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UNION OF ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  Leave a comment
Synagogue and church

This is my fifth article on Israel in Scripture. These articles are set over against populist dispensationalism. The role of Israel in Scripture is one of dispensationalism’s biggest draws, and one of its largest errors. Let us continue our study of the matter.

Under the new covenant the distinction between Jew and Gentile ceases forever:

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh . . . at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. (Eph 2:11–16)

Thus, “there is neither Jew nor Greek . . . for ye are all one in Christ” (Gal 3:28) and “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision” (Col 3:11; cp. Ro 10:12). Yet dispensationalists see the church as a temporary parenthesis in God’s plan. After the great tribulation a rebuilt Jewish temple and its animal sacrifices will supersede the church.

Many of the early church fathers — even those claimed as premillennialists by modern dispensationalists — understood the church as receiving Israel’s promises. Historic premillennialist Blomberg states: “when patristic writers do insist on the literal fulfillment of Old Testament promises, they also insist that the church takes part in this fulfillment, and so they make utterly no distinction between the Old Testament people of God and the New Testament people of God.”


Indefensible
by Sam Kastensmidt
Sub-title 10 Ways the ACLU is Destroying America
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


The Th.M. thesis of Dallas Seminary-trained historian Alan Patrick Boyd states: “The majority of the writers/writings in this period [AD 70–165] completely identify Israel with the Church.” He specifically cites Papias, 1 Clement, 2 Clement, Barnabas, Hermas, the Didache, and Justin Martyr. Boyd notes that “in the case of Barnabas, . . . he has totally disassociated Israel from the precepts of the Old Testament. In fact he specifically designates the Church to be the heir of the covenantal promises made to Israel (4:6–7; 13:1–6; 14:4–5).” Elsewhere, he writes: “Papias applied much of the Old Testament to the Church.” Of Hermas he notes “the employment of the phraseology of late Judaism to make the Church the true Israel.” Justin Martyr, observes Boyd, “claims that the Church is the true Israelitic race, thereby blurring the distinction between Israel and the Church.”

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Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

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Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

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