The Church is NOT EQUAL to Israel!

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by rjprince, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. rjprince

    rjprince
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    IS THE CHURCH ISREAL? I say NO!

    I am sure this has been discussed, but I have been away for quite a while. Came up on the "SUCCESSIVE REVELATION" thread (as well as a few others recently), so I thought, let's start a new one...


    Rom 11:25-27 clearly says that God is not done with Israel!

    Here is a little exercise... Swap the word "church" for "Israel" in the following passages and see how much sense it makes.

    Rom 11:25-27
    5 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
    26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
    27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

    Rom 9:1-5
    1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
    2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
    3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
    4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
    5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

    Israel is not the Church and the Church is not Israel... Not all Israel is Israel, in that some Jews are not believers in the God of Israel, BUT IN NO PASSAGE ARE GENTILE BELIEVERS EVER CALLED THE SONS OF ISRAEL!
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    Well, all those exclaimation marks and all caps makes you sound pretty excited about your viewpoint. :tongue3:

    Actually, the Bible does call believers Israel.

    "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." Gal 6:15-16

    The Bible certainly makes a distinction with Jews according to the flesh, national Israel, and Jews accoring to the Spirit, the Israel of God, but not in the way you describe.

    Remember brother, its not those who are of the flesh that are counted and the sons of Abraham accoding to the Promise, but those who are of faith in Jesus Christ.
     
  3. rjprince

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    Two things,

    First, the Gal 6 passage does not call the church Israel, in fact just the opposite! Notice it says, "peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God". I understand that some argue that the kai could be translated as even, but that is imposing one's theology on the text. At best, an unbiased handling of the text would have to admit that this one does not prove either side...

    Second, notice how you have to shift back to "the sons of Abraham". I repeat what I said earlier, in slightly different words, not all Jews are the faith children of Abraham, not all Israelites will inherit the promise, but nowhere (in Scripture) are Gentile believers ever said to the be the children of ISRAEL!

    The fact that we are the spiritual seed of Abraham on the basis of faith does not abrogate God's many clear and specific promises to the Jews through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel.

    The OT clearly envisions a day when NATIONAL ISRAEL shall recognize that they crucified their Messiah, the result will be DELIVERANCE, not destruction as in AD 70 (Zech 12:10- chap 14). This harmonizes perfectly with Rom 9-11.

    Does the following make any sense?

    3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
    4 Who are THE CHURCH; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
    5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

    How about this,
    25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to THE CHURCH, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
    26 And so all THE CHURCH shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob [THE CHURCH]:
    27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
    28 As concerning the gospel, they [THE CHURCH] are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.


    Covenant theology badly distorts the clear statements of the OT!

    That is the problem with how some interpret the OT on the basis of the NT and not the other way around. It is often done in a way that totally destroys the clear and precise statements of the OT promises to NATIONAL Israel.

    Yeah, I guess I am passionate about rightly dividing the Word of God. I just cannot do it in a way that does such violence to God's promises to His elect. Israel was chosen not because they were great in number, etc, etc, but because God wanted to make His grace known through them, in spite of all their weaknesses and failures.

    Deut 30 previews God's scattering of them among the nations, envisions their regathering (in parallel with the Olivet Discourse), and foretells the New Covenant with Israel.

    Hate to hit and run, but I have got to go to meeting! Back later this evening.
     
  4. Aaron

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    Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

    Christ is the heir of ALL the promises, and we are joint-heirs with Christ. We, the church, are therefore, the Israel of God.
     
  5. ReformedBaptist

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    Thanks. Why is it that others can say something easier and shorter than me? :BangHead: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  6. Aaron

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    You've read too much Bunyan!:type:
     
  7. ReformedBaptist

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    That is probably true. My wife said to me, "When I read something your wrote now it sounds like your from another century." :laugh:

    Praise God for honest wives.
     
  8. Allan

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    Of course we all 'become' one in Christ in eternity, but the two (Israel and Church) are distinct in their purpose and His plan.
    Just some quick examples:
    Israel is called Gods wife (already wed - and divorsed - and to be re-united)
    The Church is called Christs bride. (newly weds)

    I don't have much time but will post more later.

    The Church of a truth IS NOT Israel though many of the promises we have are much akin to those OF Israel. But phrase 'sons of Abraham' is due to the promises being obtained by faith and is why we are 'equated' as sons of Abraham. And that being "in thy seed -Christ- shall all be blessed" - salvation which comes by Faith. However, we the Church do not obtain all of Abrahams promises for his children according the flesh, whom God hath chosen for Himself, but the promise of salvation which only comes by faith.
     
    #8 Allan, Sep 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2007
  9. J.D.

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    If anyone proposed that the Church is equal to Israel, it was probably a poor choice of words. I don't think anyone means to imply that the Church IS Israel. The task is to understand that there are two Israels - one is "after the flesh", the other is "after the Spirit"; and then we need to discerne between them as they appear in scripture.

    Notice in Rom 11 it speaks of Israel and Gentiles, and an olive tree into which they BOTH are grafted into. This olive tree is the "Israel of God", the "true" Israel, i.e. believers.

    If there is a future turning to God amongst the Jews, they will be "graffed back in again". In other words, they will become part of the Church. There is no such thing as turning to Christ but not His Church.
     
  10. skypair

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    There are actually 3 Israels reflecting the trinity of God Himself.

    The vine is spiritual Israel through all time and represents all the "JUST" according to God. It is one vine that God brings into the glory of His eternal kingdom, the New Earth.

    The olive tree is religious Israel and is the Israel of sanctification that communes with God through the Spirit. There are religious privileges according to dispensations -- natural cut out, wild grafted in, natural grafted back in.

    The fig tree is national/governmental Israel -- the nation through which Christ will rule the world physically in the MK.

    skypair
     
  11. TCGreek

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    For the moment I hold to Covenant Theology, but here is a question that I find to be quite crucial: If Israel and the Church are distinct, if there are blessings still to be realized by ethnic Israel, if God is not done with them, if in our theology we have seen the curses fulfilled to ethnic Israel, Is spiritualizing the blessings to ethnic Israel a consistent form of interpretation of the scriptural data?
     
    #11 TCGreek, Sep 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2007
  12. rjprince

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    Here are all 77 passages where the word "Israel*" occurs in the NT.

    Mt 2:20,21; 8:10; 9:33; 10:6,23; 15:24,31; 19:28; 27:9,42; Mr 12:29; 15:32; Lu 1:16,54,68,80; 2:25,32,34; 4:25,27; 7:9; 22:30; 24:21; Joh 1:31,47,49; 3:10; 12:13; Ac 1:6; 2:22,36; 3:12; 4:8,10,27; 5:21,31,35; 7:23,37,42; 9:15; 10:36; 13:16,17,23,24; 21:28; 28:20; Ro 9:4,6,27,31; 10:1,19,21; 11:1,2,7,25,26; 1Co 10:18; 2Co 3:7,13; 11:22; Ga 6:16; Eph 2:12; Php 3:5; Heb 8:8,10; 11:22; Re 2:14; 7:4; 21:12

    In NONE of these passages is there any indication that a Gentile believer is ever considered an Israelite in either an ethnic or even a spiritual sense. Israel always means the people or the land. Those Jews who are not believers are not "true Israel" in a spiritual sense and therefore will not partake of all the blessings of the covenants (the Biblical ones, not the superimposed ones). BUT NEVER ARE GENTILE BELIEVERS REFERRED TO AS "SPIRITUAL ISRAEL"!!!

    This concept is not found in pages on God’s Word, nor is it sound hermeneutics to take Genesis 1-9 in a literal manner and then spiritualize/allegorize Genesis 12,15,17, etc! I find it unfathomable that those who are most zealous for the election of the saints, deny that same security for an elect national Israel! It just does not add up.

    It is the incomplete reformation! Reject centuries of Roman Catholic teaching in regard to justification, but swallow it hook, line, and sinker in regard to Israel, the Church, and the future. Many of us would die rather than deny the literal meaning of the first book of Scripture and then we readily participate in a denial of the perspicuity of the last one. HOW CAN THESE THINGS BE???

    RJP
     
  13. rjprince

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    We have not only seen the curses fulfilled to ethnic Israel we are seeing the dry bones assemble, flesh and sinew appear, the bodies are standing!!! The only thing left is for the Spirit of God to infuse life!

    The greatest testimony to the Truth of the Abraham, Land, and Davidic Covenant is the existence of Israel as a nation!

    And my biggest plea to believers is this, "If the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense."
     
  14. TCGreek

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    1. To some extent you are correct, but I must take issue with the idea of the elect and so on.

    2. John MacArthur is a 5-point Calvinist, but he is also a Dispensationalist, keeping that Israel-Church distinction intact. He believes that God is not down with Israel as yet.
     
  15. TCGreek

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    I'm still working through some of these issues; still covenant at the moment, but the literal sense on the one hand and the spiritualizing on the other hand, I have to resolved, or I may never resolved it.
     
  16. webdog

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    Bingo! You hit the nail on the head. "True Israel" is the elect of Scripture...not the gentiles.
     
  17. rjprince

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    JM calls himself a "leaky dispensationalist", little D. His opening message for last years Shepherd's Conference was VERY STRONG! I am not on the same page as him on the lordship salvation issue, but he has been a very big influence in my growth and development is most other areas.
     
  18. rjprince

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    Not sure I understand all that underlies your statement? But, nowhere are believing Gentiles ever called "true Israel". The "True Israel" would only include believing Jews, never Gentiles. Not in the NT and certainly not in the OT, proselytes not included since they became Jews.

    In the OT, elect refers to national ethnic Israel. After the cross, and through the age of the Gentiles/Church Age, the term elect refers to believers without distinction as to ethnicity.
     
  19. TCGreek

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    "leaky dispensationalist" I think because of the no-lordship controversy.
     
  20. J.D.

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    Wouldn't Gal 4:24 tell us something about the literal/figerative relationship? "which things were an allegory". I understand that the narrative of Genesis to be literally true, but those literal events point to a spiritual truth revealed in the NT. If this is "spiritualizing", isn't that what Paul did?
     

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