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The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - Reaffirmation, Not Replacement - Part 4

For the next few weeks, we will be sharing with you some excerpts from my new book, When Kingdoms Collide. I am doing this because I believe it's so vital that the Body of Yeshua hears this message. It will change how you view the days we are living in and the age to come. To order the book, please visit our bookstore.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have covered how the New Testament clearly reaffirms Israel's place in God's heart. Israel is not replaced by the Church. Both are key players in God's plans for mankind. Today, we explore several additional passages that demonstrate this truth.

9. Yeshua refers to “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”

In Matthew 22:32, Yeshua does this. How can He do that and not affirm the promises of the Land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? (see the last sentence of Point 8). Yahweh is not suddenly the God of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, is He? The patriarchs are still the patriarchs (Rom. 11:28). And if they are, then there is nothing more central to their lives and legacies than the land of Israel, save the Messiah Himself. Taking the land is the primary focus of Exodus through Joshua. You cannot separate the patriarchs from the land promises. While all believers are children of Abraham, they are not children of Isaac and Jacob, to whom the land promises were confirmed.

10. Heirs of the covenant

Peter tells unbelieving Jews they are “heirs of the covenant” (Acts 3:25). How can they be heirs of something that was canceled by or fulfilled in Yeshua? Paul, in seeking to show the Romans that God will be faithful to Israel, affirms the covenants belong to Israel by referring to them in the present, not the past.

Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs is the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! (Rom. 9:4-5)

Let me make a few more points in regard to this point.

  1. Why even mention Yeshua’s Jewish ancestry if it is no longer important?

  2. To be clear, these were clearly unbelieving Jews, as the context is Paul’s deep longing for them to know that Yeshua is the Messiah. “Theirs (all Israel) is the covenants.” He was not referring to the New Covenant but to Moses and Abraham. This means that while not providing salvation, they are still significant.

  3. And to be super clear, this is not to say that Jewish people don't need Messiah for salvation. But they are certainly not going to come running to a Jesus that is preached by people who say that God hates them and has cursed them. That is not provoking them to jealousy (Rom. 11:11). It will be the kindness of Gentile believers that will draw them to faith.

11. Yeshua’s very clear declaration in the Sermon on the Mount

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:17-20)

If Yeshua did not come to destroy the Torah, which includes the promises of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, then we must conclude that God will remain faithful to his promise. “The church has struggled for centuries to gain a clear understanding of the meaning of these words… I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.’ But the text makes unequivocally clear what Jesus did not mean to say.”[1] You cannot walk away from this whole passage with the idea that because Jesus fulfilled the law, He has voided his promises to Israel. It seems as if Jesus goes out of His way to make that abundantly clear.[2]

12. “Until”

As mentioned by Cranfield, Luke 21:24 seems to indicate a Jewish Jerusalem at the end of the age. Yeshua says, “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Well, Jerusalem was trampled on by the Gentiles since her destruction in 70 CE. Yeshua’s words are “until the times of Gentiles are fulfilled.” This is very close to Paul’s words of national revival that will take place in Israel at the fullness of the Gentiles. That leads me to believe that there is an overlap.

That is to say, I don’t believe that the times of the Gentiles or fullness end in a day, but maybe over a period of decades. And, since Jerusalem is back in Jewish hands, I do believe we are in that season. And let's be clear, if there is no Jerusalem, this passage cannot be fulfilled.

The very use of the word Gentile (ethnos) shows that the translators were contrasting this group with Jews. Or else, they would use the word nations as in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Ethnos is translated as Gentiles in nearly every English translation in Luke 21:24 and Romans 11:25.

13. The Two Witnesses

Most scholars agree that the two witnesses are Jewish. They are called olive trees and menorahs—both are images associated with Israel. There is a striking similarity to Zechariah’s vision of two olive trees (4:3).

Merrill summarizes several additional points of connection between Zech. 4 and Rev. 11. Both passages emphasize the temple, as well as describe its measurements and rebuilding (Zech. 2:1–5; 4:9–10; Rev. 11:1–2). Also, both texts picture the two olive trees witnessing before the whole earth (Zech. 4:9–10; Rev. 11:4). John comments on Zech. 4 in that the olive trees witness to the Lord’s righteousness and his mighty acts of salvation for his people.[3]

The two Jewish witnesses prophesy in Jerusalem “where also their Lord was crucified” (Rev. 11:8b). Jewish men prophesying in Jerusalem seem to say that God would restore Israel, as He has done.

Yes, there is a clear expectation in the New Testament that God will fulfill his promises to the people of Israel.

[1] Isaac C. Rottenberg, “Fulfillment Theology and the Future of Christian-Jewish Relations” Religion Online, accessed June 4, 2022. [2] If you want to know what Jesus meant by fulfilling the law, just keep reading the sermon on the mount. He takes some of the major aspects of the laws such as not committing adultery or murder, and He interprets them in a much deeper way, applying them to the thoughts and intents of our hearts (Heb. 4:12-13). By doing this, He “fills full” the Commandments of God. Of course, He also fulfills the Messianic prophecies. And thirdly, He fulfills the law by living according to it, becoming the first to do so. [3] George L. Klein, Zechariah, The New American Commentary (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008), 167.

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