Day 6: Pray for the Church to Have the Right Theology About Israel

Today we focus on praying for the Church to have the right theology regarding Israel. What we believe about Israel has serious implications. The fruit of replacement theology throughout 2000 years of Church history has been antisemitism and Jewish hatred, culminating in tragedies like the Holocaust. It is vital for the Church to develop a biblical, sincere love for Israel and the Jewish people, recognising them as God’s firstborn, the apple of His eye, and His inheritance.

Related Scriptures

  • Genesis 12:1-3: “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”
  • Romans 11:17-18: “If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.”
  • Romans 11:25-29: “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’ As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”
  • Jeremiah 31:3: “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'”
  • Ezekiel 36:26-27: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
  • Zechariah 14:3: “Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle.”
  • Ezekiel 43:4: “The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east.”
  • Ezekiel 47:1-12: “The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east…”

In Genesis 12, God gave a threefold promise to Abraham: a land, a great nation of Abraham’s descendants, and a blessing for all the nations of the earth through salvation. This “great” nation refers to a nation that is wholly righteous in Him, shining with the glory of God, which is the biblical definition of greatness. These are not three separate promises, but one promise in three parts. The reality of these three parts must exist simultaneously and permanently to be considered a true prophetic fulfilment.

God promises that at one point in the future, there will be a whole generation of Abraham’s descendants permanently inhabiting a land. This entire nation will be righteous and filled with the glory of God, and all the nations will receive the blessing of salvation. This is the basis of Paul’s statement, “all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26). God put Abraham to sleep and walked through the cut pieces Himself, meaning that God alone, in His power, will cause this to happen. He will fulfil both sides of the covenant, and Abraham had no part to play in it. Abraham simply believed, and it was accounted to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). This is the basis for Paul’s theology of justification by faith.

The personal salvation of Gentiles cannot be separated from God’s promises for national Israel about their land and their future national salvation. They were given together as one promise. Jesus is the one who turns ungodliness away from Jacob, scatters Israel’s enemies at the time of His return, and establishes His throne in Jerusalem (Rom. 11:26-27, Isa. 63:1-6, Zach. 14:3-4, 9; Rev. 20:4). He is the one who saves you and me. When we separate ourselves from Israel’s national promises, we effectively separate ourselves from the source of our salvation.

Replacement theology separates individual salvations from the other two components of the covenant promise, claiming that the promise concerning the land and national salvation have been done away with. It claims that while individual Jews can be saved and become part of the Church, the Church has replaced Israel or is the new Israel, the spiritual Israel all along. This is contrary to what Paul stated in Romans 11, that Gentile believers are “grafted in” to the olive tree, a picture of the nation of Israel in Jeremiah 11:16. Jews are natural branches of this tree, and Gentiles are wild branches. Natural branches that rejected Yeshua were broken off, but God promises to graft them back in again at the end of the age. Yeshua the Messiah is the trunk of the tree of Israel, the one who will fulfil the promises made to Israel. God’s promises to Israel are not fulfilled “in Jesus” (which is another way of saying they’re no longer relevant), but by Jesus (meaning Jesus will personally cause these promises to come to fruition).

Jesus, in His power, will cause a whole generation of Israel to come to faith in Him, restore the land permanently to His people, and the blessing that comes out of it will flow to every nation of the earth. Believing in that promise in the Old Testament is to believe in Jesus. Now that Jesus has been revealed in the New Testament era, how can we not believe that Jesus will fulfil these promises?

In Matthew 22:23-33, the Sadducees questioned Jesus about the resurrection. Jesus responded by saying, “You do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God,” pointing out that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. This unconditional covenant was made by a living God to living souls. In order for the patriarchs to receive their promises, they need to be raised from the dead. So at the time of the resurrection, when all who were dead in the Messiah are raised up and those remaining are caught up to meet Him in the air (1 Thes. 4:16-17), and as Jesus sets free those who have been captive during the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:14), this is when a whole generation of the surviving remnant of Israel will finally have their eyes opened to see the Messiah. Jesus will free the captives (Isa. 61:1), destroy the invading armies of the nations (Zach. 14:3), restore the land to the Jewish people, fill the Jerusalem temple with His glory (Eze. 43:4), and His glory will flow to the nations as the river flows from the temple, bringing healing to the land and environment (Eze. 47:1-12).

Israel experiences judgement, suffering, and exiles throughout its history as God’s discipline, so that He can restore them according to the covenant promise. God in His power will cause a whole generation of Jewish people to believe in Him and be saved, but He cannot violate each individual’s free will. In His wisdom, He orchestrates things so that, on the other side of the discipline, all Israel will freely give their love and affection to Him in worship and abandonment. Replacement theology insists that Israel’s judgements were literal, but their restoration is symbolic and spiritually applied to the Church. This is absolutely false and was the foundation of anti-Jewish biases and Christian antisemitism.

May the Church have a right, biblical view of Israel and the Jewish people, and be able to love Israel by agreeing with God’s redemptive plan for this nation.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the Church worldwide to develop a healthy, biblical theology about Israel, recognising God’s eternal covenant with His people (Genesis 12:1-3).
  • Pray for the Church to repent of replacement theology and embrace God’s plan for Israel (Romans 11:17-18).
  • Ask God to reveal His heart for Israel to pastors and church leaders, leading them to teach their congregations about God’s love and promises for the Jewish people (Jeremiah 31:3).
  • Pray for unity between Jewish and Gentile believers, that together we would form one new man in Christ (Ephesians 2:14-16).
  • Pray for the Church to boldly stand against antisemitism and support the Jewish people, demonstrating God’s love in action (Proverbs 24:11-12).
  • Thank God for His faithfulness to Israel and His promises, and pray for the Church to align with His purposes (Romans 11:25-29).

Conclusion

Let us intercede for the Church to have a deep, biblical understanding of Israel, aligning with God’s heart and His eternal covenant with His people. Our prayers can bring about a transformation in the Church’s theology and a greater understanding of God’s redemptive plan.

We will also be holding public virtual prayer meetings on the following dates:

  • Friday, 24th May
  • Monday, 27th May

Our next prayer meeting is TONIGHT at 7:00 PM UK time. If you would like to receive updates and the Zoom link for upcoming meetings, please sign up to our email list.

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