←Books ←Chapters ←Previous Next→

Two Prophetic Paths

This chapter focuses on the unique identities and destinies of Israel and the Body of Christ or Christian community / congregation. These comments are adapted from the author’s online book, Bible Prophecy: Foundation and Future.

Bible prophecy interpretation depends upon whether or not Israel was to retain its identity beyond its dispersion in 70 AD. Those who see Israel as having been abandoned forever by God will interpret all remaining prophecies as applying to the Body of Christ (yet they accept on Israel’s blessings and not its curses). But those who see Israel as having been given irrevocable promises by God interpret all remaining prophecies about Israel as literal.

So first we must know what God promised to Israel. In Jeremiah 31:37 we’re told that God will never reject the people of Israel in spite of all they’ve done, and in Ezekiel 36:22-23 it states very clearly that the purpose is to prove God holy in spite of their habit of giving him a bad name among the nations of the world. We see in those and other passages that God is not yet finished with Israel, since his purposes do not depend upon the faith of its people. In fact, God states clearly that Israel has profaned his name and made him the object of scorn among the Gentiles. So the argument that Israel today is not the chosen people of God is invalid, since it has nothing to do with their merit. God has scattered them before but brought them back again, so there’s no reason to presume that he won’t do so in the future.

This doesn’t just concern the people, either, but also the land. The original land of Israel was determined by God Himself: the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (Ex. 3:8, 13:5, etc.) This area is currently known as Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, part of Turkey, and Israel, including Gaza and the West Bank. God promised this area to Abraham’s descendants.

Clearly, both the land and people of Israel belong to God. In their present state of unbelief and hostility to their own Messiah, they must be purged and purified. But it will be by the hand of God, not Christians or Gentiles, since whoever comes against God’s people comes against him (Zech. 2:8). So while we’re not obligated to support or condone what they’re doing as a nation, neither are we to attack or condemn them— as if we or any other nations have a right to point fingers at others.

There is ample archaeological evidence of these ancient Hebrew cities, culture, artifacts, and language (see this pro-Israel source and this anti-Israel source). Yet there’s no evidence for any such people as Palestinians; there’s no coinage, no inscriptions, no language, nothing. It’s often and loudly claimed that a so-called Palestinian people had prior occupancy, yet not even the Dome of the Rock was built until 691 AD. A.C. Cresswell in his book Origin of the plan of the Dome of the Rock notes that those who built the shrine used the measurements of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which of course was preceded by Israel (see this book, and this article).

Now we must address the charge that none of the people in Israel today are true Jews by descendance from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but are Khazars and thus the fake Jews spoken of in the book of Revelation. Though this may be provable genetically for some of the people, it’s not true of all of them. Neither is it true that all of them are atheists, Kabbalists, or occultists. Yet God spares his people no matter how small the number (remnant), and the land still belongs to God. In addition, Gentiles were always allowed to convert to Judaism and given full rights as Jews (Isaiah 56:3-8). So even if the people of Israel today were proven to lack genetic descendance from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this doesn’t prevent them from being considered the people of God.

To answer yet another charge, the establishment of modern Israel by ordinary political means doesn’t mean it isn’t a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Was God supposed to just have us all wake up one morning to see that there was a nation of Israel? How else would anyone accept that God had something to do with it? The fact that Israel’s existence in the future was predicted long ago is proof enough that this is of God— though Israel did in fact appear suddenly, per Isaiah 66:8.

A question for Christians who say that God has broken his promises to Israel due to unbelief: What makes them think God won’t also break his promises to Christian communities whose people lack faith or keep indulging in sin? Many congregations today are filled with corruption and worldly hedonism; they have relegated the Bible to myth or irrelevance in the modern world; they embrace all the depravity of the wicked and mock the few voices of rebuke and calls to holiness. If God can abandon Israel, then God can also abandon us. Those who smugly say that God is finished with Israel should not think God won’t turn his back on them as well.

Having established the foundation of Bible prophecy as that God won’t abandon Israel, it follows that the remaining prophecies about the people and land of Israel will be literally fulfilled. Israel and the Body of Christ have separate destinies and purposes, as explained by both Peter and James in Acts 15, and by Paul in 1 Cor. 10:32 where he lists Jews, Greeks (Gentiles), and the Congregation of God. Though there is but one Kingdom of Heaven, there are various provinces depending on when a righteous person lived (see the chapter on Dispensationalism, along with articles here and here). If God can break his promises to Israel, he can break them to us, and none of his promises would mean anything. Thus so-called Replacement Theology, whether the Body of Christ replaces Israel or the Body of Christ is absorbed into Israel and must obey the Levitial law, means that God does not keep his promises to glorify his name rather than ours. So prophecies in the Old Testament apply to the people and land of Israel specifically, not to the as-yet unknown and unrevealed Body of Christ.

Now just as Israel has its own history and promises, so also does the Body of Christ. It is only in the New Testament, especially the Letters, where the mystery (secret) of this new Congregation is revealed (Rom. 11:25, 16:25, 1 Cor. 2:7, Eph. 1:9, 3:3-9, Col. 1:26-27, 2:2, and 4:3). Not even the Gospels tell us much about prophecies concerning the Body of Christ, since Jesus stated clearly that his primary mission was to the lost sheep of Israel (Mat. 15:24). Neither will the events of Revelation be primarily about the Body of Christ, which is never addressed after the seven letters in chapters two and three. We are not appointed to wrath (1 Thes. 5:9) and have never shared in the guilt or prophecies of Israel. No other righteous people from any other age before or after the Age of Grace were or will be promised the Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing salvation (2 Cor. 1:22, 5:5, Eph. 1:13-14). Unlike us, Israel was never described as the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27, Eph. 4:12). Regarding Eph. 3:6, which states that through the Gospel both Jew and Gentile are united into one Body, it also states that this unity is found in Christ Jesus. It doesn’t say that Gentiles are absorbed into Israel.

We are a unique entity, neither Jew nor Gentile, without any detailed commands for sacred buildings or rituals. We share with Israel neither law nor priesthood (Heb. 7), prophecy nor judgment, risk of being disowned nor exiled and scattered. Since our salvation and righteousness are found not in ourselves but in Jesus, we can no more be taken from him nor choose to leave him than he could do such things to himself (1 Cor. 6:19b-20a).

One other important principle to establish is that there was no death or mortality before sin entered the world (Rom. 5:12). Therefore, death and mortality cannot continue after sin has been done away with, since they’re part of the curse and that curse will end (Rev. 22:3). So whenever we encounter a passage of scripture that speaks of mortality, even if people live long and happy lives, we must conclude that the passage refers to a time before the curse is taken away. This is also true of the matter of final, personal judgment. If we read a passage about the judgment of the dead and the destruction of Death and Hades, then no one can be judged afterwards. Therefore, no one can die after that point, since they would never be judged and there’s no place for them to go.

As another example, if we see a passage that speaks of the land of Israel, we must not apply it to the Body of Christ. Or if we read about endurance to be saved, we know it doesn’t concern us, since we who are in Christ are credited with his righteousness, and it’s a received gift rather than an earned wage (Rom. 6:14, 11:6, Eph. 2:8-9). As noted earlier, we are not to suffer the wrath of God, for the same reason that we’re only righteous because we belong to Jesus. This hardly means we don’t suffer in this age of grace (Act 5:41, Rom. 5:3, 8:17-18, Heb. 11), but that this is not the wrath of God which will be poured out on the whole world (Rev. 3:10).


Now when we examine any prophetic passage, we need to ask questions like these:

Note: The terms saints and elect refer to the righteous of any age; they aren’t unique to Christianity. Everyone in the Body of Christ is a saint, but not every saint is in the Body of Christ.

↑ Page Top