Yahweh is not just the God of the Jews (Rom 3:29). He is Lord of all (Acts 10:36; 17:24). As it pertains to His sovereignty in salvation, God’s chosen people are gathered from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 5:9). This one holy nation has many names (1 Pet 2:9). It is imperative we refute the false teaching that there are two people groups of God.
Pervasive in Evangelical Dispensationalism is this false idea of two covenants, hence two ways of salvation for two different groups of God’s people (Jew and Christian). The truth is that there is one elect people of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ, and gathered into one body by one Spirit, according to one covenant of grace. Essential to understand is that the church of Jesus Christ is one flock with one Shepherd (Ps 23; Jn 10). It is one body with one Head, who is Christ (Col 1:18).
False teachers have always taught doctrine designed to separate branches from the True Vine, Jesus Christ (Jn 15). The deceptive promise of salvation for following their way, always lacks biblical support. This is true of false religions and Christian cults. Mainstream Evangelicalism is included here despite its popularity.
The great majority of Evangelicals are both Arminian and Dispensational. Arminians teach that God loves everyone, Christ died for everyone, but only those who decide to permit Jesus to save them are truly saved — and logically, one can reverse his or her decision at a later date. It is logical for Arminians to lose their salvation, unless of course they lose their free will when they chose to let Jesus save them. Arminianism is inconsistent at many points.
None of that is true, however. Sadly, it is what most Evangelicals believe because of biblical illiteracy and subjection to false preaching in their local church.
Dispensationalists have taught Evangelicals that God has a plan for ethnic Jews and a different plan for Christ’s church. Despite this not being true, most Evangelicals have a superstitious appreciation for Jewish people and their godless secular state in the Middle East. In a bizarre allegiance to the so-called political state, “Israel,” many American Evangelicals insist the fate of the United States is utterly dependent on its support of Christ-less Israel.
The rejection of Jesus Messiah by the majority of ethnic Jews is certainly nothing new. The Hebrew Bible does not hide the Jewish peoples’ rebellion against Yahweh. It also highlights the Jewish peoples’ rejection of the Savior sent to them and to the nations. The Apostle Paul followed Jesus and John the Baptist in exposing the truth that not all (ethnic) Israel is (true) Israel (Rom 9:6).
True Israel is Jesus Christ and all those who are in Him (Is 49:3, 6). It is by God’s doing that one is in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 1:30). It is the Spirit of Christ who facilitates one’s union with Christ. The elect, redeemed soul is baptized into Christ (Mt 3:11), which means he or she is added to Christ’s body of people (1 Cor 12:13), His church. This is the one church referred to by the Apostle Paul as the “Israel of God (Gal 6:16).”
In the Old Testament era, that is before the first advent of Messiah, distinctions among the Hebrew people were evident. Separations between Cain and Abel, Noah and others, Abraham and others, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Israel and the nations, Judah and Israel, etc. all point to the same revelation observed through all of Scripture.
The attribute of distinction between the elect and reprobate has always been faith in God’s revealed Word. It was impossible to please God in either the Old or the New Testament without faith in what God made known about Himself (Heb 11:6). The ability to apprehend the knowledge of the truth does not reside in natural man. Faith has always been a product of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit gave us the Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20–21). The Holy Spirit is the only reliable Teacher of doctrine (Jn 14:26; 16:13). For one claiming to be Christian, right interpretation of the Bible is attributed to God the Spirit, alone. Because the volume and frequency of false teaching plagues the church throughout history, one must receive the grace of diligent study. Just because a group of unbelievers takes on the name “Israel” does not mean they are true Israel. In fact, it is our contention they are not Israel at all.
Hostile Dispensationalists charge those who adhere to continuity between the Old and New Testament as promoting “Replacement Theology.” In truth, the church is not replacing Israel because the church is Israel. The terms are synonymous when the terms are correctly defined. There has always been one people of God, and it always will be, unto the last elect soul is brought into Christ, the true Israel.
It is true that God taught His people His great salvation by employing the Hebrew people (1 Cor 10). Old Testament Israel, comprised of both elect and reprobate souls, serves as an illustrative type of God and His gathered people, recipients of deliverance (See Exodus). The Christian like the Israelite follows his Deliverer — not Moses — but Christ Jesus the antitype.
In calling Evangelicals to repentance from Arminianism and Dispensationalism, our encouragement is for each one to know the truth of God’s sovereignty in saving His elect, redeemed people — both Jew and Gentile (Gal 3:28) — from every nation, as it has been from the beginning and will be to the end.
We must be reminded from Scripture that God’s salvation is utterly sure. All of the predestined elect have all been redeemed, and until they have all been regenerated, the Holy Spirit continues to work in Christ’s church and through His church to seek and to save those who were lost in Adam’s fall (Gen 3). The Bible assures us that every single lost sheep will be found by the Great Shepherd and not a single one of them will be lost in the end (Jn 10:28–29), for absolutely nothing can separate even one of them from His eternal love and power (Rom 1:16–17; 8:35–39).
Spokane Valley, Washington
January 29, 2022