Modified 10/7/07 and 10/24/2015

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

 Romans 15:4

Out of Context: “If my people…”

How many of us, in the last 15 years, have heard the following Old Testament scripture used as if it were written to Americans?

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

The message that is advocated is that if American Christians will do this, this, and this, God will make America great again. But God has never promised to make America great under any circumstances.

Of course, this verse was not written to Americans. It was written to the people of the ancient nation of Israel. To try to apply it to America is to take it out of context. This promise of God was not made to America. It was made to ancient Israel. It no more applies to us in America than to Noah in his time and country. Noah and his family did humble themselves, and sought God’s face, and turned from their wicked ways. God forgave their sins, but he did not heal their land. It was destined for judgment and destruction. America is destined for judgment and destruction as is every nation of this pagan world system.

Misapplying the Old Testament

This is a general problem among those who profess to be Bible Believing Christians: Taking Old Testament scriptures that were written to Israel at a specific time for a specific purpose, and then trying to apply them directly to followers of Jesus in the New Testament Church.

This ends up causing many problems that distract from a pure devotion to Jesus Christ. These problems end up turning a New Testament relationship with Jesus into a religious system of food and drink and rituals and holy days. And as referred to above, it also causes Christians to pursue Nationalistic Patriotic Idolatry. 



The Old Testament as applied by the New Testament

The diagram above illustrates that:


  • The Old Testament was applied to Israel directly.
  • The Old Testament is the foundation for the New Testament.
  • The New Testament applies to the New Testament Church directly.
  • The Old Testament applies to the Church as it is drawn through the understanding of the New Testament; as it is interpreted and applied to the Church by the New Testament.
  • The Old Testament does not apply directly to the New Testament Church.

The Old Testament was a shadow of what was to come. The Law was given to show us our need for a savior. The Prophets spoke to Israel. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law. The following verses are important examples of how the New Testament puts the Old Testament in perspective for the Body of Christ.

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  (Matthew 5:17-18)


“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…”  (Heb 1:1-2)


“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24)


Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ”. (Colossians  2:16-17)


“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect”. (Hebrews 10:1)


Many other New Testament verses show us, as the Church, what our priorities ought to be in these last days and interpret and apply Old Testament Truth for us in the Body of Christ:


“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”  (John 18:36)


“For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”          (Philippians 3:20-21)


“Let not then your good be evil spoken of. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men”.  (Romans 14:16-18)


Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ”. (Colossians  2:16-17)


“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks”   (Romans 14:5-6)


Note (12/29/02 – Modified 7/3/06): The Church has not replaced Israel. Rather, gentile believers have been ingrafted into the Israel  People of God; the Promises of God along with Jewish believers. God still has a purpose and a plan for the nation of Israel. What the “nation of Israel” consists of and what it does not consist of… I’m still examining. I am convinced that how God deals with his people, believing Jews and gentiles, is different in some ways after Messiah came versus before Messiah came.