T HE U PWARD C ALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN C HRIST J ESUS .
(Philippians 3.13-14 NASB )
D ECEMBER 23, 2008
T HE T RUE I SRAEL O F G OD
For the true Jew is not the man who is simply a Jew outwardly, and true circumcision is
not that which is outward and bodily. But the true Jew is one inwardly, and true
circumcision is heart-circumcision--not literal, but spiritual; and such people receive
praise not from men, but from God. (Romans 2.28-29 WNT)
And all who shall regulate their lives by this principle―may peace and mercy be given to
them―and to the true Israel of God. (Galatians 6.16 WNT)
Perhaps a year ago, I was watching a television broadcast of a well-known pastor-teacher with a large
national and international ministry. As he finished his television broadcast, he pointed his finger at the
camera and very sternly warned that those who hold to what he called Replacement Theology are
wrong and that they would have to answer to God for holding such a view because the state of Israel
of our day is still the apple of God’s eye. Frankly, I thought he was going to tell them they (me
included) were “going to hell.” I had been meditating on and studying this matter for some time, so
when I heard this brother’s exhortation, it caught my attention.
The first thing that needs to be established is the meaning of Replacement Theology. It means that
the “church,” which started at Pentecost comprised of mostly Jews but grew through the centuries by
the conversion of gentiles and a remnant of Jews, replaced the natural Jews as the chosen people of
God, that is, the apple of His eye. In the strictest sense, this so-called theology holds that the Jews,
albeit the nation of Israel that is in the Middle East today, have no claim on being God’s chosen
people simply because they claim they are descendants of Jacob. As discussed later, I see a slightly
different theology that I call Graftage Theology .
Like this pastor-teacher, many Christians in our day reject Replacement Theology , for they see the
natural Jews with uncircumcised hearts, especially ones residing in and migrating to the state of
Israel, as the chosen ones that God is going to establish as the head of the nations in the eon to
come. They see two lines upon which God is working; one pertaining to the nation of Israel according
to the flesh, that is, the Jews or the physical, blood descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and
the other pertaining to the church or the spiritual ecclesia of God. I call what they believe Dualism
Theology . I do not like using the term theology and prefer the word doctrine , but I will remain with it
for the sake of discussion. Dualism means that God is working on two separate lines; one is physical
and the other is spiritual; one is earthly and the other is heavenly.
However, the Lord Jesus condemned His kinsmen that rejected Him and even demanded that He be
crucified. The chief priests declared they had no king but Caesar. In His kingdom parables, Jesus
made it very clear that because of their rejection, they would be cast into the outer darkness and
would suffer the fate of death and not life when He takes the scepter to reign over the earth.
“But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and
set their city on fire.” (Matthew 22.7 NASB)
“But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here
and slay them in my presence.” (Luke 19.27 NASB)
Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves
only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the
fig tree withered. … “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from
you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.” (Matthew 21.19, 43 NASB)
Part of the problem with Dualism Theology is that it is a mixture of the spiritual and the natural flesh.
Those who adhere to it seem to have lost sight of the fact that the Lord is and has always been after a
spiritual house, not one based on the flesh. Only the Lord knows how many, but it seems that many of
His people are looking at matters with earthly, temporal minds and are not seeing beyond the fog of
this world and into the spiritual realm or, we could say, the spiritual heart of God. The result is that
some look at Israel according to the flesh and, purely on this basis, declare they are God’s chosen
people. Others take it a step further to proclaim that Jesus is coming back for a Jewish bride
(according to the flesh); consequently, Christians need to align themselves with the Jew and even
take on their customs, that is, become Judaized. As Paul exhorted the Galatians: Who has
bewitched you? Having begun by the spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
(Galatians 3.1, 3). And yet, others align themselves with the Jews according to the flesh, and out of
concern for offending them, they will not tell them that the only way to salvation is to believe on Jesus
and the finished work of the cross. In other words, they refuse to give them the one message that they
eed to hear that will make them jealous and lead them to repentance.
Let us be clear that just as there is a true Jew, there is also a true Israel. According to Paul, the true
Israel is the one who boasts in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world
has been crucified to me, and I to the world, for neither is circumcision anything, nor
uncircumcision, that is of the flesh, but a new creation (see Galatians 6.14-16). The true Jew and
he true Israel is of the new creation in Christ born from above by the spirit of God .
Dear beloved in Christ, there is only one line that God is working on and all are grafted into this line,
which is none other than Christ Jesus our Lord. I believe that Replacement Theology is the wrong
term; it should be called Graftage Theology , for grafting is what the spirit of God has been doing
since the beginning. There is only one line that runs from the first Adam to the last Adam. It is a
spiritual line that is building a spiritual house to the glory of God. It is one line that leads to New
Jerusalem , the dwelling of God in spirit . God has used different means to achieve His purpose
over the many millennia since Adam, but the ground upon which He works has not changed, for God
is spirit and all that He does is spirit in nature. His one line based on His Son is a spiritual line, and all
through the history of mankind, like a gardener with pruning sheers, He has been grafting people into
this line. It is also like one thread that runs through history; it is like a needle being threaded through a
piece of fabric. There is one needle, the spirit of God, and one thread, the Son of God, and everything
f God is attached to this one thread, being woven as a beautiful tapestry.
The early Pentecostal ecclesia was made up of mostly natural Israelites who repented and believed in
Jesus as Messiah. They were of the line of the true Israel of God, ones with circumcised hearts that
became a new creation , not on the basis of the flesh but of the spirit. As such, they were not grafted
in, for they were a remnant of ancient Israel according to the thought of God; called out of Egypt to be
a spiritual nation under God. However, we who believe in this day have been grafted into this spiritual
nation by the spirit of God (see 1 Peter 2.4-10), the one new man, the ecclesia of God. This is the true
Israel that is growing up in love to become New Jerusalem.
The Upward Call #02-08150 by — Stuart H. Pouliot
“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was
not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here
ithout wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless.” (Matthew 22.11-12 NASB)
Those who hold to Dualism Theology and reject Replacement Theology seem to ignore these
kingdom parables that speak of the fate of the natural Jew who rejects Christ. It is as if they believe
that He is going to bring the natural Jew in as part of the old covenant that according to Hebrews is
obsolete and has been replaced with a new and living way, a new covenant in which He is putting His
laws in the minds and writing them upon the hearts of His people. I realize that many would say that
hey, as well, come in through the new covenant, but their dualism says otherwise.