Are Christians correct in thinking the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 is prophecy fulfilled?

Who are Biblical Israel?

Has the church replaced Israel?

Where is the real Jerusalem?

This study will help you get the answers:


The Bible and Israel (7)

BLOG POST | August 31, 2018


Our last blog post on this subject was May 25, 2018. We have proven from scripture that the New Testament church is the fulfilment of—not the replacement for—Israel. One final chapter requires out attention: it is the greatest chapter in the New Testament dealing with God’s purposes with Israel in the New Testament age, Romans 11. Since Romans 9–11 constitute a unit in the epistle, we summarize the contents of those three chapters of God’s word to demonstrate yet again that the Bible promises salvation only to those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Chapters 9–11 then begin a new section of the epistle in which Paul focuses on God’s sovereign purposes with the Jews and Gentiles.

In Romans 9:1–3 Paul expresses his sorrow at the perishing of so many of his countrymen who are his “kinsmen according to the flesh” (9:3). He lists their many advantages (adoption, glory, covenants, law, service, promises, etc.), chief among which is that Christ was born of them, who is God blessed, forever (9:5).

This leads to a possible objection: if God promised salvation to the Jews, has his promise failed? Is it “of none effect”? Paul answers in the negative—”Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect” (9:6). Paul explains this by means of a very important principle: not all physical descendants of Abraham are true Jews; not all who are outwardly “of Israel” are truly “Israel.” The apostle demonstrates this point by appealing first to Isaac and Ishmael, and second to Jacob and Esau. The difference, says Paul, is in God’s sovereign election. Not only did God elect the nation of Israel, but he also elected within the nation certain individuals.

Paul answers an objection in 9:14: “Is there unrighteousness with God?” After vehemently rejecting the inference with “God forbid,” Paul proves the sovereignty of God in showing mercy to some (9:15) and in hardening others (9:18), illustrating his doctrine with an appeal to Moses and to Pharaoh. A second objection arises in 9:19: “Thou wilt say then unto me, why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?” Paul cuts off the objector by reminding him of his place before God as a creature before the Creator (9:20). Paul illustrates the absolute sovereignty of God with the potter and his clay. The potter owns the clay and has power (authority) over the clay. Out of “one lump” (humanity) the potter makes some vessels (vessels of mercy) unto honor, while he makes other vessels (vessels of wrath) unto dishonor. Some vessels are prepared for glory, while others are fitted to destruction. The potter (God) does this because he “is willing to show his wrath and to make his power known” (9:22) and so that he “might make known the riches of his glory” (9:23). To accomplish this twofold purpose of magnifying his wrath and mercy, God endures the reprobate in longsuffering toward the elect (9:22–23).

This is not abstract, because Paul immediately applies it to the reader: “even us, whom he hath called” (9:24), appealing to Hosea 1:10 and 2:23 as proof that the calling of the Gentiles was prophesied in the Old Testament (9:25–26). Peter cites the same passage for the same purpose in 1 Peter 2:10. After quoting some texts from Isaiah as proof that God saves a remnant, Paul concludes that Israel has not attained to righteousness because she sought it “as it were by the works of the law” (9:32). The Gentiles, who did not seek righteousness, have obtained righteousness, “the righteousness which is of faith” (9:30). This was Israel’s fatal stumbling, as they tripped over Christ and perished, as God purposed and as the scriptures foretold (9:32–33; see also 1 Peter 2:6–8).

Paul begins chapter 9 expressing his heartfelt sorrow over Israel’s perishing (9:1–5). He begins chapter 10 in a similar fashion, by expressing his desire for Israel’s salvation (10:1). However, Paul does not excuse Israel for her sin of stumbling at Christ. She has not submitted to God’s righteousness and by seeking salvation in works has missed the goal of the law, which is Christ (10:3–4). This is all the more inexcusable because Moses made it clear that righteousness was not found in the law (10:5). To seek righteousness in the law is, says Paul, to deny the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, for “it is to bring up Christ again from the dead” or “to bring Christ down from above” (10:6–7). Righteousness then is found only in Christ, and it is through faith in Christ and confession of his name that believers are saved (10:9–10). Paul then explains the necessity of preaching.

If salvation is found only in calling upon the name of the Lord (10:13; Joel 2:32), then a series of questions must be asked. How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? How shall they believe in him of whom (or whom) they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher? How shall they preach, except they are sent? (10:14–15). Thus, Paul sets forth the necessity of preaching for the salvation of the elect. The rest of chapter 10 deals with the unbelieving response of Israel to the preaching: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel? Have they not heard? Did not Israel know?” (10:16–19). Israel did hear and know, but Israel refused (“a disobedient and gainsaying [contradictory] people”) (10:21) and God even prophesied his turning to the Gentiles: “I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you” (10:19). This is just judgment upon Israel and it is good news for the Gentiles.

In chapter 11 Paul addresses an objection: if the nation of Israel has been rejected with the result that God also saves the Gentiles in one church, has God cast away his people? Chapter 11 is pivotal to understanding God’s purposes with the Jews in the New Testament age. Both premillennial dispensationalism and postmillennialism appeal to this chapter in defense of their doctrine of a future, national conversion of Israel. Although the chapter does not teach that, it does teach that God has promised to save ethnic Israelites in every age of New Testament history until the return of Christ. That promise is quite remarkable because it pertains to no other nation: God does not save Irishmen, Germans, Filipinos, or Americans in every age. While many of the proud nations of the Old Testament (the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, etc.) have ceased to exist and (very likely) New Testament nations will cease to exist, God has preserved a remnant of ethnic Jews in the world. This does not mean that God will save all or even all ethnic Israelites, but he will save a remnant in every age, a remnant “according to the election of grace” (11:5) until the fullness of Israel is brought in, so that “all Israel shall be saved” (11:25).

However, he will save ethnic Jews in exactly the same way in which he saves ethnic Gentiles—by faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul answers the initial objection (“Hath God cast away his people?”) with a firm “God forbid” (11:1), illustrating the faithfulness of God’s promises to his foreknown people in his own (Paul’s) case (“I also am an Israelite”) and in the case of the remnant preserved in Elijah’s day (11:4; I Kings 19), and concluding that “at this present time also there is a remnant [of ethnic Israelites] according to the election of grace” (11:5). Gracious election and righteous reprobation operate in Israel as well as in other nations. Thus even within Israel, “the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded” (or hardened) (11:7). Paul proves that God hardens some (even the majority of) Israelites from Psalm 69, which Psalm even teaches the fearful truth that God hardens the reprobate by means of their earthly prosperity (“Let their table be made a snare,” etc.).

This leads to another objection concerning God’s hardening of the reprobate: “Have they stumbled that they should fall?” (11:11). Paul’s answer is “God forbid,” for God’s purpose in reprobation is much greater than merely the damnation of the wicked. In inscrutable wisdom and awesome power, God ordains the hardening of the [reprobate] Jews for the salvation of the [elect] Gentiles.

…to be continued

This post was written by Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary-pastor of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland stationed in Limerick, Republic of Ireland. 

Other articles:

The Bible and Israel (1)

The Bible and Israel (2)

The Bible and Israel (3)

The Bible and Israel (4)

The Bible and Israel (5)

The Bible and Israel (6)


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Second marriages

Malachi warns people that if they are unrepentant, divorced and remarried their worship is unacceptable to God.

 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out (the tears of the abandoned spouse and children-JK), insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant (Malachi 2;13,14). Futhermore marrying for a second time while the first spouse lives is adultery (Matthew 5:31, Romans 7:2,3) and adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor.6:9). How many friends, even among professing Christians do you know in this position?

Older, Lower, Slower!

These last 8 months in which I have had two operations have taught me two things at least. First, my increasing frailty or decrepitude as joints give bother, nerves get pinched, skin thins and mind forgets. Second, the detailed love and care of God for me through the treatments, the carers, the recovery, the travelling etc. I would never have thought I’d be in Riga, the capital of Latvia some months back but the Good Shepherd leads me in ways I could never foresee and they are all part of his perfect plan for me (Psalm 138:8). This fits with the recent message (see below) at our church on the immensity of Christ’s love * and the unsearchable riches of Christ of which I will highlight access in prayer and grace to help in time of need. Picture above is of myself recently acting as guide to our blind walker at Ecos parkrun. These verses perfectly describe my experience: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 and “ And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:3-5.


To Riga and BACK (8)

Last day here!

O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. (Psalm 43)

In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah. (Psalm 44). We need to do more of this!

Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. (Psalm 45). Surely the greatest psalm on the theme of King Jesus (Kungu Jezus in Latvia). We tend to forget he rules over all and wields his sword against his enemies. So says,”36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11).

So! Last day in Riga. Did my shopping for presents and took an hour river and canal cruise.

Reading this excellent book and so relevant,


To Riga and BACK (7)

Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. Psalm 39

16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified. Psalm 40.

The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. Psalm 41

Languish to be or become feeble, weak, or enervated e.g. Plants languish in the drought or to be or live in a state of depression or decreasing vitality e.g.languished in prison for ten years
thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness;
or “all his bed thou hast turned” or “wilt turn in his sickness” ; meaning not the recovery of him from a bed of sickness to a state of health, but making him easy and comfortable on a bed of sickness; which, in a literal sense, is done when a sick person’s bed is turned or made, or he is turned upon it from side to side; so the Lord, by the comforts of his Spirit, makes a sick and death bed easy to them that believe in Christ. (John Gill)
About to head off to Botanic Gardens to see more of the plant creation. Always liked cacti, I guess because they are tough survivors in a harsh environment.
Botanics Pics
Satellite image of Riga.

City of inspiration is what they call Riga, possibly because of local art and music. We speak about inspiration (ideas) and contrast it with perspiration (hard work). But in life we need both. I would say inspiration leads to perspiration whether in art, science, sport, writing, or the spiritual realm. God’s word is inspired and inspires us to love and good works with the grace of his Spirit acting as the engine within.

It is extraordinary to think that God predestines, controls and purposes the actions of over 7 billion people on this planet not counting all the unconscious living creatures! It becomes a real act of faith when you pass through crowds in any city.
Image may contain: one or more people, people walking, crowd and outdoor

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To Riga and BACK (6)

” For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” Psalm 36:9. The Spirit, as Christ said, is a never-ending source of grace deep within, moving us to ever seek God and worship him. He is the only source of real, spiritual, heavenly, abundant life causing us to appreciate his abundant goodness in our earthly life. The light of truth and revelation of which God is the only source enables us to see things correctly with the mind of Christ. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Ps.119:128).

“4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: ………….23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. (Psalm 37)

By delighting in God he will give us the correct things to desire e.g. the advancement of his kingdom. Acknowledge him by praying for guidance and he will answer you. In certain situations all we can do is wait upon God, for example, the conversion of loved ones. Our lives are marked out by God with his goal in mind.

“5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.” (Psalm 38). Our self-inflicted wounds caused by sin are infected and horrible till treated by vigorous washing (debriding or maggots!), surgical closure or grafting or heal by slow secondary intention (Psalm 38).

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10). Every minister or preacher must have a recognised call from God and a body of believers. His credentials may vary greatly according to where he lives, his denominational background and his education.

Found Ineta in a local leather shop near St.Peter’s church. She was Marie’s friend in Ballymena some years ago when working in the town.

Took a 20-30 minute tram ride to Riga Zoo. Good value. Nice enclosures large and small from that of the giraffes to the poison arrow frogs and UV flourescent scorpions. Andean Condor and Polar Bear would have been much better in the wild I fear. Lots of building and improvement work going on.

Zoo pics and videos

To Riga and BACK (5)

Psalm 33:15. What does it mean God fashions their hearts?   John Gill is helpful:

Gill’s commentary

Romans 9

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

We have to say God fashions all the souls of men while simultaneously they are totally responsible for their depravity and all, whether righteous or wicked, will contribute to his purposes and glory.

Psalm 34: 2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad-the ONLY thing we should boast about!

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together-great verse for Christian marriage.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all-my experience!

Psalm 35:4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.

Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord chase them.

Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.

The angel of the Lord is Jesus Christ-his face is set against his enemies and the enemies of his people, and he does not stand idly by!

My daughter thought it should be cold here-no way! 24 degrees. Continental Europe which is consistently warmer than maritime UK and is same latitude (see map).


Blessed day of worship Limerick Reformed Fellowship live stream and local Reformed Church in Riga with a young congregation of young people with as many children as adults. I kindly received transmitted translation through an earphone and supper afterwards. See all pics here:

FB pics

To Riga and BACK (4)

Good though broken sleep. Psalm 29:2, ” worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”  Holiness is attractive and beautiful, sinfulness is ugly. The psalm goes on to describe the power of the word of God in creation. “ My times are in thy hand: .. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: ” Psalm 31:15,16. “ I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. ” Psalm 32:2. God leads us but expects us to use common sense, discretion and appreciate providence. “ Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” (v 11). Believers ought to be joyful people!

Romans 9:18, God has the absolute prerogative when it comes to who is saved and who is not.

Walked around huge market in the morning (see pics here),

read and rested pm.


To Riga and BACK (3)


View of Riga looking south to radio tower by River Duagava. The hospital is somewhere behind the old Russian science building left of centre. The arched buildings are a market and the train station (below) is nearby..

Psalm 25

v14  The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

v 18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

Psalm 27

v8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

Psalm 28

v2  Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Romans 8 

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, (nothing) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Went for a walk before breakfast, lots of old disused factories e.g a brewery (see pic).
Nurses not as efficient as in the NHS-no set routines-no supper last night so McDonalds! This morning at 0815 they got…”Es esmu gatava brokastīm, lūdzu”meaning  I really could do with breakfast please (Google translate) as I’d been up since 5am!
This music brought tears as I remembered running up Doury Road towards Clinty-Lord may it be possible again?

Twelve o’clock at night
Streets of many corners
The lunar river winds
Down the closes and the lanes
The night skips the sleeping years
And reawakes the memory
Takes me along the way
To the places of the heart

The days of summer came
Days of many heartache
Not to love is not to live
Not to live is not to feel no pain
So unlock this heart of stone
Teach me the ways of mystery
In the places where they say
Only the brave can walk alone

Having been discharged and said goodbye to Artur and Mr Slezins the neurosurgeon I took a cab to hotel and in the afternoon made my way to the Baltic Reformed Theological Seminary to meet Artis, a teacher there, and the first student when it opened in 1998 under the direction of Professor Gerard Van Grongingen. We had a wide-ranging blessed chat about theology, the state of the church, his family, the books available etc. I plan to visit his church on Sunday. After that walked round town (see photos *), did some reading of Ron Hanko’s “Coming of Zion’s Redeemer”, had supper at KFC and back to base.

*FB page

My experience so far is like that of Nehemiah in Neh.2:8,18…”according to the good hand of my God upon me.” Praise Him.

To Riga and BACK (2)

Psalm 21:6-wonderful truth concerning Christ and all who are his-blessed and glad for ever!

Psalm 22-note that the suckling infant (David in this case) exhibited the spiritual grace of hope AND was in covenant fellowship with God (i.e. regenerated) as a babe.

Psalm 23-his rod of correction and staff of guidance comfort me

 “thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”-we are anointed prophet, priest and king and from our bellies flow rivers of living (spiritual) water, all by the Holy Spirit. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”-what fantastic promises!

Romans 8 -more of what the blessed Spirit does, frees me from the law of sin and death. Perhaps the greatest experiential proof of the truth of gracious salvation.”That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us”-we are saved to keep the law! Because Jesus rose from the dead, so will we. We must mortify (kill) the deeds of the body-all sinful thoughts, inclinations and acts. All of this by the Spirit by whom we also cry, Abba, Father.

Bit of a lacklustre day. Walked a few miles up the river past McDonalds and a huge radio mast with a microlite aircraft with floats above in the sky. Physio advised me. Now need to catch up on sleep. Discharge tomorrow.