Answers from the Word
Wed, 08/24/2022 - 1:01pm admin
Luke 21:24 And they (the Jews) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations (the 2000-year-long Diaspora after Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD): and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (the Gentile dominion will end).
This week, a friend asked about Replacement Theology, the erroneous antisemitic claim that the Church has replaced the Twelve Tribes of Israel in New Testament Scripture.
The answer is a resounding "No!"
In Romans, chapter 11, St. Paul shared a parable about faithless Israel being "temporarily" removed from God's Salvation like branches broken off a domesticated olive tree. Filling the vacancy, gentile believers were grafted in, but not to the permanent exclusion of those who were briefly removed (vs. 22-24).
The apostle continues, "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in (the foreordained Gentiles who are predestined to be saved before the Church Age ends), 26and in this way all Israel will be saved (vs. 25-26)."
But how will the entire nation of Israel be saved?
Let's continue reading St. Paul's explanation, "As it is written: 'The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.' 28As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as ELECTION is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs (Just as some Gentiles have been picked for Salvation, the Jews still have God's Election as promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), 29for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. 32For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all (vs. 27-32)."
But when will the gathering and restoration of the original Twelve Tribes of Israel occur?
Listen to the prophet in Zechariah 12:9-10 of Brenton's 1851 Greek Septuagint, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (the gentile dominion ends). 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and compassion (Salvation for the Twelve Tribes of Israel): and they shall look upon me, because they have mocked me (Jesus), and they shall make lamentation for him (God's Son), as for a beloved friend, and they shall grieve intensely, as for a first-born son ('my only-begotten one' mentioned by David's Crucifixion Psalm in verse 21 of Psalms 21/22 of the Greek Septuagint)."
The same passage in Zechariah describes the intense personal nature of the Jews' repentance and acceptance of God's Grace, "In that day the lamentation in Jerusalem shall be very great, as the mourning for the pomegranate grove cut down in the plain. 12 And the land shall lament in separate families (a personal private repentance for sin, not corporate or public), the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Symeon by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that are left, each family by itself, and their wives by themselves (Zechariah 12:11-14, Brenton's 1851 Greek Septuagint)."
As clearly noted by Zechariah, Israel's Jewish restoration will be represented by the individual tribes, not the substitution of Christ's gentile Church. Just as the Church is Elect through God's Son Jesus Christ, so the Jews are Elect to God through His faithful promises to the Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! The Jews have not been, nor can they ever be disqualified from God's predestined Salvation (Romans 11:28-29).