I belong to a football message board (Houston Texans), and the owner of the site is a Jehovah's Witness. This is a copy of the post he posted, and don't know how to respond to it.
Can I get some help?
Thanks for the replies beforehand!
I know that many professed Christians believe that the literal nation of Israel is still in God's favor and at first glance it's easy to see why they draw that conclusion. However to hold that belief raises other questions and actually causes the Bible to contradict itself in many places, especially when compared to the Greek Scriptures. We know the Bible doesn't contradict itself so what can these prophecies about "Israel" really mean?
First off Jesus made it quite clear that the literal fleshly old nation of Israel would no longer be favored by God. Read Matthew 21:42,43 and Matthew 23:37,38. It just doesn't make any sense that they would retain or regain God's favor since they as a literal nation have rejected God's anointed king and messiah Jesus Christ.
The scriptures don't hold out any other provision for God's favor outside of accepting and obeying God's Son (Acts 4:11,12). This is the case even prophetically in the Hebrew scriptures. Read Isaiah 53:1-12 and Daniel 9:24-27. Both of those Hebrew passages clearly show that the Jews were in need of intercession and forgiveness. Could they as a nation reject the Messiah and expect to have the approval of the One who sent him?
The scriptures are clear who became the new nation of "Israel" after Jesus came and restored true worship. Read Gal 3:27-29 and notice "if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham's seed, heirs with a reference to a promise". This makes clear from God's standpoint that it is no longer natural descent from Abraham that determines who are really Abraham's seed. It's the "belonging" to Christ.
Also Read Romans 11:25,26. Notice that "Israel" is saved not by the literal conversion of the fleshly nation of Jews but by the people "coming in" from the Gentile nations. To get the correct understanding of this you need to take into account Romans 2:28,29 where it states "He is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision that which is on the outside upon the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one on the inside, and his circumcision is that of the heart by spirit, and not by a written code". Also Romans 9:6 "Not all who spring from Israel are really 'Israel'".
If you read those prophecies in Ezekiel, Isaiah, etc that at first glance appear to be referring to the literal nation of Israel you will see things that are inconsistent with the literal nation of Israel today.
For example in Ezekiel 37 some feel that is referring to the literal restoration of the nation of Israel that already took place however notice it says that "one king shall be king to them all". When the literal nation of Israel was restored it became a republic and is still so today. They are not a nation under a king, especially under the royal line of David. That prophetic king in Ezekiel is referring to Jesus and that Israel is spiritual Israel made up of spirit annointed Christians out of all nations referred to in Romans.
Look at the prophecy in Isaiah 2:2-4 referring to Israel. In Jerusalem today, where the temple was formerly located there is no "house of the God of Jacob," but, instead, an Islamic shrine. And there is no move on the part of Israel or its neighbors to "beat their swords into plowshares". Far from it, they are one of the most violent nations on the earth. They depend on military violence for their survival not divine protection.
All of these prophecies are symbolic referring to the "Israel" of Christ's brothers and their followers.
Also read Hebrews 12:22. This shows that it is not to earthly Jerusalem but to "heavenly Jerusalem" that true Christians look for fulfillment of the promises of God.