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The Israel of God (1g)

The Israel of God (Part 1, #7) - Is Israel Not a Nation Forever?

Premillennial Dispensationalism in an effort to promote a Jewish kingdom after the "church age" refers us to the Old Testament. However, we should note that the New Testament is the authoritative interpretation of the Old Testament. It is a fundamental error to interpret the Old Testament without the New Testament.  

The New Testament clearly teaches that the Old Testament period was a time of types and shadows, and the New Testament, with the coming of Christ, is a time of fulfillment. "Let no man judge you in meat or in drink or in respect of an holy day ... which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ" (Col. 2:17). The whole book of Hebrews teaches us that the sacrifices, the tabernacle, the temple and its furniture, the feast days and indeed all other aspects of Old Testament worship have been fulfilled in Christ. This should give us pause when we seek to interpret Old Testament passages about temples, feast days and sacrifices! 

Let me illustrate with an example from Amos 9:11, "in that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen ..." If you read that passage without the light of the New Testament, and if you insisted on taking it literally, what would you make of it? Would you come to the conclusion that it means that in the New Testament age the Jews and Gentiles together will form one people of God or one church, and that believing Gentiles will not need to be circumcised or keep the law of Moses to be saved? Well, that is exactly how James interprets it at the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, an interpretation approved by the delegates (Peter, Barnabas, Paul, etc) and the Holy Spirit Himself (Acts 15:14-19, 28)!

Only a fool would suggest that James took a totally irrelevant passage to prove a controversial point and twisted it to give it a meaning it never had in Amos' prophecy. A humble believer must say to himself: "Clearly, my understanding of the Old Testament is flawed and carnal. I will learn from this example how to interpret the Old Testament in light of the New."                                       

To be continued …

Last modified on 16 March 2014
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McGeown, Martyn

Rev. Martyn McGeown

Ordained: 2010

Pastorates: Missionary-pastor in Limerick, Ireland for the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Northern Ireland - 2010.


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