Is Israel part of the Church of God of all ages?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by IfbReformer, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Hi all,

    I have recently finished(although I will probably find spelling errors) an article which I just posted to my website.

    I address the issue of Israel and the Church and I think you guys will find it interesting.

    Please don't be like so many people in these forums and not read the article or just look at the first paragraph and leave.

    Take 10 minutes - and actually read it, then lets discuss not based on our presuppositions but based on what the scriptures teach us.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.ifbreformation.org/Prophecy_Israel_Church.html

    I look forward to your comments pro or con.

    Thanks

    IFBReformer
     
  2. Gunther

    Gunther
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    I will respond in a more lengthy way later, but suffice it to say now that you have not accurately reflected the totality of dispensationalism.

    You have made a strawman in regards to the two peoples idea.

    Also, I think if you examine it, many references in the N.T. have to do with the New Covenant versus the Old Covenant, not Israel versus the Church.
     
  3. Gunther

    Gunther
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    Okay IFB, I will do my best to respond to several, but not all, of your points. Some will of course run over into others.

    I will begin by a quote from you and then my response.

    "They believe like Dispensational Premillenialists, that only they(physical AND spiritual Jews) are the chosen people of God."

    1. The chosen people of God are those who have been justified, like our father Abraham. Physical descent did not make a person family. Only redemption/adoption brings a person into God's family.

    The Jews were God's people before the cross in that it was their responsibility to keep pure worship, be a light to the Gentiles, maintain the oracles of God, etc. Needless to say, they failed on almost everything they were supposed to do.

    The modern Jewish nation is just like any other nation of people. They need salvation through Christ.

    "The Dispensationalist rejects this as it contrary to one of the core beliefs of his systematic theology."

    2. I would not say this is a core belief. It is an obvious one though. In Eph. 3, Paul said that the body of Christ was a mystery not previously known.

    "They also will say that the church is "distinct" from Israel."

    3. The two are distinct in nature and purpose. The church was not given a Temple to worship in, sacrifices to offer, etc.

    Israel was never spoken of as the body of Christ.

    "The most powerful argument that Dispensationalist has in his arsenal is that his is the most "literal method" of interpreting the Scriptures. In reality the Dispensationalist interprets Old Testament literally and the uses the Old Testament to interpret the New Testament."

    4. This is misleading. When we use the term 'literal', we mean normal or plain. So when the Scriptures speak of Israel, we take that to mean Israel and not code for the church.

    Further, I as a dispensationalist do not use the O.T. to interpret the N.T. Everyone recognizes that the N.T. revelation builds upon the O.T. Therefore, one must properly understand the O.T. to properly understand the N.T.

    "In other words, many Old Testament prophecies had a contemporary meaning and were a 'type' of something to come in the future.

    and

    The Dispensationalist is confronted with this truth as many passages that were directly addressed to Israel in the Old Testament are applied to the New Testament Church."

    5. For the purpose of this discussion, I would like to see an example and the authority to take such a position.

    I will stop here. As I have previously said, I believe you are not taking into account the New Covenant aspects found throughout the N.T. The church is not the New Covenant. It is part of the New Covenant though.

    I would love to further engage but would like to see some response to the points so far.
     
  4. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Gunther,

    Thanks for the response. I was not able to touch my computer all weekend and thats why I could not get back to you right away.

    You said:

    A core belief, if not the core belief of Dispensationalism is that church is not the redeemed of all ages. The church is an interuption in God's plan for Israel.

    Charles Ryrie(an avid Dispensationalist) makes it clear that distinction
    of Israel(spiritual Israel) and the Church are
    the essense of Dispensationalism:

    Gunther,
    Was Charles Ryrie wrong in saying that the essense and touchstone of Dispensationalism
    is the distinction of Israel and Church?

    Here is a quote from the modern day
    Dispensationalist scholar J. Dwight Pentecost
    clearifing what this distinction means:

    So in essense there are two peoples of God according to Dispensationalism - spiritual Israel and the Church.

    Now lets look at Ephesians chapter 3:4-6(NIV):

    The key word in this passage from Ephesians chapter 3 is the word "as". The mystery of the church and Christ were not revealed as clearly in the Old Testament as it was in the New.

    But the Apostle Paul applies a passage in Hosea saying it was a prediction of the Church - so it was not a complete mystery totally unknown. Here is a quote directly from article on this:

    As to you request for prophecies that were directly addressed to Israel in the Old Testament and are applied to the New Testament Church here are some:

    Pauls use of Hosea is an excellant example. Lets look at the full passage in Hosea to see this:

    This passage was directed in it historical and 'normal' context at Israel for her disobedience and rebellion against God. But
    God promises that even though they at that he said of Israel "You are not my people" that one
    day once again they would be called "sons of the living God".

    This passage clearly in its 'normal' context was applying to Israel. Yet the apostle Paul applied to the God's creation of the New Testament Church.

    Paul in Romans chapter 9 applies Hosea's words which in the 'normal' context applied to Israel to the church as well:
    "even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?"(vs 24)

    So the passage in Hosea had a immediate context(that directed to Israel in their unbelief) and a future, greater application to the New Testament church.

    Here is another one in Hebrews chapter 8:

    This New Covenant was in its 'normal' context directed soley at "the house of Israel and with the house of Judah". Yet Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles says the Corinthians

    2 Corinthians 3:6(NIV)
    He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

    Clearly from Christ's own words we the Jews and Gentiles alike share in this New Covenant together.

    Luke 22:20(NIV)
    "In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."

    Hebrews 9:15(NIV)
    "For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant."

    So Gunther,

    I have given you two examples from the New Testament of Old Testament prophecies which in their 'normal' interpretation were directed at Israel but are applied by the Apostle Paul to the New Testament Church.

    Gunther,

    I want to revisit one more thing that you said and challenge you on it:

    Where does it ever say anything like what you and
    many other Dispensationalist say "The two are distinct in nature and purpose." of Israel and the Church. I never find Paul saying anything like that.

    In fact he states things to contrary of what you are saying:

    "14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations."

    Paul tells us that Christ through his death on the cross "destroyed the barrier" between Jew and Gentile. When will he rebuild this barrier? Can you show me a passage which indicates the union between Jews and Gentiles is only an interuption in God's plan for Israel as J. Dwight Pentecost says "The church is manifestly an interuption of God's program for Israel"(page 201, Things to Come).

    Instead of an interuption in God's plan, isn't the church the culmination of God's plan?

    I look forward to your responses.

    Thanks

    IFBReformer
     

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