The Myth of Penal Substitution


That’s a logical question to which I’ll give a twofold answer: firstly posing a question using your own argument and position as advanced elsewhere on the forum, and then secondly using my position.

1) Would you agree it possible for anyone who has been declared… “the righteousness of God in Him” to indeed experience the wrath of God in terms of chastisement… just as any loving father might correct his son no matter how severe that might seem in the moment?

2) The bible is replete with examples of where God’s people have suffered the consequences of their actions in very tangible ways EVEN THOUGH being His redeemed people. With regards to historic Israel when it came to “remedial justice” under the old covent we find the following…

Psa 99:8 O LORD our God; You were to them God-Who-Forgives, THOUGH You took vengeance on their deeds.

Lam 3:31-32 For the Lord will not cast off forever. THOUGH He causes grief, YET He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.

So it was, there were times of punishment involving the outworking of temporal consequences in accord their faithless temporal actions i.e., their errant deeds had real time consequences in this life where Israel’s temporal pain was the fruit of their trespasses — thus their judgment.

Isa 54:8 With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; BUT with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer.

Isa 60:10b For in My wrath I struck you, BUT in My favor I have had mercy on you.

Jer 10:24 O LORD, correct me, BUT with justice; NOT in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.

These last two verses show the TRUE nature, goal and resolve of divine justice to be RESTORATIVE and NOT a carte blanche unrelenting wrath. God’s “justice” was met fully in Christ at Calvary, met fully in LOVE once for all.

So, with regards to the devastation of AD70 Jesus came as Israel’s prophet in the love of God forewarning His people of the impending doom about to come upon that old covenant system — it had served its purpose and was growing old and ready for extinction (Heb 8:13; 2Cor 3:11). Anyone choosing to hang onto to the vestiges of that which God in that transitional age AD30—70 was rolling up would unfortunately be rolled up with it… hence Jesus’ prophetic words of warning accordingly — many indeed fell foul under their own malediction when the chickens came home to roost at the close of that 40yr biblical generation…

Mt 27:25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”


As I have argued elsewhere, the Bible shows progressive revelation regarding the true nature of God. Old Testament saints were almost completely uninformed about Satan, and misattributed to God the destructions of the devil.

I no longer believe God is the one who sends prophesied destruction, as commonly believed, but that He exclusively tries to warn about danger in advance, and also to provide the way of rescue. In other words, God is genuinely a heroic fireman, humbly offering His life in order to save people; He is not bipolar: both warning, and destroying, both fireman and arsonist. I have argued that any perception of bipolarity in God comes from melding Him with Satan. That God is a unipolar, loving Daddy, who only gives life; the devil is a unipolar death dealer.

Deuteronomy 28, again and again, describes how the Lord will torture, oppress and joyfully destroy us, our families and our nation if we stop listening to God. The Lord will send “enemies” to enslave us, “wonderful plagues” to afflict us, and “famines” to cause us to become cannibals who eat our own children. I am just scratching the surface here. It gets worse, much worse. But the point is this– Satan is the one doing the plaguing, destroying and evil rejoicing here, not God.

The New Testament couldn’t be any clearer that all these curses of Deuteronomy 28 are the areas where Satan rules in his wrath, “wrath” which Revelation 12:12 says is “great” against the “inhabiters of the earth.” The Old Testament saints used the word “Lord” because they thought that the destroying force at work here was under God’s direct and obedient command. Bottom line: a New Testament reading should retranslate the word “Lord” here to read “Satan.” The wonderful blessings in the first fourteen verses should remain as clearly coming from Jesus, for that is the essence of His nature as a blesser, protector, and healer. All references after this describe the devil’s work, not God’s, so they must be properly assigned to Satan. (From SATAN: Old Testament Servant Angel or New Testament Cosmic Rebel?)


I agree there. Especially when I present my theory…that the Zombie Apocalypse…is the most probable, end-times tribulation scenario.


I am a futurist, and I do not believe that. Jews have a special position or purpose before God—nor does Israel. There is one Israel now that includes all of Christ’s disciples whether Jew or Gentile.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

Yes Jews and Gentiles still exist. Male and female still exist. But God does not have a special dealing with Jews that He does not have with non-Jews. Nor does He have a special place or purpose with men that He does not have with women.


And yet, Paul did make a point about hardness in Israel, which made a ‘spot’ for the Gentiles to come into the fold; and then the promise that all Israel (the same Israel?) would be brought in as well.


Do you think it was God’s plan all along to save gentiles, or was it only a “plan B” resulting from Israel’s rejection of Christ?


So to you, what does that mean?


Exactly! It says, "In this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.”

In what way was that? The previous verses state that God broke of some branches of the Olive Tree (Israel)—those who did not accept the Messiah that God sent, and who refused to be His disciples. But God also “grafted in” to the Olive Tree the Gentiles who became disciples of God’s Son—the Messiah. In this way, by taking out the unbelieving Jews, and grafting in the believing Gentiles, the entire “Olive Tree” consisted in true believers—followers of the Messiah. The “Olive Tree” was still Israel, but ALL of this Israel was now saved. If you and I are true Christians—disciples of God’s Anointed One, the Messiah, then we are true Israelites.

In this purification—cutting off some branches and grafting in others, “the Deliverer came from Zion and banished ungodliness from Jacob.”


What happened to the unbelieving Jews?


I’m not sure what you’re asking. I will say only that they were no longer part of Israel, the Israel that God purified. Oh, on earth they doubtless were part of what was called “Israel.” Today there is an entire nation of Israel, but they are “man-made” Israel, and God has no special promises for them just because they are called “Israel.”.

The only “Israel” that God recognizes is the true Israel—those who have accepted the Messiah that He has sent. It is they who comprise the purified “Olive Tree.”


Okay, I see what you’re saying.




He is the means of mercy concerning our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
(1John 2:2)

God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son that whoever entrusts himself to Him should not perish but have lasting life. (John 3:16)

Verses such as the above declare pretty strongly that God intended all along to save the whole world. And that will come about when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is his Lord.


Paul is also extremely clear on the one plan of God…

Eph 3:3-6 …how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,…


So davo, you think God wanted to save gentiles even before Israel rejected Christ? I wish that was the case, but IMO Paul’s writings suggest otherwise.


The promises to Abraham were for the entire earth to be blessed; this was before the giving of the Law to the Israelites. Paul is I think clear on that much. Israel was chosen, elect, not because of their intrinsic ‘specialness’, but to become a blessing for the entire Earth.


DaveB, you make a good point. However, Roman 11:11 seems to indicate that it’s only because of Israel’s rejection of Christ that salvation has been offered to gentiles.

11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.

What do you think of this verse?


It depends on whom you ask.


I don’t think God is un-generous; or that He grudgingly allows in the Gentiles. It was His plan all along, and the way he chose to do it, according to Paul, was His prerogative as far as I’m concerned.


And you think that based solely on your one understanding of one verse?? What’s wrong with considering Paul’s further words to the Ephesians — surely they’re fairly clear? Even in the OT there is provision after provision for those outside Israel to join her ranks in blessing.