We received the following question from “Pam” concerning Israel and Romans 11. I want to share the question and my response with our visitors.
I thoroughly enjoy the Morning Musings. It’s helping to fill in the blanks after a 9 month study of the preterist view of eschatology.
Question. After viewing your last MM on Romans 11, doesn’t at some point…the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) or AD 70, God blends the remnant of Israel with the church and together they become the spiritual Israel? In a sense God no longer has a need for the “physical” nation of Israel but we All become Israel. Please clarify if I’m mis-stating this.
Thanks again for a fascinating study!
Pam, please forgive the delay in response. I am just hectically busy with my debate preparation and trying to get a book ready for publication.
I appreciate your good question. Let me offer a thought or two.
A.) We must keep in mind that God’s eschatological and soteriological promises to Israel were made to Israel “after the flesh” (Romans 9:3). Thus, in some way, while the promises were not of “fleshly” realities, they were made to Israel after the flesh– the literal seed of Abraham.
2.) While the promises were made to Israel after the flesh, it was the righteous remnant of Israel that would and did receive those promises. It was Israel within Israel. Note that Paul said “Israel has not obtained that which she sought, but, the elect has obtained” (Romans 11:7) I produced a seven part series on this text and you can get that from me. It is $24.95 postpaid.)
3.) As you note below, the righteous remnant of fleshly Israel– which, incidentally, included Paul as a physical descendant of Abraham (Romans 11:1-3)– merged with those who were not of the physical seed of Abraham to comprise the spiritual seed of Abraham– Romans 4, Galatians 3-4. This became the true Israel of God.
So, God was faithful to His promises to Israel after the flesh, the physical seed of Abraham. The righteous remnant was saved (cf. Romans 9:23-28), consummating God’s dealings with the nation “after the flesh.”
It was never God’s ultimate intent to have an exclusive, nationalistic, segregated and exclusionary people. He used and blessed Israel– who were in fact to share His light with the nations, but failed to do so. His ultimate goal was to bring salvation to all men through Israel (Salvation is of the Jews). Isaiah 49:6f is a great text on this, and you can read one of my articles on this here: http://www.eschatology.org/all-articles-articles-211/43-the-israel-of-god/714-the-re-gathering-of-israel-prophecy-fulfilled
So, I agree with you that God no longer needs a physical nation. He blessed and used them to bring Messiah into the world, so that all men might have the opportunity to live with Him. We do that by becoming children of Abraham through faith.
I hope this helps a bit! Thanks so much for contacting me, and thanks for watching my Morning Musings!
Make your plans to be with us this July 19-21, 2012, for our Preterist Pilgrim Weekend!
Instead of a conference, there will be a formal public debate between Don K. Preston and Joel McDurmon of American Vision (Gary DeMar’s organization) This promises to be a landmark debate, so make your plans to be with us!
Don K. Preston