Archive for June, 2018


Dominoes Falling (2)

Debate 2 Falls

Responding to Ron Rhodes’ The 8 Great h of Bible Prophecy

Debate 2: Ron Rhodes asks, “Are Israel and the Church Distinct in Bible Prophecy?”

Absurdity Hides the Truth

Ron Rhodes puts forward the question “Are Israel and the Church distinct in Bible prophecy?” The fact that this question can even be asked without its absurdity being immediately apparent, not only shows Dispensationalists’ brazen misunderstanding of Scripture, but also the inroads that their false teaching has had on Christendom.

Besides, Rhodes’ intent with the question is to disprove a straw-man case of the Church replacing Israel and establish the Dispensationalist case for the Church and Israel remaining distinct. However, a simple study of the Bible, free from affiliated doctrinal bias, shows that there is no case for either position.

Israel not Replaced, but Saved

Scripture teaches that Jews (those of Israel) who accept Jesus as their prophesied Messiah are automatically made a part of His Church. Consequently, those of Israel who believe, are not replaced by the Church, but are saved into her and are therefore not distinct from the Church but are of her. Conversely, those of Israel (Jews) who don’t accept Jesus remain under the judgment of God.

Though not a majority, over the millennia many Jews have received Jesus as their Messiah and have formed a part of His Church. This is the Church that Jesus, a Jew, told His Jewish apostles He would build. And, though countless believing Jews have been rejected by the mainstream of Jews and their leadership over the years, their believing didn’t stop them from being Jews or a part of Israel.

Not Rejected nor Postponed

At a time when it may have appeared to some that God had rejected Israel (the Jews), Paul said that they were not rejected, citing himself as an example. So, salvation for Israel (the Jews) is not postponed either. He explained that a partial hardening of Israel was in effect until the fullness of the Gentiles had come in. Paul said that he desired in this life to make his fellow Jews jealous. As such, the Jews who reject Jesus and miss the purpose of the covenants and promises are not rejected as a people, but are still able to receive Him if they repent and believe on Him in this life.

It is only in so far as the majority of Jews rejected Jesus that God said that another people would replace them (see Matt 21:43). This judgment came upon them as a nation on the whole as an outcome of their general unbelief. However, Paul teaches in Romans 11 that God had not rejected Israel (the Jews). Consequently, like Paul, and many other Jews who initially rejected Jesus, Jews could still be saved. However, God had a new people in mind. But what people? The new Israel, the Church, comprising of a multitude of believing Gentiles along with the believing Jews.

Engrafted Gentiles

Romans chapter 11 clearly teaches “engrafted theology” rather than dispensationalism or replacement theology. Paul teaches that believing Gentiles are grafted into the promises and covenants given to Israel. Also, in Ephesians 3:4-6 Paul writes that the mystery in Christ is that the Gentiles have been made co-heirs with believing Jews, comprising one Body.

The Jews were given the covenants and promises and Paul therefore calls them the natural branches. When they believe in Jesus, they receive the promised Messiah as the chief outcome of the covenants and promises. They co-inherit all that Christ has inherited. They, along with Gentiles who have been grafted in as unnatural branches, are the true Israel of God.

Israel Fulfills Prophecy

Failure by unbelieving Israel to receive Jesus is a failure to receive the blessings of salvation promised through the prophets. The result is, just as in the Old Testament, calamity upon calamity, rejection by outsiders, being a byword on people’s lips, and experiencing a continued lack of peace – all the curses promised by the prophets. In this sense, unbelieving Israel is distinct from believing Israel and the engrafted Gentiles who together comprise the Church. Those who remain unrepentant have no further prophecy to look forward to except of judgment.

Believing Israel fulfills prophecy by being saved, receiving their Messiah (Christ) in a promised New Covenant. They become co-inheritors with Christ and a part of His Church. Therefore, though Gentiles are by far the majority in the Church, they have been engrafted into what is Israel’s. Conversely, unbelieving Israel fulfills prophecy by either being saved through believing in Jesus their Messiah and included in the Church or by being judged both in this life and at His coming.

Deadly Doctrines of Dispensationalism and Replacement Theology

Clearly, Dispensationalists are unable to see that their own option is flawed. They then have become further trapped, and have become a trap to the undiscerning, by arguing against a straw-man of replacement theology. Neither is true! Both are false doctrines with unfortunate outcomes. Replacement theology can lead to and foster anti-Semitism while Dispensationalism can lead to a misdirected hope for the Jews. Both have deadly outcomes!

The Rightful Heirs

Therefore, though unbelieving Jews and Gentiles still occupy much of what is Christ’s, they do so as His enemies only until they have been made His footstool or have been saved. So, though believing Jews don’t occupy or rule the land of Israel, they, along with all believers, are the true heirs of more than just Israel, but the whole world. And, this will certainly be theirs in the promised new heavens and new earth.

Rob Morley

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Toppling Dispensationalism

Dominoes Falling (1)

Toppling Dispensationalism

Responding to Ron Rhodes’ The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy

Debate 1: Part 2. Covenant Theology Versus Dispensationalism?

By comparing dispensationalism and the Bible, dispensationalism is evidently a lie in that it…

…focuses on the unbelieving Jews (the synagogue of Satan) and on the modern State of Israel, instead of on God’s chief goal in this final dispensation, that is, on His household, His Church, His Temple, His dwelling place comprising both Jews and Gentiles in unity, in one body, a new race, holy nation and a royal priesthood in Christ.

  • Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, … That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ (Eph 1:9-10).
  • So then you (Gentiles) are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints(believing Jews) and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (Eph 2:19-22).
  • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

…distracts people from Christ’s singular purpose of building His Church. It belittles the purpose of the Church and the enormity of its duties, which is God’s only program for both Jews and Gentiles.

  • “…And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mat 16:18).
    • Peter: Jew
    • Church: His ecclesia
    • gates of hell: real enemy
  • Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).
  • that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

…robs people of the truth that Christ is already reigning.

  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
  • Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass (Zech 9:9).
  • Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me…” (Mat 28:18).
  • “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zech. 14:9).
  • Then the high priest said to Him, “I charge You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus answered. “But I say to all of you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven (Mat 26:63-64).
    • From now on = imminently and continually
    • Right hand of the Mighty One = having God’s authority and power
    • Coming on the clouds of heaven = bringing judgments
  • For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves (Col 1:13).
  • For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet (1 Cor 15:25).
  • For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” (1 Cor 15:27).

…misunderstands rebellion in the world as evidence of Christ not yet reigning, not realizing that Christ already reigns while awaiting for His enemies to become His footstool.

  • But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time, He waits for His enemies to be made a footstool for His feet (Heb 10:12-13).
    • Right hand of God = having God’s authority and power

 …fails to see that Jews and Gentiles have no other time than now to enter into Christ’s kingdom.

  • And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Heb 9:27).
  • What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin (Rom 3:9).
  • but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24).

 …fails to see God’s preordained unity being manifest between Jews and Gentiles in Christ.

  • even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles (Rom 9:24).
  • The marvel was not that Jews were accepting Christ, but that Gentiles were.
  • For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility… that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace (Eph 2:14-15).
  • For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit (1 Cor 12:13).
  • … fails to see that the kingdom is not outwardly observed.
  • Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (luke 17:20-21).

… focusses on earthly inheritance, failing to magnify the need of both Jew and Gentile of deliverance from death, trespasses and sin, this world and from Satan. This failure is exactly why the Jews lost the land.

  • And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Eph 2:1-3).

…fails to see that the land promise has already been fulfilled in the Old Testament and again in Christ who has all authority in Heaven and on Earth. Though occupied by others, the land belongs to Christ and all who are joined to him, whether Jew or Gentile.

  • “But as the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt” (Acts 7:17).
  • Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt (1 Kings 4:21).
  • “Thou art the LORD the GOD, who didst choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name Abraham; and foundeth his heart faithful before Thee, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed Thy Words; for Thou art righteous” (Neh 9:7-8).
  • Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me…” (Mat 28:18).

…fails to see the conditionality of the promise. Because of unbelief, not all who were promised the land entered in.

  • And I will bring you (Israelite slaves who, because of unbelief, did not all enter) to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD (Ex 6:8).
  • not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected (Num 14:30-31).

…fails to see that the land is a type linked to Abraham’s greater understanding of being heir of the whole world and beyond; that Christ is heir of the world and beyond and that Christians, both Jew and Gentile, are co-heirs in Him.

  • For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith (Rom 4:13).
  • “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5).
  • Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ (1 Cor 15:23).

…gives a land prophecy intended for an ancient generation of Jews to today’s unbelieving unrepentant Jews and then interprets the opposite of what it meant.

  • “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezek 20:33-38).
    • This is an act done in wrath
    • This is done outside the land
    • This is done to purge out the rebels and keep them from entering the land
    • This is not about today. Are modern day Jews who enter the land purged of their rebellion?

…falsely proclaims a hope beyond this present time for unbelieving Jews and the State of Israel. It’s a false hope outside of Christ that gets told to the church regarding the Jews whom God has, is and will continue to judge as long as they reject Him and His Anointed One, their Messiah.

  • Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits (Mat 21:43).
  • And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation (Luke 19:41-44).

Covenant Theology

Covenant Theology and New Covenant Theology both teach that God has made a covenant in Christ by which all men, whether Jew or Gentile, can be saved.

The Jews who believed that Christ was the Mediator of a New Covenant, not only for Israel, but for the sin of the world, shared this Gospel with unbelieving Gentiles, of whom I am one. Surely the least we can do is reciprocate and share the Gospel with unbelieving Jews.

For more on God’s love and plan of salvation for the Jews read please read Jewish Salvation.

Rob Morley

Other posts in this series so far:

  1. Bible Prophecy: Literal or Allegorical
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