Topic Article #20: Israel & the Church
by Dr. Eugene Clingman, Executive Administrator
Copyright 2006, International Church Council Project
(This article may be freely distributed so long as it is not altered
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Topic Twenty of the International Church Council Project (ICCP) is Concerning Israel and the Church. Although ICCP does not officially espouse a particular eschatology (end-time view), the truths contained in this topic will, if understood and embraced, root out what I personally (unofficially) am certain is a false view of end-times – that view which sets the nation of Israel into a third category of people, as if there were: 1) believers (saved), 2) unbelievers (lost), and 3) Israel (another special category). This document clearly and biblically states that there are fundamentally two types of people: 1) the saved, 2) the lost. Israel is a nation (a people group) to whom God made special promises. All God’s promises have their answer in Jesus Christ the Messiah, including those given to Israel as a nation.
A significant theological tenant is this, that no Jew is saved from their sins or inherits eternal life apart from being grafted back into the “Olive Tree” from which they were broken off because of their rejection of Christ. In other words any of Israel that has been, is, or will be saved must be grafted into the “Olive Tree,” the Church of Jesus Christ which previously was known as “The Church in the Wilderness” (Acts 7:38 Greek & KJV), and Zion (Isaiah 51:16; Hebrews 12:22), and Jacob (Isaiah 41:8; Galatians 3:29), etc.
The important point to note is that God has one people, he always has had one people, he always will have but one people. That one people are those redeemed by the blood of, and through faith in Christ, the Lamb of God for those saved before Christ and those saved after the Cross of Christ. Contrary to popular Dispensational teaching upon which are built the famous “Left Behind” books and films and much of today’s speculation of Christ’s coming, Israel is not a third category of people any more than Filipinos, the Irish, or, Shawnee Indians are a third category of people. The ICCP document Israel and the Church brings clarity and shows that all people, Jews included, receive the benefits of redemption and grace through and in Jesus Christ by being grafted (gentiles) or re-grafted (Jews) into the “olive tree” which Romans 11 shows to be not two peoples of God, but one.
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