When we read the Scriptures, we are to interpret them literally, even while we make way for symbols, figures of speech, typologies, and poetic style. Moreover, we are to interpret all of it in light of the whole of Scripture, as well as in the way in which the original hearers were intended to interpret it. This does not mean that the Word of God is not continually alive and active, for it is; nor does it mean that God’s Spirit does not use the Word to speak directly to us about our own situations or the situations of those we are called to warn or help, for He does. Therefore, though God may give us, as individuals, a command, a warning, or a promise by way of a Scripture verse or passage, it does not negate the literal interpretation of the statement and/or passage with which the original recipient was to take it.
Let’s look at Mt. 3:15 for starters. It says, while the context explains why Jesus and his parents went and hid in Egypt until Herod’s death, “And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called My son.'” Israeliteindeed, who has been strongly advocating Replacement Theology for the last two months by teaching that God, in His plan, purpose, and promises, has replaced national (rebellious) Israel with His (obedient) Church used Mt. 3:15 in the title of her 8/13/14 post to further her argument on the issue. However, when we look back at God’s original statement (which is found in Hosea 11:1), we see that throughout this entire chapter, God refers to this (unruly) son as “Israel”, “Ephraim”, “My people”, “His [the LORD’s] children”, and “Judah”, even while He is lamenting about how their sacrifices to idols, their determination to turn from Him, and their refusal to repent would reap for them destruction and slavery. Nevertheless, the chapter also includes the repentant return of God’s children and His restoration for them to their homes.
So, is Ho. 11:1 about Jesus and His Church? No, it is not, for a rebel against God could never characterize Christ or a person or group in Him. Why then does Mt. 3:15 state that Jesus’ flight to Egypt and return from there fulfills God’s statement, “Out of Egypt I called My son”? It is because this event in Jesus’ life fulfilled the typology comparing the rebel son (the nation of Israel) with the perfect Son (Jesus). Even so, we must understand that this fulfillment does not negate the original meaning of Ho. ch. 11 for the original hearers. The same must be understood concerning all of Scripture.
Let’s look at God’s use of the word “son” in 2 Sam. 7:14a where He says, “I will be his Father and he will be My son.” It seems, at first, that the words “his” and “he” refer to either (or both) Solomon (David’s immediate reigning predecessor) and/or Jesus (David’s final reigning predecessor), for in verse 12 the LORD promises David that He will, after David’s death, “raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.” That this means Solomon as well as Jesus, whose parents’ lineage is traced back through both Solomon (Mt. 1:6,7) and “Nathan, the son of David” (Luke 3:31), appears confirmed in verse 13 of 2 Sam. ch. 7, for we read, “He is the one who will build a house for My Name, and I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever.” But what happens when we read verse 14? It says, “I will be his father, and he will be My son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men.” The reference to Jesus is thus cut from this verse, for Jesus has not, and cannot, do wrong, for He has always been, and always will be, sinless. (Heb. 4:15)
Consequently, when the LORD refers to His “son” in 2 Sam. ch. 7, He is referring to the descendants of David’s bloodline, from whom Christ Jesus, as a human, came. God is calling a whole lineage (who have done wrong and have received punishment) His “son”, while also including that one perfect man from David’s own body (seed / bloodline) whom God would raise up to be the Everlasting Ruler –namely, Jesus, who will literally return to earth to rule from literal Jerusalem. (Isa. ch. 9-11,65 // Jer. 23:1-8 // Zech. ch. 14 // Acts 3:21,22) Therefore, in view of this promise, no one can rightly think that God has taken away from David’s offspring His special family-love, His special covenant-promise, and His special eternal-decree, for in God’s statements immediately following His statement in 2 Sam. 7:14 about the punishment-deserving son, He says: “But My love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before Me [/you]; your throne will be established forever.” (v. 15,16) God is promising this to David concerning his lineage as a group.
Israeliteindeed made this assertion in her 8/20/14 post: “Even Christ Himself is not to be regarded any longer “according to the flesh” –His race while He was in the flesh is unimportant. What is important is who He is (God), and what He has done for all of mankind (provided redemption through His own body and blood).” She then goes on to quote 2 Cor. 5:16,17 to support her assertion. However, this passage is speaking about how those in Christ live in a new way –only for Him and with His viewpoint about everyone. To imply that this passage is specifically addressing the race issue is to be dishonest. Moreover, she is contradicting God’s Word to say that Jesus’ human ancestry is unimportant. For according to God, so as to show Himself faithful to His promises (Ezek. 36:20-23), the “record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Mt. 1:1) is highly important. (Acts 3:22 // Rom. 9:5 // Heb. 7:13,14) Moreover, Jesus, in referring to Himself as a Jew (John 4:22) and by answering yes to Pilate’s question, “Are You the king of the Jews?” (Mark 15:2), reveals His claim to be a Jew, as well as His claim to be, specifically, the Jews’ King.
Let’s continue in 2 Sam. ch. 7. We see that David believed God’s promise, praised and thanked Him for it, reminded the Lord of His words and promises that were always trustworthy (v. 28), and let God know he was expecting his lineage to continue before God forever. (v.29) David understood that God was giving him an extra-special promise. (v. 18,19) He also understood that all Israel was special to the LORD, for as he exclaims while in praise to God, “And who is like your people Israel –the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for Himself and to make a name for Himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders for Your land and before Your people, whom You redeemed from Egypt, from the nations and their gods.” (v. 23) In verse 24 we see that David understood the promise included the whole nation Israel, for he says, “You have established Your people Israel as Your very own forever, and You, O LORD, have become their God.” It cannot be denied that in this conversation recorded in 2 Sam. ch. 7, both the LORD and David were referring to a lineage, a bloodline, an ethnicity, a kingdom of the nation Israel.
God gives the promise numerous times in His Word –such as in Ezek. 43:7, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place for the soles of My feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel will never again defile My holy name…” Spiritual Israel does not defile God’s name; thus God’s promise here is seen to be directed to the Jewish people (40:4 & 43:10) and it concerns the return of the LORD’s glory (43:4,5) to a temple with specific measurements (ch. 40-43) within the land which God calls “My land” (36:5 & 38:16) and of which He says to “the whole house of Israel” (37:11), “O My people… I will bring you back to the land of Israel.” (v. 12)
Let’s look at Jer. 31:1: “‘At that time,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be My people.” The only way to correctly interpret this verse is that it is about an ethnicity, the Jews. In verse 33 (confirmed in Heb. 8:10) we read, “‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.'” As both contexts show, this promise is for the descendants of those whom God led out of Egypt (Jer. 31:32) / those whom Moses instructed. (Heb. 8:5-8) Yes, we Gentiles, are invited to partake of this Covenant through our faith in Christ, but we are to realize that we are the wild shoots grafted in. (Rom. 11:17)
This being the case, we Gentiles are commanded to not be arrogant (Rom. 11:20) nor to boast over the Jewish race who are the natural branches (v. 18), even though they, because of their unbelief, have been broken off (v. 20) “until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” (v. 25) Jews versus Gentiles (races) is certainly a focus here, and the passage clearly states that God chose to love Israel (even though they have rebelled) because of His promise to the patriarchs (v. 28), and that this is an irrevocable decreed choice of special-love God chose, through an oath, to make. (v. 29 & 9:13 // Dt. 7:6-8 & 14:2) God chose a race, and a particular lineage, to be His own. (Ps. 105:6 & 135:4,8-12 // John 1:11 // Acts 26:23) To say this is not so, is to disbelieve numerous portions of the Word of God. To spiritualize promises which God made to literal people about literal descendants, about literal land ownership, about a literal national repentance, and about Jesus literally returning to earth to literally reign over the earth from the literal land of Israel, and specifically from the literal city of Jerusalem (Jer. 3:17,18 & 23:3-8 & 24:4-7; also Isa. 27:12,13 and Acts 3:21) –“the city He loves” (Rev. 20:9)– is to not only change God’s Word, but to make God out to have lied to David, to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to all the others who were reminded about God’s promises to their race.
Jer. 31:7 says, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the greatest of the nations.” Are we to deny that the LORD is stating that Jacob / Israel is the greatest of the nations? God continues in the same verse, “Make your praises heard, and say, ‘O LORD, save Your people, the remnant of Israel.'” Can we deny that the LORD is instructing that petition mixed with praise be given to Him that He save His people whom He calls the “remnant of Israel”? Can correct hermeneutics deny that God is referring to a literal ethnic nation, especially in view of what He says throughout the chapter as He speaks of the hills of Samaria and Ephraim (v. 5,6), of gathering scattered Israel from the ends of the earth (v. 8), and while calling Ephraim “My firstborn son” (v. 9)? God states that Ephraim (Israel) is His dear son, and though He often speaks against him, he is still the child in whom He delights, the one He remembers, has compassion for, yearns for (v. 20), and loves with an everlasting love (v. 3); who will also repent (v. 19) and be forgiven (v. 34), and who will be blessed with deliverance (v. 11), with joy and prosperity (v. 12-14), with righteousness (v. 23), with rest (v. 2,24), and with an intimate relationship with God. (v. 33,34) This is God’s choice, decree, and promise for the race He ordained to be His firstborn son. (Rom. ch. 9 & 11) For as the LORD said to Moses, “Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: ‘Israel is My firstborn son.'” (Ex. 4:22) An ethnic group, the Jews, are chosen by God as His firstborn son. And He will keep redeeming them back to Himself until that day when they (as a nation and individually) recognize their Messiah and dedicate themselves to Him forever. (Ex. 13:15 // Zech. 12:10-13:2 // Rom. 11:11,12,25-29)
Those adhering to Replacement Theology reveal their small faith as they deny the plain words of the Living God. It is also jealousy and pride which blinds them to the fact that the literal lineage of Abraham and David (which includes Jesus as the firstborn perfect son) is God’s firstborn son, and that although at present the Jewish nation remains unrepentant, Gentile believers in Christ are merely sharers in the inheritance, not usurpers. Is it not, therefore, those who attempt to usurp the position, while also slandering others, who make themselves participants in the synagogue of Satan? (Rev. 2:9 & 3:9) Is it not those who pretend to speak Truth and Love and Righteousness, while actually promoting contempt toward God’s elect firstborn, Israel, who are mimicking the expert of deception (2 Cor. 11:13-15) and hate? (1 John 3:10-15) Smooth talk about love and peace from those promoting falsehoods and agendas that are not of Christ does not deceive the discerning. (Rom. 16:17,18) Neither are the discerning deceived by groups who, while claiming to want peace, refuse it no matter what concessions are made for them.
So what about the issue of land –that piece of real estate which God promised to the patriarchs and their descendants? Has this covenantal promise of God’s been revoked and given to the Church? And is the land to be understood as spiritual land, meaning victory, blessing, and eternal salvation? Let’s look at God’s Word on the subject.
God made a covenant with Abram (Abraham) about land. It was about the land which, at the time, the Canaanites possessed. (Gen. 12:6) “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.'” (v. 7) The LORD repeats the promise to Abram using the word “forever”: “All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.” (13:15) Later, when changing Abram’s name to Abraham, the LORD says to him, “I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” (17:7,8) The Israelites responsibility was to keep the sign of this covenant –male circumcision. (v. 9-14)
God stated the covenantal promise multiple times to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to their descendants about a particular piece of real estate –“from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates– the land of the Kenites…” (Gen. 15:18-21) However, in Lev. ch. 26 we read the harsh warning which God, through Moses, gave to the Israelite nation concerning what they would have to go through if they rebelled against Him. God said that He would punish them seven times over for their sins (v. 24) and bring a sword upon them “to avenge the breaking of the covenant” (v. 25) –the (Mosaic) covenant involving laws, blessings, and obedience. (v. 3,14,15) Even so, in verses 41 and 42 God says, “…then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember My covenant with Jacob and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.”
In Lev. 26:43, as well as in verses 34 and 35, God said that the land will be deserted by His rebellious nation while it enjoys its sabbath rest, but in verses 44 and 45 (as Isa. 11:10-16, Jer. 32:36-44, Ezek. 36:12, and many other passages confirm), God promises to restore the Israelites back to the land. “Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin…” (Jer. 32:44) Spiritual Israel does not conduct such business, so contrary to what Israeliteindeed teaches, the promise, given to the Jewish race, does include a piece of real estate. The LORD made the covenant with Abraham. (Ps. 105:9) He swore it to Isaac with an oath. (same verse) “He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.'” (v. 10,11) Truly, “He remembers His covenant forever” (v. 8) and “His holy promise given to His servant Abraham.” (v. 42) This whole chapter is about ethnic Israel, God’s chosen people, which verse 6 confirms by saying, “O descendants of Abraham His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones.”
Throughout the Word of God we see that the promise includes the everlasting existence of a Jewish nationality (Jer. 31:35-37), their restoration to their homeland (v. 23-28), and days of which God speaks of “when this city will be rebuilt for Me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.” (v. 38) Though the long punishment made it seem to the psalmist, Ethan, that God had renounced the covenant (Ps. 89:38-51), God’s own words in the same chapter, reveal the LORD saying that He will never renounce it, and that His love and His covenant with David’s line will endure forever. (v. 19-37) Moreover, the LORD says that those people who claim that He “has rejected the two kingdoms / families He chose” (Jer. 33:24) and who thus “despise My people and no longer regard them as a nation” (same verse) are completely wrong. (v. 25,26) For God has chosen that Jacob’s and David’s lineage will endure forever. (v. 26)
I’m sure God has used Ezek. ch. 36 & 37 countless times to speak to individuals, as He has for me, promising to us the born-again experience for those we are interceding for who are (or were) dead in their sins. But this does not negate the literal and original message which God was giving through Ezekiel. The context is all about national Israel –the people and the land God gave them. In 37:19-28 the LORD is promising to gather the Israelite tribes from the nations “and bring them back into their own land” (v. 21) to be “one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel” (v. 22) with one king, not two kingdoms as before (same verse), and to be a cleansed people belonging to God. (v. 23) The King from David’s lineage will rule and the people will willingly obey (v. 24), and as God promises, “They will live in the land I gave to My servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever.” (v. 25) The covenant of peace will be everlasting and that place will be God’s sacred dwelling forever in the sight of all the nations. (v. 26-28) Do false teachers really think we are going to adhere to their teachings that contradict the plain words of God? Truly, the gravity of pretending to preach God’s Word, while actually contradicting God’s Word, is huge. (Jer. 20:6 & 29:30-32 // Gal. 1:6-9)
Though the whole earth belongs to the LORD, He considers the land of Israel to be His in a unique way. He says in Lev. 25:23, “The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is Mine and you are but aliens and My tenants.” Again about it, Dt. 11:12 tells us that it is a land God cares for and watches over continually. In Isa. 14:25 and Jer. 2:7 & 16:18, God calls the land His land and His inheritance. In Joel 3:1,2 God declares that during those days when He restores the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, He will gather all nations to the Valley of Jehoshaphat to bring His judgement against them. Why? God says it is because of their sin in scattering to the nations His people (His inheritance –v. 2), and because they “divided up My land.” (same verse) Those who are trying to pressure Israel to give up any part of that land which God calls His, will experience God’s wrath.
Israeliteindeed has, over the last two months, written repeatedly against what God calls His inheritance –the Jewish people and the land of Israel. The method of interpretation she uses of spiritualizing huge portions of God’s Word which should be taken literally, is sending her down a road of falsehood where one becomes susceptible to more and more lies, confusion, and sin. It is a road where people change and twist God’s Word to mean what they want it to mean. It is a road of arrogance and self-righteousness where one becomes unable to hear exhortations from those who warn by the Holy Spirit. It is a road which causes a person to write with a tone of anger, superiority, and malice against one particular race –the Jews– as well as against those who believe that God’s Word has commanded that Jews and their land be prayed for, loved, and blessed. (Ps. 122:6-9) It is a road which blinds a person to the fact that their words about love, meekness, harmlessness, and non-violence are not supported by their attitude throughout their writings. It is a road of making false accusations, of giving unwarranted labels, of twisting historical events, and of perpetuating political myths as well as hatred toward Jews, while also showing disrespect toward those who do not share their viewpoint and whose hearts and minds they apparently wish they could control.
It is not merely due to Israeliteindeed’s false doctrine which she has recently been promoting that I must retract my endorsement of her blog, but, almost more so, it is due to her attitude, over the last two months, with which she has delivered it. Furthermore, I apologize to my readers that, back when I was encouraging everyone to read her posts, I was not aware that she was turning to the false and harmful doctrine of Replacement Theology.
P.S. From the political angle, here are two informative and factual articles:
1. Arabs created and still perpetuate the refugee problem:
2. Myths about the Palestinians versus the facts:
Rom. 15:10 says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.” This is a quote from Dt. 32:43 which says, “Rejoice, O nations, with His people.” Thus we see that God’s Word equates the word “nations” with the term “Gentiles”, and that it separates the words “His people” from the word “Gentiles”. Consequently we can see that the term “Gentiles” is in contrast to the term “Jews” or “Israelites”. In other words, God’s people are the Israelites.
And why are the Gentile nations to rejoice with the Israelites? The rest of Dt. 32:43 tells us: “…for He will avenge the blood of His servants; He will take vengeance on His enemies and make atonement for His land and people.” Do we hear this? Do we accept that God is going to avenge the blood of His servants and that the term “His servants” refers to the Israelites? This is the context. Do we accept that God will make atonement not only for His people, but also for “His land”? If “His land” actually means “His people”, then the word “land” would be unnecessary in this promise.
God’s inheritance consists of both a land and a people. He chose a particular piece of real estate to be His own (Lev. 25:23 // Isa. 14:2 // Ezek. 36:1-15) and He chose a certain race to be His own –those who have descended from Jacob. (Dt. 7:6 & 14:2 & 32:9,10 // Ps. 135:4) Both the land and the race were what God separated from all others to be holy unto Himself. (same verses // Ps. 78:54) This chosen nation of people was commanded to possess the land God had chosen for Himself. As God promised the Israelites through Moses: “I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God… And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.” (Ex. 6:7,8) It was through this people group that God chose, and will choose again, to bring salvation, justice, and righteousness to the earth. (Gen. 12:1-3 // Isa. 9:6,7 // John 4:22) In this land God decreed that He would set up His sanctuary in which His Spirit would dwell and His Son would return to live and rule physically. (Isa. 9:6,7 // Acts 3:21)
Numerous passages in God’s Word state the Lord’s promise to the Israelites concerning His physical land. It is the land He swore to their forefathers to give them (Ex. 13:5), doing so with an oath. (v. 11) As Gen. 15:18 says, “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.” God told Abraham again in Gen. 17:8, “The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” God confirmed the covenant with both Isaac and Jacob and in Gen. 48:3,4 we see Jacob reminding Joseph of it, saying, “God Almighty appeared to me… and said to me, ‘…I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.'”
In David’s psalm of thanks to the Lord found in 1 Chron. 16:15-18, we read, “He remembers His covenant forever, the word He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant He made with Abraham, the oath He swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.'” Is this difficult to understand? God made a covenant, He swore an oath, He commanded and confirmed an everlasting decree.
Unfortunately, there are those who teach that God later changed this promise to something like this, “Abraham’s descendants have rejected their Messiah so My promise to Abraham is now null and void. Instead, ‘this land’ has become ‘a spiritual land’, and the recipients are those who do accept the Messiah.” Thus they go on to twist multitudes of Scripture verses to support their blatant contradiction of God’s Word.
Are born-anew individuals also God’s people? Of course. But we have been grafted in (Rom. 11:17) and we are not to be arrogant toward the Jews (v. 18,20,25) who are experiencing “a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” (v. 25) Must a Jew accept Jesus as the Messiah in order to be saved? Of course they must –just as any Gentile must.
But does the present unbelief of the majority of Jews wipe out God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants? It does not. (Rom. 11:1,2, 25-29) There will be a remnant delivered when the Lord returns with judgement on the nations (9:25-29), and that remnant will all turn to their Messiah (11:26,27) who will then rule –both physically and spiritually– over the whole earth, with His headquarters in Jerusalem. (Mi. ch. 4 & 5 // Rev. 11:15 & ch. 21) And “the remnant of Israel will do no wrong.” (Zeph. 3:13) For the Lord will purify them (v. 9-11), restoring them to Himself and granting them peace, prosperity, and safety forever. (v. 9-20) “‘In those days, at that time,’ declares the LORD, ‘search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare.'” (Jer. 50:20) Since Israel is still guilty before God, this verse refers to the future; and if anyone wants to claim that it refers to the church, they are wrong, for in verse 19, while promising that Israel will come back to his own pasture, God names specific geographical places. (See also Jer. ch. 30-33)
Over and over in God’s Word the promise of redemption –both spiritual and physical– is given to Israel. Over and over it is stated that it will be when the Lord comes with vengeance to rescue them from the nations who scattered them, who divided up their land, who oppressed them, who insulted them, and who have gathered against them for war. (Joel ch. 2 & 3 // Zeph. ch. 2 & 3 // Zech. ch. 12-14)
Isa. 14:1 prophesies that “once again He [God] will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land.” God does it. He does it through people –through other nations who bring the Jews to their own place (v. 2) and through the deliverance, salvation, and security He brings them after helping them defeat their oppressors. (same verse // Zech. ch. 12) The Lord Himself will fight against those nations that attack Jerusalem (Zech. 14:2,3) and He will defeat and judge them. (Ps. ch. 2) He will rule those nations with an iron scepter (v. 9), and “reign over the house of Jacob forever.” (Luke 1:33) For when “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One” (Ps. 2:2) the Lord rebukes them in His wrath (v. 5) “saying, ‘I have installed My King on Zion, My holy hill.'” (v. 6) And the nations will become His inheritance, the ends of the whole earth His possession. (v. 8) For as Zech. 14:16 prophesies, “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty.”
So “on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance.” (Ob. 1:17) “And the kingdom will be the LORD’s.” (v. 21)
Though God has repeatedly, and throughout His Word, stated His promises concerning the physical people and the physical land of Israel, there are people who disbelieve. One individual is Israeliteindeed, and she has spent the last six months, in post after post, stating the opposite of what God says on this issue. I can only conclude that her continued efforts stem from her need to actually convince herself. However, in doing so, she has strayed far from “correctly handling the Word of Truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) so that it would now take pages to address all of her errors. Moreover, it is truly grievous that while calling others ill-informed, racist, arrogant, wicked, and blasphemous, she herself could be in danger of such labels.
Though I do not wish to bring up all of Israeliteindeed’s misinterpretations on this subject, I will comment on something that especially struck me: That sometimes she interprets “Israel” in Scripture to mean all who are Christ-followers, and other times she admits the name does refer to the nation of Israel. She teaches that God’s promise of bringing the Jews back to their ancestral land was fulfilled in Ezra and Nehemiah’s time (see her 9/2/14 and 9/7/14 posts in particular) and that after they were dispersed again in 70 A.D., God rejected them (as a nation) with finality, meaning that their present national status is not the Lord’s doing. She reasons this by pointing out that the nation presently does not acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. Furthermore, though she quotes from Ezek. ch. 37, she apparently does not consider it significant that the body parts in that passage come together after the bones are prophesied to (v. 4), and that it takes another prophecy –to the breath (Breath / Spirit of God –v. 14)– for them to come to life. (v. 10)
Oddly as well, while teaching from Ezek. 37:1-14, Israeliteindeed does not include the rest of that chapter –verses 15-28. And why not? Because these verses make it plain that verses 1-14 are about the physical nation and land of Israel. So once she has said that the first fourteen verses are about the Jews’ return during Ezra’s time, she cannot switch and say that the rest of the chapter refers to the church. However, for her to admit that it does not refer to the church, means she must refute her own foundational view.
For God says, “I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel…” (Ezek. 37:21,22) “They will no longer defile themselves with… any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be My people, and I will be their God. My servant David [meaning Jesus] will be king over them… They will follow My laws and be careful to keep My decrees. They will live in the land I gave to My servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David My servant will be their prince forever… Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when My sanctuary is among them forever.” (v. 23-28) I left out some wording, but it is because it is repetitious. It is repetitious because God is stressing His promises. –The promises about physical land to the physical descendants of Abraham. And it is the same promises He makes multitudes of times in His Word.
For the Lord will let the nations advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat where He will judge them. (Joel 3:2,12) Thundering from Jerusalem, the Lord will protect the Israelites (v. 16) and make desolate those who committed violence against them. (v. 19) “Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, My holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.” (v. 17) After Ezra’s time foreigners did invade her and demolish her, so this can only be future. It cannot be about the church, since in the chapter God tells particular cities and nationalities of His judgement coming on them for what they committed against “My inheritance, My people Israel.” (v. 2) “For they scattered My people among the nations and divided up My land.” (same verse)
Thus the chapter, and the book, ends with God declaring, “‘Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem though all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.’ The LORD dwells in Zion!” (Joel 3:20,21) “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (Rom. 11:26,27) Those who teach others that this will not happen and that it refers to the church (even in light of the fact that verse 25 distinguishes Israel from Gentiles!), should remember that teaching contrary to God’s Word is to teach rebellion against the Lord (Jer. 28:15-17) –a dangerous thing! (same verses)
Therefore, “Rejoice, O nations, with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants; He will take vengeance on His enemies and make atonement for His land and people.” (Dt. 32:43) Are we like the world’s people who try to befriend the enemies of God (the unrepentant / those rebellious against God / those who belong to Satan), or do we rejoice that God will one day silence His enemies?
In Amos 9:11-15 God says, “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen… and rebuild it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom… I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel… I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,’ says the LORD your God.”
Because the book of Amos, possibly the oldest of the prophetic books, was likely written between 760-753 B.C. and thus over 150 years before Judah fell to the Babylonians, some people teach the falsehood that, through Amos, God was speaking about the Jews’ return from their 70-year Babylonian captivity. However, when God says, “…they shall never again be uprooted out of the land…”, we need to recognize that Amos 9:11-15 could not, therefore, be a prophecy about that return. For although the Jews were permitted to leave Babylon and return to their land around 536 B.C., they were again uprooted from their inheritance during their foiled 66-70 A.D. revolt, and then quite completely by 135 A.D. Yet what has been happening now for over a century? We see that Jews from all over the globe have been returning to the land of Israel –to their ancient homeland, to the resurrected Hebrew language, and to a nation that for nearly two thousand years appeared extinct.
Let us understand: God made a promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob concerning their descendants’ everlasting inheritance and it had much to do with a nation dwelling in a land with specified borders. (Num. 34:1-12 // Dt. 1:7,8) And even though God consistently warned that disobedience would result in being ousted from the land, the Lord also consistently vowed that He would later restore the nation to their inheritance, permanently. (Ho. 2:14-3:5 // Joel 3:17 // Zeph. 3:8-20) As the Lord promised in Zech. 10:6, “I will strengthen the house of Judah and save the house of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the LORD their God and I will answer them.”
In Jer. 31:36,37 we read, “‘[Never]’ declares the LORD, ‘will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before Me.’ …'[Nor] will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,’ declares the LORD.” God is stating that in spite of the Israelites’ rebellion, He has sworn that He will never cease watching over them –to uproot and punish them (v. 28) but also to build, plant, refresh, and redeem them (v. 23-34) as a united nation (Isa. 66:7-13 // Ezek. 37:15-28) in the land of their forefathers, forever. (Dt. 30:1-6 // Ezek. 37:25) “For God will cleanse them, make an everlasting covenant of peace with them, and put His sanctuary among them forever.” (See Ezek. 37:23-28) He will return to the new temple (43:1-12), and Jesus, whom God has made both Lord and Christ, will forever govern Israel, as well as the rest of the nations, from David’s restored kingdom and throne. (Jer. 23:5-8 // Ezek. 37:24,25 // Mt. 19:28 // Luke 1:31-33 // Acts 2:29-36 & 3:20,21 & 15:14-18)
The apostle Paul says in Rom. 11:1, “I ask then, has God rejected His people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.” He repeats, “God did not reject His people” (v. 2), and the whole context reveals, in no uncertain terms, that he is referring to the literal ethnic Israelite nation.
But, as a group, did national Israel stumble? Yes, but “so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all!” (Rom. 11:11) Were they cut off from “the Olive Root” (v. 17) –the Promises and Blessings of the Covenant (9:4,5)– permanently? No, God’s Word repeatedly tells us that their unbelief is temporary (11:12,25 // Jer. 31:18,19,31-34 // Zech. 12:10-14 // etc.) and that not only is it possible for God “to graft them in again” (Rom. 11:23), but that He absolutely will! (v. 26) This He will do because, in regards to election, Israel is loved on account of God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (v. 28) “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” (v. 29) As the Lord continually promised through the prophets, including through Ezekiel’s vision of the resurrected Israelite nation and its literal temple (Ezek. ch. 35-48), God will not revoke His oath. As “the Sovereign LORD says: ‘…Because I swore with uplifted hand to give it to your forefathers, this land will become your inheritance.'” (47:13,14)
God has let it be known in His Word that it is not the righteousness of the Israelites that has earned them the deed to the land God reserves as His own (Dt. 9:5,6) –that piece of real estate which God cares for in a special way and watches continually (11:12) because He Himself owns it. (Lev. 25:23) No, it is instead due to God’s decision –His choice and election– to deed “His own land and inheritance” (see Jer. 2:7 & 16:18) to Jacob’s descendants (Isa. 14:1,2 // Ezek. 36:5,12) “as an everlasting possession” (Gen. 17:8), and this based on no less than these things:
1. His “everlasting covenant” (Gen. 17:7) with Abraham concerning specific land (15:18,19),
2. on His plan to make for Himself a nation which would bring blessing to the world (Gen. 12:3 & 18:18 & 22:18 & 26:4 & 28:14 // Isa. ch. 49 // Luke 2:30-32),
3. on His mercy to Israel for their sake (Lev. 26:44,45), and,
4. on His commitment to uphold the holiness of His name. (Ezek. 36:22,23)
For these same reasons, and because of His great love and compassion for Israel, His firstborn son (Jer. 31: 9,20), God will also cleanse the regathered Israelites (Ezek. 36:24-29), will pour out His Spirit upon them (same verses // Isa. 59:20,21), and will make them sparkle in honor (Isa. ch. 60-62 // Zeph. 3:20) as “the greatest of the nations” (Jer. 31:7), all for the glory of Christ Jesus who will, through Israel, His battle bow (Zech. 9:13-17 & 10:3-7), punish the nations and rule them from His throne in Jerusalem. (Num. 24:17-19 // Dt. 32:39-43 // Ps. ch. 2 // Isa. 9:7 & 24:21-23 // Mi. ch. 4 // Zech. 8:1-3 & 14:16-21 // Rev. 19:15,16) And the land of Israel will be divided “among the twelve tribes of Israel, with two portions for Joseph” (Ezek. 47:13) –divisions which have been specified by “what the Sovereign LORD says.” (same verse)
So the Lord will return to Zion (Isa. 52:8), to the “ruins of Jerusalem” (v. 9), and He will comfort His people (same verse), redeem Jerusalem (same verse), and in the sight of all the earth, shatter the nations who have attacked Jerusalem. (v. 10 // Zech. 12:1-9) Moreover, while specifying certain geographical places in and around Jerusalem, including “the whole valley where the dead bodies and ashes are thrown” (Jer. 31:40a), the Lord declares, “This city will be rebuilt for Me.” (v. 38) And He adds, “The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.” (v. 40c) Is the Lord speaking here about Jerusalem being rebuilt after the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile? No, for the city was later destroyed and the Jews were exiled again, this time for 1900 years. Is God speaking figuratively –about some spiritual land and city? No, He is mentioning specific, literal, physical places on earth.
What then should we conclude about those who are teaching that God is finished blessing and honoring the land and nation of Israel and the physical city of Jerusalem? Are they teaching what God’s Word teaches, or are they teaching doctrines made up by men? They are doing the latter and are thus denying the authority of God’s Word while elevating the philosophies of men. However, to continue to reject God’s plain and abundant revelation, and to spread one’s error concerning God and His Word, is to walk in rebellion, contempt, and blasphemy –which most definitely are no small sins in the eyes of the Lord.
Yesterday I wept. I wept because of Israeliteindeed’s disgraceful writings. Even though I have continually taught that people filled with the Spirit of God can, and sometimes do, turn off the path of Truth and entangle themselves in the world (its idolatry, immorality, and/or lies), even to the point of becoming so defiled and deluded that God destroys them (1 Cor. 3:16,17 // 2 Thes. 2:10-12 // Heb. 10:26-31 // 2 Peter 2:20-22 & 3:17), it is frightening to watch someone so endangering themselves and their listeners. (1 Tim. 4:16 & 6:20,21)
If I had not so enthusiastically endorsed Israeliteindeed’s blog in past years, I would ignore the posts she has written over the last year as I ignore most other blogs filled with false doctrines. However, I did endorse her and so now, since she continues to promote doctrines contrary to what God’s Word teaches, I feel obligated to make sure that all my readers are aware of this.
Since last June, Israelitindeed began writing posts defaming the nation of Israel. I attempted to reason with her, but she rejected my admonishments and instead went on in the same vein for the next ten months. With often untrue and inflammatory words and statements, she has diluted, twisted, and opposed the Truth repeatedly.
Yesterday Israeliteindeed posted against Memorial Day and those of us who use it as a day to think soberly and gratefully about all who have sacrificed their lives that others may be free. Here is something she says in her article:
~~There was a time when days like this gave me vaguely fuzzy feelings for reasons I did not fully understand. Somewhere, someone had “died for me,” and because they made the ultimate sacrifice, I was now “free.” It sounded pretty amazing. Sentimental parallels have been drawn between these combat soldiers and Jesus. I now know that this is as appropriate as drawing sentimental parallels between Jesus and the antichrist.~~
It is unfortunate that Israeliteindeed, by italicizing the words “ultimate sacrifice” in her statement, seems to be denying the common meaning of the phrase, which is that any physical life given up unto death on behalf of another is considered an ultimate sacrifice and that such a thing does not necessarily have to do with purchasing another’s eternal salvation. It is also unfortunate that Israeliteindeed says she “knows” that any sentimental parallels between soldiers sacrificing their lives to uphold freedoms on this earth with that sacrifice which Christ bought for us is as inappropriate as drawing sentimental parallels between Jesus and the antichrist.
Jesus Himself made parallels. For example, in commanding us to love each other as He has loved us (John 15:12), He goes on to say, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (v. 13) The Lord gives no reason for such a sacrifice, but is instead emphasizing the fervent love which would compel such. Furthermore, when answering a question about how to inherit eternal life –that it is through love toward God and man (Luke 10:25-28)– Jesus goes on to give the parable of the good Samaritan, revealing that we are to sacrifice for anyone whose need God makes us aware of. These examples Christ related were earthly and between humans, but they are there not only to help us understand Christ-likeness, but to point us to the revelation concerning the love and sacrifice God made for mankind.
What are we to think about the numerous types and parallels given to us in the Old Testament that “served as copies and shadows of what was to come”? (See Heb. 8:5) It was God Himself who used the sanctuary, the consecrated bread, the gold-covered ark of the covenant, the law, the blood of animals for the reminder of sins, the priests, and all the other imitations (6:13-10:22) to foreshadow “the realities themselves.” (10:1) Truly, Scripture does not oppose people making parallels using Christ’s love and sacrifice (His commitment and concern for the humans He created) to try to remind others of the sacrifice one group of humans has made for another group of humans. Neither does Scripture refuse us the freedom to use the sacrifice of those who died defending earthly freedom to point to the One who died to ransom mankind from their loss of spiritual freedom. In spite of what Israeliteindeed believes, making such parallels is not inappropriate.
“But these examples are not explicitly about war or bloodshed,” someone may say. Yet we can compare such parallels with other verses and discern Christ’s doctrine. For He has told us, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Mark 13:7) In Mt. 10:34-36 we see Jesus saying that He has not come to earth to bring peace but a sword and to turn even family members against one another. We cannot deny that this includes through war, for it is the Lamb (Jesus) who opens the seal that summons the rider who “was given a large sword” (Rev. 6:4) and who “was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other.” (Same verse) And as we know from the whole counsel of Scripture, lack of peace is the consequence for the lack of truth, justice, and righteousness.
Let no one mistake what God’s Word says: The Lord Himself is a warrior (Ex. 15:3) and He will march out out like mighty warrior, raise the battle cry, and triumph over his enemies. (Isa. 42:13) And in that day when He gathers all nations against Jerusalem (Zech. 14:2), “the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.” (v. 3) As long as we live in this age when the evil realm is still trying to advance, there is an appropriate “time for war”. (Ec. 3:8) As Rom. 13:1-7 teaches us, governing authorities are God’s servants who bear the sword in order to squelch anarchy and to protect the welfare of the country’s citizens. So just as a hired policeman is required before God to wield the sword against law-breakers, so is a soldier required before God to protect the freedoms of the country he has been hired to protect. If anyone dies while carrying out his duties of protecting justice and the good of others, he should be considered a hero, and a day set aside each year to gratefully honor the bravery and sacrifice of such individuals is certainly appropriate. In spite of what Israeliteindeed teaches.
Israeliteindeed has written shamefully over the last year. While writing tenderly to, and about, a society that has, for decades, propagated hatred and terrorism, whose general citizenry hates the Lord, His Word, and His chosen race (so much so that they continually demand that every Jew be annihilated), she speaks untrue and harsh words against the Israelite nation that has every right to defend itself. This, plus how she so often speaks against the U.S.A., warrants the suggestion that she move to another country where she can learn, first hand, how many privileges citizens of America (and of Israel) have compared to the rest of the world’s countries. If she would move to North Korea or Iran or China or Saudi Arabia or Haiti or Nepal or Cambodia or Russia, or virtually any other country on the planet, she may then come to recognize how full of the world’s philosophies, pride, and ignorance her writings are, and how void of the Spirit of God.
May none of the rest of us ignore the warning of 1 Tim. 6:20,21: “Guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.”
May everyone, this Memorial Day, think soberly about all who have died to purchase and uphold our freedoms, particularly the freedom to worship God and proclaim the Gospel of Christ.
More against her teaching: