Who Is The Israel Of God?

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Good morning L____,
It is always good to hear from you. This link you have sent me could easily have been written by any minister in the World Wide Church of God when I was a part of that organization from 1963 through 1973. 
I have cut and pasted a portion of this paper which I feel represents the whole, and I will comment on that. This section of this paper demonstrates the total spiritual blindness of this doctrine and its adherents. Here is the section on which I will comment:

Comment: Yes, indeed, the Lord knows exact who are His people. “He knew then and knows now EXACTLY where they are…” and this is where they are:

Gal 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.

Just look at how Paul applies the promises to the converted Gentiles of Corinth:

2Co 7:1  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

And which promises are “these promises” which the Gentile converts at Corinth now possess?

2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [ them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [ thing]; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Here, under the inspiration of the holy spirit, the apostle is quoting Lev.26:12 as if it is a promise to converted Gentile Corinthians:

Lev 26:12  And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

To whom are these words addressed? Lev 26 is a continuation of the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai:

Lev 25:1  And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying,
Lev 25:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.

It is obvious that the apostle Paul was not a modern day Messianic Jew. It is obvious that he did not subscribe to the Israel Identity doctrine of many Christians who are still under the law. So far as the holy spirit which inspired these words through the pen of the apostle Paul, is concerned there is but one “house of Israel” and one “seed of Abraham” because “if you are in Christ, then are you Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”

Gal 3:29  And if ye [ be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Is this saying ‘then are you also Abraham’s seed,’ or is it saying ‘ only then are you exclusively Abraham’s seed?’

In other words, does being physically descended from Abraham make one Abraham’s seed? Is there any advantage to being a physical descendant of Abraham? Here is the one verse in scripture which seems to say that there is:

Rom 3:1  What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit [ is there] of circumcision?
Rom 3:2  Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

Wow, there it is! The Jews are still God’s chosen people. Apparently Paul was confused when he took the promises of God to Israel and applied them to Gentiles. Is that really the case? All who use this verse in that manner are ignoring the the verses immediately preceding this verses, which are:

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [ is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

We just read that the “oracles of God” were delivered to Israel at Mount Sinai, so Paul, as did all of his day, uses the words Israel and Jew, interchangeably. Look at what he says of himself:

Rom 11:1  I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, [ of] the tribe of Benjamin.

And then he says:

Act 22:3  I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, [ a city] in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, [ and] taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

Pilate certainly considered the whole nation to be Jewish:

Joh 18:35  Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

The tribe of Aser was considered to be of the Jewish nation:

Luk 2:36  And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

Comment:

All of this is so true when it is understood in the spiritual context given it by the holy spirit through the apostle Paul. It is true that God’s word is only written to and about Israel, when you know who is “the commonwealth of Israel.” It is true that Christ went to ‘Ephraim’ when you know who ‘Ephraim’ is in scripture. Israel crossed his hands and made Ephraim “greater than his brother” just to demonstrate to us “that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural and afterward that which is spiritual. That is the whole lesson behind Able replacing Cain, Isaac replacing Ishmael, Jacob replacing Esau, David, King Saul, etc.

It is true that “to properly understand the Bible, one must base their understanding of the New Testament on the foundation of the Old Testament.” But when that principle is properly applied this is its conclusion:

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye [ Gentile Ephesians] being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12  That at that time ye 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  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [ between us];
Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments [ contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Eph 2:18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

If the Ephesians are no longer “Gentiles in the flesh made with hands,” what then are they? “Made both one” is the proper way to “base their understanding of the New Testament on the foundation of the Old Testament.” That is how Paul applied that principle.

Rom 2:28-29, Eph 2:11-19, Gal 3 and 4, Gal 6:15-16, all make clear that the name Israel is now applied only to God’s “made of twain, one new man.”

I will close by quoting that truth out of two translations of Gal 6:15-16:

Gal 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Gal 6:16  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (KJV)

Ephesians two, Romans two, and Rom 11, Gal chapters three and four, all make clear what cannot be seen by all who subscribe to the doctrine of this paper. Here now is these same two verses in the MSG version:

Gal 6:15  Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do– submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!
Gal 6:16  All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them! (MSG)

I hope this all helps you to see that “He is NOT a Jew which is one outwardly,” and that God is in the process of “making of twain [ physical and spiritual Israelites] one new man.”

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [ is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [ is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [ and] not in the letter; whose praise [ is] not of men, but of God. 
Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [ even] the law of commandments [ contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

This is the truth which is denied when Joh 11:47-54 is applied as it is in this paper.

Your brother in Christ,

Mike

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