Why I Stand With Israel


I believe that all Christians should stand with Israel. The very name “Christian” is undermined when we fail to do this, and standing with Israel is central to our faith.

Going further, I believe that all Christians should be united for Israel.

Proposal: The Israel that is beloved in the eyes of God, and which has significance for His people, is not a political nation in the Middle East. First and foremost, Israel is Jesus. Secondly, Israel is the church (the body of Christ), because we abide in Jesus and He abides in us. He extends this name, this status, and this reality to His followers.

Basis: Matthew, Luke, and John are among the New Testament authors who demonstrate that what was said of ancient Israel in the Old Testament is now said of Jesus, our Savior. Isaiah, at least once, made the same connection.

Testimonies of Isaiah and Matthew

 In Exodus 4:22, God instructs Moses to say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Israel is My firstborn son, and I say to you, “Let My son go that he may serve Me.”’” In Hosea 11:1-2 we read, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.” Who is Israel here? Clearly it’s that ancient nation that was established after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.

Yet look at how this verse is applied in Matthew 2:14-15, according to Matthew’s commentary here. An angel warns Joseph, the father of Jesus, to flee to Egypt with his family, because Herod was going to seek to destroy Jesus: “And he [Joseph] rose and took the child [Jesus] and His mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I called My son.’”

Only 40 verses into the New Testament, we see that what was said of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament is now said of Jesus. By strong implication, Matthew communicates that Jesus is true Israel. Matthew does this to prove to his mainly Jewish audience that Jesus is the Lord’s servant spoken of throughout the Old Testament. In the book of Isaiah, we see quite a number of times when God describes the nation of Israel as “My servant” (e.g. Isaiah 41:8-10, 44:1-3).

But you, Israel, are My servantJacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, You are My servantI have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:8-10).

Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosenThus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: ‘Fear not, O Jacob My servantAnd you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring” (Isaiah 44:1-3).

Isaiah, speaking as a prophet on behalf of God, also repeatedly describes the coming Messiah as “My servant.” Matthew refers to these prophecies several times in his book, and we will look at a couple of those instances in just a moment. First, though, let’s examine an instance where Isaiah referred to God’s servant as “Israel,” when He was clearly describing Jesus:

And He said to me, You are My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; Yet surely my just reward is with the Lord, and my work with my God.’ And now the Lord says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and My God shall be My strength), indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth’” (Isaiah 49:3-6).

Albert Barnes (1834), Adam Clarke (1831), John Gill (1746), The Geneva Study Bible (1599), Jamieson/Faussett/Brown (1882), Matthew Henry (1708), The Pulpit Commentary (1880’s), and John Wesley (1754) all stand in agreement that Isaiah was speaking here of Jesus, and that Isaiah referred to Jesus as “Israel.” See their commentaries on verse 3, verse 4, verse 5, and verse 6.

Coming back to Matthew, we see in chapter 8 that Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever, and that same evening He heals many other sick people and casts out many demons. Matthew says this fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy of a wise servant (Isaiah 52:13) who would sprinkle (or startle) many nations (52:15), suffer and be rejected (53:3), and carry our griefs and sorrows (53:4):

Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.  Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men; So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider” (Isaiah 52:13-15). He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:3-4).

Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them. When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses‘” (Matthew 8:14-17).

In Matthew 12:15-21 we see Jesus withdrawing from a synagogue after He heals a man there with a withered hand. He heals others who followed Him, but tells them not to make Him known. Matthew says this fulfilled what was prophesied in Isaiah 42:1-3, where Isaiah described God’s chosen servant as delighting His soul, having His Spirit, and bringing justice to the nations:

But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. Yet He warned them not to make Him known, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory; And in His name Gentiles will trust‘” (Matthew 12:15-21; quote of Isaiah 42:1-3).

Luke’s Testimony

Luke follows the same pattern as Matthew. He speaks of the nation Israel as God’s servant (Luke 1:54), speaks of David in the same way (Luke 1:69), and then records Peter speaking of Jesus as God’s servant (Acts 3:13, 26):

He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever” (Luke 1:54-55).

And [God} has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets” (Luke 1:69-70).

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go… To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities” (Acts 3:13, 26).

In Acts 8:26-39, Luke records the story of Philip meeting the Ethiopian eunuch on the road out of Jerusalem. Philip finds him reading the prophecy of Isaiah 53:7-8 about God’s servant who would be led like a lamb to the slaughter and have His life taken away. Philip confirms to him that this servant is Jesus.

John’s Testimony

About a week ago, PJ Miller at Sola Dei Gloria posted an article titled, “Jesus Came to Fulfill What Israel Failed to Achieve.” At the beginning of her post, she pointed out several Scriptures from the Old Testament where Israel was referred to as God’s “vine” or “vineyard”:

You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land” (Psalm 80: 8-9).

“’Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done for My vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? Now I will tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard; I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.’  The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines He delighted in” (Isaiah 5:3-7).

I planted you as a choice vine, from the purest stock. How then did you turn degenerate and become a wild vine?” (Jeremiah 2:21).

Then when Jesus came, He declared that He is the true vine:

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:1-6).

What the nation of Israel was, Jesus is, and He will never become degenerate or bear bad fruit.

Isaiah also speaks of “a light to the Gentiles” and “a light to the nations,” and John reveals that Jesus is “the true light” and “the light of the world”:

I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house” (Isaiah 42:6-7).

“Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth’” (Isaiah 49:3-6).

Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world“” (John 1: 6-9).

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.’” (John 8:12)

This is a somewhat different case, as even leaders in the Christian Zionism movement often identify at least Isaiah 42:6 and Isaiah 49:6 as Messianic prophecies about Jesus. For example, David Parsons, the Media Director for International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), acknowledges that “Isaiah is speaking about a person of “light” – undoubtedly the promised Messiah.” Yet he goes on to say that “Israel has carried this magnificent light for generations.”

Wikipedia notes that various Jewish Rabbis during the 19th and 20th centuries began to revive the idea that the Jewish people are “a light unto the nations.” Then David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s primary founder and first Prime Minister, spoke of Israel as “a light unto the nations,” as did Benjamin Netanyahu in a 2010 speech at the Herzliya Conference, “Israel’s center stage for the articulation of national policy by its most prominent leaders.”

Daniel C. Juster, a pastor of 27 years, the co-founder of Messianic Jewish Biblical Institute, and the founding president of the (mainly US-based) Union of Messianic Jewish Congregation, authored a book in 2007 titled “The Irrevocable Calling: Israel’s Role As A Light to the Nations.” Juster says this in his own review of the book:

“It is written to answer a question. The Book of Romans tells us that the ‘gifts and call of God (to Israel) are irrevocable.’ However, few seem to know what this is. This book seeks to answer that question in terms of the priestly and intercessory role of the Jewish people and their inheritance of important specific promises such as their inheritance of the Land of Israel.”

It’s one thing when non-Christian, secular government leaders look to a political nation to be a light to the world rather than Jesus, but another matter when Christians do the same.

Similarities Between the Nation of Israel and True Israel, Jesus

The end of PJ Miller’s recent post also featured a list of similarities between ancient Israel and Jesus:

  • In the Old Testament, a young man named Joseph had dreams and went into Egypt to preserve his family alive (Genesis 45:5). In the New Testament we find another Joseph, who likewise had dreams and then went to Egypt to preserve his family (Matthew 2:13).
  • When the young nation of Israel came out of Egypt, God called that nation “my son” in Exodus 4:22. When the baby Jesus came out of Egypt, God said, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” Matthew 2:15.
  • When Israel left Egypt, the people went through the Red Sea. The apostle Paul says they were “baptized unto Moses … in the sea.” 1 Corinthians 10:2. Jesus was also baptized “to fulfill all righteousness,” and immediately afterward God proclaimed Him, “My beloved Son” (Matthew 3:15-17).
  • After the Israelites went through the Red Sea, they spent 40 years in the wilderness. Immediately after His baptism, Jesus was “led up of the Spirit into the wilderness” for 40 days (Matthew 4:1, 2).
  • At the end of their 40-year wilderness wandering, Moses wrote the book of Deuteronomy. At the end of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, He resisted Satan’s temptations by quoting three Scriptures-all from Deuteronomy.
  • In Psalm 80:8, God calls Israel a “vine” that He brought “out of Egypt.” Yet Jesus later declared, “I am the true vine.” John 15:1.
  • In the Old Testament, the name “Israel” first applied to one man, to Jacob. It represented Jacob’s spiritual victory over sin. Even so, in the beginning of the New Testament we discover that Jesus Christ is the new Israel who came “out of Egypt.” He is the one victorious Man who overcame all sin – A New Nation

Conclusion

At the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection, God had His perfect, new, spiritual and eternal Israel in His Son, Jesus; and the imperfect, old, natural, generally unfaithful, and temporary nation of Israel was marked for judgment, though God did save a remnant out of that nation. Nearly 40 years later judgment came, and it passed away in the sight of man. The majority of that nation was cut off from God’s people for their rejection of Jesus, true Israel, (Acts 3:22-23). The shadow (OT Israel) gave way to the sustenance and the fulfillment (Jesus). Israel didn’t cease. It just continued in Jesus. The fulfillment is here. The shadow doesn’t need to come back.

Because Jesus is the Israel of God, those who belong to Him are one with Him, and through Him we are also the Israel of God, as Galatians 6:16 says:

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:14-16).

(See this article for an excellent explanation of why Galatians 6:16 uses the phrase “the Israel of God” to refer to the Church.)

What about the promises made to Israel in the Old Testament? Are they reserved for national Israel, as many claim, to be fulfilled only or primarily among ethnic Jews and/or national Israel? The apostle Paul, in Galatians 3, is clear. Jesus is singularly the recipient of all of God’s promises (verse 16), and He extends those promises to His followers (verse 29), who are all one in Him regardless of ethnicity, gender, etc. (verse 28):

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ… There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:16, 28-29).

Does Paul leave any room for those who are outside of Christ to be heirs of the promises? No, he doesn’t, not even for unbelieving Jews. Nor did Jesus (see, for example, John 8:31-47). We are collectively Abraham’s offspring only because Jesus is singularly Abraham’s offspring, and He makes us one with Him. As Paul says in II Corinthians 1:20, all of God’s promises are “yes” and “amen” in Jesus. What are they outside of Jesus? Meaningless and void.

I stand with Israel because He is my Savior, Lord, and Redeemer.

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22 thoughts on “Why I Stand With Israel

  1. What a beautiful message Adam. Not just the contents but the obvious gift God has bestowed upon you which enables you to explain this so simply…so beautifully. I felt ‘moved’ in my spirit when reading it–which i’ve learned over the years, is the Holy Spirit confirming this as Truth.

    The quote from Daniel C. Juster concerning his book:

    “It is written to answer a question. The Book of Romans tells us that the ‘gifts and call of God (to Israel) are irrevocable.’ However, few seem to know what this is. This book seeks to answer that question in terms of the priestly and intercessory role of the Jewish people and their inheritance of important specific promises such as their inheritance of the Land of Israel.”

    I hear this often, in response to how modern-day Israel can still continue today to be a light to all nations. Is this because they, those like Juster, fail to understand who real Israel is…and that this irrevocable call was taken up and fulfilled, by and through God’s Son?

    Adam, have you ever considered writing a book on this topic? Not just pointing out how wrong Christian Zionism theology is, how totally “up-side-down” their doctrines are, but how truly and wonderfully beautiful the truth, concerning these issues, really is once it’s seen in God’s Word.

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  2. Thank you, PJ. I’m glad you appreciated this post. Yes, I would agree that a failure to see who true Israel is (Jesus) can lead to such misguided ideas as saying that modern-day Israel fulfills the Biblical role of being a light to the nations. I like how you basically said there is no need to deny that the gifts and call of God to Israel are irrevocable, but only to see that they were “taken up and fulfilled, by and through God’s Son.” And, of course, any Jew and any non-Jew can participate in walking out those gifts and callings by trusting in God’s Son, true Israel.

    I have considered writing a book, actually, and someone else made that suggestion here just yesterday – also about this subject. I’ve had it in the back of my mind for a while now to publish an e-book from the material I have on the Olivet Discourse. Just recently I’ve also been considering doing the same concerning Christian Zionist theology. Based on my last three posts, and another one from February 2013, I could title it, “Why I Abandoned Replacement Theology, Embraced Christian Zionism, and Committed to Stand With Israel.” I might be doomed by the Amazon Reviews after certain people realize they were “tricked.” Haha. The point really is, though, like you said, to demonstrate how upside-down the doctrines of CZ are, along with a demonstration of the beauty of the new covenant truth as found in God’s Word.

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  3. Hello Adam, once again you nailed it, lol. I’m surprised how entrenched CZ is in the church, it really took some time for me to even consider another view point. I have found that there are fringe groups of Jews that oppose Zionism, unfortunately they are not taken to seriously by Christians who advocate complete devotion to Israel. I go to Liberty University on line and find that I basically disagree with their stance on Israel. My one suggestion as you consider writing a book on this topic is to make it for the average layman who just accepts the rhetoric from such schools as Liberty, we really need God to wake us up concerning this understanding. Bless you bro. keep up the good work…Jack

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    • Thanks, Jack. Yeah, I’ve heard that Jews who oppose Zionism are sometimes called “self-hating Jews” and other things. I would definitely want to write for the average layman to understand – I appreciate that advice. Blessings on you too, even as you face the challenge of interacting with those views at Liberty University.

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  4. The current nation state of Israel, is not a light, the nation that sees Him whom they have pierced, will indeed be a light to the nations in the millenial time. Not here, not now, but future.

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  5. Zechariah 12:10, John 19:37 indicates a partial fulfillment, but he does not quote the whole verse because there was not and never has been a full playing out of that scenario. There will be one day. When the power of the holy people is shattered (Dan.12:7) that occurs at the end. Romans 11:15 The rejection of the Jewish people, resulted in the church, “reconciliation for the world” , but there is yet to come, “life from the dead.” Physical, amazing resurrection of a people. Romans 11:25-27 “25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

    “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
    27 “This is My covenant with them,
    When I take away their sins.”

    It is a mystery and without being informed of this mystery, Paul warns that we may become “wise in our own estimation” and that is the crux of the matter. The attitude that “Israel screwed it up, and now we will accomplish it” is a prideful thing.

    Romans 11:29 “gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” What is the call on Israel that is irrevocable, that they would be a “kingdom of priests and a light to the nations”.
    The amazing thing, the “mystery” part of this is that they would fail, miserably, to fulfill this call, but that that failure would be used to be a blessing and usher in the “times of the gentiles”, but there is still to come a fulfillment of the “times of the gentiles” and when that is done, on the same “great day” the nation of Israel sees the One whom they have pierced and finally comes to the rest of the verse, national repentance and a stepping into their calling. Zechariah 13:9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire,
    Refine them as silver is refined,
    And test them as gold is tested.
    They will call on My name,
    And I will answer them;
    I will say, ‘They are My people,’
    And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
    Zechariah 14:9-21 is the clearest picture of the amazing restoration of God, to this people and this land. 9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.

    10 All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11 People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.

    12 Now this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. 13 It will come about in that day that a great panic from the Lord will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another. 14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance. 15 So also like this plague will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey and all the cattle that will be in those camps.

    16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

    20 In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts in that day.

    These scriptures from Zechariah are the clearest ones on the ministry of Israel during the millennial reign of Christ to the nations. Zechariah 14:16 is the most clear and obvious, that they are finally walking in their calling to be a blessing “to the nations.”

    That was a good exercise, thanks for asking.

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    • You’re welcome, and thanks for your reply. It’s not so much that we are accomplishing “what Israel screwed up,” but that Jesus already accomplished it, and we abide in Him.

      You stated that national Israel will one day become “a kingdom of priests and a light to the nations.” Why don’t we see any hint of this in the New Testament then, and why does the New Testament instead say this is true of the church, made up of Jews and non-Jews alike who trust in Jesus?

      “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (I Peter 2:4-5, 9-10).

      “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” Revelation 1:5-6).

      Twice Peter calls the church a royal and holy priesthood, and John calls us kings and priests to God. As this post notes, Jesus is said to be, numerous times in Scripture, the light of the world and a light to the nations. Jesus says this is also true of His followers: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

      To say that national Israel will one day fulfill this calling is to say that “Jesus and His church screwed it up,” and national Israel will accomplish what Jesus and we failed to accomplish.

      ————————————————————————————-
      Just a few more short notes:

      On what basis do you say that Zechariah 14 is about “the millennium”? Revelation 20:2-7 is the only passage in all of Scripture which mentions a 1000-year period. It doesn’t say anything about Judah or Jerusalem, about celebrating the Feast of Booths, or anything else that indicates it is parallel to Zechariah 14. Those who “reign with Christ for a thousand years” are martyrs who were beheaded for their witness to Jesus and who had not worshiped the beast or his image. It doesn’t say whether they were Jewish or not, or part of national Israel or not. Jesus’ reign, of course, is not limited to 1000 years (whatever time period that represents), as Scripture elsewhere indicates that His reign is eternal.

      Interestingly enough, you quoted Zechariah 13:9, where God says, “They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” Zechariah said this would be true of 1/3 of the Jews, a remnant, who pass through the fires of tribulation. I believe this was fulfilled in the first century, as was Daniel 12:7, when the power of Daniel’s people was shattered during that “time of great trouble” (Daniel 12:1) and the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21) which Jesus said would take place in His own generation. Going beyond this, though, we do well to note that this promise has been fulfilled for all of God’s people in Christ, Jew or non-Jew:

      “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people‘” (II Corinthians 6:16).

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    • Hi Chuck,

      I just wanted to address a few issues you raised.

      First, I think there can be no real boasting on the part of the church that “Israel screwed it up” because we who are In Christ are equally guilty, if not more so, because of the “screw up” of failing to discern and proclaim the full arrival and establishment of the very kingdom we profess. How can we boast? They missed the arrival of Messiah while watching for him to arrive over 1500 years and we ALSO missed his arrival and have failed to proclaim it for the last 2000+ years after-the-fact. Who, exactly, has any boasting rights?

      It is clear that you believe Christ is yet to come, but I urge you to consider that a futurist view of eschatology, by default, places one in the unenviable position of holding Christ out to the world as a false prophet.

      Also, it seems that you have overlooked the “Mystery Of God” and that we DO know what that Mystery is. The Mystery is that there is now no more Jew or Gentile, male or female in the kingdom of God. It further includes the knowledge that the complete removal of the Old Covenant system, including the Temple and the Holy City, all the “elements” of “heaven and earth,” was necessary for the veil of separation to be completely taken out of the way so that ALL MEN may now come to the Father through Christ. Old Covenant Israel (except for the Remnant saved through the 40 year spreading of the gospel from Pentecost to 70 A.D.) was blinded to this mystery and rejected Christ because of their unbelief. Today, we AID them in their continued blindness and unbelief by erroneously supporting their Zionist ambitions to rebuild the Temple and restore the “power of the holy people” that Christ most decisively scattered/shattered in 70 A.D. The question of who the Sons of God are has been settled.

      Next, the apostle Paul indicated that the way had then been cleared for the coming of the Lord by the completion of the Great Commission to preach the gospel in all the world. This represents the fulfillment of one of two major signs given to the disciples by Christ concerning when the end would come. The second sign was the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by Daniel. Clearly, the Temple was left to them desolate.

      Regarding the completion of the Great Commission:

      (Matt 24:14 [KJV])
      And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

      Are you not aware there is abundant confirmation in the New Testament that this “parousia-critical” mission had already been fully completed in the apostles’ own time?

      (Rom 10:17-18 [KJV])
      So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

      (Col 1:5-6 [KJV])
      For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

      (Col 1:23 [KJV])
      If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

      (Titus 2:11 [KJV])
      For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

      (Jude 1:3 [KJV])
      Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

      Lastly, there are several prevalent motifs interwoven throughout Old Testament prophetic writings. These motifs are also relevantly expressed in the New Testament writings. One of these motifs which especially shows up in the book of Revelation deals with the various “cups” of the Lord. There is the cup of sin, the cup of wrath, and the cup of suffering. These “cups” are all highly correlated and fit within the overall scheme of the “Last Days” judgment of Israel to complete the overall framework of the “vindication of the martyrs,” yet another greater motif of “Last Days” prophetic scripture.

      There is something I find very significant about the “cup of suffering” in particular, as it relates keenly to what Paul says about the unique nature of his personal ministry. Paul states the following:

      (Col 1:24-25 [KJV])
      Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

      Paul says that HE would personally “fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.” That is a very powerful statement and one which undeniably demands a first century completion. The filling up of the “cup of sin” by the Jews who were persecuting the saints, and the filling of the “cup of suffering” by the saints and apostles of Christ (a mission which Paul affirmed he would complete!) would together determine when the final “cup of God’s wrath” would be sufficiently filled to enable the return of Christ in judgment to bring the vindication of the martyrs.

      Keep in mind that ALL of these things were to be fulfilled within the context of entirety of both the Book of Revelation AND the Book of Daniel. Also note that Daniel was told to SEAL his prophecy for it was of the time of the end…a duration of almost 500 years. However, John was told NOT to seal up his prophecy, for THE TIME WAS AT HAND. There is no POSSIBLE explanation for a 2000 year delay for something explicitly and repeated and emphatically declared by Christ Himself to be AT HAND.

      (Dan 9:24 [KJV])
      Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

      (Dan 12:7 [KJV])
      And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

      (Dan 12:4 [KJV])
      But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

      (Rev 1:1 [KJV])
      The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

      (Rev 22:6-7 [KJV])
      And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

      (Rev 22:10 [KJV])
      And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

      (Rev 22:12 [KJV])
      And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

      (Rev 22:20 [KJV])
      He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

      Blessings and peace in Christ!

      Like

      • “.. we ALSO missed his arrival and have failed to proclaim it for the last 2000+ years after-the-fact. Who, exactly, has any boasting rights?”
        I just have to disagree with this, as “Christian Zionism”, which isn’t Christian, but antichrist, has not been taught in the church as an accepted truth for much longer than 100 years, and really ramped up and became dominant after the guilt accused against the church regarding the “holocaust”. It seems a lot like antichrist(zionism) sitting in the temple(the Church), and speaking all manner of blasphemy. To believe zionism, falsely labeled “Christian”, one must believe the scripture is wrong when God tells us that Jesus fulfilled all that was spoken of him by the prophets, as if he failed to fulfill prophecy concerning Messiah, then you deny Jesus Christ(Messiah) came in the flesh. If he failed, he would have to be considered false. Anytime someone digs into the prophets and says see here, this is being fulfilled by the state falsely called “Israel”, when it is actually speaking of Jesus Christ, they are speaking antichrist doctrines, placing the glory of King Jesus and the promises fulfilled in him, on a state made by human hands. They create a false Messiah in the form of the “Jewish” people and their state, proclaiming they fulfill prophecy already fulfilled in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Daedalus32,
        Unfortunately, you completely mischaracterized my words. I am FAR from being a Christian Zionist and the statement I made has nothing to do with that subject. I merely presented a micro-case (if you will) with that statement to say that, in large part, mainstream Christendom has MISSED the coming of Christ and his kingdom in fullness by missing the significance of his coming and the full establishment of his kingdom at A.D. 70. I merely compared that 2000+ year timespan to the 1500+ year timespan that Israel of the Flesh was ACTIVELY waiting for Christ to appear. Both groups, Israel of the Flesh and mainstream Christendom MISSED THE MESSIAH’s COMING. Thus, neither camp has room to boast against the other.

        When I first embraced the Preterist perspective of eschatology, one of the first questions in my mind was… HOW IN THE WORLD could the Church have missed the significance of Christ’s parousia in AD70?? The answer I came to accept is merely speculation on my part, but it suits my sensibilities better than any other answer I’ve heard (which are few and far between.) That answer was that neither those who today call them selves “Israel” nor those today who call themselves “Christians” who hold to a futuristic paradigm of the Kingdom have ANY right to boast because BOTH GROUPS utterly failed to discern the Kingdom of God by time periods of 1500 years or greater.

        Sorry if somehow you took my statements as “antichristian” or “Christian Zionism” because both of those ideologies are 180 degrees from my actual position. If you have any doubt, please read my statements from my own blog at http://www.thykingdomcame.com

        Like

  6. chuckabean,

    Amen.
    That is exactly what the word of God is teaching us. There will be a remnant for the house of Juda and the house of Israel will be restored (Jer 31 and Iz 37) and will become one nation under Christ’s reign during the millennial time. The Lord Jesus will come again visible in power en majesty at the end of the great tribulation and it is then when God will pour out His Spirit over the house of David and they will see Him – Jesus Christ – the one they have pierced and accept Him as their Messiah. It is then He will deliver them from their enemies and the Lord will rebuild the temple (Zach 6), the (animal) sacrifices will be restored again (Ez 43), Israel will possess the land as promised en they will divide the land as written in Ez 47. The Lord will also bless the remnant of Israel’s neighbors (Zach 9).
    Restored Israel will be the light of the world. The prophet Isaiah has already prophesied that in chapter 66:18-24. The prophet Zacharia also had confirmed it Zach 8:20-23.
    Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for adding your feedback here, Suzy.

      As I asked Chuck, on what basis do you say that Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 37 are about a “millennial time”? Where in Revelation 20:2-7 (the only passage in Scripture about a period of 1000 years) do we read about the house of Judah, the house of Israel, or anything else found in Jeremiah 31 or Ezekiel 37? For a while now I’ve marveled at how various OT passages are matter-of-factly and randomly imported into Revelation 20.

      Regarding the uniting of the house of Judah and the house of Israel, what hindered this from taking place in one sense during the days of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel? The 10 northern tribes were scattered throughout Assyria after being taken over in 722 BC. Babylon then took over Assyria in 616 BC, before capturing Judah and Jerusalem in 586 BC. Now all 12 tribes were under Babylon. Then Medo-Persia took over Babylon in the days of Daniel (see chapters 5-6). Persia then allowed the Jewish captives to return to Jerusalem, and to rebuild the temple and the city. What hindered people from all 12 tribes from returning at that time? The other, greater, sense, though in which this occurred is in the days of the early church:

      “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:1-5).

      Jews, from “every nation under heaven,” heard the gospel proclaimed that day. Many were gathered there in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost, but were residents of other lands. Of course, they shared the news of what happened that day with family members and others when they went back home. James addresses all 12 tribes in his epistle: “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings” (James 1:1). And I’ll also just mention that some Bible teachers throughout church history have taught that the promise of reuniting the house of Judah and the house of Israel prefigured how Jesus would break down the wall of hostility between the commonwealth of Israel and Gentiles who would call upon Him (Ephesians 2).

      How does Zechariah 6 speak of a temple being rebuilt 2000+ years after Jesus would come in the flesh and lay down His life for the salvation of God’s people? The New Testament is abundantly clear that Christ’s followers are God’s temple (e.g I Corinthians 3:16, I Cor. 6:19, II Cor. 6:16, etc.). Not only does the Bible not predict a rebuilt brick-and-mortar temple in our future, but even if one were to be built it would not in any way be a center for God’s presence or serve as His dwelling place. In fact, it would be a slap in the face of Jesus, so to speak.

      Animal sacrifices were done away with at the time of Christ, according to the book of Hebrews. Those sacrifices were types and shadows pointing forward to Jesus, who fulfilled them by laying down His own life as a sacrifice for our sins. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, as John the Baptist proclaimed. There is no need for a restoration of animal sacrifices in our future, and such a restoration would be yet another slap in the face of Jesus. These things pointed forward to Jesus. Going back to them would be going backwards from what Jesus has done and has fulfilled.

      Jesus is the light of the world, and so are those who are in Him (see the post above, and also Matthew 5:14). Jesus has not failed in this role, nor will He ever fail in this role.

      Blessings to you too.

      Like

  7. Adam, that was a concise and powerful essay. It grieves me to see that even after reading such a clearly written piece, some brothers and sisters still don’t see the error in what they have been taught. I also attend Liberty University Online and see how they perpetuate the false distinction between Israel and the Body of Christ. What grieves me the most about it is they fail to grasp the majesty of the spiritual nature of God’s work through Jesus, as you use scripture to beautifully illustrate, and the diminishing effect this teaching has on the Gospel. This error is dangerous, and is crippling the American church. It must be corrected. I pray that God would use you to help lift the veil off their understanding. I must commend you for the graceful and patient manner in which you respond to those who disagree.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Many thanks for this clear, concise and convincing case for the nature and relationships between the Covenants – probably the most user-friendly I have found as I seek to make the case for Christ above ‘Christian-Zionism’. Your study and presentation skills have been so helpful.
    God bless you and Guide you in all Truth.

    Liked by 1 person

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