|Question / Comment - The Nation Of Israel Has Been Rejected By God!|
|If Isaiah 60 is "speaking of the
glory that shall come upon, and shine forth, from Israel because of Jesus' reign
as King from there.", then please explain why Jesus said this, concerning
fleshly Israel, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone that the
builders rejected is the one that has become the chief cornerstone. From Jehovah
this has come to be, and it is marvellous in our eyes'? This is why I say to
you, The kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation
producing its fruits. Also, the person falling upon this stone will be
shattered. As for anyone upon whom it falls, it will pulverize him." (Matt.
21:42-44) This was said following an illustration about a winepress, which was
let out to cultivators., whereby the "cultivators" beat up the owner of the
"winepress" slaves and then finally killed his "son". Then the question was
asked," Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to
those cultivators?", Then Jesus says, "Because they are evil, he will bring an
evil destruction upon them and will let out the vineyard to other cultivators,
who will render him the fruits when they become due." (Matt. 21:33-41) Then
Jesus says clearly, that the "The kingdom of God will be taken from you and be
given to a nation producing its fruits." Furthermore, Jesus said, after
denouncing the Pharisees, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and
stoner of those sent forth to her,-how often I wanted to gather your children
together, the way a hen gathers her chicks together under her wings! But you
people did not want it. Look! Your house is abandoned to you." (Matt 23:37,38)
Also, the apostle Paul, after speaking of the "pain in my heart" concerning the
fleshly nation of Israel, said "However, it is not as though the word of God had
failed. For not all who [spring] from Israel are really "Israel." Neither
because they are Abraham's seed are they all children, but: "What will be called
'your seed' will be through Isaac." That is, the children in the flesh are not
really the children of God, but the children by the promise are counted as the
seed." (Rom. 9:6-8) So how could the prophecy in Isaiah 60 apply to the nation
of fleshly Israel, since they were "abandoned" by God, even impaling his "Son"
Thanks for the email. I have no problem with the above quoted scriptures and they probably don't need explaining. It is a clear teaching of scripture that with the national rejection of Jesus, God moved from the nation of Israel to another 'nation' - the church so that salvation would come to the gentiles. However, and it is a big however, "God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that he should change His mind!" Current rejection doesn't mean rejection forever! God doesn't change His mind concerning the things He has promised - and that includes the things promised to the nation of Israel. I do not agree with the ‘replacement theology’ that you believe in. I do so for the following reasons:
1. It goes against the New Testament teaching concerning the issue.
Paul lays it all out quite
clearly (in my mind anyway) in Romans 9-11. He explains their previous position
as God's chosen people, their current position as 'hardened in part', as
'branches that were broken off'... But he certainly doesn't leave it there as
though that is how it will be forever. Look at some of the following quotes:
2. It goes against Old Testament prophecy concerning the nation of Israel.
For example, look at the prophecies found in Ezekiel in chapters 36 and 37. In these passages, the Hebrew prophets foresaw the following:
Israel’s sinfulness and apostasy (36:16-18)
Israel’s dispersion amongst the nations (36:19-21)
Israel’s re-gathering back into the land of Israel (36:24)
God’s blessing of Israel under the new covenant (36:26-27)
God would make his name known amongst the nations through His kindness and fulfilled promises to the nation of Israel (36:23, 36)
Ezekiel 37 shows that the nation of Israel will be gathered back into the land in a state of unbelief first of all and after that God will give them spiritual life. These prophecies and countless others are literal prophecies. The nation of Israel was dispersed amongst all the nations starting in 70AD. They were literally re-gathered and became a nation again in 1948AD. It would be a mockery of bible interpretation to then say that the rest of these prophecies don’t apply to the nation of Israel. Clearly they do. And they show that the nation of Israel shall come into the new covenant and the Kingdom they were always promised.
Other prophecies such as Zechariah chapter 12 show that the nation of Israel will look to the one they have pierced and they will be cleansed in one day. In fact no amount of ‘spiritualization’ could make the prophecies of Zech chapters 12 and 14 mean anything other than the nation of Israel. And these passages, which have not been fulfilled yet, show that God is going to protect, cleanse, and install his Kingdom there.
3. It goes against New Testament prophecy
New Testament prophecy such as Matt 24 and the book of Revelation show that the nation of Israel plays a key role in the end times. God has not finished with them but will fulfil his prophecies and be faithful to His own name.
4. It goes against the character of God
Rom 3:1-4 “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar.
This, for me, is one of the most important points. For to believe the God will not fulfill His promises to the nation of Israel – or to say that God has taken His promises away and given them to other people, casts great doubt over both the character and sovereignty of God. It says that He will not do that which He promised to a people – or possibly cannot do what He promised. Both of which are untrue!
Listen again to what he said through Ezek 36 which we looked at before –
Verse 22-24 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
You believe that because of Israel’s sin and unfaithfulness, God has replaced them with the church and God will not fulfill His promises to them as a nation. (Such as your example of Isaiah 2 where you took a clear prophecy of Israel’s future in the Millennial Kingdom and apply it to the church.) But look at what God says above – it isn’t because of Israel’s faithfulness, but Gods that leads to God fulfilling his promises to that nation!
On another issue, have you ever wondered why Paul wrote Romans 9-11? I mean, Romans is the most theological of Paul’s epistles concerning salvation, righteousness, and our life as a Christian. In the middle of this he writes three chapters about Israel! Why? Because in the passage before this Paul says that nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Rom 8:28-37) At this point however, the logical reader would think ‘but what about Israel? How can we trust God will be faithful to His word if He has just ‘cast off’ the nation of Israel???
This question is basically expressed in Romans 9:6 – ‘has God’s word failed???’ The next three chapters show this is not the case. Not in this current age where there is still a remnant within the Jewish people that have faith, and not in the future when AFTER the full number of the gentiles have come in, God will return and save the nation of Israel. WHY? Because God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable!!!! (Rom 11:25-29) God never changes His mind over those He calls, and that includes His call to the nation of Israel.
Your system of belief where God is not faithful to His word I could never accept. Again, this is not personal. I don’t even know you. It is simply the system of belief I can’t stand.
5. It is based on an incorrect assumption on Rom 9:6
‘For NOT ALL who are descended FROM Israel ARE Israel.’
Hal Lindsey, in his book ‘The
road to holocaust’ (please, if you get a chance, read this book and tell me what
you think) says the following concerning this passage –
Derek Prince also has a book called ‘Israel and the church” in which he shows that there is not one passage in the Bible where the name Israel is applied to the church. He clearly shows that in saying ‘for not all who are descended from Israel as Israel’ Paul was limiting the name Israel to the Jewish believers, not widening it as you would do to include all gentiles who believe.
I hope some of this helps. To interpret prophecies and passages concerning Israel and apply them to the church can only end in confusion.
There are also plenty of helpful articles here by Dr Thomas Ice:
Hope this helps. All the best.