God’s substitute Theology: Replacing the Church With Israel

God’s substitute Theology: Replacing the Church With Israel

Once upon a time, a tailor became very wealthy by diligence to his craft and, as a consequence, he became the object of envy by others and of great respect by many. As his long life drew to a close, he felt the desire to give the assistance of his secret to success to other butchers, so he invited them from all over to come at an appointed time to learn the great secret by which they, too, might become wealthy. A great many knights of the thimble responded to this seemingly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; and while they waited in eager silence to hear the important revelation, he was raised up in his bed, and with his expiring breath uttered this fleeting and final statement: “Always put a knot in your thread.”

That is certainly sage advice for any tailor, but grasping the basics is basic for success in any venture, including-and especially-the undertaking of understanding God’s future plan. One “knot in the thread” for understanding Bible prophecy is the realization that Israel is at the very center of God’s epic plan. This has certainly been true in the past. God called Abraham to be the forefather of His special people, the Jews, and He promised by Abraham’s descendants-Isaac, Jacob, etc.-that the Jewish nation would have a land, that the dimensions of that land would far go beyond any possession Israel has in addition had (cf. Genesis 15:18-21), and that the Messiah would rule from Jerusalem while Israel would be highly favored by God and the world, while at complete peace and security from any enemies.

The “knot in the thread” shows these conditions have never been met; and because God is not a man that He should lie (cf. Numbers 23:19), that can only average that God has a great future in store for Israel, with the Jewish nation at the very center of His predictive plan.

It is true that following the crucifixion of the Christ, that God turned toward the Gentiles with the gospel of Christ (appointing the apostle Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles); however, Paul himself wrote in Romans 11 that this focus by God upon the Gentiles was a permanent one. For Paul, in quoting Isaiah 59:20-21, announces that one day all Israel will be saved; and it will occur when the Deliverer comes to Zion (Jerusalem), as prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures. consequently, God’s turn toward the Gentiles was not simply to reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ; it had a double entendre, serving also the purpose of “provoking to jealousy” (Romans 11:14) Jews, so they will be “saved.”

Daniel 9:24-27 alludes to this, suggesting a “interruption” in God’s 490-year predictive plan of preparing Israel for the coming kingdom, of which seven years have been set aside to bring Israel to salvation. Zechariah, fortunately, provides us much more information (in chapters 12-14) of how Israel will respond during that timeframe-and how, as a consequence of Jewish followers of Jesus calling upon the Lord, the Messiah will return in deliverance. (The Deliverer will come to Zion, as in Isaiah 59: 20 and Romans 11:26.)

Based on Jesus’ prophecy in Luke 21:24, this seven-year era appears to be drawing close. After all, on the heels of His prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, Jesus expected: “Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” That is, Gentiles would take over dominion of Jerusalem (which they did in A.D. 70), a control which would continue unabated until “the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Since Jews retained control of the city of God in June of 1967, “the times of the Gentiles are [now] fulfilled.” (There is no other way to see this.) That method that, since 1967, God has been turning toward Israel, preparing Jews for the salvation they will acquire during the last seven years leading to the return of Christ to the earth.

However, many Christians today do not understand this exciting truth. Many have been led astray with the sad and unfortunate teaching that the Church has replaced Israel, and with that substitute, the promises to Israel are of no effect.

This is not only an attack on God’s information, but it is a malicious attack on His very character. Since the promises to Abraham and his descendants (which Paul shows in Romans were promises to those of Jewish heritage, NOT representational Jews) were unconditional in character, those promises will be fulfilled in the future. To say they will not be fulfilled is to declare that God does not fulfill His information; and if this were true, how could any of us trust any of His promises to us (such as the potential of eternal life to anyone who believes Jesus for it)?!

While many have attempted to replace Israel with the Church, God will truly do the very opposite. He will replace the Church with Israel. As presented by Jesus (Matthew 24:36-44; Luke 12:35-48) and Paul (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), Jesus Himself will come in the air to remove the Church when it is time for God’s seven-year focus on Israel to begin. During that very special era, “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26), and, as a wonderful unexpected, Israel will be “a light to the nations,” reaching “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9).

What a wonderful plan of God! Understanding this “knot in the thread” will permit you to see that God is faithful to His promises-including those made to Israel AND to us. In addition, this realization helps us to see that the coming of Jesus for all who have believed in Him for their eternal destiny is drawing close; consequently, let us prepare. Finally, seeing this “knot in the thread” will permit us to understand the treasures in God’s information so much more clearly!

Hopefully, from this, you can see the importance of notice the sage tailor’s advice: “Always put a knot in your thread.”

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