T HE S ECRET OF H IS P URPOSE …. T HE P LAN FOR THE F ULLNESS OF THE T IMES
TO HEAD UP ALL THINGS IN THE KING,
E VERYTHING IN THE H EAVENS AND ON THE E ARTH ,
IN JESUS ….
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
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March 2019
Many years ago, I held the view that God is now working along two very distinct and different
lines that will also continue in the age to come: 1) the ecclesia of Christians [the church], and 2)
the present-day Jewish state of Israel [misnamed], comprised of Jews according to the flesh
[bloodline] or religiously joined to Judaism. However, quite a few years ago I became troubled
over this; something was amiss in such thinking. After all, the dividing wall has been broken down,
and there is now one new man (Ephesians 2:15), and we have our access in one spirit to the
Father (Ephesians 2:18)—together, the circumcision and the uncircumcision are a new creation
and the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16). This sure doesn't sound like two distinct lines.
So, I began to inquire of the Lord and search for an answer to what was boiling inside me. As I
searched for the answer, the holy spirit began to gradually open my eyes to what I now believe
is a much more accurate truth of scripture.
The question that sat before me was this: Is God working on two distinct lines or one? The answer
I discovered is that God is working only on one line, and this line is based on His Son and the new
covenant, and all, regardless of bloodline, are being grafted into this one line. This might seem a
bit too obvious, but it really isn't when you begin studying this subject and discover that many
seem to believe in a hybrid of the old and the new covenants.
To explain the results of my research, I have divided the various views on the subject into three
schools of thought and labeled them: Dualism, Reversionism, and Graftage. The latter two terms
may seem strange to some, but they are real words. I also briefly address what is called
replacement theology .
A quick word about isms —whenever I see a word that ends in ism , I see that which is associated
with the word as something of man and not of God. You want proof. Pay attention to the names
attached to world systems, like globalism, capitalism, socialism, fascism, corporatism, etc. Have
you ever noticed that even the religions of the world are associated with an ism (e.g., Judaism,
Islamism, Buddhism), but Christianity is never associated with ism , unless theologians come up
with terms to define their theologies or doctrines? Word of caution—let us not make anything
associated with Jesus an ism .
Dualism
Dualism is defined as "the state of being dual (two); duality; two basic entities; two natures." This
is a condensed definition, but the point is that it refers to two of something.
As such, dualism sees God working along two distinct lines of people. The first line involves the
present-day unbelieving (in Messiah Jesus) Jews based on the flesh; ones born of a genealogical
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bloodline traced to the seed of Jacob (if this is even possible). Although this is the predominant
view, I would add the religious component as well. Those who are faithful to Judaism and all its
rites may consider themselves Jews even if they are not of a known Jewish family tree. During
the days of Moses, foreigners (non-Israelites) could join one of the tribes as long as they
integrated into their customs and rites and followed the law. When they did, they became part
of the nation as if citizens (Exodus 12:48-49; 22:21; Leviticus 19:34; Deuteronomy 16:10-11).
The second line involves the ecclesia (church) of Christians based on the spirit, that is, ones born
of the seed of God, growing into the new creation in Christ. These have the faith of Abraham.
As with most schools of thought, there are variations around a common theme. This school is
most associated with dispensationalism . The most prevalent form of this ism holds to a future
pre-tribulation "rapture," followed by a 7-year tribulation, and then a 1000-year kingdom with
Christ ruling from ancient Jerusalem with a rebuilt temple and the Jews (Israel) heading up the
nations—with the church in heaven, meeting at the pearly gates, eating fruit from the tree of life,
walking on streets of pure gold, and living in mansions in a literal, heavenly city called the
heavenly Jerusalem .
In other words, according to this school, there will be two groups of God's people living in two
distinct cities, one earthly and one heavenly, with both being blessed of God for two different
reasons, one based on the physical seed of Jacob and the old covenant (that has been made
obsolete), and one based on the spiritual seed of God and the new covenant that is of Messiah
Jesus. At the same time, there will continue to be billions of unbelievers, created to be in the
image of Elohim , roasting and toasting in an eternal place of fire and worms that many call hell .
Ugh! This is straight out of paganism. Or, is it straight out of hell? You choose!
Further, some within this school of thought see the church coming back to earth and residing in
the earthly Jerusalem with believing Jews, all united in Christ. Others in this school see the Jews
rebuilding a physical temple where God will place His name and glory and reinstitute the Levitical
priesthood and animal sacrifices. In other words, they replace Christianity with Judaism that rises
to its former grandeur of Solomon's day with Jesus seated on a throne in Jerusalem and
ministering through a rebuilt temple. To add to the confusion, some see King David, literally, on
the throne, and some believe that Jews do not have to believe Jesus is the Messiah because the
Jews are given special privilege to rule the world based simply on their bloodline that is traced
back to Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham. After all, as the thinking goes, they are God's chosen people,
and they can do no wrong, and God will protect them no matter what mischief they create in the
world. Of course, some rightly insist that the Jews must and will believe in Jesus. Confused yet?
The point is that dualism sees God working along two distinct lines, some see both of these in
Christ, and others do not. Unfortunately, dualism seems to confuse or ignore scripture on several
levels. In a broad stroke, the achilles heel of dualism is found in Paul's Galatians 4 allegory, the
Israel of God as defined by Paul (Galatians 6:16), Romans 11 and the olive tree, and most of all,
all of the book of Hebrews that speaks of the better. There's more, but these are the major ones
as far as I am concerned. Let us consider some.
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First, dualism retains the old covenant or some hybrid of it that, according to scripture, has been
made obsolete and has been replaced with the new covenant. When He said, "A new covenant,"
He has made the first obsolete (Hebrews 8:13).
Paul, who I believe could have written Hebrews (or someone very close to him did), wrote
something quite similar; something that is easily overlooked.
God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as
nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something…. (1 Corinthians 1:28 HCSB)
As Saul, Paul considered Judaism as something, so much so, that he persecuted the Way until
Jesus appeared to him to set him straight. All that Paul held so dear to his heart, as something
extremely vital to his life, became as nothing when he was blinded by the Messiah.
But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More
than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them
filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own
from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on
faith. (Philippians 3:7-9 HCSB)
All that was gain became loss to Paul, so that he might gain the Messiah, the one he persecuted.
Given this, when Paul wrote to the Corinthians about God bringing to nothing what is viewed as
something, he clearly had his loss in view. The entire Jewish religious system—based on an old
covenant that he had mastered as a zealous Pharisee and that was something in that day—was
becoming obsolete, growing old, and ready to disappear (Hebrews 9:13).
Second, Paul defines a true Jew. Based on his definition, an argument could be made that every
believing Christian is a Jew; although, I don't see the need to identify us this way, unless we are
identifying with the king of Judah, Jesus. It is more probable that Paul was speaking of a physical
Jew that believed on Jesus. This is the true Jew as God always intended one to be.
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the
flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by
the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. (Romans 2:28-
29 NASB)
Third, in His letters to the ecclesias, Jesus exposed the synagogue of the satan, the adversary ,
and the lying Jew. (No need to capitalize satan and place it even close to an equal footing with
God or man, for that matter.)
I know of thee the works, and the affliction, and the poverty, (but rich thou art,) and the
blasphemy from those declaring Jews to be themselves, and not are, but an assembly of
the adversary . (Revelation 2:9 Diaglott-NT)
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Lo, I give out of the assembly of the adversary those saying themselves Jews, to be, and not
they are, but speak falsely; lo, I will make them, so that they may have come and may have
prostrated before the feet of thee, and they may have known, that I loved thee….
(Revelation 3:9 Diaglott-NT)
Claiming one is a Jew based solely on ancestry and circumcision of the flesh, giving such a one
access to God the Father (God of Abraham) while rejecting His Son, Jesus the Messiah, makes
one a liar. Jesus said that no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6). If an "outward"
Jew rejects Christ and thus has an uncircumcised heart, then his claim to be a true Jew is a lie.
Fourth, in his allegory, Paul made a clear distinction between the present Jerusalem and the
Jerusalem above.
Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she
is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. … But
what does the Scripture say? "CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON
OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN."
(Galatians 4:25-26, 30 NASB)
The present or earthly Jerusalem must be cast out.
There is only one Jerusalem on God's heart; it is the city that Abraham sought, which has
foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10). It is called New Jerusalem . For
this reason, the Hebrew believers were exhorted: For here we do not have a lasting city, but we
are seeking the city which is to come (Hebrews 13:14).
Ancient Jerusalem was about to be destroyed by the Romans shortly after the letter to the
Hebrews was written, but notice that the Hebrews were never encouraged to hold to the earthly
city or, for that matter, a new and improved rebuilt one. It had to be destroyed so that they would
be released from any and all attachments to the present Jerusalem, the temple, and Judaism.
Instead, they were encouraged, as we are today: But you have come to Mount Zion and to the
city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22).
See Cast Out the Bondwoman http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art25.html
Fifth, Paul tells us that Christians are the temple of the living God, and this temple is being built
into a dwelling of God in spirit, which is corporately New Jerusalem.
And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are a temple of the
living God, even as God said, "I will" dwell in them and "walk among them, and I will be
their God, and they shall be My people." Lev. 26:12; Ezek. 37:27 (2 Corinthians 6:16 LITV)
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints,
and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being
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fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built
together into a dwelling of God in [the] Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22 NASB)
Paul picks up on the theme of strangers who joined themselves to the tribes of Israel under Moses
and Joshua (Joshua 8:35), as previously presented. In like fashion, those who were once aliens to
the commonwealth of Israel are now citizens within the Israel of God as believers in Messiah
Jesus.
Sixth, the thought that a Levitical priesthood will be reinstituted to minister in a rebuilt temple in
Jerusalem during the next age is totally in contradiction to scripture. The word of God makes it
abundantly clear that there is a new priesthood, not based on a genealogical line traced to Aaron
and Levi, whose priests died every generation, but one based on an indestructible life and the
very oath of God to His Son. In other words, it is traced to and found in the Son of God.
So also, the Christ has not glorified Himself to become a high priest, but He speaking to
Him, "You are My Son; today I have begotten You." Psa. 2:7 As He also says in another place,
"You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek," Psa. 110:4 (Hebrews 5:5-
6 LITV)
For the One of whom these things are said has partaken of another tribe, from which no
one has given devotion at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord has risen out of Judah, as to
which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is still more abundantly
clear that if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has not
become so according to a law of a fleshly command, but according to the power of an
indissoluble life. For it is testified, "You are a priest to the age according to the order of
Melchizedek." Psa. 110:4 (Hebrews 7:13-17 LITV)
This priesthood traces back to Melchizedek, the king of righteousness and the king of peace, who
was a type of God's Son, the true king of righteousness and of peace. The first king-priest
according to the order of Melchizedek was probably Shem, who built the first Jerusalem,
signifying the kingdom of God on earth. The last and preeminent King-Priest according to the
order of Melchizedek is Jesus, who is the very cornerstone, foundation, and builder of the second
and last Jerusalem, New Jerusalem, signifying the kingdom of God in heaven and on earth, as
manifested in a people called the body of Christ .
Consequently, the Levitical priesthood has been made obsolete. It seems untenable that it will
be revived as part of God's plan in order to offer daily sacrifices that have all been fulfilled in
Christ's one sacrifice for all times (Hebrews 10:9-10).
Just as the old covenant has been made obsolete, so has the old priesthood of men from the loins
of Aaron and Levi been made obsolete! God is raising up a new priesthood according to the order
of Melchizedek, born of the seed of God, indwelt with the spirit of God, and they will reign with
King Jesus for the ages (Revelation 5:10; 20:4-6).
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Christian Zionism
Dualism is most evident in what is called Christian Zionism . This section might appear a bit
redundant, but it cannot be avoided in order to make the point.
I realize that there are some who will counter what I have written so far with the argument that
the Jews according to the flesh will come into the kingdom of God the same way that Christians
do. Their eyes will be opened to Jesus as Messiah, and they will repent for their unbelief and
believe on Him. Up to this point, I am in full agreement, for this is the only way for anyone, Jew
or gentile [nations], to come into the kingdom of God. Again, the only way to God the Father is
through His Son, the Lord Jesus, who is the Savior of the world and the King of the nations.
Where I differ, and I also believe scripture differs, is where those who state the above go on to
argue that the believing Jews, whose eyes are opened at the end of the age, generally through
and during what is called the great tribulation, are a special race of people destined to rule over
the nations in the age to come, based not only on their belief in Jesus but also on a bloodline
traced back through Jacob, to Isaac, to Abraham. In other words, in the age to come, the believing
Jews will be separated out from the ecclesia of believers [church] and given special status as the
nation of Israel that will rule over the nations on earth because they are God's chosen.
The problem with such a doctrine is that it is contrary to scripture, especially according to the
glorious gospel presented by Paul in his Ephesians epistle.
But now, in Christ Jesus you who then were afar off, came to be near by the blood of Christ.
For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition,
in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He
might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace, and might reconcile both
in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself. And coming, He
proclaimed "peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near." Isa. 57:19 For through
Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:13-18 LITV)
There are no longer two distinct lines but one line that God is working along that Paul calls the
one new man in Christ . The wall that separated the nation of Israel from the rest of the nations
has been broken down by the second man—Christ—and all who believe on God's Son are one
and equal in the sight of God. All have the same access by one spirit to one Father. Paul makes it
very clear in his letters that, in respect to God and His Son, there is only one distinct line, not two.
There is one body and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, the One above all and through
all and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6 LITV)
But to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him, and one
Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we by Him. (1 Corinthians 8:6 LITV)
For those who teach from Paul's epistles, don't you think that if there are two distinct lines, he
would have stated so along the way or, at the least, intimated so? But he did not give one scintilla
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of evidence. In fact, he goes out of the way to make the point that there is only one, and it is
based on one foundation. There is no other foundation but Christ.
Unfortunately, it seems that many evangelical Christians have chosen to ignore the truth of these
verses, and more, as they support the current Jewish state of Israel solely on the basis, as they
see it, of them being God's chosen nation to rule the world in the age to come, no matter what
they do or think. In some measure, this is based on the misguided gospel that the ecclesia has
nothing to do with this earth; after all, it will be raptured out of this earth to heaven.
It would be one thing, and a good thing at that, if they sought to simply convert the Jews and the
modern nation of Israel to Christ so that they would come out of Judaism into Christianity, but
this is not at the heart of Christian Zionism. Dangerously, some see Christianity being absorbed
into Judaism, not the other way around. Yes, we have Jewish roots (I prefer Hebrew roots), but
that does not mean those roots replace the true root of God which is Christ Himself.
Like Esau who sold his birthright to Jacob for a pot of red stew, so are many Christians selling
their birthright to a people and a nation that have rejected Christ for the last 2,000 years and that
Jesus Himself said would not inherit the kingdom of God (Matthew 21:43); at least based on their
genealogy. The church of the conquerors is the true Israel of God because they have come under
the rule of God through His Son, are obedient to His will, and are in covenant union with Christ.
Now, what is modern Zionism? There are many definitions of it, some even sinister, but, at its
core, it holds that the Jews have the right to self-determination and to develop their national
culture in their own natural homeland, implemented through the creation and defense of the
Jewish state of Israel. Initially, Zionism was a national movement to return the Jewish people to
Palestine and to reestablish their sovereignty in "the land of Israel" through their own nation. Of
course, this took place in 1948.
One Jewish website included this in the definition of Zionism: "It is applied to Evangelical
Christians who want people of the Jewish religion to return to Israel in order to hasten the second
coming. 'Christian Zionism' is also used to describe any Christian support for Israel."
It is safe to say that Christian Zionists believe that modern Israel, along with its "eternal" capital,
Jerusalem, is the apple of God's eye and will never cease to exist, and any nation that opposes
Israel or attempts to give away its land will ultimately fail. Think about this—the whole earth is
the Lord's!
Again, some believe that the ones calling themselves Jews, who presently reject Christ Jesus and
remain enemies of His cross, must and will believe on Jesus as Messiah at the end of the age in
order to have this most-favored status in the world. However, others believe they will come into
this favor with God based simply on their ancestry. In addition, again, as the misguided doctrine
goes, the ecclesia of Christ will be "raptured" off the earth and, "poof," the Jewish state will take
over.
Christian Zionists fail to see that, prophetically, the earthly Jerusalem must fall just as Shiloh fell,
never to be repaired again (Jeremiah 7:12-15; 19:11). Like a cat with nine lives, Jerusalem has
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been rebuilt many times (by some accounts nine times). If we believe Jeremiah that it would
never be repaired again, then we must agree that we have not seen the end of the story yet. It
seems that the 70 AD destruction of the temple and the earthly city of Jerusalem, which
mystically is associated with Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified (Revelation
11:8), has another fulfillment, probably not too far off into our future. Just as Jerusalem and the
temple had to be removed to set Christianity free to fill the whole earth with the good news, so
at the end of our age, Jerusalem must be removed to set the world free, especially to set the
Christian Zionists free.
A day must come when the prophecies of Jeremiah are fulfilled, and the city is never rebuilt again.
There is only one Jerusalem, just as there is only one God and one Lord.
People of God, we must make a clear distinction between the unbelieving Jew, who is one
according to the flesh, and the true Jew, who is one inwardly with a circumcision of the heart by
the spirit (Romans 2:29). We must see that modern Zionism is antichrist and not of God but of
man striving for power, control, and domination. The true Zion of God is not of this earth nor of
man but of heaven. The Zion of God is Mount Zion and the city of the living God, heavenly
Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22). We must not confuse the revived, present-day Israel on the land with
the Israel of God, whose mother above is New Jerusalem.
If we love the modern Jews in Israel who are still in unbelief and enemies of the cross, we should
be encouraging them to believe on Jesus, repent, and get out while they have time rather than
buying Jews airfare to return to the Middle East and supporting them with foreign aid.
Now, let us continue to reversionism, which could be likened to the outcome of Zionism if carried
to its full manifestation.
Reversionism
Reversionism is defined as a belief that one must "return to a former state, custom, or belief."
The Galatians and Hebrews epistles were both written to confront believers that were in danger
of reverting back to Judaism and the old covenant, in part or in whole.
This view is similar to dualism, and the same scriptural argument against dualism applies to
reversionism; however, it goes much further in its view of the Jew and Israel and what it sees as
the economy of God for the ages. We could say that reversionism is more insidious than dualism,
for it seeks to bring the new covenant into the old covenant rather than spiritually interpreting
the new in light of the types and shadows of the old. The result is that, in the extreme case, the
new covenant is abandoned in whole or in part, or perverted through some hybrid theology to
the point of either rejecting Christ or making Him prominent but not preeminent. That in all
things he might have the preeminence! (Colossians 1:18)
Reversionism seeks to return to a former state that, in this case, is no longer in the economy of
God. Again, and as a reminder, the book of Hebrews was written for this very reason; it was a
warning to believing Hebrews (and now to all believers) of the danger of returning to Judaism
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and the old covenant, exhorting them to press on in the new covenant that is based on better
promises and a better resurrection.
Reversionists hold that believers must become like practicing Jews and hold to a form of Judaism.
They are judaizers. As they say, Christ is coming for a Jewish bride, so Christians must be like a
physical, practicing Jew. Jesus came to set us free from things like this, not to lead us back into
bondage to do this, don't do that. At best, it becomes a hybrid of Christianity and Judaism with
the Son of God in the midst of it in some measure; however, in the extreme it tramples under
foot the Son of God (Hebrews 10:29).
We need to be abundantly clear that, because of Calvary, Christ has done away with Judaism, but
this camp seeks to bring Messiah Jesus into Judaism. Another way of stating this is that it seeks
to bring Christ Jesus into Judaism, something that He made obsolete with His very own blood
(Hebrews 9:12, 25; 13:12) and condemned and brought into death in 70 AD with the destruction
of Jerusalem and Herod's temple (Luke 19:14, 27; 22:7). Consider what scripture says.
For it is impossible for those once having been enlightened, and having tasted of the
heavenly gift, and becoming sharers of the Holy Spirit, and tasting the good Word of God,
and the works of power of a coming age, and having fallen away, it is impossible for them
again to renew to repentance, crucifying again for themselves the Son of God, and putting
Him to open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6 LITV)
How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot
the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was
sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? (30) For we know Him who said,
"VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY." And again, "THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE."
(Hebrews 10:29-30 NASB)
Those who seek to bring Christianity (Christ) into Judaism, along with all its outward appearances
and forms and works of righteousness under the law by which no man is justified (Acts 13:39;
Romans 3:20, 28; Galatians 2:16; 3:11; Philippians 3:9), are severing themselves from Christ and
disqualifying themselves from being an heir with the son of the free woman. They are in bondage
with the bondwoman, the present Jerusalem that needs to be cast out (Galatians 4:25-30).
Behold, I, Paul, say to you that if you are circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I
testify again to every man being circumcised, that he is a debtor to do all the Law, you
whoever are justified by Law, you were severed from Christ; you fell from grace. For we
through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness out of faith. For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength, but faith working through love.
You were running well; who held you back that you do not obey the truth? (Galatians 5:2-
7 LITV)
As the Hebrews letter asks: How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation (Hebrews 2:3)?
Paul did not mince words when it came to any gospel that tried to revert Christians to Judaism.
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But even if we, or an angel out of Heaven, should preach a gospel to you beside the gospel
we preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8 LITV)
Although not mentioned in the title to this article, there is another view out there that is
completely opposite dualism and reversionism.
Replacement Theology
It is called replacement theology (also known as supersessionism ). One source describes it this
way—a predominantly gentile church totally supplanted or replace physical Israel in the plan of
God, making the Jews no longer God's chosen people and removing the nation of Israel from
God's future plans. The new covenant has superseded the old covenant, making the old obsolete.
I find this rather strange since Hebrews clearly makes this point. Another source states it this
way—it doesn't matter where the lost tribes of Israel went because God is finished with them.
Spiritual Israel, the church, has supplanted physical Israel; God is only working with the "new
Israel" because the church has permanently replaced Israel in God's plan and purposes in the
earth.
As with any school of thought there can be a measure of truth in it, and there is some in
replacement theology. However, their conclusion is off. The false premise of this theology denies
that Abraham's physical descendants have any role in God's plan to achieve His purpose.
As I have presented in other articles—based on evidence from history, migration, archeology,
etymology, and anthropology, the sons of Israel have played and continue to play a major role in
God's plan—all in fulfillment of the great promises to Abraham. What fascinates me is that many
Christians that call themselves gentiles are probably physical descendants of Abraham.
See Abraham's Multitude of Nations http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art63.pdf
This leads to the last and most important school of thought on this matter; one that I see more
clearly lining up with scripture.
Graftage
The noun graftage is defined as "the state of being grafted." The noun graft is defined as "a shoot
or bud of one plant or tree inserted or to be inserted into the stem or trunk of another, where it
continues to grow, becoming a permanent part; the act or process of inserting such a bud or
shoot." The same process can occur with skin, bone, or living tissue transplanted from one body
to another body or from one part of a body to another part of the same body, where it grows
and becomes a permanent part. Another way of stating this is that "being grafted" refers to the
process of inserting, let's say, object B into object A so that object B becomes a permanent part
of object A. Once grafted, object B takes on the life of object A.
Graftage is a two-way process involving cutting or removing a part from one object and inserting
or grafting it into another object. Obviously, if something can be grafted in, it only follows that it
can also be cut out or pruned if it fails to root properly or bear fruit.
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The fact of the matter is that, in order to bring forth the fruit of His kingdom, God both prunes
(cuts out dead material and trims living material) out of and grafts (inserts living material) into
His tree. This is the job of a vinedresser.
Scripture uses many agricultural or horticultural metaphors, most notably, those involving trees
and vines that, in the natural world, are grafted. The most recognizable one is Jesus as the true
vine and the Father as the vinedresser (John 15:1-6). Another one that is recognized (but also
often misunderstood) is the olive tree, as Paul explains in Romans 11. This is addressed in more
detail in another article that I encourage you to read.
See Fullness of the Nations http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art64.html
Graftage of the Fig Tree
Since the bad/good fig tree is less recognized, let us consider it, starting with some history I have
stressed in other writings.
At the end of Jacob-Israel's life, he blessed his son Judah with the scepter [the king] (Genesis
49:10), Joseph with fruitfulness [the kingdom] (Genesis 49:22-26), and the sons of Joseph,
Ephraim and Manasseh, with the birthright (Genesis 48; 1 Chronicles 5:1), who were also blessed
with his name Israel : " And may my name live on in them " (Genesis 48:16). Following Solomon's
death, the united kingdom of Israel was divided into two nations (1 Kings 11:9-11; 2 Chronicles
10:15-11:4), the house of Judah, consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and most of the
Levites, and the house of Israel, consisting of the remaining ten tribes. The name Judah and the
scepter remained in Jerusalem and formed the southern nation. The name Israel and the
birthright took root in Samaria and formed the northern nation. Later, the nation of Israel was
taken into Assyrian captivity and dispersed northward. They ceased being a nation and lost their
national identity. They became the lost [i.e., no national identity] sheep of the house of Israel
and remain so to this very day, at least as far as the world and most of Christendom is concerned.
The spiritually discerning know that they have been found and called the ecclesia of Christ, the
true Israel of God . Modern Israel is not this house; it has unlawfully usurped the name. The nation
of Judah was also taken into captivity, but by the Babylonians. Later, a remnant returned to
rebuild the temple and Jerusalem, and with it, the hope of the scepter.
This is a very condensed history (with a little commentary), but the point is: When Jesus came
the first time, the house or nation of Judah, not Israel, resided in Jerusalem. Jesus came the first
time as the antitype of Judah to take the scepter as the king of Judah.
As a side note, it is my view that in Jesus' first inaugural arrival (coming), He came as both Judah
and Joseph, who could also be identified as Shiloh-Israel . At this time, all that had to be done was
initiated, including the reunification of Judah and Israel. However, all of this has not been
consummated; this takes place in His second arrival. God's plan is to firmly and manifestly bring
the kingdom of the heavens to earth and reunite Judah and Israel on all levels. Again, this has
been inaugurated, but it has not been consummated.
See Until Shiloh Comes http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art66.html
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Now, the nation of Judah was symbolized by the fig tree, but in the days of Jesus, metaphorically,
there were two fig trees present in Judea, a good fig tree and a bad fig tree. Jeremiah, a prophet
of Judah, was given revelation of two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord.
One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, and the other basket had very bad figs
which could not be eaten due to rottenness. Then the LORD said to me, "What do you see,
Jeremiah?" And I said, "Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad figs, very bad, which
cannot be eaten due to rottenness." (Jeremiah 24:2-3 NASB)
Then, the Lord went on to explain what would happen to the good figs and the bad figs.
''For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will
build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. I will
give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be
their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.'" (Jeremiah 24:6-7 NASB)
'But like the bad figs which cannot be eaten due to rottenness … so I will abandon … the
remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land …. … 'I will send the sword, the famine and
the pestilence upon them until they are destroyed from the land which I gave to them and
their forefathers.'" (Jeremiah 24:8, 10 NASB)
Drawing upon the word He gave to Jeremiah about 600 years earlier, Jesus clearly made the point
that the good figs could only come from a good fig tree and the bad figs from a bad fig tree.
"So, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot
produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear
good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits."
(Matthew 7:17-20 NASB)
In other words, the nation of Judah was made up of two trees, a good one and a bad one, one
that had a heart for the Lord and one that did not. The good fig tree believed that Jesus is the
Messiah and the king of Judah and followed Him, even after His death on the cross and His
resurrection. They recognized Him and loved Him. The bad fig tree refused to accept Jesus as the
Messiah and king of Judah and rejected Him to the point of demanding His death on a cross. They
too recognized Him, for the parables tell us so, but they hated Him to the point of becoming
murderers (Matthew 21:38-39).
Because of this, Jesus declared to them: The kingdom of God will be taken from you [bad
fig tree], and it will be given to a nation [good fig tree] producing the fruits of it (Matthew
21:43 LITV).
The bad fig tree would not inherit the kingdom of God, but instead be cast out because of its
rotten fruit. Just as Jeremiah had prophesied, so did Jesus: "But the king [God the Father] was
enraged, and he sent his [God's Roman] armies and destroyed those murderers [bad figs] and set
their city [Jerusalem] on fire " (Matthew 22:7 NASB). In 70 AD, God sent His Roman army to
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destroy the great city Jerusalem and the temple, bringing a final blow to Judaism and the old
covenant.
We need to realize that the good fig tree that followed Jesus lived on, and this tree was made up
of believing Judahites or Jews. To those who argue that the ecclesia of Christ is a Jewish ecclesia;
there is some truth to this. The early ecclesia was mostly of physical Judahites who followed the
king of Judah; some estimate that they predominated the ecclesia for the first eight years. After
all, Paul declared: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to
everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16 NASB). Then he
asked: "What advantage has the Jew?"; to which he answered: "Great in every respect" (Romans
3:1, 2). However, the advantage is of no value if a Jew remains one outwardly, manifested
through the flesh, and is not one inwardly, manifested through faith and a circumcised heart.
As the king and lion from the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), Jesus is the trunk or, if you will, the
entire good fig tree, made up of many branches, called to bear the fruit of the kingdom. The
genealogical Judahites that were good figs met Paul's definition of a true Jew, for they were ones
inwardly with a circumcision of the heart, by the spirit (Romans 2:29).
Here is where graftage enters in. All who have believed on Jesus regardless of their genealogical
roots have been grafted into the good fig tree of Judah and united themselves with the king of
Judah. The believing physical Jews were already part of the good fig tree and didn't need to be
grafted in like those from among the nations (non-Jews).
Again, let it be emphasized that the early church was most assuredly made up of genealogical
Jews or good figs. Over time, as the gospel went forth to the nations, other shoots were grafted
into this good fig tree to bear the fruit of the kingdom. We could even say that those from the
nations produced other types of fruit, such as apples, oranges, pears, etc., metaphorically
speaking. God loves diversity!
As an aside, the Lord revealed to me recently that His people are the fruit of the kingdom. I see
a two-fold fruitiness. His people are the fruit, and they produce fruit as well.
The kingdom of God produces all kinds of fruit; after all, consider what the tree(s) of life produces
in New Jerusalem. To be clear, the fruit bearers are people, for the city of God speaks of the
corporate temple of the Lord, the body of Christ.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of
God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of
life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree
were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2 NASB)
Graftage is not replacement, for it acknowledges that the good fig tree that started in the old
testament under the old covenant continued on as the good fig tree of the new testament under
the new covenant—even a new creation. Its roots are in the ancient days of Judah, but its growth
increased materially after Calvary and the resurrection of Christ, as not only believing ethnic Jews
continued on as the tree, but others not of the ancient tree were grafted into it. In like fashion,
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in Jesus' day, many physical Jews were pruned out of the tree to become wild or bad figs and
cannot be grafted back in unless they have faith to believe in Jesus, the Savior and Messiah.
Paul presents the olive tree in the same way, only he uses it in reference to Israel, not Judah or
the Jews. Since Israel encompasses a much larger population, I find the olive tree more significant
than the fig tree. Israelites were pruned out of the olive tree in Paul's day as well. Thankfully, Paul
was not one of them. As I have written elsewhere, since that time, over the many centuries to
follow to the present, a great multitude of believing descendants of ethnic or physical Israelites
have been grafted in as well. Unfortunately, this glorious story is unknown to many. If it were
known and accepted, all the other theories would be swept into the dustbin of history, for it
brings the most glory to God the Father and His Son.
Do not think for a minute that graftage, involving the good fig tree (or the olive tree), means that
there is a reversion to the old covenant and its outward forms—except to reveal the reality of
Jesus the Messiah through the many types—for it does not!
God is pressing on toward the all new. As Jesus said: " No one, after putting his hand to the plow
and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God " (Luke 9:62). Let us not look back to the old; let us
press on toward the new!
The first has been taken away to establish the second (Hebrews 10:9). The genealogical Jew had
an advantage, for the gospel was presented to the Jew first; however, salvation is based on faith
(Romans 1:16-17), not a gene pool. Their advantage was mostly then, not now! Today, there is
no advantage to the genealogical Jew, for God only acknowledges the true Jew who is one with
a circumcised heart.
Conclusion
There is only one line upon which God is working today, and the good fig tree of Judah is one
type of this line that has remained unbroken since its inception. Another type is the olive tree
that speaks of all believing Israel as a multitude of nations that feed off the rich root of Messiah
Jesus and live by the truth that God rules .
These two metaphors unite Judah and Israel as one in Christ!
Good news; we who believe have been grafted! Let's stay that way!
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