…there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies…
~2 Peter 2:1
The apostle Peter walked with Jesus and was undoubtedly impacted by His life and His teaching. It was Peter who spoke with great boldness following Jesus’s resurrection (Acts 2:14-36), and it was Peter who first brought the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10-11, particularly Acts 11:1-18). Peter was discipled by Jesus Himself, so is it any wonder that God used Peter to warn us about false teaching? One such warning is found in 2 Peter 2 where Peter tells us that false teachers will arise among us in the last days and will introduce destructive heresies.
Today, false teaching and destructive heresy surrounding the Abrahamic Covenant abound, and it is known as Replacement Theology. In a nutshell, the teaching insists that, because the Jews rejected Jesus, God has rejected the Jews. Therefore, the church is the “new Israel,” and all the covenant promises meant for the Jews are now bestowed upon the church. Nothing could be further from the truth!
God’s covenant with Abraham is found in Genesis 12:1-3, the ceremony is explained in Genesis 15, and the sign of that covenant is detailed in Genesis 17:9-14. Make no mistake…the Lord was intentional when He initiated this covenant with Abraham! Through it, He called Israel into existence and provided a way of world redemption! Abraham and his descendents were given a huge responsibility, as God planned to bless all the families on earth through that covenant. Unbeknownst to Abraham, Israel was to be the vehicle through which God would deliver the Messiah.
When we think of the Messiah, we think of salvation and, indeed, He is the object of our salvation. However, there is only one means of salvation today, and there was only one means of salvation then: faith! Romans 4:9 tells us that faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness. Abraham was saved the exact same way every believer is saved today: by faith! God cut covenant with Abraham in order to bring about salvation through faith…throughout every generation, even to you and me!
We misunderstand the Abrahamic Covenant when we fail to see that God’s covenant was with Abraham and his descendants forever, and that God’s ultimate plan was for Israel to be the light-bearer to the world. God laid the foundation with Abraham, then He confirmed the covenant with Isaac and Jacob; even changing Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 35:10) in confirmation that Israel would be the chosen vessel through whom the Messiah would come.
We know that Israel did not recognize the Messiah when He appeared (Luke 19:41-44). In fact, He was despised and forsaken by His own people (Isaiah 53:3). Yet, God did not despise or forsake them…and never will!
Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for light by day
And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
The Lord of hosts is His name:
“If this fixed order departs
From before Me,” declares the Lord,
“Then the offspring of Israel also will cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”
Thus says the Lord,
“If the heavens above can be measured
And the foundations of the earth searched out below,
Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel
For all that they have done,” declares the Lord.
Friends, as long as the Lord of Hosts gives sun to light the day and the moon and stars light the night, God’s promises to Abraham will stand! And as long as the heavens remain immeasurable and the foundations of the earth unsearchable, the offspring of Israel will not be cast off! Throughout life as we know it on this planet, God will keep His covenant with Israel. The church, though certainly blessed because of the covenant, has not and will not replace Israel as the object of God’s promises.
So, don’t be fooled by false teachers who claim that the church is the “new Israel.” That is destructive heresy, according to Peter, and we are far wiser to stand in unity with the Jewish people, rejoicing in their calling. After all, God is still faithful to His promise to bless all the families on earth through Abraham’s descendants! Praise God for His everlasting covenant with Israel, and His grace that simply requires faith to become a child of God…and a member of the blessed family!
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe [have faith] in His name.
~1 John 1:12