul, who agonized over his own people so much that he could have wished himself “accursed and cut off from Christ” (verse 3) for their sake, yet affirms to the Gentile believers in Ephesus that they were present heirs of all the promises and covenants which were articulated to the commonwealth of Israel in times past. All alienation had ceased. It hasn’t resumed since then, it hasn’t resumed in our day, and it won’t resume in the future. It’s gone because of the work of the cross, and that alienation is gone forever. Please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you are a follower of Christ, it doesn’t matter what your ethnic background is. You are a full-fledged member of the commonwealth of Israel, and all of God’s promises are yours through Jesus Christ.
35 thoughts on “No Alienation from the Commonwealth of Israel”
another excellent post…
Christ was slain from b4 th founation of th world…who did He lay His life down fa? His Bride [outta His side flowed blood & water–Spirit & Truth; same as th woman came outta man], we are th nation of God…chosen, holy, peculiar, th ppl built by Christ [fulfilled law & prophets & finished th Father’s work] alone…
i do think one reason fa this confusion is th badly translated eklessia (why we cant jus say called out instead of church???)…thruout scripture (which testifies of Christ), God’s ppl have ALWAYS been called out…moses, abraham, samuel, paul, john th baptist, isaac, jacob, they were called outta th physical nation that generally claimed to be chosen and His,,,
we be grafted in, so must anyone who is His; we be born of th Spirit, so must anyone who is His; theres no gettin around th truth…th one who was known as th passover lamb in th OT is th same who is builder of th nation that belongs exclusively to God (th definition of son in hebrew is th builder of th family name…in th OT there was only one such nation who belonged to and knew God, which God Himself chose and pruned and planted…its th same today…one nation…called out, born of th Spirit (once prophesied (seen) as those born of th household of abraham [faith] (by promise not by flesh) are still born of th Spirit [household of faith], by promise [th prophecy of God is th promise of God] not by flesh…
th blood of th lamb on th doorposts in egypt, is th blood of Christ & th door is Christ [th narrow gate] & th lamb is Christ…so we see in steps in th OT, a complete thang…Christ IS th lamb, th blood & th doorway we enter in by…th children of israel entered in [leaving their homes in egypt] to a new place, thru a door with th blood of a sacrificed lamb…here was prophecy of what Christ finished…
th more th Lord revals Himself in me, th more aware i become that Hes sayin th same thang over and over…and all of it is Christ…
really enjoy your blogs…
Thank you, DesertVoice and Truthspeaker, for your kind words. I’m glad you were blessed by this post. “…and all of it is Christ.” Amen.
Great post Adam!!
The New Covenant is already here, and the heavenly Jerusalem is already a reality for God’s people (Hebrews 12:22-24).
YES, YES, YES!!
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So refreshing to read a post like this, where the clear teachings of scripture are allowed to say what they really say!
I too get so frustrated with the unjustified characterizations of so-called “replacement” theology… When I began reading through the Bible on my own a few years ago, the numerous verses which speak to this whole issue, (which you refer to in your post) convinced me that this whole idea of there being two “parallel” covenants, (one for the Church, another for the Jewish people), was simply false…
Even John the baptist spoke to this issue… “We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Praise God that we are grafted in to His People and His Covenant. We know that His Kingdom is an eternal one, and that we don’t need to get wrapped up in the political confusion of fighting over the land in Palestine… Good stuff!
D, praise God indeed that He has granted us the privilege of being part of His people. Thanks for your good feedback, and I’m glad that you found this post refreshing. There is one covenant, not two. Amen.
Excellent, Excellent Post Adam! KEEP EM COMING… 🙂
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Thanks, Seroled! May the Lord bless you richly today.
Hi! This topic really seems like a no brainer when we read these New Covenant scriptures, but it is so complicated for some…interesting…and then when I think about the Jewish people, Natanyahu when he was speaking with some TV journalist a month or so ago and the movie Ushpizin (Adam, I mentioned it to you…great movie…My favorite right now… Ushpizin means The People, jewish subtitled)and many others, that seem to have a very deep relationship with God and total dependents on Him…but is it Him? With out Jesus? I know that is a scarey question…but one that comes to my mind frequently and I just had to ask! Can it be that it is just “a partial hardening until the fullness of the Gentiles”? And what about Eph. 4:13 ” until we all atain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of the Son of God”…how does that fit or does it?
What I know is that Jesus said He is the ONLY way to the Father – “…No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). If Netanyahu and other seemingly devout Jews haven’t trusted in Jesus and His finished work on the cross, then what may appear in some respects to be a relationship with God is a mirage. Either that or Jesus made a false claim, and we know that He didn’t. This is a strong response on my part, but at the same time I think I know what you’re feeling. I lived among Muslims in Malaysia for more than five years. Some of my friends appeared to be very devout, faithful, to have a grasp on a lot of good spiritual truth, etc., and I could have fallen into the trap of believing that they were doing just fine without Jesus. Yet, if the Bible is clear about anything, there is no eternal life outside of Jesus. The New Testament doesn’t make an exception for Jews, despite what John Hagee and others have said or implied.
As for the partial hardening until the times of the Gentiles are/were fulfilled, I’d encourage you to read this very thought-provoking article by Mike Blume:
There’s one thing he said toward the end of this article that I’m probably not on board with, but his tying together of Romans 11:25, Luke 21:24, and Revelation 11:2 is excellently done, in my opinion.
Ephesians 4:13 is addressed to the body of Christ (see verse 12). So I’ll just say that I don’t believe it fits for anyone who remains outside of Christ’s body, as do unbelieving Jews (and unbelieving non-Jews).
I managed to find a way to watch “Ushpizin” for free, and I’ll do that as soon as I get a chance.
Awesome! I totally agree with everything you say…I just sometimes wonder…so close and yet so far away. Let me know what you think of Ushpizin when you see it! And I will check out mikeblume. Thank you! val
Adam, I agree completely with your main point, that the Church IS the true Israel of God, and that one’s physical birth or heritage does not matter to God. The idea that God still has or will renew a covenant with ethnic Jews, apart from obedience to Christ, is just patently false.
At the risk of derailing the comments here, I do want to take issue with one thing you said, in reference to Ephesians 2:8-10, “It was not by any works of their own that they were saved, but only by grace through faith. Their salvation was a gift from God, and they were created anew for the purpose of walking in good works (verses 8-10).”
In Ephesians 2:8-10, Paul is not saying they were saved apart from any works (as in obedience) on their part. What he IS saying is that they were saved apart from keeping any of the works of the Law of Moses. This passage is not about faith vs. obedience, but faith in Christ vs. works of the Law of Moses. The overwhelming context of Ephesians 2 & 3 is dealing with the Gentile controversy. Can a Gentile, who remains uncircumcised, still be saved? Many would say no, but Paul (and the Gospel) said yes!
Paul isn’t saying that the (Gentile) Christians in Ephesus were saved apart from any works, that is, apart from any obedience, because faith itself is a work, an act of obedience (in John 6:26-30, Jesus Himself teaches that faith is a work that we are to do to receive the gift, to receive what we did not earn). Compare Ephesians 2:8-10 with Galatians 6:12-16, 2:11-20, Romans 3:19-20, 3:27-30. Notice they are all, in context, talking about faith in Christ vs. works of the Law of Moses (especially circumcision).
In Romans 4, when Paul says Abraham was saved apart from works, the context is the works of the Law of Moses and circumcision, which is what “works” refers to there. That Ephesians 2:8-10 is speaking to physical circumcision is confirmed by the fact that Paul launches right into circumcision in the very next verse, Ephesians 2:11. All of the hoopla raised about faith vs. works is based on a total misreading of Scripture in its context.
Faith can never be apart from obedience, because to believe is to choose to believe, and choosing is an act, an act of obedience since God has commanded that we believe in Christ. Thus there is no contradiction between Paul and James, because Paul spoke of works (of the Law of Moses), whereas James spoke of works as in obedience.
So, “Paul clearly indicates that they are now part of “the commonwealth of Israel.” Yet Paul does not emphatically say this. In fact the text tells us, “remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once werefar off have been brought near by the blood of Christ”. It does not say the Church is Israel in any form, neither does it say we are made near to Israel, but NEAR to the COMMONWEALTH of Israel. Australia and Canada are commonwealth countries but they are not the same countries, they share various benefits under their separate constitutions under the crown.
Through Christ who is the SEED of Abraham both Jew and Gentile are united in the Church and become one in possessions and position. We become one body not one Nation. Our relation to Abraham is that he is the father of faith and we who believe are accounted righteous without the law as was Abraham. He is the root of the olive tree into which all believers are grafted in by faith. No where in the Scriptures is Israel called the Church nor is the Church called Israel. The Church benefits from all the covenants made to Israel through the Seed (Christ), but we were not promised a prince David to rule over us, nor a land that stretches from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates. These are all for Israel as a Nation.
The basis of Paul’s teaching in Romans 11.:25 -27 “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. 26And 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: 27For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins”.
It is via this New Covenant that we Gentiles can even be made somewhat close to these promises. We participate in having a new heart through faith in Christ’s substitutionary work for the entire world. Having faith in the promised Seed of Abraham we Gentiles are drawn close to all the covenants of promise to Israel. However this does in no way make us Israel. Our blessing does not come from being “Israel” in any form but being in the Seed of Abraham, Christ.
So what about the scripture that tells us that we (Jew & Gentile) are made one?
“ 14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby”.
Notice it does not say that Saved Gentiles are made spiritual Israelites, or that Jews are made spiritual Gentiles; but in Christ both are made one new man, one body which obviously is the Church.
So what about Galatians 3:28 then you may ask?
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”.
The key to this verse is the phrase “in Christ Jesus”. The teaching Paul was presenting to the Galatian Christians was that they were saved by faith in Christ by the Holy Spirit and not by the works of the law. V2&3 “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Being an “Israelite” in any way added nothing to what they already had in the Spirit in Christ Jesus.
Notice what Paul states in v.13&14: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”. (Emphasis mine)
Then to make his point even clearer Paul the saved Jew makes this statement: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus”.(Emphasis mine).
To whom was Paul speaking? He was speaking to Gentile Christians at Galatia who were being wooed by the Judaisers to fulfill the law. As a saved Jew, did Paul say that Gentiles become “spiritual Israel” here? No!
In fact Paul states clearly to these Gentile Christians, “For ye all are the children of God.”
Then comes verses 27& 28 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”.
Those who have been immersed into (the body of) Christ have clothed themselves with Christ. Now the Key words being “in Christ” here is the interpreting phrase of verse 28. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile. In Christ there is neither bond nor free. In Christ there is neither male nor female. For In Christ all have been made one – (Not Israel) one in position and possessions.
This in no way teaches there were no distinctions on earth as Paul addresses the Master slave relationship, the husband wife, male, female relationship, and the inter-relationships in the church in his Epistles. The teaching is against the Judaisers who taught a style of inequality between those who had the law and were circumcised and those who weren’t. What Paul is saying is that IN CHRIST there is no haves and have-nots; it isn’t a caste system because all those In Christ have Christ and are equally redeemed and positionally in Christ not in a “spiritual Israel”.
Does God recognize national Israel in the New Testament?
Peter states God does in Acts 5:31 (after Pentecost) “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins”.
The Lord states He does to Ananias in Acts 9:15 (also after Pentecost) “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake”.
Paul prays to God for Israel in Romans 10:1 “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved”. (There must be reciprocal relationships of some sort for this prayer to be heard and answered)
Paul states that God is still dealing with Israel in Romans 11:1 & 2 ff “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. 2God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew”.
Paul states that Israel has not been obliterated but only that part blindness has occurred so they in the future will be saved in Romans 11:25 & 26 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. 26And 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”. Israel must therefore continue as a national identity until this is fulfilled by God.
John views 144,000 Israelites sealed by God in the future in Revelation 7:4 “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
“The prophets, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea and several of the others, write very graphically about Israel in terms of a wife who has been unfaithful to her husband, the Lord God. But God speaking through these prophets makes it clear that he will never give her up. Although the Prophets comprise about one third of the Bible, many Christians have never read them or given them more than a cursory glance. Many people will quote their favourite verses from the prophets without putting them into context. The prophets are all speaking about Israel and it is hard to understand how anyone could interpret them as referring to the Church. I don’t want to labour the point overly by quoting lengthy passages, since about 300 pages of a typical Bible are devoted to the prophets, but a couple of examples suffice as illustrations which clearly show the reference is to Israel.
Often quoted is the passage: ‘Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned’. Usually ignored is the fact that this is preceded by ‘Thus says the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel’ and followed by ‘For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour’ (Isaiah 43:1-3)
People love to quote ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3), ignoring the preceding two verses ‘”I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people… I will come to give rest to Israel’.
The following passage is in reference to the return of Israel in the last days, from all of the nations into which they have been dispersed. ‘Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God’ (Ezekiel 39:25-29) God is saying that He dispersed them as punishment for their disobedience, and He is then gathering them back into their own land. Then He will pour out His Spirit on them and never again turn His face away from them”.
Then you have Modern Israel!
That Israel is back in their land as promised by God in the Old Testament must stick in the craw of any modern Replacement Theologian. When Augustine took on replacement theology, as handed down from Origen, Israel was scattered and the Roman Church was in ascendancy. 400 years after Christ Replacement Theology was most popular as taught by Augustine and much later by Calvin and even Luther. At that time the land of Israel was being inhabited by Palestinians and the Jews scattered all over Europe, Africa, Asia and Russia. The anti-Semitic link in replacement theology is clear from the early Catholic hatred of the Jews.
Yet Ezekiel chapter 37 foretold the gathering together again of the separated Jews back to their land which occurred in 1948. God did not forget Israel. He had not cast them away.
Actually Wayne, you are wrong about this: “No where in the Scriptures is Israel called the Church nor is the Church called Israel.”
Luke calls Israel the Church (assembly) in the wilderness: Acts 7; 37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear . 38 This is he , that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 39 To whom our fathers would not obey , but thrust him from them , and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
You err in your understanding that during the apostolic age both the church and the nation of Israel stood side by side. (Just as both Isaac and Ishmael lived together in the same house until the bondwoman and her son were cast out. Paul declares in Galatians that this represented both covenants. This ended when God finally judged natural Israel in 70 ad.
The word commonwealth used by Paul in Ephesians 2:12 is
Strong’s Number: 4174
Original Word Word Origin
politeiva from (4177) (“polity”)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
pol-ee-ti’-ah Noun Feminine
the administration of civil affairs
a state or commonwealth
citizenship, the rights of a citizen
and it means citizen and in fact is translated citizen in the NIV
12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
The natural nation of Israel was only a type and a shadow. It was made of Jews and some Gentile converts. The church began with Jews and grew (expansion theology NOT replacement theology) to included the gentile nations. This fulfills the promise God made to Abraham that ALL nations would be blessed through him.
The natural nation of Israel that exists today is NOT the nation of Israel that existed during the 1st century. That nation was a theocracy. Since the temple was destroyed there can be no atonement outside of Jesus Christ, the true Israel and the true temple.
Thank you for this word study from Strong’s Concordance on the word, “commonwealth.” That’s helpful, especially to see that by definition this word means, “citizenship, the rights of a citizen.” Thanks also for pointing to the NIV’s rendering of Ephesians 2:12. So, to add to the thoughts I expressed in the post above, Paul tells the Gentile believers that they were once “excluded from citizenship in Israel.”
By implication, then, in Christ, Gentile believers (just as much as Jewish believers) are part of the citizenship in Israel. We are citizens of that Israel which inherits the covenants and the promises of God. That Israel is clearly a spiritual, and not a carnal or earthly, nation. This is exactly how Peter refers to the Church, using very similar terms as those by which Moses addressed the Israelites at Mount Sinai:
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Wayne, Paul calls the Church the “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16. “And those who will walk by this rule…” What rule? That you are saved by being born again, made into a new creation, apart from circumcision and uncircumcision, see the previous verse. People who are seeking to be justified by faith in Christ, apart from works of the Law of Moses, receive “peace and mercy” from God.
When Paul concludes with “and upon the Israel of God,” does he refer only to the Jewish Christians? No, because the Jewish Christians also “walk by this rule,” that they are justified by faith in Christ apart from the works of the Law of Moses, and apart from their physical birth/lineage (see Galatians 2:15-21). The Israel of God is composed of ALL people, whether Jew or Gentile, that seek to be justified in Christ, and not by their birth/lineage, or keeping of the Law of Moses. See Romans 9:8, John 3:3-5, etc. It’s about the rule of faith, not the rule of physical birth.
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Steve, to answer your question – Paul wrote under the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the gentile Christians in Galatia who were being infiltrated by Judaisers.
Paul wrote in verse 13 “For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh”.
The “neither they themselves” who can’t keep the law refers to the Judaisers. Then in this context Paul says “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature”.
In other words physical circumcision which was demanded by the law, or being uncircumcised physically avails (or literally: has strength/or works) nothing in Christ but being a New creature.
It is this “being a new creature in Christ Jesus” not circumcision or un-circumcision which is to be the rule so that there would be peace. Paul says in v16 “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God”. If as we have discovered Paul was speaking to the Church at Galatia made up Gentiles, who then is this Israel of God?
It cannot be those to whom Paul was just speaking to otherwise he would not place an “and upon” in the text but maybe a “being” or a “who is” or something like that. It cannot be gentiles as Gentiles were never called this. Thus the “Israel of God” here is simply Israel – National Israel that Paul prayed for God to be merciful to them and he prayed for their peace.
If Paul had of been talking about the church being Israel in any form here he would have written something like the following: And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy who is (or being) the Israel of God. But he did not. Paul the Jew differentiated between the unsaved Jew, the unsaved Gentile and the Church of God.
God bless as you search the scriptures to see if these things be so.
Wayne, Paul is not referring to “Israel” when he speaks of the “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16. If Paul meant just “Israel,” then there is no reason for him to specially qualify it as the “Israel of God.”
A similar point is made by Paul in Romans 9:6, where Paul distinguishes between Israel and the true Israel, the Israel of God. This is what so many people do not understand – they think merely being born a Jew includes you among God’s people. They believed that to be born a Jew meant God didn’t have a choice in the matter, they were included in the promises made to Abraham, or else God’s promises would fail (Romans 9:6-7 “It is not as though the word [promises] of God have failed).
This is why Jesus scolded Nicodemus. Nicodemus couldn’t get over the fact that being born a Jew wasn’t it. Instead, he had to be born again – his natural birth as a Jew didn’t cut it.
Romans 9 is often thought to teach Calvinism, or at least appear to teach Calvinism. But Paul’s point wasn’t concerning whether or not man had free will, but whether or not God had free will (wasn’t God forced to accept those who were born Jews and circumcised in the flesh?). Paul proves his point that neither birth nor circumcision matter at all in regards to being the Israel of God by pointing to Isaac/Ishmael, and Jacob/Esau. In both of these cases, both were physical descendants of Abraham, and had been physically circumcised. So if inclusion into Israel was by birth and circumcision, then God would have had to include Ismael and Esau. But He didn’t. He cast them out, despite their birth and circumcision.
Isaac was included, not because of his physical genealogy, but because he was born by the power of the Holy Spirit (Jesus’ point in John 3). Paul points this out in Romans 9 by pointing out how God chose Jacob, but excluded Esau, even though both were born of Abraham and circumcised. Thus, it is God’s sovereign choice, He is not compelled by one’s physical birth/genealogy, nor by physical circumcision. This is why Paul stresses it was God’s choice apart from birth (before they had been born), and apart from works of the Law of Moses – apart from circumcision.
Most of Israel did not seek God through faith in Christ, but as though it were through physical birth and physical circumcision. Israel does not equal the Israel of God, and never has.
Amen. Good thoughts on Galatians 6:16. Yes, it’s very clearly not just the Jewish believers who walk by that rule, but also the Gentile believers. Well said. As mentioned toward the end of my post above, Michael Marlowe has a great article regarding this verse:
truthspeaker & Steve,
1st to the mater of “the church in the wilderness”:
You didn’t happen to look up the word translated “church” there did you? Thought not. The Word for “church” (ekklesia) simply means an assembly of people called out. Actually Acts 7:37 gives us the context of this phrase Acts 7:37 & 38″This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.” A verse taken out of context becomes a pretext for anything you would like it to say.
Moses was speaking to the congregation/assembly of the children of Israel in the wilderness. This is the context of verse 38 “This is he, that was in the church (the people assembled or congregated together) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us”.
The context of the passage is that of Stephen’s defense against those who said he had blasphemed against Moses and God.(Acts 6:11) Stephen was taken before the high priest who asked him if these things were true. Acts 7:1. Acts 7 is an explanation and detail of Israel’s history through to Moses who prophesied about the Lord Jesus. Who was that Moses? Some church going Moses? No Stephen is relaying Israel’s history and it is the same Moses in and with the millions of Israelites gathered together in the wilderness(translated “church”) whom received the law. The Church, that which Christ bought with His own Blood, is not under law, but under grace: for the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.(John 1:17)
2nd. You are right in the fact that “commonwealth” means citizen, or community or even freedom. That is not in doubt. But what does the scripture say? Does it say the saved Gentile becomes a Jew or becomes Israel? No. Does it say “you who were afar off are made Israel?” No. It says,”But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made NIGH by the blood of Christ.” That is we are made NEAR to( From Agkale meaning arm- ‘arm’s-length’) the commonwealth of Israel and NEAR to the covenants of promise. We do not own these covenants nor are we part of the commonwealth, but near to that commonwealth.this is one passage that explains the believer’s relationship to the Old Testament Covenants and how both national and spiritual distinctions of the Jew and the Gentile are broken down through the work of Christ and faith in Him.
Ephesians 2:11-16 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh”.
Let us now break this down according to the context so we can understand what is written and what is not there:
(1) V1-3 Paul reminds the Ephesians (mostly saved Gentiles) what they were saved from: Being dead in trespasses and sins
(2) V4-7 Paul explains to the Ephesians what they are saved to: Sitting together in heavenly places
(3) V8 Paul outlines what the Ephesians were saved by: Grace through faith.
(4) V9 & 10 Paul teaches the Ephesians what they are saved for: Good works because they are The Lord’s workmanship
In verses 11& 12 the key words are “wherefore remember” in v 11. This refers to what was past. Then the key words in v 13-17 is “but now” in v 13 referring them to what is the present and continuing reality.
We pick up from verse 11: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands.”
(1) What is past pt 1: Gentiles in the flesh (i.e Uncircumcised) and yet still are called the Uncircumcised by the Jews (in the flesh made by hands). This is obviously the outward sign for the Jews as to the acceptance of the Mosaic Law which the Gentiles did not share.
Now to verse 12: “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world”.
(2) What was past pt 2: We Gentiles were: (a) Without (Separate from) Christ (b) Aliens (could in no way participate) from the common – wealth of Israel (c) and strangers (foreigners) form the covenants of promise (d) having no hope (confidence) (e) and without God in the world.
It is now we need to read the following context as well: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby”.
We have here the context of the Temple in Jerusalem where there was a court for the Gentiles which was separated by a wall to the court of the Jews. But IN Christ (those saved of Jew and Gentile) are not made nigh but are made ONE.
So who is made nigh and what to?
Obviously the answer to who is made nigh are the saved Gentiles.
We were – a far off – a great distance away from these things but now we Gentiles in Christ are made close or near to something or some things. So let us ask ourselves what we have and what we are made close to in Christ in these verses.
From many other Scriptures we know that by faith in the cleansing Blood of Christ we are not made near to Christ, but we are IN Christ. (Rom.8:1, 12:5, 1 Cor.1:30, 2 Cor.5:17 etc) We also know that we are now not without God, as God is in us and with us as we are with Him and in Him through His Spirit and His Son. We have therefore Hope in God (Rom.5:2, 8:24, 15:13, Eph 4:4, Col.1:5, 27 etc)
Seeing Gentiles were:
(a) Without (Separate from) Christ but now we are IN Christ
(b) Aliens (could in no way participate) from the common – wealth of Israel
(c) And strangers (foreigners) form the covenants of promise
(d) Having no hope but now have hope in God through Christ (confidence)
(e) And without God in the world but now are with God in God and Him in us by His spirit and His Son.
The only two left that we can be made CLOSE to or made NEAR to is:
1st The Commonwealth of Israel and
2nd The Covenants of promise.
Being close to something does in no way make whoever or whatever is close to that thing exactly that thing.
As Saved blood bought Children of God we Gentiles are made Close to the commonwealth of Israel. Notice we are not Israel nor close to Israel but close to the common – wealth of Israel. That is we share in some of the blessings of the covenants by faith in the Seed (Which is Christ). I live in the commonwealth of Australia and as a citizen of that country I share in all of it’s benefits. Someone living in Indonesia does not live in Australia, is not a citizen; but lives NEAR to Australia and some of the benefits of Australia being a commonwealth country under the crown may reach that person. But that does not make him/her an Australian nor a citizen of Australia, nor can he/she fully share in all the benefits. As was asked previously, to whom was promised a land that is to go from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates? To whom was promised David as their regent (Well after David’s death)?
3rd: As far as Galatians is concerned me thinks you need to read the entire book again as the Pauline polemic is against the Judaisers and the Galatian penchant for seeking to be under the Mosaic law. The difference between the Bondwoman and the free is about being either in bondage under the law or being free in Christ. These Christians were already benefiting from the New Covenant and it was nonessential to be under law. So while the law was done away with bu Christ and Israel’s rejection of their King was dealt with from 70A.D onward, God did not castaway His people. As you know the Children of Ishmael survived in the wilderness and the Arab is still with us today – so too Israel who fled and were scattered across the world. These are the exact same people to whom God gave the promises and covenants to – or is God a liar? Ezekiel chapter 37 and Isaiah 66:8 foresaw a day when Israel would gather together again and Isiah predicted it would be in one day – that day was 14th May 1948. To reject these prophecies and to reject the fact that a scattered Israel existed over the last 2000 years but now is in their land is to reject history and the word of God.
The main problem with Replacement/successionist Theology is that it contradicts Scripture.
Did the sins of the Jewish nation result in her rejection? Paul’s answer is found in Romans 11:1.
Some people say that Israel is finished, that they had their chance and lost it from the time of Jesus’ First Coming. We see here what Paul said; that the Lord did not reject Israel. Why do so many Christians then believe that which contradicts the Scripture?
Paul also wrote about Israel in Romans 11:11&12, “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. 12Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?”. If the Jewish nation has no future in God’s plan, as the replacement/successionist theologians claim, then what is the future “fullness” of Israel that Paul mentions in verse 12?
Is this rejection permanent or temporary? It is temporary because God will bring them to their fullness again. Even if we insist on saying that they did stumble and fall, then it must also be said that their fall brought salvation to the rest of the world (Gentiles) – and Israel’s fall, too, is only temporary because they are destined to be restored one day to a position of “fullness”.
Then we have Romans 11:15 “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?” Notice the “IF” in this phrase. Israel has not been cast away, they stumbled due to blindness; yet even IF they were cast away Paul states what then will be their restoration? Paul predicts a future restoration of Israel, the dead bones of Ezekiel’s vision made alive. Thus it is quite clear physical national Israel was not done away with. Paul cannot be speaking about the Church as the Church has never been dead and made alive! (When unsaved we were “dead” in trespasses and sins but now we are made alive in Christ Jesus and remain that way eternally).
Isaiah (Isaiah 66: 8) foresaw a day in which Israel would become a Nation in one day. This occurred on the 14th of May 1948. Out of all the ancient cultures and nations of antiquity the Jew is the most continuing and remaining. This is no mere coincidence or fluke of nature as they have also been the most hated, imprisoned, and warred against nation on earth.
That God has a plan for Israel does not automatically mean every Israelite will be saved by being a Jew. No only those who turn to their Messiah will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. So Jews need to be evangelized as much as Gentiles as they are indeed lost sinners (pg116), as they need to be brought back to the place of blessing in Christ, and to accept their Messiah as King over them. Their salvation (the Jew) brings them from not being a people of God through unbelief to being a people of God through belief so they can inherit the Kingdom of Heaven promised to them.
When you start off your comment with: truthspeaker & Steve,
1st to the mater of “the church in the wilderness”:
You didn’t happen to look up the word translated “church” there did you? Thought not.
You come across condescending and rude….. ( of course I know what the greek for “church” is…… and the English used the Scottish word “Kirk” meaning building when they translated it…… ) Therefore I will not discuss this with you since you know everything and are so smart and the only one who knows how to use a concordance or read a book.
truthspeaker, let me quote you to see who was rude: “You err in your understanding that during the apostolic age both the church and the nation of Israel stood side by side. (Just as both Isaac and Ishmael lived together in the same house until the bondwoman and her son were cast out. Paul declares in Galatians that this represented both covenants. This ended when God finally judged natural Israel in 70 ad.” Then you used Strongs and TDNT to prove a point! At least I did not say you were in error my friend! I humbly ask the Lord to open your eyes to what the Spirit says expressly to the Churches. My point in saying what I did was that no one can pick and choose what words to translate.
truthspeaker, my knowledge will only be complete in Glory my friend. I do not know everything as that would make me God , nor am I the only one who can use a concordance or read a book. If all you have to offer in reply to a scriptural rebuttal of your position is a personal attack then I pray you seek the Lord for greater wisdom, knowledge, understanding, grace and mercy. Peace be upon you and those that read your unwarranted attack on me.
Hi Wayne, Have you read Adam’s “70 AD Term Paper”? It may help to shed some light on this conversation for you. You can find it at kloposmasm.wordpress.com on the tabs.
Thanks Val, I have and I will read it again and study it and hope to make some reply in the future. At the moment my hands are full doing a an expose on a book a friend of mine wrote and also trying to expose the ridiculous unscientific mantras behind the so called “man made global warming” scammers. Men in white coats going around the world telling us “the sky is falling!” Here in Australia the Government wants to bring in a Carbon Tax – the prime Minister (our form of ‘president’) said that “there would be no carbon tax under any Government I will lead”.
Anyway Val, thanks for the tip. God bless you.
Hi Wayne, …Carbon Tax…wow…I am so curious about how they would calculate that!! Also, one of your replies I received, you mentioned that “Paul differentiated between the unsaved Jew, the unsaved Gentile and the Church”…how so?
I haven’t meant to ignore your comments. I’ve been very busy and occupied the last few days. Truthspeaker, Steve, and Val, thank you for engaging his comments in the meantime.
Wayne, I’ve read part of your first comment, and I plan to read more of it and respond further, but my first thought is that I wish you would have expressed your own viewpoint and done so more briefly. Instead you copied and pasted from this site without giving Dave Casey credit:
That’s called plagiarism, and it’s also a chore to read all that, especially in the format you posted it. I took the liberty a little bit ago to edit your first comment by putting some spaces between your paragraphs (it’s still somewhat messed up). This was my first clue, by the way, that you had copied and pasted a lot of that stuff. Another clue was where you said several times, “emphasis added,” when there was no emphasis.
I’ve barely looked at your second comment, but it’s even longer and also clearly copied and pasted (mostly) from somewhere. I can figure out where it’s from by doing more google searches, but you may also feel free to save me the time by revealing where you copied it from.
Despite being annoyed by this, and being tempted to significantly trim down both of your first two comments (which I may just yet do), I’ll plan to respond to at least a couple of your (I mean, Dave Casey’s) points when I get a chance.
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I couldn’t give Dave Casey his due simply because the copy paste from what i am doing does not pick up footnotes.
No plagerism was intended as I was trying to cut and paste certain paragraphs from a critique I am underway with of a book written by a friend of mine in which I use footnotes and will add a bibliography. Not all that appears on the blog was intended only certain paragraphs but cut and paste did not recognize this and there it is. The length was also unintended for the same reason.
You will not find the rest anywhere as it is all original work by myself. I apologize to Dave Casey. Also to L.S.Chafer and any others that don’t get a mention – oh then there’s the Amillenial Philip Schaff as well, not sure now that I referenced him when he said”“The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene Age [A.D. 100-325] is the prominent chiliasm, or millenarianism, … a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius …” but I think it was a quote from Scribner- anyway I’m sure you’ll find it.
You are obviously the administrator of this blog & you can do what you want.
But if you kick me off or trim what I say then I believe you need to tell your followers you have done so. Don’t worry Adam if you don’t I will. And if suddenly there is no Wayne here in reply on this blog you will all know that Adam has no regard for freedom of speech and is quelling any contrary lone “voice in the wilderness”.
I mean there is nothing like freedom of speech is there Adam? Especially when there is one dissenting view among all the yea sayers. What would you be afraid of in just one voice to the contrary position?
One wonders if the theology is so sound that it cannot take any rebuttal? Is there no answer for the hope that lies within you all? Well Adam, deem it fit to do what you will as the Administrator of the blog but in my country praise the Lord we still have our freedoms, especially freedom of speech.
Wayne, it has nothing to do with free speech or dissenting opinions. Truthfully, if it would have been me, I would have already deleted some of your comments for the reason of spam. Posting of such length in a blog comment, unless you have received special permission/request, is beyond ridiculous. I’m surprised it is even possible to post a comment with that many characters.
If you cannot make your point succinctly, I’d recommend posting a link, rather than writing/copy-n-pasting a book into a blog comment.
Thank you for your responses to my query about where you copied and pasted this stuff from. I still don’t understand how you didn’t intend to post all those paragraphs, but you did anyhow. Well, in any case, Steve is right. A comment of that length is beyond ridiculous. So I did trim that longest comment down just a little bit ago. It’s still not short by any means. I left your first three points in, and removed that incredibly long section which appears to come from a book. What I left in is at least on topic. What I removed was rather off topic.
You asked me to “tell [my] followers” that I have done so, and now I have. I do allow voices of dissent here, Wayne. In the nearly two years that this blog has been up, I have yet to block anyone. The only comments I have deleted and not allowed through are those which are clearly spam. Feel free to disagree with the content here, and to express your disagreement, but clarity is appreciated, as are your own thoughts. That long comment was not clear. Not only did I have to scroll down forever just to see how extensive it was, but there was almost no separation of paragraphs, and frankly I got a headache just looking at it.
No hard feelings intended. You’re more than welcome to stay here. Just aim, please, for greater clarity and to make your own points more concisely. Thank you.
There is plenty to respond to from what you’ve said, and also from what you copied from Dave Casey. I’ll pick one point to respond to for now, though. You (or Dave?) said,
This is from your first comment. In your second long comment (the one I trimmed down), I can see that you’re saying the same thing, that the Church is merely “near” or “close” to certain promises of God. From the moment I saw your first comment, this is what caught my eye, and the Scripture which came to mind is II Corinthians 1:20. There we read, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through Him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
In Christ, ALL of God’s promises are a yes. Not maybe, but yes. We don’t merely draw “somewhat close” to them; they are YES and AMEN. At this link, one can see this verse expressed in quite a number of translations for further confirmation:
I think James Jordan sums it all up properly when he says this:
“Biblically speaking, a Jew is someone who is covenanted into the people of the Jews by circumcision, for better or for worse. When Abraham was commanded to circumcise, he was told to circumcise his entire household, including his 318 fighting men and his other domestic servants (Gen. 14:14; 17:10-14). Competent scholars imagine that Sheik Abraham’s household probably included at the very least 3000 persons. These servants multiplied as the years went by, and Jacob inherited them all (Gen. 27:37). Although only 70 from the loins of Jacob went down into Egypt, so many servants went along that they had to be given the whole land of Goshen in which to live.
All these people were Jews, but only a small fraction actually had any of Abraham’s blood in them. Later on we see many other people joining the Jews; indeed, the lists of David’s men include many foreigners, of whom Uriah the Hittite is but the best known. What this demonstrates is that covenant, not race, has always been the defining mark of a Jew (as it also is of a Christian). Genealogical records were kept for the immediate family, of course, since the Messiah had to be of the actual blood of Abraham, and later of David; but this could not have applied to more than a fraction of the total number of people.” http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/eschatology/christian_zionism.html#Zionism
Until on understands this they will not understand who is Israel. As Paul says in Romans 2: 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly *; neither is that circumcision, which is outward *in the flesh: 29 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.
And again in Philippians 3:3 For we (the born again believers…. both Jew and Gentile) are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
I would not call it “replacement” theology … which is just a straw man arugment. I would call it “EXPANSION” theology. The nation of Israel expanded so that the blessing of Abraham would go to every nation of the world. (Gal. 3:14)
RE: CARBON TAX
They just make up a price per tonne and “abra-cadabra” there you have it! At the moment they are talking about a starting price of $40 AUD a Tonne!
Adam, I would also add this:
The promises made to Abraham and HIS SEED always included the Gentiles. (Many nations will be blessed through your seed!)
When Abraham entered covenant with God he also circumcised all his servants …. those who were NOT of his bloodline. Abraham himself was NOT a Jew, as that name refers to the royal line of Judah and became a national name many years later. He was also not an Israelite, as the nation was also named after Jacob many years in the future. (Joseph’s wife is Egyptian and his sons (father’s of the split tribe, are half Egyptian!! Moses’ wife is a Midianite!) When the Israelites leave Egypt a mixed multitude of many Egyptians also goes with them. These join with the nation of Israel! Ex 12:37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. 38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.
So, we see by the clear reading of scripture that the nation of Israel was alway entered into by COVENANT and NOT by the bloodline of Abraham. The same is true today!
Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole. 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
The Church does indeed INHERIT the promises made to Israel, and our King is David who was just a type and shadow of Jesus Christ! Anyone who does not get this does not understand the writings of Paul or the entire New Testiment.
truthspeaker said, “The Church does indeed INHERIT the promises made to Israel, and our King is David who was just a type and shadow of Jesus Christ! Anyone who does not get this does not understand the writings of Paul or the entire New Testiment.”
Amen and amen! I can understand how someone could read Matthew 24 and believe it referred to the end of the world. When I first started studying the Bible, that was my understanding of it (before I had done a systematic study of the end times and without any knowledge of first century events).
But to think as a Christian that people are chosen by God simply because of who their momma and daddy are is too much. It would be like reading the NT, and then concluding that anyone who is physically circumcised, even apart from faith, is included in the Kingdom. I really do not understand how anyone can hold this view.
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[…] post is somewhat similar to my April 2011 post titled, “No Alienation from the Commonwealth of Israel.” This post, however, features several new details and approaches the topic from a different […]