Israelology: A Biblical-Theological Perspective of the Past, Present and Future of Israel

This article was submitted to In die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi in the morning of 23 December 2016 (South African time), which turned out to be an important day for Israel at the United Nations. The article was written in Afrikaans with an English abstract. The Afrikaans article is the accredited, official article. The reason why an English translation exists is because the Afrikaans article and this English translation contain the following dedication: This article is dedicated to Dr Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum and Ariel Ministries.

Israelology, the study of Israel, is necessary for any theological system. In the past, God made unconditional covenants and other promises to Abraham and his descendants through Jacob. Not all Jews appropriate these blessings from God in faith. There has always been, however, a faithful remnant in Israel who believed the revelation and promises of God. Despite idolatry and repeated failure, even the unpardonable sin, God is faithful and has not cast away – not even temporarily – his people whom He foreknew. During the Church Age, the Jewish remnant is not only part of the Church, but also of the nation of Israel. New Testament revelation does not cancel, change, transcend, spiritualise, or idealise unconditional and still-unfulfilled promises of God to Israel. The term ‘seed of Abraham’ has multiple senses, and the fact that it can refer to the spiritual descendants of Abraham of non-Jewish descent does not change or cancel the promises that God made to the believing Jewish descendants of Abraham. Because God is faithful, Israel has a future. The present worldwide regathering of Jews to their homeland is happening in preparation for the judgement of the Tribulation Period. Christ will not return to the earth, however, until a future Jewish generation repents and calls on the Lord. Then, a second worldwide regathering of faithful Jews to Israel will take place, this time for the blessings of the messianic kingdom. During the Millennium, God will fulfil all outstanding covenant promises and prophecies, and in the same realm where both the first Adam and seventy nations once failed, the Last Adam will successfully rule over Israel and the nations to the glory of God. Israelology, the doctrine of Israel’s past, present and future, is the missing link in Biblical and Systematic theology.

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