Written by: Lowry, Cecil J. Posted on: 09/03/2007
I. THE PROBLEM OF MOSAIC RESTORATIONISM
II. CHRISTIAN INTERPRETATION OF PROPHECY
III. TYPICAL ISRAEL'S DEATH KNELL
IV. THE BIRTH OF POST-CHRISTIAN JUDAISM
V. TALMUDISM INVADES CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
THE PROBLEM OF MOSAIC RESTORATIONISM
"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will yet be wiser; teach a just man and he will increase in learning." (Solomon)
"They are not all Israel, which are, of Israel . . . They which are the children of the flesh, these, are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." (Rom. 9:6, 8)
"If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:29)
Events in the Near East within recent years have focused the world's attention again on Palestine. Some seven years ago nearly one million Arabs (many of whom were devout Christians) were driven from their Palestinian homes into the desert to give place to European, Jewish refugees and Zionists from many nations.
On April 27, 1948, thanks to the United Nations, the new State of Israel was created. "The declaration of independence of Israel," said Mr. Abba Eban, Israel's ambassador to the United States, "was the answer to the hopes and prayers of 2,000 years." He lists Israel's present population as 1,800,000.
The restoration of Israel under a form of Mosaism has been the "Cherished Hope" of Talmudic Israel for nearly two chiliads. Orthodox Zionists the world over regard the present State of Israel as a positive fulfillment of the Old prophecies; many expect the rise of a Messiah of world proportions.
Many sincere but misguided Christians share, in part, the Zionistic interpretation of the prophecies; they accept the new State of Israel as a fulfillment of Moses and the Prophets; they regard it as a positive sign of Christ's Second Advent. Not a few enthusiasts actually expect Israel to soon become a Christian Nation.
It is because of the present interest, among Christians, in the State of Israel, and because they have wrongfully interpreted Jesus' "parable of the leafing fig tree," (Luke 21:29-31) that I have taken the time to prepare this brief treatise on the subject. I will prove in the last chapter of this book that the parable mentioned has absolutely no reference either to Israel or to any future attempt to restore National Israel. Such interpretation rests upon a foundation of sand.
As the reader peruses this document he will be convinced that the doctrine of a "restored National Israel and a restored Judaism" is of Jewish, not of Christian birth. Dr. Patrick Fairbairn states that this doctrine was foreign to Christian theology during the first seventeen hundred years of the Church's existence. "The fundamental teaching of the New Testament . . . was what led the Fathers with one voice . . . and all Christian writers, down to the seventeenth century, to reject as chimerical the Jewish expectations, both of a territorial restoration, and of a revived Judaism." (Prophecy, p. 249.)
The idea of Israel's national restoration has been injected into Christian doctrine by an extreme literalistic school of Bible interpreters, who in the words of Gregory, of Nyssa, have "enveloped their hearts with the Jewish vail." The "hope of Talmudic Israel" has become the keystone in the prophetic scheme of the modern Dispensationalist, as represented by such men as C. I. Scofield.
The Dispensationalist is blinded to a truth basic in Christian theology; namely, that the " Church is the proper sphere of prophecy." Dr. Fairbairn wrote, "By the sphere of prophecy, we mean the parties for whom it was directly given, and the objects it more immediately contemplated." (Prophecy, p. 42.)
The racists, among Bible exegetes, make the Church a "parenthesis between two Jewish dispensations." After the Christian dispensation has run its course, wrote one of America's noted Dispensationalists, Dr. Sperry Chafer, there will be "the regathering of Israel and the restoration of Judaism." (Dispensationalism, p. 413).
The heresy of Dispensationalism results from the lack of a proper understanding of the nature of the Old Covenant and its relationship to the New. The Dispensationalists have never properly evaluated the change of Covenants at Calvary. Rev. Clarence Larkin, one of the best known of all the Dispensationalists, wrote that the New "Covenant has not yet been made. It is to be made with Israel after they get back to their own land. It is promised in Jeremiah 31:31-37. It is unconditional and will cover the Millennium and the New Heaven and New Earth." Dispensational Truth, p. 151.) That Jesus came to establish the New Covenant at His First Advent is a fact plainly taught in the Scripture; it is emphasized weekly among Christians in the sacrament of the Holy Communion.
Dispensationalism projects many of the blessings that Christ has provided for His present day Church into a mythical, Jewish Millennium of some future day.
The traditional Christian position is well stated in the words of De Wette and Berkhoff. DeWette wrote, "The entire Old Testament is a great Prophecy, a great type of Him who was to come, and has come." L. Berkhoff wrote, "The theocratic nation itself was merely a type, a shadow of the spiritual realities of a better day, and, therefore, destined to vanish as soon as the antitype made its appearance. The restoration of the ancient theocracy in the future would simply mean the recurrence of the type," "The Kingdom of God," pp 170, 171.
Jesus Christ is the soul and center of Old Testament prophecy. His coming in flesh was the greatest event in the history of our race. His earthly mission was preordained by God and clearly revealed in Holy Writ.
One of the chief acts He, the Mediator of the New Covenant, was to perform was to "Confirm the Covenant with many in one week." (Dan. 9:27, Douay version). In other words the Christ, the greater Lawgiver than Moses, was predestined to Confirm a New and better Covenant with the people of God. With the Messiah's Advent the Old Covenant, or Mosaic economy, was destined to give place forever to the New Covenant, or Christian economy.
It is a fact, established beyond dispute, that Jesus in fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy, established the New Covenant with the "spiritual remnant" (Rom. 9:27) of the literal descendants of Israel and Judah, in the persons of the Apostles and His other disciples.
It was because of open rebellion against God that the rest of literal Israel were deprived of Covenant-relationship with Jehovah under the better Covenant; the sons of the New Covenant are the heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gal. 3:29). Had literal Israel accepted their Saviour they would never have suffered under the terrible wrath of God and the Roman armies, 70 A.D.; instead they would have shared equally with Christians of other nationalities in the great Body of Christ, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Col. 3:11.) It is most probable that their biological identity would have absorbed itself within the walls of the "holy Christian Church," as did the Apostles and the rest of the "faithful Israelitish Remnant" of the First Century.
One of the distinguishing attributes of the Almighty is that He establishes equity and "executest Judgment and righteousness" (Psa. 99:4). Before Jesus pronounced sentence upon apostate, temporal Israel, who had murdered her prophets, and whose wicked hands were about to crucify the very Son of God, He arrayed their crimes (Matt. 23) before their faces and before all the world that all might know that the horrible judgment assigned them (Matthew, Chapter 24), was a just and equitable one.
The year 70 saw the "rejected Stone" fall upon Mosaic Israel and grind her Old Covenant political and religious economy to powder (Matt. 21:44). There is no indication that the Almighty intended a future resurrection of the "powder" of temporal Israel. Spiritually, temporal Israel was as barren as the fig-tree (Matt. 21:19). The Old Covenant economy died from its roots never to bring fruit "henceforth for ever" (Matt. 21:19). This does not sound as if God intended to make Mosaic Israel a fruitful tree at some future date. It was because Old Covenant Israel was a " lifeless carcass," dead morally, spiritually and judicially, that Jesus consigned it to the "beaks and claws of the Roman eagles" (Matt. 24:28). At the time of the writing of the book of Hebrews, the writer knew that the "carcass" of the Old Covenant economy would soon vanish before the Roman army (Heb. 8:13); he did not anticipate its recurrence under Divine guidance either in whole or in part.
One of the most pathetic tragedies of history was that of the rebellion of Israel against her loving and beneficient God. By it, wrote Dr. W. T. Rouse, "they had forfeited all promises and blessings pertaining to the Covenants of God . . . By the ejection of the Jews we mean that God not only rejected them, but that the time came in His Providence when He not only cast them away, but He actually cast them out, plucked them up, dug them up by the roots, threw them out of their land, and scattered them throughout the earth!" (God and the Jew, pp 55,56)
Because of abject, spiritual blindness, Israel rejected Jesus as Christ and stubbornly refused to recognize the change of Covenants; they still assumed themselves as God's Covenant sons. After the last vestige of the Levitical economy had disappeared beneath the heel of the Roman Conqueror, her leaders were determined that some day the "old carcass of Mosaism" would live. To see this realized they must again restore their nation, their city, and their temple.
During the past two thousand years they have made repeated attempts to accomplish their goal. Perhaps the best known attempt was that in the days of the Roman Caesar, Julian, the Apostate, who enthusiastically backed them in their attempt. All those conversant with history remember the tragic failure. The united effort to rebuild the temple by Julian and the Jews is recorded by Sozomen: "He thought to grieve the Christians by favoring the Jews, who are their most inveterate enemies . . . he gave them public money, commanded them to rebuild the temple, and to practice the cult similar to that of their ancestors, by sacrificing after the ancient way. The Jews entered upon their undertaking, without reflecting that, according to the prediction of the holy prophets, it could not be accomplished. They sought for the most skillful artisans, collected materials, cleared the ground, and entered so earnestly upon the task, that even the women carried heaps of earth, and brought their necklaces and other female ornaments toward defraying the expense. The emperor, the other pagans, and all the Jews, regarded every other undertaking as secondary in importance to this . . . they reckoned upon its ultimate success, and hoped by this means to falsify the prophecies of Christ." He goes on to relate how, as they were about to lay the first foundation of the temple, their work was stopped by a great earthquake which killed and wounded many. Neither pagan nor Jew was willing to stop in spite of the unusual earthquake, which belched stones forth from the earth. Sozomen continues the story: "But all parties relate, that they had scarcely returned to the undertaking, when fire burst suddenly from the foundations of the temple, and consumed several of the workmen . . . A more tangible and still more extraordinary prodigy ensued; suddenly the sign of the cross appeared spontaneously on the garments of the persons engaged in the undertaking . . . Many were led to confess that Christ is God, and that the rebuilding of the temple was not pleasing to Him . . . If any one does not feel disposed to believe my narrative, let him go and be convinced by those who heard the facts I have related from the eyewitnesses of them, for they are still alive. Let him enquire, also, of the Jews and pagans who left the work in an incomplete state, or who, to speak more accurately were able to commence." (The Ecclesiastical History, Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 11, pp. 343, 344.)
In order to prove their doctrine of the restoration of Judaism, these teachers characterized by a "racial complex" have resorted to forced and arbitrary interpretations unworthy of a true Bible scholar. An example of this is to be found in the parable that provoked the writing of this book. We are constantly being asked to watch the leafing of the fig tree. The "parable of the fig tree and all the trees" is a simple parable from the Saviour's great Prophecy; the parable, in itself, contains absolutely no prophetic significance as might concern the future history of national Israel or any other nation. But they have made it a great "sign post" of Bible prophecy, a "prophetic sign," predicting a final "restoration of national Israel and Judaism."
Since the position of Biblical and historic Christianity is under daily attack by men who would project a "pharisaic racism" into Christian theology more insidious than that of the Judaizers of Galatia, I have felt it necessary to prepare this treatise.
The size of this book forbids a through discussion of the restoration theory or a consideration of many of the Scriptures they offer from both Testaments in support of their theory. I have confined myself, more or less, to an interpretation of the parable of the leafing "fig tree and other trees."
To prepare the mind of the reader for the subject under discussion, I shall present a few pertinent facts pertaining to a correct interpretation of the prophecies under discussion. These relevant facts will be offered together with a brief history of the development of post-Christian Judaism, which owes its existence to the religious leaders of ancient Israel who were responsible for the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the "dead and broken off branches," the "wicked husbandmen" divorced from God's Vineyard, that was given, in turn, to " New Testament husbandmen."
Without a knowledge of the following facts, it is impossible to fully appreciate the significance of this modern doctrine which has been borrowed from the ancient Talmudists and projected into Christian doctrine by men with the "Jewish Vail."
THE CHRISTIAN INTERPRETATION OF PROPHECY
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim. 2:15
The Bible is a Divinely inspired Book. It is the infallible "rule of faith" for the Christian Church. Being a Book inspired by the Holy Ghost, it contains much truth that ascends to planes infinitely above the natural realm; that which is spiritual must be spiritually discerned or interpreted.
The Old Testament is a book highly esteemed by two distinct religions, Judaism and Christianity. Each claims the distinction of being the one true Faith and of worshipping the one true God, although the Jewish God is a unitarian God while the Christian's God is a triune God; each claims the Old Testament as its Book, and its followers as the true sons of Abraham, the true soils of the Covenant, and the true heirs of God's promises, serving God under the true Law.
However, a study of Christianity and Judaism will show them to be two absolutely different and diametrically opposed religions, representing two different and diametrically opposed schools of Bible interpretation. In his writings, Dr. Patrick Fairbairn, of Edinburgh, has discussed these two opposing schools of Bible interpreters; to them he adds the third school, the "semi-Jewish" which results from a fusion of the two; concerning this school we shall have considerable to say.
Let us first consider the Jewish method of interpreting the Old prophecies. Jewish teachers have consistently followed the extreme interpretations of the ancient Pharisees, which were characterized by an extreme allegorizing and mysticism, on the one hand, and an extreme literalism, especially as applied to certain Messianic prophecies, on the other.
The distinguishing "chosen race" or "racial salvation" philosophy of first century Phariseeism resulted from their abject spiritual poverty. Natural minds seldom transcend natural things. Their fleshly and materialistic minds easily adapted themselves to a literalistic or materialistic interpretation of prophecy. It was Pharisaic literalism, said Dr. E. W. Hengstenberg, in his Christology, that led the unregenerate, natural minded Pharisees to reject the New Testament Kingdom of God and to Crucify the King.
Phariseeism did not die at the change of Covenants, or with Christ's Ascension and Pentecost. Its teachings survived and were destined to reach fruition centuries later in the Talmud, the highest authority in Judaism.
Furthermore, according to the Church Fathers, Phariseeism often projected its teachings into Christian thought, producing such heresies as Gnosticism, Ebionism, Arianism and Sabellianism. Saint Basil, of Caesarea, wrote "Sabellianism is Judaism imported into the preaching of Christianity. " (Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 8, p. 249.)
A survey of Judaistic and Christian writers will reveal the fact that these two basically different religions claim support for their teachings from the same Old Testament. Thinking men will, at once, see that a proper interpretation of the Old Prophecies is basic to our Faith. The method of interpretation that we accept will determine whether we embrace Christianity or Judaism. Some among us have chosen a third, or hybrid position, termed "semi-Jewish" by Fairbairn.
Christian scholars have developed Bible interpretation into a science, known as Hermeneutics. The interpreter must fully acquaint himself with the language of the Prophets. The Bible is an Oriental book; therefore, we may expect its pages to abound with figurative language.
Those portions of the Scriptures which are written in figurative language or which are characterized by parables, allegories, types and symbols will call for special care in their interpretation.
We often hear that "words should be understood in their literal sense unless such literal interpretation involves a manifest contradiction or absurdity." This sounds indeed simple, but in actual practice it is not quite so simple as it sounds. Dr. M. S. Terry comments upon this very statement: "It should be observed, however, that this principle, when reduced to practice, becomes simply an appeal to every man's rational judgment, and what to one seems very absurd and improbable may be to another altogether simple and self-consistent." (Biblical Hermeneutics, p. 159)
The portions of the Old Testament, which forecast the future, were delivered with every variety of figurative speech, and were frequently clothed with types and symbols. This being a fact, Dr. Terry wrote, "A thorough interpretation of the prophetic portions of the holy Scripture is largely dependent upon a mastery of the principles and laws of figurative language, and of types and symbols." (Biblical Hermeneutics, p. 313)
If we let the Bible speak for itself, it will be its own best interpreter. The New Testament is the Old Testament's only infallible interpreter. The New Testament, therefore, exhibits, within its sacred pages, both the principles and methods of a sound trustworthy exegesis; Jesus and His Apostles are our worthy guides to prophetic interpretation; all prophecy must be interpreted in the light of the New Testament.
Our generation is plagued with "prophecy-mongers" posing as specialists in Bible prophecy; they distinguish themselves by their extravagant literalism, as applied to Old Testament prophecy.
An example of their extreme literalism is to be seen in the words of Dr. William L. Pettingill, who wrote, "All of fulfilled prophecy has been fulfilled literally." (God's Prophecies for Plain People, p. 228)
This statement is simply not true. Let us test this principle by the first recorded prophecy, that in Genesis 3:15: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel." If we applied the bald and naked literalism of the Dispensationalist to this prophecy we would expect its fulfillment in a literal conflict between a man and a serpent, rather than between Christ and Satan. This is the first recorded prophecy; the law of first occurrence, therefore, offers little support to Pharisaic literalism.
Let us consider one more prophecy, Isaiah's prediction of Christ and His forerunner, John the Baptist: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low." ( Isa. 40:3-4) Certain extreme Dispensationalists, known as Bullingerites, expect a future fulfillment of this prophecy when a "bulldozer" shall actually level hills and raise up valleys. The New Testament proves that this prophecy was spiritually fulfilled in John the Baptist and in Christ. (Luke 3:34)
Observing men have detected a marked similarity between the literalistic method of interpretation employed by the ancient Pharisees and that of the "chosen race" school of interpreters among us. The Pharisaic literalism of the Dispensationalist has created a "great gulf" between him and pristine Christian doctrine; it has set him at variance with traditional Christianity on many basic doctrines.
This is not the place to enumerate the many differences between Dispensationalism and historic Christian doctrine. To show the danger of extreme literalism I shall cite but one. Traditional Christian theologians considered Christ as the great "timepiece" of prophecy. Christ and His Church constituted the central theme of prophecy; the Dispensationalist gives this place of supreme distinction to unbelieving Jews. Scofield wrote, "The Church corporately is not in the vision of the prophets." Another well-known Dispensationalist and prolific writer wrote, "I do not find any prophecy that has to do with the Christian dispensation as such. Prophecy has to do largely with His earthly people, Israel, and with the great Gentile nations." This plainly contradicts Saint Peter, who wrote that all the prophets "foretold these days." (Acts 3:24) Dispensationalism gave birth to the absurd "God's earthly people" theory. God does not have two "peculiar peoples", one, Christ's disciples, the other His enemies. Such is pure nonsense! To what length will the Dispensationalist go? For every man is either a son of God or of Satan; his position is determined upon spiritual grounds, not racial.
Sound Bible exegetes recognize both the literal and figurative in predictive Scripture, but sound exegesis will reveal the inadequacy of the strictly literal method of interpreting the prophecies. The erudite scholar Dr. A. T. Allis has given us three reasons why a "thoroughly literal interpretation of Scripture is impossible." I will list them as follows: (1) the figurative language frequently occurring in prophecy, (2) the deeply spiritual nature of the Bible, its Author and its Message, and (3) the typical nature of the Old Testament.
A careful study of the writings of the "chosen race" school of Bible interpreters will show them to be most inconsistent in their literalism: they apply the rule of extreme literalism to the Old Testament prophecies, but they often resort to an "extreme spiritualizing and allegorizing" when interpreting the historic sections of the Old Testament. In this they emulate the Talmudists; their writings abound with "numerology," "hidden-meanings," and "double references."
In this regard I quote Dr. Allis: "While Dispensationalists are extreme literalists, they are very inconsistent ones. They are literalists in interpreting prophecy, but in the interpreting of history they carry the principle of typical interpretations to an extreme which has rarely been exceeded even by the most ardent of allegorizers . . . it emphasizes and carries to such extremes these two distinct and in a sense opposite principles in interpreting Scripture. In dealing with Old Testament History its treatment is highly figurative . . . In dealing with prophecy, its treatment is marked by a literalism which refuses to recognize types and figures. Israel must mean Israel; it does not and cannot signify the Church. Canaan must mean Canaan; it does not and cannot mean heaven. Eve, Rebecca, Asenath, Zipporah, Ruth, the Shulamite, and Vashti may one and all be viewed as 'types.' But Israel must mean Israel and only Israel! This seems strikingly inconsistent. Why is the method of interpretation which is regarded as so suitable to the Pentateuch, so utterly unsuited to Ezekiel? If Ruth can give a 'foreview of the Church,' if the 'larger interpretation of the Song of Solomon concerns the Church, why must the Church be absent from the glorious visions of Isaiah?" (Prophecy and the Church, pp. 21, 22, 24). The traditional Christian view of Isaiah's prophecy is found in the words of Saint Augustine, who said of him, "He forgets not also to proclaim Christ and His Church more amply than any other; insomuch that some call him an Evangelist rather than a prophet." (The City of God, p. 291). Recent interest in the writings of the Ante and Post-Nicene fathers has wielded great influence against Darbyism, or Dispensationalism, in Protestant circles.
By the extreme literalistic method of interpreting the prophecies, the modern Dispensationalist has, before the entire world, betrayed his kinship to the ancient Pharisees, who were extremists in their method of interpreting the Scriptures. On the one hand they were extremely mystical and allegorical; on the other hand, especially when interpreting the Messianic prophecies, they were rigid literalists. Dr. Hengstenberg said it was their extreme literalism that led the Pharisees to disqualify Jesus as the Messiah and to reject the New Testament Kingdom. Dr. Fairbairn showed the method of Interpretation used by the Dispensationalist to be "semi-Jewish" and at variance with the New Testament.
Let us conclude by saying that since the Old Testament is one great type, one great prophecy of the New, the typical and the allegorical will sometimes occur in the historical sections of the Scriptures. And when we go to the great prophecies we will find both the literal and the figurative, the natural and the spiritual. The New Testament writers interpreted some literally, while others were given a figurative or spiritual fulfillment. Jesus and His Apostles often spiritualized the prophecies; this is ably proven by Rev. Russell B. Jones pastor of Central Baptist Church, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in his book The Things Which Shall Be Hereafter, and by Dr. George Murray, pastor of the First United Presbyterian Church of Boston, Mass., in his scholarly work, Millennial Studies. Both are men of caliber and finished scholars.
TYPICAL ISRAEL'S DEATH KNELL
"And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; and mine elect shall inherit it . . .
"And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name." (Isa. 65:9,15)
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." (Jer. 31:31)
"The kingdom shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Matt. 31:43)
Without a shred of Scriptural evidence the Dispensationalist assumes that national Israel, as a part of God's economy, was temporarily set aside because of her sins, but that when she repents at the Second Coming of Christ, God will reestablish the Levitical economy under David who will be resurrected and will rule as a provincial king under the great King, Christ. This theory is known as the "Postponement Theory".
The above theory is without Scriptural foundation. God, in the person of the Messiah, sounded the death knell of typical Israel. It was not her sin that marked the end of Jewish particularism; Mosaic particularism, regardless of Israel's sins, was preordained, with the Advent of the Messiah, to give place forever to New Covenant universalism; in plain words typical or literal Israel, was destined to give place to the holy universal Church of Christ. All before Christ was preliminary or temporary and awaited its true fulfillment in Him under the New Covenant.
The whole Mosaic economy involving a promised land, a holy city, an earthly temple, a tribal priesthood, a kingly family and tribal nation, with its elaborate system of carnal ordinances, ended not because of Israel's sin, but because it had served its purpose.
The temporal Israelitish economy was a type of the new Testament Kingdom of God; as a type it had to be a temporary arrangement; the type, or shadow, must give place to its antitype, or substance. Both Testaments designate the Messiah as the end of the Law. The Mosaic economy was to last until Christ (Gal. 3:19). He would fulfill and abolish the Old and establish the New (Mal. 3-l; Daniel 9:27; Matt. 5:17; 2 Cor. 3:3; 13; Eph. 2:15; Heb. 7:22; 8:6,7.)
The New Covenant of Jeremiah's prophecy (Jer. 31:31-34) was established with the spiritual remnant of the physical descendants of Judah and Israel by Jesus Christ, in the persons of His disciples--the "little flock". It differed from the Old; it lacked the many carnal features of Leviticalism and it was absolutely divorced from any sort of tribalism. The death rattle was already in the throat of dying Mosaism at the appearance of Christ.
No one can understand the prophecies unless he first has a clear understanding of the change in Covenants. Saint Paul reveals the fact that Israel's eyes were vailed to the change in Covenants (2 Cor. 3:14); their sinful, blinded hearts led them to reject and crucify the Christ; their spiritual poverty induced them to choose the temporal Israelitish economy rather than the New Testament Kingdom of God.
The Prophets predicted that the Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles (Psa. 2:8; 72:7-11; Isa. 42:1-25; 49:22-26; 54:1-3). These are challenging Scriptures to those who hold that the salvation of the Gentiles was somewhat accidental, depending upon Israel's rejection of Him. The true Christian concept is that from the beginning it was God's plan to have a great Church, made up of all nations, without preference in His Body; that the Old prophets foresaw the universality of the Messianic Kingdom, the New Covenant Church, the New Testament leaves no doubt. The Old Testament was the first Scriptures from which the Apostles were obliged to preach: from its pages they easily proved the Messiahship of Jesus and the Divine origin of the New Testament Church. Saint Paul certainly did not embrace the Dispensational theory that the Prophets did not forsee the Church; neither did he endorse the ridiculous "postponement theory". We hear him saying to King Agrippa, under oath, that his Gospel was fully predicted by Moses and the Prophets: "I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come; That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the fir
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