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Israel Inherits Promises of Old (3 of 3)
Israel in Prophecy
Ezekiel 38:3-6, 11-12; Isaiah 45:21-25; Zephaniah 3:11-15; Zechariah 12:9-11; Zechariah 14:1-5, 12-13; Luke 19:35-38; Romans 11:25-27; Revelation 1:7-8; Revelation 14:18-20
For every curse against the sin of Israel, God follows it with a promise if they repent. It is frequently claimed that once Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah that God cut Israel out of His plan. From this point on, those who believe this also try to allegorize any reference to Israel in the New Testament claiming it is a symbolic reference to the church. It is then said that the church is the new Israel. This belief was very popular up until the time Israel was 'reborn' as a nation. Before this event, it appeared impossible for prophecy concerning Israel to be literally fulfilled, therefore alternative explanations were sought. Though this belief is not as popular today as it was prior to 1948, it is still a fairly common belief. Those who hold this belief face a three-fold problem.
1. One is that they must explain away scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments. Passages that are plainly stated are said to be symbolic. When you start allegorizing scripture you face the bigger problem of determining where to stop. If passages we don't agree with are figurative, then how do we know that passages we do agree with aren't figurative? People try to allegorize Genesis so that they are not at odds with the doctrine of evolution. Hell is allegorized so that people are not offended; Satan is allegorized so we don't look superstitions to the world. God's judgment of sin is allegorized so that people can feel OK about their lives without being challenged to live holy. In the end we have watered down scripture to the point where it is just a book of moral stories instead of the claim the Bible makes for itself in 2 Timothy 3:
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for repro ...
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