This is my site. I'm basically a Christian, Husband, Father, Neighbor and in that order. I'm a thinker, how well I do at it is for others to decide. I drive a truck delivering gas for a living and spend most of my time listening to downloaded audio on my favorite subjects. It is mostly these that spark my articles here.

Dec 252010

Mark 13:28  KJV  ”Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:”

This is an almost exact, word for word parallel with Mathew 24:32 in the KJV.

The last parallel is:  Luke 21:29-30 KJV  “And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

Any commentary on any of these three should tell us the same things on the issues presented.  Lets see what some highly respected premillennial, dispensational theologians have had to say about it.  That’s all this is.  Just did some quote mining, but in context.

“[Hal] Lindsey taught that within a generation (a generation equals forty years) of Israel’s becoming a nation again, the Lord would return (Late Great Planet, p. 43). This was based upon his interpretation that the fig tree in Matthew 24:32 is a symbol for the reconstitution of Israel as a nation. Thus, the generation (Mtt. 24:34) that saw Israel become a nation would also see the Second Coming. Since Israel became a nation in 1948, many believe that Lindsey implied Christ’s return would occur by 1988. . . . none of Lindsey’s mentors agreed with his view.”  Thomas Ice

“Such an interpretation, coupled with tendencies to ‘date-set’ have led to numerous problems. The issue mainly concerns interpretation (hermeneutics, the rules by which we interpret Scripture.) Although a fig tree is associated with teaching concerning Israel in numerous contexts (e.g., Hos. 9:10; Mtt. 21:19; Mark 11:13; Luke 13:6), the focus of these passages is on using the fig tree as an illustration rather than an identifier for Israel. And so it is here. This can be seen by evaluating the meaning of the fig tree in terms of the immediate context. (As an aside, the immediate context is perhaps the most important element in determining authorial intent.) When we look at the larger passage, we see that Jesus is using the fig tree as an analogy, not for Israel, but for the principle that its leaves are a sign that summer is near. Similarly, “when you see all these things, know that it is near” (Mtt. 24:33). When they see what things? The various signs and events that Jesus has just described in the preceding verses. Thus, the fig tree is an analogy which teaches how those at that time will know that the Second Coming is near. To couple it specifically to indicating the rebirth of Israel goes beyond what can be supported by the context.”  Tony Garland, Th.M., Th.D.

Source for above quotes.

“A very popular interpretation of this passage considers the fig tree as a type, or illustration, of Israel. According to this view, the fact that Israel in the twentieth century is back in the land constitutes a budding of the fig tree, and may be taken as conclusive proof that the Lord’s return is near.”

“Actually, while the fig tree could be an apt illustration of Israel, it is not so used in the Bible. In Jeremiah 24:1-8, good and bad figs illustrate Israel in the captivity, and there is also mention of figs in 29:17. The reference to the fig tree in Judges 9:10-11 is obviously not Israel. Neither the reference in Matthew 21:18-20 nor that in Mark 11:12-14 with its interpretation in 11:20-26, gives any indication that it is referring to Israel, any more than the mountain referred to in the passage. Accordingly, while this interpretation is held by many, there is no clear scriptural warrant.

A better interpretation is that Christ was using a natural illustration. Because the fig tree brings forth new leaves late in the spring, the budding of the leaves is evidence that summer is near. In a similar way, when those living in the great tribulation see the signs predicted, they will know that the second coming of Christ is near. The signs in this passage, accordingly, are not the revival of Israel, but the great tribulation itself. Lenski, accordingly, is correct when he states that “all these things” mentioned in Matthew 24:33 refer to the preceding context.That Israel’s presence in the holy land is a dramatic evidence that the age is approaching its end may be supported by other passages, but this is not the point here.”

Commentary on Mathew, “Thy Kingdom Come”, by John F Walvoord; ISBN 825439698

“The first of these parables, the lesson of the fig tree illustration, is a widely noted passage. For example, my good friend Hal Lindsey teaches that the fig tree represents Israel,…”

“I agree with so much of what Hal teaches in the area of Bible prophecy, but on this particular passage I have to disagree with him, even though I used to hold this view myself in the early  70s. I held the view then because the most influential book upon me at the time concerning Bible prophecy was Hal’s Late Great Planet Earth. (I still believe that Late Great is an excellent book to introduce people to Bible prophecy and recommend it.) I tend to agree that the fig tree is some times used as a symbol for national Israel (see Judges 9:10–11; Jer. 8:13; Hosea 9:10; Hab. 3:17; Hag. 2:19; Matt. 21:19; Mark 11:13, 20–21; Luke 13:6–7). However, whether or not the “fig tree” is a symbol for Israel is not what a proper understanding of this passage turns upon. I think that is a non-issue when it comes to interpreting this passage. I also agree with Hal that the establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948 is prophetically significant and indicates that we are likely near the beginning of the tribulation, but I don’t think that the parable of the fig tree is support for such a view.  The basic problem with Hal’s view is that he takes the parable of Jesus and turns this illustration into a prophecy. Christ is simply illustrating that when one sees a fig tree (In Luke’s version of the same treaties Christ says in 21:29, “Behold the fig tree and all the trees.”) begin to put on leaves (in the spring), then you know that the next season is approaching (summer). Christ then concludes, “even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Thus, in the context, our Lord does not put an emphasis upon Israel as a symbol. He is saying that when you see the events of the seven-year tribulation take place then you know that His second advent is near.  Hal and other who hold that view have taken Christ’s illustration, which was meant to demonstrate a point about verses 4 through 31, and created a prophecy out of thin air, which does not even exist. The prophecy that Hal has created is that Christ’s coming will occur 40 years after the founding of the modern state of Israel. Christ’s illustration was not intended to be a prophecy about anything; it is an illustration about the preceding context. It should be clear by now that such a view is wrong, especially since we are over 15 years beyond his 40-year prediction. Therefore, it does not matter how long a generation is, since the events of 4 through 31 will take place within a seven-year period. That generation that sees the events of the seven-year tribulation will not pass away (in other words, it will not take hundreds of years or a long time) until Christ’s second coming (see 24:33). This first parable drives home the point through illustration what Christ said in 24:29–30: “But immediately after the tribulation of those days . . . they will see the Son of Man coming.”

An Interpretation of Mathew 24-25 Part XXX,  by Thomas Ice

“Much confusion has resulted from many well-meaning people trying to identify the ‘generation [that] will not pass away until all these take place’ (Matthew 24:34). Some start this generation at verse 31 and believe that it’s talking about the generation beginning at the time Israel became a nation in 1948. The passage of time, of course, has disproved that idea. It’s better to interpret this verse in its context: that is, the generation that sees the events of the Tribulation will also see the coming of Christ and the other events leading to the end of the age. This avoids harmful speculations about the future, for no man knows the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36)”

“Charting the End Times”,  Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, page 37

Note:  this would be a change for LaHaye as just a couple of years before he implied the opposite in his book with Jerry Jenkins “Are We Living in the Last Days” on pages 56 and 57.  But maybe he didn’t write either of these statements as they could have been written by his partners.  I’ve heard that excuse from LaHaye’s camp before, however he signed his name to the books.

”Some have said that the budding of the fig tree speaks of the re-establishment of Israel as a nation (1948), seeing it as a precursor of Christ’s return. Several things work stronglyagainst that interpretation:

•Nowhere does Matthew 24–25 speak of Israel’s return to Palestine. In fact we do not find Israel’s return anywhere in Matthew’s gospel.  Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, in its flow of future historical events, has moved beyond Israel’s return portraying the Jews already in the land.

•Furthermore, Luke says in his parallel account “look at the fig tree, and all the trees” (21:29). Not just one tree is in view, but many. Thus Christ refers to trees in general and what they do in the spring, not to a particular fig tree that pictures Israel.

•In Matthew 24, the budding fig tree, rather than picturing Israel, depicts eleven signs that Jesus reveals in 24:4–24. Nine begin to occur in the first half of the Tribulation and two more appear in the second half.

Thus what we see unfolding is that as new leaves each spring signal the return of summer, so the signs Christ reveals will signal His return.”

The Parable of the Fig Tree Matthew 24:32-36”, by George E. Meisinger dean of Chafer Theological Seminary

“Many people believe the fig tree in Matthew 24:32 is Israel. They say the bursting forth of leaves represents the beginning of Israel’s statehood in 1948. However, there’s no way the disciples would have perceived His teaching that way. Remember that Jesus was teaching the parable to make things clear to them. For the new growth on the tree to refer to what happened in 1948 would be too obscure.

It’s not logically consistent to conclude that the life pulsing through the fig tree refers to the statehood of Israel.”  John MacArthur

From the audio series, “Signs of Christ’s Return; The Imminence of Christ’s Return”  audio tape # GC 2372, available at 1-800-55-GRACE

“It is doubtless true that the fig tree represents in other Scriptures the nation Israel,… but there is no occasion for this meaning to be sought in the present use of that symbol.”  ie. in Mat 24:32

Systematic Theology Vols 5&6” by Louis Sperry Chafer, Kregel Publications & Dallas Theological Seminary, 1976, pg. 127

“Luke expanded the imagery, quoting “Look at the fig tree and all the trees” (Luke 21:29).  Thus Christ was not calling attention to just the fig tree itself (as though the fig tree represented the nation of Israel, as has been quite commonly inferred).  Rather, Christ was calling attention to a truth that was pictured by something that characterizes all trees.”

“It is an Improper interpretation of this parable to insist that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel and that the budding of the fig tree represents the reinstitution of the national life of that people in 1948.”

The parables of Jesus: lessons in life from the Master Teacher”, by J. Dwight Pentecost, Kregel Publications, 1982, pp. 140&141

Well, it seems like some pretty big heads don’t think this fig tree parable is talking about Israel in 1948 or some would say at any time.  Remember these are ALLpremillennial, dispensational theologians.  Many are founders, presidents, or deans of prestigious seminaries.  There are many more from these men and others in the same camp.

Many times while gathering these quotes I noticed the authors would say that the bible indeed predicted 1948 but none say where, and all say not in this passage.  Smells like an unfounded presupposition to me.

Dec 092010

How many times have you heard someone say something about creating our own reality or destiny?  You know, “reality is what we make it,” or “don’t you know, we create our own destiny.”  I cringe a bit when I hear that these days.  Sure there is a bit of truth in the clichés but it’s a tiny bit.  If taken to heart and lived by those clichés can lead to disaster.  They definitely lead to a misunderstanding of how the universe REALY IS.

Fist lets look at the claims.  I’ll use reality and destiny and universe in the examples but the ideas are interchangeable.

1.  I make my own reality.

2.  I make my own destiny.

”I make” is the same as saying “I create.”  That’s pretty simple.  “My” means it belongs to me or, it is part of the universe I live in and I’m responsible for it, or have control of it etc….  By stating that it’s “mine”  I’m either stating that it is not yours or that I created part of your universe as well, or that even you are my creation.  Here is where things get twisted up.  If I create my universe (reality and destiny,) then you have no power over it and therefore, you can’t create anything in it I don’t want, even though your in it and I claim you can do the same as me.  Now we have a creative power struggle over the universe.  Unless of course, we each have our own universe and there is no one else “really” in it that we didn’t create or don’t control.  The only folks who think they escape this paradox is those who think nothing is really “real.”  But, they sometimes are fond of making the two claims above also.

So we can see right away how absurd the idea is.  But, is absurd all that it is?  “I make” assumes that, I am.  Not a problem for me, I think that I am, that is, that I exist.  When we combine “I Am” with “I create” and that thing we created is reality and destiny then,  we’re getting a bit close to declaring, “I am God?”  Call it what you will but something that creates reality and destiny is by definition a god even if that isn’t the noun you want to use.

The ways that people claim to escape claiming to be a god when they believe they create their own reality/destiny, are varied.  Usually though, it comes down to redefining what is real and what is destiny.  That’s fine too but then, what deep thing have they REALLY said in their claim if reality and destiny don’t REALLY mean what most people think (quite correctly) they mean?  That’s what I meant by the tiny bit of truth in the claims.  It’s so small that it renders the phrases rather un-spectacular, next to saying nothing almost.

How does this nonsense work itself out in the world and does it matter?  Well…, it varies.  Some just say things like that and move on like a lot of us and don’t really think about it.  Others outside of the Church live by it and think it works.  Just watch Oprah.  I’m not doubting the effects of “positive attitude” but man do some go overboard with it.  You get the same effects with goal setting, focus, hard work and follow through.  I didn’t need to buy anyone’s book or attend a seminar to know that.  Haven’t seen any of these folks stop murder or war yet.  So much for creating your own reality.  Maybe they like having tragedy in their reality, they must if they believe their mantras.  Surely some guru could have fixed it by now if it were possible to be done that way.  Or, maybe there is no tragedy in their world, just in the one the rest of us live in.  That is after all, an angle some of them take.  Nothing is really tragic or even bad so why change it….COP OUT when your creative, reality making  “power” doesn’t work.

However the Church has it’s own version of this.  It goes by many names but, “Word of Faith” is the most recognized.  Now again, don’t get me wrong, God can do anything he wants.  He frequently does it through the faith of believers in prayer and action.  The word of faith movement though actually puts the power of faith and words in our will.  We say the words in faith that have the power to bind God to do our will.

In either case (the Christian or non-Christian versions) when you can’t “create” the destiny or reality you want both sides see you as the problem.  You’re not “visualizing” it enough or some such nonsense.  You’re not praying hard enough.  You don’t have enough faith.  You didn’t follow the right formula.  What ever!  These excuses have had tragic results from depression to suicide among both camps, when someone doesn’t “create” what they want or in some cases need to survive.  “What?  It worked for me.”….The thought comes, “I’m a failure, forsaken, hopeless.”

If either side wants my money and attention (money does seem to be a big motivator in and out of the Church.)  Stop telling me, you created wealth or happiness, or you healed your headache or bunions.  Go create a reality in a hospice ward and clear it out!  Make a reality where the veteran grows back an arm or leg.  Empty a graveyard!  Right now in some little room some where in the world, there is a person plotting to change your reality and destiny.  Did you create him in your reality for your/our destiny?  If so, do us a favor and positive think him away.  Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.

There is a solution to all this.  Try realizing God is on the throne and created all destiny and reality.  The best you can do is try to figure that out and live by it.  You could start by stopping thinking you have that kind of power.

Jul 112010

destruction_of_templeWhen the Bible speaks of Israel, what does it mean?  Is it a land, an ethnic people, an individual person, a political nation, or a group of mixed ethnicity defined by God in scripture?  Which is it, or is it all of the above?  To some extent we could say Israel is all of the above, and we would be right.  This broad definition brings many problems to understanding scripture and thus the world in which we live.

Lets begin by reminding you of the informal fallacy of Equivocation (click the word for my article on it.)  It is obvious that in different contexts “Israel” can mean different things.  If it were not so, there wouldn’t be so many different things included in it’s definition.  Therefore, when we speak of Israel we should define in what sense we mean Israel i.e…define our terms.  Misunderstanding which definition is being used leads to many problems in doctrine and life.  “…all of Israel will be saved…” Romans 11:26.  Also, clearly the early church controversy over circumcision shows a problem with being saved if you are not “of Israel.”  Does being a “Jew” make you “of Israel” always in every context?  Beyond salvation we have eschatology (the study of last things.)  What role does “Israel” play in them?  Again you must define the term according to scripture and in context in order to know.  Doing that, we should then ask if the  political nation in the Middle East today called Israel fits that biblical definition of a place, land or people.

These are my three main concerns here.  Who is the “all Israel” who was to  be saved?  Who is Israel now?  And finally, is that country or it’s people biblically significant today?

1.  “All Israel”

First, who is this “all Israel” who would be saved according to Rom 11:26.  To answer this question we must go back a bit in Romans to see if Paul himself is using the term univocally and if he defines it.  Does he mean the exact same group of people each time he uses the term and if not how can we determine who he is speaking of with each use?  BTW I’ll not reproduce each verse in full in order to save space.  Get your bible out to follow along if you like.

Yep, Paul defines it, Rom 9:3-4 “…,my kinsmen according to the flesh.  They are Israelites,…”  So, we can safely say (with a little more study) that Paul defines Israelites as the physical descendants of Abraham.  Done deal?  Not so fast!  Just read on to vs.6 thru 13, “not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring,.”  Now we have a mess to figure out.  Is Paul self contradictory?  I think not!  The only option remaining answers my above question.  Paul does not mean the exact same group of people every time he uses the terms “Israel” and “children/offspring of Abraham.”  How do we figure out who is who?  Well first lets relabel them to make the distinctions clearer.  Thinking ahead I’ll call them “ethnic Israel” and “spiritual Israel.”  Label them however you want but you cannot logically deny that Paul is speaking of two different groups unless you think he (and thereby God) is irrational in vs. 3-13.

In Rom 9:8 Paul does not call all of ethnic Israel the children of God, but rather spiritual Israel are “counted as offspring.” Why is that? Paul answers in Rom 9:11 “that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call.” Then we are reminded in Rom 9:13 that even before they had opportunity to choose, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” That’s a choice God made without their volition, merit, choice or birthright. Paul has begun to establish a pattern here of God’s choice being preeminent, and not ethnicity in deciding who is “of Israel.”  Was not Esau descended from Abraham?  Yet he is not of Israel according to this implication by Paul.  Furthermore, here and elsewhere the old covenant rules of the firstborns right of inheritance don’t seem to apply when God has chosen according to his plan and purpose.

Now, lets look at Rom 9:25-26 because we see now that not only are some of ethnic Israel not “of Israel” but also that some Gentiles are now included in spiritual Israel.  “…they (faithful gentiles) will be called ‘sons of the living God.”  Notice we have now equated some non-Jews with the children of God from v.8.  There are children of promise in ethnic Israel and among the Gentiles.  Both are included in spiritual Israel.

There is much more here as regards the doctrines of grace, but I’m moving toward the olive tree and maintaining the given identities of these two Israels and where they came from. On to Rom 9:27, notice here that it is God who decided who will be included in spiritual Israel.  That is, only a remnant of ethnic Israel will be included in spiritual Israel.

Rom 10:1-4 “They,” ethnic, non-spiritual Israel, are ignorant, unsubmissive, unrighteous, self-righteous, and unbelieving. “everyone who believes” is spiritual Israel. Further in Rom 10:12, Paul tells us there is no ethnic distinction that matters to being sons of God (spiritual Israel.)

In Rom 10:14 Paul asks a question rhetorically.  If “they” ethnic Israel do not believe how are they to (or how can they) call on someone in whom they do not believe.  If they don’t believe or call on God, how can they be a part of the saved or spiritual Israel?

Rom 10:20-21 He (God) has been found by those (the chosen), and seen by the chosen who didn’t seek or ask…or choose. All these are spiritual Israel.  Now look at Rom 10:12-21 all the way through.  Some Gentiles are included in spiritual Israel and many/most of ethnic Israel are not!

Rom 11:1-2 First lets notice that Paul again affirms that he is of Israel in his ethnic heritage.  Does he do this to prove he is of spiritual Israel?  I don’t think so.  He does this to show that all of ethnic Israel has not been rejected.  The promised remnant will be saved.  Notice the “For” at the beginning of the third sentence.  It tells us he is about to give a reason that his statement in the previous sentence is true.  In short, God couldn’t have rejected “his people” because (for) I am one of them and I’m not rejected.  Next he shows us on what basis he was chosen from among ethnic Israel to be part of spiritual Israel.  That basis is God’s foreknowledge, not blood.

Rom 11:4-6 Here Paul establishes the idea of a remnant again.  This remnant is within ethnic Israel but it is not all of them.  How many is required for God to keep his promise of a “remnant” among ethnic Israel?  Here it is defined as 7000.  Now read Acts in the early parts where Peter was preaching to Jews (ethnic Israel.)  How many were saved?  More than this 7000 (by a long shot) which God called a remnant.  Lastly and again, it is of grace and not by blood or works.

Rom 11:7 Ethnic Israel failed, the elect (spiritual Israel within ethnic Israel) obtained. The rest of ethnic Israel were hardened.  The elect here is synonymous with the remnant.  All became or were spiritual Israel.

I think I have establish a difference between ethnic and spiritual Israel.  And that, not all of ethnic Israel is of spiritual Israel.  Rather, the chosen remnant of ethnic Israel and the chosen/elect of the Gentiles are included in spiritual Israel.

Okay, now lets see if we can find the “root” of spiritual Israel.  Do they share the same root with ethnic Israel?  My answer may surprise you.  Lets look through Rom 11:16-24 and see if we can find our answer.  We’ll need to define how some terms are used here for purposes of simple logic.

First of all we have the word “holy” in v. 16.  Holy can mean many things in context.  It can mean faithful believers by old or new covenant standards, does it in this passage?  I think not.  Notice that “if the root is holy, so are the branches.”  Now this is speaking of Jews as branches of the “holy” root.  Many think that the root is the fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or maybe just Abraham.  If they were holy then their offspring are as well, would be the conclusion.  However if holy here means faithful believers, then the wicked Jews were faithful believers just by their blood.  Didn’t we just cover this?  Holy must mean something else.  It regularly means set apart for special use.  This meaning would eliminate the necessity of the “branches” to be faithful believers and still be “holy.”  A thing can be separated for special use (holy) and not love or be loved by God.  The enemies of OT Israel who God ordained to take them captive were “holy” for this purpose, yet not loved by God.

Now I have them as  separated groups who are not necessarily all faithful believers, though all are separate. What separates them? A covenant, I think, and not a common ancestor.

The root is: A relationship of covenant made by God with any (individual or group) He chooses to make it with, for whatever purpose He chooses to make it and whatever stipulations He wants to put in it. All who are placed in a covenant with God are holy/separated “branches” of that root/covenant. This allows that the root is also holy/separate as it is a special/separate relationship God has made with its federates.  This covenant can be made for their benefit or to their detriment.

You can regularly read of non-Jews coming into this covenant relationship with God and becoming part of His covenant people.  Being a branch does not require blood ties to a blood root.  Lets not forget the “Hall of Faith” of Hebrews 11 names Rahab (the harlot and Gentile) from Jericho.  There are even Gentiles in Jesus’ lineage!  Blood is not necessary to be part of the covenant “people” of God ie. Israel!

As we saw in chapters 9 and 10, being “of Israel” (spiritual Israel) had nothing to do with blood!  I submit, neither does the root.  Old or New covenant matters not, as the root is more specifically the relationship.

Therefore, to be broken off means removed from covenant relationship. In other words removed from the Israel of God.  Of course only non-faithful, nonbelievers are removed. And, of course only faithful believers are left or grafted in. That is the nature of the NC relationship. “I will give them a new heart and cause them to walk in my statutes.” The branches of the two roots (holy and wild) were “natural” to their covenant relationship or lack thereof. Those natural branches of the holy root could be narrowed no more than to those of Israel that God was to be in covenant with. Which under the OC (I think) would probably mean: mostly ethnic Israel who practiced torah, including those of them who believed by faith in the promises. It could be slightly broader to include the “God fearers,” who practiced the OC torah along side them.  The natural branches of the “wild” tree would be Gentiles who had never been in a covenant relationship with God and no broader than to include descendants of “the fathers” who had long ago left the practice of old covenant torah, long a part of other religions or atheistic.

In conclusion of this part:  The “Israel of God” are all those God chooses to be in covenant relationship with.  This covenant is now known as the New Covenant.  Non-believing ethnic Jews are no longer the “Israel of God.”  They have not been replaced by any other group.  They simply didn’t transfer, with the promised remnant, into the NC or were not grafted back in, either by God’s choice, their choice or both depending on your soteriology.  (I think Rom 9 demonstrates well who’s choice it was as does all of scripture.)  And finally, the “all Israel” who will be saved Rom 11:26 is the remnant of ethnic Israel who were brought into the NC and were joined by the believing Gentiles to form spiritual Israel ie. the NC “the Israel of God.”  One group containing all the members of the NC, without distinction, neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, but one body in Christ.

2 and 3.  Israel Today or in the Future

Now that we have identified who “all Israel” is these questions become easier.  The “Israel of God” today is the Body of Christ, the Church Universal of the NC faith in the gospel of Jesus and His kingdom.  This new covenant and kingdom has no end according to scripture.  If this is what scripture speaks of when speaking of Israel prophetically then, non-believing Jews will never be the Israel of God again based (in any way) on a blood relationship to “the fathers.”  The OC is obsolete and will not be honored by God.  It was this old covenant that was replaced not the people.  They are wanted and welcome in it.  They must only believe.   There is no scriptural warrant to believe God will again shine on them because of their bloodline or traditional heritage.  They must come as we all do by faith into the NC.  There is only one way to God and that is through Christ.  When a “Jew” comes to Him he is not a Christian Jew with a special relationship because of blood.  He/she is one with the rest in Christ Jesus.

Israel (the country) today is just a historical name applied to a country founded in 1948 and Israelis are merely citizens of that country.  They will be blessed or cursed according to the NC as individuals and as a political nation and that alone.  As America we should treat them as any other nation.  Either ally, enemy or indifferent according to our national best interest and our moral and ethical standards in judgment of their conduct.

What connects that country or it’s people to scripture anyway today?  The genealogies were destroyed almost 2000 years ago.   This was commanded in the OC if they were to have an inheritance among God’s people “in the land.”  They no longer practice Torah, new or old covenant.  There hasn’t been a sacrifice or a temple to do it in since 70AD.  If they rebuilt it they could never find a Levite (high priest required for the sacrifices) as the genealogies are lost.  Even the Encyclopedia Judaica says one is a Jew today merely by choice and there are no racial distinctions that can be scientifically found and by all measures the are indistinguishable from most eastern Europeans or other Middle Eastern peoples.  Where would they get the ark of the covenant to place in the holy of holies, therefore no mercy seat.  No seat, no mercy?  Where would they find Aron’s staff or the jar of manna to put in it?  They could fake it all they want but would God honor a fraud?  Would he go back on his word that the NC is everlasting and “replace” it with the old?  Where in scripture do we find these two simultaneous paths to God?  None of this makes any logical or biblical sense.