Who is “Israel?”

 

For many centuries there has been a theological separation between two groups of people: “Israel” and “the Church.”  According to most Christian denominations, Israel is referred to as “God’s chosen ones” and thought to be the Jewish people.  The church is thought to be a pseudo-Gentile organization that is made up of all believers in the world throughout time.

 

However, the “church” to the Roman Catholic Church is more a reference to that organization alone and not to believers as a whole.  Although, the Roman Church will refer other protestant denominations as “wayward daughters” or some similar reference.

 

The Roman Catholic Church and some other Christian denominations have adopted what is called replacement theology.  This theology states that Israel was indeed God’s chosen people.  But through their disobedience and rejection of Yeshua as Messiah, God has replaced them with “The Church.”  God  promised Israel many blessings for their obedience and many curses for their disobedience.  The Church, as the new Israel, will share in those blessings, but will not share in the curses because our conduct is now forgotten due to God’s grace and mercy.  Therefore, the Church should not concern themselves with obedience to God or any other such restrictions.  The Church instead has elevated their traditions of man to the same level as God’s Word.

 

The Scriptural errors in this point of view are numerous and blatant.  Where does God say that He is finished with Israel and is now focusing on “The Church?”  Why would God hold ancient Israel accountable to Him for His Law and totally ignore the same sin in “the Church?”    Why would God change His mind about sin?  What about the promises of a restored Israel in Scripture?

 

Most conservative Christian denominations such as Baptists and Assemblies of God believe what I have termed parallel theology.  This is the theological belief that the Jewish people hold the label of Israel and are still “God’s chosen people.”  The Gentile organization of the Church (all true believers in Christ)  subsist alongside Israel.  According to this theological position, God dealt with the world through the nation of Israel in Old Testament times.  In these days of the New Testament, God manifests Himself through the Church.  At the appointed time, God will take out His Church from the world at the beginning of a seven year period called the Great Tribulation.  During this seven year period, God will again be dealing with Israel until His return in glory and judgment at the end of the Tribulation Period.  But until that time, the Church and Israel co-exist in a parallel fashion.  However, all Jewish people who accept Yeshua as Messiah during this time become a part of the “New Testament Church.”

 

There are many problems with this viewpoint also.  For one thing, to say that all Jewish people are actually “God’s chosen people” (Israel) when most are either atheist or agnostic is peculiar at best.  Do we now put Howard Stern and Alan Dershowitz in the same category as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?  Also, how can there be “two bodies” of God’s people when Paul clearly states there is only one body?  Were Yeshua and Paul trying to “start a new religion” with Christianity, or trying to bring the Gentiles into the fold? 

 

Throughout history, the separation of Israel from believers has largely been based on anti-Semitism.  Many writings of the so-called “church fathers” bear this out.  This following list is not comprehensive, but demonstrates the point very well:

Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (98-117A.D.) – Epistle to the Magnesians

For if we are still practicing Judaism, we admit that we have not received God’s favor…it is wrong to talk about Jesus Christ and live like Jews. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity.

"Epistle of Barnabas" Chapter 4vs 6-7 (between 130A.D. and 138 A.D.)

Take heed to yourselves and be not like some piling up you sins and saying that the covenant is theirs as well as ours. It is ours, but they lost it completely just after Moses received it.

Justin Martyr - Dialogue with Trypho (Between 138A.D. and 161 A.D.)

We too, would observe your circumcision of the flesh, your Sabbath days, and in a word, all you festivals, if we were not aware of the reason why they were imposed upon you, namely, because of your sins and the hardness of heart.

 The custom of circumcising the flesh, handed down from Abraham, was given to you as a distinguishing mark, to set you off from other nations and from us Christians. The purpose of this was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours; that only your land be desolated, and you cities ruined by fire, that the fruits of you land be eaten by strangers before your very eyes; that not one of you be permitted to enter your city of Jerusalem. Your circumcision of the flesh is the only mark by which you can certainly be distinguished from other men…as I stated before it was by reason of your sins and the sins of your fathers that, among other precepts, God imposed upon you the observence of the sabbath as a mark.

Origen of Alexandria (185-254 A.D.) – A ecclesiastical writer and teacher who contributed to the early formation of Christian doctrines.

We may thus assert in utter confidence that the Jews will not return to their earlier situation, for they have committed the most abominable of crimes, in forming this conspiracy against the Savior of the human race…hence the city where Jesus suffered was necessarily destroyed, the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people was called by God to the blessed election.

John Chrysostom (344-407 A.D.) – One of the "greatest" of church fathers; known as "The Golden Mouthed." A missionary preacher famous for his sermons and addresses.

The synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ… a house worse than a drinking shop…a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and a abyss of perdition."…"I would say the same things about their souls… As for me, I hate the synagogue…I hate the Jews for the same reason.

From "The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism" by Malcolm Hay

St. Augustine (c. 354-430 A.D.), Confessions, 12.14

How hateful to me are the enemies of your Scripture! How I wish that you would slay them (the Jews) with your two-edged sword, so that there should be none to oppose your word! Gladly would I have them die to themselves and live to you!

Peter the Venerable – known as "the meekest of men, a model of Christian charity"

Yes, you Jews. I say, do I address you; you, who till this very day, deny the Son of God. How long, poor wretches, will ye not believe the truth? Truly I doubt whether a Jew can be really human… I lead out from its den a monstrous animal, and show it as a laughing stock in the amphitheater of the world, in the sight of all the people. I bring thee forward, thou Jew, thou brute beast, in the sight of all men.

 From "The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism" by Malcolm Hay

Martin Luther – 1543

On The Jews and Their Lies

What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews? Since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing, we can not tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy. In this way we cannot quench the inextinguishable fire of divine rage nor convert the Jews. We must prayerfully and reverentially practice a merciful severity. Perhaps we may save a few from the fire and flames [of hell]. We must not seek vengeance. They are surely being punished a thousand times more than we might wish them. Let me give you my honest advice.

First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians, and that we have not wittingly tolerated or approved of such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of His Son and His Christians.

Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. For they perpetrate the same things there that they do in their synagogues. For this reason they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing.

Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer-books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught.

Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more...

Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to the Jews. For they have no business in the rural districts since they are not nobles, nor officials, nor merchants, nor the like. Let them stay at home...If you princes and nobles do not close the road legally to such exploiters, then some troop ought to ride against them, for they will learn from this pamphlet what the Jews are and how to handle them and that they ought not to be protected. You ought not, you cannot protect them, unless in the eyes of God you want to share all their abomination...

To sum up, dear princes and nobles who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden - the Jews...

Let the government deal with them in this respect, as I have suggested. But whether the government acts or not, let everyone at least be guided by his own conscience and form for himself a definition or image of a Jew. When you lay eyes on or think of a Jew you must say to yourself: Alas, that mouth which I there behold has cursed and execrated and maligned every Saturday my dear Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed me with his precious blood; in addition, it prayed and pleaded before God that I, my wife and children, and all Christians might be stabbed to death and perish miserably. And he himself would gladly do this if he were able, in order to appropriate our goods...

Such a desperate, thoroughly evil, poisonous, and devilish lot are these Jews, who for these fourteen hundred years have been and still are our plague, our pestilence, and our misfortune.

I have read and heard many stories about the Jews which agree with this judgment of Christ, namely, how they have poisoned wells, made assassinations, kidnapped children, as related before. I have heard that one Jew sent another Jew, and this by means of a Christian, a pot of blood, together with a barrel of wine, in which when drunk empty, a dead Jew was found. There are many other similar stories. For their kidnapping of children they have often been burned at the stake or banished (as we already heard). I am well aware that they deny all of this. However, it all coincides with the judgment of Christ which declares that they are venomous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, assassins, and children of the devil, who sting and work harm stealthily wherever they cannot do it openly. For this reason, I would like to see them where there are no Christians. The Turks and other heathen do not tolerate what we Christians endure from these venomous serpents and young devils...next to the devil, a Christian has no more bitter and galling foe than a Jew. There is no other to whom we accord as many benefactions and from whom we suffer as much as we do from these base children of the devil, this brood of vipers.

Translated by Martin H. Bertram, "On The Jews and Their Lies, Luther's Works, Volume 47"; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971.

 

Martin Luther - 1543

Of The Unknowable Name and The Generations of Christ

But your [God’s] judgment is right, justus es Dominie. Yes, so shall Jews, but no one else be punished, who held your word and miracles in contempt and ridiculed, insulted and damned it for such a long time without interruption, so that they will not fall, like other humans, heathens and all the others, into sin and death, not up in Hell, nor in the middle of Hell but in the pit of Hell, as one cannot fall deeper...

Even if they were punished in the most gruesome manner that the streets ran with their blood, that their dead would be counted, not in the hundred thousands, but in the millions, as happened under Vespasian in Jerusalem and for evil under Hadrian, still they must insist on being right even if after these 1,500 years they were in misery another 1,500 years, still God must be a liar and they must be correct. In sum, they are the devil’s children, damned to Hell...

The Jews too got what they deserved. They had been called and elected to be God’s mouth as Jeremiah says...Open your mouth wide and I will fill it; they however, kept tightly closed their muzzles, eyes, ears, nose, whole heart and all senses, so he polluted and squirted them so full that it oozes from them in all places and devil’s filth comes from them.

Yes, that tastes good to them, into their hearts, they smack their lips like swine. That is how they want it. Call more: ‘Crucify him, crucify him.’ Scream more: ‘His blood come upon us and our children.’ (Matthew 27:25) I mean it came and found you...

Perhaps, one of the merciful Saints among us Christians may think I am behaving too crude and disdainfully against the poor, miserable Jews in that I deal with them so sarcastically and insulting. But, good God, I am much too mild in insulting such devils…

 

John Calvin

A Response To Questions and Objections of a Certain Jew

Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.

Excerpt from "Ad Quaelstiones et Objecta Juaei Cuiusdam Responsio," by John Calvin; The Jew in Christian Theology, Gerhard Falk, McFarland and Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC and London, 1931.

 

With such horrible writings from men thought to be “Godly,” it is no wonder that much of their theology reflects their anti-Semitism.  It is a sad fact of Church history, but one that should not be ignored.

 

According to Scripture, the true identity of Israel is all believers of all nations, tribes, and tongues.  Israel has always consisted of only those who believe God in faith and follow his commandments.  Whenever they were disobedient, God would chastise them and punish them.  Then His people would repent and turn to Him.  That has been true in my life and has been true in the life of His believers throughout time.  While many in the group called “Israel” in Scripture did not turn from their sins, they were not truthfully considered a part of God’s people (Israel) anyway.  At least, they were branches that were broken off the olive tree of Israel (Romans 11).

 

The “New Testament Church” is not a term or a concept defined in Scripture.  The term translated “church” is the Greek word ekklesia, which means “assembly” or “gathering.” The term is often translated as “synagogue” also.  It does not refer to a particular Gentile group nor does it refer to a certain age or dispensation in history.  It usually refers to an assembly of believers or to Israel as a whole.

 

God’s people are not, and never were, a particular bloodline.  Throughout Scripture, Israel was a mixed multitude of God’s people either in the land of Israel, or scattered in various parts of the world.  Scripture does not differentiate between the believing Jew and believing Gentile in any way.  There are numerous examples of this in Scripture including the fact that Caleb was a Kinnizite and Ruth was a Moabite.  But both were a part of Israel.  Also keep in mind that the group that left Egypt was a “mixed multitude,” not a bloodline fraternity of the direct descendants of Jacob.  “Israel” consisted of people in bondage crying out to Yahweh for deliverance.

 

The Tanack (Old Testament) does not differentiate between the Israelite and the stranger that dwells among them.  The New Testament applies references to the believer that are identical to references used to describe Israel in the Tanack.  Listed below are examples in Scripture which verify the identity of Israel as “all believers:”

 

The Law was given to Israel (that includes the strangers among them)

 

(Exo 12:49 NKJV)  "One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you."

 

(Lev 18:4 NKJV)  'You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God.

(Lev 18:5 NKJV)  'You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.

 

(Lev 18:26 NKJV)  'You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you

 

(Num 15:16 NKJV)  'One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger who dwells with you.'"

 

(Deu 31:12 NKJV)  "Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law,

 

Israel was not originally one bloodline, but “a mixed multitude”

 

(Exo 12:36 NKJV)  And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

(Exo 12:37 NKJV)  Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.

(Exo 12:38 NKJV)  A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds; a great deal of livestock.

 

The “New Covenant” is with Israel and Judah, not “the Church”

 

(Jer 31:31 NKJV)  "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;

(Jer 31:32 NKJV)  "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.

(Jer 31:33 NKJV)  "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

 

(Heb 8:8 NKJV)  Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;

(Heb 8:9 NKJV)  "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD.

(Heb 8:10 NKJV)  "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

(Heb 8:11 NKJV)  "None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

(Heb 8:12 NKJV)  "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

(Heb 8:13 NKJV)  In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

 

The “first covenant” that was made antiquated (“decayeth and waxeth old” KJV) was the covenant between the people of Israel  and God.  Israel promised that they would keep all the things God commanded.  This covenant was made antiquated due to the failure of the people, not the failure of the law.

 

(Exo 19:3 NKJV)  And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel:

(Exo 19:4 NKJV)  'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself.

(Exo 19:5 NKJV)  'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

(Exo 19:6 NKJV)  'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

(Exo 19:7 NKJV)  So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the LORD commanded him.

(Exo 19:8 NKJV)  Then all the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do." So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.

 

The New (or “Renewed”) Covenant is the same in content as the so-called “Old Covenant.”  It still consists of the law.  Only in the New Covenant, God fulfills this New Covenant Himself by writing His law on our hearts and our minds.  This happens when we are saved.  We desire to please God.

 

A kingdom of priests:  Israel (all believers)

 

God called Israel His “own possession…special…a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

 

(Exo 19:5 NKJV)  'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

(Exo 19:6 NKJV)  'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

 

Peter used this same title in reference to all believers.

 

(1 Pet 2:4 NKJV)  Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

 (1 Pet 2:5 NKJV)  you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

(1 Pet 2:9 NKJV)  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

 

Paul says we are grafted into the root and tree (Israel)

 

(Rom 11:1 NKJV)  I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

 

(Rom 11:15 NKJV)  For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

(Rom 11:16 NKJV)  For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

(Rom 11:17 NKJV)  And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,

(Rom 11:18 NKJV)  do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

(Rom 11:19 NKJV)  You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in."

(Rom 11:20 NKJV)  Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.

(Rom 11:21 NKJV)  For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

(Rom 11:22 NKJV)  Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

(Rom 11:23 NKJV)  And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

(Rom 11:24 NKJV)  For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

 

The “fullness of the Gentiles will come in (to Israel)

 

(Rom 11:25 NKJV)  For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

(Rom 11:26 NKJV)  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;

(Rom 11:27 NKJV)  For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins."

 

If we are in Christ, we are Abraham’s seed (Israel)

 

(Gal 3:6 NKJV)  just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."

(Gal 3:7 NKJV)  Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

 

(Gal 3:28 NKJV)  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

(Gal 3:29 NKJV)  And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

(Rom 4:11 NKJV)  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,

(Rom 4:12 NKJV)  and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

(Rom 4:13 NKJV)  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.

(Rom 4:14 NKJV)  For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,

(Rom 4:15 NKJV)  because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

(Rom 4:16 NKJV)  Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

 

Paul referred to Israelites in the time of Moses as “Our fathers” in speaking to the “Gentile” church in Corinth.

 

(1 Cor 10:1 NKJV)  Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

(1 Cor 10:2 NKJV)  all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

(1 Cor 10:3 NKJV)  all ate the same spiritual food,

(1 Cor 10:4 NKJV)  and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

(1 Cor 10:5 NKJV)  But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

 

We are fellow citizens of Israel through the blood of Christ

 

(Eph 2:12 NKJV)  that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

(Eph 2:13 NKJV)  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

 

(Eph 2:19 NKJV)  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

 

(Eph 3:6 NKJV)  that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

 

Yeshua (Jesus) said He came only for one group of people (Israel)

 

(Mat 15:24 NKJV)  But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

 

Paul tells us to celebrate Passover

 

(1 Cor 5:7 NKJV)  Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

(1 Cor 5:8 NKJV)  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

The Resurrection is Described as Pertaining to

“The Whole House of Israel”

 

(Ezek 37:1 NKJV)  The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.

(Ezek 37:2 NKJV)  Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry.

(Ezek 37:3 NKJV)  And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" So I answered, "O Lord GOD, You know."

(Ezek 37:4 NKJV)  Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!

(Ezek 37:5 NKJV)  'Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.

(Ezek 37:6 NKJV)  "I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD."' "

(Ezek 37:7 NKJV)  So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.

(Ezek 37:8 NKJV)  Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

(Ezek 37:9 NKJV)  Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live."' "

(Ezek 37:10 NKJV)  So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

(Ezek 37:11 NKJV)  Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!'

(Ezek 37:12 NKJV)  "Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

(Ezek 37:13 NKJV)  "Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.

(Ezek 37:14 NKJV "I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it," says the LORD.'"

 

In harmony with Ezekiel, Zechariah prophesied that at the resurrection the feet of Yeshua will land on the Mount of Olives (which is in Israel) and all the saints (all of Israel) will be with Him:

 

(Zec 14:1 NKJV)  Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst.

(Zec 14:2 NKJV)  For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

(Zec 14:3 NKJV)  Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle.

(Zec 14:4 NKJV)  And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.

(Zec 14:5 NKJV)  Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You.

 

During the Millennium, the “Stranger Who Dwells Among You” Will Receive the Same Inheritance as the Native Israelite

 

(Ezek 47:22 NKJV)  "It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.

(Ezek 47:23 NKJV)  "And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance," says the Lord GOD.

 

Abraham is told that he will become “many nations.”

 

(Gen 17:4 NKJV)  "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.

(Gen 17:5 NKJV)  "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.

(Gen 17:6 NKJV)  "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.

(Gen 17:7 NKJV)  "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

 

This same promise was made to Sarah:

 

(Gen 17:16 NKJV)  "And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her."

 

This same promise was made to Jacob (Israel):

 

(Gen 35:10 NKJV)  And God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name." So He called his name Israel.

(Gen 35:11 NKJV)  Also God said to him: "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body.

 

This passages, when seen in the light of Galatians 3:6-7, 28-29 and Romans 4:11-16 (see above), are a reference to the fact that all saved people have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as their fathers and that all who love Yeshua as Messiah become adopted sons and daughters into the nation of Israel.

 

Israel and all believers in the New Testament are called “children of God”  or “sons of God”

 

(Exo 4:22 NKJV)  "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn.

 

(Deu 14:1 NKJV)  "You are the children of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead.

 

(Psa 82:6 NKJV)  I said, "You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.

(Psa 82:7 NKJV)  But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes."

 

(Hosea 1:10 NKJV)  "Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There it shall be said to them, 'You are sons of the living God.'

 

(John 1:12 NKJV)  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

 

(Rom 8:16 NKJV)  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

 

(Rom 9:8 NKJV)  That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

 

(2 Cor 6:18 NKJV)  "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."

 

(Gal 3:26 NKJV)  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

(Gal 3:27 NKJV)  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

(Gal 3:28 NKJV)  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

(Gal 3:29 NKJV)  And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

(1 John 3:1 NKJV)  Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

(1 John 3:2 NKJV)  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

 

Israel is called the “Wife of God” “or “Bride of Christ”

 

(Isa 54:5 NKJV)  For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

 

(Isa 62:4 NKJV)  You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the LORD delights in you, And your land shall be married.

(Isa 62:5 NKJV)  For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.

 

(Jer 3:14 NKJV)  "Return, O backsliding children," says the LORD; "for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

 

(Jer 31:31 NKJV)  "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;

(Jer 31:32 NKJV)  "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.

 

(Hosea 2:16 NKJV)  "And it shall be, in that day," Says the LORD, "That you will call Me 'My Husband,' And no longer call Me 'My Master,'

(Hosea 2:17 NKJV)  For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more.

(Hosea 2:18 NKJV)  In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.

(Hosea 2:19 NKJV)  "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;

(Hosea 2:20 NKJV)  I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.

 

The New Testament uses the same language in speaking of all believers

 

(John 3:29 NKJV)  "He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.

 

(2 Cor 11:2 NKJV)  For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

 

(Eph 5:25 NKJV)  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

(Eph 5:26 NKJV)  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

(Eph 5:27 NKJV)  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

 

Paul taught there is only one body (Israel),

not “the Church + Israel”

 

It is obvious that Paul was bringing the Gentiles into the fold, not trying to start a new religion.

 

(Eph 4:4 NKJV)  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;

(Eph 4:5 NKJV)  one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

(Eph 4:6 NKJV)  one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

 

(1 Cor 12:12 NKJV)  For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

(1 Cor 12:13 NKJV)  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

 

(Col 3:15 NKJV)  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

 

 

There is no difference between all believers and true Israel according to Scripture…

 

Patrick 

Abrahamic Faith

Suggested Reading: "Who is Yeshua?"