Why evangelicals should think twice about equating modern Israel with Israel of the Bible

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The other day, I raised a question for evangelicals who think standing with Israel means supporting them no matter what. How do you reconcile a “never criticize Israel” mentality with the overwhelming witness of the biblical prophets?

If you’ve been told that unconditional support for Israel is the only “biblical” position, that the modern-day state enjoys the same kind of “most favored nation” status with God as ancient Israel did, then here’s another question. If Israel today is entitled to the covenant blessings spoken by the Old Testament, what about their covenant obligations?

The Bible never spoke of Israel’s covenant blessings apart from their obligations. It’s no use trying to have one without the other. And at least one of these obligations poses a bit of a problem for the modern state of Israel, if it is indeed the same nation as the one in the Bible.

Ancient Israel was not supposed to have a standing army. They weren’t supposed to stockpile weapons. There were no taxes to fund a permanent military. Israel’s rulers were forbidden from amassing large numbers of horses (Deuteronomy 17:16-17)—which was about as close as you could get to an arms race in the ancient Near East. Israel’s king was not supposed to make foreign military alliances. God stipulated that Israel should remain militarily weak so they would learn to trust him for protection.

Israel wasn’t allowed to conscript anyone into military service. If you didn’t want to fight, you didn’t have to fight. Note this remarkable command from Deuteronomy 20:

When you go to war against your enemies… the officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it. Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it. Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.” Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.”

There were times when God whittled down Israel’s fighting force to an impossibly small number—as a reminder that they were not supposed to rely on their own military strength.

Micah 5—the same passage which said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem—also said that in that day God would destroy Israel’s horses and demolish its chariots. Israel’s military implements are mentioned in the same breath as other signs of their apostasy: witchcraft, idols, sacred stones, Asherah poles. The prophets considered militarization a form of idolatry—a blatant violation of Israel’s covenant with God.

If modern Israel is the same covenant nation written about in the Old Testament, then they are under the same covenant obligations. And that covenant forbids militarization. It declares militarization a form of idolatry.

If the modern Israeli state is not bound to these covenant obligations, then they aren’t entitled to the covenant blessings, either. You cannot have one without the other. If the laws that governed Israel in the Old Testament do not apply to Israel today, then they are just another nation, and they should be held to the same standard as every other nation.

Would we stand for any other democratic nation on earth driving people off of land that’s been in their families for generations? Would we stand for any other nation building settlements on land that almost everyone agrees belongs to someone else? Would we stand for them restricting people’s freedom of movement, bulldozing their homes, and killing thousands of innocent civilians?

Of course we wouldn’t. And we shouldn’t stand for violence committed by Palestinian groups either. But evangelicals keep giving Israel a free pass. They do so because they believe it is God’s covenant nation. Yet when it comes to holding Israel to the stipulations of that covenant… silence.

So which is it? Is modern Israel bound to the covenant or not? Either way, you’ll have a hard time justifying its treatment of their Palestinian neighbors.

RELATED POSTS: 
If you think “standing with Israel” means never criticizing them, you’re going to have to get a new Bible
When I think about my sponsored child in Gaza
The problem with using the Bible to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Note: For a helpful summary of covenant stipulations forbidding militarization in ancient Israel, see chapter 3 of Preston Sprinkle’s book Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence

Photo credit: Israeli Defense Force on Flickr (image cropped) / CC BY-SA 2.0

 

273 thoughts on “Why evangelicals should think twice about equating modern Israel with Israel of the Bible

  1. Thank you Dean May for saying that. I have to say that reading this post made me run the gamut from teeth-clenching to mouth-gaping to groaning aloud in frustration. For a start, “Why evangelicals should think twice….”. How about thinking once? Choosing to “never criticize” is clearly a choice to *avoid* thinking. There are no good reasons to believe that modern Israelis have anything to do with anyone in the old testament. Whether ancient Israel ever had to rely on God’s strength is anyone’s guess, but everyone knows that neither Israel, nor *any other developed country* relies on any deity. They have weapons. They have well-funded military forces, with which they start, fight, and end wars. “If modern Israel is the same covenant nation written about in the old testament…” IT ISN’T! Let it go. God will not appear in the UN and grant favored status to that or any other nation. God will not create, detonate, or destroy any nuclear weapon. God will not sign a piece of legislation, or a cease fire, or a declaration of war. People do these things. People will either insist on an end to violence or not. As several have already pointed out, without foreign aid, Israel as we know it will no longer exist. I don’t comment on the rightness/wrongness of this. And I’ll bet you a sandwich that no one alive really, *really* believes there would be a different result. Just to reiterate what Dean May said– the USA *is* a democratic nation which has “driven people off land that’s been in their families for generations”. The USA not only stands by while violence is committed using our resources, its government also commits acts of violence. Let it go, folks. Trying to mash the modern geo-political paradigm into the old testament template is just unnecessary effort. I don’t say any of this to offend, but honestly: I see people going to such effort and trouble trying to match current experience with ancient scripture, and it just don’t know what the benefit could possibly be. God isn’t going to fix this. God didn’t fix the civil rights years in the USA. He didn’t fix the British oppression of India. It was people, deciding to take action. Quibbling over scripture seems lazy, frankly. Sorry.

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  2. Pingback: America, Israel, False Prophet, & Real Profit | Culture CollectiveCulture Collective

  3. The author had me until he started with his anti Israel propaganda at the end of his writing. He clearly starts pointing absurd fingers at Israel concerning the recent historical events vs Palestine. He basically body slams Israel and then says yeah but Palestine is not perfect either. Failing to actually use the historical facts that the Hamas puts their children intentionally in harms way, the Hamas launches countless rockets at Israel without provocation, that there were peace accords given by both parties, and only the Hamas broke them, and that we have suicide bombers killing themselves by walking through tunnels in Gaza neighborhoods getting to Israel to kill and destroy. But then again, heck, why mention those things when he says,

    “Would we stand for any other democratic nation on earth driving people off of land that’s been in their families for generations? Would we stand for any other nation building settlements on land that almost everyone agrees belongs to someone else? Would we stand for them restricting people’s freedom of movement, bulldozing their homes, and killing thousands of innocent civilians? Of course we wouldn’t. And we shouldn’t stand for violence committed by Palestinian groups either. But evangelicals keep giving Israel a free pass. They do so because they believe it is God’s covenant nation. Yet when it comes to holding Israel to the stipulations of that covenant… silence.”

    Biased, and typical Anti Israel propaganda.

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    • John C, you are remarkably ignorant about many things but your complete lack of understanding regarding Israel astounds me. For G_d’s sake, please do a bit of traveling in the Israel/Palestine area and get yourself an education. Then you are welcome to come back to the grown-up table for some intelligent conversation.

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      • That ‘tone of voice’ and language is totally unnecessary and adds nothing to the conversation. (In fact it detracts from it.) Are you really implying that ‘education’ from travel in the ‘Israel/Palestine area’ should be taken as a higher authority than the Bible???

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  4. Ben,

    I see The Church is not just sticking up for Israel, but also concerned for the innocent lives in Palestine who need freedom from Hamas. I’m personally happy that Israel is ridding the area of Hamas, maybe innocent people will not be killed because of it. Israel is bombing Gaza because of Hamas and it is not Israel’s intention to kill innocent lives, do you think it is? Isn’t Hamas using innocent people as shields? I feel as though you could direct your attention on the people who are doing evil, rather than the Israelites who are defending themselves. What about the innocent lives dying in Israel because of rockets? I’m curious and these are not rhetorical questions: are you saying Israel should not defend itself? And what is your solution to the rockets that Hamas continues to fire?

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    • I strongly agree. I would rather ask, “Would God be pleased if the state of Israel openly welcomes all attacks from Hamas and other supporting countries?” or
      “Would God bless Israel for not defending itself?”

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      • Lets ask this a different way. “Would God be pleased if the Palestinian people Hamas openly welcomes all attacks from Israel and other supporting countries?” or
        “Would God bless the Palestinian people Hamal for not defending itself?”

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    • Israel is bombing the Palestinians not because of Hamas but because they want too. Israeli leaders and their supporters have repeatedly accused Hamas of using Palestinian civilians as human shields to justify their killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians .Despite there being no evidence to prove this claim, and blaming the Palestinians for their own slaughter. But the available evidence dose show that it is the Israeli army, not Hamas, that has been using Palestinians as human shields in Gaza. As of Aug 2014 Israel killed over 2,070 Palestinians 315 children two thirds under 12 most all civilians and Hamas rockets killed 2 Israeli civilians.Who started the 2014 conflict, the Times of Israel reported that Hamas had fired missiles on June 30, for the first time since the November 2012 cease-fire, “in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier.” Do Palestinians not have a right to defend themselves ?

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  5. Thanks for your research and approach at this topic. I disagree pretty strongly and have only one point to offer:
    Isn’t the point that Israel never did fulfill their obligations. They never got better and better, they got worse and worse. Messiah came not to a group that was obeying more and more, but less and less. The covenants, thankfully, don’t depend at all on Israel, but on God’s promise. He will redeem Israel when the time is right. I will be standing in support of the “broken off cultivated olive branches” as Paul calls Israel today. They can be grafted in more easily than we can imagine because theirs were the promises.

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  6. Pingback: Should Evangelicals Support Israel? | Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament

  7. I’m glad Ben started this post as it has provoked some interesting discussion. I’d like to make two points

    Firstly, and assuming that the ‘chosen people’ must be supported by Christians regardless, I’d like to ask how exactly one defines one of the ‘chosen’? I presume it’s based on ‘Jewishness’ but then how do you define that? Do both parents need to be Jewish? Two grandparents out of four? One great grandparent out of eight? You can see what I’m getting at. Presumably there is some Jewish law that defines who is Jewish and who is not, but therein lies the problem that Jesus came to solve- that it’s impossible to live by the law. If there is certain ‘cut-off’ point after which you are no longer technically Jewish, this is a man-made definition which can include or exclude many, rightly or wrongly. At what point can someone we don’t recognise as being ‘Jewish’ become ‘Jewish’? Palestinian Christians can trace their roots back to the time of Jesus, so maybe they have ethnic Jewish roots? Conversely, recent Israeli immigrants are have very tenuous links to Judaism (search for Israeli neo-Nazis on google, you will find this a recent problem in Israel). When some of the ‘chosen people’ themselves (various Jewish rabbis) condemn the state of Israel as being against the principles of the Torah, which ‘chosen people’ exactly are we meant to support? I don’t know, but the point I’m trying to make is that the ‘chosen people’ that we choose to support may not be the same people that God refers to.

    My second point is our attitude to the using the Bible with respect to God’s covenants. Imagine for one moment a conversation between a Christian and a non-Christian:

    Non-C: I don’t believe in God.
    C: Why?
    Non-C: well, I’ve read some bits of the bible and I really don’t like how god tells some people to kill others and there are verses that say we have to stone adulterers and gays. I don’t agree with that.
    C: well, you’re right, there are bits of the bible that are hard to accept, but you need to see if from the point of view of Jesus.
    Non-C: how’s that
    C: Well, the Old Testament points the way towards the coming of Jesus. It’s also trying to tell us that it’s impossible to live by the law- by that I mean that however hard we try, we’ll always do wrong. So Jesus tells us it’s not who you are or what you do that matters, it’s whether you accept your sin and ask for forgiveness.

    However, mention Israel and the Pharisee in many of us comes out. It is no longer about love God and love your neighbour, nor love your enemy (if you want to define your ‘enemy’ as the enemy of Israel as many appear to do). The discussion becomes one of legalism. Please remember that Jesus reserved his strongest criticism of the Pharisees (loved by God and chosen by him but clearly not supported by him in this respect): “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are…..Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence….You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” Matthew 23.

    So let me ask this question. For one moment, forget the nationality, ethnicity or religious affiliation of the warring parties in Palestine/Israel. Call them Elliotstan and Mikestan. Would Jesus approve of the indiscriminate use of heavy artillery and missiles by Elliotstan on the largely captive population of Mikestan? Would he approve of Elliotstan’s denial of Mikestan residents access to food, water and electricity? I suspect strongly that Jesus would weep for the casualties of Mikestan and would prefer that Elliotstan demonstrates grace and forgiveness whether Mikestan apparently deserves it or not.
    I also suspect that most of us would urge the stronger party to refrain from the use of overwhelming force, and if they did so we would likely not provide them with weaponry nor financial support (I’m taking as a Christian here, not a politician here who for whatever reason may decide to stoke the conflict further as sadly happens too often).

    In summary, we can use legalistic arguments to justify one position or another. As soon as we remove the concept of love and forgiveness, we immediately become like of the Pharisees, “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

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  8. Please don’t confuse covenants. Israel cannot be under the Mosaic Covenant as that was fulfilled. God promised to bring the Jews back into the Land and only then bring them into the New Covenant (Ez. 36). Biblical Christians understand this. They also understand that the remnant of Jews being saved is tied into the Second Coming. God’s promises in the unconditional covenants to Israel are irrevocable.

    Please stop being so one-sided. Anyone who objectively understands the current situation would condemn Hamas. Isn’t it interesting that this author chooses to go after Israel? Quite telling of where his heart it.

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    • According to Deuteronomy 30:1-8, a necessary condition for the re-gathering of Israel to Palestine was returning to the Lord (verses 2-3). Based on this clear passage of Scripture, it can be concluded that the State of Israel, which now exists, was not formed as a result of the blessings of this covenant. Another fact that is ignored is that Israel was made up of 12 tribes and not one of them were Jewish. .The modern day Jews claim to be of the tribe of Judah [though they are not] even if they were that is only one of the 12 tribes of Israel and clearly not a regathering of Israel. Then there is another problem modern Israel is maybe 1/10 the size of the land given to Abraham so clearly not a regathering of Israel. Then you have Jeremiah 19 where God tells the house of Judah He would break them never to be a Nation again. 10 Then you are to break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you 11 and say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts, Just so shall I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot again be repaired;

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    • Matthew, your assertion that ‘modern Israel is the work of God’ is undeniably true, in the sense that all nations rise and fall as God wills. After all, God ‘changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others’ (Daniel 2:21). But to conclude – as you do in your blog – that the modern State of Israel is prophesied in Ezekiel 36 (or the ‘dry bones’ passage in Ezekiel 37) is to misinterpret these passages quite grievously.

      Ezekiel 36 is a clear reference not to the return of Jews to Palestine in 1948 (what evidence is there of a ‘new heart’ and a ‘new spirit’ in the State of Israel in the last 66 years?) but to the spiritual gathering of all people of faith into the person of Jesus Christ (by whose blood we are sprinkled with ‘clean water’), and it His Spirit who gives us a ‘new heart’. If the land promise were so important, why did Jesus not mention it? On the contrary, he states (Matthew 5:5) that the inheritors of the earth (equivalent Greek word as the Hebrew word for ‘land’ in the OT) will not be the members of one particular ethnic group but the ‘meek’, by which he means ALL people who humbly follow him in obedience and faith. Indeed, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:21-24) that the physical land really does not matter any more: ‘a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth’.

      So, I do believe in God’s promises, 100 per cent, and they are perfectly fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christian Zionism has always struck me as subtracting from the efficacy of the cross, by suggesting the continued existence of a parallel covenant which somehow by-passes Calvary. This is the worst kind of heresy, and an offence to our Lord.

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  9. Reblogged this on jabarksdale and commented:
    Interesting read. The writer brought some perspectives to light that I hadn’t heard before. However, I still disagree. Like others on this reply thread have mentioned, this writer has failed to understand the scriptural context that they claim to argue from. Regardless, if this writer is going to make the scrutinizing criticisms of Israel that it has on simply a nation-hood status according to the world’s standards and it’s treatment of “Palestinians” (which is a misnomer, by-the-way) then Ben would do well to apply that same criticism to the U.S. and it’s past and current treatment of the peoples that live(d) in what is today the U.S.A. I find Ben sorely lacking in his understanding of the current situation based on God’s word. If he’s going to use the Bible as the basis for what is the truth and falsehood in this matter, then I would strongly urge him not to blur the lines between this approach and the world’s approach to this situation. America, the U.N. and any other body of govt. does not serve as the mouthpiece of God’s voice in this matter. What God says about His people Israel is made clear to all who seek to listen and ACCEPT what God’s opinion is. It may be hard to swallow, I can empathize with that at times, but I have two choices: take the Lord wholly on His word or reject it altogether. You can’t pick and choose Ben what you like that God says and what you rather not take heed of. Regardless, thank you for sharing your perspective on this matter. I’ve found it intriguing and educational.

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  10. Bravo Ben, for stating what should be fairly obvious, but for the last 100 years of Dispensationalism muddying the waters of the key question:

    Who is Israel ?

    To boil it down, Scripture identifies Israel (and Zion), as those who live, move & have their being in the Messiah, Jesus Christ the LORD.

    The True Believing Church = Modern Israel = Now a Global church, encomapassing every Tribe, Tongue & Nation.

    All the fighting over the historical boundaries is tragic, and needless. Modern Zionism is a political arrangement & not much more.

    Their is neither Jew nor Greek, nor male or female, but all are one in Christ Jesus.

    Yet we keep rejecting the simplicity of the New Covenant Gospel, for complexities that ensnare us.

    May the LORD wake up Israel to it’s True Nature, and remove the scales from our eyes.

    If this were to happen, maybe the US would stop trying to please both sides in the Israel & Muslim conflicts: Both are in the flesh, without their Messiah. Both need Him. And neither will live in peace until they accept His leadership in their lives & respective nations.

    And, even more to our point here in the USA: until the American Christians grasp this, we won’t have rest from our Middle Eastern Military Mis-Adventures & entangling alliances (that Jefferson & Washington warned us about engaging in….)

    LORD bless you Ben, for taking the heat in this post.

    You know you’re making headway when you get that kind of reaction, Brother.

    David in East Texas

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hey Ben, I noted in your “About Me” that you like to run, in your spare time.

    I’ve been a runner myself (mainly High School cross country & Track), until sidelined by knee injuries.

    Now, the kids & I do some road racing on bicycles.

    My blog covers some of our activities & bikes, too.

    Please check it out, if you have the time !

    Godspeed, David & family

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  12. First, a very important verse, followed by an Application:

    “Neither Circumcision, nor Uncircumcision means anything: what counts is a New Creation. Peace and Mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.”

    – Galatians 6:15-16

    During this century, Christians have been told over & over again that “God has an unconditional love for Israel”, by which is meant that God’s love is directed towards persons racially decended from Abraham, regardless of Faith or Obedience.

    Membership in Israel, thefore, is viewed as a matter of race, not faith.

    “The Church is Israel Now” demonstrates that the Bible totally repudiates this racialist viewpoint. Being a member of Israel in the Old Testament was dependent upon faith & obedience to God.

    When the Israelites obeyed God, God loved them. But when they turned from Him, He hated them, stripping them of their Israelite status. After centuries of Israelite rebellion against God, culminating in their rejection of Jesus the Messiah, the titles, attributes and blessings of Israel were transferred to all those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior, and to no one else, regardless of Abrahamic descent.

    The Church is Israel Now.

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    • In my comment immediately above, I was quoting from the Introduction to a very insightful small book, titled:

      “The Church is Israel Now”

      It is mainly an exhaustive catalog of Scriptures, coordinating the Old Testament cites, into the New Testament & showing that the many titles, attributes & blessings of the nation of Israel were transferred to the Church, under Jesus Christ the Messiah.

      It’s very hard to argue (impossible, I dare say) with the clarity of this work.

      It’s a smallish book, 75 pages or so, & has several indices & quotes the relevant passages at length & compares the OT passage, with it’s NT parallel.

      As such, an excellent study guide – and more importantly, an eye-opener in the sense that it fleshes out the Truth: Christians are the modern day Jews.

      Once we grasp that, a lot of things begin to make sense.

      We also begin to realize that we’ve got be more consistent lovers of God & His Ways, stop playing at Politics (trading in true Christian Statesmanship for partisan tit for tat, that = Statism (the elevation of the State as all powerful, dominating the lives of Christians & non Christians alike), stop using the US Military in place of a true missionary outreach to the Nations.

      We have a great mandate, to make manifest Christ & His Kingdom. But first in our lives & homes, then our churches & communities, reigning in the State to it’s proper boundaries (nil), then outward to transform the Nations, for as Jesus declared in Matthew 28:18:

      “All Authority in heaven & on earth is given unto Me, go ye therefore…..”

      All Authority belongs to Him, who is the true seed of Israel, and the privilege is given to us to carry it out, teaching & discipling all Nations….with no fear….for He will be with us always, even unto the end of the age.

      Again, it’s done not by a political nation, not the USA (alone, or primarily) and not political Israel, but by this Israel:

      “Neither Circumcision not Uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a New Creation. Peace & Mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.”

      – Galatians 6:15-16

      Being a New Creation in Messiah Jesus, is the key to being a member of the “Israel of God”, the same today as when Paul first preached this to the saints at Galatia.

      The book, “The Church is Israel Now” is available on Amazon.com:

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1879998394/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=all

      It’s a great help for all those who want to study this through.

      Thanks again, Ben, for highlighting this important issue. Very, very timely !

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      • Hi,

        I just wanted to say that there is absolutely no exegetical basis to say that Christians are modern day Jews. Being a Son of Abraham doesn’t make a person a Jew, even in the physical realm Arabs are descendants of Abraham but that doesn’t mean they’re Jewish, the Biblical definition of a Jew is one who is descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I’m a born again Gentile grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel but my faith in Christ Jesus doesn’t make me Jewish whatsoever. The spiritual Jews are those physical Jews who have accepted Jesus as Messiah.

        Your quotation of Galatians 6:16 using the word “even” from the Greek “kai” is a very poor translation and shows the Bible translation’s replacement theology bias. The vast, vast majority of Bible translations say “and upon the Israel of God.” The Israel of God are the believing remnant within the Jewish nation (Rom. 9:6, 11:1-5) they are a completed Jew in Messiah, circumcised of heart (Rom. 2:28-29). The ones who are blessed in Galatians 6:16 are both the Jews and Gentiles, the one new man in Christ who are justified by their faith. There is nowhere in the Bible where the term Israel refers to the Church, this verse does not prove your point.

        To say that God has rejected His people is to go against the very character of God and against the Scriptures, His promises are irrevocable and your assertion goes against Paul’s very words in Romans 11:1- “I say the, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the Tribe of Benjamin.”

        Highly recommended reading on this large subject of Israel in the Bible is “Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology” by Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum.

        Thanks

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  13. Pingback: Evangelicals, Israel, and the Palestinians | Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament

  14. I saw a video that posted these questions (though not verbatim)
    “What if they leave Israel alone?” Ever wondered?
    “What if Israel gives in to the demands of Palestine, Hamas, and all the Nations that surround?”
    I believe the answer to the last question is clear. Total desolation of an entire race. Another Holocaust.

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  24. I have to say this is a very mute argument. First we must really understand what a covenant is with God. When someone makes a covenant with God they promise to obey him in all things God will never break his part of the covenant! At sometime whether a man individually or collectively as a nation we will break our covenant. It is only through, Jesus Christ, and no other way that we can repent and become reconciled to our covenant with God. This includes repenting through a vicarious sacrifice in old times or a broken heart and a contrite spirit washed in the blood if the lamb Jesus our savior. We our the only ones who break covenants, Gods hand will be stretched out still! He is a unchanging God who can not sin or lie. It was the wickedness of ancient Israel that caused them to loose their promise with God when they repented they were able to reclaim what was their land given to the by God.
    Whether you support Israel or Palestine, two wrongs will never make it right. Whether it be the Jews rejecting the chosen Messiah for two millennia, and choosing Satan as their master and fighting their own brother Ishmael, or our Islamic brothers being stirred up by Satan to fight their brother Isaac. This war will continue until that great and dreadful day of the Lord Jesus Christ sets his foot on the mount of olives, and peace will be upon the whole earth.

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  25. What a collection of hogwash. Anyone with any intellectual honesty AT ALL will admit they don’t know what happens at death. And any person trying to tie modern geopolitical realities to an ancient text rife with error and inconsistencies borders on a full blown lunatic. I know…let’s find some obscure verse relating to Chile, Grenada, or the coup in Iran in 1953..

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    • Robert, your comments show you have no concept whatsoever of what the Bible is or its origins. Please refrain from criticising something you clearly know nothing about!

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  26. And what is this “Satan” stuff?? Too scared to face the reality of what the Bible states?

    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7, KJV)

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      • The writer of this article got this part wrong:

        “Would we stand for any other democratic nation on earth driving people off of land that’s been in their families for generations? Would we stand for any other nation building settlements on land that almost everyone agrees belongs to someone else? Would we stand for them restricting people’s freedom of movement, bulldozing their homes, and killing thousands of innocent civilians?”

        The land in conflict has belonged to Israel even before the “Palestinians” existed.

        Am I wrong?

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      • Yes. You’re wrong, if by “Israel” you mean the modern-day nation state or by putting Palestinians in quotes you meant suggest they’re not an actual people.

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  28. Interesting post. I’m not well versed on the Covenant end of it but any close look at Israel’s apartheid-like system of control, its brutal occupation and all-too-frequent massacres of Palestinians make it very apparent that there is not much that is Christian or even Jewish for that matter about the modern state of Israel. It is no wonder that pure-Torah based Orthodox Jews completely reject Zionism and even the concept of a “Jewish state” since they believe it is non-biblical and a violation of God’s commandments for the Jews.

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    • What amazes me is the pure arrogance and spiritual blindness of your generation Hargis. Do you really think it is about “liberal” vs “conservative”? If your world consist of only two diametrically opposing views then you my friend are just as ignorant as those you attempt to debate. I recommend you throw away that KJV, educate yourself in both the ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek, then get back to us.

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  31. Pingback: Ben Irwin: Why evangelicals should think twice about equating modern Israel with Israel of the Bible | Romania Evanghelica

  32. Here is my refutation of this article:

    This article is patently weak and highly biased. One reason why the author thinks that Israel of today is not the same Israel of the Bible is because Israel had to obey the stipulations of the Mosaic covenant. LOL that is very biased because Israel constantly disobeyed God and God constantly punished it repeatedly in many ways, BUT it always remained Israel the chosen people. In Romans 10:21-11:1-2 ” But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people. ”I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,a a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. ” (here because of God’s grace). 1 Samuel 12:22 ” For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself. ” (here because of God’s name). see also Ier. 31:37.

    Another reason why the author thinks that Israel of today is not the same Israel of the Bible is because Israel should not be militarized and not have a standing army. He cites several OT passages taking them out of context, and thus misinterpreting them.This shows really how really biased this author is. By the way nowhere in the Bible it says that Israel should not have an army. Actually we see over and over again that Israel always had an army, especially after Israel became a monarchy. They were almost always at war with the neighboring nations. The only times they did not have an army was when they were occupied by other empires. During the time of Jesus they did not have an army because they were occupied by the Romans.

    To support his opinion the author cites Deuteronomy 20. However the text here does not say that Israel should not have an army. It simply says that some people should not be in the army because of several problems. Actually this passage proves that Israel had an army and some people were not fitted to be enrolled in that army because they would weaken the army (the word used here is dishearten).

    Second, when it comes to Micah 5, the author makes gross misinterpretations that further proves how biased his opinion is. First, Micah 5 does not say that Israel should not have an army. The text actually does take for granted the existence of its army. Micah 5:1 ” Marshal your troops now, city of troops, for a siege is laid against us.” The passage that this article cites (is misinterpreted and misunderstood by the author). Thus, Micah 5:10-11 says ” In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots. I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds.” However as we can see in the context these verses are not addressed to Israel but to her enemies (see vs 9 and 15). God will destroy the horses and chariots of Israel’s enemies. He should have paid more attention to the context. The context makes that clear (look at the end of the previous chapter and the context of chapter 5). Even if this in fact refers to Israel, it does not say that Israel should not have an army. That is just conjecture. If this verse refers to Israel, it only means that God will punish Israel for their pagan worship and idolatry. Actually this verse only proves the opposite, namely that Israel had an army (horses and chariots).

    Third, the author says: “If modern Israel is the same covenant nation written about in the Old Testament, then they are under the same covenant obligations. And that covenant forbids militarization.” The Bible does not say that at all. Where does it say that this covenant between God and Israel forbids militarization? Nowhere!

    Fourth, the author states, “If the laws that governed Israel in the Old Testament do not apply to Israel today, then they are just another nation, and they should be held to the same standard as every other nation.” This is another mistake the author makes. He makes a distinction between Israel as a nation and Israel as a people. The Bible never makes that kind of separation. The covenant God had was between him and the people of Israel, the Jews. Now, does this author imply that the Jews in Israel are not Jews?!? This is ridiculous.

    Fifth. The author also states, “in the same breath as other signs of their apostasy: witchcraft, idols, sacred stones, Asherah poles. The prophets considered militarization a form of idolatry—a blatant violation of Israel’s covenant with God. The verses he has in mind are Micah 5:12-14. However these verses may be directed to Israel enemies as I said above. But even if these verses are directed to Israel, it does NOT say that having an army is idolatry and witchcraft. These verses do not connect the two as being the same thing. Again that is reading between the lines. Here God continues His pronouncements of judgment against Israel (or Israel’s enemies) for their sins of witchcraft and idolatry.

    In conclusion, there is no Biblical support for the notion that Israel today is not the same as Israel in the Bible. This is just a biased speculation that may even betray some traces of anti-Semitism. I am amazed to how much misinterpretation of the Bible the liberals make for the sake of their liberal ideology. Actually they commonly ignore contexts and exegesis when quoting from the Bible. They sacrifice the proper interpretation of the biblical texts for the sake of their ideologies. It is also evident that the author does not understand the Palestinian problem. He believes, just as most liberals commonly do, that Israel is occupying Palestinian territories. This is a public misconception that betrays both anti-Semitic feelings and ignorance of historical facts. History proves that the land in question always belonged to Israel as a right. Yes it was occupied repeatedly by different superpowers but Israel always remained connected to its lands. The vast majority Palestinian people are not true Palestinians. Very few of them are converted Jews to Islam. Most of them emigrated there from surrounding Arab countries after the institution of the State of Israel. There was never a state or country of Palestine as some think it was. The author of the above article should do some more research into history.

    I will close with this quote:
    “If you consider Palestine to be a “Sovereign” and “Independent” country that goes back through most of recorded history as many would have you to believe, then a few questions need to be answered:
    When was it founded and by whom?
    What were its borders?
    What was its capital?
    Who was the President(s)/king(s)?
    What was its form of government?
    What were its major cities?
    What constituted the basis of its economy?
    Who was the Palestinian leader before Yasser Arafat?
    Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
    What was the language of the country of Palestine?
    What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?
    What was the name of its currency and what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, or Japanese yen on any particular date?
    And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
    If these so-called “Palestinians” are anything but a generic collection of Arabs from all over the rest of the Arab world and if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, then why did they never try to become an independent and sovereign nation until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War in 1967??? (anonymous author).

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    • Most all of your questions at the end presuppose the ungodly central state (Baal worship) as the only appropriate test for a country’s legitimacy. You seem to think unless a people have a king/president/premier ruling from a capitol city with a standing army then they are ripe for a different people and culture to come in and take over legitimately. Might makes right. Cool. But it ain’t Christian.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, I get your point: a god hating central state is populated with people who have a supposed genetic claim to be more favored by the Christian God, even though they hate Jesus Christ. Thus they have a moral claim to evict the genetically inferior centuries long inhabitants by whatever wicked means necessary, and American Christians have a moral duty to applaud loudly and proclaim Praise Jesus.

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  33. The promise to Abraham was fulfilled in Christ. He is the promise. Those who believe are grafted in through faith in Christ. The modern, geopolitical nation-state of Israel is not the Church or the “true” Israel. That is very clear in the New Testament.

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  34. Pingback: Why evangelicals should think twice about equating modern Israel with Israel of the Bible | Sola Dei Gloria

  35. In the unlikely event the author is correct, and the contemporary State of Israel is not the Israel of the Covenant or of Prophecy, we make the mistake of perhaps supporting a State that is less deserving.
    If he is wrong, and we withhold our support, we will have turned our backs on God’s chosen people.
    I’ll take my chances while standing with Israel!

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  36. Pingback: links: this went thru my mind | preachersmith

  37. ‘For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. (Romans 9:6-8)

    ‘Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;[e] she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written,

    “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
    break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
    For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than those of the one who has a husband.”
    Now you,[f] brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.’ (Galatians 4:21-31)

    ‘I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,’ (Romans 11:25-26)

    The article makes important points but misses the point. Israel is not made up of those who are natural Israel. It is made up of all those who trust in Christ as their saviour. All of these are children of Abraham. However, God’s promises to natural Israel are reflected in the fact that they are the only people for whom He promises that large numbers will come to know Him before He returns.

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  38. Some evangelicals have misused Genesis 12:3 to play on christians by saying you get a special blessing if you bless Israel or the Jewish people and you will be cursed if you don’t. I have always wondered about this. God said he will bless Abraham and those who bless Him and curse those who cursed Him.this was a fore shadow of the coming Messiah. The evangelicals never use Galatians 3:29 along with Genesis 12:3. It is the the seed(CHRIST) who has the blessing. The New Covenant is a better Covenant for both Jew and Gentile.Remember the “wall” was torn down. We are all blessed because of Him and we all are blessed IF we belong to CHRIST and heirs according to the promise. We need to stop preaching a different Gospel to the Jewish people. The early Church was predominantly jewish so the Church should be both Jew and Gentile “ONE” people ONE New Man. This does not give us a biblical mandate to support Israel in everything they do. Some things are political agenda’s and have nothing to with God. I can’t speak on the issue with the land and God giving it to the Jewish people because my understanding in that of it is not clear but for Preachers to use these scriptures out of context to get people to give support and financial support to Israel no matter the reason is incorrect. I give to Israel as God direct my heart to do so and any others who God lead me. I will stand for God’s Righteousness and sometimes that means calling wrong wrong even to godly people. We should be saying I will bless those who Bless Christ and Curse those who Christ. JESUS said in Luke 8:21 “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear God’s word and obey it”.

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  39. Reblogged this on myfullemptynest and commented:
    Great questions. “Would we stand for any other democratic nation on earth driving people off of land that’s been in their families for generations? Would we stand for any other nation building settlements on land that almost everyone agrees belongs to someone else? Would we stand for them restricting people’s freedom of movement, bulldozing their homes, and killing thousands of innocent civilians?”

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  40. I don’t agree, God’s word is for those who have faith,who are bleviors, Uma is chosen on the basis of deeds, those who were ture followers of prophet Mosa, Eessa, nd Mohammed..
    oh people of book( jews nd Chrestians) came to common terms between u nd us,that don’t worship except Allah the God,nd v will not make his partners) God massage is same in tora,talmud old testimonal nd Quran. Good deeds have good reward. chosen are those who do good deeds. nt jews r Christian r Muslim

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