Israel and the Church

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pete Richert, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    Trying to work out Israel and the Church. I know there are lots of views on this board so I hope someone can spread some light. Some dispensationals believe that Israel is or will be a seperate entity then the Chruch. Sort of God's two different plans of salvation. So let's assume that "All Isreal will be saved", refers to a future event where the entire "nation" or "all of Jewish decend" will be saved.

    This leads me to some questions

    (1) how are they saved?
    (2) Is this only full blooded Jews, or will partial Jews count, how about 1/16th? Or is it only for citizens of the the Jewish Nation?
    and here is the one that I don't understand
    (3) if you answer (1) as "they have a saving faith in Jesus Christ" then how is this a different plan then that of the Church?

    Thanks
     
  2. go2church

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    I would recommend "The Israel of God" as well as "Christ of the Covenants" O.Palmer Robertson.

    Hope this helps from a recovering dispensationalist
     
  3. Tim

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    I'm sure you'll soon get a number of standard dispensational answers, but you've asked some good questions.
    Nowhere does the N.T. lead us to believe that Jews are separate from Gentiles anymore. Separation now is between believers and unbelievers. Paul discourages keeping geneologies, and says the only marital restriction is based upon whether a couple shares faith in Christ.

    As far as the phrase "all Israel shall be saved" goes, take it in it's context. It describes the MANNER in which God commands all Jews to be saved--"as it is written" through the Deliverer, Jesus Christ. In other words, they must not depend upon their ethnic heritage for salvation (something the Pharisees did). I don't believe it is a prophecy for the future. If it were, it would be problematic in the ways you mentioned, i.e.-what constitutes a Jew? does "all" mean 100% at that paticular time in history?.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  4. Christian41974

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    I believe Jews and Gentiles are saved the same way. Romans 10:12 show clearly there is no difference in salvation. We all have to go through the blood of Christ, Jews trusted in a coming Messiah in the Old Testament, in Hebrews 11 it talks about by faith how these different Jews believed God. Salvation is not based on nationality but on repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ.
     
  5. Bob Farnaby

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    I wholeheartedly endorse this position, God will save His people through Christ, that the church is the Israel of the New Testament. Mission to Jews is as important as to any other non christian people, mission to the country/nation of Israel is the same as to any other country.


    Regards
    Bob
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    By turning to the Messiah (Zech 10:12ff.)

    It is for Jews. How exactly that breaks down in terms of intermarriage is not clear from Scripture. God has not chosen to tell us that.

    For end time Jews (which is what your question is about) it's not -- never was different and never was supposed to be different. The only difference with OT believers is the content of the faith, the "what" of what they believed.

    However, let's not fool ourselves into thinking that the content of the OT believers faith is the same as ours or as end time Israel. It clearly was not as has been demonstrated many times on this forum. No one in the OT was commanded to "believe in teh Messiah" for salvation. That would be extremely anachronistic and an abuse of the text.

    What is clear in Scripture for those who do not need to support a theology is that Israel and the church are two different things. The church is made up of people from all nations, Israel included. Israel is made up of Israel, which might be suspected by the use of the name "Israel" as opposed to the use of the "church." Gal 6:16 is one passage that makes a clear distinction. Rom 9-11 is another passage. For kicks, read Rom 11:25ff and insert "church" for "Israel." It will show how unworkable this "replacement" theology is. It is clear that Israel is different than the church.

    I have yet to figure out why this is such a problem. It harmonizes well with the OT and NT. It is, in fact, the only thing that allows the OT to have integrity as a text. I think we need to maintain this distinction because of the implications of denying it. God has made promises to Israel as a nation and those promises have yet to be fulfilled. I believe it is as simple as "God will fulfill his promises."
     
  7. Daniel David

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    Tim, is 1 Corinthians 10:31 still in your Bible?

    Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,

    It looks as though Paul has in mind 3 groups of people.

    ___


    Pete, I have NEVER met a dispy who says that God has two plans of salvation. That sounds like the typical amillenial poisoning the well bit before a discussion can take place. I am sure you did not mean it that way.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Unfortunately, I have ... They are out there, in the mold of Clarence Larkin apparently. Peter Ruckman is a big promoter of this heresy, believing that OT believers were saved by faith +works and that millennium believers will be saved by works alone "since what is seen is no longer of faith."
     
  9. Tim

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    Preach's quote: "Tim, is 1 Corinthians 10:31 still in your Bible?

    Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,

    It looks as though Paul has in mind 3 groups of people."

    --This is the standard textbook prooftext for dispensationalists to show that even in the N.T., God still differenciates betweem Jews and Gentiles. But Paul is simply acknowledging that these groups had different views concerning the Law and liberty-remember, this was a time of transition. Paul warns those of his time to walk carefully so as not to offend people.

    But when God tells His opinion about how people must relate to Him, the barriers are knocked down. See Galatians 3:26-29, "there is neither Jew nor Gentile", Eph. 2;11-19, "[He] has made both one", "[made] in himself of two one new man", "one body", "fellowcitizens", Eph. 3:6' "Gentiles . . . fellowheirs, and of the same body", Col. 3:11, "neither Gentile nor Jew".

    Of course, this is in the church, object the dispensationalists! But the church is to last throughout all ages, giving glory to Jesus Christ without end (see Eph. 3:21).

    So can anyone ever again be saved apart from the church of Jesus Christ? no.

    In Christ, as a believer in the better covenant,

    Tim
     
  10. Pete Richert

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    I'm not sure if you are being sincere with your last sentence, but indeed, I am not trying to poison the well. While I respect many people on both sides of the issue, I take a premilliniel view by default, since it seems to be the more straight forward understanding of scripture. My current belief is simply that "All Isreal will be saved" and I believe that means all the Jews. That only thing that might not make me think it actually is 100% Jewish people by decent is that Paul has rather recently stated "not all Israel is true Israel."

    But anyway, apart from the ultra-dispy that Pastor Larry has stated (and there is at least one person on this board who believes it and there used to be at least three), I have heard normal dispy talk about it. Most specifically, in the Fundlementist forum, someone used the anology of Jesus cooking in God's kitchen. He started with the Jews, then moved them to the back burner while he cooked up the church, and later will remove the church and put the Jews back on the burner. I'm not sure I can resonant with such talk since there is only one way to heaven, and once you are in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek . . . I don't quite like the talk that the church is something new but rather is the fullfillment of the promises to the jews and one of the "mysteries that has been kept hidden for generations" was that the gentiles would be fellow heirs of that promise. I'm not saying that this makes me right, it just doesn't seem right that Paul would press so hard to show that there is no Greek and Jew in the church only to say later the future church will not include the Jews, for they will be ( ), well here is where I am confused.

    But enough emotional talk from me. Let me ask another question. Let's assume the incoming of the Jews happens after the rapture and they are a seperate entity from the church. Now let's assume a gentile believes in Jesus. Is this gentile part of the church, or is he now a Jew, or what. If he is part of the church, is there now two peoples of God with no relation to each other (it is no longer "there is no Jew or Greek . . . ")

    Thanks
     
  11. Tim

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    Pete, these are the kind of questions I was asking myself about eight years ago. They illustrate the tremendous theological complexities which arise from trying to maintain a distinction between Jews and Gentiles after Christ initiated the New Covenant. Keep asking the hard questions. You've got a lot more to go.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    I think Tim's "complexities" are not nearly as complex as many think when you take into account the whole picture. First consider that the church did not begin until Pentecost. There is no "church" in the OT. The church is the body of Christ, the total number of Spirit-baptized believers from Pentecost to the Rapture. Spirit baptism is the forming instrument of the body (1 Cor 12:13) and was yet future in the gospels. In addition, Christ could not be the head of a church for which he had not yet died. A church in the OT would be a headless church. It just doesn't work.

    Second consider the OT prophecies. Israel was made certain promises, both of blessing and judgment. There is a prophesied end-time judgment that will come on Israel the nation for the purpose of bringing them to repentance and acceptance of the Messiah. This is a promise directed to the nation of Israel and designed to bring the nation to repentance. The New Covenant promises are too explicit to be waved away with a "new spiritual Israel" line. The text, when taken for what it says, won't allow it.

    I don't get the back burner part. I don't buy the analogy. Paul tells us that the church was a mystery hidden from past ages and generations. He does say that now, all are on in Christ Jesus. But note that is a difference from the OT. And note, that it says nothing about the end times. I believe both Jew and Gentiles will be saved. But that is not bringing them into the body of Christ.

    So I don't know that the charge of two unrelated peoples of God is all that relevant since 1) Scripture never tells us that it cannot be such and 2) there is no theological reason why it cannot be such. In the bottom line, what God says are reasons enough. I think we should take it at face value. I do not say that to imply that my friends on the other side are not interested in God's word. I do believe that they have accepted a structure/system that is contradictory to some of the clear promises and that compromises the issues by a faulty presupposition.

    I, however, don't see that your objections are grounded solidly. I think they are pretty easily answered. BTW, neither am I saying that I think dispensationalism has everything worked out. I think as a system it is a far superior system because of its foundation. I think there are areas that still need to be studied.
     
  13. postrib

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    While I believe the church began at Pentecost, note that the Bible doesn't refer to the church ending, but instead says that the church will continue "throughout all ages, world without end" (Ephesians 3:21). Note that we Christians who will be in the tribulation are Christians after the cross and after Pentecost (i.e. not OT) who have washed our "robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14) and have "the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12) and are "in the Lord" (Revelation 14:13), so we must be in his body (Ephesians 4:4-5), and we must be his bride (Ephesians 5:30-32), and we must have the Spirit, for "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:9).

    http://www.geocities.com/postrib
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    And neither did I. Just because the church is taken out of the world in accordance with the promise of God does not mean that the church ends.

    I think you have conflated some things here. Just because all are saved in teh blood of Christ does not mean that all are a part of the body of Christ. The tribulation has a specific aim (the judgment and repentance of Israel) and the church has already accomplished that aim. God's promise is that the church will not be in that period of wrath.
     
  15. postrib

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    Note that no verse says that the rapture will take anyone any higher than the clouds, and no verse promises us a rapture before the tribulation.

    Note that no scripture says that there are any Christians outside of the body of Christ, for "there is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith" (Ephesians 4:4-5).

    Could all of us Christians who will be in the tribulation (Revelation 6:11, 7:14, 9:4, 12:17, 13:7-10, 14:12-13, 15:2, 16:15, 18:4, 20:4) still not be appointed to God's wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9) because during the tribulation nobody in heaven says God's wrath "is come" until near the end of the tribulation, after the 7th trumpet (Revelation 11:15, 18), in the 7 vials of God's wrath (Revelation 15:1; Revelation 16), and none of the 7 vials are poured out on those of us who have obtained salvation? I believe we are even blessed at the 6th vial (Revelation 16:15), that we might endure to the 1,335th day after the abomination of desolation (Daniel 12:11-12), which is the day I believe Jesus will come back (Revelation 19).

    I think it's important to make this distinction because many people -- including many Christians -- are going to be blaming God for everything bad that happens to them in the tribulation; they're going to be saying that God is the one causing all of their suffering, when in reality it will be Satan, evil men, and natural disasters that are causing it.

    Satan is going to try to use the suffering of the tribulation to turn people -- even us Christians -- away from God, to get us to believe that God is really a cruel and unjust tyrant who only wants mankind to suffer and be tortured, while Satan is the one trying to help us. We need to be able to say, no, this suffering is not from God, but from evil and natural sources, just as we Christians have always had to suffer in wars, famines, plagues, persecutions, and natural disasters throughout history, from the beginning of the church down until this day.

    In the pre-trib view, will we Christians who will be in the tribulation (Revelation 6:11, 7:14, 9:4, 12:17, 13:7-10, 14:12-13, 15:2, 16:15, 18:4, 20:4) all be appointed to wrath? Aren't being appointed to wrath and obtaining salvation mutually exclusive? "God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
     

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