Q316 : How to Respond to the Teaching that the Church is "Spiritual Israel"?

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Q316 : How to Respond to the Teaching that the Church is "Spiritual Israel"?

Dear Pastor Andy,

I am a believer in Christ Jesus.

A friend of mine just sent me the links for why the Church is not Israel. I just listened to all four of your teachings.

What a tremendous timely blessing for me.

My husband, a believer, and I just removed our membership from our church for 12 years. It was an elder-run church with premillenial beliefs when we joined but without telling the congregation they ordained an amillennial elder and now another elder just stated to me the true Church is Spiritual Israel.

I took pages of notes from your teaching but how do I defend the position when they claim they are spiritual Israel? They use some of the same verses in Romans to justify their view that you used to say the church and Israel are separate.

I deeply appreciate your attention to this question.

A316 : by Andy Woods

I’m sorry to hear about your local church’s trajectory. The bottom line is the word Israel has a technical meaning in Scripture. It always refers to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Israel word is used 73 times in the New Testament and it never once refers to the church, the Gentiles, or even a mixed audience between Jews and Gentiles. In the book of Acts Israel and the church are kept separate even in the transitional time, prior to the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. The words Israel and Church are each used about 20 times in the book of Acts and never is the term Israel used of the church in that book. If the church has indeed become the spiritual Israel as Amillennialists teach then it would be a very easy thing for the word Israel to be applied directly to the church at least once. But that never happens. This is even true in the famous Galatians 6:16 verse. I explain this at the link below. The only thing the Amillennialist is able to come up with is similarities between Israel and the church. However, similarity is not the same thing as equality. To say similarity is equality is to commit a logical fallacy. Thus, the church is not the new Israel or the spiritual Israel as taught by amillennialism

The following presentations may also be of interest:

In Him, Andy

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