Most pseudo-Christian sects & some denominations are based in misunderstandings of the Old Testament. In the New Testament we found the revelation of many things that were just shadows of Christ or a mystery in the Old Testament. People can find salvation & the simplicity of Christ by reading the New Testament alone, but that won’t happen by reading the Old Testament by itself.
Reformed/Calvinist theologians & Catholics teach the church replaces ‘Israel‘ (Replacement Theology), but that’s NOT what the New Testament teaches, please check in that link the 73 times the word ‘Israel’ is used int he NT.
Also with some variations the Church of God & many of their splinters like Israelite Church of God (a.k.a Black Hebrew Israelites) & Hebrew Roots movement, teach another replacement theology as well, & it’s that Christians are or become ‘Israelites’.
These sects also teach Jesus only came to save the house of Israel by twisting Matt.15:24, & say for that reason we believers have to be Israel, otherwise we are not saved. But in the original Greek there is no word ‘only‘ neither the word ‘save‘:
” ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Οὐκ ἀπεστάλην εἰ μὴ εἰς τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα οἴκου Ἰσραήλ” –
The but answering [He] said, not I was sent, if not to the sheep – being lost of [the] house [of] Israel. (check here or here).
The word ‘sent’, apostellō in Greek, were the word apostle comes from, is Strong # G649 & it means to be commissioned to go to a place appointed. You can find the same encounter (of Matt.15:24) in Mark 7 where it clarifies ‘Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs‘. ( Ro.1:16). Jesus is not rejecting Gentiles, His answer is a fulfillment of prophecy, a setting of priorities, and a test of a woman’s faith, a gentile who already believed Jesus was the Jewish Messiah & her strong faith was an example to all Israel, but also notice the woman was requesting deliverance for her daughter, not for her. Jesus agrees with what He already said in Matt.10:5-6, His primary mission was to preach & ministry to the Jews (Rom. 15:8). But salvation is available for the whole world, John 3:16.
Jesus was the promised Jewish Messiah who came to His own (John 1:11) through prophecy the Messiah was seen as the one who would gather these “lost sheep” (Ez. 34:23-24; Micah 5:4-5). But when His own rejected Him, He turned to the gentiles, and the mission of His disciples will be to go into the whole world. In John 10:16, Jesus refers to the “other sheep,” and those can only be sheep that are outside of Israel, or Gentiles. Jesus makes it clear that there would be only one flock and one Shepherd. This is the mystery of the body of Christ, the church, which Paul refers to in Ephesians 3:6:
“This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”
A mystery in Scripture is something not revealed previously, and this mystery is one universal church with both Jews and Gentiles brought together in one body in the Messiah.
HR also misuse Gal.3:29 & Ephesians 2:12 to support their interpretation. – I noticed they are twisting or taking vs. 29 out of context, & the word Israelites doesn’t even appear any were in that Bible verse.
* 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’
This is the context they dismissed vs 26-28:
Gal.3:26-29 ‘For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
We are Christ’s by FAITH not race, & Abraham was NOT even an Israelite, nor a Jew but an Arab (Ur of the Chaldeans), Genesis 11:31, Acts 7:3. Abraham (Called the father of Faith – of all who had faith in Messiah) was called by God at 75 years of age & was given the ‘Promise’ of a Seed = Messiah, the lineage of Messiah (God in the flesh).
They say Abraham was a Hebrew, it’s true, but Hebrew was not a race, it means ‘separated or set apart’. We Christians are also set apart for CHRIST.
But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, did not attain the law of righteousness. Why not? Because they did not seek it by faith, but by the works of the law. For they stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written:
“Look! I lay in Zion a stumbling stone
and rock of offense,
and whoever believes in Him will not be ashamed.” Rom. 9:31-33
13 Sanctify the Lord (YHWH) of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Is. 8:13-14 & Is. 28:16
We can see here in vs.14 that BOTH houses of Israel are lost without JESUS. James 1:1 wrote in the New Testament to the 12 tribes scattered, & not to the 10 tribes or Ephraim, so at that time there was no more two houses but one. The apostle Paul (from the tribe of Benjamin) calls himself both Jew & an Israelite in Romans 11:1, Acts 21:39.
Hebrew Roots teach the ‘Two House‘ doctrine that say the House of Judah are only the Jews and the House of Israel (Ephraimites or ten lost tribes) are them, & both will unite in the future. This HR Movement even twist the parable of the ‘Prodigal Son’ as a prophecy to explain this doctrine. But unfortunately their doctrine has its roots in the Talmud & the Kabbalah. We can say in other words that the ROOTS of the Hebrew Roots is Kabbalah & not Christ:
‘The interest of the fate of the Ten Lost Tribe received a new impetus from a number of developments, among them the growth of the kabbalah and the Jewish mysticism after the 16th century, including various messianic movements of them that of Shabbetai Zvi (1626-1676) having the strongest impact. . . .
Moses ben Issac Edrehi (1774-1842) a Moroccan-born rabbi and kabbalist who lived for many years in Amsterdam and London and eventually immigrated to the land of Israel is the author of two works dealing with the quest for the Ten Lost Tribes’. – The Myth of the Ten Lost Tribes
Note: Sabbatai Tzvi was also a kabbalist rabbi who claimed to be the messiah.
The word Jew (Yehudi in Hebrew) is a derivative of the name Judah (Yehudah), Jacob’s fourth son. The first time this word appears is in (Esther 2:5). Mordecai was also of the tribe of Benjamin. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin comprised the “Kingdom of Judea.” The other 10 tribes comprised the ‘Kingdom of Israel’ these latest tribes were exiled by the Assyrians 740 B.C, some mixed (Samaritans), some came back to their land but most were scattered. The ‘Kingdom of Judah’ remained but later came the Babylonian captivity & exile in 605 BC, and the same thing happened to them, but tribal territories were no longer in existence when the people finally returned to their land.
Then during the Roman Period, the entire land became a Roman province called Judea & it was comprised of people from all 12 tribes. Matthew is believed to be from the tribe of Levi. (Jesus at the crucifixion was called ‘King of the Jews’, not of ‘Kingdom of Judah’ only). Later Judea was also scattered by the Romans in 70 A.D. So ALL 12 tribes were scattered.
According with the Word of God, Abraham begot Ishmael (Arab) & Issac, and then Issac begot Esau & Jacob (God changed Jacob’s name to Israel) & from the descendants of Jacob/Israel’s 12 sons, came the House of Israel or the Israelites, but this happened only when God made a covenant with them after taking them out of Egypt. This was 430 years after His covenant with Abraham. Abraham, Isaac & Jacob were chosen to bring the lineage of the Messiah, the Seed. They were saved by faith in coming Messiah, not by the law that didn’t even existed in their time.
That’s were everything started, with God’s promises made to Abraham & his ‘Seed‘ who is Jesus the Messiah, & not to his descendants in the flesh, (that by the way it would include Arabs!) but to his descendants that had faith in the Promise Seed (Messiah) many ‘spiritual’ descendants made from both covenants . “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” Gal.3:8-9
Rom.4:13 – For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Rom.9:6-8 “But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called. That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.
The Promise to Abraham through Messiah is a perpetual covenant, it came hundreds of years before the law (or the covenant in Mount Sinai), from that ‘Promise’ came about 2 covenants:
1/ The Old Covenant with the Israelites, even a good covenant, it was imperfect, was done with blood of animals, they were told it was temporary (Jer. 31:31), had the LAW as their tutor, but it was to exist until Messiah (the Promise) came and established the New Covenant with His own blood .
2/ The New Covenant, is perfect because is made with the blood of Jesus (a pure & perfect sacrifice done once & for all), perpetual because Jesus the only High Priest lives for ever more (human priests died & needed to be replaced). Now, the Holy Spirit (God Himself) is our teacher/tutor, not the law. This new covenant was presented first to the Israelites (that already had covenant with God), later to the Gentiles who were strangers to their covenant.
“Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written:. . . Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.
Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman .”o then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. Gal.4: 21-31
-The other verse they used to support “Christians are Israelites” is Ephesians 2:12
Eph.. 2: 12-15 ‘that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens (G526=alienated, distant) from the commonwealth (G4174= polity, freedom, community, See Acts 22:28) of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Reading in context :
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” . . . who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances.
Commonwealth = Benefits or advantages of citizens, citizenship, common goods . In Ephesians in context is talking about a Divine commonwealth that only Israel enjoyed at the time.
Brought near or reconciled to God (not to Israel or through them), through faith in Messiah=the Promise/covenant, made first to Abraham, then to Israel, later to Gentiles when Israelites rejected Him, but God knew this from the beginning. Gal.3:10.
This verse is saying nothing at all that we become Israelites!! Our citizenship (G4175) is in heaven! Phil.3.20, not earthly nor from Israel. Our inheritance got nothing to do with the flesh. It just means because we were not with Israel we didn’t know the blessings or benefits of the covenants of the promise made to Abraham.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” vs.13. “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise”Hebrew 9:12-39.
The ‘Replacement Theology’ doctrine that is taught by Catholics, Calvinist, Lutherans, etc. teaches God rejected Israel -when it was Israel who rejected God-, has no more plans for Israel & that the church has completely ‘replaced’ Israel, but this is a doctrine that’s proved wrong by many bible passages one of them found in Romans 11 which tells us that God is not yet done with Israel, even they rejected Him. On the opposite side of the coin we have another kind of ‘Replacement Theology’ (taught by Church of God, Mormons, Hebrew Roots, Ephraimite Awakening, etc) which teach that in order to be saved the ‘Church’ needs to become part of Israel & as Israelites obey the Law of the Old Covenant. One other verse they use out of context is Romans 11:17, which they interpret that gentile believers are grafted into ‘Israel’, and for that reason have to become Israelites. We were not grafted in Israel but in the ‘Promise’ (Jesus the Messiah) made to Abraham, we are children of the Promise. Please see Grafted In.
The view that Israel and the church are different is clearly taught in the New Testament. The church is an entirely new creation that came into existence on the day of Pentecost and will continue until it is taken to heaven at the rapture or until the fullness of the gentiles comes, then & only then, God will deal with Israel as a nation once more, to give them a second chance.
1 I say then, has God rejected His people? God forbid! . . . 11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid! But through their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression means riches for the world, and their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness mean? . . .
25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, lest you be wise in your own estimation, for a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness (G4138=completion) of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will remove ungodliness from Jacob”; . .Romans 11:1-27