Why the Church Has Rejected ``Replacement Theology''

Part One:

by Jared L. Olar

   In looking back over the course of Christian history, I have learned  of various beliefs and opinions that have enjoyed a ``quasi-doctrinal''status.   These beliefs might linger on for centuries-neither accepted on any sort of an official or permanent basis, nor definitively rejected-but in the passage  of time the Church might re-examine such opinions in a new light, and come  to see that they are incompatible with the truth of the gospel.  One of the  most important examples of this phenomenon is the Church's recent repudiation  of the ``quasi-doctrines'' of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism.  Christian antipathy  for Jewishness began in the latter decades of the first century A.D.  At first  it was just another religious squabble within the Jewish community, but it  soon degenerated into centuries of prejudice, bigotry, hereditary animosity,  and mutual recriminations.  Within this context, Christianity developed several  anti-Semitic ``quasi-doctrines,'' including the belief that the Jews are collectively  responsible for the death of the Messiah, and therefore cursed by God above  all other peoples.  Closely allied to these perverted beliefs is an influential  theological opinion known as ``Replacement Theology.''

Not all that long ago, this particular opinion was so widespread that it was simply assumed by most Christians to be a fundamental element of God's Truth.  These days, however, it is a view that seems to be increasingly restricted  (in my experience at least) to Christians who have had direct or indirect  contact with the teachings of Martin Luther, one of the most virulently anti-Jewish  men ever to live, who developed his theology within a Christian culture that  took Replacement Theology for granted.  According to this school of thought,  as a result of the coming of the Messiah all of God's promises to Israel have  been completely fulfilled-and any that have not yet been literally fulfilled  have either been abrogated, or else will receive only some sort of allegorical  or spiritual fulfillment in reference to the Church rather than to Israel.   In its more extreme forms, Replacement Theology veers toward the heresy of  Marcionitism ,asserting the obsolescence (if not complete irrelevance)  of the Ten Commandments and the Torah that God gave to Israel by the  hand of Moses.

In contrast to these sorts of opinions, we should recall that nearly two  decades ago (as Professor Robert Wilken mentions on p. 14) Pope John Paul  II, when speaking before a Jewish audience, made the remarkable declaration  that God has never revoked, and will never revoke, His covenant with Israel.   This is a welcome change, and is well nigh astounding in its implications,  for it is nothing less than a public repudiation of Replacement Theology.  What accounts for this about-face? Has the Church obtained a better understanding  of the Scriptures, or are the diehard adherents to Replacement Theology the  ones who have been right all along?  It is my conviction that the Church has  indeed made a change for the better-no, for the best.  To explain the reasons  for this belief of mine, in this article I would like to turn our attention  to the divinely-inspired writings of the Hebrew Prophets, so that we can learn  just what the holy Spirit really has to tell us about the past, present,and  future role of the Chosen People of Israel.

``How Odd of God to Choose the Jews''

  When one gives it some thought, it might be puzzling that God would select  a particular nation for His very own.  Surely the Creator of the entire human  race would not play favorites, and yet history records that some 3,500 years  ago He singled out Israel to be the Chosen People. Because it is impossible  that God would do something like that without some very good reason, we must  ascertain just what He was up to back then.  The following Scriptures tell  us what God's intentions were in choosing Israel to be His People:

To Abraham, God said: ``In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.'' (Gen. 22:18)
To Abraham's son Isaac, God said: ``... in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.'' (Gen. 26:4)
To Isaac's son Jacob, God said: ``... in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'' (Gen. 28:14)
To the nation of Israel, God said:  ``... you shall be a special treasure to Me above all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'' (Ex. 19:5-6)

  From these scriptures we learn that God chose the one nation Israel so  that He would be able to send blessings to every nation on earth.  He  consecrated the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for a supremely important  mission:  to spread the gospel of the kingdom to every nation under heaven.   That is what His words ``for all the earth is mine'' signify.  In effect God said, ``The reason I am choosing you, Israel, isbecause all the nations of the earth belong to Me.''  God is the King of the Universe, and as such this planet and all of us living upon it belong to Him.  But the human race has been in rebellion against their rightful sovereign ever since our first parents broke His commandment and took what did not belong to them.  From that moment we can see God's hand in history, working to undo the damage done in Eden.  All the earth is His,but in His infinite love He wants us, His children, to acknowledge that fact of our own free will.  As a crucial part of His Plan to bring His prodigal children back home, He chose Israel to represent Him-that is, to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, teaching God's Law to the Gentiles.  That is what kings and priests do-kings help us to be law-abiding, and priests mediate between God and us.  So, having poured out His grace and truth on Israel, He expected them to share it with their neighbors.                                                  

But we know Ancient Israel's sad history.  They were abysmal  failures at being God's representatives and would not keep the promises that  they made to Him.  Seeing their wickedness, God effectively quarantined Israel  from the Gentiles, erecting strict legal and ceremonial barriers lest they  infect each other with their worst proclivities (cf. Deut. 12:29-31;23:2-8).   Furthermore, the priesthood that God intended for every firstborn Israelite  had to be restricted to just one tribe, the Levites(Num. 3:12; 8:5-26), who  alone among the Israelites seemed to have the kind of zeal for God and His  Law that all Israel would need in order to succeed in their divine mission  (Ex. 32:26).  Finally the sins of Israel got so sickening that for the sake  of His own reputation God had to exile His own People, the very nation who  were meant to represent Him and who were to show the Gentiles what God is really like.  The twelve tribes of Israel were driven from the land that He had promised would belong to them til the end of time (II Kings 17:5-23; 25:1-26).                

Exiled, enslaved, broken by famine and war, and apostates  from the Law, the nation of Israel seemed to be on the verge of literal extinction.   It looked as though God's Plan would not succeed.  If we had lived then, we might have been tempted to emend God's promise to ``in your seed shall all of the nations of the earth not be blessed.''  And as for those words He had said to Isaac, ``I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands ...,'' well, perhaps that should have read, ``I will make your descendants multiply,but later on when they sin against Me I will wipe them off the face of the earth; I will give to your descendants all these lands, until they sin against Me, at which time I will go back on My word and give these lands to the Gentiles.''                

``The Eternal ... will again choose Jerusalem''

   Thankfully, the unfaithfulness of humans cannot keep God from being faithful.   He swore an oath that Israel would be a blessing to all nations, and He would  make sure that they were a blessing even in spite of themselves.  Indeed, despite the fact that Israel sinned so horribly against the God who did nothing but shower His unique blessings upon them, at the lowest point in Israel's history the Eternal God emphatically reaffirmed all of His promises to Israel.  For example, the House of Judah to this day still reads the following words every Feast ofTrumpets:

``Thus says the Eternal: `Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded,' says the Eternal, `and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future,' says the Eternal, `that your children shall come back to their own border .... Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For though I spoke against him, I earnestly remember him still. Therefore My heart yearns for him. I will surely have mercy upon him,' says the Eternal.'' (Jer. 31:16-17, 20)

At the time that Jeremiah delivered this prophecy, the northern tribesof Israel had already been carried away into captivity by the Assyrians. Only the House of Judah, along with stragglers of various northern tribes, were left in the holy land.  But God told them that someday He would bring the northern tribes back to their land.  Speaking of the House of Israel like a dearly beloved prodigal son, He affirms that He will indeed be merciful to sinful Israel, and will give them all the love and blessings that He had promised them from the very start.  But the depth of God's love for Israel is greater than one can fathom, for just a few verses later we read one of the most powerful and inspiring prophecies in the entire Bible, the promise of the New Covenant:                                                         

```Behold, the days are coming,' says the Eternal,  `when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House  of Judah-not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt,  My covenant which they broke, even though I was a husband to them,' says the Eternal.  `But this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days,' says the Eternal:  `I will put My Torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God,and they shall be My People.  No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ``Know the Eternal,'' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,' says the Eternal.  `For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.''' (Jer. 31:31-34)                                                               

Christians quite often have a bad habit of reading the prophecy of theNew  Covenant only until the end of verse 34.  Or worse, they only read the partial  quotation of this prophecy in Heb. 8:8-12, without turning tothe Book of Jeremiah to read the entire prophecy in context.  Perhaps if more Christians had understood the next few verses of Jeremiah's prophecy, the foolish notion that Israel was destined for extinction would never have taken root in the minds of the early Church Fathers. For God goes on to proclaim:                                                              

``Thus says the Eternal, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar-the Eternal of Armies is His name: `If those ordinances depart from before Me,' says the Eternal, `then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.''' (Jer. 31:35-36)

These words are among the most important in the entire Bible.  You may  not  yet realise their significance, so if necessary read them again.  You see,  for centuries Christians have wondered why a people that they had deemed to be useless and obsolete just would not dissolve away into the amorphous mass of Gentile Christians.  Only in this century have most Christians stopped to consider that perhaps their starting premise-that Israel should and would disappear-was entirely erroneous and contrary to the holy word of prophecy.  Where Christians have generally expected Israel to fade into oblivion following the establishment of the New Covenant, the actual prophecy of the New Covenant insists that only if the Laws of Physics are abrogated could Israel disappear as a distinct people.  Really, this should not be surprising in the least, because obviously God cannot make a New Covenant with Israel if there is no longer such a people.                                                                     

However, adherents to Replacement Theology have asserted that God only promised to preserve the People of Israel until the coming of the Messiah, and that the words of Jer. 31:35-37 are nothing more than hyperbole or exaggeration for effect.  In this point of view, with the arrival of the Messiah Israel had served its purpose, and is therefore no longer important in God's sight or a necessary element of God's Plan. Thus, once the New Covenant was established, Israel became obsolete,irrelevant, and no longer of any special interest or importance either to God or to His Servants.  Rather, the Church of God, composed almost entirely of Gentiles, is the new Chosen People, having replaced and supplanted Israel and Judah.                      

Alternately, there have been those who regard ``Israel''  in this prophecy as an allegorical reference to the Church-but there is not  the slightest hint of allegory anywhere in this context.  Yes, metaphors and  figures of speech abound in this prophecy (e.g., writing the Torah  on the heart),but figures of speech do not an allegory make.  Anyway, it would indeed be cruel for God to send a message to Israel that had all the appearances of an emphatic promise that they would never die out, but which was actually an announcement that they would someday be rejected by God and replaced by a new Chosen People made up almost entirely of Gentiles.

No, I must say that the belief that the New Covenant  is a Gentile covenant is in opposition to the express witness of the holy scriptures. The consistent message of the Bible is that God is faithful and keeps all of His promises.  He regarded His covenant with Israel as a marriage, and to Him all of Israel's sins were like a wife's adultery against the man who loves her (Jer. 3:1, 20; Ezek. 16 & 23; Hosea 1-3).  Yet, amazing though it is, rather than abandoning His covenantal bride Israel(unfaithful though she surely was) and taking up with a different woman-which is what usually happens in such situations in our modern``enlightened'' society, and which is what Replacement Theology in effect claims God did-He declared that He would renew His marriage vows with Israel.  He would forgive her unfaithfulness  and offer her a New Covenant.  And this time their marriage would work.

Is God a Bigamist?

  It should now be evident that Replacement Theology does not fit verywell  with the aboveshown teachings of the Bible.  Many Christians have noticed these kinds of difficulties, and have attempted to find a better way to interpret  all of the relevant scriptural texts.  The solution proposed by the Dispensationalist  Tradition attempts to reconcile these contradictions using a modified form  of Replacement Theology.  In their view, there are currently two Peoples  of God, Israel and the Church. Dispensationalists teach that Israel and the  Church are two separate Peoples with very different and separate promises from God.  As they would explain it, at first God dealt primarily with Israel.  However, from the time that the Jews murdered Christ, God has instead been  dealing primarily with the Gentiles through His Church.  But God has not yet  fulfilled all His promises to Israel.  In order to make good on His promises,  in the Last Days God will once again deal primarily with Israel.  First, all  Christians on earth will be raptured to heaven, after which Israel will suffer  seven years of horrible tribulation to punish them for not believing in Christ.   Then Christ will return, and the remaining Jews will repent and accept Jesus  as their Messiah.  Israel will then enjoy one thousand years of peace and prosperity in their land. During the Millennium (which in Dispensationalist thought is a gift of God meant for Israel on earth, not the Church in heaven), every prophecy and promise pertaining to Israel will be fulfilled to the utmost.                       

Upon close inspection, we can see that the Dispensationalist  version of Replacement Theology very commendably avoids the error of claiming  that Israel has been wholly rejected and replaced.  Instead, Israel's rejection  is merely temporary, in the nature of a penance for the duration of the Church  Age.  Unfortunately there is a major drawback to this theory:  nowhere in Scripture do we find any reference to God having two separate Peoples with very different and separate promises from God. In the imagery of the Prophets, that would present God as a bigamist. No, the One True God has only one wife-there is only one People of God.  On that score, the Dispensationalist model  is simply unworkable. But as I said above, neither did God divorce His wife  and marry a different woman.  To understand what the Bible really has to say  about this issue, let us turn once more to Jeremiah's New Covenant prophecy.                       

``I will remember My covenant with you ....''

  Notice very carefully that Jeremiah's New Covenant prophecy is to be made  with the House of Israel and the House of Judah.  God says nothing here  about making a New Covenant ``with Israelites and Gentiles,'' and certainly  He says nothing about making a New Covenant that would exclude Israel.  As  a matter of fact, there is not a single reference anywhere in the Scriptures  to God promising to make a covenant with Gentiles.  Every single prophecy of the New Covenant is addressed exclusively to Israel or Judah, never to Gentiles (e.g. Isa. 59:20-21; 55:1-5; Jer. 32:37-41;Ezek. 16:60-63; 34:25-31; 36:24-36).  The New Covenant-the terms of which promise righteousness, godliness, and eternal salvation to the People of God-is one of the divine promises   given specifically to Israel.  Yet we have seen that God made Israel His Covenant People so that everyone on earth-Israelites and Gentiles together-could enjoy His blessings.  How exactly did God propose to bring that about?

The answer is found in two of the New Covenant prophecies  cited above: First, Jeremiah's contemporary Ezekiel made some truly astounding  statements in the sixteenth chapter of his book.  In that context, God compares  the sins of the House of Judah (Jerusalem) to those sins that had been committed  by their kinsmen the House of Israel (Samaria) and by the long-dead people  of Gentile Sodom (vv. 44-50)-God refers to Jerusalem, Samaria, and Sodom as  three sisters.  Though Israel and Sodom had sinned grievously, in comparison  to Judah those two peoples looked righteous (v. 51-52).  Therefore Judah would  have to be carried away into captivity, just as Israel and Sodom had previously  suffered divine chastisement.  And yet, despite their sinfulness and the enormity  of the punishments that God visited upon Israel, Sodom, and Judah, He affirmed  that someday all three peoples would ``return to their former estate.'' How  would that happen?  The answer is found in Ezek. 16:60-63, where God says:                       

``Nevertheless, I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed, when you receive your older and younger sisters; for I will give them to you for daughters, but not because of the covenant that I first made with you. I will establish My covenant with you. Then you shall know that I am the Eternal, so that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide for you an atonement for all you have done ....''

In this prophecy, God says that after the House of Judah had been severely  disciplined for their sins, He would ``remember the covenant.'' This is an  allusion Lev. 26:40-45, where God promises to bring restoration and renewal  to Israel if they repent of their sins.  Even though Israel really did not  deserve a second chance, God would do this for them because of the promises  He had sworn to Israel and to the Patriarchs.  Notice what form God's remembrance  of Israel would take:  He would ``establish an everlasting covenant'' with  them.  Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel teach that this new and everlasting covenant  would solve once and for all the problem of sin and wickedness:  God would  provide an atonement for Jerusalem's sins, and would give them a repentant  heart sothat they would be ashamed of their sins.  As a result, they would  know that God is the Eternal (cf. Jer. 31:34).  However, I especially wish  to draw our attention to Ezek. 16:61.  In that verse we read that this new  covenant would not only enable the apostate northern tribes of Israel to heal  the seemingly irreparable breach in their relationship with God, but even  the long-deceased Sodomites would join Judah in this covenant.                                                                          

Under the terms of the Sinaitic Covenant, Gentiles  could become``proselytes''-they could voluntarily come under Israel's Covenant  and become Israelites.  But here God says that Sodom would join Judah and Israel  in a new and everlasting covenant, and that it is according to the terms of  this new covenant-not the Sinaitic Covenant-that the Sodomites would  become ``daughters'' of God's Bride Jerusalem.  This prophecy is simply astounding,  because it foretells a time when Gentiles-even Gentiles who have already died-would  enter into a covenantal relationship with God side-by-side with the twelve  tribes of Israel.  Imagine what Ezekiel's original audience must have thought  when they heard these words.  Quite understandably, Israelites normally viewed  Gentiles as little more than immoral, unclean idolaters.  But God said that  someday the Sodomites, a Gentile people who were infamous for their immorality  and uncleanness, would join Israel in the New Covenant.

These remarkable prophecies are paralleled by an announcement given nearly a century before the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.   At that time, Isaiah told his fellow Jews that if they would only repent of their sins,God would ``make an everlasting covenant'' with them (Isa. 55:3).  Of supreme importance is the fact that this covenant would be grounded upon``the sure mercies of David'' (vv.3-4), which other translations render as``the love that I owe David.''  This is a reference to the unconditional promises that God had given to King David and his dynasty (II Sam.7:12-16; Psa. 86:28).  In other words, the ``everlasting covenant'' that God wished to make with His Chosen People was based upon the Messianic Promise that someday the royal Son of David would bring everlasting righteousness, justice, and peace to Israel.

But what has that got to do with the Gentiles? Read the very next verseof Isaiah's prophecy, and it will become clear:

``Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you, because of the Eternal your God, and the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you.'' (Isa. 55:5)

According to this prophecy, when Israel turns to the Eternal, He will make  a New Covenant with them-a covenant that will be inaugurated by the longed-for  Messiah of the House of David.  And when that happens, then Gentiles will start streaming to the Chosen People and enter into that same New Covenant, along with the Israelites.  As we have seen, this same message was later to be announced by Jeremiah and Ezekiel-in each instance, it was the same holy Spirit speaking through them.  Israel and Judah earnestly desired salvation from their calamities and deliverance from their Gentiles oppressors, and God promised them that He would indeed save them from all of their troubles.  But what they did not imagine in their wildest dreams was that the New Covenant that He promised to make with them would also be given to the Gentiles!                                                                               

God knew this would be hard for Israel to accept,  so He reminded them that ``My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your  ways My ways'' (Isa.55:8).  God desired to bring salvation not only to His  Chosen People, but to every nation on earth.  Remember, that was the reason  He chose Israel in the first place-so He could deliver not just the twelve  tribes of Israel, but all peoples of the earth.  God takes up this theme once  again in Isa. 56:1-8, where He invites Gentiles to keep the Sabbath day and  to worship in His Temple alongside His Beloved People Israel.  Isa. 56:8 in  particular asserts once more that when God intervenes in human history to  regather His scattered People Israel, He will also gather Gentiles, who would  swell the numbers of the Chosen People.

Some two centuries later God thought it was important that the House of Judah be reminded of this very Plan of Salvation, so He sent this message to them by His servant Zechariah:

`` `Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,' says the Eternal. `Many nations shall be joined to the Eternal in that day, and they shall become My People. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Eternal of Armies has sent Me to you.''' (Zech. 2:10-11)

This prophecy is remarkable in several ways, but for our purposes we should  pay special attention to the fact that God Himself said He would come to Judah  and dwell among them, at which time the Gentiles would begin to join Israel's  covenant with God.  Ezekiel wrote that it was Israel's NewCovenant into which the Gentiles would come, not the Sinaitic Covenant.  We see, then, that the consistent message of the Prophets is that God would never reject Israel-rather, God would offer them a New Covenant, one in which all the Gentiles could fully participate along with the Israelites.  This New Covenant would make possible the fulfillment of every single one of God's promises to Israel. Through this covenant, Israel would be cleansed of her sins and would have the Torah written upon her heart.  She would be His People and He would be their God.  It is a beautiful picture of a pure, holy people joyfully serving their Maker, finally restored to their own land and living in safety, at peace and at one with their fellow man.  Most significantly, this New Covenant is intimately connected to the promised Messiah of the House of David, who would be the mediator of the New Covenant even as Moses was the mediator of the Sinaitic Covenant.  And Zechariah tells us that this would all take place when God Himself come sto Judah to dwell among His People.                                                                                      

``My covenant I will not break....''

  But all of this raises a troubling question.  The Bible teaches that when  God makes a covenant, it is unbreakable and eternal.  The reason God's covenants  can never be abrogated is that He is the almighty,immortal, and unchangeable  Eternal God.  The weak, mortal, fickle human parties who enter into His covenants  invariably fail to keep up their ends of the agreements, but God has no such  limitations, and always keeps His word.  Remember also that God's covenant  with Israel was like a marriage:  ``for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as the both of you shall live.''  Seeing that these things  are so, how can the Sinaitic Covenant ever be replaced by a New Covenant?  Yes, Israel broke the covenant and offended their Divine Husband in the worst  ways imaginable, but God declared that none of that mattered to Him.  True,  He had to ``divorce'' Israel and send her out of His Presence, but the Bible  teaches that divorce is of itself incapable of dissolving a marriage in God's  eyes (Matt. 5:31-32; Mark 10:2-12; Rom. 7:2-3).  As long as both of the parties  in a valid marriage covenant are still living, the marriage remains binding.                             

Jeremiah the Prophet announced that God would  ``re-marry'' His People Israel, and enter into a New Covenant with them.  But such could never happen as long as the first Covenant were still in force-and  it would remain in force until either God or Israel died. We are faced with  a very difficult problem:  God promised Israel that she would never die, as  long as the Laws of Physics continue to operate.  Therefore we find the immortal  Eternal God permanently bound to immortal Israel.  That in itself is not a  bad thing-for God has made abundantly clear that He desires with all His heart  to be permanently bound to His People.  But the Almighty God said that His  marriage to Israel that was consummated at Mount Sinai would someday end, after which He would offer Israel a new,better marriage covenant.

God is faithful.  He always keeps His promises  and fulfills Hiscovenantal duties.  But there is only one way He could fulfill  both His promise that Israel would never die and His promise to re-marry Israel  ina New Covenant:  God would have to die.

That is exactly what God said would happen.   Read it for yourself in Zech. 11:10-13, where God announces that He would  do something dramatic that would ``break'' (in the sense of ``dissolve,'' not ``violate'') His covenant with the families of Israel.  Ironically, to fulfill His covenantal promises to Israel, He had to ``break'' His covenant with them. Notice that this covenant-breaking involves God Himself being sold for thirty pieces of silver.  The Church has understood from the very start of Her Mission that this is a prophecy of the betrayal of the Messiah by the Apostle Judas Iscariot, who was bribed for exactly thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:14-16; 27:3-10).  As we read in Psa. 45:1-7, the Messiah of Israel is in fact none other than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-incarnate as a human being by King David's royal daughter Mary! Through the death of Jesus the Messiah on the cross, the God who had entered into a binding marriage covenant with Israel was loosed from that covenant.

To an unbelieving eye, it might look as if  God had painted Himself into a corner.  To be freed from His covenant with  Israel, who He had promised would never die, He Himself had to become a mortal  man and die.  How then could He offer a new marriage covenant to His People?   To the believing eye, the answer is clear to see:  by the resurrection of  God Incarnate on the third day, the Messiah was able to confirm the New Covenant  with Israel.  True to the promise that He had uttered through His prophets  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah, God entered into a new marriage  covenant with His Chosen People Israel (Matt. 26:28; Acts 2:1-47).

Next time we will turn our attention to the  writings of Israel's New Covenant (commonly and misleadingly known as the New Testament), so that we may understand how the New Covenant is not only completely compatible with, but actually inseparably tied to, the Sinaitic Covenant.

To be continued ....


Part Two of this article                                                                        



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