The Study of Last Things
God's Eternal Commitment to the Nation of Israel
Thus says the LORD, "If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 31:37
Why the Belief That the Church Has Replaced Israel Is an Unbiblical Doctrine
The 12 Points of Michael Vlach's article. 1
1. The Old Testament explicitly teaches the restoration of the nation Israel.
2. The Old Testament explicitly promises the perpetuity of the nation Israel (see Jer. 31:35-37).
3. The New Testament reaffirms the Old Testament expectation of a salvation and restoration of Israel.
4. The New Testament explicitly states that the Old Testament promises and covenants to Israel are still the possession of Israel even during this church age and even while the nation is currently in a state of unbelief (see Romans 9:3b-4).
5. The New Testament indicates that God is faithful to Israel because of His promises to the patriarchs of Israel (Romans 11:28).
6. The New Testament indicates that Israel’s election/calling is irrevocable (Romans 11:29; see also Deuteronomy 7:6-8).
7. The New Testament never uses the term "Israel" for those who are not ethnic Jews. Thus, the church is never called "Israel."
8. Supersessionists have failed to show that the New Testament identifies the church as "Israel."
9. Supersessionists have failed to show that the New Testament reinterprets or alters the original OT prophecies in regard to Israel. The alleged "NT Priority" approach of Supersessionism is really ‘structural supersessionism’—a hermeneutic that does not allow the OT passages to speak to the issues they address.
10. Supersessionists have failed to show that unity between Jews and Gentiles in the church rules out a future restoration of the nation Israel.
11. Israelite language applied to believing Gentiles does not mean the church is Israel.
12. New Testament prophecy refers to Israel, thus indicating that God’s plan for Israel is alive.
1 Michael Vlach wrote an important article entitled, 12 Reasons Why Supersessionism / Replacement Theology Is Not a Biblical Doctrine. Unfortunately, this article is no longer to be found on the internet. Nevertheless, because Supersessionism (Replacement Theology) is such a keystone of amillennial theology, because Supersessionism so completely misrepresents God's election of Israel, and because Vlach has done such an excellent job of refuting this misrepresentation in his article, I have reproduced his main points verbatim. I wholeheartedly agree with Vlach's repudiation of Supersessionism. Amillennialism arrives at its unbiblical position on Israel by virtue of its non-literal interpretation of a great many prophecies in the Old Testament, and by virtue of its notion that the New Testament trumps the promises God gave to the patriarchs in the OT with respect to a specific land (Canaan), to a specific progeny (the physical believing descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), and to explicit blessings (upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their believing descendants). Vlach no longer teaches at The Master's Seminary. He is now Professor of Theology at Shepherds Theological Seminary. He continues to write occasionally in his Blog entitled "Christian Worldview and Theology." Return to text.
See also the following related articles contained in WordExplain by James T. Bartsch:
The Abrahamic Covenant: An Everlasting Covenant.
The New Covenant.
Psalm 87: In Praise of Yahweh's Granting "Born in Zion, His Favorite City" Status to Multitudes of Gentiles!
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Originally posted December 19, 2011
Updated March 8, 2022