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The Persecuted Church

 

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IS THE CHURCH ISRAEL

We come now to something that is crucial and needs to be defined to understand the new covenant. Is the Church Israel? For if it is ,we are obligated to keep Sabbath day at least in a general sense. If the Church is not Israel then what sense would there be to keep the Sabbath. Scripturally we find the Church is not Israel the nation but a separate entity under an entirely new covenant. Israel is called the wife of Jehovah, while the Church is called the bride of Christ, showing distinctions in how God relates to each. The word Israel is always descriptive of the physical descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. It was Jacob who’s name was changed to Israel and had 12 sons that became that nation.

Many transfer the promises and the covenants to Israel to the Church, but there is absolutely no reason to do this. The Church is not spiritual Israel. Look it up you’ll never find the term or concept in the Bible. There are only two verses that are used to validate this view, both are unsupported in their context.

Gal.3:29 says that those who belong to Christ are Abraham’s seed. The seed of Abraham does not mean one is Israel. It Means those who are justified by faith are spiritual descendants of Abraham but this does not make them descendants of Jacob who is Israel. They partake in the spiritual blessings that come through Israel. While there are two different groups of people who can be descendants of Abraham one of which is the Arabs, they do not share in the promises of Jacob. Only Israel is descended from the physical posterity of Jacob.

The other verse is Gal.6:16 where Paul is addressing both believing Jews and Gentiles in the church "As many as walk according to this rule (Gentile believers) and upon "the Israel of God." In its context this term means Jews who are believers, who believe salvation is by faith in Christ contrary to what the Judaizers were teaching that the law was needed also. Paul also addresses this in Rom.9:6-8 that there are two Israel's, one that consists of Jews and the elect, the true Israel which are the physical posterity and also have the faith of Abraham, they are the Israel of God mentioned in Gal.6. As Paul states, " for they are not all Israel who are of Israel." (Rom.9:6). There is also "Israel" after the flesh found in 1 Cor.10:18. The Church is never called spiritual Israel or is a new Israel replacing the old. Nor does it say believers become Jews. Both gentiles and Jews participate together in the New Covenant. as Eph 2 addresses the middle wall of partition being broken down and God makeing a new entity.

In the N.T  we have three terms used alongside each other, Israel, Gentiles and the Church. The Church consists of both believing Gentiles and Jews while Israel as a nation is in unbelief as are the Gentiles. The Church and Israel are two distinct groups and God has a different program for each. Both are brought in make up the body of Christ. The name Israel is used 20 times and the church 19 times in the book of Acts, both are kept distinct   While there is no difference in salvation for both, Gods plans are different for each. In the book of Acts Israel and the church exist alongside each other, nowhere is the church called the new or spiritual Israel.There are certain areas the differences of Jew and gentile are erased but in all areas.Such as we becoming one in Christ all the same way 1 Cor.12:13 , according to the NT a Jew is one that is not only outwardly by the flesh but inwardly,this obviously can't be for a gentile so for a gentile. there is no such thing as a spiritual Jew from the inside only, but there is such a thing as spiritual gentiles.

If you claim to be Israel then you were cut off according to Romans.11. And where the natural branch once was, God grafted in unnatural ones the Gentiles. It doesn't get any clearer. The teaching of God abandoning Israel the nation or replaced by the Church did quite well for almost 1,500 hundred years until he actually gave them back their land AND STARTED TO REGATHER THEM FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD JUST AS HE SAID HE WOULD. God said in Neh. 1:8 if you are unfaithful I will scatter you.' but he also said...

Jer.30:18, 31:8 "Behold I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the ends of the earth."

Isa.43:5 I will bring your descendants from the east and gather you from the west...

It is a nation that is being gathered today for the tribulation, they are gathered first in unbelief until that fateful day where in Romans 11 Paul says they will all be saved after the fullness of the gentiles has come in. The Church is dealt with differently than the nation of Israel, God has a differnt plan for both.

 

   

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