Who is Israel?
Ignorance of the Bible is a serious problem today. Most people do not even take their Bibles to church. The rest of them seldom diligently study what the Bible teaches so that they can cooperate with God. In fact, most of them don’t even know the basic facts of the Bible and Christianity.
I have to apologize for my colleagues in ministry because they are simply repeating what they were taught in school without ever checking the facts in the Bible.
I made the same ignorant errors for years before I began to seriously study the Bible to learn from God what He said and wants us to do. If we don’t wake up and begin to do diligent study of the Word of God we risk being thrown in the lake of fire at the final judgment.
February 26, 2011. Topic “The Israel of God”. Who is modern Israel?
Many of us just depend on what our religious leaders say and go on as if we were not responsible to know the Word of God. Jesus clearly rejected that idea in his Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5 thru 7.
(Mat 7:21-29 KJV)21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Jesus said it. So,… Don’t get mad at me for telling you what the Bible says. Jesus will not ask you what your preacher taught you. Your actions will be clear enough. Not even I can blame being lost on someone else misleading me.
Today I bring you a hard message, but it could be the saving of your soul.
There is only one God and He is not me. Jesus gave us one key rule for salvation.
(Joh 6:26-29 KJV)26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
What is the evidence of our belief?
We just read in Matthew 7:23 that it is our “works” or behavior.
This is confirmed in James.
(Jam 2:19-20 KJV)19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
I will let you look up on your own the other witnesses to this fact of salvation.
Now to our subject of the message. Exactly who are the “Israel of God”??
(Gal 6:16 KJV)16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Let’s review the history of Israel from the Bible.
Abraham had only one special son, Isaac. Isaac had only one son whom God blessed with the birth right, Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel later in his life. Afterward all the descendants of Israel went into Egypt. 430 years later Moses led them out of Egypt. They ended up in captivity and exile later because they did not obey God’s covenant with them.
Jesus was a descendant. The Gospel of John records that his people did not receive Him as their Messiah.
(Joh 1:10-12 KJV)10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
The apostle Paul spent three chapters in his letter to the Romans explaining that there is a difference between genetics and salvation. In other words just because you were born an Israelite does not make you the Israel of God.
(Rom 9:4-6 KJV)4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Then who are the real Israel of God?
(Rom 9:8 KJV)8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
(Rom 9:24-27 KJV)24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: (Isa. 10:22)
Why are only a remnant of the genetic Israelites going to be saved?
KJV Romans 10:1-4 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
This statement makes is obvious that our only salvation is to be found in submitting ourselves to Jesus Christ and His righteousness. We may be full of zeal for Jesus, but if it is not according to “knowledge” we could be lost just like most of the genetic Israelites.
(Rom 10:9-10 KJV)9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
What does it mean to confess the “Lord Jesus”?
Eight days after the resurrection, Thomas gave us an example to help us understand. He had not yet seen the resurrected Jesus.
(Joh 20:26-29 KJV)
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
The word “lord” means “master” or “ruler”. We need to receive Jesus as our Master and our God, Or we will find ourselves being rejected at the last Judgment.
When I learned to receive Jesus as my Master and God, I had to let go of all those childish ideas about him as just a very good fellow and see Him as the one I will follow and obey ever after.
I soon learned that the only way to victory in Jesus is to obey His words and the words of the Holy Spirit. I had to Submit to God. Then I could begin to follow my Master, Jesus. There was no more arguing about “what’s so wrong about that?”. I could only say YES Lord and follow where He leads.
Too many of us have not received Jesus as our Master and our God. We still cling to pride and self-importance. These keep us away from submission to Jesus and the Word.
(Joh 15:7-8 KJV)7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Now, back to our quest of identifying the “Israel of God”.
The Israelites were the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Israel.
(Gal 3:16 KJV)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.
Paul just showed us how carefully we are to read the Word of God. He notes the usage of a singular form and demonstrates why it is important.
(Gal. 3:26-29 KJV)26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
What about all those preachers who teach that all the Israelites will be saved? Once you realize that all true believers are the Israel of God, there is no more problem. Also, there is no need for the confusing doctrines of Dispensationalism. God has always only had one plan and method of salvation. It was looking forward to Jesus the Messiah and now looks forward to the soon return of Jesus for all the Israel of God.
We must quit looking to the modern nation called by the name “Israel” for it is not the “Israel of God”. All believers in Jesus and the Father are true Israelites to God. All others are simply unbelievers who need Jesus for their salvation.
So how do I make sure of my salvation? I must submit to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I must receive Him as my MASTER and my GOD. Then I will be part of the Israel of God and rejoice when He knows me by name and welcomes me into the kingdom. Don’t be caught outside because you only had a zeal that was not according to knowledge.