Do non-Jewish Christians become "spiritual Israelites"?
AND AS MANY WALK ACCORDING TO THIS RULE, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
The popular theory that Israel has been replaced by the Gentile church goes hand in hand with the belief that converted Gentiles become “spiritual Israelites” in God's eyes, and the church is now not just the “new Israel” but also the “true Israel”. Belief in the biblical legitimacy of “spiritual Israeliteness” is almost universal among scholars. Davies says,
In the death of Jesus the old Israel had come to an end, and yet in the Resurrection it had begun anew, and there was therefore a real continuity between the Israel of the Old Testament and the Christian Church, and in the latter Paul sees the world-wide growth of the true Israel, an Israel formed of those who had accepted the claims of Jesus as Messiah (1995, p. 75).
Ladd is hard to beat for clarity on the issue:
Paul avoids calling the Church Israel, unless it be in Galatians 6:16, but this is a much disputed verse. It is true, however, that he applies prophecies to the church which in their Old Testament setting belong to literal Israel; he calls the Church the sons, the seeds of Abraham. He calls believers the true circumcision. It is difficult therefore to avoid the conclusion that Paul sees the Church as spiritual Israel (ed. Clouse 1977, p. 25).
Robertson is also helpful:
From the most ancient history of the Abrahamic covenant, the “ingrafting” of those not of natural Israelite birth was made a possibility (Gen. 17:12, 13). Through the incorporation of the proselyte, peoples of any nation could become Israelites in the fullest sense (1980, p. 39).
Where did this concept of “spiritual-Israeliteness” arise? It was first promulgated by the renowned early Catholic theologian, Augustine. Boyer tells us,
... theologians from the dawn of Christianity have pondered the Bible's prophetic references to the Jews and Israel. St Augustine saw them as allegorical allusions to the Church; the Jew qua Jew had no eschatological role. This approach became Catholic doctrine, and remained so (1992, p. 181).
Though most Bible readers have slavishly toed Augustine's line ever since, some scholars take the position that confusion reigned in the New Testament; it simply was not consistent on the matter. Davies declares,
… the epistles of Paul reveal a conflict… which was never completely resolved, a conflict between the claims of the old Israel after the flesh and the new Israel after the Spirit… It is, indeed, from this tension that there arise most of the inconsistencies that have puzzled interpreters of Paul… (1995, p. 58-59).
Davies sees Paul's uncertain note arising from the inconsistencies within the Judaism of his day about the place of Gentiles, and thus by extension, Israel itself, in God's scheme. Paul's writings, however, did not spring from his immersion in Judaism but from within the Old Testament.
Though we agree that the church and Israel of old are umbilically linked, we dispute the notion that the “true Israel” consists of all who accept Jesus Christ, or that Gentiles can become Israelites in any sense of the word. Gentiles who accept Jesus are bona fide seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:29), but they are not “true Israelites”. (For a thorough exposition of Galatians 3:29, see the Dawn to Dusk book Shechem to Calvary: the Story of the Covenants.)
What's the truth? Do converted Gentiles become spiritual Israelites? Few questions are of greater significance in understanding the message of the Bible and the purposes of God.
Replacement theology and spiritual-Israel theory exhibit inherent gross illogicality. As pointed out by Beale, a chief plank in the argument is that Old Testament prophecies about Israel are fulfilled in the church, which contains a mix of Israelite and Gentile:
Therefore the church is the true Israel in so far as they are now receiving the prophetic promises intended for Israel in the Old Testament (ed. Beale 1994, p. 231).
Consistency would require the opposite as being equally valid. Thus, he should also have said:
Therefore the church is the true Gentile world in so far as they are now receiving the prophetic promises intended for Gentiles in the Old Testament.
The chief plank is wobbly indeed. Yank it out and you have one pile of rubble on your hands. Not only that, but the whole concept of “spiritual Israel” is extremely fuzzy. Ask spiritual Israel adherents the question, “What does the phrase spiritual Israel , applied to the church, actually reveal about the church?”, and the shuffling will amaze you.
Neither Jew nor Greek
Another vital underpinning of the spiritual Israel philosophy is the teaching of Galatians 3:28 that in Jesus Christ all distinction between Jew and Greek is forever abolished in the race for salvation:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).
Absolutely; neither gender nor race has any bearing on one's access to Jesus' atoning sacrifice and sanctifying high priesthood. What we oppose is the non sequitur that turns this ancient biblical truism about natural spiritual equality of all mankind into a denial of different, divinely-assigned roles in salvation's earthly strategy. We oppose the popular interpretation of this passage as a striking innovation teaching that “the old distinction between Jew and Gentile has been wiped out” (ed. Clouse, p. 51).
Paul is not here giving a reinterpretive twist to Old Testament teaching. He is authoritatively saying that from the very beginning participation in Abraham's literal spiritual seed has been open to all. (Interestingly, as Hamilton brings out [1990, p. 149], Paul's reference to male and female actually teaches that, “… it is not necessary for a woman to join herself to a man any more than it is necessary for a Gentile to become a Jew” in order to enjoy God's grace.) Election of Israel for a leading role never changed that primitive truth. As prophesied, all nations will become one family in Jesus when the veil is removed and they recognize their Savior in Jesus. That has already begun in the church. Though not a blinding new revelation, many Jews of Paul's day would have seen his words as such. It was part of the disclosed yet unperceived mystery of the ages. (For a thorough explanation of the great mystery, see the Dawn to Dusk book, “Showdown in Jerusalem: Conflict in the Early Church”.)
Vive le difference
The distinction between Jew and Gentile is an everlasting one. Numerous Old Testament passages cannot be read any other way. Take Jeremiah 31:36-37 as an instance:
“If those ordinances depart from before Me”, says the Lord, “then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever”. Thus says the Lord: "If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done”, says the Lord.
The signal is crispy clear: ethnic Israel will endure forever. To suggest that in the new covenant era Gentiles are absorbed into Israel amounts not to reinterpretation of such a passage but gross distortion of it.
New Testament writers, in fact, faithfully perpetuate the Old Testament teaching, treating unregenerate physical Israel as still being the people of God in some real way, even though they also see Christians of all nationalities as God's people. In singing God's praises at the birth of Jesus, old Simeon described Jesus as, “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel." If Luke wished to abolish all suggestion of Israel still constituting the “people of God” he would have recoiled at quoting Simeon's ignorant paean. Matthew 2:6 speaks of “my people Israel” in an obviously non-church manner.
Towering above all other New Testament “Israel-forever” passages is Paul's famous dissertation in Romans 11 where he speaks of Israel's future “acceptance” by God as nothing less than “life from the dead” (verse 15). While awaiting life's embrace, Israel remains special and dear to God. Even more dear to God are those Israelites and Gentiles who pit their faith in God's Son now.
Now for a remarkable, even puzzling New Testament truth that some readers may find hard to digest. Consider Revelation 22:2:
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
The eternally saved in the new heaven and new earth will be grouped into “nations”. Revelation's richness in symbolism means that no objection could be lodged against seeing the nations as having symbolic reference. Nevertheless, the symbol has to represent a reality whose essence is best expressed for us by the normal meaning of the symbol. The existence of different nations in history in some way represents an eternal reality. See also 21:24, 26 for the same truth. What a wonderful thought — the one family of God, wherein all are of equal value to God, all equally loved by Him, will perpetuate distinctive attributes typified in the one human family today. Stop and think. Who would want it any other way? Variety will be the spice of eternal life. Individuals will be different from one another, and various “nations”, each with its unique attributes, will work together to bring not only harmony but diversity as well to the universe. Oh the riches of God's goodness towards us.
Could the current distinction between Israelites and non-Israelites be included amongst those future nations? Who can say for sure? But why not? Consider the possible significance of Revelation 21:12 in this light:
Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.
Does this heavenly reality suggest a perpetuation of the distinction? Probably. This verse also gives us some truly interesting food for thought when you consider the possible significance of the symbolism contained here. Though Jesus is the one gate through which all peoples must pass to attain to eternal life (John 10:7), Jesus' “gateship” does not preclude the possibility that Israel also serves as some kind of gate, though obviously of a significantly different quality. Morris remarks enigmatically that, “This heavenly city is the true fulfillment of Israel's high calling. The ancient people of God is not forgotten in the final disposition of things” (1987, p. 243). Are we reading him correctly to take his meaning of “fulfillment” to include a continuation, in some way obscure to him, of Israel's special role?
The Book of Revelation sets forth another remarkable example of the perpetuation of distinctives. In the last days prior to Jesus' return, when things are really hotting up on earth, God will shield the church from the deadly plagues to strike mankind by putting a special protective seal on the faithful. That band of stalwarts will consist of 144,000 Israelite Christians (7:4) and an “innumerable multitude” of Gentile Christians (7:9-10). Even after all these saints have been glorified, God still refers to the 144,000 (14:1-3), suggesting the perpetuation of the distinction even into the kingdom of God! Can you believe that?
Even if the answer to these questions concerning an eternal role for Israel is “No”, the contemplation of a role for Israel in the past, together with the prophetic insights into her future role in Jesus' future millennial reign, shows that Jews are Jews and Greeks are Greeks in the body of Christ even today. This fact is in full accord with the thrust of Old Testament prophecy which portrays Israel and the nations as cooperating in spiritual alliance with each, but nevertheless remaining quite distinct all the way through to the end of time. As Isaiah says of Israel in the closing words of his book,
“For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “so shall your descendants and your name remain” (66:22).
Israel's “name” and her national integrity remain secure forever. So too will Gentile equivalents.
Do Gentiles ever become spiritual Israelites in God's eyes? Come, let us reason together.
Spiritual Israelites, indeed?
Contrary to popular opinion the church does not replace Israel as God's new people, but perpetuates the spiritual seed of Abraham, consisting of “spiritual (converted) Israelites” and believing gentiles. If one wishes to use the term “spiritual Israelites”, a term that never appears in Scripture, it should be restricted to Israelites who believe. However, it would not be wrong to use the term for all believers with the proviso that it is understood in a purely metaphorical sense. Spiritual Israelites had long lived and worshiped God in truth alongside their brethren in the flesh who did not know God and His plan.
Also contrary to cherished notions, believing gentiles are never called Israelites, physical or spiritual, anywhere in the New Testament, Romans 2:28-29 ; 4:11, 16, 18; 9:7-8, 11:17 and Galatians 6:16 notwithstanding. Likewise, the church is nowhere called the “new Israel”, “true Israel” or “spiritual Israel”. Abraham's spiritual seed, however, incorporated both “spiritual Israelites” and “spiritual (converted) Gentiles”.
The great debate in the early church was all about whether or not Gentiles had to become naturalized Israelites. If Gentiles are automatically converted into spiritual Israelites by conversion, no naturalization would be necessary. If the early church believed in automatic naturalization, the point would have been given heavy coverage in the debate. Indeed, it would have been the final word on the matter. Yet during all the wrangling the point was never raised. Logically, it was not raised because honorary Jewishness was not a church doctrine.
Some argue that Gentiles have to become spiritual Israelites because no promises were ever made to Gentiles. This argument is simply not true. First, the patriarchal covenant incorporated a promise that all nations would “be blessed”, that is, enjoy opportunity for salvation, in Abraham's single seed, Jesus Christ (Gen. 22:18). In addition, the promise to Abraham that his seed would inherit the land held a dual significance — his physical progeny would possess the land in history and his spiritual descendants, Gentiles included, would possess the whole earth (Rom. 4:13) towards the end of history and beyond.
Physical seed to spiritual seed
Abraham's spiritual seed, the precursor of what is now called “the church”, existed long before Abraham himself! It also pre-dated the nation of Israel by millennia. God had a spiritual people long before He created and elected Israel to be His people.
God's intention for Israelites is to ultimately transform them from merely fleshly sons of Abraham into spiritual sons who walk as Abraham walked, trusting in the One Seed to Come. When Old Testament prophecy of a new, created Israel comes to fruition, God will have succeeded in this aim. That has already begun, mustard seed form, in the church.
What did Paul and Peter mean, then?
Paul and Peter both said things that are often construed, through the filter of replacement theology, to support belief in the alleged divine magic trick of turning Gentiles into spiritual Israelites. This terrible confusion reigns largely as a result of failing to grasp the biblical distinction between Abraham's physical and spiritual seed. Abraham's “literal” spiritual seed, in which there is no distinction between male and female, Jew and Greek, is more ancient than his fleshly seed through Jacob, otherwise known as Israel. Is it so hard to understand that Abraham sired “literal” spiritual descendants, some of whom are Israelites and some of who are Gentiles? Is it so hard to handle the concept that his Gentile spiritual descendants are not “spiritual Israelites” but are “spiritual Gentiles” — Gentiles of spiritual bent? Romans 4:18 says of Abraham, who is the father “not only to those who are of the law [Israelites], but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham [including converted Gentiles]" (Rom. 4:16) that he,
… contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be."
Abraham was to father many nations, fleshly and spiritual. “Spiritual Israelites” make up one spiritual nation; “spiritual Gentiles” make up the rest. This verse proves that the one spiritual community, or one new man, that composes the seed of Abraham does not abolish racial identity in the eyes of God!
Now someone will say: “But if Abraham's physical seed are Israelites, what is wrong with calling his spiritual seed spiritual Israelites?” This excellent question brings us to the crux of the matter. Nothing is wrong with using the term in a loose, figurative way. The damage is done when the claim is made that the Bible teaches the reality of the idea that Gentiles take on honorary Israelite status by conversion. Such a doctrine cannot help but spawn a false corollary — that the church is now the true Israel. If Gentile and Jewish believers are spiritual Israelites, it follows that the church becomes some “new Israel”; from there to church-replaces-Israel dogma is a very short step.
Both Israelites and Gentiles undergo a transformation of status upon conversion; they both become spiritual progeny of Abraham and children of God.
But let's be fair and briefly survey those New Testament “Gentiles-into-Israelites” passages.
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly… (NIV).
This translation certainly suggests that any man can be an “honorary Jew” if he is one “inwardly”. The spin put on this translation is inaccurate. The NKJV version of the offending phrase says simply (and more faithfully): “… but he is a Jew who is one inwardly…”. We should not find it hard to get his drift — a Jew by birth is a Jew indeed only if he also exhibits the attitude and behavior God intends His people to display, à la John 1:47.
Let's put it in modern terms to help us understand. Every Australian would fully understand what I meant if I were to say: “He is not an Australian who carries an Australian passport, speaks with an Australian accent and sports a dashing suntan. He is an Australian who believes in giving others a fair go, who would die rather than let his mates down, who reveres the memory of the Anzac digger.” Yet saying such things in no way implies that Chinese citizens who believe in justice and reliability and who admire Australian WW I soldiers are therefore Australians. We may call such people “honorary Australians”, but we do so with an air of patronage. Paul is merely saying that true Jewishness, like true “Aussieness” is of the spirit, not of birth. Citizenship, however, remains a matter of birth; Paul was not suggesting anything otherwise.
But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called." That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.
The “Israel within Israel” concept is biblical. What is important to realize, though, is that Paul is not reinterpreting the Old Testament, not dismissing the role of Abraham's unregenerate physical seed, not coining a new concept to handle the new spiritual community, but merely enlarging on what is plain Old Testament teaching. Not every Israelite was part of the “real Israel”, that is, those Israelites who worshiped God in spirit and truth and trusted in the promised seed to come. Note the context of this passage: “… it is important to recognize that the entire context of this passage deals with the problem of Israel and not of the Gentiles” (Saucy, p. 196).
The Old Testament itself repeatedly distinguished between the “real Israel” and Israel that consisted merely of fleshly descendants of Abraham. The prophet Habakkuk lamented (1:4) that the righteous within Israel were constantly maltreated by their countrymen. David wailed (Psalm 12:1) that the godly were vanishing from the country. Paul here continues that theme.
Putting the same thing in different words, Paul also says that not all Abraham's fleshly descendants are “children of God”. The children of God are those who know God, love Him and believe in Him and the Messiah He would send, regardless of nationality. But to conclude that all children of God are “of Israel” is illogical. As illogical as saying that a cat is a dog because both are mammals. The seed that Paul says such Israelites are “counted as” is not Abraham's physical seed (which right they have by birth) but his spiritual seed.
For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
This verse is another favorite, about which Saucy says:
Despite the absence of explicit statements calling the church “Israel,” some scholars maintain that this equation is formed in the way that the New Testament writers frequently apply to the church various terminology previously ascribed to Israel. One key example is Paul's assertion… that all believers in Christ constitute “the circumcision”… (1993, p. 202).
Judaism of the time habitually referred to Jews as “the circumcision”. They believed that life in the Age to Come was assured to all Israelites barring those who consciously turned their backs on God. In this one verse Paul strikes back with a two-pronged pitchfork. First, an accident of birth is not sufficient for a saving relationship with God. Second, and usually overlooked, is the truth brought out in an earlier chapter — circumcision is not a proprietary right of descendants of Jacob only, but of all who follow in Abraham's footsteps. It is a sign of the patriarchal covenant, not of physical descent. Gentiles who seek to come under the patriarchal covenant and thus become spiritual seed of Abraham should also start practicing circumcision. Jewish claims that circumcision belongs to Israel only are just plain wrong.
Is circumcision a token only of descent from Jacob? No. remember, Ishmael was circumcised, and that certainly was not given to show he was an Israelite.
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
Ladd observes of this verse:
Paul avoids calling the Church Israel, unless it be in Galatians 6:16, but this is a much disputed verse (ed. Clouse 1977, p. 25).
The “Israel of God” in this verse is often taken to include gentile church members. In fact, many believe this verse redefines Israel. That conclusion is unwarranted. Using the Old Testament to help us interpret the ambiguous verse suggests that it distinguishes between the gentiles (“as many as walk…”) and the Israelites (“Israel of God”) within the one body. Harrison says,
… “Israel” has not been used of Gentiles in these chapters, and it is doubtful that such is the case anywhere in Paul's writings, even in Galatians 6:16 (1995, p. 123).
Israel imagery in 1 Peter 2:9-10
This passage consists of a rich cluster of quotes and allusions from Old Testament prophecy about Israel. (Though some of the allusions are found in the making of the old covenant at Sinai, as described in Exodus 19, they are also incorporated into later prophecy. Israel under the old covenant failed to be a royal priesthood, holy nation and special people; later prophecy insists they will eventually succeed.) Peter declares,
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
The Israel imagery contained in these allusions, coming mainly from Isaiah and Hosea, is generally assumed to be applied by Peter to the entire church, Jew and Gentile alike. Bruce says that Peter employs terms that “… earlier applied to Israel [but now] are applied to Christian communities" (1968, p. 62) . Wheaton's commentary on Peter (Guthrie & Motyer, eds. 1970, p. 1237) encapsulates the view that 1 Peter “… is full of the truth that the Christian church is the true Israel of God”. Speaking of the quote in verse 10 from Hosea's prophecy about Israel, Glenny (ed. Blaising & Bock, p. 177) reckons that although “… in the stream of tradition Hosea 1–2 was always used as a reference to Israel… an exception occurs in Romans 9 and in 1 Peter 2.” Peter, he believes, applied Hosea's words to converted Gentiles.
The most elegantly simple way of understanding Peter is to take his epistle as being written to a Jewish audience. If so, all theories that Peter sees the church as replacing Israel as the “true Israel of God” fall apart. When he uses Israel imagery in describing his audience he is doing so for a simple reason — his audience is Israelite. Peter applied Hosea exactly as Hosea's audience would have understood it — as referring to Israel only. But over-confidence as to the composition of Peter's audience would not be wise. Before we show why Peter's epistle is best understood that way, consider a few alternative explanations that allow both for Israel prophecies being applied to the entire mixed church yet do not require that Peter meant converted Gentiles are now the true Israel:
He is using these texts in an allegorical way, taking the concepts they express about Israel's special calling and applying them loosely to the church, which, as Abraham's spiritual seed, also has a special, holy calling. Glenny says that such use would “indicate that his recipients were like Israel in their analogous circumstances but not necessarily connected in any other way and thus not in any way fulfilling prophecies concerning Israel…” (ed. Blaising & Bock, p. 180).
Prophecies about Israel have a literal fulfillment in Israel, but also a typological fulfillment in the church. Israel is a type of the church.
The church inherits the promises covenanted to Israel of old yet without pushing Israel into oblivion (Barker, ed. Blaising & Bock, p. 322).
Israel's privileges and obligations are logically appropriated, by extension, to Abraham's spiritual seed, consisting of both Jews and Greeks.
Each of these explanations has its pros and cons. Because they all have weaknesses, they are probably all wrong. Peter was simply not writing to Gentiles!
Written to Israelites
A number of scholars have argued for a primarily Jewish audience for Peter's letter. They are probably right. What external logic requires that every New Testament epistle had to be written to both converted Jews and converted Gentiles? The epistle to the Hebrews was clearly penned for Jewish eyes, though its highly spiritual truths are of value to all. Concerning Peter, Wheaton argues (p. 1237) that “…there is… plenty of evidence… that the writer had Gentiles in mind…”. He adduces 1:14, 18; 2:9, 18ff, and 4:3-5 as his evidence. Please examine each one and decide for yourself if such passages really require a Gentile audience. On the contrary side, the most powerful evidence that it was directed to an Israelite audience is its opening words:
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus… (1:1).
Let the New Geneva Study Bible comment about the meaning of “Dispersion”:
The word (Greek diaspora ) was a technical term among Greek-speaking Jews for the Jews living outside Palestine (John 7:35). Here it is probably used figuratively to describe Christians as people who are away from their true homeland.
Why read Peter figuratively? Plain reading suggests that Peter was writing to Christian Jews of the Diaspora who were facing various trials that their Gentile brethren were exempted from because of their allegiance to Jesus. In that case, Peter's use of Old Testament prophecy about Israel fits perfectly into the concept explained earlier about the initiated fulfillment of prophecy within the body of Christ.
Peter and Paul neither reinterpreted nor twisted Old Testament revelation.
References and notes
Beale, G. K. (ed.) 1994, The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Texts, Baker Books, Grand Rapids
Blaising, C. A., and Bock, D. L. (eds.) 1992, Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids
Boyer, P. 1992, When Time Shall Be No More, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge
Clouse, R. G. (ed.) 1977, The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove
Davies, W. D. 1995, Paul and Rabbinic Judaism, S.P.C.K., London
Guthrie, D. and Motyer, J. A. (eds) 1970, The New Bible Commentary Revised, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester
Hamilton V. P. 1990, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: Genesis 1-17, Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids
Harrison, E. F. 1995, The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Romans, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids
Morris, L. 1987, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: Revelation, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester
Robertson, O. P. 1980, The Christ of the Covenants, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Phillipsburg
Saucy, R. L. 1993, The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids
Dawn to Dusk publications
Other printed material
On the Web
Showdown in Jerusalem investigates the mystery of what Paul was really struggling against when he wrote the "infamous" letter to the Galatian believers. It shows that only Israelites born are true Israelites.
A Google search on "spiritual Israel" will provide more than enough material to keep the interested reader occupied for many hours.
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