Israel and the Church – [Introduction]

Central and key to understanding end time prophecy, is a correct understanding of the relationship between Israel and the Church. Dispensational Premillennialism sees a clear distinction between Israel and the Church, that God has a separate plan for each one, as it relates to end time events.

On the other hand, Amillennialism views the Church in Christ as being the fulfillment and continuation of Israel. More specifically, Christ fulfills all promises and prophecies relating to Israel, and those who place their faith in Him enter into that fulfillment, which together, make up the Church. Thus, all believing Jews and believing Gentiles are True Israel. More accurately, Christ is True Israel, and we enter into that through faith in Him.

What I’ve just described is known as Fulfillment Theology. Those who oppose this theology refer to it as “replacement theology,” which indicates that they don’t understand this position. In truth, the Church is not viewed as replacing Israel, but fulfilling or continuing Israel in and through Christ. The Church does not replace Israel. On the contrary, all the promises given to Israel find their fulfillment in Christ and His Church. The Old Testament always had Christ in view.

I think the general misunderstanding among opponents of this theology, is that Israel is set aside in favor of the Church. Nothing could be further from the truth. When that’s the way it’s described, it’s no wonder Fulfillment Theology is regarded in such a negative way. My objective is to set the record straight in this present series. By the time we’re done, I believe you’ll see that this theology has a completely biblical and sound foundation.

In his response to John MacArthur’s lecture “Why Every Calvinist Should be a Premillennialist,” Kim Riddlebarger does a great job of not only responding to MacArthur’s accusations, but also in providing a wonderful explanation of the Amillennial position as it relates to Israel and the Church. This article serves as a great introduction to our own discussion about this subject. Here’s the link to that article:

I encourage you to read Riddlebarger’s article before reading the discussion that follows in this series, as it will give you a good bird’s eye view before dealing with the specifics of the scriptures that provide the basis for the Amillennial position.