Is This Dispensationalism?

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TryingToLearn

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi guys,

So not too long ago I switched from MacArthurian dispensationalism to covenant theology and I got super into G.K. Beale, but I don't think I fully understand covenant theology's understanding of the relationship between the Church and Israel. My initial understanding was that since the Church is the fulfillment of the promises to Israel, then there are no promises left to ethnic Israel, so we should interpret all O.T. prophecy about Israel's restoration as only referring to the Church, and Beale seemed to back this up by showing how many prophecies about Israel's restoration are applied to the Church.

But then I re-read Romans 11 and realized Paul's argument is dependent upon there still being promises to ethnic Israel, "As 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, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable", and I learned that it's okay to believe this from a covenant standpoint.

I also read the "Three Views on the Church and Israel" book and realized that Jim Hamilton and Fred Zaspel, who aren't dispensationalists used passages like Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 16, multiple parts of Isaiah, and even Joel 2 to say that ethnic Israel will eventually be saved.

The way I understood those passages as a dispensationalist was that the promises were given to ethnic Israel, so Hamilton and Zaspel could use them to argue for ethnic Israel's future salvation, but are obviously being fulfilled right now by the true Israel, the Church.

I personally think Joel 2 was just fulfilled at Pentecost and has nothing to do with a future conversion of Jews so I don't think Hamilton and Zaspel can legitimately use that text, but as far as the others go, the fact that they use them to argue for a future conversion of ethnic Israel doesn't seem very different from my previous understandings of those passages. I think I read something by Beale the other day where he basically said the restoration of Israel passages "are already beginning to be fulfilled" in the Church, which doesn't rule out them also pertaining to a future conversion of ethnic Israel, which is pretty much how I used to understand these anyways, so I'm a bit confused here.

Is this a dispensational understanding of the O.T. prophecies and we should therefore limit them to fulfillment in the Church with no bearing on ethnic Israel's future conversion? Or is this legitimate?
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
Hi guys,

So not too long ago I switched from MacArthurian dispensationalism to covenant theology and I got super into G.K. Beale, but I don't think I fully understand covenant theology's understanding of the relationship between the Church and Israel. My initial understanding was that since the Church is the fulfillment of the promises to Israel, then there are no promises left to ethnic Israel, so we should interpret all O.T. prophecy about Israel's restoration as only referring to the Church, and Beale seemed to back this up by showing how many prophecies about Israel's restoration are applied to the Church.

But then I re-read Romans 11 and realized Paul's argument is dependent upon there still being promises to ethnic Israel, "As 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, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable", and I learned that it's okay to believe this from a covenant standpoint.

I also read the "Three Views on the Church and Israel" book and realized that Jim Hamilton and Fred Zaspel, who aren't dispensationalists used passages like Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 16, multiple parts of Isaiah, and even Joel 2 to say that ethnic Israel will eventually be saved.

The way I understood those passages as a dispensationalist was that the promises were given to ethnic Israel, so Hamilton and Zaspel could use them to argue for ethnic Israel's future salvation, but are obviously being fulfilled right now by the true Israel, the Church.

I personally think Joel 2 was just fulfilled at Pentecost and has nothing to do with a future conversion of Jews so I don't think Hamilton and Zaspel can legitimately use that text, but as far as the others go, the fact that they use them to argue for a future conversion of ethnic Israel doesn't seem very different from my previous understandings of those passages. I think I read something by Beale the other day where he basically said the restoration of Israel passages "are already beginning to be fulfilled" in the Church, which doesn't rule out them also pertaining to a future conversion of ethnic Israel, which is pretty much how I used to understand these anyways, so I'm a bit confused here.

Is this a dispensational understanding of the O.T. prophecies and we should therefore limit them to fulfillment in the Church with no bearing on ethnic Israel's future conversion? Or is this legitimate?
There has been some debate in Reformed circles over the precise meaning of Romans 11, but one long standing Reformed interpretation is that Romans 11 is speaking of ethnic elect Jews. Many will be saved at the end times and become part of the church. There has been some debate in Reformed circles as to how this precisely plays out; the important thing to note is that these elect Jews are part of the church. God does not have a separate plan for the non elect ethnic Jews.

In terms of the big picture, I love this statement by Jonathan Edwards (History of the Work of Redemption). Edwards focuses on the great plan of salvation for one people of God. This is where our focus should be.

"The work of redemption is carried on in all ages of the world ... the work of God in converting souls, opening blind eyes, unstopping deaf ears, raising dead souls to life, and rescuing the miserable captives out of the hands of Satan, .... has been carried on in the world, ever since to this day, and will be to the end of the world. God has always, ever since the first erecting of the church of the redeemed after the fall, had such a church in the world...

"And as God carries on the work of converting the souls of fallen men through all these ages, so He goes on to justify them, to blot out their sins, and to accept them as righteous in His sight, through the righteousness of Christ, and adopt and receive them from being the children of Satan, to be His own children; so he goes on to sanctify them, or to carry on the work of His grace, which He has begun in them, and to comfort them with the consulations of His Spirit, and to glorify them, to bestow on them ... that eternal glory which is the fruit of the purchase of Christ."
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Our pastor just preached on this, and got into the nuts and bolts of the grammar, which I don't usually appreciate. However, he was trying to be very clear that as Stephen said, there is an elect remnant within ethnic Israel that God is continually saving to this day. So then Jews will continue to be converted and added to the church until the end.
I don't believe there's going to be a mass general conversion: I believe Jesus has been steadily spoiling the strong man of his Jews as well as his Gentiles since He crushed his head at Calvary. And so every elect Jew shall be saved, and I'm confident that in glory there will be Jews from every time period who believed.
 

PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Covenant theology believers who think there will be a mass conversion of the Jews before the end (and I myself embrace this category) believe the Jews will be brought en masse back into the church, not saved as a separate “people of God.”

Richard Pratt says

On the other hand, other Reformed theologians have understood Romans 11 to teach that there will be a large scale conversion of Jews before the Second Coming. For example, the answer to Westminster Larger Catechism question 191 states that in the second petition of the Lord's Prayer (" Thy kingdom come"), we should pray among other things that "the Jews [may be] called." This too is the opinion expressed in the marginal notes on Romans 11: 26 in the Geneva Bible. Other well-known theologians have taken this position as well. For example, Charles Hodge wrote, "The second great event, which, according to the common faith of the church, is to precede the second advent of Christ, is the national conversion of the Jews.”

...one common element appears in the Reformed tradition on the future conversion of ethnic Israel: any large scale Jewish conversion must come through the preaching of the gospel. This position strongly opposes any eschatology that provides ethnic Israel with an alternative avenue of salvation. The Reformed vision of Israel's future absolutely dismisses the popular notion that non-Christian Jews will have the opportunity to believe in Christ when they see him coming in glory.


If you believe in a future mass conversion of the Jews you’re in good company. Beza, Bucer, Owen, Rutherford, and most of the Puritans did, as did JC Ryle, Lloyd-Jones, Jonathan Edwards, Spurgeon, Murray, Sproul, Henry, Poole, and a ton of others.

I can’t help but wonder if the more recent rejection of this teaching in the Reformed world is a reaction to the extreme dispensation view of the Jews. I think it’sa historically Reformed teaching to reject the dispensation system but believe God will bring the vast majority of our Jewish friends back into the church one day by turning to the Messiah.
 

TryingToLearn

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks for the replies guys, but my question is pertaining to whether we can use OT passages like Jeremiah 31, for example, to argue for the future conversion of Jews. Like I was saying, my understanding of these passages was that they do indeed promise salvation to future ethnic Israel, but are already being fulfilled in the Church, but it nonetheless means a future generation of Jews will join the Church.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks for the replies guys, but my question is pertaining to whether we can use OT passages like Jeremiah 31, for example, to argue for the future conversion of Jews. Like I was saying, my understanding of these passages was that they do indeed promise salvation to future ethnic Israel, but are already being fulfilled in the Church, but it nonetheless means a future generation of Jews will join the Church.
I believe they cannot. Jeremiah 31 is fulfilled in the Church, who IS the house of Jacob--that is, the house of Jacob that matters spiritually. All those OT promises are for the church, for everyone in the church, and only for the church. There is no ethnic distinction made after Christ, who broke down the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile that existed only while worship was conducted in the temple, but now is conducted everywhere in spirit and in truth.
To make that about any ethnic group would be to move backwards.
 

TryingToLearn

Puritan Board Freshman
I believe they cannot. Jeremiah 31 is fulfilled in the Church, who IS the house of Jacob--that is, the house of Jacob that matters spiritually. All those OT promises are for the church, for everyone in the church, and only for the church. There is no ethnic distinction made after Christ, who broke down the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile that existed only while worship was conducted in the temple, but now is conducted everywhere in spirit and in truth.
To make that about any ethnic group would be to move backwards.
Amen to all of this, but I don't see why this rules out a future application of this text to ethnic Israel. No doubt the Church is restored Israel, but I could see one still arguing that the passage was addressed to ethnic Israel, and therefore will eventually find fulfillment in ethnic Israel when they join the Church, but it's already finding fulfillment in the Church, which is the Israel of God. A kind of "already-not yet" type thing.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
The church is not separate from Biblical Israel. The New Testament does not supercede the Old.

Israel in the Old Testament was the historical church. Christians in this age—whether Jew or Greek—are the living church.

There is only one church, one body of Christ, one vine, one Lord. Christ is not divided. The church does not replace Israel because there is one church. Even the Greek Old Testament that the New relies on uses εκκλεσια for the Old Testament “church.” The only difference is that in the Old Testament a gentile believer had to join the covenant people of God, ancient Israel. He literally held dual citizenship, or he immigrated. That’s why the Temple had the Court of Gentiles—for evangelism. After the Resurrection, joining the kingdom of Israel and holding dual citizenship is no longer necessary. All believers of whatever nationality belong to the one, undivided body of Christ.

The Old Testament church was saved by faith in the Lord who was to come as Jesus. The New Testament church is saved by faith in the Lord who did come as Jesus. There is no other way to salvation.

Regarding Rom 11:25 and the gentiles, it is a beginning, not an end. “Come in” is an ENTRY, not an exit.

Also, πλήρωμα, or “fill” is the same word as “fill it up” or “patch” on the old garment in Matt 9:16. It could be translated as “filler,” “compliment,” “reserves,” “crew,” or “mass.” The mass or fullness of the gentiles did enter and come on stage more than a thousand years ago. The Roman Empire adopted Christianity and Judeans throughout eventually did convert. History tells us that there were few to no infidel Jews left in the Empire. archaeology tells us the Holy Land was dotted with churches; the foundations are everywhere. That left a small Babylonian diaspora who were more Babylonian than even the Samaritans, had no genealogies connecting them to historical Israel or any of its tribes, and had in practice replaced the Old Testament with the Babylonian Talmud, cutting off any relationship with the God revealed in Scripture, were wholly unelect, and could not claim to be Israel.

In other words, Rom 1:25 was fulfilled just as it says—when the gentiles came in. All Israel was saved when the Gentiles came in.

Eze 37 clearly reads that all 12 twelve tribes of Israel are physically dead, bone by bone, but the elect among them will participate in the bodily resurrection when the elect are restored, just as Eze 37 says.
 
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Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Amen to all of this, but I don't see why this rules out a future application of this text to ethnic Israel. No doubt the Church is restored Israel, but I could see one still arguing that the passage was addressed to ethnic Israel, and therefore will eventually find fulfillment in ethnic Israel when they join the Church, but it's already finding fulfillment in the Church, which is the Israel of God. A kind of "already-not yet" type thing.
Many of the promises that in Christ are "yea and amen" to those who believe were addressed to ethnic Israel, or to Abraham in the wording of descendants. That doesn't mean that they have to be fulfilled in ethnic Israel writ large to fully fulfilled. They are fulfilled in the Israel of God. You, christian, are the house of Jacob, the child of Abraham. There is only one people of God.
 

TryingToLearn

Puritan Board Freshman
Many of the promises that in Christ are "yea and amen" to those who believe were addressed to ethnic Israel, or to Abraham in the wording of descendants. That doesn't mean that they have to be fulfilled in ethnic Israel writ large to fully fulfilled. They are fulfilled in the Israel of God. You, christian, are the house of Jacob, the child of Abraham. There is only one people of God.
What do you make of 11:26-29 then? It seems to me that at least Isaiah 59:20-21 must be a promise for ethnic Israel, as it functions in Paul's argument. Then he goes on to say that ethnic Israel is "beloved for the sake of their fathers" and that the "gifts and callings of God are irrevocable", both again which seem to presuppose past OT promises for a future salvation of ethnic Israel.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
Historical, ethnic Israel = the church. Gentiles who came to faith were circumcised and joined the church. Gentile believers literally became part of ethnic Israel. The church today inherits all the promises of the historical church. Any other belief is not Christianity. The New Testament does not supercede the Old and the law of our immutable God applies today.

That would include any putative land promises. Assuming that there could be a future Millennium, the lands of the nations would be restored, and the elect of Israel would likewise inherit land within their own boundaries.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
What do you make of 11:26-29 then? It seems to me that at least Isaiah 59:20-21 must be a promise for ethnic Israel, as it functions in Paul's argument. Then he goes on to say that ethnic Israel is "beloved for the sake of their fathers" and that the "gifts and callings of God are irrevocable", both again which seem to presuppose past OT promises for a future salvation of ethnic Israel.
There has ever been a tendency, since the Gospel came to the Gentiles, to despise ethnic Israel, because they as a whole rejected the Messiah. Paul is arguing against that here and in other places, showing that it is through Jewry that the promises were handed down; that they were the church in infancy, that the Gentiles are saved not by joining some new thing called the Church but by being joined to the people of God--graffed in, is one phrase used.
The Redeemer came from Zion; He was a Jew, of the lineage of David, the seed of Abraham. Because we are joined to Israel, the promises to them are to us.
The land that God promised them is the land that we'll get--not the physical land of types and shadows in Palestine, but the true land of which that was just a type: a city not made with men's hands, eternal in the heavens.
Forget about any future distinction of ethnic Jews: God is saving His elect Jews right now, along with His elect from every nation, tribe and tongue.
 

dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
The church is not separate from Biblical Israel. The New Testament does not supercede the Old.

Israel in the Old Testament was the historical church. Christians in this age—whether Jew or Greek—are the living church.

There is only one church, one body of Christ, one vine, one Lord. Christ is not divided. The church does not replace Israel because there is one church. Even the Greek Old Testament that the New relies on uses εκκλεσια for the Old Testament “church.” The only difference is that in the Old Testament a gentile believer had to join the covenant people of God, ancient Israel. He literally held dual citizenship, or he immigrated. That’s why the Temple had the Court of Gentiles—for evangelism. After the Resurrection, joining the kingdom of Israel and holding dual citizenship is no longer necessary. All believers of whatever nationality belong to the one, undivided body of Christ.

The Old Testament church was saved by faith in the Lord who was to come as Jesus. The New Testament church is saved by faith in the Lord who did come as Jesus. There is no other way to salvation.

Regarding Rom 11:25 and the gentiles, it is a beginning, not an end. “Come in” is an ENTRY, not an exit.

Also, πλήρωμα, or “fill” is the same word as “fill it up” or “patch” on the old garment in Matt 9:16. It could be translated as “filler,” “compliment,” “reserves,” “crew,” or “mass.” The mass or fullness of the gentiles did enter and come on stage more than a thousand years ago. The Roman Empire adopted Christianity and Judeans throughout eventually did convert. History tells us that there were few to no infidel Jews left in the Empire. archaeology tells us the Holy Land was dotted with churches; the foundations are everywhere. That left a small Babylonian diaspora who were more Babylonian than even the Samaritans, had no genealogies connecting them to historical Israel or any of its tribes, and had in practice replaced the Old Testament with the Babylonian Talmud, cutting off any relationship with the God revealed in Scripture, were wholly unelect, and could not claim to be Israel.

In other words, Rom 1:25 was fulfilled just as it says—when the gentiles came in. All Israel was saved when the Gentiles came in.

Eze 37 clearly reads that all 12 twelve tribes of Israel are physically dead, bone by bone, but the elect among them will participate in the bodily resurrection when the elect are restored, just as Eze 37 says.
I do not view the purported adoption of Christianity by the later Roman Empire as an example of the fullness of the gentiles entering into the kingdom. The Christianity of the later empire was a State sponsored nearly coercive faith that rarely reflected a true conversion on the part of the individual. The doctrinal corruptions of the Roman church were in large part introduced during this period and I suspect that if there were few to no professing Jews left in the empire it is because they were "converted" to Roman "Christianity" at sword point. Please see https://www.scribd.com/document/421495943/The-two-beasts-of-Revelation-Identified
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
There is no doubt that the church was filled with gentile believers. There can be no doubt that the complement of the gentiles did indeed come in. The problem was confusing this verse with other verses describing the END of these gentile times.

No one doubts the times of the gentiles did begin.

Therefore, if the Bible is true, all Israel was saved.



Christianity did not convert by the sword. That is a secular, postmodern revision of history and slander against the faith. The truth is that beginning of the times of the gentiles, Augustine convincingly describes as a manifestation of the kingdom of God, the heavenly city on earth. That’s where amillennialism comes from.

But in any case there were zero Israelites in existence some time after 200 AD. All 11 tribes had disappeared. That alone is absolute proof that “all Israel” was saved.

You see, there is not one single individual alive today who makes a claim, nor could anyone make a valid claim, to be descended from any of the 11 tribes. If “all Israel” was NOT saved, then Scripture is false.

Further, Revelation and Ezekiel count out and name, one by one, ALL 12 tribes to be resurrected to life. If 11 tribes never received faith in Jesus Christ before disappearing, what happened?
 
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dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
I should take a moment and write that the current Roman communion is NOT the evil of the medieval period. The Roman church has been largely stripped of it's access to the coercive power of the State and is being forced (grudgingly sometimes) to fall back on the authority of the Word, which to be honest it never completely abandoned. Rome has a long way to go yet, but I hold out hope that God's refusal to allow it State sanction is his way of dragging it back into Holy Spirit powered orthodoxy. Let us pray that this is so.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
Irrelevant to the topic!

The compliment or “fullness” of the Gentiles did come in! ”Come in” means enter, not exit.

For that reason (and others), all Israel was saved.
 

dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
There is no doubt that the church was filled with gentile believers. There can be no doubt that the complement of the gentiles did indeed come in. The problem was confusing this verse with other verses describing the END of these gentile times.

No one doubts the times of the gentiles did begin.

Therefore, if the Bible is true, all Israel was saved.



Christianity did not convert by the sword. That is a secular, postmodern revision of history and slander against the faith. The truth is that beginning of the times of the gentiles, Augustine convincingly describes as a manifestation of the kingdom of God, the heavenly city on earth. That’s where amillennialism comes from.

But in any case there were zero Israelites in existence some time after 200 AD. All 11 tribes had disappeared. That alone is absolute proof that “all Israel” was saved.

You see, there is not one single individual alive today who makes a claim, nor could anyone make a valid claim, to be descended from any of the 11 tribes. If “all Israel” was NOT saved, then Scripture is false.

Further, Revelation and Ezekiel count out and name, one by one, ALL 12 tribes to be resurrected to life. If 11 tribes never received faith in Jesus Christ before disappearing, what happened?
You are viewing the period of the later empire through deeply Rose tinted glasses. Christianity does not make converts by the sword, but what the Constantinian "church" was practicing sure did. Consider that the empire made it's brand of Christianity the only game in town around 350 AD. This was the period of the Armenian heresy trying with state sanction to force the body of believers into espousing a deficient understanding of the full divinity of Christ. This is one of many errors that the Emperors were forcing on the people in the name of maintaining a monolithic faith. The Emperors were in fact overtly using the church to prop up a decrepit and failing state and the state church was going right along with it because it had a false notion of what bible was teaching when it talked about the Kingdom of God. This is not a secular slander and it is not revisionist, it is the God's honest truth about that period and I encourage you to do a little unbiased research into the period before you make that claim. There are a lot of knowledgeable historians of the faith on this board who would be happy to talk privately about this with you.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
Again, totally off topic. Besides, you are giving a bizarre anabaptist narrative which shouldn’t be in a Reformed forum.

We are in the Age of Gentiles. The complement or “fulness” of the gentiles did come in or enter. The Times of the Gentiles have not yet ended.

Therefore, if the Bible is true, all Israel was saved. There are many other reasons that that is true as well. For example, since at least 11 of 12 tribes do not exist, there is no biblical or historical Israel to save. They are long gone. But the one church since Abraham is still here.
 
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dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
Again, totally off topic. Besides, you are giving a bizarre anabaptist narrative which shouldn’t be in a Reformed forum.

We are in the Age of Gentiles. The complement or “fulness” of the gentiles did come in or enter. The Times of the Gentiles have not yet ended.

Therefore, if the Bible is true, all Israel was saved. There are many other reasons that is true as well.
Sigh.. OK. If you are going to label anything historically accurate that contradicts your thesis as bizarre and anabaptist then I don't see much point in continuing the discussion.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
Still irrelevant to the thread!! The bit confusing Armenians with Arians with Arminians is really funny, though.

We are in the Age of Gentiles. The complement or “fulness” of the gentiles did indeed come in or enter. The Times of the Gentiles have not yet ended. No one challenges that!

Therefore, if the Bible is true, all Israel was saved. There are many other reasons that that is true as well. For example, since at least 11 of 12 tribes do not exist, there is no biblical or historical Israel to save. They are long gone. But the one church since Abraham is still here.
 
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dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
I stand corrected. I was referring to the Arian heresy. Score one for you since you appear to be keeping score.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
Address the topic, please.

We are in the Age of Gentiles. The complement or “fulness” of the gentiles did indeed come in or enter. The Times of the Gentiles have not yet ended. No one challenges that!

Therefore, if the Bible is true, all Israel was saved. There are many other reasons that that is true as well. For example, since at least 11 of 12 tribes do not exist, there is no biblical or historical Israel to save. They are long gone. But the one church since Abraham is still here.
 

alexanderjames

Puritan Board Freshman
I’m not sure I follow your logic when you conclude that “all Israel *was* saved”.

Doesn’t Paul first distinguish Israel and the church in the context of Romans 11 when he says that Israel (- I understand this “Israel” as the Jewish people -) has experienced a hardening in part *until* the fullness of the gentiles has come in?
Wouldn’t that indicate that following this fullness of gentile salvation into the church, there will be a great work of God to a great salvation of the Jewish people into the church? Thus leading to a greater fullness so that all Israel (- I understand this “Israel” as both Jew and gentile, of all remaining elect -) *will* be saved.

Please excuse me if I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes! Paul prophesied. The fulness of the gentiles did come in. All Israel was saved.

“A partial hardening has come upon Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” The condition “until” is met.

1. In Rom 11:25, the gentiles “come in;” they didn’t “go out.” People commonly misread the verse to mean “the fulfillment of the gentiles leaves.” That reverses the meaning. The gentiles have come into the church and shall abide until the Times of the Gentiles are ended. No one doubts that the Gentiles did come in and that these are the Times of the Gentiles.

2. Here, the word for “fullness,” πλήρωμα, means “that which fills,” “complements” (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0057:entry=plh/rwma). It does not mean ‘fulfillment’. It is the same word as “patch” in Matt 9:16: “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the PATCH tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made” (ESV). The gentiles are, literally, a patch that has come on the church.

3. The context of the gentiles coming on stage to fill the church (Rom 11:25) was established in Romans 11:12-24, where the gentiles are grafted into the Vine, and where all ancient Israel is grafted back soon thereafter. Thus, PATCH = graft.

The two metaphors explain the same thing. The gentiles were GRAFTED into the Vine, and all ancient Israel was also grafted. The PATCH comes in and all Israel, too.

Since the patch came in long, long ago, all Israel was saved long ago.

Fullness or “patch” can also be translated as “complement,” “reserves,” etc. (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0057:entry=plh/rwma).
 
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alexanderjames

Puritan Board Freshman
Ok, this is an interesting take, thank you for explaining more thoroughly. I don’t think I agree, but hope to look into this more.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
Ok, this is an interesting take, thank you for explaining more thoroughly. I don’t think I agree, but hope to look into this more.
Thanks for your graciousness.

I reread your comment, and while you were replying, I added to my comment above. As I reread your comment, I saw that the issue there was “until.” The partial hardening was only “until” the fulness came in. (It has.)

Maybe I should repeat that no one now claims, nor could one claim, to be any of the 11 lost tribes. There is no “all Israel” anymore. Then also, Eze 37 spells out in detail that all of the 12 twelves tribes shall be physically dead, buried—and “dry bones”—before the bodily resurrection of the dead at the end of the age. Thus, all Israel must be saved before the end of this age, before which the tribes are dead and buried, according to Eze. The prophecy in Rom adds that Israel would be partly blind only until the fulness came in.

Last, a formal background in history has enabled me to conclude that all Israel did convert before the centuries of Muslim invasions and wars wiped out the historical populations of the Near East. No space to explain much of that here, however, except to say that the peoples of the Mediterranean Roman Empire were not Arabs and Turks. Reformers who commented on the history explain that God allowed that desolation owing to the idolatry the East Church had fallen into. (For example, Reformers in England who had studied in Geneva wrote about that at length in one of the last Anglican Homilies before their Civil War.)
 
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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Maybe I should repeat that no one now claims, nor could one claim, to be any of the 11 lost tribes. There is no “all Israel” anymore. Then also, Eze 37 spells out in detail that all of the 12 twelves tribes shall be physically dead, buried—and “dry bones”—before the bodily resurrection of the dead at the end of the age.
I don't have time tonight, but this interpretation strikes me as forced and idiosyncratic.

For one thing, the immediate context of Ez 37 is the Babylonian captivity. Israel is as good as dead, figuratively. No temple, no palace. No country.

Yet Ezekiel is told to preach to them. All was lost to Babylon, yet they are restored to their land under Cyrus. This is a figure of redemption, as Isaiah also shows.

And of course, historically, the passage has been applied to the work of the Spirit regenerating all those dead in sin, too, not just descendants of Abraham.

I don't see how it can be used to specifically say that there are no more Jews because they are all dead now. It seems like you have to import uninspired history to reach that conclusion.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
Not “no more Jews,” but that no one is claiming to be any of 11 *other* tribes of Israel. “All Israel” was made up of 12 tribes. I had presumed this was plainly obvious, but I suppose it has been many decades since this was commonly discussed in churches. (The Armstrongites’ fantasies are not claims, of course.) Since those 11 tribes do not exist today, there is no basis to speak of “all Israel” today as the Bible did historically. And when the Bible means only Judea, it says “Judea.”

Eze 37 is also in the immediate context (Ch 38) of the last battle of Gog and Magog, with a unique parallel in Revelation, making the bodily resurrection that Eze specifies eschatological. The resurrection he describes is drawn from the four corners of the earth, not just ancient Babylon. He says nothing about the Temple, Babylon, or Cyrus. He does specify a physical resurrection of “dry bones” of all 12 tribes from the dust of the earth. In contrast, the Babylonian captivity involved Judea (including Benjamin and resident Levites), as opposed to all 12 tribes. Thus, Eze explicitly rules out the possibility that this is an allegory or parable about Judea alone and the historical return.

Revelation, like Eze 37, also carefully lists all 12 tribes of Biblical Israel. Since the two accounts in Eze and Rev are parallel and future, specifying the physical resurrection at the end of the age, the restoration to the land is either to a millennium or to the eternal state.

Eze 37 is an interesting passage in that traditional Reformed can interpret it literally, but dispensationalists spiritualize it. It represents a fascinating reversal of eschatological approaches. Even so, it is always acceptable to draw spiritual principles everywhere in Scripture.

Donald Fairbairn (a Reformed Baptist scholar) several times made a compelling case to me for a classical, historical millennialism, but said no one had made a complete account of it. Literal readings of these passages here are consistent with what the church fathers describe.
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The covenant with ancient Israel was annulled, and as a geopolitical nation and people there is no longer a ‘covenant’ entity called Israel. The present State of Israel is not the covenant nation, which should be obvious to those who behold it, and who know God’s word.

Indeed we can desire, hope for, and work toward a large conversion of ethnic Jews, but we have no promises of such. See https://www.academia.edu/34520285/A_POET_ARISES_IN_ISRAEL for more on this topic.
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
The covenant with ancient Israel was annulled, and as a geopolitical nation and people there is no longer a ‘covenant’ entity called Israel. The present State of Israel is not the covenant nation, which should be obvious to those who behold it, and who know God’s word.

Indeed we can desire, hope for, and work toward a large conversion of ethnic Jews, but we have no promises of such. See https://www.academia.edu/34520285/A_POET_ARISES_IN_ISRAEL for more on this topic.
Thank you! I have downloaded the paper, which will be the basis of my Lord’s day reading. It looks like high quality, and I am delighted to see that poetry is included. If you have more like this, please do not hesitate to send them my way.

A great-grandfather who died long before I was born was a member of a family who found faith in Christ about 150 years ago, in Philadelphia. I believe his family were from Lithuania under the Russian Empire (now Belarus). Apparently, they were gentle people, and other family members who did not convert still supported the converts. I recently took DNA tests, and sure enough, 12% is this strange DNA.
 
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