True Israel

phipps

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The spiritual heirs of Abraham

Only through Christ can anyone claim the eternal inheritance promised to Abraham’s seed: “And if you are Christ’s, then you are [also] Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).

Christians, those who make up the New Testament Church, are Abraham’s spiritual descendants, being united in one body with the promised singular Seed, Jesus Christ.They are the heirs of the eternal inheritance promised to Abraham. This concept must be clear in our minds if we are to fully appreciate the biblically defined and sanctioned role of the Church Jesus Christ built.

One might ask: Are all of Abraham’s physical descendants—all descendants of the tribes of Israel—included in the seed that is Christ and His Church?

Notice how Jesus handles this question when confronted by some who, although descended from Abraham, rejected Jesus as the Messiah: “They answered and said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham’ ” (John 8:39).

Not all of Abraham’s physical descendants followed his example of faithfulness and obedience. Paul explained: “I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption [or sonship as God’s children], the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises” (Romans 9:1-4).

Paul explains that more is required to be counted among “the children of promise” than being physically descended from Abraham: “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham … 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 [of Abraham](Romans 9:6-8).
 

phipps

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Israel and circumcision redefined

Two things stand out in these words of Jesus and Paul. First, only those who are the “children of promise,” those who “do the works of Abraham,” are considered to be Abraham’s spiritual seed as members of the Church Jesus built. Second, those in the Church have received the status of being the children of God. Therefore the Church is the “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16), the heirs of salvation.

Paul explains why the spiritual heirs of God’s Kingdom take precedence over the physical descendants of Abraham as the recipients of salvation: “For circumcision [the ancient sign of the covenant with Abraham’s physical descendants] is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision” (Romans 2:25). Disobedience nullifies the value of physical circumcision.

“Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?” (Romans 2:26-27). People who are acceptable to God keep His laws.

“For he is not a Jew [in the context of the eternal inheritance promised to Abraham] 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” (Romans 2:28-29).

The conclusion of the matter is that faith and obedience from the heart, not one’s physical parentage, are essential to please God. Only those who share Abraham’s heart—whose hearts are spiritually circumcised (Deuteronomy 30:6)—are the heirs of the spiritual promises made to Abraham. For this reason, salvation is available to people of all nations who are willing to be circumcised in the heart. It is spiritual circumcision of the heart, not physical circumcision of the flesh, that identifies the spiritual children of God.
 
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phipps

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God’s obedient people

Reaffirming the promise He made to Abraham, God told his son Isaac, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 26:4). Notice that God chose him for this honour “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Genesis 26:5).

Abraham’s attitude of obedience, coupled with his complete faith in God, distinguished him as God’s friend forever (2 Chronicles 20:7). As the apostle James states: “Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness’ and he was called God’s friend” (James 2:21-23, NIV).

Things haven’t changed. Those who are God’s “special people” still both believe and obey God, just as Abraham did. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about tests of faith: “For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things” (2 Corinthians 2:9).

Paul explains that one’s obedience, like Abraham’s, must spring from within—from the mind and the heart: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).

God’s people are special to Him because they, like Abraham, trust Him and wholeheartedly obey Him.
 

phipps

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Grafted into the Israel of God

We have already seen that Paul regarded the gentiles (non-Israelites) in the Church as spiritual Jews, even though they were not of Israelite descent physically and were literally uncircumcised. As Christians, they became an integral part of “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16).

What makes this remarkable relationship possible between gentiles and spiritual Israel? Paul wrote to gentile converts: “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh, … 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. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near [to the commonwealth of Israel and the covenants of promise] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13).

In Romans 11:13-21 Paul uses the analogy of an olive tree to represent God’s people (compare Psalms 52:8; Psalms 128:3) to explain how converted gentiles can be members of the “Israel of God.” He shows that gentiles, “being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them [circumcised Israelites], and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree” (Romans 11:17).

Paul plainly shows that God’s inclusion of gentiles in His special people does not mean He favours gentiles over Israelites. “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?” (Romans 11:24).

God plays no favourites. In this analogy, even those who are Israelites by physical descent have to be grafted into the tree—having been cut off due to disobedience. Thankfully, there is a way to be grafted back in—and that way is the same way available to gentiles.

Jew and gentile alike enjoy access to God’s promises through Christ: “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” (Galatians 3:28).

The special and holy people of God, like Abraham, are obedient people—selected from all nations—who have chosen not to live by bread alone, “but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Their trust in God comes from the heart and is demonstrated by their obedient actions. God’s Spirit works in them to produce faith and obedience, making them special to God.

https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-church-jesus-built/a-people-special-to-God
 
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phipps

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Non-Israelites welcomed in the Old Testament

While God chose to work with the ancient nation of Israel, this decision did not exclude people from other nations (Gentiles) from coming to understand God and serve Him. God instructed the ancient Israelites that they were to respect peoples of other nationalities who came to live with them.

As for observing the Passover (one of God’s commanded observances in both the Old and New Testaments), God said, “And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it” (Exodus 12:48). Showing fairness for all, God continued, “One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you” (verse 49). Later, God added: “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21).

A good example of God’s acceptance of non-Israelites in the Old Testament is found in the life of Ruth. Though a Moabite by birth (Ruth 1:1-4), she came to respect and follow God. As Ruth told Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law, after the premature death of her husband: “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (verse 16). Ruth then married an Israelite man named Boaz and became part of the family lineage God selected for Jesus (Matthew 1:5).

Other examples of Gentiles accepted into Israel are female non-Jewish ancestors of Christ, Tamar and Rahab who are mentioned in Matthew 1:3,5,6.
 
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phipps

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Gentiles welcomed into the Church

When the Holy Spirit was granted to Jesus’ followers and the New Testament Church was established on the Day of Pentecost, the people in this beginning congregation were initially Jews (Acts 2:5), one of the 12 tribes that comprised ancient Israel. Because God had specifically chosen and worked with their ancestors and now was continuing to do so, they understood themselves as being part of “the commonwealth of Israel,” which gave them access to God’s “covenants of promise” (Ephesians 2:12).

These Jews who were the earliest Christians did not fully understand that God was also going to bring Gentiles into the Church. Through a miraculous granting of the Holy Spirit to a Gentile named Cornelius and his household, just as God had previously done for Jews on the Day of Pentecost, Peter and the members of the New Testament Church came to understand that God was now also calling Gentiles (Acts 10).

Acts 10:34-35, "Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him."

Acts 10:44-48, "While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days."
 

Lisa

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PROMISES TO ISRAEL CONDITIONAL
Was this one conditional too?
Genesis‬ ‭17:7-8‬ ‭
I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.​
‭‭
 

phipps

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Was this one conditional too?
Genesis‬ ‭17:7-8‬ ‭

I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.​
‭‭
Yes it was conditional too. Abraham had many descendants and they did get to the promised land but I'm sure you remember the difficult journey in the wilderness for forty years to Canaan. I'm sure you remember that only two of the adults of the original people who left Egypt arrived in the promised land. Caleb and Joshua. That was because all those who never reached the promised land had disobeyed God. The Bible was and will always be clear that there are conditions to being God's people and to getting to the promised land which is heaven for us. Israel's story in the OT should be testament to that. God gave them so many chances because He does not give up on people easily. He does the same for us but its never something that will last forever. Eventually God will stop giving chances to the entire world just before He returns when He announces "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11.

Your argument is the same as those who believe in once saved always saved except you think osas only applies to literal Jews (and how many are there in the world today?). Jews are not going to be saved because they were once a chosen people. They are not going to go to heaven because they have Abraham's DNA. That's not biblical.

What do you think Jesus meant by "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd" (John 10:16).

Isaiah said the same thing about Israel's restoration, "The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him” (Isaiah 56:8).
 
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Lisa

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Yes it was conditional too. Abraham had many descendants and they did get to the promised land but I'm sure you remember the difficult journey in the wilderness for forty years to the Canaan. I'm sure you remember that only two adults of the original people who left Egypt arrived in the promised land. Caleb and Joshua. That was because all those who never reached the promised land had disobeyed God. The Bible was and will always be clear that there are conditions to being God's people and to getting to the promised land which is heaven for us. Israel's story in the OT should be testament to that. God gave them so many chances because He does not give up on people easily. He does the same for us but its never something that will last forever. Eventually God will stop giving chances to the entire world just before He returns when He announces "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11.

Your argument is the same as those who believe in once saved always saved except you think osas only applies to literal Jews (and how many are there in the world today?). Jews are not going to be saved because they were once a chosen people. They are not going to go to heaven because they have Abraham's DNA. That's not biblical.

What do you think Jesus meant by "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd" (John 10:16).

Isaiah said the same thing about Israel's restoration, "The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him” (Isaiah 56:8).
You are right not everyone got to the promised land but there were people that did make it to the promised land, not just Caleb and Joshua. God always has His chosen people.

Sure..God isn’t going to put up with the way things are forever and He does give people every opportunity to come to Him..and He will be giving the Jews another opportunity which they will take.

I don’t think osas for the Jews...but scripture does tell us that they have stumbled for a short but didn’t stumble and fall...so I go by what God does say about them.

Sure..there will be one flock when the Jews are part of it..and they will be..that is in scripture. Why don’t want them to be saved?
 

phipps

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You are right not everyone got to the promised land but there were people that did make it to the promised land, not just Caleb and Joshua. God always has His chosen people.

Sure..God isn’t going to put up with the way things are forever and He does give people every opportunity to come to Him..and He will be giving the Jews another opportunity which they will take.

I don’t think osas for the Jews...but scripture does tell us that they have stumbled for a short but didn’t stumble and fall...so I go by what God does say about them.

Sure..there will be one flock when the Jews are part of it..and they will be..that is in scripture. Why don’t want them to be saved?
You are right not everyone got to the promised land but there were people that did make it to the promised land, not just Caleb and Joshua. God always has His chosen people.
I didn't say Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who got to the promised land, I said "only two of the adults of the original people who left Egypt arrived in the promised land." That means all the adults who left Egypt except Caleb and Joshua did not reach the promised land including Moses. It was some of their children and grandchildren. "Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in" (Numbers 14:30).

Sure..God isn’t going to put up with the way things are forever and He does give people every opportunity to come to Him..and He will be giving the Jews another opportunity which they will take.
God is giving the whole world a chance including Jews and has been for thousands of years. If unbelieving Jews don't change by the time probation closes when that announcement in Revelation 22 is made in heaven, that will be it for them as it will be for Gentiles who did not accept Christ and submit to Him. Jews as a people are NOT going to get a separate chance from the rest of the world to change.

I don’t think osas for the Jews...but scripture does tell us that they have stumbled for a short but didn’t stumble and fall...so I go by what God does say about them.
You do because you are convinced from a doctrine not based in the Bible that they will be saved no matter what. You misunderstood what God said about Israel as I've proven to you. I've shown you proof after proof from the Bible but you are fighting the Word of God. I mean you even refuse to believe and accept the truth about the heavenly temple. I pray you will accept it as its the truth.

Sure..there will be one flock when the Jews are part of it..and they will be..that is in scripture. Why don’t want them to be saved?
There are believing Jews right now who are part of the flock as they were in Paul's day including himself. They were not plucked out of the olive tree. If unbelieving Jews do not join that olive tree during the allocated time before probation closes, they will be lost as will unbelieving Gentiles. What applies to Gentiles applies to Jews. God does not and will never compromise with sin no matter who we are. And He is never going to give special treatment to the Jews. Not according to His Word. I urge you to study the Bible on this subject and you will see that what I'm telling you is nothing but the truth of God.

I choose to believe the Word of God and I pray that when Jesus returns for His people Israel who are both Jews and Gentiles, I will be among them. I will end with Isaiah 65:17-18, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy." I want to be there. God bless.
 
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phipps

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Conflict Within the Church

Not all Jews were pleased with the entry of Gentile believers into the early church. The disagreement was not over the concept of a Gentile mission but over the basis on which Gentiles should be allowed to join. Some felt that faith in Jesus alone was not sufficient as the defining mark of the Christian; faith, they argued, must be supplemented with circumcision and obedience to the law of Moses. To be a true Christian, they asserted, Gentiles needed to be circumcised. (We can, in Acts 10:1– 11:18, see the extent of the division between Jews and Gentiles through Peter’s experience with Cornelius and the reaction that followed.)

The official visits from Jerusalem, which monitored Philip’s work among the Samaritans (Acts 8:14) and the work with Gentiles in Antioch (Acts 11:22), may suggest some concern about the inclusion of non- Jews in the Christian community. Yet, the reaction to Peter’s baptism of Cornelius, an uncircumcised Roman soldier, is a clear example of the disagreement that existed on the Gentile question among the earlier believers.

The inclusion of an occasional Gentile such as Cornelius may have made some feel uncomfortable, but Paul’s intentional efforts to open wide the doors of the church for Gentiles on the basis of faith in Jesus alone resulted in deliberate attempts by some to undermine Paul’s ministry.

How did certain believers from Judea try to counteract Paul’s work with Gentile Christians in Antioch?

Although the Jerusalem Council ultimately sided with Paul on the issue of circumcision in Acts 15, the opposition to Paul’s ministry continued. About seven years later, during Paul’s final visit to Jerusalem, many were still suspicious about Paul’s gospel. In fact, when Paul visited the temple, he nearly lost his life when Jews from Asia cried out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” (Acts 21:28; see also 21:20-21).

The Jewish believers let their own preconceived ideas, as well as their cultural (and even religious) notions, lead them astray. Does God provide a way for us to learn how to protect ourselves from making the same kind of errors, no matter how well-intentioned we are?

Some of Paul’s harshest opponents were fellow Jews who believed in Jesus too.
 
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Lisa

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I didn't say only Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who got to the promised land, I said "only two adults of the original people who left Egypt arrived in the promised land." That means all the adults who left Egypt did not reach the promised land including Moses. It was some of their children and grandchildren.



God is giving the whole world a chance including Jews and has been for thousands of years. If unbelieving Jews don't change by the time probation closes when that announcement in Revelation 22 is made in heaven, that will be it for them as it will be for Gentiles who did not accept Christ and submit to Him. Jews as a people are NOT going to get a separate chance from the rest of the world to change.



You do because you are convinced from a doctrine not based in the Bible that they will be saved no matter what. You misunderstood what God said about Israel as I've proven to you. I've shown you proof after proof from the Bible but you are fighting the Word of God. I mean you even refuse to believe and accept the truth about the heavenly temple. I pray you will accept it as its the truth.



There are Jews right now who are part of the flock as they were in Paul's day. They were not plucked out of the olive tree. If unbelieving Jews do not join that olive tree during the allocated time before probation closes, they will be lost as will unbelieving Gentiles. What applies to Gentiles applies to Jews. God does not and will never compromise with sin no matter who we are. And He is never going to give special treatment to the Jews. Not according to His Word. I urge you to study the Bible on this subject and you will see that what I'm telling you is nothing but the truth of God.

I choose to believe the Word of God and I pray that when Jesus returns for His people Israel who are both Jews and Gentiles, I will be among them. I will end with Isaiah 65:17-18, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy." I want to be there. God bless.
It was all the children and grandchildren that went in, not some.

Yes, Jews will get a second chance as a nation to change and scripture says that they will change. They are God’s chosen people and He has not abandoned them. He has given gentiles a chance to know Him and when that fullness comes in, He will return again to His chosen people.
Honestly, thinking about God like you do puts Him in a bad light...You don’t think much about God or His promises.

I think Phipps you are actually talking about yourself when you’re talking about fighting the truth...it’s right before you and yet you refuse to believe that you are the one who is wrong. That scripture says exactly what it says here...especially Romans 11. Paul expresses exactly what Romans 11 is all about when He starts out saying “I say God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!
For you to continue saying that He has is wrong and unbiblical!
 

phipps

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The Road to Building a New Temple

If we want the fog to clear from around the subject of prophetic Israel, we must also consider the Jewish temple. Many who have focused their attention on a literal nation fulfilment are also expecting the ancient Jewish temple to be rebuilt.

Some of the contemporary so-called Christian “Zionists” who have written on this rebuilding include Thomas Ice, Randall Price, Grant Jeffrey, Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, Dave Hunt, and John Hagee. Their combined published book sales exceed 70 million in more than 50 languages. This shows their views to be extremely influential, and therefore they cannot be simply dismissed. A significant proportion of evangelical, Charismatic, Pentecostal, and fundamentalist Christians worldwide endorse this view.

In the same way the devil has misdirected focus from spiritual Israel to the literal headlines concerning the Middle East today, he has also confused people on the subject of the temple. Oddly, most of the speculation and hopes for a rebuilt temple spring from one vague ethereal reference in the New Testament dealing with the antichrist power. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, we read, “Let no man deceive you by anymeans: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

Since the Romans destroyed the last Jewish temple in AD 70, many naturally assume that in order for this antichrist being, a specific person in their view, to sit in the temple, it will have to be rebuilt. But let us follow the Biblical clues.

A Spiritual House

Just before King David died, he wanted to build a permanent temple in Jerusalem. Nathan the prophet told David that he would not be able to build this house for God, but that his son Solomon would do it.

1 Chronicles 17:11-12 recounts, “And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will establish his throne for ever.”

Later, David said the Lord told him “Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts” (1 Chronicles 28:6).

But this is one of the clearest examples in Scripture of prophecy having dual applications. Yes, history records do show that Solomon was the son of David and that he built a physical temple, but the New Testament says that Jesus was the true “Son of David,” who was to build a temple and kingdom that was to last forever. Jesus clearly taught that He had come to transfer the attention from a physical building of worship to something greater: His body, the church.

John 2:19-21, says, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.” Jesus’ prophecy concerning the pride of the Jewish nation and the destruction of the temple inspired the most intense rejection of His teaching. Here are some high points of this truth:

1. “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:38).

2. “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:1, 2).

3. “We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands” (Mark 14:58).

4. “And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Mark 15:38).

And even as Jesus hung on the cross, His mockers reminded Him of His teachings. “Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matthew 27:40). But of course, Jesus was not speaking of rebuilding the physical temple. He meant to build a spiritual one.

The New Testament Perspective

After the veil in the temple ripped from top to bottom and the early disciples were excommunicated, we find an unusual indifference among the early believers, nearly all Jews, regarding the Jewish temple. Because they knew Jesus to be the true Lamb of God, and that the Jewish temple was designed to accommodate animal sacrifices, the New Testament writers saw the temple as irrelevant. They recognized the establishment of a new spiritual temple and priesthood. See some amazing Biblical evidence for this below, with our emphasis in bold:

1. “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 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” (1 Corinthians 3:17, 16).

2. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22).

3. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

Sadly, even after God provides all this clear biblical evidence that His temple today is a spiritual one, many Christians are waiting for the Jews to rebuild a physical temple on the site where the mosque of Omar (Dome of the Rock) now sits—also known as the Temple Mount. Yet there is no prophecy, promise, or commandment in the Bible that says the temple would be rebuilt again after the Romans destroyed it. Though it might very well be rebuilt, Jesus’ prophecy that not one stone would sit upon another seemed to be of an extremely final tone.

So what does the verse in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 mean? Simply this: This antichrist power would seat itself over the church of God claiming the worship that belongs only to Jesus Christ. Historically, Protestant scholars have consistently applied Paul’s words to the papal power, and to its influence within Christianity.


https://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/book/e/49/t/spiritual-israel#The-New-Testament-Perspective
 
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phipps

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Question:

Jeremiah 31:36 says, “If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, [then] the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.” What does this mean?


Answer:

Jeremiah 31 is a communication from God to the children of Israel designed to create hope and confidence that nothing is going to interfere with His plan for complete restoration from the ravages of sin.

Verse 36 is an assurance from God that nothing will stop the promise of fulfillment from taking place. But we must remember that all promises of God are based on conditions. Exodus 19:5-6 tells us, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Deuteronomy 11:26-28 comes to bear on this subject also.

God makes it very clear to Israel, from the very beginning of their existence, that His promises to them are based upon the condition of obedience. Having said all this, when we come to a passage which says that they will continue being a nation as long as the sun shines during the day and the moon and stars shine at night (Jeremiah 31:35), we see that this was said to let them know that nothing would stop God from keeping them from any mischief that the devil and all his host could bring against them—if they were living up to their end of the bargain. It was their part to be obedient to the commandments. If they failed in that, then they would become cursed and no longer be able to claim God’s protective care.

The interesting thing is that this whole passage is in the setting of the New Covenant. If only Israel would have understood that along with the promise of God to call them His people, He would make it possible for them to keep His commandments! Jeremiah 31:33 says: “But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Here God is promising that He would put things together in such a way that it would be entirely possible to keep His law. He would write it upon the tables of their hearts. That is, He would give them such a love for Him, that obedience would be second nature to them. Love would be the motivating factor.

But the children of Israel rejected the plan of God and did their own thing, rather than working with God and His plan. As a sure result, when He came, they crucified Him. While the sands of their probation were trickling through the glass of time, they stoned Stephen, and probation closed upon them as a nation, forever closing the door to their being a nation again.

The promise found in Jeremiah 31:36 now passes on to the church. What we do with it will determine our future with God also.
 

phipps

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Who are “the children of Israel” in Romans 9:27?

"Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved"
(Romans 9:27).

“Notwithstanding the awful doom pronounced upon the Jews as a nation at the time of their rejection of Jesus of Nazareth, there have lived from age to age many noble, God-fearing Jewish men and women who have suffered in silence. God has comforted their hearts in affliction, and has beheld with pity their terrible situation. He has heard the agonizing prayers of those who have sought Him with all the heart for a right understanding of His word. Some have learned to see in the lowly Nazarene whom their forefathers rejected and crucified, the true Messiah of Israel. As their minds have grasped the significance of the familiar prophecies so long obscured by tradition and misinterpretation, their hearts have been filled with gratitude to God for the unspeakable gift He bestows upon every human being who chooses to accept Christ as a personal Saviour.

“It is to this class that Isaiah referred in his prophecy, ‘A remnant shall be saved’ (see Isaiah 10:20–22). From Paul’s day to the present time, God by His Holy Spirit has been calling after the Jew as well as the Gentile. "For there is no partiality with God" (Romans 2:11), declared Paul. …” Gospel Workers, 397.

“When this gospel shall be presented in its fullness to the Jews, many will accept Christ as the Messiah. Among Christian ministers there are only a few who feel called upon to labor for the Jewish people; but to those who have been often passed by, as well as to all others, the message of mercy and hope in Christ is to come.

“In the closing proclamation of the gospel, when special work is to be done for classes of people hitherto neglected, God expects His messengers to take particular interest in the Jewish people whom they find in all parts of the earth. As the Old Testament Scriptures are blended with the New in an explanation of Jehovah’s eternal purpose, this will be to many of the Jews as the dawn of a new creation, the resurrection of the soul. As they see the Christ of the gospel dispensation portrayed in the pages of the Old Testament Scriptures, and perceive how clearly the New Testament explains the Old, their slumbering faculties will be aroused, and they will recognize Christ as the Saviour of the world. Many will by faith receive Him as their Redeemer. To them will be fulfilled the words, "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).” Ibid., 398.
 

phipps

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The nation of Israel.

Many people ask what God meant by, “If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease
from being a nation before Me foreverin Jeremiah 31:36. We know that the Jews completely rejected Christ during the allocated 70 weeks that were cut off for them as a people in Daniel 9:20-27 and they ceased being a chosen people and blessed as a nation. They had/have to come to Christ individually from then on just like all peoples from around the world. Yet the nation of Israel exists.

Did Israel not lose its status as God's chosen people or did the verse above mean something else?

God was not talking about Israel from a physical point of view. He was talking about Israel from a spiritual point of view. Israel ceased being a spiritual nation before the Lord forever. They ceased being a chosen people who witness for God and spread the Word throughout the world. Apart from the era from the early Christian church where the apostles spread the Gospel, its mostly been Gentiles who spread the Word of God around the world all throughout the centuries to this day.

Why did Israel stop being God's chosen people?

We must remember that all of God's promises are based on conditions. Exodus 19:5-6 tells us, “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. 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.” Deuteronomy 11:26-28 comes to bear on this subject also.

God made it very clear to Israel, from the very beginning of their existence, that His promises to them were based upon the condition of obedience. When we come to the passage that says they will continue being a nation as long as the sun shines during the day and the moon and stars shine at night (Jeremiah 31:35), we see that this was said to let them know that nothing would stop God from keeping them from any mischief that the devil and all his host could bring against them—if they were living up to their end of the bargain. It was their part to be obedient to the commandments. If they failed in that, then they would become cursed and no longer be able to claim God’s protective care.

The interesting thing is that this whole passage is in the setting of the New Covenant. If only Israel would have understood that along with the promise of God to call them His people, He would make it possible for them to keep His commandments! Jeremiah 31:33 says: “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.” Here God is promising that He would put things together in such a way that it would be entirely possible to keep His law. He would write it upon the tables of their hearts. That is, He would give them such a love for Him, that obedience would be second nature to them. Love would be the motivating factor.

But the children of Israel rejected the plan of God and did their own thing, rather than working with God and His plan. As a sure result, when He came, they crucified Him. While the sands of their probation were trickling through the glass of time, they stoned Stephen, and probation closed upon them as a nation, forever closing the door to their being a nation again.

The promise found in Jeremiah 31:36 now passes on to the church. What we do with it will determine our future with God also.
 
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phipps

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Why Israel was chosen by God.

When God chose Israel as His people, He chose them for a purpose. The purpose was to spread the gospel around the world and to bring the Gentiles to God and they too could join and become part of Israel.

We read in Isaiah 55:5, "Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, and the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.” God intended His house to be a house of prayer for ALL PEOPLE.

Isaiah 42:6 tells us the Israelites were to be a LIGHT unto the Gentiles. Isaiah 60:1-9 tells us Gentiles will come to the light. Isaiah 2:2-4 tells us all nations would come to the light from Zion. Micah 4:1-2 repeats that promise. Zechariah 8:23 says all nations would join with the Jews because God was with them. Jeremiah 3:17 says all nations would come to Jerusalem, if they had remained faithful. The sons of the stranger could unite with God’s people, Isaiah 56:6. We could list dozens more verses to prove this. So we see that the term, Israel, was not and has never been about just a biological/genetic connection in both Testaments.
 

Flarepath

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..When God chose Israel as His people, He chose them for a purpose. The purpose was to spread the gospel around the world and to bring the Gentiles to God and they too could join and become part of Israel...
Jews were certainly God's Chosen People in ancient times because although they were far from perfect, they were the best of the bad bunch to send his prophets and Son to, because they had a fairly good spiritual mindset.
I mean, if he'd have sent him to North America they'd have scalped him, and if sent to jungle tribes they'd have had him in the cookpot in no time.
At least he had a good 3-year run before the jews killed him, but it's highly doubtful now as to whether God still regards them as his 'chosen people'.
The deal on the table is exactly the same for jews as for every other human on the planet, namely become a christian before you die, or you'll be going up the spout..:)
 
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