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The Case For "The Israel Of God" Part 3

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by ebedmelech, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    Link to part 1: http://www.christianforums.com/t7723632/

    Link to part 2: http://www.christianforums.com/t7723807/

    Part 3:

    [FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]In Romans 9, Paul further makes the case for the “Israel of God”. He opens stating his love for Israel. Paul is a Jew, and he himself had persecuted the church until Jesus “knocked him off his horse” and called him as an apostle. Now, as it has been revealed by the Holy Spirit, the apostle knows the Jews are blind to Jesus, and it breaks his heart!
    Romans 9:1-5:
    I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,
    2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.
    3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
    4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
    5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

    It is clear that Paul is speaking of the nation Israel. He makes that distinction by saying “according to the flesh”. He is distinguishing Israel (the ethnic Jew), in doing that.

    In the OT, God had entered into two covenants with the Jews:

    1. The Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 15, which was sealed by the sign of circumcision in Genesis 17, and from that point all Jews were circumcised because of this covenant.

    2. The Sinaitic Covenant of Exodus 24. Israel agreed to this covenant, and Moses sealed that covenant sprinkling the people with blood in Exodus 24:3-8. They were given the Law and the tabernacle along with God’s conditional promises. We see those in Deuteronomy 28, as God is again rehearsing the Law to Israel through Moses before they enter the promised land.

    Those are the promises that Paul referred to. The promises are in each of the covenants. Israel broke the Sinaitic Covenant. In short, God gave them the land under Joshua, and afterward Israel began their decline from obedience repeatedly, Finally God sent Israel and Judah into captivity. God restored them to the land as prophesied and Christ came as Messiah!

    Naturally he acknowledges the fact that Christ came through the genealogy of Israel.
    [/FONT][/FONT]


    Romans 9:6-8 The apostle makes the case for the Israel of God as he makes known the “spiritual Israel”:
    6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
    7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.”
    8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

    God’s word has not failed because there is a spiritual Israel!!! This is where we begin to understand the “Israel of God” (some will say “true Israel). It is a “spiritual reality” that the apostle is making known in saying that “they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel”. The Abrahamic Covenant is in view here! “All who are of the faith of Abraham are descendants”. The apostle made that clear in Romans 4. Paul also says “nor are they children because they are Abraham’s descendants”, and in saying that, it should be obvious that this is a “spiritual truth” that Paul is making. To help us know this is a spiritual truth, Paul says “it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants”. From this comes the apostle’s claim of Romans 4:13:
    13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    The "Israel of God" is in view here. The apostle is saying this is a spiritual reality with God. Believers (Gentile and Jew), make up “Israel of God”.

    The “promise” he refers to is God’s promise to Abraham that “in him all nations of the earth would be blessed” and that He would give the promised land to his descendants. The promise land became part of the Sanaitic Covenant but in this…even the “promised land” is a “type” of heaven. In the land Israel was given, had they been obedient to God, they would have enjoyed the best of everything! God had told them in Deut 27 to stand on Mt Gerazim and on Mt Ebal and pronounce his blessings and curses of the Sanaitic Covenent, which are in Deut 28.

    Paul has made the case back in Romans 4 that it is “all who will have the faith of Abraham”, that God honors this promise to. They become Abraham’s descendants (Gentiles and Jews). Abraham was faithful in his covenant and that covenant (Abrahamic Covenant), is still in effect today to every believer because we come to belief in God by faith, just as Abraham did!

    The apostle now seeks to make this clear. He follows up with Abraham’s descendants, starting with Isaac. Isaac, (who was born to Sarah), and Isaac’s children (Jacob and Esau), are the start:
    Romans 9:9-13:
    9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.”
    10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;
    11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
    12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.”
    13 Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    In Jacob and Esau we see a clear example of God’s sovereign choice! The apostle is quotes Genesis 25:23 (vs 13), and then he turns to the prophecy of Malachi 1:1-5! This prophecy is tremendous! It is one place (of many), where God is making known the “Israel of God”:
    Malachi 1:1-5:
    The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.
    2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have You loved us?” “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob;
    3 but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness.”
    4 Though Edom says, “We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins”; thus says the Lord of hosts, “They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant forever.”
    5 Your eyes will see this and you will say, “The Lord be magnified beyond the border of Israel!”

    It was God’s choice to call Jacob over Esau! Jacob had faith in God just as Abraham did. Esau is Edom in this prophecy! Also there is God’s plan to expand Israel spiritually. This is the point of the saying “The Lord Be magnified beyond the border of Israel”. It happens through the Lord Jesus! Paul is enlightening us of God’s inclusion of the Gentiles that would happen through the Lord Jesus Christ and the New Covenant…this is Israel magnified spiritually! Malachi 1 goes on to prophesy God’s rejection of Israel, and His making His name great among the nations (Gentiles)…this is stated in Malachi 1:11:
    11 For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord of hosts.

    We know the story…Jacob had 12 sons and before returning to his land from his Uncle Laban. God promised Jacob in Genesis 46:3, that he would make him a “great nation” (singular), which is Israel. Jesus wrestles with Jacob all night and changes his name to Israel. Obviously the “nation of Israel” comes from Jacob and his sons.

    Part 4 to come...
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
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  2. janxharris

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    I'm still finding it difficult to get a handle on exactly what you are saying - but that is not a criticism but rather a reflection of the complexity of the subject. :)

    So do you think that the Jewish nation, as it stands, is no longer of any significance?

    In the book of Zechariah there is much prophecy - for instance:

    Zechariah 9:9
    Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

    Zechariah 11:12
    I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.

    Zechariah 12:1-3
    The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. n that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.

    Zechariah 14:2-7
    I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.

    Since Zechariah 9:9 and 11:12 are literal, fulfilled, prophecies, surely Jesus' return to the Mount of Olives is literal too?

    If not, why not?
     
  3. janxharris

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    Verse 64 of Deuteronomy 28 has them scattered among all the nations, from one end of the earth to the other - surely this is the diaspora post 70AD?
     
  4. ebedmelech

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    The significance of Israel is the people and not the land in my view. I only look for God to open their eyes to the gospel
    Indeed much of Zechariah is fulfilled.
     
  5. janxharris

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    Why isn't Zechariah 14 literal? It mentions the return of Christ, the Mount of Olives and the splitting of it into two.
     
  6. janxharris

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    Ezekiel 36 talks about God gathering his people:

    Verse 24
    ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.

    Why wasn't this fulfilled (and continuing to be fulfilled) in May 14th, 1948?
     
  7. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    Because that is not the gathering Ezekiel 36 refers to. That prophecy was partly fulfilled when Cyrus gave his decree for the restoration of Jerusalem. Try Ezra 1:1-4.

    Was not Israel again in the land as a nation when Jesus came? That is what Ezekiel 36 speaks of.

    Part of this prophecy remains to be fulfilled as God is saving a remnant of the Jews right now, but in the future there will be a time when God will open Israel to the gospel as Romans 11:23 states.
     
  8. janxharris

    janxharris Veteran

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    Cyrus allowed the Jews to return from Babylon; Ezekiel has them being gather from all the nations.
     
  9. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    Cyrus decree went throughout the Persian Empire which included Assyria, who took Israel captive. The Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar took all of Assyria, which Cyrus was King over.

    Notice Ezra 1:3:
    3 Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem.

    Cyrus decree included "all his people"...that includes Israel and Judah, (who where divided at the time). Judah went captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.

    Israel was judged more severely and taken by Assyria well before the Babylonian captivity of Judah.
     
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