"The Israel Of God"
We begin this booklet with some valid biblical questions. We believe we shall give the biblical answers. Many are they who ask, 'Who are God's chosen people in the earth today?'' Who are His elect? Are they of the natural seed of the children of Israel? Are they the "Jews" according to their natural lineage? Are God's chosen biblical people the church of Jesus Christ? Are both the Jews & Christians to be rightful heirs of God's covenants of promise? A popular teaching is that the natural Jews are God's chosen covenant people & some even go so far as saying that any kind of concept of the 'kingdom of God" is strictly Jewish in nature.
It is commonly implied that the church must be raptured into heaven so that God can renew His separate program with the natural Jew. But is this truth? Is He going to remarry her in her present state? Is the law which is only temporary (Heb.7:12; 8:l3), able to somehow in the future, disannul the Abrahamic covenant (Psa.105:6-11) of which the church is now the ONLY partaker through the blood of Jesus Christ? Before one can answer these questions satisfactorily, we must find out just to whom the Abrahamic covenant pertains.
In the letter of the word there appears to be two chosen covenant peoples--even two major covenants. But are there? It has been well said, that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, & the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. The purpose of this study is to reveal that the whole Bible teaches only ONE acceptable seed, ONE family, ONE all-encompassing covenant, ONE ISRAEL nation as the true covenant "children of the living God." Ro. 9:26. This "NEW covenant" (Heb.8:8), "NEW Testament" (Heb.9:15) promised seed has been sown, & is risen to REPLACE the "OLD covenant" (Heb.8:9), "OLD Testament" (Heb.9:18) chosen seed, & its unfruitful, ineffective but once necessary life has passed out of God's present progressive workings, just as sure as have works of the Old Testament law - Heb.7:18; 8:13; 10:1.
Israel, of the Old Test. is a type & shadow of the "first man Adam", "the old man", the natural body. Whereas the new Israel of the New Test. is of the "last Adam", the "new creation", a spiritual body. Also, in a general type, we see God had in Old Test. times, two chosen corporate bodies of sons for a blessing. The firstborn was Jacob, typifying Israel OF THE FLESH - Ex.4:22; Hos.11:1. The second born body [the firstborn of the N.T.] was OF THE SPIRIT - Mat. chptr.1; 1Cor.12:12-14. In Gen.25:23 we also see two nations, a fleshly [natural Israel] & a spiritual [true "Israel of God"] wherein "the elder [in type to the regenerated spirit] shall serve [minister to] the younger [natural Israel of the flesh]." Ro.11:31.
"A Natural Body...A Spiritual Body"
Israel of old was chosen as the firstfruits nation of the fallen Adamic seed to receive & carry the revelation of the creative, redemptive, & restorative principles & promises of God Almighty - Isa.43:10; Ro.3:2; 9:4. It was revealed to them long ago, "I the Lord am holy, & have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.'' Lev. 20:26; Ex.6:7,8; 19:5, 6; 33:16; Deut.7:6, 7; 14:2; Isa.43:1; Am.3:2 etc. God later divorced Israel on the grounds of fornication & adultery (Jer. 3) & has married another woman, the N.T. church - Ro.7:4.
"I will call them my people which were not my people : & her beloved, which was not beloved." Ro.9:25. So when Christ, the firstfruit seed of the second & last Adamic creation man of the new order kingdom came (1Cor.15:44-50), His earthly seed of the old Adamic kingdom order, received Him not -Isa.53:3; Jn.1:11. Nor could they. God has blinded them in part in similarity to all others (Ro.11:32) in their inherent unbelief - Ro.11:20. It is all according to God's great plan of redemption & eternal purpose of which He & not man is in total control - Eph.1:9-14; Eph. chptr. 3.
In type, "the first man [son, seed, Israel] is OF THE EARTH: the second man [Christ, seed, spirit. Israel] is [OF] THE LORD FROM HEAVEN." 1Cor.15:47. The seed of Israel was first divinely sown a natural body or earthly nation. Through Christ, it is now being raised up as a spiritual body, a spiritual nation after the principle of Jn.12:24; 1Cor. 15:36. So we see even now, "there is a natural body [in death] & there is a spiritual body" [in life] - Cor. 15:44. There was an old nature but now in God's progressive work of redemption through Christ it is becoming a new nature. Whereas at one time natural Israel was the chosen nation, now spiritual Israel is that nation. The covenant seed is no longer carried through a natural body & lineage of people but through a new order spiritual body or lineage.
Now, only in Christ Jesus, "BY ONE SPIRIT are WE ALL baptized into ONE [new spiritual] BODY [nation], whether we be JEWS or GENTILES whether we be bond or free; & have ALL been made to drink into ONE SPIRIT."1Cor.12:13. The covenant of His peace (Isa.54:10) has not been totally removed from Israel, but is superseded by the gospel of the kingdom. Now "He hath called, NOT OF THE JEWS ONLY, but ALSO OF THE GENTILES." Ro.9:24.
The fore-ordained plan (Ac.4:28) of redemption & restoration has been graciously expanded in provision to include not only the natural [but no longer exclusive] seed of Israel, but ALL NATIONS, peoples, kindred's & tongues of the earth. God said, I will pour out My Spirit upon ALL FLESH." J1.2:28; Ac.2:16-24. See also.. Ac.9:15; 10:34-36; 15:9-11; Ro.2:10; 9:24-26; 10:12; Rev.14:6; 22:17 etc. Now in God's eyes, "there is NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE JEW & the Greek" (Ro.10:12) in either their regenerate or unregenerate state. "There is no respect [partiality, favoritism] of persons with God (Ro.2:11; Ac.10:34; Eph.6:9] in blessing or in judgment.
Israel constantly broke all the old covenants under the law - Ma1..3:7-18. Now there is of necessity in effect a "NEW" and "BETTER Covenant", "established upon BETTER PROMISES" (Heb.8:6-13; 9:15) wherein there has also been "A CHANGE in the priesthood & A CHANGE ALSO OF THE LAW." Heb.7:12. Christ, the new high priest & newly revealed King (Lk. 1:32, 33), "TAKETH AWAY THE FIRST [covenant, law, even the old Adamic order of kings & priests] that He may establish the second (Rev.5:10) by the which will we [of the new covenant law & nature] are sanctified [being set apart forever as kings & priests in a new holy body, city, nation, earth] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL." Heb. 10:10. This is now part of His continuous covenant offering for all, including natural Israel, [but this time] by a NEW & living way - Heb.10:16-20; 2Cor. chptr.3.
Jesus has been "made a surety of A BETTER TESTAMENT.'' Heb.7:22. A new kingdom seed of incorruptible life has come forth out of the shell of the old - Jn.12:24; 2Cor.15:36-38. Now Shiloh has come, & "the sceptre [rod, stick, branch, clan, tribe] of righteousness" has passed from the kingdom & seed of the natural Jews [Judah] to the kingdom of God & His newly created seed through Jesus Christ - Gen. 49:10; Psa.45:6; Heb.1:8. Because of Christ, "OLD things [even of the old covenant] are passed away, behold ALL THINGS [pertaining to the covenant] are become NEW." 2Cor.5:17.
The natural born Jews & Israelites ultimate inheritance as a special chosen nation is no longer in effect through their natural seed lineage & observance of the old law. It is in the new "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Ro.8:2) wherein the promises of inheritance are found. Paul questions, "Is He the God of the Jews only?'' Ro.3:29. Specifically, "the law & the prophets were UNTIL JOHN only - Lk.16:16. All the O.T. law & also the prophets promises have been fulfilled, or are being fulfilled (Mat.5:17, 18) in Christ & His New Test. spiritual seed body - Ro.8:3, 4; Gal.6:2; Isa.53:10.
Because of the New Covenant promises which now are only "in Christ Jesus", "neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but [only] A NEW CREATURE" (Gal.6:15)--a new creation man & holy nation brought forth in the living seed of "faith which worketh by love." Ga1.5:6. "And as many as walk according to this rule [standard of faith & practice], peace be on them, & mercy,
upon THE ISRAEL OF GOD." Gal.6:16.
The Galatians Paul spoke to were not Israel, for the most part. Israel "according to the flesh'' (Ro.9:3), but only through faith were become part of a new spiritual creation & a new spiritual nation. No one can be a subject or citizen of this true & now exclusive "Israel OF GOD" [Israel OF THE SPIRIT] until they become a new creature. The only way either a Jew or a Gentile can become a citizen in this new "COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL" (Eph.2:12) is to recognize, accept, & live under the governmental dominion of Him, who even now, is "a governor that shall rule MY PEOPLE ISRAEL." Mat.2:6. '"Therefore, if ANY MAN be in Christ, he is a NEW creature" (2Cor.5:17), "born again'' (Jn.3:7) of a "HEAVENLY FATHER" & of "the Jerusalem which is ABOVE.'' Ga1.4:26. Born of the promised seed & a higher order of man's faith, even "the faith OF Jesus Christ." Ga1.2:16; Ro.3:22. These now are "HIS PEOPLE.'' Rev. 21:3. These are "HIS SEED" (Isa.53:10) according to His covenant promises.
If the Bible says only those who have been "born again, not of CORRUPTIBLE SEED [flesh lineage], but of Incorruptible by the word [Spirit seed] of God" (1Ptr.1:23; 1Jn.3:9), are the "Israel of God", then all others apart from this including they who are the natural flesh seed of Jews &/or Israelites, are no longer in any way a part of the now acceptable "Israel of God." It is a truth that only "IN THE LORD [Jesus Christ] shall ALL THE SEED OF ISRAEL be justified, & shall glory." Isa.45:25.
There shall ever be only one valid & worthy Israel people. The covenant seed no longer is propagated in natural blood but is transmitted & reproduced in the spiritual blood covenant of Christ - Heb.9:12-14; Jn.1:13; Mat.26:28. Jesus said that His kingdom & all that it involved was not only with the Jews of this world but only with those that hear His voice of truth - Jn.18:35-37.
"Israel after the flesh"
It is plain in the scriptures that the born again church & not the Jews, are the true Israel of God. "That which is born of the flesh is [remains] flesh [even natural Israel], & that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.... ye must be born again" (Jn.3:6,7) to see, enter or inherit, & partake of the promises of God's new nation & kingdom. The natural seed of Israel are now nothing more than "Israel after the flesh." 1Cor.l0:18. "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh & blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." 1Cor.15:50.
This is just as true of the freshly lineage of the Jew or any other nationality as it is of the Adamic nature of man. The word of God clearly declares that it is the present eternal spiritual body of true blood bought, born again believers called the "church"
(Eph.1:22; Co1.1:18), who alone are "Abraham's seed", "the children of promise... counted for the seed", "the elect", "Jews", "the circumcision", God's "holy nation", God's "chosen generation", and "the holy city, New Jerusalem.''
In the Old Testament "the children of Israel", "the children of the stock of Abraham" (Ac.13:26) according to flesh descendants, through natural blood, were accounted as the righteous seed of God. It was a natural seed, & God has fulfilled some natural promises for them in the earth. But in the New Testament, only the "children of God'' who also are "the children of the resurrection", which includes born again Jews & Israelites, are counted worthy for the spiritual seed - Lk.20:35,36.
The natural Israelites &/or Jews were sure that they were the lone progeny of the seed of Abraham which God had promised to bless. They still believe this, even though Jesus told them in no uncertain terms, "I know that ye are Abraham's [natural] seed, but you seek to kill me because my [New Covenant] word has [yet found] no place in you...If ye were Abraham's children then you would do the works of Abraham." Jn.8:37-39. He told them of a truth that neither Abraham, nor God was their father but that they were "of your father the devil." Jn.8:44. So are all the unsaved considered to be under the power of Satan - Eph.2:1-3.
Those religious ones which rejected Christ, were no longer to be considered true Jews (Ro.2:28, 29), & John saw them to be of the church of Satan - Rev.2:9; 3:9. They are considered the same as the unsaved Greeks or any other nationality, in contrast to "the church of God." 1Cor.10:32. Flesh lineage now profits nothing - Lk.3:8; Jn.6:63. Contrary to present popular belief there is actually only ONE TRUE SEED of Abraham (Gal.3:16) in whom God is working. ONE CHURCH! Not two! The Lord has only ONE OVERALL PLAN and program of redemption, restoration, & salvation working in His creation. There is no longer one special plan for the Gentiles & another for the Jews.
Peter declared that God's present working is to "put NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US & THEM, purifying their hearts by faith." Ac.15:9; Ro.10:12. There is but "ONE BODY, & ONE SPIRIT, even as ye are called in ONE HOPE of your calling." Eph.4:4. Does God not now justify the CIRCUMCISION and the UNCIRCUMCSION equally through ONE FAITH? Ro.3:30. Are natural Jews any better or any more worthy or righteous than non Jews? Ro.11:31, 32. "As it is written, there is none righteous, no NOT ONE." Ro.3:9, 10.
In Christ Jesus, are we not now all made even of ONE FAITH & "ONE BODY (1Cor.l2:l2; Co1.3:15), "where there is NEITHER GREEK NOR JEW, CIRCUMCISION OR UNCIRCUMCISION?" Co1.3:11. Is God not now in the process of making both the natural Israelite & the Gentile nations "BOTH ONE, for to make IN HIMSELF OF TWAIN ONE NEW MAN"? ..."that He might reconcile BOTH [basic groups-Jew & Gentile] unto God IN ONE BODY by the cross having slain the enmity thereby.'' Eph. 2:14-16.
It was revealed to Paul that all other peoples & nations also "are BUILDED TOGETHER for an habitation of God THROUGH THE SPIRIT." Eph. 2:22. Natural Israelites are being builded together Now in the same way & same time periods as anyone from any nationality. They must also be built on the foundation of Christ by grace & faith! "For [now] by ONE SPIRIT are we ALL baptized into ONE BODY, WHETHER WE BE JEWS OR GENTILES [Greeks]." 1Cor.12:13. Paul also told the Galatian Gentiles, "There is NEITHER JEW NOR GREEK, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for YE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. And IF YE BE CHRIST'S [born again of His seed of faith, into His spiritual family], [only] THEN ARE YE ABRAHAM'S SEED, & HEIRS ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE." Gal.3:28, 29. Yes, ye are "HEIRS OF THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM" (Gal.3:14) because ye are born "HEIRS OF THE GRACE OF LIFE." 1Ptr.3:7; Tit.3:7.
There is only ONE righteous spiritual seed or people in the earth unto whom all remaining & unfulfilled covenant promises made to Abraham & his seed apply. The fulfilled earthly promises include "the uttermost part of the earth" for their possession - Psa.l:8; 37:9-11; Isa.53:4. "For the PROMISE that he should be HEIR OF THE WORLD, [not just that tiny land of Israel in the middle East], was not to Abraham or his seed [singular] through the righteousness of law but through the righteousness of FAITH." Ro.4:13; Mat.5:5. "Know ye therefore that THEY WHICH ARE OF FAITH [no longer Abraham's imputed faith, but Christ's], THE SAME ARE [now the only seed recognized by God as] THE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM." Ga1.3:7. What promises? "The PROMISE which was made unto THE FATHERS, GOD HATH FULFILLED THE SAME unto US THEIR CHILDREN, in that He hath raised up JESUS" (Ac.13:32,33) to FULFILL THE PROMISE IN HIMSELF & His seed. God hath raised Him up "that the GENTILES should BE FELLOWHEIRS, & OF THE SAME BODY & PARTAKERS OF HIS PROMISE IN CHRIST BY THE GOSPEL." Eph.3:6-8; Ro.15:8.
Paul writes to the Galatian brethren who were before their conversion, Gentile & "without God", explaining "that THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM [even the gift of faith to believe], might came on THE GENTILES [Grk: ethnos" meaning--nation of heathen, pagan, unbelieving....all unbelieving nations at that time, including natural Israel - Lk. 7:5; 23:2; Jn.11:48-52] THROUGH JESUS CHRIST: that WE might receive THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT THROUGH FAITH...Now to Abraham & HIS SEED were THE PROMISES MADE. He saith not, And TO SEEDS AS OF MANY; but AS OF ONE, & TO THY SEED, which IS CHRIST." Ga1.3:14-16.
There is no separate redemptive covenant for the natural Jewish seed. This is the ONLY SEED that "should come, to whom THE PROMISE was made." Ga1.3:19. This ONE SEED is "the REMNANT of Jacob" (Mic.5:7), "the REMNANT OF ISRAEL" (Mic.2:12), even those who are saved (Ro.9:27) "according to the election of grace." Ro.11:5.
The yet unsaved Jew or Israelite is ABRAHAM'S [natural] SEED but no longer Christ's. Only if you, or they, "be Christ's, THEN YE ARE ABRAHAM'S SEED [also] & HEIRS ACCORDING TO THE [New Covenant] PROMISE." Ga1.3:29. Therefore, in God's eye's the natural JEW is now the same as any other unbelieving Gentile in stature, because he can no longer be justified merely "by the law of Moses." Ac.18:39; Ro.3:28:30.
"Children of Promise"
In Abraham's son Isaac [a type of Christ] was THE PROMISE of God's eonian COVENANT (Gen.17:19; 21:12; 22:18) which was first given to Abraham - Gen.l2:2, 3; 13:15; 15:5, 18; 17:4-8, 13; Ac.3:25, 26 etc. "NOW WE [Christ's] BRETHREN AS ISAAC WAS ARE THE CHILDREN OF PROMISE." Gal.4:28; Ro.9:7. The natural physical descendants of the JEWISH nationality are not! "Of this man's SEED [David - Isaac's flesh lineage] hath God ACCORDING TO HIS PROMISE raised unto Israel A SAVIOUR, JESUS" (Ac.13:23; Ro.15:8), & through Him beloved ones born of Christ, you "THE CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE ARE COUNTED FOR THE SEED." Ro. 9:8, 9. Paul's KINSMEN according to the flesh, who are Israelites, were ONLY of the natural seed of Israel. Paul was "born again" of the SPIRITUAL SEED which had its former natural roots in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc. & now finds its fulfillment only in the mature vine, branches, & fruit of Christ - Jn. chptr. 15; Mat.3:9; Ro.l5:12.
So we find not all are "Israel of God" which are of natural Israel (Ro.9:6); but now only are these people found, in the partaking of the PROMISED BLESSING of Abraham that comes of the Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ - Gal.3:14; Ro.1:5, 6. "Therefore it is OF FAITH [the faith OF Christ alone - Ro.3:22] that it might he by GRACE: TO THE END THE PROMISE MIGHT BE SURE TO ALL THE SEED; not to that only which is of the law [even natural Israel], but to that [spiritual seed] also which is OF THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM; WHO IS THE FATHER OF US ALL" (Ro.4:16), both Romans [etc.] & Jew ALIKE.
IN CHRIST "THE WHOLE FAMILY IN HEAVEN & EARTH is named."Eph.3:15. ONE CORPORATE FAMILY under the headship of Christ. Yea, through Abraham's seed chosen of God in the beginning, & finally through Christ's seed in the ages end "shall ALL THE FAMILIES of the EARTH BE BLESSED" Gen.12:3. Therein, in eventual fulfillment of promise, even "ALL [natural] ISRAEL SHALL, BE SAVED." Ro.11:26. The Lord who cannot lie saith, "My counsel shall stand & I shall do ALL my pleasure"concerning the things that are not yet done -Isa.46:10; Psa.33:11.
In summary, we see that the church is Abraham's promised seed, not the Christ rejecting Jews. All the promises in the Old Test. not yet fulfilled are for the Christians, who only, are the children of the promise. Isaac, the natural child of the promise, came as a result of a supernatural union & birth promised to Abraham & Sarah (Gen.l8) pointing to Jesus Christ, the New Testament spiritual Son of promise, who also was born of a supernatural seed & union - Lk.1:35.
Paul said to the Galatian believers, that we, as Isaac was, are the children of promise because we too have had a supernatural election & birth, being born again from above. So who is God's Israel? They are non other than the church, the body of Christ & the bride to be. A real Israelite is one who has power with God & with man. A proven, tried, tested & faithful one - Gen. chptr. 32.
Now take a look at who Paul said the true Jews were. HE IS NOT A JEW WHICH IS ONE OUTWARDLY; neither is that CIRCUMCISION, which is OUTWARD IN THE FLESH: but he is A JEW, WHICH IS ONE INWARDLY;& CIRCUMCISION is that OF THE HEART, IN THE SPIRIT, & not in the letter [or outward freshly lineage], whose praise is not of men, but of God." Ro.2:28, 29. Speaking to the New Covenant church at Colosse he said, "Ye are CIRCUMCISED with the.... CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST." Col.2:11. These are now the blessed JEWS. These are the chosen Israelites. ONE SEED, ONE BODY, ONE NATION, who have faith in one God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul received all his understanding in all this by revelation from God (Eph.3:1-6; Gal.1:12), & not through vain tradition of man. The New Test. criterion of the Lord is that Israel would bring forth fruit that is constant with the repentance they profess. Many of the prophets had said that if she rejected God she would be pulled up by the roots, & so she was - Mat.3:7-10; Mat.21:43; Ro.chptr. 1. Jesus is declared to be the new vine, & "the branches"consist of a newly created people called from every nation (Jn.15) to now form "the Israel of God!' Natural Israel are "natural branches" & descendants of a natural seed only - Ro. chptr. 11.
The Christian church is also the circumcision. Paul said to the Galatian church who are not Jews by nature, brethren, "WE ARE THE CIRCUMCISION, which worship God in the Spirit, & rejoice in Christ Jesus, & have no confidence in the flesh." Phil.3:1-3; Co1.2:11; 2Cor.5:16. Now, "it is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing" (Jn.6:63), neither in natural Jewish or Israelite lineage, circumcision, sacrifices, ceremonies, works of the law, works of the flesh, or whatever.
Eph. chptr. 2 also contrasts the saved & the unsaved - vs. 11, 12. "Wherefore remember, that ye [Ephesian saints & faithful in Christ - Eph.1:1] being in times past GENTILES IN THE FLESH, WHO ARE CALLED UNCIRCUMCISION. ..at that time [ye were once called Gentiles because] ye were without Christ being aliens from THE [natural & now the new creation of a spiritual] COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL, & strangers from THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE, having no hope...NOW IN CHRIST JESUS...ARE MADE NIGH [joined] BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST."
How often have people been asked to pray for the peace of Israel & Jerusalem? How often have you heard the tradition that you, even though you are a Christian, are a Gentile & that the natural Jew is still the chosen of God? We would say like Paul, "I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery." Ro.11:25.
"A Chosen Generation"
In the New Testament it is Christians only, & never natural Jews, who are revealed as God's "CHOSEN GENERATION" & God's "HOLY NATION." 1Ptr.2:1-lO. "They that are with Him [Christ] are called, & CHOSEN" (Rev.17:14; 2Ths.2:13; Jn.15:16; Eph.1:4 etc.) as was Christ Himself - Mat.12:18; Lk.23:35. Peter was writing to Christians (vs.2), newborn babes (vs.5), "lively stones", to a spiritual, not a natural house or people, who are "an holy priesthood' ' (vs.6), "ELECT & PRECIOUS." The lord Jesus has become the chief cornerstone of all these new & living stones. He is building only ONE spiritual nation, ONE spiritual temple! "This is the Lord's doing & it is marvelous in our eyes." Mat.21:42. Truly, God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." Lk.3:8.
It was before said to natural Israel, "Think not to say within yourselves, WE [only] HAVE ABRAHAM TO OUR FATHER: for I say..that God is able [out] of these stones [or any other substance that is even apart from your natural birthright & the hardness of your hearts], to raise up Children UNTO ABRAHAM. And NOW ALSO the axe is laid to the root of the trees." Mat.3:9,10.
As we have said, to be an Israelite of the promised seed, one must now be bringing forth good fruit of the spirit from "good ground" & not of the flesh, either in 30, 60, or up to 100 fold in God's spiritual measure - Mat.l3:23. Because the religious system of Israel rejected Christ as the chief cornerstone & bearer of good fruit, Jesus said to the Jews, 'The kingdom of God [& the exclusiveness of all it seemed to you to involve] shall be taken from you [as a natural literal nation], & given to A [newly incorporated spiritual] NATION bringing forth the fruits thereof." Mat.21:43. So it was! Ro.11:11, 30.
Beloved in Christ, there is that portion of the kingdom & holy nation that you can partake of even now. For now, you the church, not the earthly nation of Israel are "A CHOSEN generation, a royal priesthood, AN HOLY NATION, a peculiar people." 2Ptr.2:9. It is true that natural Israel is still able to obtain all God's promises (Ro.11:2, 23, 24) that they might be fulfilled, but in truth, they are to be found only in & through their salvation & faith in Christ. The "fulness" of the Jews (Ro.11:12) & "the fulness of the Gentiles" (Ro.11:25) shall be totally fulfilled "in the dispensation of the fulness of times." Eph.l:l0. There is ONE WAY all must come - Ac.3:12. That way is not through natural lineage & inheritance but through the inheritance of God's grace found in, Jesus Christ the Lord. There is only ONE new covenant, ONE New Testament, written for all mankind.
Another common fallacy which hides truth, is that natural Israel is 'THE ELECT" of God. To be as brief as possible, we will just list for your own study, a few of the main key scriptures showing beyond doubt that it can only be the New Testament "church" who are God's elect - Mat.24:22, 31; Ro.11:5-7; 8:33; 1Ptr.l:1, 2; 5:13; 2Ptr.1:10. To the Colosse believers Paul states, 'There is neither CREEK NOR JEW, CIRCUMCISION OR UNCIRCUMCISION...but CHRIST IS ALL IN ALL. Put on therefore, AS THE ELECT OF GOD, holy & beloved, bowels of mercy...even as CHRIST FORGAVE YOU, so also do ye." Co1.3:12, 13.
Who is now & shall yet be a part of "the New Jerusalem"? The natural Jews? Israelites? Most assuredly, but ONLY when they become a spiritual Jew in a totally new & different nation--citizens of a new city, a new government. They must come through Christ in the same manner as any nationality before they can become new citizens of this heavenly [spiritual] Jerusalem in the kingdom of God. What was Abraham looking for? - Heb.11:10-16. He found the promised land of earthly Jerusalem but the fulfillment of the hope was to be part of "a city which hath foundations, whose builder & maker is God." Natural Israel "hath NOT OBTAINED [the fulfillment of] that which he seeketh for; BUT THE ELECTION HATH OBTAINED) IT." Ro.11:7. Ye [as Christians, the only elect] are come [through grace] unto Mount Sion; & unto THE CITY OF THE LIVING GOD THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM...[in] to the general assembly & CHURCH of the firstborn (of Christ - Ro.8:29; Col.1:18)." Heb.12:23.
"Jerusalem Which Is Above"
Look what Jesus said to the woman at the well, to the church that could drink of His living water. He was saying...now that grace & truth was to come through His presence, that "the hour cometh & NOW IS when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit & in truth.'' Jn.4:23; Phi1.3:3. Many say, "that in Jerusalem [or in the literal holy land, the temple, or the church building] is the place where men OUGHT to worship - Jn.4:20. But the Bible tells us of a truth that no geographical place is necessary to worship Him as a true worshipper. We must worship the Father through Christ, with our hearts in willing service, not just with our lips - Mat.l5:8, 9; Ezk.33:31; Isa.29:13. All that matters is that we give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name - that we "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness" (Psa.29:2; 95:9), both "in spirit & in truth."
Beloved, there is a natural earthly Jerusalem which now is, & she is still in bondage with her earthly children - Gal.4:25. In type of Hagar, this bond- woman is Israel [both spiritual & literal] after the flesh. This parallels in type with "Babylon the great, the MOTHER of harlots", that corrupt woman & city of Rev. chapters 17 & 18. Both can only gender bondage whether it be in the flesh or in the spirit. But the NEW "JERUSALEM WHICH IS ABOVE IS THE MOTHER OF US ALL." Ga1. 4:26. She is the true spiritual mother & also natural progenitor of the multiplying church, the children of the promise, even the new creation Jews of Ro.2:28, 29.
The faithful & obedient children of the New Jerusalem in the true "Israel of God" are being prepared & made ready (Rev. 19:7), "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.'' Rev. 21:2. In perfect holy union , "the bride, the Lamb's wife", "that great city the holy Jerusalem" (Rev. 21:9, 10) shall be called "the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord...a city not forsaken." Isa.62:12. Unlike the forsaken literal city, they shall be called "a city of truth'' (Zec.8:13) & "they shall call THEE, THE CITY OF THE LORD.'' Isa.60:14. This has nothing to do with the natural city of Jerusalem. "ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE GATHERED UNTO IT [the throne - headship rulership, authority of Christ in thee], TO THE NAME [SPIRIT NATURE] OF THE LORD, TO Jerusalem." Jer.3:17; 33:16.
Tradition has taught us that God's chosen are still the natural Jew, & that everything for us as a Christian is in heaven; that Jesus has to hurry up & rapture us out of the earth so that He can renew His program & another covenant with the chosen Jewish nation. But, if the Bible teaches us that we are His only chosen, & that only through ABRAHAM'S SEED, THE CHURCH, shall all the families of the earth he blessed, then we had better stop & reevaluate this issue. The cop out for far too long, has been--that much of the Bible's truth concerning Israel is part of another covenant and for another day or another people. Beloved, that is actually "another gospel."
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, THAT I WILL PERFORM
THAT GOOD THING WHICH I HAVE PROMISED
UNTO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
TO THE HOUSE OF JUDAH."
K. Ross McKay