Galatians 4 Shows That Isaiah 66 Is Not About Modern Israel

I grew up in a church where Christian Zionism and dispensationalist theology was (and still is) taught. In that setting, and in others, I was repeatedly taught that Bible prophecy was fulfilled when Israel became a nation in 1948. Furthermore, I was told, this event “restarted God’s prophetic time clock.” Two passages of Scripture allegedly foretold that event, Isaiah 66:7-9 and Matthew 24:32-33. In neither case does this ring true, and both passages carry an entirely different message.

Isaiah 66:5-13

Many believe that Isaiah was looking ahead about 2700 years to the political events of 1948 when he wrote the final portion of his book. They often point to verses 7-9 in particular, and insist that Isaiah foresaw the birth of national Israel “in one day.” Before looking at what this passage says, let’s consider Isaiah’s patterns and themes in the final eight chapters of his book:

  • Isaiah 59 concludes with a Messianic prophecy (“The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob…”). This prophecy, quoted in Romans 11:26-27, foretold Christ’s work on the cross as a sacrifice for sin.
  • Isaiah 60 is filled with prophetic decrees of the coming new covenant age (this present age), when the nations come to the light of the gospel.
  • Isaiah 61 contains a prophecy about the Lord’s anointed One and the good news, healing, and liberty He would bring; Jesus said this was fulfilled during His earthly ministry (see Luke 4:18-19).
  • Isaiah 65 speaks of new heavens and a new earth, in which sin, death, childbearing, and labor would continue (this makes sense if his prophecy is viewed as the establishment of the new covenant age rather than an overhaul of this planet and the galaxy). Our study on Matthew 24:35 discusses more fully the view that the Bible sometimes uses covenant language when speaking of “the heavens and the earth.”
  • From these and other examples in the final chapters of Isaiah, we see that Isaiah looks repeatedly to what we know were first century events. Let’s look now at Isaiah 66:5-13.

5 Hear the word of the Lord, You who tremble at His word: “Your brethren who hated you, who cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.”  6 The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, who fully repays His enemies!  7 “Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child.  8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.  9 Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the Lord. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.  10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her;  11 that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”  12 For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; on her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees.  13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

Verse 5: This is clearly the Lord’s comfort for those who would be persecuted, hated, and cast out for His sake. Albert Barnes (1834), John Gill (1763), and Matthew Henry (1710) all taught that Isaiah was referring to the first century when Jesus, the apostles, and the early church preached the gospel and were opposed by the religious leaders of Israel.

Verse 6: Noise and a voice are heard from the city and the temple, and the voice is the Lord’s as He repays His enemies. Who are His enemies here? The text doesn’t say, at least not explicitly. However, if verse 5 is about the religious (temple) authorities persecuting the followers of Christ, then they are the enemies being repaid here at the time of the temple’s downfall; and Matthew 23 and I Thessalonians 1 also foretell this event:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …you are sons of those who murdered the prophets… I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth… all these things will come upon this generation” (Matthew 23:29-36).

For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost” (I Thessalonians 2:14-16).

Verses 7-8: Isaiah sees a woman, identified as Zion (verse 8), in labor. She delivers “a male child” (verse 7) and gives birth to “children” (verse 8). A nation is born “in one day” and “at once” (verse 8). Matthew Poole (1683) and John Gill (1763) are among those who taught that Isaiah foretold what would happen on the day of Pentecost, when 3000 Jews heard Peter preach the gospel and believed (Acts 2:41).

Verses 9-11: For those who love Jerusalem, this birthing is cause for rejoicing (verse 10). They are invited to “feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom” and to “drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory”  (verse 11).

Verses 12-13: This woman is given “peace like a river,” and she is filled with “the glory of the Gentiles” (verse 12). [Interestingly, those who insist that this is a prophecy of Israel becoming a nation in 1948 are often fixated on the goal of “a Jewish state,” and sound as if they would be happy to see each and every non-Jew exiled from Israel. The Jerusalem Isaiah saw would be marked by the glory of Gentiles – of Gentiles finding salvation in Christ.] Those who feed from this woman would be carried on her sides and dandled on her knees. God would comfort them in Jerusalem as one is comforted by his own mother.

Where else does Scripture depict Jerusalem as the mother of God’s people? And which Jerusalem is that, the earthly one or the heavenly one?

For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem ABOVE is free, which is THE MOTHER OF US ALL” (Galatians 4:24-26; see verses 21-31 for a fuller context).

In the next verse Paul quotes from Isaiah 54:1, a passage which is parallel to Isaiah 66:

For it is written, ‘Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor. For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband’ (Galatians 4:27).

Observe how Paul goes on to interpret Isaiah 54:1.

Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.’ So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman” (Galatians 4:27-31).

Isaiah 66:8 is parallel to Isaiah 54:1, and it ought to be seen in the same way that Paul made application of Isaiah 54:1 in Galatians 4. Isaiah foresaw the birthing and the breaking forth of the heavenly Jerusalem (66:8-10), even as earthly Jerusalem met her demise (66:6). Ironically, Isaiah 66 does not speak of the restoration of earthly Jerusalem into the hands of mostly unbelieving Jews in 1948. Rather, it mirrors the taking away of the earthly kingdom from unfaithful Israel (in 70 AD), and the giving of the heavenly kingdom to God’s holy nation, the Church, just as Jesus predicted (Matthew 21:43-44; cf. Daniel 7:18, 22, 27). It speaks of the establishment of the new Jerusalem for the bride of Christ, and the dissolving of the old covenant in favor of the new covenant (which was established at the cross). This is the point of both Isaiah and Paul.

Matthew 24:32-33

Matthew 24:32-33 reads this way: “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that He is near—at the doors!” In part 4 of our series on the Olivet Discourse, we noted that dispensationalists are fond of saying that the fig tree represents Israel, and that when Israel became a nation in 1948, the world’s final generation was unveiled. We also noted at least four problems with this view:

[1] When Paul speaks of Israel in his epistle to the Romans (11:17, 24), he uses the illustration of an olive tree, not a fig tree.

[2] In Luke’s account, Jesus speaks of not only the fig tree, but “all the trees” (See Luke 21:29-31).

[3] Jesus does speak of a fig tree elsewhere in Matthew, but observe closely what He says about it: “In the morning, as He was returning to the city, He became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, He went to it and found nothing on it but leaves. And He said to it, ‘May no fruit ever come from you again!’” (Matthew 21:18-19). In light of what Jesus said to that fig tree, one ought to think twice about what it means if national Israel is represented by the fig tree.

[4] In Matthew 24:34 Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” This certainly included the branches of the fig tree, so to speak, bringing forth leaves. James saw the signs and declared, “Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand… Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:8-9; compare with Matt. 24:33).

Modern Israel is not in view in either of these passages which are so often cited as predicting the events of the mid-20th century. Some of those who thunder the loudest against what they call “replacement theology” have attempted to take Isaiah’s prophecy about the birth of the new covenant church, and make it about the (re-)birth of national Israel instead. Scripture interprets Scripture to demonstrate that, while God cast out earthly Jerusalem, He chose new Jerusalem to be the nurturing mother of the church. 

53 thoughts on “Galatians 4 Shows That Isaiah 66 Is Not About Modern Israel

  1. Amen. Great teaching Adam. I do not understand how anyone can read Isaiah 66:5-13 and believe it is referring to 1948 and the modern state of Israel. There is not one reference within these verses which could be interpreted as such.

    When i first read verse 8 concerning ” a nation” being born in one day, i automatically thought of the three thousand who came to accept Jesus as the Messiah, we read of in Acts 2. Glad to read the bible commentators you mention, see it the same. Also, and this is probably only because of my recent study, i thought of Jesus’ words in Matthew 21;

    “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.

    The nation foretold of being born in one day was the Church;

    “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” 1Peter 2


    • I fully agree, PJ, that Peter speaks of the same holy nation (the church) that Jesus spoke of when He said that the kingdom of God would be given to a fruit-bearing nation.

      Even in my former days as a dispensationalist, when I was supposed to believe that Isaiah 66 was about Israel becoming a nation in 1948, I had the hardest time “seeing” it. I later came to realize that was because there was no such thing to see.

      It’s a privilege to be a member and a citizen of God’s holy nation.


  2. Romans chapters 9-11, I just re-read it. I can not believe that it can be read in its entirety and still a person could say, “The church now takes all the nation promises from Israel.”
    The amazing promises of Isaiah 66 can not and have not and will not be fulfilled by the current nation of Israel OR by the church, they will be fulfilled by the millennial Israel. They were called to the be the witness nation to the nations and the gift and calling of God are irrevocable. Maybe do a study of the word irrevocable. Maybe if we had read just one more verse Isaiah 66:17 it would have been painfully, blatantly obvious that the prophet is talking about the physical people of Israel. What has not happened, is yet to happen and will be for the glory of God. The more impossible the prophecy, the more obstinate the people, the more glory will go to God at its fulfillment. And it will all be accomplished because of His great love, because of His choice, His calling. I do not exalt Israel, I exalt the grace of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chuck,

      What is “the millennial Israel”? There’s no mention of Israel in Revelation 20:2-7, the only passage which speaks of the 1000 years. Nor is there any hint, as far as I can see, that this passage is related in any way to national Israel. Who would reign “for a thousand years,” along with Jesus, whose reign is eternal? We’re only told that it’s “those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands” (Rev. 20:4).

      Do you disagree that Isaiah 66 is parallel to Isaiah 54, which Paul quoted in Galatians 4? Do you believe that the “nurturing mother” language used by Isaiah (in Isaiah 66), concerning Jerusalem, is not related to what Paul said in Galatians 4 (that the Jerusalem above is the mother of God’s people)?


      • Amen Adam. Chuchabean is clearly paradigm bound with futurism. To stand back and read the bible (anew) with fresh eyes to the truth will take a major paradigm shift after years of this delusion.


      • Futurism is a good explanation for the fact that the Middle East is a hot bed of activity, and wars, the very out of proportion hatred being directed to the Jew, the constant uproar over who will claim Jerusalem and control it. But just close your eyes and pretend that it is not happening. “Nothing to see here.”


  3. Starting from the top of this article and working my way down to you last comment. Israel being back in the land has to happen for many of the prophecies to be yet future. If they were not there, your view would win the day, and since they were not there for so many years, to “protect” God from His wild and amazing prophecies, many commentators did their best to spiritualize every promise about the nation and the land. That being said this current state is not the fulfillment of Isaiah 66, and it is only a partial fulfillment of Matt. 24.
    Pretty bold of you to bring Isaiah 59:20 and the Romans 11 quote of it into the discussion. So the promise of this verse from the Living, True and Ever Faithful, God to His blind, disobedient people, is very simple, and it is expanded on exponentially in verse 21. So all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26) and the context is national Israel, (as opposed to the church), and their children, (physical) and children’s children (physical) will be saved also. This has obviously never happened, it is a millennial promise. This amazing grace and forgiveness is only possible because of the cross of Christ, on that we agree.
    You said “Isaiah 60 is filled with prophetic decrees of the coming new covenant age (this present age), when the nations come to the light of the gospel.” The church can partake in some of these promises and spiritualize them, but they are still promises made to Israel. Real, physical, Israel, who were called and elected by God to be a light to the nations. So in verse 3 “nations” come to “their” light, and “kings” (physical kings) to their brightness. Midian, Ephah, Sheba, Kedar, Lebanon, all physical places… right? Verse 12 especially is easily connected to Zechariah 14:17-19. These are physical promises to a people that will be fulfilled in the 1,000 year reign.
    “Isaiah 61 contains a prophecy about the Lord’s anointed One and the good news, healing, and liberty He would bring; Jesus said this was fulfilled during His earthly ministry (see Luke 4:18-19).” Actually Jesus said that part of the verse was fulfilled and stopped in the middle because the second part of the thought was “yet to be fulfilled.” Verse 4 of Isaiah 61 speaks of rebuilding the ancient ruins and repairing ruined cities and the desolations of MANY generations, that all sounds like good physical activity that will be taking place in the millennium. And once again in verse 11 all of this is to take place before the physical nations.
    Isaiah 66–again, the church can partake of these promises, but there is no need to steal them from their original meaning and purpose. Verse 13-20 speak of a physical comforting from God to Israel, their enemies are destroyed, HE is gathering them from specific physical places.
    In reference to Galatians 4 it is necessary for me to beat my same old drum. Romans 9-11 explains the relationship of the church to Israel. Galatians 4 does not. Galatians 4 emphasizes the beautiful truth that we are saved by grace through faith, not the law. We agree with that, the law, as a means of salvation, is past, it never worked, it was a tutor. But the “new covenant” promises are to the church AND millennial Israel that is why they were given to Jeremiah and Ezekiel and stated very clearly long before the “New testament” was written.
    Isaiah 54:6-15 is a beautiful revealing of the heart of God, just like the first chapters of Hosea. His heart is mercy and restoration, and forgiveness and every bit of His heart will be displayed in His love for millennial Israel.
    Sorry that is all I have time for now. I will come back when I can, and as always I appreciate this forum.


    • Chuck, what if older commentators interpreted the prophetic writings of the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament, or by following the patterns of how the inspired authors of the NT interpreted the OT, rather than allegedly protecting God from His own prophecies?

      The way we interpret “Israel” in Romans 11:26, as the church versus national Israel, definitely makes a difference. Once again, though, on what basis do you say that this is “a millennial promise”? Would you say that Revelation 20, the only place where the 1000 years is mentioned, makes a direct parallel to Romans 11? I don’t see it.

      Yes, Midian, Ephah, Sheba, Kedar, and Lebanon (Isaiah 60) were physical places, but why can’t we say that they came to Zion’s light when the gospel was spread far and wide by Christ’s followers in the first century?

      Nothing is stolen from Isaiah 66. It’s clear from Galatians 4 which Jerusalem is cast out, and which Jerusalem is spoken of as a comforting mother for God’s people (the one above). I’m not sure that you appreciate Paul’s words there, and his application of Isaiah 54. Galatians 4 actually does touch on the relationship of the church to national Israel. Paul says that the bondwoman corresponds to Mount Sinai and the Jerusalem of his day, but the free woman is the Jerusalem above, and that he was giving an analogy of two covenants. His conclusion was this: “So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free” (Gal. 4:31).

      I still don’t know what you mean by “millennial Israel,” as there is no mention of Israel in the only passage (Revelation 20) which speaks of the 1000 years.


      • The 1000 year millennial reign makes heaps of sense. Check out 119 ministries video called “the Sabbath day” on YouTube. I’m sure you will find it very informative and challenging in many levels.

        I used to believe in Preterist eschatology but no longer. There is so much more to the story.

        The statement “him who has ears, let him hear” I have heard was an idiom referring he who has knowledge of Torah. That is, God’s instructions in the first five books of the bible.

        Jesus fulfilled the Spring feast days perfectly:
        Unleavened bread
        First fruits
        Counting of the Omer
        Shavuot (Pentecost)

        All of this symbolism was fulfilled beautifully.

        There are fall feast days yet to come! Check out some videos on the Autumn feast days in bible prophecy.

        All the best in your studies. God bless.
        PS your wife is really beautiful 🙂


      • Hi Gem. Thank you for the compliment about my wife. I disagree that Jesus hasn’t yet fulfilled “the fall feast days.” It looks like “The Sabbath Day” video is nearly two hours long. I’d rather not spend that much time watching something that I don’t know anything about. Can you briefly summarize in words what you wanted me to learn from it, and also what it is about the fall feast days that you believe are not yet fulfilled? Thanks.

        In what way does “the 1000 year millennial reign” make sense to you? I can’t tell from this statement what you believe about the millennium, or how you connect this idea to the subject at hand: “Galatians 4 Shows That Isaiah 66 Is Not About Modern Israel.” This topic isn’t so much about “Preterist eschatology” as it is about whether or not the Bible predicted Israel’s creation as a nation in 1948. There are non-preterists who agree that Isaiah 66 and Matthew 24 did not predict the events of 1948. I’m not sure what your opinion might be on this topic, but you’re free to share it if you have one.


    • Love the discussion, you guys are way ahead of me in the theological studies. But as an ex, ‘lukewarm’ or ‘passive’ Zionist, I have to say that my growing awareness of the political realities in Palestine disturbed me to further investigation, and ultimately to go to source and begin studying the scriptural basis for ‘Christian Zionism’. I have to say, everything I read leads me ever stronger to the conviction that the modern state of Israel is an idol to Jews, and a heresy which is verging on blasphemy to the truth and teaching of Christ. It truly felt like scales falling from my eyes and a warm light in my belly as I read. The nature of and relationships between the two Covenants is the core I believe.
      I believe there is only one unfulfilled scriptural prophesy left regarding the physical nation of Israel – that of a ‘revival’, or outpouring of God’s Spirit once the ‘time of the Gentiles’ is complete.
      I am also of the personal opinion that the nation of Israel will cease to exist – it is, certainly in it’s current guise and indeed it’s origins, an aberration of the true Jerusalem – this would almost certainly mean a renewed time of tribulation for the Jewish people, and may become the means of repentance, and their ultimate fulfilling of the exilic ministry ?
      I look forward like Abraham to the city whose foundation is Christ.
      I am grieved at the association of Christianity with a racist, colonial, apartheid state, which practices cultural genocide, ethnic cleansing, and an incremental genocide in the name of our God. For such is the name of Christ brought into disrepute and shame among the gentiles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • From Galatians 4:19-31, I believe, spiritual abortion is defined. Excellent insights regarding the nature of our Savation, which is always continuing. Christi’s NEW covenant blood is key for understanding God in Christ. Scripture teaches no homogenization of covenants and bloods. Paul defines this as ” spiritual adultery ” in Romans 7:1-6…
        I am against ethnic and or nationalistic pride obscuring the new covenant blood of Christ. I still have a deep love for Jews as well as the nation of Israel as Gods first and old obsolete covenant was given to them. The OC Temple was the center of Gods activity on earth but Praise Him, we, who are Christ’s Body are now His NC Temple; complete with an ” outer court ” ministry to man and ” inner court ” ministry unto The Lord as His presence dwells within as we ” partake of His Divine nature!!!”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. About “millennial Israel”, my interpretation is Israel is a physical nation in the millennial time. They fulfill their “irrevocable call” to be a light to the other nations. Progressive revelation is true of many things in the Bible so the fact that only Rev. 20 mentions 1,000 years does not negate the many promises to Israel, and even Egypt, that have never been fulfilled and can only be fulfilled when the “new covenant” is brought to pass by the merciful, loving, faithful God, for an entire nation of people, in one day. (Not 3,000, which is a delightful ‘down-payment’ but certainly not a fulfillment of the promise.) Galatians 4 teaches that the law is not how we get to God, that’s all. Physical Jerusalem at that time was teaching that, so that was his comparison. Ultimately Romans 9-11 is still the only place, where the church and Israel have their relationship in the big picture explained. That is not the purpose of the letter to the Galatians.
    This quote from you really caught my eye, “[1] When Paul speaks of Israel in his epistle to the Romans (11:17, 24), he uses the illustration of an olive tree, not a fig tree.” So, I feel you have painted yourself into the proverbial corner here. Romans 11:17, and 24 speak of Israel you say. Verse 25,26, and 27 speak of Israel to, and they speak of her ultimate destiny, in relation to the church. 25 Israel is being hardened, UNTIL, 26 after the UNTIL, ALL ISRAEL is saved, in fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy, which is absolutely, positively not being spiritualized. Paul was speaking of physical Israel in verses 17, and 24, he continued to speak of them in 25-27.
    It is totally within the context of what he was saying to say that physical Israel will be saved because of the irrevocable call of God, for His Hepzibah to which He is Beulah! You can not arbitrarily change Israel in verse 26 to the church when there is no reason to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chuck, you said that certain promises “can only be fulfilled when the ‘new covenant’ is brought to pass by the merciful, loving, faithful God, for an entire nation of people, in one day.”

      Here is what we read in Hebrews 8:6. “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”

      Hebrews was written in the first century, and the author clearly stated that the new covenant “WAS established.” The fulfillment of the establishment of the new covenant is not future. It’s past, and ongoing. The new covenant was established for an entire nation, but that nation is not limited to the borders of one political nation, nor is it limited to or dominated by one race. It’s the people of God, in Christ, throughout the world who make up this holy nation. The New Testament says that over and over again, and the Old Testament also foretold this many times.

      The 3000 saved on the Day of Pentecost was just the beginning, yes. God’s holy nation has only expanded since that time. It spilled out over the borders of Israel, as we see in the book of Acts. Over the next several decades, God’s holy nation was found throughout the Roman Empire (Romans 1:8, 16:25-26; Colossians 1:5-6, 23). Later His holy nation even expanded to South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and beyond, as it is today.

      Regarding Romans 11, there is precedent for shifting quickly from talking about national Israel to talking about the Israel of God (Jesus and His body, Jews and non-Jews). Paul did it in Galatians 4. Zechariah did it (Zech. 14). I just know that Paul quoted from Isaiah 59, about Jesus’ work on the cross, and His covenant which takes away sins, and I know that you and I and so many others are participants in, and benefactors of, that covenant right now.

      You may be interested in a public debate that is coming up soon on this very subject (“All Israel will be saved”). It will be between Dr. Michael Brown and Don K. Preston. The date is Tuesday, June 3rd, and here is a link showing where it can be viewed:

      The time is listed as 2-4 pm, but I heard that it might have to be later in the afternoon. In any case, it should be viewable on YouTube and elsewhere later for those who can’t tune in live. After the debate takes place I hope to post the video here, with comments, and we can discuss the issue as deeply as we wish and also evaluate what these two men have to say.


      • There is no “shifting quickly” in the context of Romans 11 Paul is building an argument like building blocks, and this is the “big finish” of his argument. In Galatians 4 we agree that he is presenting a contrast, but that is not what is happening in Romans 11. In Zechariah 14 I have to admit I have no idea what you are talking about there. It is all about physical Israel as a land and a nation, no switch.
        The context of the “new covenant” that is spoken of in the Jeremiah and Ezekiel, is a national change of a people. We are in the new covenant and the letter to the Hebrews, rejoices in that, but I am as usual talking about a full and ultimate fulfillment of the original promise, I am not content with “small things.”


      • Chuckabean, regarding Zechariah 14, I’m in agreement with the traditional interpretation that Zechariah prophesies about New Jerusalem, and the living waters of Christ and the gospel (verse 8; see also John 4:13-14, 7:37-38; Revelation 22:2; Ezekiel 47:1-12). Here, for example, numerous commentators from Albert Barnes to Matthew Henry, etc. reach the same conclusion:

        If you look at the recent study I posted on Revelation 22:1-5, in the section on verse 3 there is a chart demonstrating that John, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, leaned heavily on Zechariah 14 when describing New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22.


        Regarding the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, I’m glad, of course, that you acknowledge we “are in it.” I do disagree that we are awaiting “a full and ultimate” fulfillment of their promises regarding the new covenant. Where is the indication in the New Testament that only a partial fulfillment, installment, down payment, etc. of the new covenant had taken place? Why does Hebrews 8:6 simply say that the new covenant had already been established, and not indicate that a more ultimate establishment was yet to come?

        Also, would you say that Jeremiah and Ezekiel foresaw the new covenant being established among the followers of the Messiah (Jesus), from the time of His work on the cross onward? Or would you say that Jeremiah and Ezekiel only foresaw an even later (future to us) establishment of the new covenant for national Israel, and that God surprised everyone by allowing the body of Christ to enjoy the new covenant in some measure in the meantime? I ask these questions in order to better understand how you see the church fitting in to these promises in a less than ultimate sense.


  5. Hi chuckabean! Just an observation. You say,

    “About “millennial Israel”, my interpretation is Israel is a physical nation in the millennial time. They fulfill their “irrevocable call” to be a light to the other nations.’

    Not to dig into the topic of a millennial period or not, but saying you’re correct and there is an actual millennial like some teach today, why would a physical Israel “need” to be a light when the real light will be here? It would seem to me that even if one believes in an actual 1000 yr millennial period, Jesus, the true, real light being present, would make the need for any lesser light unnecessary.

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  6. PJ, not a “need” but a fulfillment of a promise by a faithful God, is the reason they are a light to the nations, by grace alone, through faith alone. Jesus is the light of the world, but He calls the church the light of the world, obviously, the church is not needed, but it is called and chosen. Jesus is indeed enough, but by grace we get to participate in the call. Israel does also in the 1,000 year time.


    • Chuckabean, God always keeps his word. Israel as a light to the Nations was and is (still) being fulfilled through Jesus, who is the True Israel and True Light to the Nations: for only Jesus was capable of fulfilling God’s laws for Israel.

      Jesus fulfilled the call national Israel was unable to comply with. There is no longer any need for a future fulfillment.


      • PJ the promise was to a national, ethnic people based out of a specific land. It was NEVER a promise based on their performance or ability. Just like us, it is by grace alone, through faith alone, for His glory alone, that “one day” their irrevocable call will be fulfilled. It is about His Name, and His glory. Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 are filled with “I will” promises from God to this people. They are only fulfilled when this people come to the end of their strength, once again, the same as us. The “arrogance” that Paul warned of in Romans 9-11 has come upon anyone who refuses to see that God blinded Israel for a purpose, and God will give them sight one day in the future for a purpose also. We are not better than them, we are under mercy and grace and that is the only thing, that is different at the moment. To imply that “they blew it” and “we got it right” is the height of arrogance. Romans 11 makes this clear, “unless” to keep your system of belief alive you “switch out” national Israel in verse 26 for absolutely no reason other than, to leave it the way that the argument is proceeding for 3 chapters blows your “system” out of the water. For 3 chapters Paul is contrasting the Jew and the gentile, the unbelieving Jew and the Church. He is using “we and they” arguments all through-out, and it reaches a peak in Chapter 11. Why, oh why “switch out” national Israel in verse 26? Adam has offered Galatians 4 as an example of “switching out” but in that section Paul is making a contrast, which he is not doing in this section.


      • chuckabean, “the promise was to a national, ethnic people based out of a specific land”.
        That simply isn’t true.
        Rom. 4:13 – “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
        vs 14 – “For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.”
        vs. 17 – “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)”
        vs. 20 – “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;”
        vs. 21 – “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”
        vs. 22 – “And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.”
        vs. 23 – “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;”
        vs. 24 – “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;”
        vs. 25 – “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised for our justification.”
        THAT my friend is what the promise is about and who the promise was made to.


      • chuckabean, it is not by “faith alone.” The Bible says man is not justified by faith alone, because faith alone is dead (James 2:14-26).

        Getting back to Israel and Romans, in Romans ch. 9, Paul is pointing out that God can and will separate Israel into two groups, the saved and the lost. It is not about an “ethnic people.” If it was about ethnicity, genealogy according to the flesh, then Ishmael would be included, but he was cast off (Rom. 9:6-9). Nor is it about fleshly genealogy and the Law, or else Esau would have been included (Esau had the same genealogy and circumcision that Jacob had – Rom. 9:10-13).

        It has never been about genealogy according to the flesh, but genealogy according to the Spirit. It has never been about circumcision of the flesh, but spiritual circumcision of the heart – see Romans ch. 2 and John ch. 3. This is why Jesus took Nicodemus to school: “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?” This wasn’t a new teaching with Jesus or Paul, this is what the Law of Moses had ALWAYS taught.

        This is why John the Baptist warned the Jews: “Do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father.'” He said this because they, like you, think they get into the kingdom by virtue of their fleshly birth. This is in direct contradiction to the sovereignty and grace of God.


  7. Thanks for ‘chiming’ in “Steve” Of course James is right, that “faith” leads to works, but those works are a result of faith and grace, otherwise man gets the glory, right?
    Romans 9-11 is a united section, so one can get the totally wrong impression if one stops reading at Romans chapter 9, which you apparently have done. Keep reading all the way to the end of chapter 11 where Paul breaks out into song, because of the beauty and sovereignty of God’s plan, that includes both, national Israel, and the church.
    Jacob was chosen by God to eliminate Esau from the “Israel” of God, and of course Isaac is the chosen “seed” to eliminate Ishmael from the chosen line. That is very basic in the understanding of the covenant of God with Israel.
    Did you know, circumcision of the heart, is first mentioned by Moses in Deuteronomy? Look up 30:6 and then try to convince me that “the hearts of your descendants” does not mean physical Israel.
    The only time, the writings that Nicodemus would have had access too, mention being born again is when the nation is born in a day, that is what he should have been familiar with, the concept of being born again. Circumcision was not mentioned in the talk that Jesus had with Nicodemus.
    The circumcision of the heart of natural, physical Israel, takes place on the day that Zechariah chapters 12-14 are fulfilled. Like us, as individual believers, the nation, is given sight, repents, and turns to God.
    At that point, they, like we, are at the end of their strength and are relying fully on Jesus.
    Your last paragraph indicates that you are not following my line of reasoning or thought. I hope that you can look back over my many comments and come to a better understanding of where I am coming from. I am not, and have never stated that “they” get into the kingdom based on their physical birth or genealogy. That has absolutely nothing to do with what is being debated here, nothing.


    • chuckabean, James 2:14-26 does not say “we are first saved by faith without works, and then we do works afterwards,” as you seem to believe. You insist Christians are saved by faith alone. I supplied a passage that explicitly denies such a thing. I have read the Bible through a few times and I do not recall ever seeing a passage that teaches we are saved by faith alone. Can you provide me with a book, chapter, and verse that says otherwise?

      Regarding Romans 9-11, I believe the argument begins back in chapter 1, after a brief introduction. So the argument runs from 1b-11. Beginning with ch. 12+, Paul addresses a variety of other subjects, but the first 11 chapters are part of one long, connected argument. So I would not limit the immediate context to just those three chapters.

      You say I misunderstand your teaching regarding physical birth or genealogy. Perhaps, but I don’t know how else to take your references to national Israel, national Israel’s children, and a national, ethnic people. How is that separate and apart from physical birth and genealogy?

      At this point, given your adversarial tone, I will not try to convince you of anything, because I do not believe a legitimate dialogue with you is possible. I would like you, however, to supply me with a faith alone passage.


      • Steve, we are sharing our differing views here, that is all. Others can read the views and make their own decisions. It is doubtful that anyone will convince anyone of anything, but the exercise of defending ones views in the public square is still a good exercise.
        I would refer you to the thief on the cross who had no ability to do any works, and yet was saved. James was correcting those who misunderstood Paul’s teaching and used it as a license to sin, which Paul also preached against. Jesus, however, told us that many will come on that day, saying, “Lord, Lord did we not….” and then they will list there good works and Jesus will say, “I never knew you.” Scary stuff. Justification which is the starting point of our faith is by grace alone, through faith alone, I work in a nursing home, people on their death bed, get very serious about God, and I believe in a death bed conversion. Do you? A conversion where there is no time for works.
        National Israel was chosen by God, so it is based on His choice, the Syrophonecian woman recognized this and was blessed because of it. The woman at the well did not recognize it but Jesus corrected her. Jesus and the disciples were very aware of the future kingdom, involving the ‘throne of David’, ‘mount Zion’, and ‘Jerusalem’. Our differing views, will force you to ‘spiritualize’ these passages, and will force me to take them literally. The fact that Israel is on the map again makes this a valid possibility again, “I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about”, So, my view, which was “dormant” for many years is once again a ‘living’ possibility.


      • chuckabean, you didn’t supply me with a faith alone passage, because the only faith alone passage in the entire Bible says faith alone is dead.

        The thief on the cross is irrelevant, seeing as how he was saved prior to the death of Jesus on the cross, and thus prior to the New Covenant.

        Regardless, the thief was most definitely not saved by faith alone. According to Matt. 27:44 tells us the thief was mocking Christ. But at some point, he has a change of heart, and a change of practice, because he goes from mocking Christ to throwing himself on the mercy of Jesus Christ (Luke 23:42).

        Repentance is not a “nothing,” it is a something. As someone who struggles and all too often fails to live a life in keeping with repentance, repentance IS an act of obedience. So is putting one’s faith in Christ. I am old enough to know that you can’t make anyone believe anything, regardless of the evidence, if they choose to not believe. That is why the “faith alone” system is nonsensical and unbiblical.

        James was not addressing the misunderstanding that the grace Paul taught equals a license to sin. In all likelihood, James was written prior to the conversion of Cornelius and Paul. Whatever the case, James points out the absurdity of “faith alone” by challenging the “foolish fellow” to “show me your faith without works,” which is obviously impossible. James is addressing those who heard, perhaps even nodded in mental assent, but didn’t truly believe (James 1:21-25).

        Paul didn’t teach salvation through faith alone, he taught salvation through the OBEDIENCE of faith (Rom. 1:5, 16:26). The passage commonly cited to teach faith alone is Eph. 2:8-9, but in context, Paul isn’t saying we are saved through faith apart from works of obedience, but specifically through faith in Christ apart from works of the Law of Moses (compare to Rom. 3:20-22, 3:27-30, & Gal. 2:16). When Paul speaks of boasting in Eph. 2:9, he is referring to those who boasted in their observance of the Law of Moses through physical circumcision (see Rom. 3:27 & Gal. 6:12-16).

        This is why immediately after Eph. 2:8-9, Paul goes into those who trust in the circumcision of the flesh (Eph. 2:11) and how Gentiles are brought into the Israel of God along with the Jewish believers, apart from the Law of Moses (Eph. 2:12-22).

        The biblical model for salvation isn’t faith alone, or the sinner’s prayer, but by believing, repenting, confessing, being baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38 & 22:16, Gal. 3:27, Col. 2:11-12, etc.), and by walking in the light, being faithful until death. That is the biblical model, and it is the same for the Jew AND the Gentile, for the American AND the Israeli.

        Like those mentioned in Matt. 7:21-23, there are many people who do great works in the name of Jesus, but nevertheless practice lawlessness because they refuse the commandments and the will of Jesus by living and teaching their own doctrines, instead of those of Christ. And to their surprise, they will be cast off.

        I apologize for getting so far off topic, but this is a “pet peeve” of mine.


      • chuckabean, I used to believe and argue differently. I, too, used to make the argument from the thief on the cross. But I didn’t just believe they were wrong, it was also that I didn’t want them to be right.

        Later, as I was reading through the book of Acts on my own, I came to Acts 2:38, and it didn’t say what I thought it should say. So I read it again and again, and it still said the same thing! Like the thief on the cross, I had to swallow my pride and submit to Jesus. And that was that. God bless you.


      • Just as a person is condemned through the heart (by failing to love the Lord), he is saved through the heart (by choosing to love the Lord). When a person has a true change of heart, his heart has already done the good deeds that he is about to do. James is saying, “Show me that you love your neighbor as yourself.”

        The repentant criminal on the cross displayed the proper change of heart, and Jesus did not mind that this man was unable to do anything other than a heartfelt apology. If he had been rescued from the cross, he would have made reparations.


    • Up to now I have been genuinely impressed with the breadth of your research, while not agreeing with your interpretation.
      However, at the risk of ‘chiming in’, I have to say that the following leader “PJ the promise was to a national, ethnic people based out of a specific land. It was NEVER a promise based on their performance or ability” is remarkable.
      He is a true Jew who is one inwardly.
      Throughout the pre second-covenant period, ethnic Jews were excluded and gentiles were ingrafted to the ‘nation’, including the gentile harlot into the direct genealogy of Christ. Even then, ‘faith’ was the bloodline. So wrong on so many levels here chuckabean…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. GWLough, Your quotes from Romans 4 are nothing that I disagree with. What you are missing in my argument is that there is an “and” in scripture, that allows for the promises of God to be true for the church and for the “natural branches” Paul (who wrote Romans 4), also wrote Romans chapter 9-11 to prevent, the arrogance of the grafted in branches from the wild olive tree, sadly, his best efforts have come up short because most of the “church” agrees with your position. One verse to make my point than I have to get back to homeschooling, Acts 1:7 Jesus was given a wonderful, wide open, opportunity to tell the disciples and have placed into the book of Acts, that believers would read for centuries to come, that there is no restoration of the kingdom to Israel, but He blew it! Instead He stated it is not for you to know the times and seasons that the Father has fixed. Which means, the Father is going to do that in His time, but you are to be about working during this “time of the gentiles” building up the ‘church.’ Ok, just one more, Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
    Isaiah 62:4
    Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. The real crux of our debate, is God’s love, which is unchanging, and never fails, He made a choice of Israel and He will bring it to pass.


  9. Quote: Romans 9-11 is a united section, so one can get the totally wrong impression if one stops reading at Romans chapter 9, which you apparently have done. Keep reading all the way to the end of chapter 11 where Paul breaks out into song, because of the beauty and sovereignty of God’s plan, that includes both, national Israel, and the church”

    Chuckabean, in the previous chapters (9-10) Paul, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, takes great pains in pointing out “who” is and is not (of) ‘Israel’, in fact pointing out there had always been two Israels: (1) the external Israel, the state or nation and (2) true Israel, God’s people, the children of the promise, the seed of Abraham, the people whom he foreknew, the “election”-

    Why would you think Paul, at the end of chapter 11, is referring to National Israel, in light of the great pains he took to point out the differences between true Israel and national Israel, in the previous chapters?

    Quote: We are not better than them, we are under mercy and grace and that is the only thing, that is different at the moment. To imply that “they blew it” and “we got it right” is the height of arrogance.

    In all the time I’ve been coming here and reading, i have never read one message or comment in which anyone claimed “we got it right”. If you were referring to my comment which states, “Jesus fulfilled the call national Israel was unable to comply with”, i stand firmly upon it. Jesus did fulfill Israel’s call to be a light unto the nations.

    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)

    That’s not arrogance, it’s what God’s word says.



    • Sorry PJ I can’t add another “preterist blog” to my list of things to do, we can share our views in Adam’s space, as long as he lets us. I think Paul is referring to national Israel at the end of Chapter 11 of Romans for these reasons. Verse 11 is talking about unbelieving national Israel, verse 12 too, verse 15 too. Adam agrees that verse 17 and 21 are about the “olive tree” of national Israel. “Us” and “they” is all over this section. Verse 25 speaks of it, very clearly to me, and verse 26-32 continue to highlight the mercy of God. The arrogance that Paul speaks of in verse 18, and the “being wise in your own estimation” that he warns of in verse 25… what do you make of those? I really would like your answer on that.
      Jesus indeed did fulfill the call and that is what allows us to fulfill the call, and that is what opens the door for them to fulfill their “irrevocable call.”


      • chuckabean, i’ve purposefully waited a few days to respond to your last comment to me. Reading it, i received the impression you were becoming somewhat upset with me and i did not want to be the cause of provoking you to anger.

        First, let me say my blog is not a preterist blog–for the simple reason, im not a preterist. I realize you don’t know me but those who do know i’ve made it clear i don’t “hold to” any one form of theology. There are things within preterism i agree with, just as there are things within reformed and covenant theology i agree with: there are also things within these theologies i don’t (necessarily) agree with, as well. If i had to call my theology something it would simply be biblical theology.

        The reason for the link was space and time: You appeared (and if im wrong, forgive me) to take offense to my pointing out Jesus was THE Light, and had fulfilled National Israel’s call to be a light to the Nations. The post i linked to was the result of a recent study i had done on this topic, and which i had shared at my blog. Rather then post all the reasons for believing this is true here, i thought to save time by letting you read the results of my study.

        What do i believe Paul meant in verses 25 & 26?

        “25 For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of this secret — that ye may not be wise in your own conceits — that hardness in part to Israel hath happened till the fulness of the nations may come in; 26 and so all Israel shall be saved, according as it hath been written, `There shall come forth out of Sion he who is delivering, and he shall turn away impiety from Jacob”

        Simply put, (for we would need to look at the entire chapter, or really chapters 9-11 for the fuller picture) Paul is warning the the non-Jewish believers within the Church in Rome, to be careful, for they too, like National Israel (as a whole) were capable of being removed (cut off) from the tree if they (too) fell into pride and/or unbelief.

        What i believe “all Israel” is meant to convey is one of two things: Based upon Paul just explaining the meaning of the tree (verse 17-24) i believe “all Israel” is either referring to

        (a) the Israel of God–God’s Spiritual Israel which is made up of all believers through out the ages (Jews and non-Jews alike) or

        (b) the entire faithful remnant which was always within National Israel. (verses 2-5)

        What i do not believe Paul is saying, is all “National” Israel will be saved.

        I’d like to take a moment and apologize to Adam. I’m afraid we’ve taken your original topic waaay off into left field Adam. I’m sorry. On my part, this will be the end of my discussing Romans 11 under this post. ahaha. Though i do hope you’ll pray about “perhaps” starting a post on the topic of Romans 9-11 (nudge nudge) one day.


      • Thank you, PJ, for the apology. It’s OK, though. I know it’s easy to go off on other topics, and I’ve probably done it on your blog before. 🙂 There was some discussion of Galatians 4 and Isaiah 66 here, and for that I’m glad.

        One day I hope to cover Romans 9-11 here more thoroughly. In the meantime, anyone is free to discuss Romans 11:25-27 (or any part of Romans 9-11 really) under the recent post about the upcoming debate between Don Preston and Michael Brown on this subject:

        Also, next month, as mentioned in that post, I expect to post and evaluate the video of that debate (assuming the video is available by that time). Comments will be wide open for that post as well.


  10. Adam, sorry i got distracted by other questions, I will get back to your questions next. They are as usual, thought provoking and stretching me, in my ability to explain my position. I appreciate you, and the time you take to form your questions.


  11. I have time and so will respond today. I am sure this will be long, but since it is tucked in way at the bottom here, I don’t feel bad about “rambling” very few people make it this far down in the comments. Let me say up front that I am not angry or frustrated. I am passionate about the stance I feel God has led me to take, and I greatly appreciate this space and the interactions I have with others here.
    On to Adam’s thought provoking questions. They were quite far above this, (in this “extended comment section) so I will give a general idea about them as I answer them.
    Regarding Zechariah 14, you chose to zoom in on verse 8 and I will agree with you that that verse is about a yet future Jerusalem, I would say in the millennial time AND in the New Jerusalem. My reason for that in verse 6, 7, and 8, the phrase, “in that day” is used and Peter gives us a progressive revelation, when he states “one day is as a 1,000 years, to the Lord.” All of the land and people references in Zechariah 14 make it clear that this is a promise to A chosen people, in A chosen land, who have just survived a vicious battle/attack/war. The promises about the feast in verses 16-19 do not pose any problem for my view at all, but I would think they pose huge problems for the preterist view. (not sure about the “biblical view” PJ ;))
    Regarding Revelation 21 and 22 rely heavily on Zechariah 14 when describing the “New Jerusalem.” That is OK the prophets often saw, distant things as if they were side by side with other things. Time is not important to them as they are speaking the words of God. So “New Jerusalem” things can be side by side with Jerusalem in the millennial time things. One can be a down payment of the other. Just like now the church is in a “down payment” time where we experience ‘some’ of the blessings of what Israel will walk in, in the millennial time. I wish I could make this more clear. I see the 1,000 years as a day of rest for God, where He demonstrates His government on the earth, from Jerusalem. The nation of Israel are His physical demonstration, and the church which have “spiritual bodies” are “ruling” with Him. The ultimate fulfillment of the “New Jerusalem” is something that I would put after the millennial time, when the “one last” rebellion is allowed, and God closes “time.”
    Regarding the “new testament” indicators that we are living in a ‘partial fulfillment’ time. Acts chapter 1 records that Jesus spent 40 days speaking with the disciples about the “kingdom of God” After this time of teaching directly from His lips, they have this question, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” Their question indicates a physical fulfillment was on their minds and Jesus (who is being given a marvelous opportunity to display a preterist understanding and call the disciples, “silly boys who still harbor such a limited ethnic/land understanding”) tells them they are not to concern themselves with “when” that time will come, they are simply to wait on the Power of the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses. In Acts chapter 2 Peter says “this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel” but very little of what Joel spoke of was being fulfilled that day, which is why the Holy Spirit did not inspire Peter to say this “fulfills” what was spoken of by the prophet Joel. It was only a start, a down payment. Acts 2:35 is quoting Psalm 110 and uses the very powerful prophetic word, “until”, indicating that we are in the time in between the first coming and the “until.” Acts 3:21 again brings out “until” and speaks of the PERIOD OF restoration of all thing spoken by the prophets, that is (in my opinion) all things spoken to Israel about their irrevocable call. In Acts 4 Peter is again quoting from Psalms this time chapter 2, but it is clearly only a partial fulfillment of a part of the whole Psalm. I guess I could proceed through the “new testament” but I will stop there with the thought that Israel was warned of a time of rejection and God turning away from them in Micah 5, but the beautiful word “until” shows up there also. He is married to Gomer by His choice, not by any worth or value in Gomer.
    Regarding Hebrews 8:6, I totally read this as a partial fulfillment, why else mention both Judah and Israel in the verse that is quoted. We are indeed, in the new covenant, AND, they will indeed be in it, physically in the land that it was promised. I don’t think anything in your understanding would explain why mention both Israel and Judah, that is always a prophetic way of saying the entire, physical nation. So, by quoting this verse it shows that the church gets the promise AND it is still a promise to them. (“Us and them” is all over Romans 9-11, there is in fact, no other way to read those chapters, if you do not have an us and them mindset as you are reading them Paul’s arguments throughout and total amazement at the end will make no sense.)
    Regarding Jeremiah and Ezekiel seeing the first coming of Jesus on the cross and this interim “until” time in its fullness. I do not think they saw it, and I think I know why. It was meant to be a hidden mystery so that Satan would not figure it out. 1 Cor. 2:7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
    So, yes, I see this interim time as a surprise to Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Israel has paid a heavy price for their sins, but I would post these verses as a “hidden in plain sight” example of God disclosing His plan to those He loves. Hosea 5:15-6:2 I will go away and return to My place
    Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
    In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. “Come, let us return to the Lord.
    For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
    He has [a]wounded us, but He will bandage us.
    “He will revive us after two days;
    He will raise us up on the third day,
    That we may live before Him.
    (two days, two thousand years, raised up on the third day, kind of neat, huh?)
    Anyway, thanks for your time.


  12. PJ you stated,””What i believe “all Israel” is meant to convey is one of two things: Based upon Paul just explaining the meaning of the tree (verse 17-24) i believe “all Israel” is either referring to

    (a) the Israel of God–God’s Spiritual Israel which is made up of all believers through out the ages (Jews and non-Jews alike) or

    (b) the entire faithful remnant which was always within National Israel. (verses 2-5)

    What i do not believe Paul is saying, is all “National” Israel will be saved.””
    So looking at the progression of thought in verse 25 and 26, we see in verse 25 that the Israel that Paul is specifically speaking of in these two verses is an Israel that is “hardened” at this time. God is sovereignly hardening them “until”… So God is not hardening “all believers through out the ages”….option (a) cannot be right.
    God is not sovereignly hardening an “entire faithful remnant”… option (b) cannot be right either.
    What gives this section of scripture such a powerful, amazing window into the mind and plan of God, is that, He is sovereignly choosing to harden the vast majority of natural, physical Israel at this time. Then, when the fullness of the gentiles has come in, those who are “enemies of the gospel” (which again eliminates (a) and (b) but totally supports my view) are still shown to be God’s choice of electing mercy, and their gift and call are, say it with me, “irrevocable!” Then the “you” and “they” continues as God reveals that He is the One shutting Israel up in disobedience, just like we believers were, at one time. The point is His mercy. Your options (a) and (b) do not stand up to a simple and clear reading of verses 25-32. I hope you will give this more consideration.


  13. Hey Adam, Great site and solid Biblical perspective brother. If you get a chance, check out Ron Cantor’s !/1/15 article/video in Charisma concerning “does the new covenant promise Israel Land”
    This attack and many others like it on the new covenant blood of Jesus among the HRM folk is astounding. Let me know what you think of mt comment regarding this false teaching.
    Praise God i too am was married in the summer of 2012 to a beautiful women of color who is Gods best for me! Keep up the good work.


    • Thank you, John, and it’s really neat to hear that you entered into an inter-racial marriage at just about the same time I did. You keep up the good work as well. I listened to Ron Cantor’s video just now (thanks for the link below), and also read your comment at his site. I thought you spoke well.

      I agree. Teachings such as the one Ron presented really are an attack on the new covenant, and a desperate attempt to prop up the old covenant as if it’s still alive. His teaching also features ethnocentrism, and ignores the fact that Hebrews 13 says that Abraham and the patriarchs really looked forward to the heavenly city that God was preparing (and we are that city now).


      • Thanks for your support and information. It means a much to me! Mr. Cantor responded in indignation to my post based on the last sentence only; not to the content. It was a dodge on his part without addressing the content of the post. i am new to this so i guess my last sentence gave Mr. Cantor an “out” to not respond. His pride IS breathtaking……..based on his response. Very ugly and informative… that he will not defend his position on Jesus Christ’s new covenant blood…
        Thanks bro. Any suggestions? i am open..


      • I’ve been following your comments on Charisma (mostly there anyway), and I think you’ve been doing a great job. You’re absolutely right about how many, like Ron Cantor, will look for one line that they can respond to and dismiss in order to avoid addressing your main points. I’ve seen it happen so many times, and it can be frustrating. I guess one key is to keep comments as “tight” as possible, that is, to the point, relevant, and (as much as possible) free of anything that would be perceived as personal attacks. I hope Ron will respond to the meat of your comment. I know that one guy (whose content I posted here a few weeks ago) was friends with Ron on Facebook and engaged him in a very civil and courteous manner, but Ron deleted him as a friend and blocked him. It was clearly a cop out on his part, unfortunately. Sometimes you can only do so much with a person…


    • Steven,

      Are you affirming that we (Christians) “are all Israel,” or are you saying that this idea is “the only glaring error” in this post? How are most Christians wrongly dividing the word of truth (and thus not walking in the new covenant)? I’d be grateful if you could elaborate and bring clarity to what you are saying here. Thanks.


  14. You made me smile today – such truth. We need to study Isaiah 66 in contet with Galatians 4. Our Jerusalem from above is free, and she is our mother.” Paul is contrasting the old and new covenant. Abraham had more than 2 children but the first one was born from a slave. (Hagar) Hence, Paul reasons that the child was born in slavery and all children after that are in the same position. The other child was born from a free woman (Sarah) by grace, as a promise. The child was born in freedom and all descendants after that as well.
    Hagar represents the bondage to the law, and her son, Ishmael, was a son of law and of bondage. Sarah represents freedom, and her son, Isaac, was a son of promise and of freedom. Those “born” of Sinai (under the old covenant of the law) are in bondage, whereas those “born” of the heavenly Jerusalem (under the new covenant of grace) are free. So, the “mother” in Galatians 4:26 is not a literal female personage.
    The old covenant corresponds to Jerusalem we know today, the capital of religious Judaism. Most Jewish people today try to be right with God – by trusting in their ability to please God by keeping the law.
    The Jerusalem above: The other covenant is associated with Jerusalem, with Mount Zion – but not the Mount Zion of this earth. Instead, it is associated with the Jerusalem above – God’s own New Jerusalem in heaven. Christ empowered us to enter the heavenlies – the new Jerusalem, on the day of His resurrection.
    The Jerusalem above is free: This covenant brings freedom and it is the mother of us all:’ This covenant has many children; it is the mother of us all. Every believing Christian in our dispensation belongs to this new covenant, the covenant of the heavenly Jerusalem. And every birth under this covenant is a miracle, like the fulfilment of the prophecy from Isaiah 54:1, Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Every one is born because of a miracle by God.
    ‘But, as he who was born according to the flesh, persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.’ Gal.4:29 Ishmael and his descendants persecuted Isaac and his descendants, so we should not be surprised if the real believers in Christ are persecuted by the Islamic world. Iff we walk in the freedom, in the miraculous power of the new covenant, don’t be surprised if we are mistreated by those who don’t. The world blames the believers and the Gospel for everything, for the defiance of our rulers, for wars, famines, for revolutions and every imaginable mishap. Ismael will persecute Isaac. Our persecutors will not always be the world but more often our half-brothers – the unbelieving but religious people in the nominal church. God told Abraham to cast out the bondwoman and her son. The answer is clear, as law and grace cannot live together, as Hagar and Sarah could not live together in the same house. Gen.21:8-14 They will argue all day long and never reach a conclusion. Sarah lived with Hagar and Ishmael until Isaac was born. Once the promise of the Gospel ismade clear in Jesus Christ, then there is no reason not to cast out the bondwoman and her son. (law)

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  15. ….and WORKS ALONE?

    Q: James 2:14-26 does not say “we are first saved by faith without works, and then we do works afterwards,” as you seem to believe. You insist Christians are saved by faith alone. I supplied a passage that explicitly denies such a thing. I have read the Bible through a few times and I do not recall ever seeing a passage that teaches we are saved by faith alone. Can you provide me with a book, chapter, and verse that says otherwise?
    A: Luke 17:6: And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

    Q: The thief on the cross is irrelevant, seeing as how he was saved prior to the death of Jesus on the cross, and thus prior to the New Covenant.
    A: Where is explicitly stated that in the Bible. Pls, book, chapter, verse(s)? Did God changed the plan of salvation along the history of men?

    Q: Regardless, the thief was most definitely not saved by faith alone. According to Matt. 27:44 tells us the thief was mocking Christ. But at some point, he has a change of heart, and a change of practice, because he goes from mocking Christ to throwing himself on the mercy of Jesus Christ (Luke 23:42).
    A: The same could be said for the ones who are claiming a faith they don’t have (a “dead faith”), as described by James. At the same guise, we could say that they changed from mocking Christ to throw themselves on the credulity of the audience (in order to make them believe they “have faith” and are saved). The kind of work (“change of practice”) of the thief on the cross is the same one of the one who secretly mocks Jesus but openly does a “change of practice” alluring the audience with false claims of faith: talking. The difference is that the first “change of practice” opens the hearth in repentance, the second hides the true evil content of the heart. Therefore if the false claim of faith are not considered a work (James 2:14-26), the same is true for the sincere claim of repentance on the cross.

    Why therefore Luke 17:6? Because Jesus (don’t forget, He is God), knew well that when the Holy Ghost would have inspired James to write that (“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. “, etc.) as warning for the ones who were selfish and hide their selfishness under false claims of faith, many other would have used those verses to claim a dead faith hidden by a clouds of works (for example today the Mafiosi who seek a pardon/social acknowledgement from some priests after giving much money to the parish church).
    Jesus always warned about “works without faith” , for example, Matt 6:1-4, 7:21-22; Luke 18:10-14; etc. As counter-proof we can see Luke 19:2-10. Here Zaccheaeus is not saved for his good works, but for the joy with which he welcomed Jesus in his home and told Him of his good works, and together with Luke 23:42-43, is confirming John 1:12: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”.
    As pertain the fact that in no place of the Bible there’s mention of “works alone without faith”, this is absolutely not a problem. Nowhere in the Bible there’s mentioned the word “trinity”, but, no one doubts about the doctrine of the Trinitiy (except at least Jws and other Unitarianists etc.).


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