Are We Spiritual Israel?
In religion today you hear all kinds of misinformation that is taught as bible truth. For example some teach you have to be water baptized to be saved. Others teach against this saying water baptism is “an outward sign of an inward commitment”. May I say at the outset that both of these teachings are dispensationally deficient.
Then there are the issues of tongues, healing’s, tithing, gifts, signs, judgments, communion, forgiveness, atonement, and covenants, not to mention salvation, justification, redemption and reconciliation.
Why is there so much confusion in churches today? Why is it that you can drive down any city street and find many, many kinds of church buildings? What is the reason for so much division?
There is division because there is very little “right division”. The confusion in the churches today stems from an evil root that fails to grasp several vital, yea, imperative bible truths. There is confusion because of a failure to….
- Rightly divide the word of truth
- Acknowledge Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles
- Recognize the distinctiveness of the church the body of Christ
On the other hand, a complete harmony of the scriptures takes place when we employ these principles.
God is not the author of confusion – man and Satan are the co-authors of confusion surrounding the word of God today.
There is only one way to clear up the confusion caused by trying to make the body of Christ “spiritual Israel” and that is by following God’s plan (dispensational application of the word of God) and God’s man (in this age the apostle Paul).
We will look at the 3 points above and see what the bible says, not our opinion, not our interpretation, about the body of Christ and Israel – TODAY.
Are we today, in the dispensation of the grace of God, spiritual Israel? No, not in any way. The body of Christ is a distinct organism designed to be the Agency through which God is making his will known today. Again, religion makes at least three errors in making the body of Christ spiritual Israel today. Let’s begin with the first one.
- FAILURE # 1 – Failure to rightly divide the word of truth.
Consider if you will for just a moment several points of contrast between Israel and the body of Christ.
Israel had an earthly hope while the BOC has a heavenly hope
Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Israel was looking for a physical, visible, earthly, Davidic kingdom with Christ sitting on the throne in Jerusalem!
while the BOC has a heavenly hope
2 Cor 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Phil 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
1 Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
The church the body of Christ has a heavenly hope while the nation of Israel has an earthly hope. This is illustrated in the following verse.
Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven (the body of Christ ), and which are on earth (the nation of Israel) ; even in him:
This is only one of many distinctions arrived at by dispensational application of the scriptures… the only method of bible study that makes sense and the only one of which God approves.
For more distinctions please click on this link Distinct Differences (Chart)
FAILURE # 2 – Failure to acknowledge Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles
Paul, not Peter, nor any of the rest of the “Kingdom” apostles, was THE APOSTLE to the Gentiles. I didn’t say that, GOD said that.
The sooner organized religion, traditionalist, and denominationalist, figure this out the sooner the “spiritual Israel phenomenon will disappear.
Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
1 Cor 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God…
Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
1 Tim 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
2 Tim 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
Can there be any doubt? Those who desire to be “under the law” and to place others there too have to do so in the light of the plain teaching of scripture.
The 12 tribes of Israel had their 12 apostles – The ONE body of Christ has it’s ONE apostle. When you apply this information to the doctrine of us being spiritual Israel that doctrine disappears. – Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Paul, not the 12, is our pattern today…. 1 Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
For more information on this topic see our study – “Do we make too much of Paul?“.
FAILURE # 3 – Failure to recognize the distinctiveness of the church the body of Christ
Israel has been set aside – Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in…. Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes…. Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
There is no denying the fact that Israel has been set aside and blinded and will remain in that condition until the catching away of the church the body of Christ.
The body of Christ does not…
etc., etc,. etc..
All these things belong to the nation of Israel!
However the body of Christ …
These are things that relate ONLY to the church the body of Christ! And this is only a quick, random sampling!!
We cannot be spiritual Israel simply because God has a prophesied program for them that will be accomplished out in the ages to come. It is a visible, physical, earthly, Davidic kingdom with Christ sitting on his throne in Jerusalem.
The body of Christ has the task of being God’s agency today proclaiming salvation by grace through faith based upon the finished cross work of Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. At the end of this age the BOC will be “caught up” to heaven to rule and reign there.
Two separate programs, two separate messages and two separate spheres of influence.
Our apostle is Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, writing in the dispensation of the grace of God. He is our pattern. We follow him as we have been directed. All confusion disappears when we follow God’s man and God’s message in God’s time.