Has The Church Replaced Israel In God’s Eternal Plan?

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

In the Old Testament, God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham and his descendants, to be their God and for them to be his special people. This covenant was passed down from Abraham through Isaac unto Jacob (Israel) and his sons, who became the nation of Israel. From their liberation from captivity in Egypt, Israel became God’s chosen nation and occupied a special place in God’s plan and in God’s heart. In fact, God declared himself to be Israel’s husband, having married the nation to himself. That’s the relationship between God and Israel—that of husband and wife. Thus, in the Old Testament, Israel was portrayed as the apple of God’s eyes, and the centerpiece of God’s redemptive plan for the whole of mankind. The Messiah (Jesus Christ) and salvation came through them and the nation became the first fruits of God’s salvation blessings.

Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.

Genesis 12:2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.

Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.

Genesis 17:2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

Genesis 17:3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:

Genesis 17:4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.

Genesis 17:5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.

Genesis 17:6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.

Genesis 17:7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

Genesis 17:8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Genesis 17:9 And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.

Genesis 17:10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;

Genesis 17:11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.

Genesis 17:12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.

Genesis 17:13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

Genesis 17:14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

Genesis 17:15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.

Genesis 17:16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”

Genesis 22:15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven,

Genesis 22:16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—

Genesis 22:17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Genesis 22:18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Exodus 19:2 For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.

Exodus 19:3 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel:

Exodus 19:4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

Exodus 19:6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Jeremiah 3:11 Then the Lord said to me, “Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.

Jeremiah 3:12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:
‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you.
For I am merciful,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not remain angry forever.

Jeremiah 3:13 Only acknowledge your iniquity,
That you have transgressed against the Lord your God,
And have scattered your charms
To alien deities under every green tree,
And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Jeremiah 3:16 “Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,” says the Lord, “that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.

Jeremiah 3:17 “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.

John 4:21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.
John 4:22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

However, Israel as a nation (urged on by their leaders) rejected their Messiah and crucified him. Because of the nation’s unbelief, they were blinded and cut off from God’s blessings and left to wander about in spiritual darkness. Since then, the nation has been visited with one calamity after another, suffering the consequences of rejecting and crucifying their Messiah. The gospel, initially targeted at them, became offered to the Gentiles instead, when they rejected it, leading to the in-grafting of the believing Gentiles into God’s tree of grace, while Israel, the natural branch of that tree, was cut off. Because the predominantly Gentile church, the mystical body of Christ, now occupies the same exalted position as Israel used to occupy in the Old Testament, some have opined that the church has now replaced Israel in God’s plan, and all prophecies meant for Israel as a nation should now be applied to the church. Accordingly, some people apply Biblical prophecies meant for Israel to the church and believe the church has now taken Israel’s place, to carry on with God’s eternal plan. Has Israel ceased to feature in God’s plan because the nation is presently out of favour with God? Is the blindness that has happened to Israel total and permanent? Has Israel been irreversibly cut off from God’s favour? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

The Acts 13:44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

The Acts 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.

The Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

The Acts 13:47 For so the Lord has commanded us:
‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

The Acts 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Romans 9:1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,

Romans 9:2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.

Romans 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,

Romans 9:4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises;

Romans 9:5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

Romans 9:6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,

Romans 9:7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.”

Romans 9:8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

Romans 9:9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”

Romans 9:10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac

Romans 9:11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),

Romans 9:12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.”

Romans 9:13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!

Romans 9:15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”

Romans 9:18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

Romans 9:19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”

Romans 9:20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”

Romans 9:21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

Romans 9:22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

Romans 9:23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

Romans 9:24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Romans 9:25 As He says also in Hosea:
“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”

Romans 9:26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

Romans 9:27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:
“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
The remnant will be saved.

Romans 9:28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”

Romans 9:29 And as Isaiah said before:
“Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed,
We would have become like Sodom,
And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”

Romans 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;

Romans 9:31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.

Romans 9:32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

Romans 9:33 As it is written:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

In his parting address to Israel, Moses warned the nation to remain faithful to the laws God had given them through him, in order to continue to retain God’s blessings and favour as his chosen nation. He reminded Israel of the consequences of rebellion against God, which would include plagues, famines and wars, and ultimately displacement from the promised land and dispersion to the ends of the earth, under Gentile dominion. Moses equally held out a way back to God’s favour and blessings to the nation—however far God would disperse them, if they would repent and turn back to him in obedience, God would forgive and bring them back to the promised land and to their exalted position as God’s chosen and favoured nation. The covenant God made their forefathers was an everlasting one that could not be annuled, because God had ratified it with an oath, and had sworn by himself to uphold that covenant forever. For their ancestors’ sake, the nation could not be cut off from the covenantal blessings of God. For sure God would discipline and chastise them for rebellion, but he would not completely destroy them, but would eventually gather them back to fulfil the promises made to their fathers.

Deuteronomy 29:1 These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb.

Deuteronomy 29:2 Now Moses called all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land—

Deuteronomy 29:3 the great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great wonders.

Deuteronomy 29:4 Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day.

Deuteronomy 29:5 And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.

Deuteronomy 29:6 You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or similar drink, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 29:7 And when you came to this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out against us to battle, and we conquered them.

Deuteronomy 29:8 We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh.

Deuteronomy 29:9 Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.

Deuteronomy 29:10 “All of you stand today before the Lord your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel,

Deuteronomy 29:11 your little ones and your wives—also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water—

Deuteronomy 29:12 that you may enter into covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath, which the Lord your God makes with you today,

Deuteronomy 29:13 that He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and that He may be God to you, just as He has spoken to you, and just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Deuteronomy 29:14 “I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone,

Deuteronomy 29:15 but with him who stands here with us today before the Lord our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today

Deuteronomy 29:16 (for you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which you passed by,

Deuteronomy 29:17 and you saw their abominations and their idols which were among them—wood and stone and silver and gold);

Deuteronomy 29:18 so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood;

Deuteronomy 29:19 and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart’—as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.

Deuteronomy 29:20 “The Lord would not spare him; for then the anger of the Lord and His jealousy would burn against that man, and every curse that is written in this book would settle on him, and the Lord would blot out his name from under heaven.

Deuteronomy 29:21 And the Lord would separate him from all the tribes of Israel for adversity, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this Book of the Law,

Deuteronomy 29:22 so that the coming generation of your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, would say, when they see the plagues of that land and the sicknesses which the Lord has laid on it:

Deuteronomy 29:23 ‘The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and His wrath.’

Deuteronomy 29:24 “All nations would say, ‘Why has the Lord done so to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean?’

Deuteronomy 29:25 Then people would say: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt;

Deuteronomy 29:26 for they went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods that they did not know and that He had not given to them.

Deuteronomy 29:27 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against this land, to bring on it every curse that is written in this book.

Deuteronomy 29:28 And the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy 30:1 “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you,

Deuteronomy 30:2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deuteronomy 30:3 that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you.

Deuteronomy 30:4 If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.

Deuteronomy 30:5 Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Deuteronomy 30:7 “Also the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.

Deuteronomy 30:8 And you will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I command you today.

Deuteronomy 30:9 The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers,

Deuteronomy 30:10 if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 30:11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.

Deuteronomy 30:12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’

Deuteronomy 30:13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’

Deuteronomy 30:14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.

Deuteronomy 30:15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,

Deuteronomy 30:16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.

Deuteronomy 30:17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,

Deuteronomy 30:18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

Deuteronomy 30:20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

The prophets who came after Moses also reiterated this point about Israel’s assured place of eminence in God’s eternal plan. Even when Israel was out of favour with God, they spoke of a glorious time in the future kingdom age when Isreal would be restored to her position of glory as head over all the nations on earth. Under the restored Davidic kingdom to be ruled by the Messiah during the age of regeneration, Israel would once more become a force to reckon with in world affairs. The promises God made to their fathers would eventually be fulfilled. Thus, no prophet in Scripture ever spoke of Israel being totally and irreversibly cut off from God’s favour, to be replaced by another entity. To be sure, the prophets foretold of the Gentiles being admitted into God’s grace and becoming a people called after God’s name. They spoke about Gentiles finding what Israel had sought for centuries (the Messiah) and finally coming to the same place of favour with God as Israel. However, the prophets spoke of God using the Gentiles to provoke backslidden Israel to jealousy, with the ultimate goal of causing the returning of Israel to God and back to her favoured position and blessings. Some people among the Gentiles would become a people called by God’s name, but Israel remains the only nation called by God’s name.

Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren,
You who have not borne!
Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,
You who have not labored with child!
For more are the children of the desolate
Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.

Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords,
And strengthen your stakes.

Isaiah 54:3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
And your descendants will inherit the nations,
And make the desolate cities inhabited.

Isaiah 54:4 “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame;
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.

Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.

Isaiah 54:6 For the Lord has called you
Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Like a youthful wife when you were refused,”
Says your God.

Isaiah 54:7 “For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.

Isaiah 54:8 With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the Lord, your Redeemer.

Isaiah 54:9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;
For as I have sworn
That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,
So have I sworn
That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.

Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

Ezekiel 36:1 “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord!

Ezekiel 36:2 Thus says the Lord God: “Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,’”’

Ezekiel 36:3 therefore prophesy, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people”—

Ezekiel 36:4 therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around—

Ezekiel 36:5 therefore thus says the Lord God: “Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with wholehearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.”’

Ezekiel 36:6 “Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations.”

Ezekiel 36:7 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame.

Ezekiel 36:8 But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come.

Ezekiel 36:9 For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.

Ezekiel 36:10 I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.

Ezekiel 36:11 I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 36:12 Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of children.”

Ezekiel 36:13 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they say to you, ‘You devour men and bereave your nation of children,’

Ezekiel 36:14 therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nation anymore,” says the Lord God.

Ezekiel 36:15 “Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore, nor bear the reproach of the peoples anymore, nor shall you cause your nation to stumble anymore,” says the Lord God.’”

Ezekiel 36:16 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

Ezekiel 36:17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity.

Ezekiel 36:18 Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had defiled it.

Ezekiel 36:19 So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.

Ezekiel 36:20 When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name—when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.’

Ezekiel 36:21 But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.

Ezekiel 36:22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.

Ezekiel 36:23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.

Ezekiel 36:24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.

Ezekiel 36:25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Ezekiel 36:28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36:29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.

Ezekiel 36:30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.

Ezekiel 36:31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.

Ezekiel 36:32 Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”

Ezekiel 36:33 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

Ezekiel 36:34 The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by.

Ezekiel 36:35 So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’

Ezekiel 36:36 Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.”

Ezekiel 36:37 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock.

Ezekiel 36:38 Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”’”

Paul confirmed this message of the prophets in his letter to the Christians in Rome. The apostle to the Gentiles revealed God’s everlasting love for Israel by reminding Gentile believers that though Israel was presently out of favour with God, they would eventually be restored. God may have cut off Israel’s branch from his vine because of their unbelief and grafted the Gentiles in, but being the original branch of that vine, grafting them back in would be much easier than the grafting in of the wild Gentile branch into God’s vine. At the fullness of time, when the fullness of the Gentiles had come in, Israel would be saved and restored back to her glory. That would be at the end of the church age, after the rapture of the church. The gospel would return to the Jews and Israel would come to accept Christ officially as her Messiah. Ungodliness would be taken away from Israel and the nation’s repentance would be national and total, and her full glory and favour with God would be restored. Restored Israel would be the focus of the antichrist during the great tribulation (the period between the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ), and God would help her marvelously to escape the wrath of the antichrist. In the end, all Israel would be saved, and the nation would be restored to her position as God’s own country and the number one nation on earth. Right now, Israel is not where she ought to be, but no entity can take her place in God’s scheme—not the church, and not any nation on earth! Israel may be out of favour with God right now, but she’ll be restored at the appropriate time and she’ll go back to her position and glory as of old. God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants (the Jews) still stands, because it’s an everlasting covenant. Thus, even in her fallen state, God will still bless those that bless Israel and curse those that curse her. That’s why the church needs to be careful how it relates with Israel. Though the nation of Israel is spiritually blind to the things of God and is actually fighting God’s plans in Christ right now and opposing the gospel, Israel still remains God’s covenanted chosen nation, and we should still remember to pray for the nation’s restoration and for God’s mercy upon her. The Church has not taken Israel’s position but is simply sharing in Israel’s blessings. Let us not lose sight of that fact, lest we become arrogant and proud in our own conceit, for then we would be in danger of suffering the same fate Israel is now suffering. Israel is where she is now because of unbelief and pride.

Romans 11:1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

Romans 11:2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying,

Romans 11:3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”?

Romans 11:4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

Romans 11:5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Romans 11:7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

Romans 11:8 Just as it is written:
“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.”

Romans 11:9 And David says:
“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.

Romans 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”

Romans 11:11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.

Romans 11:12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,

Romans 11:14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.

Romans 11:15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,

Romans 11:18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

Romans 11:19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”

Romans 11:20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.

Romans 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

Romans 11:22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

Romans 11:23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

Romans 11:24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

Romans 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;

Romans 11:27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

Romans 11:28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Romans 11:30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,

Romans 11:31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.

Romans 11:32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Romans 11:34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”

Romans 11:35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”

Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

Zechariah 12:11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

Zechariah 12:12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: 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;

Zechariah 12:13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;

Zechariah 12:14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.

Zechariah 13:1 “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.

Zechariah 13:2 “It shall be in that day,” says the Lord of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land.

Zechariah 13:3 It shall come to pass that if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the Lord.’ And his father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies.

Zechariah 13:4 “And it shall be in that day that every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive.

Zechariah 13:5 But he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.’

Zechariah 13:6 And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’

Zechariah 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
Against the Man who is My Companion,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered;
Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.

Zechariah 13:8 And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
Says the Lord,
“That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
But one–third shall be left in it:

Zechariah 13:9 I will bring the one–third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them.
I will say, ‘This is My people’;
And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”

During Christ’s earthly millennial kingdom, Israel will resume her place as head over all nations, and will be the headquarters of Christ’s kingdom, with Jerusalem as his throne. Israel will again be the centerpiece of God’s plan and will be the pilgrimage site for all peoples, as they bring their offerings of righteousness to the King of king and Lord of lords. Any nation that doesn’t come to worship God at Jerusalem will be cursed. The Davidic kingdom will be re-established, with Christ, the Son of David sitting upon David’s throne to rule Israel and the rest of the world in righteousness. The 12 apostles will sit on 12 thrones with him to judge (administer) the 12 tribes of Israel. Israel will once again be the light of the world and a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. A reign of righteousness, peace and prosperity like the world has never known will be experienced under the kingship of this Son of David, which was foreshadowed by the rule of peace and prosperity experienced under David’s son, Solomon, but the glory of Christ’s kingdom will surpass that of Solomon a million fold! All the glorious promises made to Israel in Scripture that have not been fulfilled up till now will find fulfilment during this glorious period of Christ’s millennial reign as both King of the Jews and King of kings and Lord of lords. The glory of restored Israel will be thus be unimaginable compared to her former glory under God in the old testament, showing that no one has nor can take Israel’s place in the plan of God! God’s covenant love with Israel is simply everlasting and cannot be broken! God has sworn by himself and will not repent—he will never forsake nor totally abandon Israel.

Zechariah 14:1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
And your spoil will be divided in your midst.

Zechariah 14:2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Zechariah 14:3 Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.

Zechariah 14:4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.

Zechariah 14:5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley,
For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal.
Yes, you shall flee
As you fled from the earthquake
In the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
Thus the Lord my God will come,
And all the saints with You.

Zechariah 14:6 It shall come to pass in that day
That there will be no light;
The lights will diminish.

Zechariah 14:7 It shall be one day
Which is known to the Lord—
Neither day nor night.
But at evening time it shall happen
That it will be light.

Zechariah 14:8 And in that day it shall be
That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem,
Half of them toward the eastern sea
And half of them toward the western sea;
In both summer and winter it shall occur.

Zechariah 14:9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.
In that day it shall be—
“The Lord is one,”
And His name one.

Zechariah 14:10 All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.

Zechariah 14:11 The people shall dwell in it;
And no longer shall there be utter destruction,
But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

Zechariah 14:12 And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem:
Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet,
Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets,
And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.

Zechariah 14:13 It shall come to pass in that day
That a great panic from the Lord will be among them.
Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor,
And raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand;

Zechariah 14:14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem.
And the wealth of all the surrounding nations
Shall be gathered together:
Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.

Zechariah 14:15 Such also shall be the plague
On the horse and the mule,
On the camel and the donkey,
And on all the cattle that will be in those camps.
So shall this plague be.

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Zechariah 14:17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain.

Zechariah 14:18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Zechariah 14:19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Zechariah 14:20 In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.

Zechariah 14:21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.

Luke 1:26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,

Luke 1:27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

Luke 1:28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

Luke 1:29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Luke 1:30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Luke 1:31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.

Luke 1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

Luke 1:33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Matthew 19:27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”

Matthew 19:28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

Matthew 19:30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

In conclusion, the position of Israel as God’s chosen nation is firmly fixed in Scriptures. The covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants (the Jews) is an everlasting covenant that cannot be annuled, because God swore by himself to uphold that covenant forever. For sure, God promised to chastise Israel for disobedience and rebellion, and he has been unwavering in punishing the nation for their rebellion, allowing their enemies to subdue and rule over them, and blinding the nation to the truth of the Gospel, for rejecting and crucifying their Messiah. However, God’s cutting off of Israel from his favour is temporary and not forever. Israel will still be restored to her position of favour and glory, after the times of the Gentiles is fulfilled. All Scriptures concerning Israel will be fulfilled by Israel at the appointed time. The church now may be enjoying the same favour with God that Israel enjoyed exclusively in the old testament. However, the church has not replaced Israel in God’s plan. No entity can take the position and love God has reserved for Israel, his covenanted wife. Israel may be out of favour with God right now, but she will be restored after the rapture of the church. Israel will regain her position as the centerpiece of God’s government in the kingdom age, and will be the headquarters and seat of government of the Messianic kingdom of Christ in the millennial reign. Let no one therefore attempt to substitute Israel with the church, for Israel is the apple of God’s eye, and the centrepiece of his plan for the redemption of mankind. Therefore, let no one contemptuously look down on blind and backslidden Israel, nor gloat over her misfortunes, for she shall be healed and restored. Instead, let all who love the Lord pray for the good of Israel and bless the nation, for whoever blesses her is blessed and whoever curses her will be cursed.

Psalms 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.

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Published by Dr. Ndubuisi E. Ojo

Dr Ojo is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a student of the Word of God, who believes firmly in the original apostolic faith as the only authentic version of Christianity, and the only legitimate basis for Christian conduct, order and doctrine.

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