Is the Church the New Israel?

Old Testament- Israel

New Testament- Church

Genesis 12:1-3  Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gal 3:7  Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

Gal 3:9  So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Gal 3:14  so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3:29  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Genesis 26:1-5  Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,   because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Galatians 4:21-28  Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?  For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.  But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.” Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
Genesis 17:12-13  He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Philippians 3:3  For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh–

Romans 2:28-29  For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

Exodus 19:5-6  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” 1 Peter 2:9  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.
Hosea 2:21-23  “And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel, and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.'” 1 Peter 2:10  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Romans 9:24-25  even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.'”

Ezekiel 16:4-7  And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born. “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Ephesians 2:4-7  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

 

 

Hebrews 8:6-13 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  or I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

 

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A review of Charles Ryrie “Why I am a Pretribulation Rapturist” from Isael My Glory. Part 2: Does 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 teach the Pretribulation Rapture?

After discussing “Who are Raptured?” Ryrie asks the question over which there is the most debate, “When is the Rapture?” Whether intentional or not, Ryrie seems to mock the posttribulation “timeline” of saints being raptured to meet Christ in the air only to continue with Christ back to earth. Ryrie’s apparent criticism of is unfortunate since the word “meet” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is used in only used in Matthew 25:1-10 and Acts 28:14-16 in exactly the sort of way that Ryrie seems to poke fun at: a group of people come leave their location to meet someone then escort that person to his intended destination.

Far more important to the discussion is Ryrie’s treatment of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. Ryrie’s treatment of this passage has two flaws. First, Ryrie never defines what he believes the “Day of the Lord” is. From his discussion, it appears that Ryrie associates the day entire seven year tribulation period with the Day of the Lord. Whether or not this is true, Ryrie never demonstrates from the text that the rapture must precede the Day of the Lord. Why not? Because the text states the opposite position of Ryrie: which points to the greatest problem with Ryrie’s treatment of this passage.

To make 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 teach the pretribulation rapture, Ryrie completely ignores a portion of the text that contradicts his position. Below is presented the text as given by Ryrie and then as given in the ESV.

 

Ryrie

ESV

We ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by [a] spirit or by [a] word or by [a] letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

 

Ryrie omits the first several phrases of Paul’s thought. As Ryrie presents the text, there is really nothing about the rapture at all in the passage. As Paul presents the test the rapture is plainly mentioned: “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him.” So why does Ryrie exclude Paul’s mention of the rapture when Ryrie is attempting to determine the time of the Rapture? This seems counter-productive.

Perhaps Ryrie omits the first phrases of this passage because they completely undermine the pretribulation rapture position. If the Day of the Lord refers to the seven-year tribulation, and if the Thessalonians believed the rapture occurred before the tribulation, Paul’s entire discussion is superfluous. The Thessalonians would have known the Day of the Lord had not come yet because they had not been raptured!

As the text stands, however, Paul disagrees with Ryrie in a few details. First, Paul includes the coming of Christ and our gathering together to him in the Day of the Lord. As unique and horrendous as the events of the tribulation will be, Paul marks the Day of the Lord off as something even greater. This aspect of the Day of the Lord including the coming of the Lord to earth and the simultaneous gathering of the elect is will attributed in the Old Testament (Coming- Joel 3:16; Hab. 3:16; Zech. 14:4; Mal. 3:2; Gathering- Isa. 11:11-12, 16; 27:13; Mic. 4:6-7; Zeph. 3:18, 19, 20). Secondly, Paul says that this Day which includes the coming of Christ and our gathering together to him occurs after the revelation of Antichrist not before. Ryrie is right, the Day of the Lord occurs after the Antichrist’s revelation. But by leaving out Paul’s mention of Christ’s coming and our gathering to him, Ryrie ignores the most pertinent information for the discussion. As one commentator notes, “The present verse [2 Thess. 2:1] brings to grief the popular notion that the rapture of the church will somehow take place before the tribulation.”[1]

For as systematic as it presents to be, the pretribulation rapture is built upon an atomistic treatment of Scripture. It is no coincidence that one of C.I. Scofield’s works is “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth.” Dispensationalism and the pretrib rapture position certainly excel in dividing the Scripture. But as Ryrie’s mishandling of just four verses demonstrates, the pretribulation rapture cannot stand up to a more holistic reading of Scripture.


[1] Gene L. Green, The Letters to the Thessalonians (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2002), 301.

What was Jesus doing on Saturday after the Crucifixion?

I am thankful for my Dispensational upbringing. I am thankful that I went to a Bible college and seminary where my professors believed the word of God and encouraged their students to pay attention to the text and go where the text leads.

And I believe those very reasons contributed to why I no longer consider myself a dispensationalist. As I have studied, I just have not seen Scripture interpreting itself with all the quirks, limitations, and idiosyncrasies of dispensationalism. Jesus is the point of Scripture: not dispensations, not the church, not Israel. Seeing Jesus as the point of Scripture has been for me like being one of those two on the road to Emmaus. My heart is set aflame as the Scriptures are opened.

I encourage you to seek to make Jesus the point of Scripture. What might that look like?

Psalm 142 begins with the inscription “A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.” We know that Jesus is the Son of David in whom all the promises of God are yes. Taking the apostolic example of taking David’s words and applying them to Jesus (Acts 2:29-31), let us consider reading Psalm 142 as a prayer of David’s great Son from the cave of his tomb. Read these words as the voice of Jesus on Saturday of Holy Week:

A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.
With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.
I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!
In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me;
No refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

Praise be to God that he heard the prayer of his Son.