Covenant "Land"


I’ve wondered about all this for years. Actually, I don’t even know how to ask the question.... about replacement theology, which I guess is what I’d believed pretty much until I left the denomination, at which time I started thinking there must be something still going on with Israel because Paul talked about Israel separately from the Church and how many of them would be saved. What’s the deal? Are there two totally different things still going on, with Jews and Gentiles still separate? What happened to the Old Covenant being “obsolete” as the Hebrews writer called it?

Can you step me through some of it? : )

Covenant “Land”—

The true Land “flowing with milk and honey”...

where the lion and the lamb lay together...

O.K.. Here are a FEW thoughts. Read the entire book of Romans, at least through chapter 12, WITHOUT verse plucking (read it as a whole!), and you’ll begin to see some things. I’ll start outside of the Book of Romans, just for fun.

There are TWO “Witnesses,” you’ll recall.

“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

“Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

“But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on” (Rev.11:3-12).

It is the Testimony of God to the Earth that His Plans will NOT be thwarted: that JEW AND GENTILE will stand side-by-side, TWO TESTIMONIES, TWO WITNESSES (two historical origins)—BUT ONE CHURCH, WITHOUT DIVISION OR DISTINCTION OR SEPARATION. There is NOT TO BE a “Messianic” and a “Gentile” variety “church.” That is ABOMINABLY weak, and contradictory of the Plan of God!

Of course, BOTH “Witnesses” can ONLY be those saved by the Messiah, not by a guess of one’s biological lineage. True Israel is born of the PROMISE! (Rom.9:6-8). It is by the GIFT OF GOD by Faith in Christ Jesus, our Messiah. The PROMISE of a nation of “the FAITH of Abraham,” “as numerous as the sands on the seashore!” It is NOT genetically one’s “first birth” (whether “Jew or Greek, slave or free”)—but genetically our “SECOND BIRTH” that makes us Israel, in the sense God speaks of here:

“It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring” (Rom.9:6-8).

The Jewish nation, as a “people,” were cut off because of UNBELIEF (Rom.11:20, 23).

“... they (physical Israel) were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you (for unBelief) either” (Rom.11:20-21).

“And if they (physical Israel) do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again” (Rom.11:23).

These, and ANYONE, can ONLY be “grafted back in” because of BELIEF in the Messiah and His Blood. There IS no other “Israel” that will be just fine in God’s Sight simply because of a plot of ground they live on, or who they postulate they may have as an ancestor. ONLY those who genuinely give their lives to their crucified and risen Messiah, Yesu, Prince of Peace, Fullness of Deity dwelling in bodily form, who “came to His own, and His own received Him not” ...only THOSE will be grafted in, and considered the Israel of God. “...not all who descended from Israel... are Israel” (Rom.9:6).

There has been a supernatural “hardening in part” (Rom.11:7-10, 25). But when you see a great number of Jews opening their hearts and minds, in humility and hunger for Jesus as their Messiah, then you’ll know the prophecy is coming to pass that all of True Israel will be saved, as the softness to “See” is granted, and some will respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

In the Two Witnesses, God is simply making a point of “continuity” and shaming the pagans, just as he INTENTIONALLY has embarrassed the Jews (11:14). And, from the Heavenly View, as ALL who will come to Him come by FAITH, there becomes “neither Jew, nor Greek.”

“It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

“Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law [while living under that Covenant] but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all” (Rom.4:13-16).

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

“Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law” (Rom.3:21-31).

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23).

“It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring” (Rom.9:6-8).

By virtue of the only Ground by which we (Jew or Gentile) may now find Father, “together with” those who died under the Old Agreement: “We being many are ONE.” “ONE new man” without “the dividing wall of hostility.” ONE CHURCH, with two distinct Roads into His Kingdom, historically... but NOT two DIFFERENT kinds of citizens in His Kingdom. Now, ALL access to the Father is by Faith in the Man Jesus Christ, Messiah—or not at all. TWO different Covenant routes TOWARDS the Messiah: one through earthly means (the shadow, Hebrews 1-10; Col.2:15-17), and the wild branches, the Galilee of the Gentiles who have seen a great Light. The “Two Witnesses” are TOGETHER the Bride of Jesus—both Jews who have turned to Jesus, and the Gentiles who have turned to Jesus! “OH the depth of the riches!” Cool Plan. I like how it sets up.


Q: I’ve been reading the dialogue above. So what is the deal? Gentiles have the full inheritance of the Jews (as ones grafted in)? But God still plans to save lots of Jews at some point? Why not just, “there is no Jew or Gentile” any more, and “Israel” is now spiritual, i.e., the Bride? Will there be “no Jew or Gentile” when this life is over?

Also, is there NO importance to the real estate over there, or is there still some importance because God promised it to Abraham and He didn’t break that covenant with Abraham just because the Jews couldn’t keep the law, as Paul emphasized in Romans? So is His covenant about the land also unbroken? Or is the land symbolic?


A: There IS a “residual” effect of “His Gifts being without repentance.” Remember Ishmael? The life-saving miracle in the desert, and the “promises” He made of the parallel “Twelve Tribes of Ishmael”? Notice the Jews UNCANNY ability to OWN every country’s businesses that they set foot in? Einstein, Marx, Hollywood, etc..... You know the story. The same “residual effect” seems to be intact in the plot of real estate we call Israel. YES, there is SOME issue there as to the physical ground, and it could even play a part in the catastrophes yet coming to the planet, foretold in the Book of Revelation. BUT, as the “Messianic Land”—and even an “earthly kingdom”—this idea is handled very poorly by many sensationalists, and money-making authors. Many of them have NO devotion to “consuming zeal for the Father’s HOUSE,” as Jesus had, and has. As well, many today are making the same mistake that Jews did in Jesus’ day—wanting a physical kingdom from their Messiah, rather than “a new Heaven and a new earth” that is “not of this world.” It is NOT true that the plot of ground we know as Israel today (a far cry from what GOD said Israel’s physical boundaries would be ANYWAY!) “must” always exist as a political, geographic entity, and that God will make certain that it is always so, since it is HIS LAND. Of course we know it DID NOT exist as a political and geographic entity for many MANY hundreds of years, until VERY recently. Most are too young to recall this salient fact!


Q: Since the Jews have rejected the Messiah, why would we be concerned with what happens to the physical land anyway? The land wasn’t promised to Gentiles, and if God promised it to the Jews, and they break covenant, and He offers a new deal and they reject it, why should it make a difference now what happens to the ground?


A: Perhaps for the same reason God cared for Ishmael, even AFTER, “Get the slave woman and her child OUT OF MY HOUSE.” On some level, He honors HIMSELF by not allowing pagans to overrun even the memories of the ONE TRUE GOD. Certainly this cannot be handled on the obsession level of the many who care little for the TRUE “Temple of the Holy Spirit” and its holiness. These can go on and on about external “shadows” they’ve found in the books and websites of those who see things “dimly” and externally. These theories are FILLED with contradictions of disobedience and impossibilities, Biblically speaking, but the cultural religion of today is not overly concerned with a ravishing, SPOTLESS Bride who has “made herself ready” for the Return of her Groom. It is generally far too “external” to want to deal with trivial, un-sensational Truths such as how to Live as His People, together. You will NEVER see, “Confess your sins one to another” in ANY of the “End Times” books! And yet the Promise associated with that verse is BREATHTAKING.

All of that to say, God is NOT obsessed with the physical plot of ground, a small parcel that does not nearly represent what He has said Israel should geographically be (in the Old Testament). He IS obsessed with “the Father’s House.” Let’s major in Majors!

“Because all of these things will be melted with a fervent heat, WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE OUGHT YOU TO BE? You should be found in holiness and godliness, looking for and hastening the Day of God, looking for new heavens and a new earth, the dwelling place of Righteousness, diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless!” (2Pet.3:11-14).


Q: What is a Jew? Like Hebrew, nobody really knows anymore anyway. They’ve mostly all intermarried, most are atheists, they have NO IDEA who the descendants of Aaron are any more (they’ve been assigned, just like the sounds of the Hebrew alphabet) so they can’t have priests, who wouldn’t be priests anyway since God doesn’t recognize that covenant any more, right?


A: And what about animal sacrifice, and all the other things that MUST be a part of anything that is legitimately Biblically “Israel”—if taken in the “external” sense of physical world implementation. There are a thousand things like that, that must be answered, if one were wanting to have physical Israel as the “real deal” in this Covenant era. It’s a problem, when you start down that road! And it’s not honest to pick and choose which parts of the “physical” Covenant (the “shadows” of the Law, Sabbath, Temple, Animal Sacrifice, etc., etc.) you want to embrace!


Q: If there were any Jews in the church here (maybe there are? likely, some with some Jewish heritage of some kind), would they be exactly the same as the rest of us, or somehow different or set apart? Would they be part of the OTHER witness and not the one the rest of us are a part of? What is this two witnesses stuff? Are the christian Jews going to be separate from the rest of the bride in some way?

What is the deal?? : )
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