Sunday, March 11, 2012

Who are the Israel and chosen people of God?

Who are the Israel and chosen people of God? Most of us have been traditionally taught to miss there has always been two Israel’s in the Bible. One of the flesh, and the other after the spirit. (All emphasis added to scripture is mine)
While Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving the commandments of God in Exodus 24:12-18 not everyone was in on making the Golden Calf thing. There was Joshua and others on the side of the Lord. (Exodus 32:26) A study of the Old Testament clearly shows as far back as then there was a (Israel after the flesh, which later became nationalistic Israel) and (Israel after the spirit).
Not every person who came out of Egypt with Moses was Hebrew either. People from other nationalities who had a sincere desire to become a part of God’s covenant people God’s spiritual Israel were welcome and assimilated (absorbed equals) into “Israel,” through faith and obedience to the conditions of the covenant.
Alien were welcome. Exodus. 12:48-49 An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the mails in his household circumcised; them he may take part, like one born in the land... The SAME law applies to the native-born. The other verses are (Numbers.9: 14; Isaiah. 56:6-8) Joshua, converted to Hebrew. By "conversion" I mean he entered into the Mosaic Covenant but he had a sincere desire to worship the God of Abraham.
Under the Old Covenant system God always left the back door open for people from other nationalities who desired to serve the God of Abraham by faith. They were assimilated absorbed as equals as long as they were obedient to the covenant. It is interesting to note that in the genealogy of Jesus, there are four women listed, and two of these women were NOT biological descendants of Abraham. Rahab, the great, great grandmother of David Matthew. 1:5 was a common prostitute in Jericho, but professed faith in the God of Israel Josh.2:11 and became part of “Israel” along with her entire family (Joshua. 6:25; James 2:25).
Ruth, the great grandmother of David and daughter-in-law of Rahab Matthew 1:5 was from the country of Moab, but professed faith in God (Ruth. 1:16) and became part of God’s Israel with full approval from the elders of the city (Ruth 4:11-12). Neither of these women was a biological descendant of Abraham, but both were allowed to become biological ancestors of the Lord Jesus.
While the Gentiles as a hold were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenant of promise and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:11-12) God always left a back door open for any Gentile who had a sincere desire to worship the God of Abraham and become a part of God’s spiritual Israel.
God’s true “Israel” has (always been) a spiritual entity, comprised of people, that had a sincere desire to worship God regardless of nationality or time in history. Unfortunate nationalistic Israel is also called “Israel” and therein lies the confusion now about the Israel of God. Many times we read in the old testament where God says in a verse (in wrath I will hide my face from you) then in the very same verse God says, (but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you) (Isaiah 54:8). God is addressing the two Israel’s.
Paul goes into the faithful Israel in Romans 11:4-5 where he talks about Elijah and says, God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life" But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
The Biblical concept of the remnant is an important theme woven throughout the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. The faithful remnant who remain loyal to God despite persecution peer-pressure and testings. Elijah in the days of Ahab and Jezebel complained that all Israel had left loyalty to Yahweh, except himself (1 Kings 19:4). To this God replied, "Yet I shall leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed his lips." (1 Kings 19:18) In the history of Israel there was remnant a spiritual Israel within the national Israel. In Elijah's time 7000 had not bowed the knee to Baal (1 Kings 19:13).
Note on Jeremiah 15:11: The remnant, of which Jeremiah is the representative, is carefully distinguished from the unbelieving mass of the people. They must share with the nation the coming captivity, for they too have sinned (v. 13). However the LORD's judgment upon the nation will be but a purifying chastisement to them, and they receive a special protection (v. 11). The thing that characterized nationalistic Israel from spiritual Israel was. The believing remnant spiritual Israel is always-loyalty to the Word of God, which separates them from those who mock that Word as we see in 2 Peter 3:3-4. Remember, these were Jews.
Another thing we have all been traditionally taught to miss in the Bible is God always deals with individuals. He deals with the patriarchs as individuals and bless many through them. He deals with Noah as an individual. He deals with Abraham as an individual. He with Isaac, as an individual. And with Abrahams great grandson Jacob as an individual. And Approximately 400 years after Joseph, God dealt with a man named Moses as an individual and Joshua as an individual.
So God always dealt with individuals and through them nations are blessed. We read in the book of Genesis that God made a certain promises to Abraham. After Lot was separated from Abraham, the Lord said into Abraham: Genesis 13:14 YLT And Jehovah said unto Abram, after Lot's being parted from him, `Lift up, I pray thee, thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for the whole of the land which thou are seeing, to thee I give it, and to (thy seed) to the age. And I have set (thy seed) as dust of the earth, so that, if one is able to number the dust of the earth, even (thy seed) is numbered.
Now we will focus on the explanation of Genesis 13:14 by a New Testament writers of the spiritual and eternal aspects of God’s implementation of his promise to Abraham regarding the seed. The apostle Paul, explains to the churches of Galatia the promises to Abraham concerning his seed: Galatians 3 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to (seeds, as of many); but as (of one), And to (thy seed, which is Christ). 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.
Here is clear testimony by Paul that God’s promise to Abraham was Christ, Abraham’s seed. “And to thy seed”, in verse 16 above, refers to, “and to thy seed” in Genesis 13:14 where the (promise is expressed “and to thy seed”).
And further, the “forever” aspect of God’s promise to Abraham of a great nation would be realized in a people, called Jews and Gentiles, who are by grace through faith related to God in the Person of Christ. So, while Christ is the “seed to whom the promise was made to Abraham” (in Christ) is a seed, in the collective sense who, through faith, share in the promises to Abraham and Christ.
The apostle Paul continues in his explanation of Abraham’s seed, in this collective sense, by saying. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29) Thought a individuals named Abraham the nations are blessed.
This is the collective seed as referred to Abraham’s seed in Genesis 13:16 that no man could number for they are as the dust of the earth, Thus, the spiritual and eternal implementation of God’s promise to Abraham did not inure to any people on the basis of race. But rather, the beneficial effects of the promise rests solely with individuals who, by faith, are Christ’s, who is Abraham’s seed to whom the promise was made.
As a side note Paul gives his explanation of the “forever” aspect of God’s promise to Abraham fleshly seed about the land also. Romans 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
So God has always had a spiritual Israel inside nationalistic Israel. Paul alludes to this basic fundamental covenant principles in his letters to early Christians. “Being Jewish is not what is outside. No being a Jew depends on what is on the INSIDE. Rom. 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
These are God chosen people for Himself, and a special treasure above all the people on the face of the earth and the Israel of God. Galatians 6:15-16 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.