We are responding to Dr. Edward Hinson’s
attack on Preterism. Among questions
entertained already, he submits yet another
one which he believes refutes Preterism.
Paul asks in “Romans 11, Has God Cast Away His People, Israel?” Dr. Hinson teaches Preterism implies such. We deny the charge.
He asks, “If God is finished with ethnic Israel, why did Paul ask: “Has God cast away his people?” “And why did he respond so emphatically, “ God forbid!” (Rom. 11:1)
First we must note that this text is written prior to A.D. 70. At that time God had not cast off the Old Covenant nation. However, today, since that time, God has no special relationship with any nation, apart from Christ.
The answer to this question is in the text. Paul uses himself and an Old Testament example to show that God had not cast off his people. In response to the question, he says, Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the see of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”
Paul, an Israelite, of the tribe of Benjamin, of Abraham’s fleshly yet served God, though not according to the law of Moses, but according to the gospel. Rom 1:9. “For God is my witness, whom I swerve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son…”
Regarding the law, he says, “And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased, (Gal. 5:11). Paul was an ethnic Jew. God had not cast him off because he had not cast off Christ.
His response to those who thought so was that as in the Old Covenant, in the time of Elijah who thought he was the last faithful man in the land, was that God had a remnant who who had not bowed the knee to Baal. Most had but not all of Israel.
In like manner, Paul said God at that time, had a remnant according to the election of grace. This means not everyone in Israel, as in the Old Covenant illustration, but a remnant was being saved by grace, not the works of the law.
For that reason, the nation had not obtained what it sought, but the elect (the remnant) obtained it and the rest of Israel were blinded, (Rom. 10:7) He then added prophecies from Deut. 29:3, 4; Isa. 29:10; Ps. 69:22,23, to speak of disobedient Israel.
Their fall of the majority in the nation, brought salvation to the Gentiles, not so the blinded could fall, but to provoke them to jealously that they might claim their own God through Christ. Thus, Paul wanted to save some of those who were his brethren according to the flesh.
Thus, Paul affirms their right to salvation as part of the remnant, if they did not continue in their unbelief. “And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” (Rom. 11:23).
Thus, the part of the nation which God cast away came about through their own unbelief, thus, they judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life, and cast themselves away in their rejection of Christ, (Acts 13:45, 46; Rom. 10:1–3).
Hence, God created a new Israel through the gospel by transforming the nation into a spiritual one. Thus, the new nation of Israel, created through the new covenant with the house of Israel (through the call of the Gentiles) and Judah, (Heb. 8:6–12), is all Israel.
True Israel is not the children of the flesh, but the children of the promise, (Rom. 9:6–8). Remember, Abraham had two sons, one born after the flesh through Hagar, who was in bondage, and the other through promise, i.e. through Sarah, a free woman.
Paul says this was an allegory which represented the two covenants, the one or Old Covenant from Mt. Sinai which represented fleshly Israel. The latter, the New Covenant, made up of Jew and Gentile representing spiritual Israel, (Gal. 4:26–31, whom Paul calls the Israel of God, Gal. 6:16).
He then shows that God said cast out the bondwoman and her son for he would not be heir with the sons of the free woman. Therefore, Old Covenant Israel, the fleshly nation who rejected Christ were eventually cut off and destroyed in 70 AD.
God wanted to save them. His long-suffering desired non to perish, (2 Pet 3:9). However, he did not save them in their unbelief. Yet, he did save the righteousness remnant. Thus, when God saves all Israel, it is both Jew and Gentile, united together in Christ to form the new Israel.
John therefore sees both the remnant in Israel and a great company from among all nations, tribes, languages and people, crying out with a loud voice, saying “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb,” (Rev. 7:9, 10).
How saving the remnant in Israel through Christ, including Paul, James, Peter, etc, is considered anti-semitic, is beyond my imagination.
The word Semitic is derived from Shem, the name of one of Noah’s sons, (Gen. 6:10). However, there were five main branches of semitic languages: Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Akkadian, and Ethiopic. In other words, the semitic language belonged to the Babylonians, the Canaanites (indigenous inhabitants of Palestine), Africans, Arabians and Armaeans.
Thus, to be anti-semitic is more accurately to be against the indigenous people of Palestine, against the Arabs, against the Iraquis, against the Ethiopians and against Abraham who was from Iraq! Zionists, Christian Zionists Dispensationalists would according to this reasoning be anti-semitic in their rejection of the rights of the indigenous people of the region.
Yiddish, a Jewish language written in the Hebrew alphabet and spoken by Ashkenazi Jews as early as the Middle Ages, is not a Semitic language. Basically it is derived from a medieval German dialect of the Rhine region. Germany is not in the Middle East.
Preterism Is False, Part 2: The Millennium, Past, Present or Future?
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