"God Hath Not Cast Away His People"

Gary DeMar believes that the theocracy of Israel "went into permanent eclipse" when Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D.70. He says the following and then quotes Harold Fowler:

"Israel's entire ecclesiastical and political systems were judged when Roman troops sacked, looted, and burned the city...If these cataclysmic events are correctly interpreted as applying to Israel's defeat, then it is clear that immediately after their national disaster of 70 A.D., the once-exalted, unique theocracy of Israel went into permanent eclipse as God's light-bearers before the nations" [emphasis mine](DeMar, Last Days Madness, 152-153).

In other words, Gary DeMar holds the belief that the nation of Israel has been forever cast away as God's light-bearer. He writes that "beyond A.D.70, Israel as a nation plays no prophetic role" (Ibid., 398).

However, the Scriptures tell a different story.

"(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He sware unto them" (Deut. 4:31).

"For the LORD will not forsake His people for His great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you His people" (1 Sam.12:22).

Here we can see that it was the physical descendants of Jacob who made up the nation of Israel whom the Lord chose to be a special people unto Him:

"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt" (Deut.7:6-8).

The Lord's people in OT times were those of ethnic Israel, the nation according to the flesh, which was redeemed out of Egypt. We can see that same nation described here and we can know that those of the nation were not walking according to the spirit:

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said , These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt" (Ex.32:7-8).

So we can see that it was the nation of Israel made up of the physical descendants of Jacob that is spoken of here:

"For the LORD will not forsake His people for His great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you His people" (1 Sam.12:22).

Hath God Cast Away His People?

In the end of the tenth chapter of Romans and the beginning of the eleventh chapter Paul states:

"But to Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid" (Ro.10:21; 11:1).

In this passage when Paul speaks of Israel it is obvious that it is Israel which is made up of the physical descendants of Jacob which is in view: "All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people."

Paul is quoting from the OT so his reference to "Israel" at Romans 10:21 must be the Israel which had its beginning in the OT. Here is the verse which he quoted:

"I have stretched forth my hands all day to a disobedient and gainsaying people, to them that walked in a way that was not good, but after their sins. This is the people that provokes me continually in my presence; they offer sacrifices in gardens, and burn incense on bricks to devils, which exist not" (Isa.65:2-3; LXX).

At Romans 11:1 the Greek word oun is translated "then" and that word is a conjuction which serves to "subjoin questions suggested by what has just been said" (Thayer's Greek English Lexicon).

So when Paul asks, "Hath God cast away His people" the words "His people" are referring back to the people of whom he just wrote about, the Israel he describes as being "a disobedient and gainsaying people."

So when Paul asked, "Hath God cast away His people" he was asking if the nation of Israel that had its beginning in the OT had been cast away.

And what he says next makes it plain that God has not cast away the Israel of the OT:

"God forbid."

The Casting Away of Them?

"For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"  (Ro.11:15; KJV).

This translation of Paul's words here directly contradicts what Paul said earlier, that the Lord "has not cast away" national Israel. A better translation is this one:.

"For if their having been cast aside has carried with it the reconciliation of the world, what will their being accepted again be but Life out of death? (Ro.11:15; WNT).

The words "cast aside" here are translated from the Greek word apobole, and a form of that word (apoballo) is translated "throwing aside" in the following verse:

"And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus" (Mk.10:50; NKJV).

A blind man named Bartimaeus was sitting and begging in Jericho when the Lord Jesus entered that city. Bartimaeus cried out, saying, "Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me" (v.48). The crowd told him to stand up because Jesus was calling him. This motivated him to "throw aside" his outer cloak which was spread out before him to collect alms and to rise and to come to the Lord.

Bartimaeus did not "cast away" his garment, but instead he cast it aside in order to facilitate his movement of rising. And the same is true in regard to the Lord and national Israel. Since they would not come to Him in faith He would temporarily cast aside Israel as his agent in order to bring the truth of God to the Gentiles by Paul.

And that explains the following verses directed at the Gentile believers:

"For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief"  (Ro.11:30).

Due to the unbelief of national Israel Paul was made the "apostle to the Gentiles" and his preaching the "gospel of grace" to the Gentiles resulted in their "obtaining mercy".

Israel's "Full Inclusion"

"Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!"  (Ro.11:12; RSV).

The Apostle Paul speaks of the "full inclusion" of national Israel. He also says that "God is able to graft them in again" (Ro.11:23).

Sir Robert Anderson says that the casting aside of Israel is a judical hardening, and "this judicial hardening is to continue only 'until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in'; and the inspired Apostle adds, 'And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant unto them' " (Anderson,"The Coming Prince", [Grand Rapids: Kregel Publishing, 1957], 151-152).

Anderson then quotes Henry Alford (whom Gary DeMar quotes numerous times in his book Last Days Madness to support his position) to define the meaning of the words "all Israel": "Rom. xi. 25,26. Not every Israelite, but Israel as a nation"  (Alford, Greek Testament, Commentary at Romans 11:26).

"God is With You"

Israel's position as God's light bearer before the nations is now in eclipse, but the Scriptures directly contradict Gary DeMar's idea that "Israel went into permanent eclipse" as the Lord's light bearer.

The day will come when the following prophecy will be fulfilled:

"Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you" (Zech.8:22-23).