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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:36 pm 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
I dunno - if Iran or North Korea were surrounded by enemies who would destroy them... well, actually we would probably be one of them...

Sorry, couldn't resist a little bit of devil's advocating! :wink:


:) Fair enough. So, if Malta or Israel deserved to be invaded then that would be another matter altogether.

But, as far as biblical reasons for supporting Israel, I've never been clear on it. The modern state of Israel has no covenant with God; the Jewish covenant isn't salvific any longer. The Church is Israel now, is it not?

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:51 pm 
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The problem with that is WHO decides whether or not invasion is deserved?

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
QuoVadisAnima wrote:
I dunno - if Iran or North Korea were surrounded by enemies who would destroy them... well, actually we would probably be one of them...

Sorry, couldn't resist a little bit of devil's advocating! :wink:


:) Fair enough. So, if Malta or Israel deserved to be invaded then that would be another matter altogether.

But, as far as biblical reasons for supporting Israel, I've never been clear on it. The modern state of Israel has no covenant with God; the Jewish covenant isn't salvific any longer. The Church is Israel now, is it not?


The Church is absolutely NOT Israel! God's covenant with Israel is everlasting, though that nation as a whole has not come to accept their Messiah yet (though many Jews have come to faith in Jesus). The Church and Israel are two distinct entities in God's economy, though salvation of individuals, both Jew and Gentile, is thru the same means.

Justgrace, all those points about modern Israel's history are of course true, but the only reason they returned to that land was due to it being their historic, Biblical land. Therefore, support of them now being in that land and defending their right to exist there has it's basis in Biblical reasoning, for if it were not for their historic/Biblical claim to be in that land, then why are they there? It all gets back to that premise.

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Old Testament Israel was the church. The promise was that there would be a Savior. The nation of Israel was only a means to that end, not an end in itself. According to Paul in Ephesians 2:11-22, in Christ the dividing wall has been destroyed. It cannot be rebuilt. The two peoples (Jews and Gentiles) have been made one in Christ. Among those who are united to Christ by grace alone, through faith alone, there is no Jew nor Gentile (Rom. 10:12; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11).

The church has always been the Israel of God and the Israel of God has always been the church. There is a distinction between the old and new covenants (2 Cor. 3; Heb. 7-10). The church was temporarily administered through a typological, national people, but the church has existed since Abel, Noah, and Abraham; and it existed under Moses and David; and it exists under Christ.

The church has always been one, under various administrations, under types, shadows, and now under the reality in Christ, because the object of faith has always been one. Jesus the Messiah was the object of faith of the typological church (Heb. 11; Luke 24; 2 Cor. 3), and he remains the object of faith.

Despite the abrogation of the national covenant by the obedience, death, and resurrection of Christ (Col. 2:14), the NT church has not “replaced” the Jews. Paul says that God “grafted” the Gentiles into the people of God. Grafting is not replacement, it is addition.



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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:41 pm 
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The Church was never mentioned until New Testament times and for good reason: it was not an entity yet. There is simply no scriptural basis for suggesting that Israel and the Church are essentially the same entity, just at different times in history. Interesting though that those who claim the Old Testament promises made to Israel are now for the Church also think the curses still apply to Israel. A very conveniant theology. And how could the dry bones prophecy in Ezekial refer to a people/entity (the Church) when they had not even exsited yet? What figurative death were they coming back from? It's national Israel that's being talked about there and we've seen that prophecy take place in our lifetimes.....pretty exciting stuff if you ask me.

But again, it brings up the original point: if Israel is now the Church, what are they doing in that land and becoming a nation once again? They would be illegitimate and a fraud, which those who hold to replacement theology consider modern Israel to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:59 pm 
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Concerning Gods land promise to Israel (Gen 17:8) the Hebrew word translated 'forever' and 'everlasting' is olam, which actually means 'a long period of time' or 'to the end of a given period of time'. Some people believe this refers to the end of the Jewish age (70 AD).



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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 9:41 pm 
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goalieman wrote:
The Church was never mentioned until New Testament times and for good reason: it was not an entity yet. There is simply no scriptural basis for suggesting that Israel and the Church are essentially the same entity, just at different times in history. Interesting though that those who claim the Old Testament promises made to Israel are now for the Church also think the curses still apply to Israel. A very conveniant theology. And how could the dry bones prophecy in Ezekial refer to a people/entity (the Church) when they had not even exsited yet? What figurative death were they coming back from? It's national Israel that's being talked about there and we've seen that prophecy take place in our lifetimes.....pretty exciting stuff if you ask me.

But again, it brings up the original point: if Israel is now the Church, what are they doing in that land and becoming a nation once again? They would be illegitimate and a fraud, which those who hold to replacement theology consider modern Israel to be.


Well I wouldn't say they're essentially the same entity. The Church is a spiritual Israel in the sense of being the chosen people, the people of God.

And, I don't quite understand your question at the end. Jews have been moving there over the centuries, for a variety of reasons. I guess it's mainly due to their belief that it's their homeland and due to necessity, i.e. nowhere else to go. At some point, there's enough of them that they can declare independence and successfully defend themselves.

It's only as fraudulent as Texas' independence from Mexico is. :lol:

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They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
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All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.


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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 11:42 pm 
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jdbrown wrote:
Concerning Gods land promise to Israel (Gen 17:8) the Hebrew word translated 'forever' and 'everlasting' is olam, which actually means 'a long period of time' or 'to the end of a given period of time'. Some people believe this refers to the end of the Jewish age (70 AD).


Wow, that's the second time I accidently gave you a like to your post...........typing on an android phone has it's issues! :lol:

I know full well that there are some who think Israel was done away with in God's plans in AD 70. It's not good theology, IMO, but it's out there. I just do not see how any objective reading of the prophetic books of the Old Testament like Ezekial or Daniel and many others can lead to any other conclusion than that Israel will always have a place in God's plans for the ages. For anyone who would like to delve into this subject more, I'd recommend http://www.cjfm.org (Christian Jew Foundation) and http://www.foi.org (Friends of Israel).

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 11:51 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
goalieman wrote:
The Church was never mentioned until New Testament times and for good reason: it was not an entity yet. There is simply no scriptural basis for suggesting that Israel and the Church are essentially the same entity, just at different times in history. Interesting though that those who claim the Old Testament promises made to Israel are now for the Church also think the curses still apply to Israel. A very conveniant theology. And how could the dry bones prophecy in Ezekial refer to a people/entity (the Church) when they had not even exsited yet? What figurative death were they coming back from? It's national Israel that's being talked about there and we've seen that prophecy take place in our lifetimes.....pretty exciting stuff if you ask me.

But again, it brings up the original point: if Israel is now the Church, what are they doing in that land and becoming a nation once again? They would be illegitimate and a fraud, which those who hold to replacement theology consider modern Israel to be.


Well I wouldn't say they're essentially the same entity. The Church is a spiritual Israel in the sense of being the chosen people, the people of God.

And, I don't quite understand your question at the end. Jews have been moving there over the centuries, for a variety of reasons. I guess it's mainly due to their belief that it's their homeland and due to necessity, i.e. nowhere else to go. At some point, there's enough of them that they can declare independence and successfully defend themselves.

It's only as fraudulent as Texas' independence from Mexico is. :lol:


The point of the question is, why should we be supportive of the Jews return to Israel if Israel as a nation has been done away with in God's plans? Jews as a people could and do live in many other places in the world, why care about an ancient nation that was long ago given the boot by God? If not for historical/Biblical reasons, it seems like a lot of headaches for nothing to have the Arab/Israeli conflict take up so much of our time and energies. It's the whole premise of why we support Israel that concerns me.

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 12:02 am 
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Some of the confusion also may rest in the distinction between a nation and a state. Israel as a people almost certainly can be thought of as a "nation" by most social science definitions even during its captivites (Egypt, Babylon) and diasporan phases. But the "state" of Israel has a much more limited pedigree.

There are many nations without states from time to time throughout history. The Kurds are the largest (except maybe the Fulbe/Fulani Hausa in West Africa) today. Most of us today tend to use the phrase interchangeably as most "nations" are also "states." I think that can easily lock our thinking into a default to political/physical geographic lines rather than ethnic/religious geographic definitions as a possible explanation.

All the Biblical promises (if they are still to be fulfilled in accord with many dispensationalist interpretations) to Israel may not require a "state" in order for the "nation" Israel to be Blessed.

Still, I have no problem simply supporting the state of Israel as a friendly beachhead in a very hostile, yet strategically vital, region of the world. My dad was wounded by the Japanese, they are not under and Biblical promise of which I am aware, yet they are now a vital ally I am glad we support them.

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:12 am 
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Hmmm, seems the website went into suspense for a few hours tonight..........darn cyber space!

Just a quick response to Southern Docs above post. If the dispensational view of scripture is correct, Jerusalem, the Temple, etc. would need a physical location ( i.e. a state) to reside in.

Now, back to working on my slogan for the Romney campaign! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:05 pm 
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goalieman wrote:
Hmmm, seems the website went into suspense for a few hours tonight..........darn cyber space!

Just a quick response to Southern Docs above post. If the dispensational view of scripture is correct, Jerusalem, the Temple, etc. would need a physical location ( i.e. a state) to reside in.



Unless we start making all the cities and states of the Bible symbolic... :wink:

What the Bible says about Israel is very important for understanding their future and ours. There are many unfulfilled prophecies regarding the land as well as the people of Israel. Those unfulfilled prophecies for many reasons cannot be considered symbolic of the Church. We need to correctly divide them, which I acknowledge I am no expert in doing. But there are some important points.

Israel is not abandoned; not replaced by the Church: The Bible speaks in Romans of the Church being a branch grafted into the people of Israel. We have not replaced them. Otherwise our life source would cut us off from life; as a root gives sustenance to a plant, we would be dead or non-existent without them.

A permanent nation: Wherever they go, God keeps track of each Jew, and as Southern Doc says, even without their land they are a "nation." That has not happened with any other people. The Kurds or a few ethnic groups may be non-assimilated, but the Jewish people have remained unique for over 4,000 years because of the promises of God--around two thousand years from Abraham's covenant until Christ’s birth, and two thousand years since Christ's birth until now.

Yes, they, like us, have been disobedient. They have been exiled several times and ultimately dispersed after the Roman invasion in AD 70 that destroyed completely the center of their worship (the Temple) along with millions of their people and much of their holy city, Jerusalem. They were dispersed through many lands but not forgotten by God. Their disobedience is often a picture of ours. Their hope is in Christ (Messiah) alone, as is ours.

I have been blessed to study for the last couple of years Kay Arthur's in-depth study of the Kings and Prophets of Israel. I admit I have learned but a fraction there is to know of Israel's past and future. But one frequent refrain of the O.T. prophets was that, though Israel would be punished for their unbelief and sin, God's covenant with them is unbreakable because of the faithfulness of God's Word. Because of His justice, yes, they were punished. But we are too, if we fail to come under the salvation of Jesus Christ. We have no hope apart from Him for our forgiveness of sin, our eternal life.

One common theme of the prophets was the judgment of God, promised to come "in that day," or "in the Day of the Lord.” Those prophecies about the Lord's Day of wrath have not been fully fulfilled. There is a coming judgment on all the earth, and God still promises that Messiah will judge and rule the entire earth from Jerusalem. Jesus needs to return to an actual place for that to happen.

Here is a quote regarding “that day,” and how God will set up Israel as a nation again:

“It shall come to pass in that day
That the LORD shall set His hand again the second time [the first being under Zerubbabel in 537 B.C]
To recover His remnant of His people who are left,
From Assyria and Egypt,
From Pathros and Cush,
From Elam and Shinar,
From Hamath and the islands of the sea.
He will set up a banner for the nations,
And will assemble the outcasts of Israel,
And gather together the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.” [Ever wonder where we got that expression?]
(Isaiah 11:11-12)

This is obviously a world-wide regathering and event, something that has not been fulfilled in full.

We are living in the Age of Grace, the Church age, in which all the world is given the opportunity to know Christ, and then the end will come. If you happened to look at the maps I shared on a thread here a few days ago you could visually see how Christianity is spreading across the world as never before. The end is near, we know, when all the nations hear the gospel.

The Church Age, beginning at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples with holy fire to preach the gospel ends in Revelation 4. The Apostle John describes the church history and prophecy in Revelation, Chapters 1-3, as shown him in a heavenly vision by Jesus Christ. The Church age on earth ends in Revelation 4:1-4, when the trumpet and the midnight call of Christ take believers to heaven. After this, God's bowls of wrath (judgment) are poured out upon the earth. The Church is not spoken of as receiving wrath on earth, and throughout the rest of Revelation she is in heaven.

When the final battles and judgments take place on earth, the Holy Land will be the target of all nations surrounding her. That time is often called The Great Tribulation. Even today, we see the Arab and Muslim nations bent on destroying Israel. And, evidently, even the USA will one day forsake her. For only God will come to her aid and save her.

In Matthew 24:21, Jesus foretold: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved…false christs and false prophets will arise…See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out…For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

When Jesus returns to save Israel, this is an event seen worldwide; it is not local but worldwide, since east and west will see Him.

The world will turn against God’s tiny nation, in rebellion against Him. But God has not forgotten His holy covenant with Israel. When Jesus returns to earth bodily at the end of the tribulation time, the Bible says His feet will alight on the Holy Mount and split it in two. This has never happened, so we know this fulfillment is future. (Zechariah 14:4)

After His resurrection, after appearing to many people alive, Jesus in the presence of His disciples ascended upward in the sky. Two angels appeared and announced to the amazed disciples:

"Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)

These explanations are not necessary in order to have reasons to support Israel today. But since several questions have been asked about prophecy and the relation of Israel and the Church, I wanted to reply to them to the best of my knowledge. None of us will know exactly how and when Christ Jesus returns, and we will miss some of the signs of His coming, perhaps.

But we can understand enough of these signs to want to be ready, as well as to support Israel. For to be on the right side is of utmost importance with God.



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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:44 pm 
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justgrace wrote:
goalieman wrote:
Hmmm, seems the website went into suspense for a few hours tonight..........darn cyber space!

Just a quick response to Southern Docs above post. If the dispensational view of scripture is correct, Jerusalem, the Temple, etc. would need a physical location ( i.e. a state) to reside in.


Unless we start making all the cities and states of the Bible symbolic... :wink:


And therein lies the differences in opinion when interpreting scripture. One has to spiritulize/symbolize large parts of the Bible to come to the conclusion that Israel as a Nation/State is not literally going to physically be back in their land once again. The fact that they are now in their land after nearly 2000 years of being disbursed from there is proof of that literal fullfilment of prophecy. IMHO, of course. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:00 pm 
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goalieman wrote:
Just a quick response to Southern Docs above post. If the dispensational view of scripture is correct, Jerusalem, the Temple, etc. would need a physical location ( i.e. a state) to reside in.

Now, back to working on my slogan for the Romney campaign! :lol:


Yeah, that’s the rub. I suppose a state of Israel would seem necessary for there to be a Temple. But there wasn’t an independent political state of Israel controlling the Temple site during the time of Christ yet it was clearly open for business. So I suppose if God’s promises require such, I’m not going to limit the possibilities as to how He fulfills them. He certainly kept His promises concerning the linage of King Jesus in a creative way that most Jewish scribes would not have considered. The question of a need for a Temple also has to be squared with the woman at the well’s query as to which mountain true worshipers must go to. Jesus’ response of neither but rather a coming time in which “spirit and truth” define worship for me begs the question as to why a literal physical future Temple would operate in God’s plan. These and many more are the reasons why I have never been persuaded by the premillennial argument. I personally consider it an issue of conscience where clarity on the issue has clearly alluded the vast majority of those who have professed the name of Christ historically.

Modern dispensational premillennialism as a theology or doctrine is hard to really identify in the writings of early Church fathers, Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, and most of Protestantism until the mid- 19th century. Some early Church fathers did subscribe to something similar but almost all of them also believed the events must take place after 6,000 A.D. Even this position largely disappeared by the early Medieval period (500 A.D.). The organized doctrine only really begins to spread as a significant theological position along the 19th Century American frontier primarily among Baptists and some Presbyterians. Since then it has spread into accepted belief among numerous Pentecostal and Holiness movements (and through their missionaries world-wide). The position has also generated innumerable sub-groups and variations including the recent May 21 End of Days movement. There is very little consensus concerning details even among dispensationalists.

[NOTE: it took decades for premillennialism to become widely accepted even among Baptist. Noted Baptist theologian Charles Spurgeon was a fierce critic of “Darbyism” (John Nelson Darby was the leading preacher of dispensational premillennialism and seems to have coined “rapture;” Spurgeon was an historic premillennialist meaning he rejected the idea of separate identities for a spiritual Church and a physical national Israel ). It was not until C.I Scofield embraced and defended the position that modern dispensationalism began to gain legitimacy among fundamentalists.]

Still, the dominant orthodox position (simply meaning the most widely held) was and still is amillennialism (in which no literal thousand years, measured tribulation, physical Israel, or distinct rapture followed by a measured “days” pause before final judgment , is considered needed to fulfill the promises of God, His prophets and His Son [such as Matt 24) or the vision of John in Revelation).

Since many or most folks here at HA come from a Baptist or similar background I can certainly understand and respect their concern for how events in Israel may be playing out in accordance with a specific “End Days” scenario. I do think it is important though to realize that the vast majority of Americans (including the majority of regular church goers) do not subscribe to premillenial eschatology. Those folks can get quite nervous, quite fast, at the notion of a potential President making foreign policy decisions based on theological positions they do not hold. This is an area of vulnerability for Mike politically.

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Thanks for that background, Doc. This is an area in which I need to do some larnin'. Too many books, too little time.

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The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
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Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:31 pm 
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I don't have time at the moment to pull out some past articles dealing with this subject, but what we call dispensationalism today had a prior name in the first few centuries following Christ's time on earth and it was called, and I may mis-spell it slightly here, Chilism. Info on this can be found at http://www.cjfm.org.

But I would ask this question: which view of this issue do most liberal protestant denominations hold to? The answer is, amillinialism. As is often the case in life, the majority can often be wrong and even profoundly wrong at times.

I also wouldn't dismiss , as some may think dispensationalism is, a newer view of scripture simply because it wasn't a widely held view in previous centuries. That argument could have been made (and certainly was made by the Catholic church) during the time of the Reformation that Luther's thesis was wrong simply due to appealing to Church history. How long a theology has been in place isn't what determines it's validity, it's how it matches up with scripture.

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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Quote:
goalieman wrote:

Unless we start making all the cities and states of the Bible symbolic... :wink:


And therein lies the differences in opinion when interpreting scripture. One has to spiritulize/symbolize large parts of the Bible to come to the conclusion that Israel as a Nation/State is not literally going to physically be back in their land once again. The fact that they are now in their land after nearly 2000 years of being disbursed from there is proof of that literal fullfilment of prophecy. IMHO, of course. :wink:


The Lord is fond of symbolizing the spiritual realities with the physical so it is not uncommon for Him to intend both, BUT not necessarily as we would expect them to be. Hence, He could speak of tearing the Temple down & re-building it in 3 days. The Jews said this "failure" proved He was a false prophet. Yet, His prophecy was true both physically & spiritually as it was His own Body that was the Temple. (And we know from Scripture that His Body is also the Church so this has many layers of meaning) The problem is when we insist on God's Word fitting our limited human perspectives rather than accepting it thru His.


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goalieman wrote:
I don't have time at the moment to pull out some past articles dealing with this subject, but what we call dispensationalism today had a prior name in the first few centuries following Christ's time on earth and it was called, and I may mis-spell it slightly here, Chilism. Info on this can be found at http://www.cjfm.org.

But I would ask this question: which view of this issue do most liberal protestant denominations hold to? The answer is, amillinialism. As is often the case in life, the majority can often be wrong and even profoundly wrong at times.

I also wouldn't dismiss , as some may think dispensationalism is, a newer view of scripture simply because it wasn't a widely held view in previous centuries. That argument could have been made (and certainly was made by the Catholic church) during the time of the Reformation that Luther's thesis was wrong simply due to appealing to Church history. How long a theology has been in place isn't what determines it's validity, it's how it matches up with scripture.

It is necessary to qualify this, because to borrow from John Henry Newman, it is one thing to recognize an oak that grew from an acorn, but it is quite another to claim that a maple did. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:43 pm 
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goalieman wrote:
I don't have time at the moment to pull out some past articles dealing with this subject, but what we call dispensationalism today had a prior name in the first few centuries following Christ's time on earth and it was called, and I may mis-spell it slightly here, Chilism. Info on this can be found at http://www.cjfm.org.

But I would ask this question: which view of this issue do most liberal protestant denominations hold to? The answer is, amillinialism. As is often the case in life, the majority can often be wrong and even profoundly wrong at times.

I also wouldn't dismiss , as some may think dispensationalism is, a newer view of scripture simply because it wasn't a widely held view in previous centuries. That argument could have been made (and certainly was made by the Catholic church) during the time of the Reformation that Luther's thesis was wrong simply due to appealing to Church history. How long a theology has been in place isn't what determines it's validity, it's how it matches up with scripture.


Chilism is the Greek for 1,000. Millennial the Latin. Since the earliest texts are Greek then the earliest theological explanation of what to make of the passages that use the word have been called today "Chilism". Those that wrote about Chilism during the early Church held to a view generally called "historic premillenialism" in which there was a "thousand year reign" (which almost all thought would begin around 6,000 A.D.) but there was no concept of seperate spheres of a spiritual church and a physical Israel (nor was there a rapture). This view was the interpretaion shared by Charles Spurgeon.

I really was not intending to "lay waste" to those who hold a dispensationalist position as it is generally understood today. As I said, I am not persuaded but I do not consider the issue to be a test of fellowship (nor did the most prominent Church Father Irenaeus who held the "Chilism" historic premillenial view but would not bind it on his flock; and this from a man who made his name in religious history as an opponent of heresy).

Do know that their are plenty of theologically "conservative" religious traditions in America who are not pre-millennialist and are reliable conservative voters as well. Traditional Catholics would fit that bill as would restorationist Churches of Christ (who are statistically the most politically conservative bloc of voters today).


The reason there has been such disagreement often stems from the need to adobt some measure of "figurative" interpretation while then insisting upon a "literal" application sometimes within the same proof text. For example:

Revelation 20:2 (New International Version)

2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

Most modern dispensationalist consider the dragon, that anciet serpent, an obvious figurative metaphore readily recognized as Satan. A literal dragon (with a "whore" riding him) need not physically look like a dragon. Yet the thousand years is then considered to be 365,000 calender days (plus leap years). This in spite of Peter saying that for the Lord a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day. No...comes the retort...it just means a "perfect length of time." But then if its figurative, what is to be thought literal. Fight ensues. Brethren Church splits.

That is the history of it.

You will have no further fight from me on this one. I have every respect for those who clearly seek to rightly divide the word of God. I myself, however, have learned much over the years of my own lack of infallibility in knowing the future beyond this:

Jesus is Coming - Come Lord Jesus!

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"As for us, our days of combat are over. Our swords are rust. Our guns will thunder no more. The vultures that once wheeled over our heads must be buried with their prey. Whatever of glory must be won in the council or the closet, never again in the field. I do not repine. We have shared the incommunicable experience of war; we have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top."

Oliver Wendell Holmes


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 Post subject: Re: Support Israel
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:56 pm 
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As to American support of Israel, I have been called pragmatic, but I agree with those who believe we should give our support because Israel is a democratic nation in the Middle East. I don’t think we should do this blindly with the assumption that we are conscience-bound to give our support regardless of what Israel does. I agree with Southern Doc that this may have been an area of political vulnerability for Huckabee, if his support was framed using a theological basis.

My thoughts about the discussion about Israel’s part in our future:
There is one central theme that is at the heart of the Bible’s teachings. Jesus, God’s only Son, lived a perfect life for us and suffered the punishment for our sins as our substitute so that we are declared holy in God’s eyes. We are now reconciled to our God.

Those who believe this, Jew and Gentile, are His chosen people. The Lord never breaks His covenants—but, sad to say, those He has created and redeemed, both Jew and Gentile, sometimes reject the salvation He offers to all. Rejection of the promises does not indicate that the Lord is unfaithful. The fact that modern day Israel by and large has rejected the Messiah does not mean that the Lord has been unfaithful to His covenant. He has elected some from among the Jews and Gentiles to be His own. He has been true to His promise.

What about those who reject Him? The Lord is a just God and is no respecter of persons; He does not look any more favorably on an unbelieving Jew than on an unbelieving Gentile. His covenant with Abraham was that in him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. That was accomplished in 33 A.D. when Jesus died, rose, and ascended into heaven. His continuing promise in this New Testament era is that He will be with us always; He will preserve us till we complete life’s journey and take our place in the mansions He has prepared for us in heaven. Those are the covenants and promises I believe the Lord would have us focus on.

The covenant God made to Abraham and his physical descendants in the Old Testament is an important piece of the magnificent plan He first set forth in the Garden of Eden for all mankind. Abraham and his children were the means by which He carried out His master plan of salvation. Just as was the choice of a young Jewish woman, Mary, to be His mother. We never want to have those events or people along the way that have played an integral part in the steps of God’s plan overshadow that One who is our only way of salvation.

God’s word has been written “that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.” It is good to study the word with that single goal in mind. I pray that nothing will distract us from focusing on what our Savior has done for us. That is the reason why we believers are all a part of spiritual Israel—the Holy Christian Church. What a glorious future believing Jews and Gentiles have because we have all been grafted together!

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5)



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