The issue is this: you Jerry cannot interchange “church” and Israel as you have done in yesterday’s post.
So here is my answer. I gave yesterday the footing on which to make a scriptural case. The issue is this a dispensationalist scholar can use the 144 thousand as an allegory to mean Jewish evangelists, but I cannot use this allegory to represent the church, even though I support my case with scripture.
The argument goes something like this: Jesus said that He would build His church “future tense”. The question we must ask is what did that statement mean to His Jewish disciples? They apparently thought that they knew, because they didn’t ask: “what is a church?” Why didn’t they ask this question? The word used by Jesus was Ekklessia translated church. It was a familiar term to them. The word appeared in the Old Testament and had come to mean an assembly of God’s people. Peter had just told Jesus that He was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. So they understood church (our term). So why was Jesus’ church future and did it include Israel? Jesus was introducing the new covenant. It was promised to Israel. It required the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus to implement. Jesus stated to the Jews that His sheep knew Him and would follow Him. He also stated that He had other sheep that were not in Israel’s fold that He must also bring (John 10:16). God’s plan has always been to save Jews and Gentiles and to place them into one flock or Ekklesia. This is not a Gentile concept. Gentiles are the addition to it. Abraham was given this promise.
Jesus actually saved Old Testament Israel first. Those who had believed Him and His word from Israel and who were dead and not of the living remnant were in Paradise awaiting His deliverance. He entered paradise the place of Abraham’s bosom and delivered paradise to the Father before any of the disciples were even saved. We therefore have entered into the commonwealth of Israel. You can read about this Ephesians, and Romans chapters 9-11. You can also find other articles in the foundational section of this site. We welcome your questions and comments.