Apostolic Doctrine on Israel
It seems there is much confusion in the church on the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. We need to have a proper understanding of scripture so we are not carried away by every wind of man made doctrine in the church. This teaching will dig into the scripture to determine what the Lord says about the Jewish people and the church.
First, the Lord deeply loves the Jewish people. He wants all to be saved. The following scripture in Joel, makes it clear that the Lord will judge the nations that are gathering against Jerusalem for war. The Lord has said that the land of Israel is His land, and the city of Jerusalem is His city. The New Jerusalem will descend from Heaven over Israel and Jerusalem, and Christ will rule the earth from that place in the millennium. It is special to the Lord and a land that will be used for His purposes.
He also refers to Israel as His people, because these are the Jews that will be saved in Israel upon the return of Christ. The following scripture will take place right before Christ's return. We will discuss the salvation of the Jewish remnant later.
(Joel 3:2 NKJV)
I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.
Doctrine of the Apostles
In the modern church there are many confusing doctrines about Israel and the Jews. Some Christians believe it is more spiritual to be a "Messianic Believer" then a gentile believer. A messianic believer is a Jewish believer. Others in the church believe that simply to be a Jew is more spiritual. Some think that Jews have a greater access to spiritual promises than Christians. There are believers who view Jews that are not saved as special or chosen.
Let us be clear. The only thing that makes someone special is to have the One who is special living on the inside. Apart from Christ, no one is special. Every Jew that dies without Christ will go to Hell. Hell is not a place for the chosen of God. The chosen of God go to Heaven. Only Jews who are saved or will be saved are chosen. Just as Gentiles who have Christ in them are chosen. The church is still viewing things according to the flesh. We call Jews who are saved, Messianic believers. Where in the scripture does it tell us the we should make a distinction between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians? The first century church started with Jews who were believers. They were called disciples, or Christians. The flesh has found a way back into the church by means of the religious spirit.
Those who want to hold the flesh in high regard should remember that Abraham was not a Jew. He was from Ur of the Chaldees (Iraq). Abraham was Iraqi. It is also worthy to note that both Jews and Gentiles are from the bloodline of Noah. Also, David was not a pure blooded Israelite. Davids great grandmother was a Moabite. Jesus came through David's lineage, meaning that Jesus was not a pure blooded Israeli.
(Galatians 3:16 NKJV)
Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.
The Holy Spirit, through Paul, made it clear that the promises were not given to Abraham's seed in the natural (the Jewish people). The promises were for Christ.
(Galatians 3:28, 29 NKJV)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
This scripture crystallizes what was mentioned above. There is no Jew or Gentile in Christ. Only one new man. There is no Messianic believer or Gentile believer, but only a believer in Christ. The flesh dies in Christ because it profits nothing. Only the Spirit gives life. Then Galatians 3:29 goes on the say, "if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed." So only those who are born again believers in Jesus are Abraham's seed. Only those who are Abraham's seed are heirs of the promises. The spiritual children (Christians) of Abraham inherit the promises, not the nature children (the Jews).
Here are the promises that the scripture is referring to:
(Genesis 13:14-16 KJV)
And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
The land of Israel was promised to Abraham's seed forever. This is an eternal issue. The Jewish people will not possess the land forever. Only Christ (the seed), and those who have Christ living on the inside will possess the land forever.
(Genesis 22:17-18 KJV)
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Again, Abraham's seed are Christians. In Christians shall all the nations be blessed. Only those who have faith in Christ are sons of Abraham.
(Galatians 3:6, 7 NKJV)
just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.
True Jews / True Israel
(Romans 2:28, 29 NKJV)
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
A true Jew is one who has had their heart circumcised by the Holy Spirit. Not a Jew in the natural.
(Galatians 4:22-31 NKJV)
For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband.” Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
The Jewish people are sons of the bond woman, and have no inheritance with sons of the free woman (Christians).
(Romans 9:6-8 NKJV)
But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.
The scripture says that the true Israel (Christians) are the children of the promise. The children of the flesh (the Jews) are not the children of God or the children of the promise.
(Romans 9:24-26 NKJV)
even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
This scripture in Romans is referencing Hosea. Let us look at the context in Hosea to get the full understanding.
(Hosea 1:8-10 NKJV)
Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. Then God said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God. “Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, ‘ You are sons of the living God.’
The Lord is saying to the Jewish people, "for you are not My people, and I will not be your God." Then He goes on to say the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea. We see therefore that He is talking about those who are originally not His people, the Gentiles. So this scripture is referring to spiritual Israel who will be as the sand of the sea, not natural Israel. Spiritual Israel is both Gentiles and Jews who have been made one in Christ.
The One New Man
(Ephesians 2:11-22 NKJV)
Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
This scripture makes it very clear that Christ has made the Jew and Gentile into one new man. When a Jew comes to Christ, he is no longer a Jew. When a Gentile comes to Christ, he is no longer a Gentile. The two that were once different, are not different anymore. They have become a new creation. The Jew and the Gentile have become a Christian. Once a Gentile comes to Christ, they become a citizen with all the others who are in the household of God such as Jonah, Daniel, Joseph, and Enoch. There is no Jew or Gentile in Heaven. Only one new man. There is only one church. There is not a separation of the church and Israel in Heaven. In Christ we are all the saints.
(Ephesians 3:1-7 NKJV)
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
(Romans 11:1-10 NKJV)
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “ Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.” And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always.”
(Romans 11:15-29 NKJV)
For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Paul is stating that a remnant of the Jewish people will be saved. This group is the elect of the Jews, who are beloved for the sake of their fathers. Many of the Jewish people will die in the end times and in the battle over Jerusalem. We will look at these scriptures shortly. But when the Deliverer (Jesus) comes from Zion in Heaven, the remaining remnant of the Jewish people will receive Jesus the Messiah as their Savior. This will take place at the second coming of Christ on the last day of the age, during the battle over Jerusalem.
(Romans 9:27 NKJV)
Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved.
The End of the Age
(Daniel 12:6, 7 NKJV)
And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be? ” Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
When the power of Israel is completely shattered, at the end of the three and a half year great tribulation, Jesus will return.
(Zechariah 13:8, 9 NKJV)
And it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the Lord, “ That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one –third shall be left in it: I will bring the one –third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’
Two-thirds of the Jewish people will be killed in the tribulation and the battle for Jerusalem. There will be one-third of the nation of Israel remaining at the end of the age at Christ's return. This is the remnant that will be saved.
(Zechariah 14:1-5 NKJV)
Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You.
The nations gather and go to war against Israel. These armies that are marching on Jerusalem are led by the antichrist. Half of the city of Jerusalem will go into captivity. Then in the darkest hour, when all hope seems lost, Christ will return and rescue the remnant of the Jewish people.
(Joel 2:20, 27 28, 29 NKJV)
“But I will remove far from you the northern army, And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, With his face toward the eastern sea And his back toward the western sea; His stench will come up, And his foul odor will rise, Because he has done monstrous things.”
And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
Please read the entire context of this scripture in the Bible. Jesus returns and removes the northern army (the antichrist's armies) into a desolate land. Then He is in the midst of Israel ruling and reigning on the earth. After that, the Spirit is poured out on all flesh (the Jewish remnant). Then Joel 2:30 skips back to the time right before Christ's return. This is what prophecy in scripture does. Sometimes there will be a thousand year jump in time when you go from one line of scripture to another. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the time periods in scripture to us.
It is very important that we use scripture to form our doctrine on subjects such as the Jewish people and Israel. If we allow the teaching of men in the church to form our doctrine on Israel, then we will go into deception. Now is the time to go deep into the Word. Only by anchoring ourselves with the Word will we be able to stand in the days ahead.
The scriptures make it clear that Jesus is coming back to set up His Kingdom in Jerusalem. It is the city that He has chosen to reign from. The city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel is special because the King Himself has chosen it for the seat of His rule. Satan desires to destroy Israel and take the land for himself, because he knows Jesus' destiny to rule the earth from Jerusalem. This is why there is such great conflict and tension over the land of Israel.
There will be a number of Jewish people who will choose to give their lives to Christ between now and the Lord's return. The Lord knows who these Jews are, and He considers them chosen (just as a Gentile believer who chooses Christ is "chosen"). Upon the return of Christ, the remaining remnant of the Jewish people will be saved. Note that the scriptures are very clear; only a remnant will be saved. Please study these things to see if they are so.