There are three main teachings regarding Israel and the Church.
The first one and probably most widespread throughout the Church is that the Church is now the Israel of God.
Because of the fall of Israel, the Church now has taken over all the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this Church is made up Jews and Gentiles, the majority being Gentiles, this view is the main view of the reformation, Calvin, and Luther and others basically aliened themselves to the main body of this teaching.
The other view is that Israel and the Church are the same thing, the Church has been grafted into all of Israel’s promises and covenants, we now are apart of the nation of Israel through our union with Messiah, this view is not as common as the first view, but still believed by many, this view is generally held by messianic Jews and others.
The third view and probably least held of the three, is that the Church and Israel are two different entities, Israel has it’s own destiny separate from all others, and the Church has its own destiny separate from Israel.
Through a lot of study of great theological works from all three related views, I myself feel I have come to the conclusion that there is truth in all three positions, but I believe the closest view in my opinion is the third.
How can you say that the church is now part of Israel after reading Paul’s letter to the Galatians?
When he says that there is neither Jew nor Greek, Paul basically says that we loose our natural heritage when we are baptized into Christ, we become a new creation, which is neither Jew nor Gentile, this is one of Paul’s early letters.
Maybe he wasn’t yet fully clear in his new position, I very much doubt that.
Then when we go to Ephesians, Paul makes it sound like we are part of Israel and all their promises and covenants, we have been brought in through the work of Christ on the cross, we are no longer aliens and strangers, but fellow members of the body of Messiah,
Then we go to the prophets and read about the promises given to the nation of Israel.
You just can’t make any sense regarding these things.
How can the Church be apart of Israel’s national promises?
If we are neither Jew nor Gentile, then we are neither Israel, we are something altogether other.
So what is the Church? I believe It is a company of elected people out from Israel and out from the Gentiles, it is no longer Jew nor Gentile, it is a new creation.
Once we are baptized into Christ we loose our national heritage.
This Church is an other worldly reality, it is in this world, but not of it.
It has a destiny, but not in this world, Gods promises to the nation of Israel are in this world, not this present age, but this present world, its destiny is to be the central priestly nation of the nations of this world.
It is a earthly calling, the calling of this mystical body of Christ is a heavenly calling.
It requires a different body for this calling, a spiritual body, Israel’s call requires an earthly body of flesh and blood.
It’s hard for a natural Jew to grasp this truth that through baptism he is now no longer a natural Israelite, he now is a member of the body of Christ, which is neither Jew nor Gentile.
The Church is kind of like Elijah and Elisha, right now Elijah has the mantle of Gods witness to the nations, but when the Church is taken into the heavens, the Mantle will fall with a double portion on Israel the earthly nation, which is still left in this world.
The bible is clear that the Church will be taken out of this world, Israel will not, Israel will remain with the rest of the nations of the world, so how can Israel and the Church be the same thing, I don’t see any sense in it.
It is very clear in scripture that the nations of this world will carry on, also Israel the earthly nation is still here when the Lord returns.
That age to come there is still death and life in this world, but things begin to reverse, it says that life will increase, people will live longer, the curse is lifted, but people continue to populate the earth. It sounds like for a thousand years?
The church is an otherworldly creature after the resurrection, no marriage no children, its a completely different kind of a reality in Gods creation.
The church cant be Israel, it is taken through some form of a rapture into the heavens.
The Vocation of the Church is not that clear in the scriptures, it does talk about ruler ship and governmental authority, but this authority is in the heavens, which rule this cosmos.
This world answers to the heavens, this is the real place of power and authority.
Will this Church be visible in the age to come, we don’t really know, we don’t see the principalities and powers who sit in the place power right now.
The Church’s destiny is to inherit the governmental authority over the nations, which is now held by the principalities and powers of this present age, so we are not sure if this will in any way change in the age that is to come.
If Christs resurrection body is a type of the church’s eternal heavenly body, then its sounds like the church will be a two dimensional creature, able to move in the heavenly but also the earthly realms.
We do know that the heavenly Church and the earthly nation will be related in some kind of a common vocation through Christ.
The Church will be ascending and descending with the elect angels on the elect nation of Israel. Its like Israel will be the earthly vehicle that releases the heavenly Church into blessing the nations.