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The Case For The "Israel Of God" Part 1

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by ebedmelech, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

    Weeks back there was a thread titled “The True Meaning of Romans 9-11”. Basically the post was making the point for the restoration of Israel and the salvation of the Jews as we move towards the end times.

    This post makes the case for the “Israel of God” being a spiritual entity made up of all believers, both Jews and Gentiles and it also uses Romans 9-11

    Perhaps this should go to the section for debate, however, this being the “Eschatology Forum”, Israel (whether spiritual or physical), is the focus of the end times and the Revelation of our Lord. Therefore I post this here.

    I will post this thread in parts, So readers can digest it properly and not tire those who care to read it.

    What I will do here is deal with the text of the NT because the NT writers, (Paul in this case), will quote OT passages…. When he does that, he is shedding light on the true meaning of these OT passages. In most cases, I will not reference an OT passage except when Apostle Paul references an OT passage. However where it is obvious other passages apply I will reference them.

    It’s very important that to understand that the apostle is making the case that “the nation Israel” is not in focus, but they are the foundation. Romans 9-11 has a foundation! The apostle laid that foundation in Romans 2, where he is very exacting that Jews and Gentiles are under sin. He makes that very clear in Romans 2:1, 2:

    Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
    2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

    I think we can agree here that judgment is made based on “the Law of God”! It is the standard the apostle refers to here. However he takes it further in Romans 2: 3-11:

    3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?
    4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
    5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
    6 who will render to each person according to his deeds:
    7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
    8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
    9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
    10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
    11 For there is no partiality with God.

    There are those who are “self righteous”. They don'’t acknowledge their own sinfulness. God will judge them on the last day. These judge others not realizing their own sin, and in doing so “on the day of wrath ”…because they have not realized their own sinfulness, they will be found wanting (vss 3-6).

    There are also those who are repentant and acknowledge their own sin. They receive God’s grace and mercy through Christ, and serve him in their life, looking to eternity (vs 7)

    There are those who ignore God’s Law and live according to their own rules. For them, there will be tribulation and distress on the last day (vss 8, 9). However, those who live for God, there is glory, honor and peace (vs 10). Finally apostle says “there is no partiality with God”. EVERY SOUL will come into judgment! (vs 11).

    The apostle now wants us to know what the measure of God’s judgment will be …that would be Gods Law:
    Romans 9:12-16:
    12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
    13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
    14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
    15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
    16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

    The Law of God will not allow anyone to escape in the day of judgment, when all will give account before Christ! There will be those who know of God’s Law and still transgressed it. There will also be those who didn’t know the Law from scripture, but because the Law is written on the hearts of all, they will be judged by it because their conscience knew what they did to be right or wrong!

    Now the apostle speaks to the “self righteous” Jew in Romans 2:17-24:

    17 But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God,
    18 and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,
    19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
    20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,
    21 you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?
    22 You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
    23 You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?
    24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentilesbecause of you,” just as it is written.

    The error of the Jew is what the apostle is revealing. Israel relied on God'’s Law and even “boasted in the Law” but they had also constantly violated it. The apostle quotes Isaiah 52:5 to make his point. Whenever the apostle quotes from the OT, we best go back there and read the entire passage because he is shedding light on what the passage means. When we read Isaiah 52: 1-6, we find that God is speaking to a captive nation Israel, and telling them of their coming Messiah. Isaiah 52:1-6:

    Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; For the uncircumcised and the unclean Will no longer come into you.
    2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus says the Lord, “You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money.”
    4 For thus says the Lord God, “My people went down at the first into Egypt to reside there; then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
    5 Now therefore, what do I have here,” declares the Lord, “seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?” Again Lord declares, “Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long.
    6 Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’”

    This is Israel’'s restoration! They were captive and God restored them because those who ruled over them were blaspheming God because of Israel’s captivity.” Jerusalem was laid waste, but God says He will restore them. The apostle is speaking directly to the reason Israel went into captivity in the first place, they broke God’s Law! “Here I am” refers to Christ coming as Messiah! Isaiah 52:7 confirms that:

    7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation,

    Jesus will be born into the world, Israel will be dwelling in safety (yes they will be under Roman rule), but they do dwell in safety. This is because of the plan of God for Christ to be crucified and the temple will be restored, just as Isaiah said!

    Paul now continues to speak to the Jew to tell them “works” don'’t get it done with God in Romans 2:25-27:

    25 For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
    26 So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?
    27 And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law?

    This is quite clear! It tells the Jew “circumcision doesn’t make you right with God” because you still transgress God’s Law! Circumcision was ALWAYS an outward sign of what should be an “inward reality” spiritually… a changed heart! However the Jews had come to think circumcision made them “children of God”… but the apostle says “not so”! He goes on to point out that when the uncircumcised keeps the Law, they have every right to judge the circumcised (Jew), who breaks the Law!

    Now, the apostle will bring in the “spiritual reality” of who is the true Jew Romans 2:28, 29:

    28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
    29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

    Here, the apostle has come with the spiritual reality! God is calling all those who receive Christ by faith spiritual Jews! This is the beginning of the transition to the “Israel of God”. This is what brings us to the apostle’s declaration in Romans 9:6:

    6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;

    However before we jump there, I will lay some more ground work using Romans 4, in Part 2.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
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  2. Interplanner

    Interplanner Newbie

    Well done, EbedM. I would add re Is 52:7: one more OT pre-announcement of the mission. Eph 6 envisions every believer fulfilling Is 52 with "prepared feet." Rom 10 quotes Is 52 about the mission "Israel" should be busy with.