Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rejoice, O Nations!

Instead of rejoicing that God is going to keep His covenant, His promises, with His sanctified people Israel, many Christians are trying to change the identity of Israel to be themselves. It may seem insignificant whether one views Israel as the same thing as the church, but in reality, it is MAJOR.  What are some of the consequences of this?  Let us take a quick overview:

Modern Day Judaizers

As Charles Feinberg has said, The spiritualization of Israel’s blessings has meant the carnalizing of the church[1]”. Or to put it another way: the spiritualization of Israel’s blessings has meant the ‘tangelizing’ of the church. Believing that the church is Israel may result in ones becoming a ‘Judiazer’. Several ‘Reformed’ churches seem to be rather ‘Judaized’/Mosaic in their practices. Advocating church services based upon Mosaic practices, having ‘Temple’ inspired worship, and a New Covenant sign replacing the so called Old Covenant sign, circumcision.

The structure of the church building, and it’s furniture placement, is sometimes modeled after the Old Testament Temple or Tabernacle. But, where are we ever told to have symbols, or memorials of the Temple/Tabernacle? Wasn’t Temple/Tabernacle itself a symbol? So why would we want symbols of a symbol?  Isn’t the reality here? They seem to forget that Christ fulfilled the symbolism of the Temple and Tabernacle. He was the Temple (John 2:12), He was the true Tabernacle (Hebrews 8:12).  And Because of this, Christians are temples/tabernacles as well (2 Cor 6:16). 

  Some Covenant Theologians even refer to the Lord’s Supper as “bloodless sacrifices[2]”.  The Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice, rather, it is a memorial of what Jesus Christ did, as Priest offering Himself as the once for all sacrifice for sin, never to be made again.  “So far as liturgical developments are concerned, the use of Levitical terminology such as ‘sacrifice’ and ‘altar’ in the context of the Lord’s Supper obscured the memorial nature of the ordinance and the unique value of Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice.[3]”

Lastly, several(if not all) Covenant Theologians believe that Baptism is the sign of the New Covenant. It is the replacement for circumcision, the sign of the Old Covenant.  I would have to disagree Biblically.  If there is a New Covenant sign, it would most certainly be the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the “circumcision made without hands: “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. “(Col 2:11-12 ESV)(see also Romans 6:3-5)  This would be a non-physical sign, a non - ‘tangible’, a sign between the saved and the Savior, the Redeemed and his God.  And this sign is given by God, not by man.  I would rather say that  physical Baptism, the sign God ordained to be given by man, is a symbol of the EFFECT of the New Covenant, not the sign of the New Covenant itself. 

And I wouldn’t say that the New Covenant sign replaces circumcision.  Why?  Because circumcision wasn’t a symbol of the Old Mosaic Covenant(the one replaced by the New), rather, it was a symbol of the Abrahamic Covenant.  God gave the symbol to Abraham before He again commanded it in the Mosaic law “And Stephen said: "Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, 'Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.' Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect--that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. 'But I will judge the nation that they serve,' said God, 'and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.' And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. “(Act 7:2-8 ESV emphasis added/ see also Genesis 17:9-14 )

How do the Covenant Theologians get this? How do they end up seeing themselves as Israel and thus, somewhere along the line, end up incorporating the Mosaic liturgy?  Bad Hermeneutics, is the answer.

The Scriptures Explain Themselves

They impose a system on the Bible, ‘Covenant Theology’.  There are various views on how many covenants there ultimately are, some seem to believe that there is only one covenant, which each seemingly separate covenant in the Bible builds upon.  Some think that there are two or three ultimate covenants.  But what I am ultimately interested in is how they view the Abrahamic, Mosaic and New Covenants.  It seems that some ‘Covenanters’ think that that these three covenants are ultimately the same, not three covenants but covenants that build on one overarching covenant, such as the so called ‘covenant of grace’ or ‘redemption’; which covenant is supposed to have been made between the Members of the Trinity.    Or they at least believe that the Abrahamic is the same thing as the Mosaic Covenant.  They seem to view this system of seemingly separate and yet morphed covenants as a system which unifies the Scriptures. This view is supposed to reveal the unified soteriological plan of God(as regards the Church) throughout the Bible.

 But, the Bible does not say that the Mosaic Covenant is an addition to the Abrahamic Covenant or that the New Covenant is a part of all other covenants.  "covenant Theologians have substituted for the Biblical Words describing God's eternal plan, such as 'decree and 'purpose', the concepts of a 'covenant of redemption' and a covenant of grace'….But it must be asked, where is the 'covenant of grace' revealed in the Bible?  Romans 9:4 and Ephesians 2:12 indicate that a plurality of covenants are fulfilled in a better covenant, not that the historic covenants are administrations of one covenant which stands above history.[4]"

The Abrahamic, Mosaic and New Covenants are three separate covenants, they are not the same, although they are ‘related’ to one another in various ways.  First, the Abrahamic Covenant. This covenant of promises is made only with those of the race of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, although other races are affected(?) by it.   God promised to Abraham elect descendants(who would come through Isaac and Jacob), that they would be His people, and He their God.  He promised that they would be greatly multiplied as a people, and He promised that He would give their nation a material land.  Lastly, God promised the race of Jacob that all the nations(Gentiles)would be blessed through them.    This Covenant, made by God alone, was unconditional in that it would definitely be effected with the race(Israel) to whom it was promised. 

Next comes the Mosaic Covenant, a conditional covenant.  This Covenant was also only made with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  This Covenant gave the Ten Commandments, a law of liturgy, moral laws and other rules for making this race of people set-apart.  John Owen points out that the Mosaic Covenant was “  ……'a law, a system of precepts.'  And it was so called to intimate the nature of that covenant.  It consisted principally in precepts or commandments of obedience, promising no assistance for the performance of them.  ……..A covenant that consisted in mere precepts, without an exhibition of spiritual strength to enable unto obedience, could never save sinners[5].”

 This covenant of precepts seems to have been the ‘test’, so to speak, as to whether or not Israel was righteous and thus able to receive permanently the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant.  If this covenant was kept, the Abrahamic Covenant would be confirmed with Israel.  Of course, this covenant was not kept as Israel was not righteous, this covenant only manifested their unrighteousness. Thus the Abrahamic Covenant was not/has not been effected with the Israelites under this covenant, as they are unrighteous under this covenant.

Lastly, the New Covenant, an unconditional Covenant. Like the Abrahamic Covenant, a Covenant of Promises. “The new covenant is of another nature(than the Old/Mosaic).  It is a covenant  of promises.  And although it hath precepts also requiring obedience, yet is it wholly founded in promise, whereby strength and assistance for the performance of that obedience are given to us.”[6]   This New Covenant was promised to the house of Israel but is applied to Gentiles also.  The New Covenant makes righteous those with whom it is effected.  By this New Covenant, God writes His law in the hearts of the recipients, makes them His people, and they shall all know Him(Jer 31).   This New Covenant will one day be effected with several generations of the race of Israel, making their nation righteous before God.  When under this Covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant will be confirmed with Israel.  This Covenant supersedes the Mosaic Covenant and fulfills the Abrahamic.“The language of Jeremiah 31-31-34 also indicates that the Mosaic and New Covenants are not essentially the same.  In verse 32 God declared that the NC would not be like the Mosaic covenant.  Anderson said here God ‘speaks of a new covenant, not a covenant renewal, and thereby assumes a radical break with the Mosaic tradition.’[7]"

There is no need to superimpose upon the testimony of Scripture a principle that, though it seems to unify the Scriptures, does so only at the expense of the obliteration of the most clearly defined distinctions in the Word of God[8].”We ought not impose a ‘unifying system’ upon the Bible that emphasizes God’s glory through the salvation of the church, when that is not what the Bible emphasizes. Is not the point of History God’s glory being displayed in all His works, and not just the salvation of the Church?  As one person put it, “The Bible is doxological not soteriological.[9]” God’s glory is displayed in the damnation of humans, not merely in their salvation.  And His glory does not merely relate to human beings, it is displayed in all of His creation.  The Bible is our system of interpretation, and as Arthur Pink said on his death bed, “The Scriptures explain themselves[10]”.

“It is a bad indication when, in any period, men will so exalt their confessions that they force the Scriptures to a secondary importance, illustrated in one era, when as Tulloch remarks: 'Scripture as a witness, disappeared behind the Augsburg Confession' ...No decrees of councils; no ordinances of synods; no 'standard' of doctrines; no creed or confession, is to be urged as authority in forming the opinions of men. They may be valuable for some purposes, but not for this; they may be referred to as interesting parts of history, but not to form the faith of Christians; they may be used in the church to express its belief, not to form it.[11]”

We do not want to make the same errors with the second Advent as the Jews did with the first Advent.  We do not want to be guilty of making the Word of God of none effect by our tradition(Mathew 7:13).[12] Whether those “traditions” be old creeds that date from the time of the Apostles(there was heresy in those days too), or whether they are beliefs about Eschatology that were held by Augustine, Luther, Calvin or Edwards. “A sacred regard to the authority of God ought to lead us to reject an error, however old, sanctioned by whatever authority, or however generally practiced.[13]"

A unified system applied to the Bible does not mean that that system reaches the truth.  Unity does not equal truth. Martin Luther once said, “It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error[14]” Which one might expound upon: better that we see divisions and paradoxes in the truth, and hold to it in faith, than to have unity and apparent consistency and yet be in error.

A type, or not a type .  That is the question.

As we dealt with briefly in Chapter 2, some people mix up what are ‘types[15]’ and what are not ‘types’.  Some people believe that Israel in the OT is a type of the Church, the true Israel, and that the Promised land is a type of the spiritual land, Heaven.  But this is not the case.  Israel is not a type, nor is the land a type. Israel is a reality itself, never to be replaced or annihilated(Jer 31:35-37).  In Jeremiah 31:31, God promised the New Covenant to the house of Israel, and Judah, in other words, He promised the New Covenant to the descendants of Jacob, even defining in detail who “Israel and Judah” are. “For the new covenant was to be made with those whose fathers the Lord brought up from the land of Egypt; with whose fathers He made a former covenant; with those whose fathers had broke that covenant, notwithstanding He had behaved like a husband unto them. Now pray, whom does this description fit, the Jews or the gentiles?(I would apply ‘church’ here instead) If the Jews, then it was with them that God was to make the new covenant; and as it is they, literally, to whom the preceding particulars are alone applicable to, so it is with them literally that the covenant was to be made. But since the gentiles are so fond of being thought to be meant by the name of Israel, why do they not undertake to prove that it was not the ancestors of the Jews (literally) but theirs who entered into a former covenant—that it was not the fathers of the Jews (literally) who broke the covenant, and were punished, but theirs? and then, after they have properly made all this out, it will be time to put in for that name, and claim the privilege of the new covenant. But as it is natural to think that they can never make out all this, they may, perhaps, make use of another invention, and pretend that the new covenant was to be spiritual.”

  And the end of Jeremiah 31 gives implicit proof that the land promised Israel is earthly:  “It may likewise be pretended that this covenant was to take place in heaven, and you may be referred to paradise for its accomplishment; it is but putting heaven for Jerusalem, an invention often made use of. To this I answer, that the prophet intimates the very contrary; and, lest any such pretension should be made, he carefully and minutely describes the earthly Jerusalem, and describes the tower Hananel, the gates, the hill Gareb and Goath, the valley of dead bodies and of ashes, the fields, the brook Kidron, and the Horse-gate; all which puts it beyond dispute that he meant Jerusalem literally and not paradise nor heaven. Besides, the words “shall not be plucked up or thrown down any more for ever” imply that the place had been destroyed, which never could be said of a heavenly one.”  And he continues on by saying, “In short, it seems as if God had carefully provided that his meaning should not be misapplied in any part of it, by circumstantially describing every particular; and that He has done so minutely, as strongly enforces his plain meaning in such a manner as to render it impracticable consistently to apply this prophecy in any other sense.”    (reference missing)  Jeremiah 31 defines exactly with whom this New Covenant will be effected with (the race of Israel), and that this New Covenant will be enacted upon the Israelites in the land of Israel.  It is very clear.

Some people might take offense to this, speaking as a Gnostic might, ‘but that’s material! The Kingdom of God is spiritual not carnal!  Why would God promise something that is merely earthly?’.  But, all that is material is not evil.  The material land of the earth is not evil, rather, people are evil.  Material things are not lasting in their present state of decay, but will be lasting in the future.  Although material, earthly, things are subject to decay, they will not stay so; there will come a time when they will be released from their “bondage of corruption(decay)”, Romans 8:19-21 points this out.

Replacement theologians twist things around.  They take types as ‘reality’ and call non-types, types.  For example, some of them believe that we should model our church services on the Temple liturgy that God commanded in the Old Testament.  “What we want is to renew covenant, which is just what they did in the temple. We want to confess our sins, as our Hebrew fathers did. We want to hear God’s forgiveness, as our Hebrew fathers did. We want to sing Psalms, as our Hebrew fathers did. We want to pray, as our Hebrew fathers did—their prayers symbolized in the burning of incense. And we want to feast with our Lord, as our Hebrew fathers did, at the Lord’s Table. Covenant renewal worship is like temple worship sacrificial through and through. But it is bloodless through—for Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again.[16]”    People who practice ‘Covenant renewal worship’ take as their ‘worship’ model the symbolism/type of the Old Covenant, Temple liturgy.  In other words, they have a symbol(pointing back to Old Testament types) of a symbol(Old Testament Types pointing to Christ’s fulfillment)of reality(Old Testament Types fulfilled by Christ).  This seems rather absurd.

Covenant Theologians take the types of the Old Testament(such as Temple worship) as realities for themselves, and leave the realities(such as the eternal sanctification of the race of Israel) in the Old Testament as types. They make types and symbols eternal, and eternal realties types and symbols.  They make, now irrelevant, types and symbols eternal and presently relevant realties irrelevant types and symbols.  But again, the people of Israel and their promised land are not types.  They are intrinsic realties of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Again, the section of the Bible that we call the’ Old testament’ is not made up only of Types and Shadows, although the Old Covenant(Mosaic Law),spoken of within this section of the Bible, is full of types and shadows. We do not have the authority to call something a shadow that the Bible does not call a type or a shadow. For instance, the Bible speaks of the Old Covenant/law as being a shadow, symbol, pointing to something else.  Yes, the children of Jacob were given the types and shadows(symbols) of the old Covenant, but this did not make them  ,as a chosen race, a type or a shadow.  The types and shadows of the Old Covenant pointed to the realities of the New Covenant, but ISRAEL WAS NOT THE OLD COVENANT ITSELF. 

I agree with Michael Vlach when he says that“We must not assume that everything in the OT is a type.  It is best to let Scripture make the connection and put away the big broom that without warrant sweeps everything under the rug of typology.[17]”

Relativizing All Truth Away

Allegory, as well as types, is used ,at the very least, to remove the material aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant, or to reinterpret them and apply them to the church.    Someone’s defense of allegorizing the ‘Old Testament’ may come by their stating that the section of the Bible that we call the ‘Old Testament’ needs to be read through the ‘lens’, as it were, of the New Testament.  I’m fine with that, if they mean that one should acknowledge that the New Testament reveals the fulfillment of several Old Testament prophecies in Christ.   But I disagree if they mean that the ‘lens’ of the New Testament changes the meaning of Old Testament events, prophecies(such as Jer 31) promises(Abrahamic Covenant), or the people to whom they were promised(Israel).  Reading the O.T.  through the ‘lens’ of the New Testament should not mean allegorizing everything from Genesis to Malachi so as to make everything point as symbols or types, to Christ, the Church or Heaven…etc.  Rather, it should be that of accepting as fulfilled those types and shadows which the N.T. says are fulfilled.

 They may use the excuse that Paul used events of the O.T.  as allegory: for example, Galatians 4:24-31.  Horatius Bonar comments on this:  "In denying the legitimacy of the spiritualizing and allegorizing method we point out first of all that the allegory found in Galatians 4: 24-31 militates in no sense against a literal interpretation of Scripture, nor does it form any sufficient basis for allegorization and spiritualization. The passage really confirms the literal sense of the Scriptures, for Hagar and Sarah had literal existence and Mount Sinai and Jerusalem were literal places. Moreover, no interpretation can be at all satisfactory that does not allow words to have their natural meaning. Spiritualizers find it hard to explain --- and not one has even successfully attempted it --- if the Scriptures do not mean what they say, why they do not say what they mean. Is it not passing strange that the God who called light into existence with two words should not be able to say exactly what He means? ….[19]” Paul’s (perhaps Divine)recognition of an allegory here does not change the literalness of the text, nor does the fact that he saw and interpreted an allegory give us the right to make allegories everywhere in Scripture and then interpret them. We remember that Paul was an Apostle, we are not; he had direct revelation from God, we do not; and he had ‘apostolic authority’ whereas we do not have that authority.

 The interesting about allegory is that, while one can exegete an allegory, one cannot allegorize to exegete.  The use of allegory is not the use of exegesis, it is the use of an illustration/symbolism.    Now, I am not denying that the present day Christian may use historical events as illustrations of truths, or even that he may use simile to apply prophetic, or historical passages that are speaking of Israel to the church.

The problem is that the difference between application and exegesis is often muddled; Application  of texts often seems to be presented as exegesis of the texts .    “It was that great Biblical scholar Delitzsch who said: ‘Interpretation is one: application is manifold.’ in studying the Bible, as with any other book, the objective is to find out the exact meaning of the text at hand.  After this has been ascertained, it can be applied to the life of an individual or a group.  Much confusion has been the result of using the scriptures practically wholly by way of application. For instance, it is true, and eminently so, that for every trusting and believing heart the eternal God is a refuge, and His arms can be depended upon to uphold and sustain.  But Deut. 33:27 has a specific meaning in the context, which refers it directly to Israel.  Such is the case with the Psalms and the prophecies.  Isaiah 53 may be applied to all sinners, but its interpretation shows us that it is speaking of the confession of the nation Israel in a coming day.  The Gospels have suffered in this respect probably as much as any portion of the Word with the result that the primary meaning is foreign to most people.”[20]

We must be very careful when allegorizing an historical event or prophecy in Scripture; we must never call our application of a text exegesis of the text.   “More heresy is preached by application than by Bible exegesis."[21] Why is this so?  Because, “Allegories prove any thing out of any thing.[22]”  Or, to put it another way, one can apply, or ‘spiritually’ connect, anything to anything, any event to any event.  One person’s life may be used as an illustration, and compared, to another persons life.  If one uses allegory as exegesis, we end up with in the realm of absurd.

For example Jeremiah 33: says "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah……The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: "Have you not observed that these people are saying, 'The LORD has rejected the two clans that he chose'? Thus they have despised my people so that they are no longer a nation in their sight. Thus says the LORD: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed order of heaven and earth, then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his offspring to rule over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them." (Jer 33:14, 23-26 ESV) Mathew Henry comments on this: “ See how firm the covenant stands notwithstanding, as firm as that with day and night; sooner will God suffer day and night to cease then he will cast away the seed of Jacob. This cannot refer to the seed of Jacob according to the flesh, for they are cast away, but to the Christian church, in which all these promises were to be lodged, as appears by the apostle's discourse, Rom_11:1, etc. Christ is that seed of David that is to be perpetual dictator to the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and, as this people shall never want such a king, so this king shall never want such a people. Christianity shall continue in the dominion of Christ, and the subjection of Christians to him, till day and night come to an end. And, as a pledge of this, that promise is again repeated, I will cause their captivity to return; and, having brought them back, I will have mercy on them. To whom this promise refers appears Gal_6:16, where all that walk according to the gospel rule are made to be the Israel of God, on whom peace and mercy shall be[23].” I can’t help but laugh and be astonished at this ‘interpretation’ of the text.  Mr. Henry, by his allegorizing of these verses, comes to the very conclusion that God is refuting, in this same text.  Henry is saying that, “the Lord has rejected the two clans he chose” and he believes that the natural descendants of Jacob are no longer a ‘nation’.  But what is God’s answer? That these conclusions are completely wrong.

If we take presently relevant antitypes as types, take the now irrelevant types as relevant, make allegorizing our ‘exegisis’ for interpreting the books of the Old Testament, and consider everything from Genesis to Malachi as types and Shadows, then what are we to do? How can we know for sure that all of the ‘types’and allegories we see in Old testament people, events and places are true, if they are only based off of our perception of connections between them and soteriological facts and events under the New Testament?  Could not we similarly connect the false gods of the nations, all of history, all historical events and people, as allegorically symbolic of the Church, Heaven, salvation…etc.?  And would we then say that our allegorization of them is exegisis of those events? Their exact (God-given)meaning?   I think not.  So then why would we allow our own perception truths to be our authority when dealing with Scripture?  Scripture interprets itself of course, but this means that we let Scripture connect the dots.  We may think that one dot would be better connected to another dot because they are similar, but if Scripture doesn’t connect them, we dare not.  “in discussions of Scripture truth necessity is had upon all to carry data, not to a ‘logical end,’ but only to that point which biblical data will allow……The final issue is, ‘What saith the Scripture?[24]”  We accept the connections whether they are in a seemingly orderly pattern or whether the resulting lines look like chaos to our eyes.  We need some boundaries for what we define as ‘exegesis’ so that we may be able to know and teach exactly what the Bible says, not what we perceive it should say.  Otherwise, there appears to be no use of studying Biblical prophecy or history at all, as one can have no idea what it actually means until it is fulfilled, if they are even able to know that.

  Dea argued:  "For if we are to have no regard to the plain sense and meaning of the prophets, and take a liberty to depart from their literal and obvious meanings, how can we distinguish the true Messiah from the vain pretender, who may, by types and allegories, impose such a sense of his own on the prophecies as may easily be made to answer his pretensions, an by such means apply them to himself and his purposes, construing them according to his fancy, and, under a pretence of a refined spiritual sense, be able to prove thereby all the passages of his life, both from prophecy and Scripture history?  For as no regard is to be had to the prophets' literal meaning, no bounds can be put to any persons imaginations, for all will be spiritualized.  But would not the Jews be in the most deplorable condition, if they admitted allegory for proof?  Would they not be liable to the grossest abuse and deception?  And could they in any other way oppose such pretenders, but from the plain and literal sense of the prophecies and believe that the prophets had but that one plains sense and meaning, and to argue accordingly from it? ….Such a method can only serve to open a door to fraud and imposition; for when once we depart from the plain and obvious meaning of an author, and put a different sense on his words, we them commit such an act of violence as nothing can justify.  But it is still worse, when we do the like to inspired writings; for we, in such case, deprive the prophet of his meaning, which is infallible and in its place substitute our own weak fallible sense, and that for no other reason but because it best serves our purposes, and it must give one a very bad opinion of the cause which depends on such a support.[25]” 

“But “, it may be argued, “you cannot deny that the books of the Old Testament DO HAVE SYMBOLS!”  Yes, they certainly do, but there being symbols in the Old Testament does not make everything they touch, or have relation to(such as Israel) a symbol, nor does it change the literalness of things that are explicitly used as symbols:  "In denying the legitimacy of the spiritualizing and allegorizing method we point out first of all that the allegory found in Galatians 4: 24-31 militates in no sense against a literal interpretation of Scripture, nor does it form any sufficient basis for allegorization and spiritualization. The passage really confirms the literal sense of the Scriptures, for Hagar and Sarah had literal existence and Mount Sinai and Jerusalem were literal places. Moreover, no interpretation can be at all satisfactory that does not allow words to have their natural meaning. Spiritualizers find it hard to explain --- and not one has even successfully attempted it --- if the Scriptures do not mean what they say, why they do not say what they mean. Is it not passing strange that the God who called light into existence with two words should not be able to say exactly what He means? A further condemnation of this method comes from  Schodde who, in his article in interpretation, tellingly points out that one of the characteristic features of the New Testament writers is their freedom from the slue of allegorical method of interpretation prevalent not only at that time but even in later centuries among the early Christian exegetes. Just one word need be said with regard to numbers and their interpretation. When a grossly materialistic chiliasm became peculiarly distasteful to the Church in the fourth and fifth century, the practice was begun of allegorizing and spiritualizing not only the thousand years but all prophetic numbers. Instead of denoting time these numbers were said to be more signs of abstract ideas. It cannot be denied that numbers have symbolical value, but this is not admitting that they have no temporal significance. Prophetic numbers are symbolical just because and only because they are literal. The only reason four is a number symbolical of the earth is due to the fact that it is literal. --- four corners of the earth. It is true that the seven lampstands of the first chapter of the Revelation are symbolical of completeness, but this does not imply that there are six or five lampstands. There are literally seven and the symbolical significance is derivable from  the literalness of the number. In like manner, the thousand years may symbolize "potentiated ecumenicity," but does this make them five thousand or ten thousand years? Whatever symbolical value may be attached to or derived from numbers, it is solely because they are literal. That which clinches the argument for us is that the prophetic numbers have been literally fulfilled in the past. When the prophet Jeremiah foretold that Israel would be in Babylon seventy years, the fulfillment of the prophecy showed that God meant exactly seventy literal years. IN this manner Daniel understood then when he studied Jeremiah's prophecy. Daniel's sixty-two weeks have also come to pass literally, and that in spite of the fact that his prophecy has symbols. Finally, we have often wondered if the spiritualizers have ever stopped to consider that such dissipating of the literal sense of Scripture, as is common in their interpretations of the prophetic Scriptures, would eventually rob us of every doctrine in the Word of God.[26]"

If our allegorization/ application of a historical Biblical prophecy, event, or people becomes our interpretation of a text, then we are not handling God’s Word correctly. We are changing the meaning of the word of God, and as Chafer puts it, “A method of interpretation which is free to spiritualize is a short step away from an actual denial of the authority of scripture.[27]”

“O let me live in Thy reality, nor (let me) substitute my notions, for Thy facts.[28]”

It may be put forward that it would be absurd to take the prophecies literally, because there would be difficulties, paradoxes, unanswerable issues, if we do so.  For one thing, if we take the prophecies/promises literally, then it looks like the race of Israel will always be a separate nation/people before God, even in the New Heaven and the New earth.  Why this is a problem, I’m not sure.  There are passages that seem to indicate that the race identity is continued in Heaven, the New Heavens and the New earth,   “’After this  I looked, and there was a vast multitude form every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the lamb.  They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands.(Rev7:9)’  The representatives before the throne are not people who formerly were from every, nation, tribe, people and language.  Their ethnic identity continues even as they compose a unified people of God……even in the eternal state, it appears there are nations as the following passages from Rev 21:23-24, 26; 22:1-2 indicate:  ‘The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory illuminates it, and its lamp is the lamb.  The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it…They will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it….Then he showed me the river of living water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the broad street [of the city], On both sides of the river was the tree of life bearing 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month.  The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.’”[29]’ Other difficulties/paradoxes might be produced: Sacrifices in the Millennial Kingdom,  possibly two brides of Christ, two peoples of God, land given to Israel for a thousand years, and yet that land is promised to be given to Israel forever, and she is never to be scattered out of it again, what does this mean when we consider the ‘New Heavens and the New earth…..We don’t see how everything connects, harmonizes, we must see the UNITY of scripture!..and so on.

 I will let Horatius Bonar reply:“We address an unbelieving Jew, and say to him, ‘Why do you not believe that Jesus of Nazareth is your Messiah?  Do not all your prophets bear testimony to him?’  Which of our prophets?’ he might ask We answer, ‘Isaiah, for instance tells us that he was to be born of a virgin ;and Jesus was so born.’ ‘ But you know (he would reply) that is an impossibility, and therefore you must not take the text literally; it must mean something else.’[30]……As to the difficulties which are said to adhere to the system, (Chiliasm)and to render it incapable of proof, let me say a word.  Previous to the fulfillment of every prophecy, there have always been difficulties connected with it, by which faith has been proved and unbelief stumbled.  The predictions concerning the first Advent contained an amount of difficulty, perplexity, and apparent impossibility which completely overshadows every thing of that nature in the present case.  Man's reasonings with regard to difficulties have been thus entirely overthrown.  It has been shown that he is no judge of these, and that when he attempts to estimate the(m), he is sure to err. We have been made to see how very careful we ought to be In pronouncing upon difficulties and how unbefitting our position it is, as finite learners, to insist upon weighing a doctrine in the balance of our difficulties rather than in the balance of the sanctuary.  We seem to take for granted that the harmony of Divine truth must be so necessarily and immediately perceptible by us in all its parts, that if there appears to us any dislocation or incoherence, we are entitled to strike out the doctrine that seems to introduce the discord, previous to any consideration of the amount of scriptural evidence in its favour.  Our difficulties are reckoned sufficient to place it beyond the circle of evidence altogether, and to justify us in at once throwing it out of our system upon the internal  evidence of its own  incongruity.  But such a mode of adjusting systems is inadmissible, - especially seeing that all these systems contain in them many things which we cannot reconcile or link together in our present state.  Were this method of reasoning lawful, the Jews might well have excused themselves in disbelieving the incarnation; and Unitarians might maintain the field successfully against the asserters of the Godhead of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Nay, we ourselves should be thoroughly baffled in our attempt to prove the resurrection of the body, for, beyond all question, that doctrine presents to us difficulties altogether insoluble by us, - difficulties so formidable that there is absolutely no escape from them, save by a direct appeal to what God has written, and to what God is able to perform.

Instead of being staggered by the existence of difficulties, ought we not to feel that nothing else could be expected?  Had there been none such, should we not have been inclined to say that the doctrine was of man, not of God?  Man may construct a scheme of the future, as a child draws a map of the stars, in which there shall appear no difficulties, no incongruities.  But is God's system of the future likely to be as smooth and comprehensible by us?  …… is no great demand which God makes upon us, to wait in patience for a little while, and not to prejudge HIS system, because the links are not visible, and the order not in keeping with our ideas of harmony.  The points in which it now appears dark or even disjointed, may be the very parts where there has been most of Divine wisdom expanded; and the cause of the seeming difficulty may be the vast stretch of that infinite wisdom, so far transcending the lowness and narrowness of human thought.  How often does that part of a picture on which the artist has bestowed most pains, and into which he has cast his whole soul, appear a blemish to the unpracticed eye?  So it is with reference to the things of God ; and hence the exceeding danger, not to say irreverence, of testing a doctrine by the difficulties connected with it.  These are not for us to decide upon.  We are very likely to pronounce falsely upon these, or to reason improperly from them.[31]”

We must not accept a revelation in the Word of God based upon whether or not we can see how it connects with other revelations in every minute detail. God’s word is true whether or not it is logical to us, God may or may not choose to reveal to us the resolve of apparent paradoxes, but we should look on this as an opportunity to live by faith, not by sight.  “Truth existed before any revelation in written form was made. It therefore does not depend on revelation for its truthfulness. To the same end, it may be said that some truths, though recorded and in no way opposed to reason, are not demonstrable by reason. If, as has been proved, revelation is infinitely true, it follows that, should reason advance a contradiction to revelation, reason is at fault.[32]

Do not become proud, but fear[33].

We expect that God will do exactly as He promised Israel He would do, effect the New Covenant with them.  “Can a past that has been qualified by election ever come to naught? Can ‘election of God’ as we usually understand it ever be changed into "rejection"? Can the Church inherit the place of the chosen people of Israel, so that election passes over to the Church? do we not usually consider God's election as something irrevocable, definitive, and all-powerful; and is it consequently meaningless to assume that the election of Israel could be negated by human reaction, even unbelief?[34]” Did not Christ’s death cover all of His elect’s sins?  Including the sin of ‘unbelief’?  Why would we deny the promised full atonement to the race of Israel? Our argument being that Israel failed, broke the covenant, Israel didn’t believe.  Does this then mean that there is no hope for their race?  That Israel’s unbelief is an impregnable obstacle for the grace of God? Can God’s promises, be nullified by unbelief?  Do we not see that this has implications for members of the church individually?

 If we believe that God will not fulfill the New Covenant with the race of people He promised it to, then doesn’t that concern us? If a whole race can be ‘unelected’ cannot individuals be so as well?  “If God is not faithful to Is promises to Israel, will He be any more so to His promises to His Church?  If the failure of Israel is argued, can it not be equally argued that the Church has miserably failed God also?[35]” Could not God give us more revelation that would be a new ‘lens’ use to spiritualize  the books of the New testament, change the meaning of ‘church’  to mean something else, other than elect to salvation humans? Like angels for instance.  Wouldn’t that be absurd? Why can we not just take as types and shadows what the Bible explicitly defines as such, instead of making the whole ‘Old testament’ one big type or shadow.

Jim Mclarty observed: “For reasons I fail to comprehend, the Replacement crowd insists on making the Church the ‘crown of creation.’ Once God reached the Church, He completed His intended goal.  When He gets them all to Heaven, He will make a new Heaven and a new Earth and enjoy His eternity. They steadfastly refuse to reckon themselves as merely an addition - a parenthesis, if you will — in God’s redemptive plan. They cannot imagine themselves as merely wild branches brought into Israel’s blessings against their own nature. They see themselves as the zenith of God’s abilities. They are God’s true Israel, the only ones God ever actually loved with an everlasting love. That’s boasting against the branches in its purest form.” Can Jews and Gentiles combined do any better than the Jews alone?  Can the whole church succeed where Israel could not?  Are not the Gentiles dependent upon the same root that the Jews were cut off of?  The Jews were cut off for their unbelief, anyone who stands, stands by their faith.  Were not all of the members of the church, both Jew and Gentile, at one time in a state of unbelief?  Did Christ only atone for the unbelief of the elect members of the church(elect from every nation), but will deny this atonement of unbelief to Israel as a race of people, even though He promised it to them as a race?

Remember where faith/belief comes from:  God!  Faith is a gift, not a merit of our own. Israel was and is just as dependent upon God for faith as the whole church. Neither entity, the Church(elect Jews and Gentiles as a whole) or the Israel(race of Jacob)of God can boast.  Both Jews and Gentiles were bound up in disobedience.  Both Jews and Gentiles are dependent upon God for salvation, faith and good works.  They are on equal grounds, neither can boast, before God, or before each other.  “It is no more difficult for God to produce faith in a single person, a group of 3,000 Jews (as at Pentecost), or to a nation.  Who would limit God's ability to save few or many?  And, who would attempt to limit HIs ability to keep HIs word?  Salvation comes by grace - whether to you individually or to Israel nationally[36]. 

   Why not take God’s promises literally?  Why not just accept what the prophecies/promises regarding Israel’s salvation for what they say?  “We say it means what it says.  They say it doesn't mean what it says.  It means what we say it means.  Now have an authority problem because you've now presupposed that it has to mean something other than what it says.  Once you say it's not literal then you can't know what it is and why would you do that?  Why?  Why not, accept a literal, historical, normal understanding of Scripture and if it yields a future for Israel, I'm not going to be sad.  I'm going to be glad, because that means God keeps His what?  His promises. [37]“Why not take God at His word that “all Israel shall be saved.” And be happy? Just as with individual members of the Church, God will be the sole Savior of Israel, the One who gives and completes her salvation, with no help on their part. "God will keep His word to Israel, not because of their righteousness or their ability to keep conditions, but because of the promise He made Himself, to Abraham.  God will not keep HIs promises to Israel on the basis of their acceptance of Christ. He will cause them all to recognize their Savior because they are heirs to the promise![38]" And don’t stop at merely accepting that there is a soteriological future for Israel, but take the rest of the promises literal as well. They being that, as a result of Israel’s being saved, there is also a material/earthly future for Israel.

 The books of the New Testament do not tell us what the prophecies, concerning the Abrahamic Covenant, Israel, and the Millennial Kingdom, actually meant, despite what they said.  The New Testament confirms that these prophecies meant (literally) what they said, by confirming the prophesied means to their literal fulfillments.  The means that was promised to Israel, the ‘key’ as it were, that would enable the confirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant is now here, in the form of a New Covenant, exactly as was promised(Jer 31:31-on). What is there to keep this ‘key’ from being turned? What is there to keep God from continuing the fulfillment of what He promised, His effecting the New Covenant with the race of Israel.  And when this is done, and  the ‘door of sin’ (including unbelief)is no longer there to withhold good from Israel(Jer 5:25), will not the promised good come to Israel? The promised land, promised multiplication of their numbers, promised Kingdom…etc.?  God demanded that Israel be righteous in order for this good to come to Israel, and when He has applied to Israel the required righteousness, will He stop there? Will there be no resolve?

Of course God will finish His work.  “I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it. "Thus says the LORD: In this place of which you say, 'It is a waste without man or beast,' in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD: "'Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!' For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the LORD……. Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.' "For thus says the LORD: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to make sacrifices forever." (Jer 33:7-11;14-18) The “gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. “  God will not change His mind, He will keep His covenants, His promises, to the people to whom He promised them. 

God will effect the New covenant with the race of Israel, as He promised in Jeremiah 31(and Ezekiel) . In case there is any doubt at the end of chapter 31, after having promised the New Covenant to “Israel(joint Israel and Judah)”, God fixed forever the identity of this “Israel’ to whom  He promised this Covenant: “Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-- the LORD of hosts is his name: "If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever." Thus says the LORD: "If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the LORD." (Jer 31:35-37 ESV)

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?[39]

People are sounding too much like the people in Jeremiah’s day, as we saw with Mathew Henry.  They do not consider the descendants of Jacob as a ‘nation’ anymore, looking on them as a people rejected by God, despite all of God’s promises to the contrary.  Instead of having faith in God’s promises they seem to be basing their beliefs on what they see, looking at Israel’s present status as a scattered(not all of them are in their land), persecuted, unchristian people; a people seemingly abandoned by God.  We don’t even know which Jew belongs to what tribe, so how is each tribe going to mourn over Israel’s sin of rejecting the Messiah, by itself (As it says Zechariah 12:10-14)?  But, again, cannot we look at this as an opportunity for taking God at His word?  God’s Word will be accomplished, whether or not we human beings can see, or explain, how.  "Man's thoughts about the future and the unseen are of little worth.  They are at best but dreams;  no more than the blind guesses of fancy.  They approach no nearer to the truth than do a child's conjectures regarding the history of some distant star, or as the peopling of space beyond the outskirts of the visible creation. But the thoughts of God respecting the future are precious above measure.  They are truth and certainty, whether they touch upon the far off or the near, the likely or the unlikely.  They are disfigured with no miscalculations, for they are the thoughts of the great Designer regarding his own handiwork.  Of however little moment it may be for us to know what man thinks about the future, it is of vast moment for us to know what God thinks of it.  However few these revealed thoughts of God may be, yet they ought to be estimated by us above all price.  They are the thoughts of an infinite mind; and they are the thoughts of that mind upon a subject utterly inaccessible to us, yet entirely familiar to Him who sees the end from the beginning, and whose wisdom has pre-arranged the whole.[40]"

If we were in Ezekiel’s place, standing before the Valley of Dead Bones(Ezekiel 37), and God asked us, “Can these bones live”?  What would our reply be? “No Lord, that’s impossible, these bones are just empty shells, the laws of physics don’t allow for them to live.”  Or would our reply be as Ezekiel’s was, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Ezekiel had the right answer, as the passage goes on to show, God put flesh on the bones and breathed life into them.  And God went on to explain what this was an illustration of, “Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD." (Eze 37:11-14 ESV emphasis added)  Is any prophecy of God impossible for Him to perform?  Does God promise what He cannot do?  As the Angel Gabriel said to Mary, " nothing will be impossible with God." (Luk 1:37 ESV) And, that being the case, do we not expect that God will fulfill the promises literally? In all their details?  Not merely fulfilling literally the negative things prophesied about Israel: her being cursed, removed from her land, scattered, rejected and stubborn.  But also fulfilling literally ALL of the promises of blessing:  Israel’s return to the promised land, her being gathered, chosen and given faith? “And  when we are told by some, that these prophecies are not to be literally fulfilled, may we not reply, that the very same reasons which prove the future history of the Jews to be spiritual, will prove their past history to be the same?  If prophecy, where it speaks of their gathering, means merely their conversion, then, of course, history, when it declares their dispersion, means merely that they were left unconverted; for it is quite evident, that the future gathering of Israel,  whatever that may be, is a gathering from the very dispersion which has taken place.  The gathering must of necessity correspond to the scattering, else the language of prophecy is confusion and uncertainty.  If the gathering be only spiritual, the dispersion must have been so too.[41]” 

Isn’t it comforting that God fulfills His promises literally to the people to whom they were promised? Whether these peoples be individuals or a race? If I receive salvation as an individual, what else do I want? It shouldn’t hurt me if, besides keeping His promises of salvation to me individually,  God also keeps promises, both spiritual and material, that He made with a race of people, namely, ‘Israel’.  That should actually be comforting to me.“ If God is faithful to His promises to Israel, then He will assuredly be faithful to His promises to me. If God changed His language, or cast off His people, or turned His back on His beloved elect nation, then I have no security that He will not do the same to me. After all, He used the identical language in my promises — elect, beloved, redeemed, forgiven — that He used for Israel. If He can ignore His own words on one occasion, what’s to say He won’t ignore them on other occasions—like, say ,my occasion? Such a God is capricious and frightening. He is not trustworthy. He is a terror to all who trust Him. He says one thing and does another. Or, He speaks a word, cloaked in hidden meaning, and rests our eternity on our ability to sort it out, or properly apply it, or successfully decode it. Israel’s failure to understand God’s promises to a future Church caused their demise, if that’s the case. No, I’m completely unfamiliar with such a God. He is certainly nowhere to be found in the pages of Holy Writ. The God of the Bible, the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the New Covenant of Promise, the God of the Church, is a covenant making and covenant keeping God. His faithfulness is beyond question and His character is above reproach. God is not a man, that he should lie: neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Num. 23:19) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isa. 55:11). Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:9). If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself(1 Tim. 2:13).[42]”

but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me…[43]

When God saves the race of Israel, the descendants of Jacob as a people, they will not be boasting in themselves, as a people.  We know from prophecy that they will boast in the God of their people, their Savior, their God, the faithful One.   "In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory." (Isa 45:25 ESV) “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off’; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you." Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge, new, sharp, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff; you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the LORD; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.”(Isa 41:8-16 ESV) They will urging people to praise the LORD, not themselves, “Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity. Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive. Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, "Amen!" Praise the LORD! “(Psa 106:43-48 ESV)  “Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! “(Psa 117:1-2 ESV)

Israel will be praising her God, His righteousness, His faithfulness, His plan.  Why don’t we do so as well? We get to know what will happen before it happens, and we know that what He said will happen will happen exactly as He said it would, and to the people to whom He promised it.  Why don’t we start praising Him for His certain future work of fulfilling His promises to Israel now? Christ graciously welcomed His elect individual Gentiles and Jews into the church, will the church not welcome God’s elect race of Israel?  Will the Church mourn because God will keep His promises to a people as an ethnicity? Should not elect Gentles glorify God with elect Israel? “" And again it is said, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people." And again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, "Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.and 'let all the peoples extol him." And again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Rom 15:4-13 ESV)

 “Rejoice, O nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people.”(Deut 32:43)

[1] Charles Lee Feinberg, Israel in the Spotlight(Chigaco, IL; Moody Press; Revised edition, 1975, 100.

[2] Sproul Jr. Blog article:  Is the model for the church’s worship today the temple or the Jewish synagogue?

[3] Ronald E. Diprose, Israel and the Church: The Origin and Effects of Replacement Theology(Waynesboro, GA; Authentic Media, 2004), 135.

[4] - Jon Zens as quoted in: Kenneth Good, Are Baptists Reformed? (Regular Baptist Heritage Fellowship, 1986)pg 127

[5] Owen on the Epistle to the Hebrews vs. 18-22

[6] Owen – on the Epistle to the Hebrews 9 vs. 18-22

[7] Renald E. Showers, There Really is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology(Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Ninth Printing 2005),.21.

[8] Charles L. Feinberg, Millennialism: the two major views(Winona Lake, IN; BMH Books, June 1, 1985,84.

[9]Irv  Busenitz?

[10] The Life of Arthur Pink by Iian Murray

[11] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kregel Publications, 1993).

[12] Horatius Bonar

[13] Charles Spurgeon

[14] Martin Luther

[15]Type:  a person, thing, or event that represents or symbolizes another, esp. another that it is thought will appear later; symbol; token; sign -

[16] R. C. Sproul Jr. in a  Blog article:  Is the model for the church’s worship today the temple or the Jewish synagogue?

[17] Michael J. Vlach, Has the Church Replaced Israel? A Theological Evaluation(Nashville, Tennessee; B&H Publishing Group, 2010),105.

[18] Paraphrase of a quote by Terry Bookman, quoted in appendix of the book by Ronald E. Diprose, Israel and the Church: The Origin and Effects of Replacement Theology(Waynesboro, GA; Authentic Media, 2004),185.

[19] Horatius Bonar

[20] Charles L. Feinberg, Millennialism: the two major views(Winona Lake, IN; BMH Books, June 1, 1985, 37-38.

[21] Busenitz

[22]Bishop Smallbrook, as quoted in a letter by a Jew known as ‘Dea’:   Dea’s Letters(A Jewish Perspective of the New Testament)

[23] Mathew Henry

[24] Charles L. Feinberg, Millennialism: the two major views(Winona Lake, IN; BMH Books, June 1, 1985,74.

[25] From  Dea’s Letters(A Jewish Perspective of the New Testament)

[26] Charles L. Feinberg, Millennialism: the two major views(Winona Lake, IN; BMH Books, June 1, 1985, 42-43.

[27] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kregel Publications, 1993)

[28] George MacDonald

[29] Vlach 172.

[30] Bonar

[31] From the Preface to Horatius Bonar's "Prophetical Landmarks"

[32] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kregel Publications, 1993)

[33] Romans 11:20

[34] Berkauwer

[35] Charles Lee Feinberg, Israel in the Spotlight(Chigaco, IL; Moody Press; Revised edition, 1975, 100, 93

[36] James T. McClarty, Is The Church Israel?(Printed in the United States of America; James T. McClarty, 2004),54 .   This book can read online at

[37] John Macarthur

[38] James T. McClarty, Is The Church Israel?(Printed in the United States of America; James T. McClarty, 2004)53 .   This book can read online at

[39] Jeremiah 32:27

[40] Horatius Bonar

[41] Bonar

[42] James T. McClarty, Is The Church Israel?(Printed in the United States of America; James T. McClarty, 2004) 104-105.   This book can read online at

[43] Jeremiah 9:24

Scripture quotations marked 'ESV' are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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