If you’ve been following along in this series, there should be little doubt by now that Israel has her fulfillment in Christ and the Church. This understanding is a major key to correctly interpreting end time prophecy, and the book of Revelation in particular.
Before we go any further in our studies, I want to discuss the matter of anti-semitism. There’s absolutely no place for it among Christians. Those who teach that Israel has been replaced by the Church, reveal their lack of understanding. I think that idea does have a tendency to foster a negative attitude toward Jews, at least among some people.
However, the Bible does not teach that Israel has been replaced by the Church. On the contrary, God’s Word is clear that Israel has it’s fulfillment and continuation in Christ. He is True Israel. This was God’s plan for them all along. Jesus fulfilled all things relating to Israel. We as believers in Christ, both Jews and Gentiles, are one in Him, and because of the unity we have with Him, we are a new people, a holy nation, the people of God – thus, we the Church are Israel in Christ.
National Israel of the Old Testament was a type and shadow of the spiritual Israel to come. The whole OT points to Christ and the Church. This is the ultimate end of the people of Israel. God has never had more than one people. There are those who teach that God has two peoples: the people of Israel and Christians.
However, that’s simply not what the New Testament teaches. We are all one in Christ, both believing Jews and believing Gentiles. National Israel has been rebirthed as spiritual Israel. As we’ve learned throughout this series, true Jews are spiritual Jews, those who share the faith of Abraham. Thus all of us as believers in Christ – both Jew and Gentile – have our identification in Christ, in our union with Him.
Does God still have a plan for the people of Israel? Of course He does! Jesus is the Messiah of the Old Testament prophecies. Each individual Jew is to embrace Christ as their Lord and Savior, like everyone else in the world. But the idea that God still has a plan for the nation of Israel is not what the New Testament teaches. There is only one people and one nation in God’s plan, and that’s those who are in Christ, who together, make up the The Church. Israel has its completion in Christ, and the Church is completed Israel.
The fact that the nation of Israel still exists, doesn’t mean that God still has a plan for that nation. God has already fulfilled His plan and purpose for them. They were a type and shadow of the True Israel to come. It’s now up to each individual Jew to believe and accept what God has provided for them through Christ.
I don’t think it’s strange that the nation of Israel still exists today, for Christianity has its roots in Israel. In truth, Christianity is the fulfillment of the Jewish religion. Everything in the Old Testament points to Christ and the Church. I think the nation of Israel today serves as a reminder of God’s historical dealings with them, and of the truth that is embedded in their religion. There is a light that shines from Israel, and that light is Christ who fulfilled all things Israel.
It’s no wonder to me that Jews and Christians are the most hated people in the world today, for we have been made from the same cloth of truth.
Pray that God would do a powerful work in the hearts of individual Jews, that their eyes would be open to the truth that is in Christ, that they would see Him as the fulfillment of their Old Testament Scriptures.