Luke J. Wilson | 11th October 2015 |
If you've read my previous two articles on Israel, then this will probably seem familiar. This is a combination of the previous two combined into one study, focussing more on who Israel is under the New Covenant rather than the geopolitical/war situation of the Middle East.
So Who is Israel?
No doubt what I'm about to say will cause some knee-jerk reactions, but to properly understand the New Covenant, we need to address the issue of who is Israel, Biblically speaking? Yes, there is a modern nation known as "Israel" now since 1948, but is that the same Israel of the Bible? The same Israel to whom God made his promises? If so, does that mean God's plans were on hiatus while there was no nation of Israel from AD 70 when Rome destroyed them, until 1948?
How many chosen people are there?
So I'm just going to say it: the nation of Israel in the Middle East which we know of today, is not the same Israel of the New Covenant.
So who is Israel then, according to the New Testament?
In a word: Jesus.
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, “And to offsprings,” as of many; but it says, “And to your offspring,” that is, to one person, who is Christ.
That promise to Abraham of his offspring blessing the earth was not speaking of the Jewish people as a whole, but their culmination in being the lineage to which the Messiah would come!
What about the nation of Israel?
There are some internet memes which are still doing the rounds every so often, quoting Gen 12:3 ("I will bless those who bless [Israel], and the one who curses [Israel] I will curse") and by implication, putting guilt on anyone who dares say a bad word against the nation of Israel. Yes, all the families of the earth shall be blessed — but not by national Israel, but Jesus who IS the true Israel; the one in whom all the promises to the people of...
Luke J. Wilson | 16th August 2014 |
As I've been thinking more about the Israel situation, and reading and hearing the responses and debates on my last article, and the issue in general, it seems to me that people can't help but get stuck in the mindset of a geo-political debate. Yes, there's a place called "Israel" in the middle-east, and yes there's a war going on which is terrible for all involved — but from a New Testament Christian perspective, that shouldn't be our focus when it comes to thinking about the true Israel!
This is what it's about!
If you want to "support Israel" because you believe they are in the right or have 'just cause', then fine – just don't call it a God-sanctioned war or prophecy fulfillment and claim that others are "anti-Israel/Semitic" and unChristian for not pledging some kind of allegiance to a political situation like you do. Although, while you are out there "supporting Israel", maybe you should get a little perspective on the land mass of Gaza using this nifty little web app I came across earlier today: Gaza Everywhere.
But I want to take your attention away from a geographical mindset for the moment.
Israel the land isn't the point.
It's not about land anymore!
WDJS? (What Did Jesus Say?)
Let's look at what Jesus had to say about having a special place for worshipping God when a Samaritan woman asked him about where the proper place to meet with God was:
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem ... God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman says to Jesus, 'our ancestors worshipped here, but you Jews say only in Jerusalem – which is right?' Jesus gives an answer which just flips it all up on its head and effectively says "neither and both". Neither, because a time was coming where things were about to change, where physical, geographical Israel...
Luke J. Wilson | 09th August 2014 |
"We interrupt your regularly scheduled programme to bring you this..." Sorry if you were waiting for part 3 of the Coming of Jesus series, but what with all that's going on in the news lately, I felt that this needed to be written first.
"Support Israel's right to defend itself from terror."
Images like this really don't help anything.
If you've been on Facebook, or any other social media no doubt, I'm sure you will have seen (or even said) words to this effect in status' or memes. I keep seeing memes and images posted by people, often from Christians, about "supporting Israel" and each time it makes me stop and question that statement and/or sentiment. I question its accuracy, how biased or not the sources were, whether it's propaganda rather than truth. It makes me wonder about what view of God and theology that person holds to that enables Israel to get a 'free pass' as it were. There's images and videos being posted from both sides, but it seems that when there is something negative against Israel, it's called "propaganda" and staged/fake etc, but the other way around it is terrorism and self-defense by Israel. Then there's those who play the racism card, such as the image to the right, making people feel guilty of Anti-Semitism for not being a die-hard Zionist.
But what I'd really like to know is when did Christian's begin supporting any kind of violence or war? I realise the church has a long and bloody history - but is that really the Jesus way - Jesus the "prince of peace" (Isaiah 9:6)?
How about we do what Jesus taught and support efforts for peace, and not war; praying for our enemies and those who persecute, and not take sides, you know, like we're supposed to as Christ-followers.
"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous." – Matt 5:44-45