Friday, January 28, 2011

18 New Testament Misconceptions No. 14

#14: Israel and the Church

A doctrine known as replacement theology began in early all-Gentile Christian churches that postures the idea that all the blessings of the Bible were transferred to Christians and all the curses in the Bible fell upon the Jews. While this may remain as a popular Christian belief, it is nevertheless very unscriptural:

“Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains! For YHWH has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their sorrow. Yet Jerusalem says, “YHWH has deserted us; YHWH has forgotten us.” Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on my hand. Ever before me is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins. Soon your descendants will come back, and all who are trying to destroy you will go away” (Isaiah 49:13-17).

“What then is the superiority or the Jews? Or what is the advantage of the circumcision? Much in every way. And first, because to them were entrusted the words of Elohim. For if some of them have not believed, have they, by their not believing, made the faith of Elohim inefficient? Far be it: for Elohim is truthful, and every man false: as it is written: That you might be upright, in your declarations; and be found pure when they judge you” (Romans 3:1-4).

Obviously, both of these passages refer to the Jews and not Gentile Christians, since Christians are assumed to be Rav Shaul’s audience in Romans. Also please read Romans 11:1, 11:7 and verses 25 through 29.

Rav Shaul clearly attacks hypocrites (who happen to be Jewish), rather than all Jews which would include himself. It is also very clear that Jewish sinners are not the only people Rav Shaul rebukes in his writings. Please see 1 Corinthians 5:1-13.

So if all Israel is saved, where is the “Church” in all this? You will find the answer in Ephesians 2:11-14. But, the reality is, there never was such thing as the “Church” in the days of the original Apostles – only a renewed Israel that Gentiles are welcome to join! Gentiles do not “replace” Israel but become part of Israel! Please read Jeremiah 31:31 which very clearly references the recipients of the Renewed Covenant.

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