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Forever Means Forever:
God’s Promises to the Jews

By Jeffrey Meyers

Copyright © 2003

If God promised a certain land to the seed of Abraham, saying that it would be theirs “forever” (Gen. 13:15), why do Reformed churches teach that the Jews permanently lost their right to the land? What about all these Old Testament “forever” promises and prophesies made to the Jews? How should we understand the passages that seem to imply that the Israelites have a secure place in God’s plan forever?

Just about everyone who reads the Bible will eventually end up asking questions like this. And if they don’t arise from one’s own reading of the Bible, one cannot avoid them for long in today’s world. Not only does the Evangelical Christian culture in America relentlessly preach and popularize its own answer to these questions (i.e., Left Behind and all that), but the escalating conflict in the Middle East cannot but cause us to wonder about the place of modern Israel and the Jews in God’s plan for history.

The simple answer is that when God said “forever” he meant it. There’s no need to suggest that God set aside these promises. Nor should we “spiritualize” them and make them apply directly to the Christian Church. That is not to say that these Old Testament promises don’t apply to the Church. You’ll see what I mean by denying the “direct” application of these promises to the Church as you read on. I do indeed believe that these promises and prophecies are fulfilled in the Church, but not by way of spiritualization and not simply by the Church superceding the Jews.

Christian theologians have not always been careful about formulating the precise manner in which the Church participates in these promises to the Jews. In modern theology “supercessionism” is the term used to describe the theological position first expressed by early church theologians Justin Martyr and Irenaeus that the Church is the “true” or “spiritual” Israel. But did God simply switch out the recipients of promises, replacing the Jews with the Church? Putting it like this is much too simplistic. Moreover, such a formulation conveniently sidesteps that which is crucial for Christian theology–the incarnation. Every promise and prophecy given to Israel has a very literal, material fulfillment.

I mean that if one is worried about the recipients of these promises really being Jews, genealogical sons of Abraham, then Jesus himself literally fits the bill. Jesus is literally and physically a bloodline son of Abraham and David (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38). All the promises made to physical Israel are for him. He is the recipient of all of these promises. He lives today. He now literally owns the land of Palestine. Since Jesus rules the world, the land of Palestine is included in his kingdom. It is all his.

This is a point I think helps answer the charge made against Reformed theologians of “spiritualizing” the promises made to physical Israel. We haven’t answered that charge very well in our circles. I believe that in certain quarters of the Reformed church we have failed to emphasize the fact that Jesus is the last faithful Jew and therefore the inheritor of all the promises made to the sons of Abraham in the Old Testament. Some of this may be because we spend so much time arguing for the deity of Christ we forget that he is also fully human-even now at the Father’s right hand! And if human, Jesus has a history and genealogy. In other words, he is an Israelite, a Jew. That’s why there’s no need to “spiritualize” the Old Testament promises and prophecies originally made to Abraham or Israel. That’s also why the presence or absence of genealogical Jewry has no religious significance after A.D. 70.

There are no unfulfilled promises that apply to anyone other than Jesus Christ and those in union with him. I believe that what Paul speaks of in Romans 11 is future to him, but past for us. It was fulfilled prior to God putting a final end to the old world in A.D. 70. This is not the place for a detailed exposition of Romans 11. (See James B. Jordan’s insightful arguments for a pre-A.D. 70 fulfillment of Paul’s predictions in his three-part essay “The Future of Israel Reexamined”). For now my point is this: Ultimately, all the promises and prophecies made to the people of God in the Old Testament are all given to Jesus, and then indirectly to us “in him.”

Endless Genealogies?

Let’s stop and plow up this ground a bit more carefully. The answer to all questions about the promises made to the Jews is that the man, the Jew, Joshua Messiah, inherits all those promises. He is physically a Jew, and always will be! The genealogies end with him. There is no longer any religious significance to supposed genealogical links between post-AD 70 human communities and Abraham, Moses, or David. Jesus is the only Jew that matters any more. And united with him any person can be grafted into the olive tree of God’s promises. We partake of all the promises to the Jews in the Old Testament “indirectly.” United to Christ, the faithful and immortal Israelite, we are graciously permitted to enjoy what has been fulfilled by and given to him.

In electing the Jews God had one purpose in mind–namely, the coming of the Messiah. Once the Messiah comes, descended from Abraham and David (Matt. 1 and Luke 3), then genealogical Israel’s purpose ends. Jesus is the final Israelite. He is Israel reduced to one. He is the elect Jewish Man. He is the remnant. When he hangs on the cross, everyone else has apostatized. He is the last and only faithfully Jew. And in him, then, the whole world is renewed. As Paul says over and over again in his letters, the only election that matters now is that which takes place “in Christ.” God’s election of Israel was indeed vindicated in the life, death, and resurrection of Joshua Messiah.

If we take this seriously, then we must conclude that nothing else need happen concerning the modern-day Jews. Once Jesus died and rose again, the last generation of Jews that were in covenant with God by means of the old system were given an opportunity to repent and be incorporated into the Messiah’s body. This is what the ministry of Peter and Paul “to the Jew first” is all about. After that first-century offer, physical, cultural, and religious Judaism had no claim on or special place in God’s purposes for the world. The resurrected, ascended Lord Jesus, the ever-living Jew is the only Israelite that now matters.

This means that are no more promises to ethnic, genealogical Israel for today. Unless, of course, you don’t exclude Jesus from those promises! He is the last, faithful living Israelite. And all the promises are “yes and amen in him” (2 Cor. 1:20). The man Jesus is Israel reduced to one and “in him” we are all beneficiaries of the promises.

I don’t believe that the modern nation of Israel or genealogical Jews have any special, favored status in God’s eyes or in his future plans (apart from their trusting in Christ, of course).

The Father has no favor for any people, nation, race, or tribe that does not acknowledge the Person and work of his Son, Jesus Christ. “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him” (John 5:23). A prophesied “future” (to us) salvation of Israel would demand that the Church have an incredibly awkward stance with regard to the genealogical, cultural, and even national Israel. We would have to say that in some sense they are still “favored” or “special” and therefore be forced to “protect” their culture and people. As we have seen in the history of the Church’s dealings with the Jews, this leads to a love/hate relationship. How much better to confess that all nations, peoples, tribes, and tongues are equal, and treat them all accordingly. This is not anti-Semitic, but it levels the playing field. After Jesus and the change in the covenantal order and government of the world, the Jews are not central anymore. They are no longer priests to the nations. There’s no one place where sacrifice is offered for the world. Jerusalem is not the center of the world. And the purpose of the genealogies has been fulfilled–Christ was born of Mary. What “religious” purpose could they now serve?

If the Father did honor those who reject his Son, then there would be some special favor to be found with God the Father on the basis of genealogy or race apart from Christ–a notion that strikes me as outside of the bounds the explicit teaching of the New Testament. Everything in the New Testament screams no! There are no genealogies recorded in the New Testament after Christ’s (see Matt. 1 and Luke 3). I take this to mean that genealogies have no religious significance in the new world. Paul warns against “endless genealogies” (1 Tim. 1;4; Titus 3:9). Their purpose was fulfilled in Christ. I really do believe that these New Testament statements have not been carefully considered when trying to deal with this issue. How can the Church treat some people different than others based on race or circumcision or the practice of Judaistic religious traditions? These all have no religious significance after Christ.

True, in redemptive history the Gospel goes to the Jew first after Pentecost (Rom. 1:16; Acts 13:5, 15, etc.). And after almost 40 years of having the privilege of hearing the Good News first, many of the first century Jews repented and joined the Church. But the Jews that would not repent and trust in Jesus the Messiah were rejected and cursed. Paul turns to the Gentiles exclusively at the end of his ministry because God’s patience had run out for the Jews (Acts 28:25-29; see especially 1 Thess. 2:14-16). In A.D. 70 Jesus comes to destroy the old temple and with it the centrality of the people and nation of Israel comes to an end.

A New Creation

In the new world, King Jesus, the true and faithful Israelite reigns from heaven. All who are united to him receive all of the promises made to the nation and people of Israel in the Old Testament (2 Cor. 1:20). There are no more Jews. There are no more Gentiles. This old distinction has disappeared. We live in a new world, a new creation (Gal. 6:14-15). There is only one Jew, and he is the inheritor of what was promised to Israel because he is the Greater Israel, the last true and faithful Israelite. Even if there are cultural and genealogical Jews that continue to perpetuate their “religion” after AD 70, the fact is irrelevant to the Christian faith.

Christ has done away with the whole bi-polar division of humanity (Jew-Gentile) that was in force during the Old Covenant. This is all over the New Testament (1 Cor. 12:23; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:11-3:12; Phil. 3:2-11; Col. 3:11; 1 Thess. 2:14-16; etc.). The Israel/Gentile division has served its purpose and is now obsolete. To try to resurrect it or continue it is to deny that Jesus is the true and final Israelite. This is an important point. All the promises are “Yes and Amen” in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). The Gospels indicate that he is the last faithful, bloodline, racial Israelite. He dies, rises again, and ascends into heaven to rule as Lord.

There is, therefore, no “spiritualization” involved in saying that the members of the new covenant Church, whatever their nationality or genealogical stock, now have access to all the promises of the Old Testament. United to the very human, fully “Jewish” Messiah who reigns in heaven, we, the Church, are “heirs” of the promises in Him. Israel is no longer God’s “son,” but Jesus is God’s Son and we in him are all “sons of God” and heirs of the promises (Romans 8:17, 22-23; Col. 1:15-20). Paul says, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29). What’s the problem? Isn’t that clear? Jesus himself repudiates the notion that being a physical descendent of Abraham gives one a special favor in God’s eyes when he dressed down the Jews of his day for making such a claim (John 8:48-59).

Jesus now owns, not only the land of Palestine (which is most certainly not holy anymore), but all of the earth. His Church in Him now is heir to the entire creation (Rom. 8:17; Eph. 3:6). We should stop calling Palestine “the Holy Land.” All such geographical and spatial defined holiness boundaries have been done away in Christ. Wherever a church is gathered, the place is “holy,” for the Lord is there. Indeed, the Church is the new temple (1 Cor. 3:9; 1 Pet. 2:5), the new “chosen people,” and the new “holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9). The Old Testament “land promise” has been fulfilled–Jesus now owns the land of Palestine. But this is only a small portion of the world over which he presently reigns as Lord.

Yes and Amen in Him

Is the Abrahamic covenant (AC) still in force today? Will those who bless Abraham be blessed and those who curse him be cursed? Well, yes and no. The AC was transformed by the Mosaic covenant and so in some sense it was altered even then. Then the Mosaic covenant was transformed into the Davidic Covenant. The Davidic covenant underwent changes after the exile and something new came from the old. There’s been a sequence of “new” covenants in the Old Testament. Each time this happens the older covenant is taken up into the new one with significant changes. It’s not like each old covenant just ends and a new one starts all over again. The old one is transfigured into a new one. The promises of the older covenants are taken up and furthered in the new.

And all of this comes to completion in what we call the New Testament or Covenant with the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. All of the covenants are fulfilled in him and all of the promises of the all these previous covenants are “yes” and “amen” only in him (2 Cor. 1:20)! Jesus fulfills the Abrahamic covenant. He is a bloodline “son” of Abraham (Matt. 1). All the genealogies end with Jesus. The whole purpose of a bloodline “seed” is fulfilled in him. That’s why the New Testament, especially Paul is so adamant about the fact that the people of God are those who by faith are united to Christ. All who bless him are blessed. You love and bless Jesus, the Greater Son of Abraham, you are blessed. You curse Jesus, you are cursed. That is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant. The AC has nothing to do with how USA treats modern day nation of “Israel.”

And once again, this is not “spiritualizing” the promises, as dispensationalist accuse us. Jesus was and remains a very physical, human Jew. God the Son united himself eternally to our humanity in the womb of the virgin Mary, partaking of her (our) flesh. Mary could trace her genealogy back through David to Abraham (Matt. 1) and then to Adam (Luke 3). Now, since the incarnation, the man Christ Jesus reigns in heaven as the last, faithful son of Adam, son of Abraham, and son of David. We are united to him by faith and therefore in him we are heirs of all the promises. The promises made to Abraham, David, and Israel are all appropriately received by Jesus, the very physical heir of Abraham, David, and Judah! There is no spiritualizing here, because Jesus is the bloodline heir of these promises. Only those who are united to him are co-heirs of the promises. To even suggest that God loves or favors the present-day Jews apart from their trusting in Christ is appalling, especially since today they are vocal enemies of the Church and of the Gospel.

If what I’ve said above is true, then the claim that there is still some special status or favor for genealogical or cultural Israel, even if it’s just the promise of an unbroken racial bloodline, is rather odd. The purpose of the genealogies of Israel is fulfilled in Christ. He is the last genealogical Jew that really makes any difference. And, of course, God gives the last generation of Jews alive during that time (AD 30-70) a chance to repent and be united to the true and faithful Israelite, the Greater Moses and David, who now reigns in heaven. But after that, it makes no sense to think that there’s still any point in continuing a genealogical or cultural Judaism. The “forever” promises and prophecies were ultimately made and fulfilled for Jesus Christ and his Bride, who is now “one flesh” with him.

Copyright © 2003

Jeff Meyers [contact him] is the pastor of Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church in Saint Louis, Missorri. He has been ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America since 1988. After college and serving as an officer in the U.S. Army, Jeff attended Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Jeff later earned his Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M) and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary. He has a personal blog page called Corrigenda.

Jeff is also the author of The Lord’s Service: The Grace of Covenantal Worship, a practical pastoral guide to worship that introduces readers to the application of Old Testament sacrificial liturgics, biblical typology, and covenant theology.



25 Responses to “God’s Promises to the Jews”

  1. 1
    Charles Sims Says:

    Love your “stuff”. It appears you approach and carry out your comments without
    dogmas! Just glean and forage the scriptures brother! Good Job!!!!

  2. 2
    Daniel Says:

    A very good word! I especially liked how you make it so clear that all the promises made to Israel and Judah are fulfilled in Christ and only through union with Him does anyone share in those promises.

  3. 3
    MIchael Says:

    Sir:
    You say that Jesus/Yeshua was the last faithful Jew. This cannot be true, since the apostles and the disciples and many other of His original followers were all faithful Jews. I regard these followers, including the writers of the New Testament as “Messianic Jews” of Hebrew origin. While I agree that other gentile believers in Yeshua have later become Messianic Jews, I see that there is a bloodline even now dating back to the original followers of Yeshua. This bloodline has been preserved through the non-Messianic Jews, who can literally trace their ancestry back to the time of the Apostles. They have preserved the lineage. Meanwhile, those of us, who accept/believe that Yeshua was indeed the Messiah, buy in to His promises to His followers. Therefore I contend that the Messianic Jews (whether of Hebrew descent or not) are the Jews who are to inherit God’s Promises and they are the ones we refer to often as “Spiritual Israel”.
    Your thoughts?
    Mike

  4. 4
    MIchael Says:

    The promises do need to be fulfilled literally regarding God’d people. These people are by definition, “Messianic Jews”, not the many diverse sects we now call “Christians”.
    I believe that since the promises need yet to be fulfilled, it is paramount that His followers remember these promises. Hence, the continued importance of following many of the Old Testament festivals, which foreshadow these coming End Time Events. This is the value of the continues Line of Jews dating back to the Apostles, whether or not they were followers of Yeshua. They preserved the Original promises in their proper context, while the Catholic Church distorted them. We have before us Truth and Error. Those Christian sects, for example that cannot today even keep the simple 10 Commandments of God because they have forgotten the Sabbath Day, are a prime example of this acceptance of error over truth. What is to be expected after all, when the truth is obscured by the Reigning Power for 1260 years, before the Reformers attempt to piece it back together little by little. If the Reformers had gone immediately back to the Remaining Jews to get the original data, they would now all be Messianic Jews with the firm foundation expected by God of His followers. Remember that Paul was always a Jew First, ie he kept the OT in its fullest sense and that was his rock – his firm foundation for believing in Yeshua as the Messiah.

    Isn’t it a bit laughable that some of these “holy”, self-righteous, Christians can ignore God’s most direct commands for His followers and yet preach that those, who do follow those commands, are somehow ignorant? Many will come saying, “Lord, Lord”, but I will not know them.

  5. 5
    Steve Says:

    You are blessed with understanding even the Christians can see truth in. At least this one who says he is a Jew but is not of the Jews

  6. 6
    Tom R. Says:

    @MIchael, please see Acts 15 for a rebuttal.

  7. 7
    Ron Elkin Says:

    Dear Brothers in Messiah Jesus,

    I encourage you to read a theological and biblical rebuttal of replacement theolgy by Barry E. Horner. The title of the book is Future Israel. The fruit of replacement theology throughout the centuries has led to the abuse and persecution of the Jewish people by the “Church.” It is a historical fact that that replacement theology has borne bad fruit towards the physical decendents of Jesus. I am not saying that all people who agree with Pastor Meyer are anti-Semites, but even today replacement theology is being used to deligitimize Modern Israel’s right to the land and disregarding the witness of God’s Soverignly drawing the Jews back to the Land (for an unbiased history of the development of Modern Israel I enourage you to read Martin Gilberts’ “Israel A History”). Much biblical promises to ethnic Israel by our covenant keeping God must be ignored and glossed over by a misuse of 2 Cor 2:10 and Gal 3:29. Replacement theology is a construct that seems to simplify and complete what Jesus has accomplished. It does away with the complication of ethnic Jews in the scheme of God’s eternal plans for His people. But our blessed Creator is able to handle the mystery and tension of the Church and ethnic Israel’s continuation in His historical plans.

    It is amazing that Pastor Meyers can ignore Satan’s continued stiring up of irrational hatred of Jews and Israel and not realize there is a spiritual dimension to this. I know that prejudice is common among our fallen race, but you have to be willfully blind not to see the unique hatred of ethnic Israel. It is not an accident, it is part of spiritual warfare and Satan’s continued desire to dispose of God’s covenant promise to ethnic Jews (see Jer. 31:35-37 and Jer. chp. 32). In Jer 31:35-37 God promises that the Jewish people will always exist as long as there is a physical earth in spite of their failings. God continues this though in the next chapter when He ask Jeremiah to buy a field as a token (see Jer. 32:36ff) of God’s covenant and continued land promises to ethnic Jews. Jer. 32:36ff 36 “You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylon’; but this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 37 I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good and WILL ASSUREDLY PLANT THEM IN THIS LAND WILL MY HEART AND SOUL [GOD KEEPS HIS WORD].

    42 “This is what the LORD says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them. 43 Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say, ‘It is a desolate waste, without men or animals, for it has been handed over to the Babylonians.’ 44 Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, because I will restore their fortunes, [d] declares the LORD.”

  8. 8
    Starfires Says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write and post this. Still, I think I ought to point out that I think it is a misunderstood reading of Biblical truth. Anyone looking with an open heart at the history of the Jewish people can see that God has saved them from many a calamity, even being so good and loving as to restore their seed to their promised lands. The abstract, legalistic God you paint a picture of, who would be utterly insensitive to this unique situation is one I would have trouble believing in, let alone worshipping. He sounds like a flattening, Communistic deity, who refuses to acknowledge any special case, following rules without doing so with love.

    Of course God loves everyone and also, of course those who come to Him through Christ open themselves to special, unique blessings. Yet he continues to have a special place in his heart for those he originally chose and hasn’t abandoned them until they become ‘Christians’- for many of them a culturally unthinkable act that only a tyrannical God would insist upon rather than urge towards.

    Thankfully, the God of the Bible is a very real and loving God, who keeps and in fact enlarges his promises to mankind. Why else would the Jewish people continue to exist, despite the reoccurring prejudices against them and the various attempts to destroy them? God is simply far more powerful and kind than many humans would imagine him to be.

    When it says that gentile and Jew can be united through Christ, it means just that. People are still varied, yet through Christ they can be spiritually united. The cultural and even biological diversity of man continues, yet God unfailingly loves us all.

  9. 9
    Brett Says:

    This is in response to Michael’s comment:

    “I believe that since the promises need yet to be fulfilled, it is paramount that His followers remember these promises. Hence, the continued importance of following many of the Old Testament festivals, which foreshadow these coming End Time Events. This is the value of the continues Line of Jews dating back to the Apostles, whether or not they were followers of Yeshua.”

    There is nothing necessarily wrong with recognizing the OT festivals as a sacrament but it it not necessary. The Apostle Paul (a Jew) addresses this in Galatians 4:9-11

    But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

    Hopefully careful study and understanding the festivals will lead them to their ultimate fufillment which is the Christ.

  10. 10
    Faith Says:

    This article sounds like the devaluing of Jews and even hostility towards them. Romans 11 tells the church not to be arrogant toward the Jewish branches that were cut off because even as branches from the natural tree were cut off, so can we the unnatural branches that were grafted in be. It also states that the blindness the Jews had toward the Messiah occurred in part so that we Gentiles would be given opportunity to come to know the Messiah and once the “time of the Gentiles” is up, many Jews will come to know the Messiah as well. Yippee!!!

  11. 11
    Paul Says:

    Thank you Jeffrey for having the courage to wade into this minefield. As evidenced by the defensive posture many have taken in response, this is not a people pleasing message. Unfortunatley the heresy of dispensationalism has such a grip on much of the evangelical community that people can’t see the plain teaching of scripture. As a former disp. myself I understand the appeal. However, the scriptures use of “near”, “at hand”, soon to take place”, “this generation”, “you”(not a people 2 thousand years removed)and Pauls plain teachings regarding Israel and Abrahams “seed” led me to reject dispensationalism. I only hope that as the years continue to pass, as the date setters continue to miscalculate and recalculate, as “generation” continues to expand in the dispensationalist dictionary, as the “establishment of Israel” continues it’s march down the calender…ie.”1948″,”1967″,”1988″; we will one day look back on this mystic inspired, Scofield promoted,”blood of bulls” required,anti-Christ speculating “last days” phenomena for the folly it is.

  12. 12
    Stephen Navarro Says:

    Jeffrey, if I’m reading you correctly I gather you still believe in age old promises that God gave, am I right? I guess this is one reason we believe in Messiah for He never changes. But, if this is true then why aren’t we still obedient to all the other things He commanded and ignore the church & synagogue contradictory doctrines? The Sabbath, the Feast Days, etc. I believe a quick look at the penalty for disobedience is chilling!

  13. 13
    Joseph Says:

    The point in Matthew conflicts with the view of this post. There is a 1000year reign coming that will be on this earth and people will be sacrificing animals again while He is here. I believe it was said “no point in continuing Judaism” is heretical. Again because it’s obvious the millennial temple has ppl sacrificing again with Jesus at the center of it in the actual walls of Jerusalem and also and more prominent point is this. Matthew says nothing of the law will pass away (Torah/Judaism), til ALL is fulfilled. It PROMISES heaven and earth will pass away first, are heaven and earth still here? Yes, this Judaism though fulfilled in Christ still has relevance in the light of Christ

  14. 14
    Craig Says:

    I always find it quite fascinating to hear the responses to this kind of post. If you are of physical Jewish descent, and trust in Christ for salvation, you desperately need to believe in national zionism. If you are a dispensationalist, your theology demands that, sometime in the future, hopefully soon, since your group must believe in a coming Rapture and 1000 year literal and physical reign of Christ on earth, that national Israel is definitely part of your eschatology of the future. Very interesting indeed. “Replacement Theology” is an absolute Heresy!!… Right? Yet, according to Ezekiel, the Prophet of God, God Himself will, if all is in the future, Command believers, with the Jews, still living after the Rapture, to initiate Animal Blood Sacrifice for the remission of sins, at the rebuilding of a future temple. This, at the very minimum, demands a belief that the supposed “once for all” sacrifice of Christ on the cross is insufficient for future Jews during the Millennial Reign of Christ… extremely odd theology, indeed! It’s also very interesting that those who object to a particular doctrine find a term to describe it, usually in less than appealing terms, like “Replacement Theology”. This is not a term used by Bible Believing, usually Reformed followers of Christ, who understand the Bible in it’s full authoritative sense of the word. Thanks to the author for accurately describing what the Scripture teaches, clearly and unapologetically! THANKS !!

  15. 15
    Craig Says:

    Almost forgot… it’s also very common for people like Ron Elkin, reply above, to descend into Ad Hominem arguments, calling all who believe the author of this article to be “of Satan”, or “Heretical”. A common, but sad indictment between those who call themselves, “followers of Christ” and those who use such language in their arguments over doctrinal differences. You’ll likely never hear a reformed believer refer to Dispensationalists as “followers of doctrines of Satan”… it’s truly very sad! Ron, with your response, you sadly give fuel to the fire over issues that should never cause divisions between true followers of Christ… Sad brother! If you truly believe that the shed blood Christ is insufficient for future believers, during a physical 1000 year reign of Christ on earth, where God Himself will command the institution of animal sacrifice for the remission of sin, then perhaps you are not a true believer as well!

  16. 16
    Ted_Horsepower Says:

    @Craig…. strangely, you appear to castigate the ‘ad hominem’ argument posed by Ron Elkin, and then embark on a little of the same yourself e.g. ‘Sad brother’ unless of course the phrase was a missing comma between sad and brother!
    The article, which I appreciate is a genuine attempt to wrestle with a perplexing issue, to my mind misses the point by effectively suggesting that all the promises made towards Israel have somehow been consumed by Jesus. Their fulfilment is certainly guaranteed by Yeshua (for they are all ‘yes and amen’) but it doesn’t seem right to suggest that the promise of ‘all Israel being saved’ is only accessible by being ‘in Yeshua’. How would one get ‘into Yeshua’ to receive those promises if the very act of entering Him can only be found once inside. It is like saying the key to entering a room is locked within the room you are trying to enter but are unable to without already being in the room.

  17. 17
    Ted_Horsepower Says:

    Hi Jeff, (Thought provoking piece – thanks)If, as you suggest, the “all Israel” of Romans 11 was saved between AD 30- 70 then, according to the chronology of the same passage, the fulness of the Gentiles entered Christ prior the ‘all Israel’ being saved. Would this mean that noone, including you or I, have subsequently been saved? Such a dividing of the word seems mighty awkward, messy-anarchic rather than Messianic, if you will pardon the play…

  18. 18
    carlos ramirez Says:

    los judios,tienen,la promesa de su dios de la venida de un enviado,o mesias, notese:no el hijo de dios,no se confundan,todos los personajes de los evangelios son obra escritores habiles en las mentiras, si existio maria y jesus y jose esta mal,porque si aquella mujer quedo embarazada del espiritu santo,es !adulterio¡ y dios no hace cosas malas aunque pueda,pero como es muy buen negocio regentear iglesias,que prometen mucho y cumplen muy poco, alli esta la razón de la existencia del cristianismo,alla los judios y su religion ,la verdadera religion se llama fraternidad !que dificil esta que tantisimos vividores dejen de robar a la gente regenteando iglesias,

  19. 19
    Gene Says:

    You are totally confused. Jesus is God. Is God a Jew? Absolutely not!! Jesus is in no way a Jew. That’s a huge misconception that many preachers claim. Jesus’ mother, Mary, was from the pure bloodline of the Israelites. She was conceived by the Holy Spirit, not by Joseph, her husband, so Jesus maintained the pure Israelite bloodline, and never had any Jewish blood in Him. The eternal promises God made were to Abraham and his bloodline through Jacob (Israel) and Israel’s twelve sons, the Israelites, long before there existed any Jews. Your whole article is misleading, to say the least. How would any authority claim the Bible says that God made the Jews that promise? Jews are not Israelites and Israelites are not Jews. The Jews were a thorn in Christ’s side from the time He preached God’s Kingdom until His crucifixion by the Jews. The idea that God’s Chosen are the Jews is nothing but Zionist Jew propaganda hoping to create a love for the Jews. Jesus said to the Jews,”You are of your father, the devil.” He also said,”I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Notice that statement. There is NO reference to the Jews whatsoever. Jews were NEVER part of the House of Israel.

  20. 20
    Gene Says:

    Jesus is God. Is God a Jew? Jesus was born of the Virgin, Mary, through the Holy Spirit. Mary had pure Israel blood and Joseph, her husband, was not involved in her conception. Consequently, Jesus was born of pure Israel blood and no Jewish blood was in Him. This means He was not and is not a Jew. Jesus had trouble with the Jews from the time He preached on the earth until His crucifixion. The scriptures tells us God made an eternal covenant with Abraham that was extended down through that bloodline thru his son, Isaac and on to Jacob(Israel)long before there ever existed a Jew. That covenant still stands, through His Chosen, Israel. Christ said that He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. We should pay close attention to that statement. No Jews were referenced in that statement, as they were not of the house of Israel.

  21. 21
    Mike Says:

    Very Greek in thinking…devoid of Hebrew thought (the very essence of which God used to bring forth His promises). Do we ever ask how a nation so small continues to impact the world so dispraportionately? Even today’s world. Think about it! There are only 14 million Jews in the entire world and their contributions to politics, business, art, philanthropy and so on continue to shine above gentile contributions. While this piece suggests that Jesus Christ did away with all of the promises God had formerly made to the Jewish nation, it flies in the face of the evidence of their continual prosperity (not in money, but in Hebraic thought). YHWH is God and those promises never change. The Old Testament is frought with evidence of God’s intent to deliver the remnant of Israel and it is clear that the gentile nations purpose is to make them jealous for God. How, on earth, can we expect any Jew to be jealous of what we have when we tell them that Jesus Christ is the Jacob of today. That what Jesus Christ represents is one who is taking the birth-right away from the Jews and giving it to the gentiles. The supposition is prepostourous and devoid of consideration of scriptures as a whole and definitely remiss of Hebrew thinking. I would expect that such commentary would receive rave reviews from those who think that God has abandoned Israel for the purpose of a New Covenant. I submit that this is the very reason why the Church is impotent, divided and is in dire need of revival.

  22. 22
    Anthony Says:

    When the nation of Israel (Jews) of their own volition promised to follow God, this was the caveat. When the Temple was destroyed along with all the records, this ended that relationship. When Cornelius was converted, this opened it up the “Israel of God” to the nations. See the prophecies of Isaiah, Daniel and Ezekiel. Jesus also said their “house was abondoned to them”. He also said that this would be passed on to those “bearing fruit”. The promise remains see Ps.37:10, 11 and 29. Dan 2:44 and Rev. 7 and 11. It’s all there.

  23. 23
    Anthony Says:

    They Waited for the Messiah

    “The people were waiting, and all were reasoning in their hearts concerning John, whether he were not the Messiah.”—LUKE 3:15, THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT.

    NIGHT has fallen. Shepherds are out-of-doors, keeping watch over their flocks. How startled they are when Jehovah’s angel stands nearby and God’s glory gleams around them! Listen! The angel makes this dramatic proclamation: “Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” the one who would prove to be the Messiah. The shepherds can find this infant lying in a manger in a nearby town. Suddenly, “a multitude of the heavenly army” begin praising Jehovah, saying: “Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill.”—Luke 2:8-14.

    2 Of course, the Jewish shepherds know that “Messiah,” or “Christ,” refers to God’s “Anointed One.” (Ex. 29:5-7) But how can they learn more and convince others that the baby mentioned by the angel will be Jehovah’s appointed Messiah? By examining prophecies found in the Hebrew Scriptures and comparing these with the activities and life course of this child.

    Why Were People in Expectation?

    3 When John the Baptizer came on the scene years later, his words and deeds led some to wonder if the Messiah had arrived. (Read Luke 3:15.) It is possible that some correctly understood a Messianic prophecy involving “seventy weeks.” If p. 9so, they could have determined when the Messiah would appear. In part, the prophecy stated: “From the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Leader, there will be seven weeks, also sixty-two weeks.” (Dan. 9:24, 25) Various scholars agree that these are weeks of years. For instance, the Revised Standard Version says: “Seventy weeks of years are decreed.”

    4 Today, Jehovah’s servants are aware that the 69 weeks, or 483 years, of Daniel 9:25 began in 455 B.C.E. when Persian King Artaxerxes authorized Nehemiah to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. (Neh. 2:1-8) Those weeks ended 483 years later, in 29 C.E., when Jesus of Nazareth was baptized and anointed with holy spirit, thus becoming the Messiah.—Matt. 3:13-17.*

    5 Let us now consider a few of many other prophecies regarding the Messiah that found fulfillment in Jesus’ birth, early life, and ministry. This will undoubtedly strengthen our faith in God’s prophetic word. It will also provide clear evidence that Jesus was indeed the long-awaited Messiah.

    His Early Life Foretold

    6 The Messiah was to be born of Israel’s tribe of Judah. In his deathbed blessing of his sons, the patriarch Jacob foretold: “The scepter will not turn aside from Judah, neither the commander’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to him the obedience of the peoples will belong.” (Gen. 49:10) Many Jewish scholars of the past associated those words with the Messiah. Starting with the rule of Judean King David, the scepter (royal sovereignty) and the commander’s staff (power to command) resided with the tribe of Judah. “Shiloh” signifies “He Whose It Is; He to Whom It Belongs.” The regal line of Judah would end in “Shiloh” as the permanent kingly Heir, for God told Zedekiah, the last Judean king, that rulership would be given to one having the legal right to it. (Ezek. 21:26, 27) After Zedekiah, Jesus was the only descendant of David to whom kingship was promised. Before Jesus’ birth, the angel Gabriel told Mary: “Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.” (Luke 1:32, 33) Shiloh must be Jesus Christ, who was a descendant of Judah and David.—Matt. 1:1-3, 6; Luke 3:23, 31-34.

    7 The Messiah’s birth would take place in Bethlehem. “You, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, the one too little to get to be among the thousands of Judah,” wrote the prophet Micah, “from you there will come out to me the one who is to become ruler in Israel, whose origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite.” (Mic. 5:2) The Messiah was to be born in the Judean town of Bethlehem, evidently once named Ephrathah. Although Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his adoptive father, Joseph, lived in Nazareth, a Roman registration decree had taken them to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born in 2 B.C.E. (Matt. 2:1, 5, 6) What a remarkable fulfillment of prophecy!

    8 The Messiah would be born of a virgin. (Read Isaiah 7:14.) The Hebrew word bethu·lah′ means “virgin,” but another p. 10term (ʽal·mah′) appears at Isaiah 7:14. There it was prophesied that “the maiden [ha·ʽal·mah′]” would give birth to a son. The word ʽal·mah′ is applied to the maiden Rebekah before her marriage. (Gen. 24:16, 43) Under inspiration, Matthew used the Greek word for “virgin” (par·the′nos) when showing that Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled in connection with the birth of Jesus. The Gospel writers Matthew and Luke state that Mary was a virgin who became pregnant through the operation of God’s spirit.—Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35.

    9 Young children would be killed after the Messiah’s birth. Something similar happened centuries earlier when Egypt’s Pharaoh decreed that Hebrew male babies be cast into the Nile River. (Ex. 1:22) But especially noteworthy is Jeremiah 31:15, 16, where Rachel is depicted as weeping over her sons who were taken to “the land of the enemy.” Her lamentation was heard in distant Ramah, in the territory of Benjamin, north of Jerusalem. Matthew shows that Jeremiah’s words were fulfilled when King Herod ordered the slaughter of young male children in Bethlehem and its surrounding territory. (Read Matthew 2:16-18.) Imagine the grief in that area!

    10 Like the Israelites, the Messiah would be called out of Egypt. (Hos. 11:1) Before Herod’s death-dealing decree, an angel directed that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus go to Egypt. There they remained “until the decease of Herod, for that to be fulfilled which was spoken by Jehovah through his prophet [Hosea], saying: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’” (Matt. 2:13-15) Of course, Jesus himself could not have orchestrated any of the foretold events associated with his birth and early life.

    The Messiah Goes Into Action!

    11 The way was to be prepared before God’s Anointed One. Malachi foretold that “Elijah the prophet” would do this work, preparing the hearts of the people for the coming of the Messiah. (Read Malachi 4:5, 6.) Jesus himself identified this “Elijah” as John the Baptizer. (Matt. 11:12-14) And Mark pointed out that the ministry of John fulfilled the prophetic words of Isaiah. (Isa. 40:3; Mark 1:1-4) Jesus did not arrange for John to do an Elijahlike work as His forerunner. The activity of this foretold “Elijah” was done in harmony with God’s will as a means of identifying the Messiah.

    12 A God-given commission helps to identify the Messiah. In the synagogue at Nazareth, the town where he had been reared, Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah and applied to himself the words: “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release, to preach Jehovah’s acceptable year.” Because he truly was the Messiah, Jesus could rightly say: “Today this scripture that you just heard is fulfilled.”—Luke 4:16-21.

    13 The Messiah’s public ministry in Galilee was foretold. Concerning “the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali . . . Galilee of the nations,” Isaiah wrote: “The people that were walking in the darkness have seen a great light. As for those dwelling in the land of deep shadow, light itself has shone upon them.” (Isa. 9:1, 2) Jesus began his public p. 11ministry in Galilee, residing at Capernaum, where many residents of Zebulun and Naphtali enjoyed the benefits of the spiritual light he brought them. (Matt. 4:12-16) In Galilee, Jesus gave his thought-provoking Sermon on the Mount, chose his apostles, performed his first miracle, and likely appeared to some 500 disciples after his resurrection. (Matt. 5:1–7:27; 28:16-20; Mark 3:13, 14; John 2:8-11; 1 Cor. 15:6) He thus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy by preaching in “the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.” Of course, Jesus went on to preach the Kingdom message elsewhere in Israel.

    The Messiah’s Other Activities Foretold

    14 The Messiah would speak in parables, or illustrations. The psalmist Asaph sang: “In a proverbial saying I will open my mouth.” (Ps. 78:2) How do we know that this prophetically applied to Jesus? Matthew tells us so. After relating illustrations in which Jesus likened the Kingdom to a developing mustard grain and to leaven, Matthew states: “Without an illustration [Jesus] would not speak to them; that there might be fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet who said: ‘I will open my mouth with illustrations, I will publish things hidden since the founding.’” (Matt. 13:31-35) Proverbial sayings, or parables, were among Jesus’ effective means of teaching.

    15 Our infirmities were to be borne by the Messiah. Isaiah foretold: “Truly our sicknesses were what he himself carried; and as for our pains, he bore them.” (Isa. 53:4) Matthew pointed out that after curing Peter’s mother-in-law, Jesus healed others so that “there might be fulfilled what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He himself took our sicknesses and carried our diseases.’” (Matt. 8:14-17) And this is but one of many recorded instances when Jesus cured the ailing.

    16 Despite all the good done by the Messiah, many people would not believe in him. (Read Isaiah 53:1.) Showing that this prophecy was fulfilled, the apostle John wrote: “Although [Jesus] had performed so many signs before them, they were not putting faith in him, so that the word of Isaiah the prophet was fulfilled which he said: ‘Jehovah, who has put faith in the thing heard by us? And as for the arm of Jehovah, to whom has it been revealed?’” (John 12:37, 38) Also, few put faith in the good news about Jesus, the Messiah, during the ministry of the apostle Paul.—Rom. 10:16, 17.

    17 The Messiah would be hated without cause. (Ps. 69:4) The apostle John quotes Jesus as saying: “If I had not done among [the people] the works that no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have both seen and hated me as well as my Father. But it is that the word written in their Law may be fulfilled, ‘They hated me without cause.’” (John 15:24, 25) Often the “Law” means the whole body of Scripture. (John 10:34; 12:34) The Gospel accounts prove that Jesus was hated, especially by the Jewish religious leaders. Moreover, Christ said: “The world has no reason to hate you, but it hates me, because I bear witness concerning it that its works are wicked.”—John 7:7.

    18 Jesus’ first-century followers were certain that Jesus was the Messiah, for he did indeed fulfill the Messianic prophecies found in the Hebrew Scriptures. (Matt. 16:p. 1216) As we have seen, some of these underwent fulfillment during the early life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Additional Messianic prophecies will be examined in the next article. Our prayerful reflection on them will surely strengthen our conviction that Jesus Christ truly is the Messiah who was appointed by our heavenly Father, Jehovah.

    There is conclusive evidence that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. He fulfilled too many prophecies not to be.

  24. 24
    Chad Says:

    Do people think that the Jews were the ultimate purpose of God?
    And that the coming of Jesus, is just a sidebar in the timeline of God’s
    history? The truth is the Hebrew system is dead. The Jewish religion
    is gone. Why do think Jesus said there would not be one stone upon
    another when referring to the temple? Read Galatians, Read Acts 15.
    The Jews were used by God to bring the Messiah into the world. He’s
    done with them now, except for the fact that they are called by the Gospel
    as all men are, to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
    The Kingdom of God is on the earth now, it is His church, His body, His bride,
    the heirs to the promises of God

  25. 25
    John Stefanyszyn Says:

    The Jews, The Land, God…but Israel confesses that it is RIGHT (a right) to worship ANY ‘god’!

    The Jews claim the land of Israel because they say it was given to them by God.
    ….people have died because of this claim
    …the Jews are using this reason to validate their taking of land.

    It is written in the “religion” of the Jews that the God of Abraham, of Moses is the One and Only Creator God…i.e. the only God of Israel…the only “religion” (in man’s terms). They are commanded by this One God to acknowledge, worship, and serve ONLY Him.

    However, the nation of Israel says and has publicly confessed that they do not have an official “religion / god” (ref. Ambassador Oren). This is also confirmed in their constitution.

    Therefore, in so doing, the Jews are also saying that they do not recognize the above mentioned God (of Abraham, of Moses) as the official and only God of the nation of Israel.

    What do then the Jews (Israelis) believe in?…it is evident that they believe in and live by the way of life of “freedom”…freedom of rights, freedom of religion, freedom of self-happiness, freedom of self -gain, freedom of self- sexual lifestyle…freedom of self-righteousness… as do all other democratic (self-ruling) nations.
    They, as well as all nations, embrace the desire to serve and magnify oneself (XES).
    And this is the “image” and “god above all fortresses” that they worship and live by.
    And this way is self-serving, it creates conflict, and it creates death ….for each believes that they are right in their own eyes.

    Why should the True and Only God, whose Son is the Christ, stand for the Jews and defend their claim to the “land” when they have denied Him as the One and Only True God, have denied Christ-the Savior and His Son, and have denied the One True Way of Life?

    PS..God and Christ are not a religion but the only truth…there will NOT BE any belief in the freedom of self-rights, self-religion, self-interest in the kingdom of the Only God.

    Jesus Christ’s return as the Only King will make this evident soon.

    John Stefanyszyn
    …a bondman of the One Lord and King Jesus Christ, Son of the Only Creator God

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