Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Do you support Israel or Jesus? (Part 2 of 3)

In the first century, Israel was mostly made up of Pharisees and Sadducees, who by the way did not get along very well. The former was a group of religious anti-Christian extremists, the latter was comprised mostly of liberal power brokers intent on making themselves richer. Today, Israel is mostly made up of Orthodox Jews (think Pharisees) and Secular Humanists (think Sadducees, or as in the United States, Liberal democrats).  Not much has changed since the first century. In the first century, both the Pharisees and the Sadducees were busy persecuting our brothers and sisters in Christ and now, they continue to do the same. For the most part, Israel has not changed, they are enemies of the gospel.

Imagine for a second if our president put forth a bill that uses tax payer money to fully pay for all abortions for women between the ages of 20 and 33. Imagine if our president passed a bill requiring that our nation recognize homosexual marriages as equal to heterosexual marriages (as long as the ceremony took place elsewhere).  Imagine if our nation passed a law making it illegal for churches to hold Vacation Bible School, or to share the gospel with anyone under 18 years of age. Would you give your money and moral support to that president? There is a bit of hypocrisy in the Christian world. On one hand we want to villainize our own president's war against Christian values but we give unflinching support to Israel who wars against those same values. If we are to be consistently on the side of Christ, then we should be on the side of the gospel. We should give our support to our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in Israel and not to the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who suppress and afflict Christians who live there.

Israel is just like the US. Israel is a mix of Pharisees, Sadducees, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Catholics and Agnostics. They are NOT a theocracy. They are NOT a people who live under the covenant that God made with them. In fact, (and this is the key point) they could NOT live under that covenant even if they wanted to because it no longer exists. God has made the covenant with them obsolete and has established a new covenant. This new covenant is not by the law but by grace through faith. 

When God chose the Jewish people, he entered into a covenant with them. He established this covenant with laws and statutes that they were required to keep.  For example, they were required to build a dwelling place for God and the Ark of the Covenant. They then had to sacrifice animals on the altar and offer grain offerings.  They had to obey all of God's laws regarding how they dressed, what they ate, how they farmed the land, and literally hundreds of other requirements. The covenant God had entered into with them assured them that IF they kept all these commands, then God would be their God and they would be His people.  God spoke to this to them saying, "IF you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples." (Exodus 19:5).  

Those who are familiar with history know that they did not keep the covenant and were rejected by God. In fact, Jesus proclaims to them, "Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." So Jesus clearly recognizes that they have been abandoned by God and if they are to ever recover, they MUST accept Jesus as the Messiah, the only one who has kept the demands of the covenant perfectly. 

Since Jesus has fulfilled the demands of the Old Covenant, the Old Covenant is now removed, abolished, and fulfilled. Imagine for a moment that an athlete signs a one year contract with a team. He agrees to play in every game for one year in return for $10 million. However, if he does not play in every single game, he gets paid nothing.  Now if the athlete plays in every game, he gets paid the $10 million and the contract is fulfilled. He can no longer make demands upon the team for more money and the team can no longer make demands upon him to play in more games. 

Likewise, when Jesus (who took Israel's place as the covenant keeper) met the demands of the covenant and received the reward of the covenant,  the covenant was fulfilled. The people of the covenant are no longer able to make any claims on the covenant. All of the demands of the covenant, having been fulfilled, can no longer be in force. So the keeping of the law of sacrifices, burnt offerings, and all other commandments can no longer earn them the title "my treasured possession." Even if they were able to keep all of these laws (which they can't) God would still not make them his treasured possession because the Covenant has been abolished. The promises don't apply anymore. To put it in the language of the sports analogy, the year is over and every game has been played. If you want to earn more, you have to sign a new contract. Fortunately for both Jews and Gentiles, God has created a new contract.  This time, it's not a contract just for the Jews, but he opened it up for all people groups. So in this way it is not like the old one. 

The New Covenant is not like the old one in other ways as well. The New Covenant is not based upon a set of laws that the Jews must keep in order to be God's people. In other words, it is no longer, "if you keep these new laws, then you'll be my people." The New Covenant is a covenant of grace which is administered by God through faith in Jesus.  So now instead of saying, "keep these laws and you will be my treasured possession" God says, "my son has kept the laws and HE is my treasured possession so trust in him." And so all who are in Jesus, are considered to be covenant keepers and can claim the promises of the new covenant.  (The promises of the New Covenant are better promises than those of the Old Covenant too, but that's for a later discussion)  

So the New Covenant is not one of laws, and Jews, and statues, and sacrifices, but it is one of faith. Not works, but faith. It is a covenant of faith in Jesus Christ as the only covenant keeper, as the only one who has peace with God. 

NO GOING BACKThose who believe that Israel is still today God's chosen people fail to realize that there are only two ways that they can possibly again become God's "treasured possession."
1. Keep all of the demands of the Old Covenant. 
2. Trust in the one who has fulfilled the Old Covenant, Jesus the Christ. 

If they choose the first they can never be God's treasured possession. If they choose the second, they have to admit that God has fulfilled the covenant he made with them and they must enter into God's favor by faith, just like everyone else. This means that only those Jews who exercise faith are God's treasured possession. Likewise, only those Gentiles who exercise faith are God's treasured possession. So treasured possession status is not an ethnic thing. Now, there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. God's only treasured possession are those who have faith. Both Jew and Gentile are on equal footing and must come to God through the exact same door, Jesus Christ. 

If we are to believe that God intends to go back to an ethnic people group, the Jews, then we have to assert that treasured possession status is no longer by faith, but by faith plus ethnicity. However, that's not how God works. God does not favor one ethnicity over any other. 

The summation of the matter is this; God promised that the Jews would be his treasured possession IF they would keep the demands of the Old Covenant. They did not keep the demands of the Old Covenant. They thereby failed to be his treasured possession. The only way to regain that status as a special ethnicity is to go back and re-institute the Old Covenant. Re-instituting the Old Covenant would (for the Jew) render pointless all that Jesus has accomplished and there would be two doors for becoming God's treasured possession. Door one would be for the ethnic Jewish people who are God's treasured possession because they are obedient Jews and door two would be for the gentiles who trust in Jesus.      

Of course, some would still argue that the Jews still remain God's treasured possession and he intends to bring the whole nation of Israel to faith in Jesus. Thus, they would both be his treasured possession because they are Jews, AND he is going to bring them to faith in Jesus because they are Jews. This would uphold salvation by faith in Jesus and at the same time uphold the idea that the Jews are still God's special people. 

It is possible that a great majority of ethnic Jews will hear the gospel and come to faith in Jesus, but the question remains, will this happen simply because they are Jews?  I don't think so. One of the major themes of the New Testament is that God does not show favor to one ethnicity over another but treats them all alike according to faith. So there is no room for God showing gospel favor to one ethnicity over another, even if that ethnicity is Jewish.

Further, even if the Jews did come to faith in Christ, this faith does not give them rights to possess the land (again, that covenant has ended), for if being in Christ does grant a person right to possess the land, then I have just as much right to take land for myself in Israel.  But being in Christ doesn't grant anyone possession of any physical land and that has to be true for both Jew and Gentile alike. If not, then we have to assume that the sacrifice of Christ earned extra wealth for the Jews that it did not earn for the Gentiles. This of course is heresy, and blasphemy. For God has made one new man out of the two, there is not partiality. There is no distinction, and further, the covenant that promised the land no longer exists. 

The church at large misses the above point however and they assume that God loves Christians and Jews and he's angry with gentile unbelievers. This is not the case at all. There are not three classes of people, Christian, Jew, and unbelieving Gentile but there are only two classes, believer and unbeliever.  

American Christians NOT proclaiming the Gospel to Israel
The reason that I desire to correct this popular misconception is because when the church makes the mistake of thinking that God treasures Israel, the church fails to love them. Consider for example the fact that Christians around the world have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into Israel for the express purpose of supporting ethnic Jews and the state of Israel. Consider that there are Christian ministries, being supported by average Christians, that spend millions of dollars to help Jews move back to Israel. Millions of dollars are spent, thousands of hours of work, thousands of Christian laborers, all engaged in helping the Jews to hear the gospel of Jesus ...I mean to build for themselves an ethnic nation. Since Christians still believe the Jews to be God's people, they value the ethnic nation more than they do Jesus and His gospel. Some might argue that Christians don't value the nation over the gospel, but where you spend most of your money and your energy is absolute proof of what you value most.  Sadly, Christians have come to value an ethnic bloodline more than they value the blood of Jesus Christ. 

Imagine for a moment if we didn't believe that the Jews held some special status in God's sight. Imagine if we thought that the Jews were going to end up in hell if they didn't hear and believe the gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus. Imagine if we thought that they were just as helpless and as hopeless as every other ethnicity on the planet today.  I think that if we believed that, we would stop using our money, ministers, energy, and resources to "help God" keep his promise to his people, and we would instead, spend all of our time and resources proclaiming the good news that God HAS kept his promises to them in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and if they will repent of their sin and repent of their works righteousness and have faith in Jesus, they can become like the believing Gentiles, a true son of Abraham.   

*Next week, I will address one of the most misunderstood passages of Scripture which seemingly points to a future date when God will make a majority of the ethnic Jews come to faith in Jesus, Romans 9-11. Stay tuned.  


  1. Wherever do you get the idea that all Christians think Jews go to heaven simply because they are Jews? People who study Gods word realize that they need to be saved through faith in Jesus Christ just as anyone does. It's the whole point of the final battle - many Jews will be saved through faith. They are still God's chosen people - not sure how you refute that point in good conscience. Yours is replacement theology which is false teaching in my opinion.

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  3. Lisa, I never said that Christians think that Jews go to heaven simply because they are Jews. Although Pastor John Hagee has said, ""I'm not trying to convert the Jewish people to the Christian faith... In fact, trying to convert Jews is a waste of time. Jews already have a covenant with God and that has never been replaced by Christianity." (Houston Chronicle April 30, 1988 Sec. 6, Pg. 1) So obviously some Christians do think that.

    But again, I don't think that most Christians believe the Jews to be saved. However, the problem is that many Christians think that Jews are somehow God's people and they therefore support and promote Israel simply because they are Jews. For example, when a candidate runs for office, one of the all important questions is "what is your position on Israel?" The reason for this is because most American Christians believe that Israel is special. However, if any Jew is not in Christ, they do not belong to God. So we see then that only Christian believing Jews are special, not the nation of Israel as a whole.

    The Bible teaches that God has only one people, those who are in Christ. Jews who are not in Christ are not God's people. As Scripture says, "not all who are descended from Israel are actually Israel and not all are children of Abraham just because they descended from Abraham." Clearly not all Jews are God's people. If you look at the deciding factor of what makes a Jew God's people it is always faith in Jesus.

    Now as to the charge of "replacement theology" I can tell you that I am not arguing RT. I have not ever, nor will I ever teach that Gentiles have replaced Jews. What I do argue is that what used to be a monolithic and mono-ethnic people of God (Jews) has now become a diverse, multi-ethnic people of God (Jews, Greeks, Barbarians, every tribe tongue and language). So while Jews (both believing and unbelieving) used to be the people of God, now, Jews (only believing) and gentiles (only believing) are the people of God. This is why the Bible says that he has made out of the two (Jew and Gentile) "one new man." Eph. 2:15

  4. I'm in complete agreement with Lisa. No bible believing Christian believes non-believing Jews will go to receive eternal life (branches removed). However, those that have an understanding know that the bible predicts and teaches, that a Jewish remnant will come to believe in Jesus as the Messiah in the end times (will be grafted back in). I'm not sure about John Hagee's stance from the quote you provided, because I can't find the original article. However, I do know that a lot of those sites that have that quote are pastor bashing sites, which have snippets of quotes often taken out of context.

    But know that I'm looking forward to hearing your stance on Romans 11. Thanks for for being willing to address that. Also, I hope you have a clearer understanding of where we're coming from and that we do not believe non-believing Jews receive eternal life.

  5. Ok, once again. I'm am not saying that Christians think that Jews can be saved apart from Jesus. What I'm saying is that the promise to save the ethnic nation of Israel is tied to the laws of the Old Covenant. So, if you believe that the promises in the OC are still relevant to the Jewish people, then you (by default) believe that the OT law is still applicable to the Jewish people. You cannot separate the promises from the law. So, when Paul says, "Let no one judge you according to Festival, New Moon, or Sabbath," he is putting forth the idea that the OT laws are no longer in force. However the promises to Israel were based on their keeping of those very laws. So the question that has to be answered is, "How can the laws be abolished and yet the promises remain?"

    The answer is, "the law was fulfilled by Jesus and the promises are given to HIM (in Christ all the promises of God are yes and Amen)." So, the promises no longer belong to the descendants of Abraham, they belong to Christ. So the promises to save all Israel do not pertain to Israel, but to Christ and all those who are in him. And if they belong to those who are in Christ, they can't possible belong to ethnic Israel who is not in Christ. The promises cannot pertain to both those in Christ and those out of Christ.

  6. I'm in agreement that as believers, we are the descendants of Abraham by faith in Jesus Christ and partakers of the covenant promises, meaning that we get to join in on the blessings promised to Israel. I'm also in agreement that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law (i.e. we should not still continue the sacrifices, etc). However, the Church is not to replace Israel in scripture. This would be considered "replacement theology". In fact, there are still prophecies made about Israel that have yet to come to pass (e.g. Ezekiel 38-39). Furthermore, the book of Revelation even distinguishes between the two. You see the Church in the first 3 chapters of Revelation, and then after that, the word for Church (Eclesia) is not even mentioned. You begin to see the word Israel because God is now redeeming that Jewish remnant that will come to believe in Christ. You cannot substitute the Church into these things. I think this is the main reason Jehovah's witnesses have believed for so long that only 144,000 of them are going to heaven--because they have tried to apply a prophecy about Israel to the Church.

  7. The church does not replace Israel but the church joins Israel. As Scripture says, Christ has taken Israel and the Church and has made the two into ONE new man. Therefore, there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile for Christ has abolished the dividing wall between the two. I find that many New Testament texts clearly show that there is no such distinction to be made. It pains me to see that Christians today are so enthusiastic about rebuilding the dividing wall that Jesus knocked down.

    As far as the book of Revelation is concerned, that is a whole other topic. Something that you might be interested in looking at is the fact that the 12 tribes that are named as the 144,000 are not the 12 tribes of Israel. You should do a comparison between the 12 tribes of Israel as listed in the Old Testament and the 12 tribes listed in Revelation. I'd be interested in hearing what you find.

  8. Also, in agreement with the one new man statement--meaning that we are no longer outsiders to God. We have been adopted into the beloved and we both have equal rights/benefits under Christ. I don't think we have differed with this point at all. I think the difference is in us asking the question, why Christians are supporting a Jewish state.
    But to address your points above, in the bible, the Church is never referred to as Israel. The Church is always referred to as the Church. As far as the tribes go, you see 144,000 Jews sealed. Then after John sees this image, the scene switches to multitudes of EVERY nation, tribe, and tongue standing before the Lamb in heaven. There is a distinction between the two. Why would John distinctly name the Church, Jews, or nations of every tribe and tongue if there were no difference? Wouldn’t that make the prophecy contradictory? Plus, I’ve learned that the bible always interprets itself. Nowhere do you see a depiction of the Church being called Israel in the old or new testaments.
    I’m not sure where you’re going with the naming of the tribes, but I’m interested to find out. I know there are many bible scholars who have theories surrounding the tribe of Dan and the insertion of Levi (who was not numbered among the tribes because of the priesthood). In my opinion only (I’m really just theorizing here), I think Levi was inserted because the Levitical priesthood was abolished under Christ who is a priest forever after the order of Melchezidek (i.e. they need salvation, too and probably also have a remnant of believers). Christ is seated in heaven on the throne in the Heavenly temple as High Priest where temple rituals are happening during the tribulation (e.g. Revelation 7:15, 11:19—not related to salvation lol). However, Levites who come to believe in Jesus will probably be alive during tribulation because the Jewish temple will probably be erected again during that time, and they will again resume the sacrifices and the Levitical priesthood. Dan is probably not listed because there are no people from that tribe alive during this time period. It also states that these men are virgins, so they may even be young Jewish men—who knows? Just a thought. But these definitely are Jews being sealed and not Gentile believers. I would love to know your take on this.

  9. I think that you do think that there are different rights/benfits for Jews and Gentiles? Don't you? And yes the church is referred to as Israel. In Romans 9 Paul says that all those who are in Christ are Israel. In Galations 6 he says that the church is "the Israel of God" while the descendants of Abraham are "the Israel of the flesh." If you follow Paul's argument closely in all his letters it becomes clear that Paul sees believing Gentiles as "the children of Abraham" which is just another way to say "Israel."

    As for Revelation, do you suppose that John's vision of every tribe and tongue refers to all tribes and tongues except Jews? Or do you think that Jews are there too, included in the same number as every other believer?

  10. You seem to be making a strong case that Israel is different than the Church. I would just like you to list what makes Israel different.

  11. Nope, I don't think that there are different rights/benefits for Jews and Gentiles who are in Christ. And no the Church is not referred to as Israel in Romans 9. Paul uses the analogy of "Isaac" as the child of promise in contrast to Ishmael, the child of flesh showing that God has used the process of election through Christ--those of unmerited grace through faith as opposed to works. But if you follow chapters 9-11, Paul starts off by explaining how Gentiles have been redeemed and became children of promise through Israel's rejection and wraps up with 11 by making it very clear that the Romans should not glory in Israel's rejection, because it is not final. Romans 11:1 begins "Has God cast away His people? Certainly not!" Paul still even calls them His people. He makes this distinction because He did not want them to get the idea that Israel was completely set aside. There is still a remnant within that nation. And as I previously stated Revelation bears witness to this, because you see Jews being sealed during the tribulation. Even commentators such as MacArthur believe this point.

    As for Galations 6, there is no mention of Israel in that chapter. Did you mean another chapter? That chapter refers to sowing and reaping in the flesh vs the Spirit.

    Last question: Of course the every nation, tribe, and tongue includes Jews. But the 144,000 are not the every nation, tribe, and tongue. They are virgin male Jews.

  12. If you could list for me the difference between a Jew and a Gentile I would appreciate it.

  13. Jews: descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to whom the Holy Land was given, to whom the law was instructed (Torah) and through whom all other nations of the world became blessed (i.e. Jesus as the promised descendant)--Genesis 12:1-2
    Gentile: all other nations and ethnic groups (i.e. everyone else)

    However, the Gospel was extended not only to the Jews, but to everyone (the whosoever, i.e. Gentiles and Jews) as God predicted. Now both Jew and Gentile can be a part of the family of God:

    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.’”
    Both Jew and Gentile can be a part of the family of God (Isaiah 49:6)

    Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:22-23)

    Two groups of people, both extended the same grace.

  14. We all know that salvation is by Christ alone and Jews and Gentiles alike have to believe in Him. But that would be a similarity. What I'm looking for you to do is to name the differences. For example,Are Jews not entitled to the land (thus making their rights and privileges the same)? For example, are both Jews and Gentiles entitled to the land? Or do Jews have a special privilege and right to the land that Gentiles don't?

    Does God have a special plan for the Jews to rule over the world (Gentiles)?

    When Zechariah says, "In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” should we understand him to mean that Jews will have a special role that Gentiles don't have?

    When Jesus raptures the Church, is he going to leave the believing Jews behind, or are they "the church" and thus get raptured too?

    When the next temple is built won't it be only Jews that are allowed to hold positions in the temple (such as Levites)? Or do Gentiles in Christ have the same rights and privileges and therefore will be able to serve in the temple? When the next temple is built will the Gentiles even be allowed into the inner parts of the temple like the Jews or will they be forced to stay in the outer "court of the Gentiles?" These are the issues that I'm talking about. I wanted you to go through all the difference between Jews and Gentiles and say what you believed about these things. Do Jews and Gentiles have the same rights and privileges or are the two groups different in their respective rights and privileges and standing before God?

  15. PART 1:
    So basically I think the summation of what you are asking me is this: are the Jews entitled to the Holy Land now? Did God promise this land to them, and if so, is this promise null and void since Christ came?

    There are two pictures of Christ in the bible: Christ as the Suffering Lamb and Christ as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Christ came first as the Lamb, to restore the Spiritual Order (i.e. reconcile man back to God and take back the authority that man forfeited to satan) and He comes the second time as the Lion to restore the Civil Order (i.e. man's dominion in the earth as Christ ruling and reigning; "Your Kingdom come Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven”). One of the reasons the Jews missed Christ the first time is because they were looking for the Lion/king to restore the kingdom to Israel instead of the Lamb/savior who would come to redeem the world.

    It is for this reason that you see the disciples asking Jesus after He has been resurrected:

    “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” (Acts 1:6-7) The time for civil order had not yet come.

    However, they knew this time would come based upon Ezekiel 37. After Christ, we see the fall of Jerusalem and the Jews are scattered to the nations of the world. This was prophesied. However, the Lord mentions that He would again gather his people from the nations of the world and bring them back to their land under the rule of David their king:

    “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
    24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”’” (Ezekiel 37:21-28)

  16. PART 2:

    So who is David their King who will rule of the land of Israel from Jerusalem in the Temple of God? The answer to this is found in the book of Revelation. The Revelation of Jesus Christ (as the book of Revelation was originally called) is about the revealing (“revelation”) of the Lamb as the Lion. We see this when John is in the throne room of Heaven and the scroll needs to be opened, but no one is worthy to open the scroll and John begins weeping. However, one of the elders turns to him and says the following:

    5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. (Revelation 5:5-6)

    Here it is revealed that the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world is the Lion which will restore civil order (the kingdom of God) in the earth! He is David the prince who will rule forever! 

    For brevities sake, fast forward to the end of Revelation, and we see this image found in Ezekiel 37;40-48. The Gates with the names of the tribes of Israel mentioned in Ezekiel 48:31-35 are the same gates mentioned in Revelation 21: 12-21! And will the believers from the nations of the world be there, too in the land? Yes!!! :

    But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.[d] 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes[f] an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21:22-27)

    Believing Jews and Gentiles will be together in the Holy Land when Christ restores His Civil rule. I hope this answers your question on where I stand concerning the land. Scripture teaches that once Israel is once again gathered back from the nations of the world, to the land (as it happened in 1948), we would be soon to see the return of David the Prince a.k.a Jesus Christ.
    And are Christians in the land ministering the gospel to Israelis? Of course. I don’t think any believer has gone to Israel or given money to Israel without the Gospel going forth. Even Christian television stations are broadcasting the gospel there. And on top of that, believers are still going to the nations of the world. I really don’t think believers are being biased; it’s just that God burdens different people’s hearts with different things as not all parts of the body are an eye or an ear—we each have a different part to play. Some have been called to the inner cities of the US, and some of been called to other nations such as Thailand or Guatemala. Others have been called to Israel. You plant and you sow where God calls you.

  17. No, I'm sorry. That didn't really answer my question about the land. I'm speaking about presently in the world. You're a classic dispensationalist so I'm guessing that you believe that right now, today, Jews have a right to the land of Israel? Yes? My question is then, "do Gentiles right now today have a right to the land as well, or, is this a case where Jews have a right and a privilege that Gentiles don't have?

  18. I'm not exactly sure what answer you're looking for, but based upon scripture, Israel has a right to the land. Some of the scriptures that validate this point have been provided above, and I hope that you have read them along with the ones that were referenced. However, if you believe otherwise, you should provide scriptural evidence to support your stance (i.e. scripture that says Israel does not have a right to the land).

  19. Here's my point. Earlier you said, "We have been adopted into the beloved and we both have equal rights/benefits under Christ"

    So in light of the fact that you said that both the church and Israel "have equal rights/benefits under Christ" then it would stand to reason that the Church has a claim on the land of Israel too right? After all, if Israel has a "right" to the land and the church "has equal right/benefits" then the church has a right to the land too.

  20. I get your point. And again, it would be replacement theology to say that the Church gets the land now and Israel doesn't. The scriptures predict that Israel will return to the land (which has happened) and that it belongs to them. And again, the Church will enjoy in the benefits of Christ ruling from the Holy Land in Jerusalem as partakers of the covenant promises. Why does God do it this way? Because He's God, and He doesn't lie. That's the way He set it up in His plan. He said it belongs them, so it does. It doesn't get any more simpler than that. However, I would still like you to present scriptural evidence for your position that says Israel does not have a right to the land.

  21. So in regards to your earlier claim that Jews and and believing Gentiles have all the same rights and privileges, do you recant that claim now that it has been shown that you think that the Jews have a right to the land while the Gentiles don't? (Jews have a right and privilege that Gentiles don't have according to you so you must recant)

    Second, I'm also curious how it is you reconcile the fact that you believe that Gentiles who are in Christ have less rights and privileges than Jews who are NOT in Christ (seeing as how you believe Jews who are not in Christ have a right to the land and Gentiles who ARE in Christ don't have that right and privilege)

    It seems to me that you think that being Jew makes someone worthy of privileges and rights just by birth. This is the same mistake that the Jews made when they told Jesus "we have Abraham as our father" thinking that simple blood relation had any value at all. Jesus corrected them of course and told them that blood relation to Abraham means nothing. So you can see that your position is at odds with Jesus because we have just shown that you think that simple blood relation to Abraham means something.

    Third, as far as Biblical proof that the Jews don't have a Divine right to the land, I have already shown you. The Jews were promised the land under the OLD covenant. Jesus abolished the OLD covenant and established a NEW covenant. In the New covenant, no land was promised to anyone (except the heavenly Jerusalem that comes from heaven, the new heavens and the new earth). So if the Jews are part of the New covenant, they have no right to land. Therefore, the only way to show that the land still belongs to the Jews is to resurrect the OLD covenant, and the resurrection of the OLD covenant is blasphemy because it reverses all that Jesus accomplished when he established the NEW covenant. Are you suggesting that the OLD covenant is still in force?

  22. Wait, so you're saying that God changed his mind? The prophecy for returning to the land hadn't been fulfilled when Jesus came, so how can you say that God changed His mind about the prophecy when Jesus came? Jesus is indeed the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets (not abolisher; he fulfilled it). But everything concerning those things hadn't and haven't been fulfilled yet (including all end time events with Christ returning; many of which are happening now).

    And yet you still have not presented any scripture that shows that Israel does not inherit the land (even though that prophecy which was written so many years ago has been fulfilled in our lifetime as the bible predicted), so...I don't think your argument is with what I said because I have scripture to back it up. I think your argument is with your understanding of what it means when Christ fulfilled the law. No where does the bible say that the Jews don't inherit the land because Christ fulfilled the law. It doesn't even make sense to lump that in with our salvation in Jesus Christ. That's like saying the the prophecy about Paul being bound in chains doesn't apply to Paul, but every believer. No, that prophecy applied to him, just like the prophecy about the land applies to Israel.

    I think the proof is in what has come to pass. Whether you understand it that way or not, the evidence is that they are in that land after 2000 years--unheard of for any group of people. Why? Because God spoke it in His Word and it came to pass.

    At this point, until you can present scripture that says that Israel does not inherit the land, we can agree to disagree. I have backed my stance with scripture that clearly points to Israel inheriting the land, and there is evidence today that proves it. When you have evidence to back your stance, then maybe I can be swayed lol.

  23. I'll sway you then. Here's the Scriptural proof that you're going to have to deal with. What you are saying contradicts what Scripture says.

    For example, you say, "Israel has a right to the land" and when you use the word Israel you are referring to all the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    However, when Jesus and the Apostles speak of Israel they don't use that word to refer to the descendants of Abraham. Paul says, "not all Israel is Israel." Jesus says, not all children of Abraham are entitled to the promises of God because not all children of Abraham are offspring of Abraham. Peter says that believers in Christ (both Jew and Gentile) are the new "Holy Nation" of God.

    So there is a clear difference between who you say "Israel" is and who the Bible identifies as "Israel.'

    That is a huge problem that you have to deal with. Why do you read prophecies about "Israel" and use a different definition of "Israel" that Jesus and all the Apostles used?

  24. Here's what I'd like you to do.

    Paul says, "Not all Israel is Israel"

    So I'd like you to Identify to me which Israelites currently living today have a right to the land. All of them, both those in Christ and those outside of Christ? Only those who are in Christ? Only those who obey the OT law? Only those who are circumcised? Please tell me what group of Israel is true Israel and therefore has a right to the land?

  25. Here is something that you should read and contemplate.