P.O. Box 8500
Charlotte, NC 28271-8500
I would like to continue exposing your denial of the promises and prophecy that are clearly written and directed toward physical Israel. I have to say that your denials of the many promises to physical Israel are so blatant and are so flagrant that they actually remind me of a thing called "Holocaust denial"! I don't know if you yourself is a Holocaust denier, but I do know that you and the Holocaust deniers of the world are united in viewing anything that might benefit modern physical Israel as a bad thing.
As I pointed out in my last letter, there is a spiritual reason as to why you can even think about supporting the Hamas-electing, 9/11-rejoicing, Palestinians over the peaceful, free democratic, America-supporting Israelis. I know your Hamas-electing Palestinian buddies are real big into Holocaust denying, and like you, would certainly deny any scripture that promises physical Israel a glorious future and they certainly would deny any scripture that refers to physical Israel still being God's chosen people.
In addition to exposing your denial of physical Israel being part of the literal reading of prophecy from the Hebrew prophets who was writing to their own Hebrew people, I would like to show your actual denial of the New Testament scriptures as they also testify of physical Israel.
Let me begin by asking: How did the Apostle Paul perceive physical Israel of his day? Did he believed that God had something spiritual in store for the physical nation of Israel in the future from the present time he was living in? Based upon your support of the Palestinian (Hamas-electing) views, you see Paul viewing anything labeled “Israel” as something in a spiritual (non-physical) sense. However, there are some things within Paul’s letters that reveal his belief towards a future spiritual revival that would take place among physical Israel as a whole without any Gentile influence.
There is no doubt that Paul taught a “spiritual Israel” message for the believing Christians, (Galatians 6:16) in order for them to have something that unites them with the God of Israel, but did that teaching of spiritual Israel for the Gentile Christians (as well as believing Jews - Eph. 2:14) cause Paul to believe that the natural offspring of Jacob (Jews) hold no special calling from God even after the church began at Pentecost? First, we need to ask ourselves: According to dispensational time, when was it that the Jews first began their “blindness”? Then we must eventually ask, "when were they "all" saved?
Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
- Romans 11:5-7
If I understand this New Testament verse, the Jews weren’t blinded until after a dispensation of “grace” (meaning after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and the beginning of the church at Pentecost) where some of the Jews of physical-Israel believed in Jesus, as Paul states of himself (Romans 11:1).
The other physical Jews who did not receive Jesus were described by Paul as being "blinded". Paul states that there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Exactly, who is it that makes up this particular “remnant” that Paul mentions here? Is this "remnant" that Paul states in Romans 11:5 made up and consists of:
- Only Gentiles.
- Jews and Gentiles together.
- Only Jews from physical Israel.
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Romans 11:1-4
Again, this verse is laying the foundation for the lesson Paul is about to give throughout the eleventh chapter of the book of Romans. Of the three things that Paul mentions in this verse: “His people”, “Israelite“, “tribe of Benjamin”, do any of these things have anything at all to do with, or referred to in anyway towards "Gentiles" in the text? If not, then would it not be fair to say that the main subject behind this text as well as the whole chapter, is indeed "physical Israel" and their relationship with God and the Gentiles?
In other words, can we conclude that there is no “spiritual Israel” doctrine among the eleventh chapter of Romans? I think we can.
I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.- Romans 11:11
That was verse eleven - almost a third way through the entire chapter. Is there anything at all in this verse that would suggest that the ones referred to as the ones fallen, have anything at all to do with A. Gentiles alone, or B. with Gentiles and Jews together? I would say not. Therefore, from a simple reading of the text, we can conclude that Paul is exclusively singling-out “physical Israel” as the ones who have fallen, Amen?
Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? - Romans 11: 12-15
Question: Does the pronouns of “their fall”, “their failure”, “their fullness” “those of Paul’s flesh”, and “their acceptance” have anything at all to do with A. Gentiles, or B. with Jews and Gentiles together? Again, I would say not! Therefore, from a simple reading of the text, we can conclude that Paul is still continuing to exclusively singling-out “physical Israel” in this given text.
This brings us to the next statement within the above text and causes me to wonder why Paul saw “physical Israel’s acceptance” to be more of a greater spiritual event than the Gentile acceptance? Why should physical Israel’s acceptance be any different than the Gentile’s acceptance when its all “spiritual Israel” now, right Mr. Hanegraaff? Then we must ask ourselves: Was Paul looking towards the future for this “life from the dead” causing acceptance to occur, or did this “life from the dead” causing acceptance occur sometime in Paul’s lifetime, perhaps before 70 CE?
For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. - Romans 11:16-21
It should be clear from a simple reading of the text that Paul is still making a complete distinction between "physical Israel" and the Gentiles, and is in no way mixing the two by placing the “believing Gentiles” into the “natural branches” or placing “physical Israel” into the “wild branches”. In Paul’s view, both Jew and Gentile can share the same root, but are very distinct in their "category of branch" - one being called the “wild olive branch“, while the other is called a “natural olive branch”. There is a reason why Paul is making this distinction between Jew and Gentile and we will see in the following verses.
For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? - Romans 11:24
Question Mr. Hanegraaff: Who are the words “these“, “natural branches“, and “their own olive tree” referring to? Again, is there any chance at all that these words are referring to A. the Gentiles alone, or B. to both Jews and Gentiles together? Is the last sentence in this verse 24 (above) referring to physical-Israel alone? Some Christian Zionists who see the Palestinians for the Islamic religious-Nazis that they are, seem to think so. While Zionism-haters will find it very difficult in coming to grips that Paul was singling out "physical Israel" in the text. However, one must be able to grasp what Paul is stating about only “physical Israel” if we wish to understand the Paul's spiritual revelation towards "physical Israel" in the following three verses of the text.
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." - Romans 11:25-27
Was Paul referring that blindness has happened in part to “spiritual Israel”? No? I wouldn’t think that Paul would be stating that “spiritual Israel” is "blinded" for that wouldn’t make any sense. Therefore, by continuing and staying with the flow of the context concerning "physical Israel" can we conclude that Paul is referring to “all Israel” as the same “Israel” who was “blinded in part” in the prior sentence? If not, please tell me where in the text that the subject of "Israel" was switched from being “natural Israel” to being “spiritual Israel” between the first and second sentence while maintaining the flow of the context.
Do you think that it is possible that the word “until” that is used in this text here actually blinds the “blindness in part-Israel” with the “all-saved Israel” as an “in part-until-all" or “partial-until-full” complete thought? Can we then further conclude that the prophecy of “Jacob” that is mentioned in the same sentence as “all Israel being saved”, (that Paul is using as a proof text for his message) is being used as a term for what we know as “physical Israel” and that it has absolutely nothing to do with “spiritual Israel”?
Therefore, can we conclude that by using Paul’s text that he has interpreted for his readers, who it is that is being referred to in the prophecy he quoted? In other words, if Paul viewed the prophecy of Isaiah 59: 20-21 as only pertaining to "physical Israel" then no Christian should have any quarrel with Paul’s interpretation that Isaiah 59: 20-21 refers only to "physical Israel."
Fact: We have the author of most of the New Testament referring to Isaiah 59:20-21 as a direct reference to the physical nation of Israel - the physical Jewish people, who Paul believed as a whole was currently "spiritually blind" when Paul wrote what we know as the Book of Romans. There is no other reference throughout the entire New Testament where it links Isaiah 59:20-21 to the "Gentiles" only, or the Gentiles and Jews together. It just isn't there!
One can further conclude that anyone suggesting that Isaiah 59:20,21 may have some “spiritual Israel” to it, would be a direct violation of how Paul himself interpreted that scripture in Romans 11:25-27! I want to make sure we have it down given the distinction that Paul used leading up to interpreting Isaiah 59:20,21 between "physical Israel" and "the Gentiles" during the whole chapter of Romans 11. I'm not adding some “physical Israel” doctrine into the text that’s simply not there, but on the contrary, you Mr. Hanegraaff “must” conclude that this scripture of Isaiah 59:20-21 “only” refers to “physical Israel". Therefore, any Christian can study Isaiah 59:20-21 with confidence in knowing that this scripture is referring to "physical Israel" and physical Israel alone in accordance to the direct teaching of the Apostle Paul!
They can further compare other such scriptures of prophecy of "physical Israel" with Isaiah 59:20-21. Surely, if there is one scripture among the Hebrew prophets that in Paul’s mind, dealt with "only" physical Israel, then there are others as well? Isaiah 59:20-21 wouldn't be the only scripture among the Hebrew prophets that pertains to only physical Israel. Another Hebrew-prophet scripture that compares greatly with Isaiah 59:20-21 is Ezekiel 37:25. This scripture might be an indication that it too (as Paul suggested of Isaiah 59:20-21) is only "physical Israel" oriented. Let's compare the two Hebrew prophet produced scriptures in wording and in vision:
The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," Says YHVH."As for Me," says YHVH, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says YHVH, "from this time and forevermore." - Isaiah 59:20-21
"Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.
Since Paul taught that a redeemer would come unto Zion to the "blinded - in part" physical Israel ones so that “all” of "physical Israel" could be saved, in the future tense (after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in) the question should come up as to what physical land will this "physical Israel" of Isaiah 59:20-21 be saved?
In my last letter I pointed out that Ezekiel 37 deals with "physical Israel" and the physical land of Canaan. In comparing Ezekiel 37:21-28 with Isaiah 59:20-21 any question of doubt as to whether God still has a covenant with Jacob that includes Jacob's physical descendants and the physical land God gave Jacob, can surely be answered. Since according to the Isaiah text (that Paul referenced) "physical Israel" is to have generation after generation of holy righteous Jews living in Israel after her redemption. Maybe your Allah-loving Palestinians need to leave this physical - prophesied land to make way for this future glorious redemption (that Paul referred to) that is to take place?
Mr. Hanegraaff, have an anti-Hamas supporting day, knowing the the God of Israel still has His everlasting Covenant with His first born (Exodus 4:22)!
- Joe Whitehead