Friday, May 17, 2013

In This Way All Israel Will Be Saved

"Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, 'The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.'" Romans 11:25-27
The question is, how will all Israel be saved and to what extent does "all" mean (see 2 Peter 3:9 for a dealing with the word "all")? I think there is something to note here. Verse 26 begins with "And in this way..." In what way? In the inclusion of the Gentiles all Israel will be saved. That does not mean that no Jews will ever again be saved, but in comparing Joel 2:32 to Romans 11:26 the indication is that Paul was referring to the remnant of Jews that call upon the name of the Lord; as opposed to the false view that teaches every person of Jewish blood and/or who converts to Judaism will be saved (i.e., Jewish Universalism). I do believe this verse is referring to spiritual Israel, true Israel, all those who are truly the sons and daughters of Abraham (Gal. 3:8, 16, 26). After all, there is only one body of Christ, one bride of Christ, which is the church. To say God has two distinct groups of people is unbiblical. How anybody can believe this when the entire New Testament repeatedly declares "one body" (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12-14, 18-20; Eph. 2:16; 4:4; Col. 3:15), which is the bride—the church, is beyond me. Especially when passages such as Ephesians 2:11-22 make a point of this by declaring that the dividing wall was broken down and there remains but one.

No matter how sincerely one believes in two distinct groups, it is still contrary to Scripture and therefore a false teaching. A person can be a genuine brother or sister in the faith and yet, if they teach this, they are still a false teacher. If they make any prophetic statements about the future end times, especially things the Bible says nothing about (e.g., Hal Lindsay), they are also false prophets. The fact of the matter is that such teachings make God out to be a liar and His Word to be false and unreliable. While I can and do love my brothers and sisters in the faith who hold to these false teachings, nevertheless I cannot, in good conscience, allow them to malign the Word of God, no matter how faithful and sincere they may be.

Dispensationalism is a lie that distorts and maligns Scripture and makes God out to be schizophrenic and a liar. For example, God declared that Israel would be slaves to Egypt for 400 years. How long were they slaves? 400 years. God declared that Israel would wander the desert for 40 years. How long did they wander the desert? 40 years. God declared Israel would be captives to Babylon for 70 years. How long were they captive? 70 years. God declared that 490 years would be declared upon Israel. According to Dispensationalists, there have currently been over 2,000 years declared upon Israel where some imaginary "parenthesis" pretends that these 2,000 years do not exist and that time magically stands still for Israel. In other words, God declared 490 years but lied and has put them through over 2,000 years. (For a biblical answer to this issue, please read this blog entry: What Comes After 69?)

Another example of Dispensationalism making God out to be a liar: Jesus told us that His second coming would be like the days of Lot and the days of Noah. The flood was God's judgment, which took the wicked away. Jesus' second coming is judgment. When Jesus spoke of two being in one place, one taken and the other left, an examination of the Greek reveals that the word "taken" means to be taken in judgment. This same word is used of Jesus being taken to be scourged and taken to be crucified. Furthermore, an examination of Luke's parallel adds some information missing from Matthew. The question "Where?" is asked of those taken, to which Jesus responds, "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather." The ones taken are taken in judgment. You want to be among those left behind. The word used for "left" means to be pardoned.

One last example should suffice:
"And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. And the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known." Deuteronomy 28:63-64
The entire passage of Deuteronomy 28 from verse 15 through verse 68 declares what God will do if national Israel fails to obey the covenant, which they did. While four times in Scripture it confirms adamantly that the land promise was fulfilled (Josh. 11:23; 21:41-43; 1 Kings 4:20-21; Neh. 9:21-25), nevertheless this passage lets us know that if national Israel fails to obey the covenant, the land will be taken away from them. Israel back as a nation in 1948 has nothing to do with Scripture or prophecy. National Israel today is as apostate as ever, and just as bad as (if not worse than) Islam. National Israel today adheres to the Talmud, an expansion of the Mishna that existed during Jesus' time. In the Talmud it says that Jesus is currently in Hell boiling in hot semen while Christians will boil in hot excrement. Yet, Dispensationalists still attempt to glorify heathen Israel by raising them to a status of worship. To them, the entire Bible is about Israel. However, on the road to Emaus Jesus went through the entire Old Testament and showed them how it was about HIM. Observe, in regard to the above passage:
"and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it; in a violent manner, by their enemies, and against their wills, they being loath to leave it. The Emperor Adrian, to prevent their insurrections and rebellions, which had given him a great deal of trouble, ordered by an edict that no Jew should come into Jerusalem, nor into the land of Judea, or be seen in it, which is observed by several writers; by which means the country was cleared of them. In later times some of them did get thither again, but they were but few. Benjamin of Tudela, a Jew of the twelfth century, travelled into several parts of the world in quest of his countrymen, and particularly into Judea, and his view was to magnify his people; and yet owns he found at Jerusalem only two hundred persons, whose employment was dyeing wool, and dwelt in a corner of the town under the tower of David; and but twelve at Bethlehem, three at Maresha, at Shunem indeed three hundred, none at Gilead, two at Nob, who were dyers, three at Ramah, one at Joppa, none at Jafne, where had been a famous academy, none at Ashdod, and at Tiberias about fifty. And our countryman Sandys, who travelled into Judea in the seventeenth century, says, 'here be some Jews, yet inherit they no part of the land, but in their own country do live as aliens.'" John Gill's Expositor

"63. ye shall be plucked from off the land—Hadrian issued a proclamation, forbidding any Jews to reside in Judea, or even to approach its confines." Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

"That is a terrible word (63), As the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, so he will rejoice over you to destroy you. Behold here the goodness and severity of God: mercy here shines brightly in the pleasure God takes in doing good--he rejoices in it; yet justice here appears no less illustrious in the pleasure he takes in destroying the impenitent; not as it is the making of his creatures miserable, but as it is the asserting of his own honour and the securing of the ends of his government. See what a malignant mischievous thing sin is, which (as I may say) makes it necessary for the God of infinite goodness to rejoice in the destruction of his own creatures, even those that had been favourites."Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible

Verse 64. The Lord shall scatter thee among all people] How literally has this been fulfilled! The people of the Jews are scattered over every nation under heaven." Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

"And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other, Which refers to their present dispersion, being now, more or fewer, in all parts of the world, east, west, north, and south:
and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, [even] wood and stone: it may be observed, that the phrase, 'which either thou nor fathers have known', is fitly added here, which is not used of them, De 28:36; and well agrees with the idols of the Papists, their images of the Virgin Mary, and saints departed, made of wood and stone, which were such the fathers of the Jews never knew; just as it is said of the host, the consecrated wafer, the breaden god honoured by antichrist, that it is 'a god who his fathers knew not', Da 11:38; the apostles and ancient fathers of the church. Now in Popish countries the Jews have often been prevailed upon to change, or at least dissemble their religion, and embrace Popery: and have worshipped images of wood and stone. The author of the history of their calamities and sufferings owns this; 'multitudes (he says) in Spain and Portugal forsook the law of Moses, and joined the Papists, pretending at least to be of their religion.' He makes mention of sixteen thousand at one time, and some, he says, 'that were driven out of Spain, came into Italy, where the young men pressed with famine could not bear it, and changed their religion, and began to worship images that they might have to satisfy their hunger; and the Papists used to go about with a crucifix in one hand, and a piece of bread in the other, promising the bread to those that would worship the crucifix; and so many famishing persons forsook the law of Moses, and mixed with them:' and to this day the convents of monks and nuns in Spain are full of them; and most of their canons, inquisitors, and bishops, are Jews. The Targum of Jonathan indeed, to clear them from idolatry itself, gives another sense of these words, paraphrasing them, 'ye shall pay tribute to the worshippers of idols.'" John Gill's Expositor

"64. the Lord shall scatter thee among all people—There is, perhaps, not a country in the world where Jews are not to be found. Who that looks on this condition of the Hebrews is not filled with awe, when he considers the fulfilment of this prophecy?" Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

"That the remnant should be scattered throughout the nations This completes their woe: The Lord shall scatter thee among all people, 64. This is remarkably fulfilled in their present dispersion, for there are Jews to be fond almost in all countries that are possessed either by Christians or Mahometans, and in such numbers that it has been said, If they could unite in one common interest, they would be a very formidable body, and able to deal with the most powerful states and princes; but they abide under the power of this curse, and are so scattered that they are not able to incorporate." Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible
True Israel is spiritual Israel, which consists of all believers in Christ Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile (Rom. 11:17-24; 2:28-29; 9:6-8; Gal. 3:8, 16, 26; Eph. 2:11-22). This inclusion was prophesied many times in the Old Testament (Gen. 10; 12:1-3; Isa. 19:16-25; 42:6; 60:10-14; Hos. 1:10, cf. Rom. 9:26; Zech. 14:16). There is but one body of Christ, which is His bride, and that is the church. True Israel is the true church and the true church is the true Israel. "I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved."