Ethnic Judah, the Jewish State of Israel, is not a body of God's people in addition to the Church, as if God had two separate bodies of saints. The non-Christian Jewish people, are not at present a people of God at all.
On the other hand, God is not forever done with them, and does not treat or view the ethnic, unbelieving Jews, as He does all other ungodly peoples. He treats them much more severely, because they have the Law and the Prophets, while rejecting the Messiah. Yet at the end of this age, God will take some of the Jews and bring them into the one Body of Christ, with subsequent special blessings to them and their children for one thousand years.
We can view true believers as Israel while not supporting Replacement Theology.
Pre-tribbers making this accusation, do so to protect their Two People, Two Promises position, vital for supporting their pre-trib rapture theory. That is: when God’s holy people are depicted in the Bible as living on earth during the final Week, pre-tribbers must see them as ethnic Israel, rather than Church saints. Why? In order to believe that Church saints are not on earth during the Week. Thus, they wrongly proclaim two separate bodies of saints, and that each one is treated differently according to their different dispensations. So now you know why pre-tribbers invented yet another error, their Dispensation Theology: to accommodate the TP-TP view.
It is not enough for pre-tribbers to prove what we already know, that the Jewish people will be dealt with by God in the final Week, and that Jesus will then set up a Kingdom of Israel on earth that He will rule for 1000 years. That being true, it doesn't make the ethnic Jews a Body of God's people between the Crucifixion and the Return of Jesus. Jews not joining the Church by faith in Jesus, are not to be viewed as a second Body of God, and ethnic Jews destined to be saved are now and will be, incorporated into the one Body of God: the true Christian Church.
I do not espouse Replacement Theology, because I acknowledge that God still has plans for ethnic Israel. According to numerous prophesies, the overall Plan will first begin with God's wrath against the Jews, which plainly shows they are not saints or the elect, as pre-tribbers wrongly maintain and it is only a remnant who will change. Now, for pointing out this forthcoming judgement/punishment of Judah, Ezekiel 21:1-8, Amos 2:4-5, the pre-tribbers will accuse me, for being anti-Semitic, a false and extremely unchristian accusation!
The wrong and unscriptural belief in a rapture removal to heaven before the wrath of God comes, teaches the Christian people not to prepare for life in the last few years of this age, so the rapture lie will be responsible for much suffering in the Church.
Do not be deceived. God did not "replace" Israel with the Church, but Old-Testament Israel and the New-Testament Church are one, and have always been one. It was the leadership of Israel that was replaced at the Cross, given to the Apostles when taken away from the Sanhedrin/Pharisees, but this in no way means that Jesus started a new Body called the "Church." Old-Testament Israel was the Church, Acts 7:38
Indeed, the "church of Israel" is a phrase found throughout the Old Testament...over a hundred times...but usually translated into our English Bibles as "congregation or assembly of Israel"
The simple and obvious truth, is that the Christian Church is the one, true Israel of God and they remain on earth to fulfil their God given tasks and destiny.
It seems plain to me from the words of Jesus that salvation is of the Jews John 4:22 Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this mean that we can't be saved unless we enter into and partake of the Body of Israel? Not the body of mere ethnic Jews, but the Body of Elect Jews that was renewed by the Blood and subsequently continued forward by the 12 Apostles in submission to Jesus.
Pre-tribulationists tell us that God rejected ethnic Israel at the Crucifixion, and placed her on freeze so as to place emphasis on the Church and "Church age" instead, then until the 70th Week, at which time He would again focus solely on Israel.
As this Old Testament Church was eventually cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb when that Lamb appeared in a flesh body, it's clear that the ancient Israel of God became the New Testament Church, and did not replace it. Same Body, yet cleansed by Blood and Grace. Same Israel, but with a New Covenant:
I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers...which they broke... Jeremiah 31:31-32
Clearly, the New Covenant in the Blood was made for no other Body of God but for the Old Testament Israel, to renew her, not to replace her with a second Body called the "Church." And certainly the New Covenant was not given to Old Testament Israel to temporarily reject or suspend her in limbo until the 70th Week, but was provided to make Her alive and active immediately via the authority and teachings of the 12 Apostles.
The curtain of the Temple was torn by God at the Crucifixion, not because God had rejected sinful Israel, but because the New Covenant was then in force. If God had rejected sinful Israel, He would not have provided the Second Covenant for her. Yes, God rejected some of the Jews in sinful Israel, but he took a portion of them and provided them with the Blood. That Portion, still called the "Church" or "Elect" as in Old-Testament times, does not therefore become a second Body of God's people, but the original Body refurbished, renovated, repaired, renewed, recast, recovered, redeemed, perhaps even remodeled...but not replaced! Jesus died so that Old-Testament Israel could bloom into the Christian Church! Something has got to be markedly wrong with a theology that views Israel as being rejected and shelved at the Cross when the very essence of the Cross is a new beginning for Israel.
The rejected Jews were no better in the eyes of Jesus than the condemned heathen, and have been tolerated only for God's Promise to their bloodline father, Abraham; for no other reason will the bloodline Remnant of the end times be saved. Romans 11:28-29 So that God's Name might not be associated with those who break promises.
When the Temple and city of Jerusalem were destroyed in 70 AD, God was not rejecting Israel, but only those Jews who had distanced themselves from true Israel. Pre-tribbers wish to view that Israel as a blessed thing, when in fact they were an anti-Jesus people that God judged and punished. Pre-tribbers then teach according to their view, that God will deal kindly with Jesus rejecting Israel in the 70th Week, when the reality is to the contrary.
Not only has God disgraced the bloodline Jews for over 1900 years, allowing the many pogroms and the Holocaust but the 70th Week is allotted for yet more of God’s wrath upon them. This is not the same as a father discipling a son hard for gross misbehavior, but rather is an eradication of the entire pride and structure of an Arch Enemy. Not until after the 70 Weeks, says Daniel 9:24, will a remnant, after God’s judgement be consecrated to God, for after Jesus Returns, even the stiff-necked Jews will respect Him.
If the Christian Church is at times painted in Scripture with Israelite colors, as She is in 1 Peter 2:9-10, it should come as no surprise. The same occurs in Revelation 12, where the glorious "woman" there is Israel, both the Old-Testament Israel that (figuratively speaking) gave birth to Jesus, and the New-Testament Israel that, according to 12:11 and 12:17, is the Christian Church. No bloodline Jews are ever mentioned in Revelation 12, whereas Christians are, yet pre-tribulationists insist that the Woman is solely bloodline Israel. Too many post-tribulationists have not concerned themselves enough to disagree with this erroneous view, not realizing the importance, perhaps, of the prophecy as it proves the Church's endurance of the great tribulation.
The apostle Paul says: that bloodline Jews are experiencing a hardening of heart, due to their rejection of Messiah, until the full number of Gentile saints comes to salvation. Romans 11:17-25 But how can the full number of Gentile saints fulfill Paul's words at the start of the 70th Week? Preposterous. For, many Gentiles will come to Christ during the Week.
Dispensationalism was invented by pre-tribbers to end the "Church age" at the start of the 70th Week. To support that ludicrous idea, pre-tribbers call Christians living in the 70th Week by a name other than "Church"...by a concocted phrase -- "Tribulation Saints" -- that doesn't, as a title, appear in the Bible.
I do not know of one scripture supporting the blessing of bloodline Israel (i.e. the Remnant of bloodline Israel) within the 70th Week. All scriptures I have read in this regard point to a post-tribulation salvation for the Remnant. In fact, Jesus said that the ethnic Jews will not be helped and saved until they say, "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord" (Matthew 23:39). Zechariah 12:10 reveals that time as a post-trib' one, when the Jews will see Jesus with their very eyes.
While this discussion may appear overdone, redundant, or even trivial, I assure you that I am going somewhere quite important, creating a foundation for the claim that the Church is slated to receive divine Protection during the 1260-day Great Tribulation period. Again, it is very convenient for pre-tribulationists to have a two-Body view because it acts as recourse for eliminating the Church from the tribulation period whenever she is found there depicted with Israelite colors.
Because the Israelite Woman of Revelation 12 is living within the tribulation period, pre-tribulationists resort to changing her identity to bloodline Israel. But any Biblical symbol of Israel in the tribulation period cannot include bloodline Jews, for they are no longer Jews in the eyes of God. They are Jews only in the eyes of man, for the Bible teaches that a Jew in the eyes of God is one only in the Spirit.
There is undeniable Biblical support for the idea that non-Jewish Christians are citizens of God's Israel. They are Jews in a very real sense, by the Spirit. Since the Spirit counts for more than blood, Gentile saints are Israelites more than the Jews who are such by blood but not through the King of the Jews. Paul, a Jew who once held a lofty position in the "synagogue of Satan," maintained this very principle without any gray area at all when he became a citizen of Christ's Israel: "A Jew is not one outwardly, but is a Jew in the hidden parts [of the spirit]..." (Romans 2:28,29). In other words, Israelites are Israelites only if they are part of the elect Christian Church.
Just as the Law of Moses demanded that any Jew who grievously disobeyed it was to be cut off from the Israel, so also any Jew who rejects the word of God through Jesus shall be cut off. In fact, if rejecting Moses cut them off, rejecting Jesus will cut them off with so much more finality. This leads to the radical Christian position which we must uphold, to the discredit of the bloodline Jews. But NEVER must we persecute the bloodline Jews; this must be left to wicked powers chosen by God.
Thus, while Jews of Old-Testament times were born into the Israel of God from their natural births, a Jew in New-Testament times has to be born into the Israel of God by an another, second birth. If a person born into Abraham's stock by their natural birth now rebels against Jesus and does not become born again in the Spirit, such a one would not technically be cut off from Israel, because such a person would never have been a part of Israel in the first place. And so the means by becoming an Israelite citizen has changed, but this does not require a new Israel.
Peter said, while repeating Moses: And it shall be that every soul which does not listen to that prophet [Messiah] will be utterly destroyed from the people. Acts 3:23 Thus, the Old-Testament Jews (e.g. the 12 Apostles prior to the Crucifixion) who did devote themselves to "that prophet" simply retained their citizenship in Israel.
Do we Gentile Christians become citizens of Israel only when the Millennial Kingdom begins on earth? Do we consider our birth by blood to hold more priority than our re-birth by the Spirit? When we were born again in the Spirit, we were born into the Israel of God. So let's not view things from the natural perspective only since there exists the superior position of the Spirit.
Try reading Revelation 12 by viewing the Woman as the one Israel of God covering both Covenants, and we can see why it's Christians that are called her "offspring" in verse 17. This picture is no different than Paul's picture of the tree of Israel with its Christian "branches" (Romans 11), where Jews who do not put on Christ are branches that fall off the Tree. Yes, this woman of Revelation 12 is that same tree of Israel with Gentile saints grafted in; she is the "all Israel" mentioned by Paul, both the bloodline Jews in Christ, and the Gentiles-come-Jews in Christ.
We cannot separate the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of God; both are glued together forever and can forever be viewed as one. One is the Kingdom of Heaven which exists with or without the earth, having also a Heavenly Throne. The other is the Kingdom of God on earth. The first has always existed, but the second, having been Proclaimed, is still in the process of being built, and will be established finally, with an earthly throne, at the Return. The earthly kingdom, convened by Christ, the wonderful God-man, is the kingdom of Israel. After Armageddon, the eternal Kingdom of Heaven will merge with the Kingdom of Israel, to be thus formally married when God comes to live with mankind. The two kingdoms of God will then be, forever more, one Kingdom, over all the earth, over all the universe, yet ruling from...the United States? From Rome?? No - Jerusalem!
Dare we divide the Kingdom on earth into two distinct nations? That is what pre-tribulationists are infamous for, making two of everything: two Bodies of God; two parts to the Christian Church, two returns of Jesus, two angelic gatherings of the Elect, two Judgment Seats, not to mention two "first resurrections" of saints and two "last trumpets"--and all for being able to apply the Bible to their pre-tribulation rapture theory whenever the singular reading goes counter to their claims.
When Paul wrote to Christians in Rome, some of whom were Jews, he revealed the existence of two Israel's in one sentence while rejecting one of them as such: Not all the ones of Israel are Israel... Romans 9:6 There you have it; two distinct Israel's in one statement. The first represents the Israelites by blood alone, but Paul says this Israel is not Israel at all! Clearly, then, he calls the one, "Israel," whom he believes is not Israel, which can only mean he retains the use of the term only to identify the bloodline of Abraham, not to define it. He goes on to say, "...nor because they are the seed of Abraham are they all his children."
"It is not [Abraham's] children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise [made to Abraham]" (vs 8).
This proves that Christians are now the only Israel of God.
The writer of Hebrews confirms that one House of Israel covers two covenants:
"Moses on the one hand was faithful in all His household [singular, not plural]...Christ on the other hand is a Son over His [same] household; of whom we [Christians] are [now] the household. Hebrews 3:5,6
Can there be any doubt that the Old Testament Body and the New Testament Body are one and the same Household? In Acts 7:38, within a few weeks of Christ's ascension to Heaven, Stephen calls the Israel of very early Old-Testament times, "the church:"
"[Moses] is the one who had been in the church in the desert with the angel speaking to him on Mount Sinai..."
Do you see how "church" is not exclusively the New Testament Church? See how Stephen viewed the Christian people as an integral part of the old Church of Israel? "Church" used in New-Testament times was a Greek short-form for "Church of Israel" to distinguish from the nation of bloodline Israel. The Elect Jews of New-Testament times were not often called "Israel" by the early leaders of Christianity because there existed the bloodline Israel with geographical borders known to all the world as "Israel." To eliminate confusion, the leaders referred to the true Israel as "the church."
Although the Pharisees and their successors thought that they and their membership were the Church of Israel, Jesus had a few interesting words to say to the contrary, calling this camp the "synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2:9; 3:9). Therefore, let no Christian call that camp "Israel" as a matter of Heavenly fact. My use of "bloodline Jews" is a special effort here not to use "Israel" to describe them, although I do use "Israel" elsewhere where this chapter's issue is not central.
The fact that Gentile Christians eventually outnumbered the Elect Jews does not make the Christian Church any less the Israel of God, nor does it make the Leader of that Church any less the King of Israel. The term "Christian," applying to Gentile believers as much as to Jewish believers, refers to Christ, the King of Israel. If you are a Christian, you are a literal Israelite. If you do not want to be an Israelite, I doubt that you are a Book-of-Life Christian, for you show animosity toward the King of Israel.
Could all this mean that the Israel of Revelation 12, when she is seen in the end-times, is the Christian Church alone? Shudder! Cold and clammy goose bumps all over pre-tribulationists.
All the Elect from Adam to the Christian Church to the very advent of the New Earth are the ONE Israel of God -- this is the Israel which is the woman of Revelation 12.
Just as Christianity did not emerge from the Israeli nation governed by the Pharisees under Caiaphas, so also the woman of Revelation 12, which is shown "giving birth" to the Christian Church, is not that bloodline Israel. There were chosen people amid the Old-Testament "chosen people," a holy, true and Elect Israel amid the Old-Testament "House of Israel." It is this holy Israel of God which figuratively gives birth to Jesus Christ in Revelation 12.
Jesus told the Jewish leaders that the kingdom of Israel would be taken away from them and given to others. It is unthinkable, therefore, that God would portray the Pharisaic Israel as He portrays the Revelation-12 Israel, for the one group was stripped of it's authority and handed to Satan, while the other radiates with 12 crowns of Godly rulership. Thus, these "others" to which Jesus would give the kingdom would go on to be the New-Testament segment of the Revelation-12 woman. Behold, she does not die giving birth to Jesus, as she is found much later in the great-tribulation period, wherefore she must also be the New-Testament Israel.
Are the bloodline Jews now ruling the geographical nation of Israel still Pharisees? Somewhat, for Orthodox Jews, the Pharisees of the modern age, hold some power in Palestine. Yet the current rulers are more the secular/liberal puppets of the Rothschild Illuminati (the State of Israel was made possible by the powers of the House of Rothschild). However, God will make the land of Israel his own by taking power away from these bloodline Jews whom He has rejected, and He will instead plant Spirit-filled Israel in it (yes, Christians) to rule for 1,000 years (Revelation 5:10 and 20:6). I reason that the Christian Elect will then, rule not only in Zion, but worldwide so that the entire planet will be the Empire of Israel.
Some of the citizens of Millennial Zion will be the bloodline Jews destined to be born (again) into Israel at the Armageddon appearance of Jesus: "THEY WILL LOOK ON ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED, AND THEY WILL MOURN FOR HIM, AS ONE MOURNS FOR AN ONLY SON, AND WILL GRIEVE OVER HIM, LIKE THE GRIEF OVER A FIRST-BORN" Zechariah 12:10
When Paul likened the Christ-rejecting Jews to branches (r)ejected from the Tree of Israel, he said that "God is able to graft them in again. Romans 11:23 After the great tribulation, and not until, God will do just that. But because Paul shows the bloodline Jews RE-grafted into the same tree that holds Gentile branches, it is made plain that they are re-grafted into the Israel that is now the Christian Church. There will be no other place to re-graft them but into the Bride of Christ, for God will remove geographical Israel...yes, modern Zionism...with great desolation because the time will have arrived to plant the true Israel there instead.
THE WOMAN AND THE NEW JERUSALEM
We do know that just as the Church of God is called "the bride of [Christ]" (Rev. 19:7), so also the New Jerusalem is called "the bride, the wife of the Lamb" (21:9). This compels us to view the City as a symbolic depiction of the Church, although there is evidence to the contrary.
As the City is "as a bride adorned for her Husband" (21:2), it becomes significant to this discussion because the woman of Revelation 12 is adorned with some very illustrious terms, not to mention that she, too, appears as the wife of God. It is no wonder, since the Woman represents the people for whom the New Jerusalem is built. How we can fail to view the Woman in this light is perplexing, but to confine her to bloodline Israel, most of which is destined for great wrath, is to miss the mark completely.
The only people permitted into the City are "the ones written in the Lamb's Book of Life" (21:27). Therefore, it is clear: the Spirit-filled nation of Israel--"all Israel"...the one Household from all time--is the only people which will walk in and out of the New-Jerusalem gates. The illustrious Woman of Revelation 12 must depict this same Israel, and nothing less...all the people written in the Book of Life.
We see that in the New Jerusalem, God will be its "sun," and Christ will be its "lamp/moon" (21:23), while we already know from other texts that saints are regarded as stars. Therefore, while the sun, moon and 12 stars highlighting the Woman in her glory may refer to Jacob, Rachel and their 12 sons, they would also correspond to the Father, Son, and 12 apostles, even as the New Jerusalem includes acclaim for both, the 12 tribes of Jacob in the City's foundations, and the 12 apostles in the City's walls.
But please, let one thing be certain in your mind: the Woman present in the great-tribulation cannot depict the modern nation of Israel pitted with Pharisaic orthodoxy, swelled with liberal Reformism, pervaded by secular Westernism, and destined for unparalleled devastation by the Lord. Jeremiah 10:18, Isaiah 22:14, Zechariah 13:8-9
The worldly nation of Israel was depicted time and time again in the Old Testament as an adulteress, and the bloodline Israelites of New Testament times are depicted in no better light. Jesus said they are ...the ones calling themselves Jews, but they are not, but of the synagogue of Satan. Revelation 2:9 One chapter later in 3:9, he reiterates: "The ones calling themselves Jews, and they are not, for they lie. Therefore, if in chapters 2 and 3 Jesus labels the worldly nation of Israel as a church under Satan not to be identified as the true Church of Israel, how could this same Jesus portray this same Israel to the absolute contrary only a few pages later in chapter 12, where she is clothed in apparel that displays Godly glory:
"A great sign was seen in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon underneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars..."
Clearly, with a crown on her head, she is destined for eternal rule in the Kingdom of God. She cannot therefore depict the current leaders of Israel who will be denied further rulership as of the Great Tribulation.
Didn't Jesus tell his Apostles that they each would have a throne? Wouldn't the 12 Apostles, therefore, be the 12 stars in her crown? But pre-tribulationists insist that the 12 stars are solely the 12 sons of Jacob. Are not the 12 sons of Jacob the forerunners of the 12 Apostles, and is not a Biblical forerunner in the Old Testament always inferior to the New-Testament fulfillment? But pre-tribulationists would loath to so much as entertain the 12 stars as the 12 Apostles because the Woman would then appear too much like the Christian Church. But shame on the pre-tribulationists for disguising the true identity of this glorious Woman!