The Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones
The teaching that national Israel has forever been cast away and replaced by the Church is directly contradicted by the vision of the "Valley of Dry Bones" shown to the prophet Ezekiel. The prophet writes that he was set down in a valley which was full of bones (Ez. 37: 1). He identifies those bones as being the "house of Israel":
"Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off on our part" (Ez.37:11).
The prophet reveals that national Israel will return to life after receiving the "word" and "Spirit" of God:
"He said to me, Prophesy upon these bones: and say to them, O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones, Behold, I will cause Spirit to enter into you, and you shall live"(Ez.37:4,5; RSV).
The nation will be reborn by hearing the word of God and having the Lord put the Holy Spirit in her:
"So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army" (Ez.37:10).
This vision is showing that national Israel will be revived. It is not showing that national Israel will be replaced by the Church. That which is described as being dead (national Israel) is the same entity which will be brought back to life.
Has National Israel Been Brought Back to Life?
Let us look at another OT prophecy that is in reference to the time when the nation of Israel will be reborn:
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn" (Zech.12:10).
Despite the fact that this prophecy refers to the rebirth of national Israel by the Spirit Gary DeMar writes that the later half of this verse refers to the "judgment" of national Israel that happened in A.D.70:
"More than a million Jews died at the hands of the Roman army. Their Savior had come, and they had crucified Him forty years earlier. Again the language of judgment is familiar to students of the Old Testament: 'And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look upon Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born' (Zech.12:10)" [emphasis mine](DeMar,Last Days Madness, 167).
Is it not clear that those who will receive the Spirit of grace are the same ones who will mourn for Him?:
"I will pour out...on the inhabitants of Jerusalem... the Spirit of grace...so that they will look upon Me...and they will mourn for Him..."
According to Gary DeMar it was unbelievers who mourned for Him when Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D.70. This interpretation presented by Gary DeMar is a perfect example of how the preterists must twist the Scriptures in order to make them fit their ideas.