"I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 15: 24
The house of Israel was to be expanded to include the Gentiles (Isaiah 11: 10, Isaiah 42: 6,
Isaiah 60: 2-3, Isaiah 66: 12, Hosea 2: 23, and Malachi 1: 11). But nowhere does the Bible
say that Christ has a people of his own other than Israel. The Gentiles were to join
Israel. There is no "church" in scripture which is just a congregation of Israel.
And Israel was transformed as predicted in II Kings 21: 13, "...and I
will wipe Jerusalem
as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down?"
Then Isaiah 29:16 mentions God's turning of things upside down,and
points to Jeremiah 18: 1-6. This is the parable of the potter where
verse 4 says "And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the
potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the
potter to make it." Israel is the clay in the hands of God the potter. God
remade Israel into a different vessel that seemed good to the potter.
By Christ's time most of physical Israel followed the religion of the
Pharisees, or oral Talmudic Judaism. Christ had much to say about and
to the Pharisees who represented the apostate religion of that time.
However, Hebrews Chapter Eleven lists
some of the people of old Israel who lived by faith. Those listed
in this chapter include Abel, Enouch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac,
Jacob, Moses, Gideon, and even the prostitute Rahab. "These all died in faith,
not having received the promises, but having seen them afar
off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that
they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Hebrews 11: 13 There
were a few Hebrews at the time Christ was born who were faithful, such
as Simeon and Anna discussed in Luke Chapter 2.
In Matthew 27: 52-53, after Christ died on the Cross and the veil of
the temple was torn, indicating the Old Covenant was taken away
(Hebrews 10: 9), "The graves
were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose...and went
into the holy city and appeared unto many."
But Charles C. Ryrie (born 1925) says of classical dispensationalism
that the: "basic primise of Dispensationalism is two purposes of God
expressed in the formation of two peoples who maintain their distinction
throughout eternity." Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, 1966,
J. Dwight Pentecost is another dispensationalist theologian who in his
book Things To Come ( 1965) says "The church and Israel are two
distinct groups with whom God has a divine plan...These considerations
all arise from
a literal method of interpretation." (page 193, J. Dwight Pentecost,
Things To Come, Zondervan, 1965)....
In dispensationalism "Israel" is always one group, all those who claim
physical descent from Abraham.
At the Cross the promise to Abraham that his seed would be in a covenant with
God forever was changed from the physical seed, the literal DNA of
Abraham, to Abraham's
spiritual seed, to those who like Abraham, believed God. As Paul says
in Romans 9: 8 "They which
are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God."
Followers of dispensationalism cling to their fundamental belief that
physical Israel, the children of the flesh, remain God's chosen
people. They cling to that belief in physical Israel as the chosen
people, which is called Jewish supremacy, because they think their
identity in Christ is based upon believing physical Israel is the
chosen people. This belief is in great part based on Romans 11: 17
that they as Gentiles of the "church" are grafted into the good olive
tree which, from dispensationalism, they think, is all physical
Israel. Yet Paul is not inconsistent in his doctrines. To be
consistent with Romans 9: 6-8, Galatians 4: 25-26, Romans 2: 28-29,
Galatians 3: 28-29 and other New Testament texts, that Israel into
which Gentile Christians are grafted into is Jerusalem which is above,
is free and is the mother of us all, and in Romans 9: 8 the children
of the promise to Abraham as his spiritual seed, rather than his
physical seed who are not born again.
On another Christian forum a couple of years ago, I was saying that
Paul in I Corinthians 15: 52 said that Christ
will appear at the last trump, or the last trumpet, which would be the
seventh trumpet at the end of the tribulation. But a follower of
dispensationalism replied and
said, no, Paul did not mean the last trumpet of the Book of
Revelation. What Paul meant, this dispensationalism said, was a
trumpet sounding in some aspect of the Old Covenant ceremonial law,
during some feast day. This dispensationalist also added that as
Christians grafted into Israel, we need to know more of that Old
In attributing the status of God's chosen people to all physical
Israel, most of whom when Christ walked the earth were in Talmudic
Judaism, the religion of the Pharisees, and not believing I Peter 2: 9
that Christians are the chosen people following the Cross,
dispenationalists have, like Esau in Genesis 25, given up their
Their birthright is in Israel, but they have the wrong Israel. Christ
came to save Israel, but that Israel which has an identity in Jesus
Christ, as their spiritual birthright, is Israel reborn in Christ
(John 3: 1-6). Only those born again in Christ are part of saved
There is no separate group of the body of Christ in scripture
different from that
Israel which Paul in Romans 9:8 says are the children of the promise,
as opposed to the other
Israel, physical Israel, which he says "They which are the children of
the flesh, these are not the children of God." There is no group
different from that saved body of Christ Paul refers to
in Galatians 4: 26 as "...Jerusalem which is above is free, which is
the mother of us all. This
saved Israel is contrasted with that Israel in Galatians 4: 25 as
"...Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children."
"Church" is used many times in the New Testament. Its a translation
of ekklesia, an assembly, a congregation. The "congregation" can be
an assembly of Christians who are of saved Israel, but "congregation"
is not a different body of Christ from the Israel (which is) of God in
Galatians 6: 16.