by Kevin Williams.
I want to show you here that the Bible clearly teaches that there is neither Jew nor Greek but one bride of Jesus Christ. And we'll look at several Scriptures because I want you to feel the weight of this. This is not a doctrine made out of one verse. I once heard John MacArthur claim that there’s only a couple of verses in the New Testament that seem to indicate that the Christian is Israel, but that is not the case. There are many verses that support this and as we’ll see: the truth that the Christian is Spiritual Israel-'the true Israel', is both clear and over whelming.
In Jeremiah 31:31 we read: "Behold, the days come [or are coming], saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah":
So firstly we can see that this New Covenant is made with Israel and Judah, which is just a way of saying Israel (cross reference verse 33).
Verse 32 continues:
"Not according to [or "not like" NASB] the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:"
So the New Covenant is not like the Old Mosaic Covenant and we see as we read on, that means it’s not physical with rituals for a nation, but the New Covenant is Spiritual and deals with the heart as we see in verse 33:
"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."
Notice: there is no continual rebellion in the New Covenant like the Old Covenant.
And verse 34: "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD:"
In the New Covenant you don’t have to go through a priesthood to get to God, but every person in the new covenant personally and intimately knows God.
Now in Matthew 7 to those professing Christians who Jesus says "depart from Me" to, He says to them "I never knew you". Therefore those who only professed faith but weren't truly saved were never in this New Covenant.
And verse 34 of Jeremiah 31 continues:
"for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
So for every person in the New Covenant their sins are forgiven forever. Which tells us that this New Covenant, rather than being made with a nation of saved and lost people like the Old Covenant; the New Covenant is made up of true believers only (which also rules out infant baptism as entrance to the covenant).
Now clearly we can see from verses 31 and 33 that the New Covenant is made with the House of Israel and so now if we look at Luke 22:20 and this is at the Last Supper here, we see this New Covenant come to pass what we just read was prophesised in Jeremiah.
Luke 22:20 "Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament [or as most translations better translate it, "the New Covenant"] in my blood, which is shed for you."
Now there’s at least one non Jew: Luke so far in this New Covenant, but if we then look at 1 Corinthians 11:23, which is the passage on the Lord’s supper.
1 Corinthians 11:23 "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament [or "New Covenant"] in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me."
So this time Paul is writing to a gentile church and he clearly includes them in the New Covenant, which was given in Jeremiah to who?
You cannot be saved if you are not in this New covenant and so also be of the true Israel.
You see, it is important for you to understand that if you are a Christian then you are of Israel and that all of the blessings of Israel apply to you. You say, 'what about the promises of the land?' Well we’ve already looked at that (in the sermon this is taken from, see below), but in any case, Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt 5:5). Under the Old Covenant, which is just a faint shadow of the New, the promises in the Old were physical and so a bit of land, but in the New Covenant, the promises are Spiritual in which the believer gets the whole redeemed earth.
Now if we look at Romans 9:6, I want you to see here that Christ does not have two brides. He has one people. The whole idea of marriage in the New Covenant and "as it was in the beginning", is to give us a picture of Christ and His bride. Not Christ and His two brides. God is not an adulterer.
So Romans 9:6 "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect."
Paul is saying here, just because physical Israel have rejected Jesus as their Messiah, it’s not as if God’s Word and the promises in the Old Testament about Israel have failed, because, verse 6 continues:
"For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel"
Not everyone of the physical Israel, are of the true Spiritual Israel.
Verse 7: "Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called."
Isaac was the child of promise, the picture of Christ to come.
Verse 8 "That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God:"
So being a child of physical Israel, just like Ishmael and Esau does not make you a child of the true Israel. Verse 8 clearly tells us there that any Jew outside of Christ is not a child of God. For verse 8 continues:
"but the children of the promise are counted for the seed."
The 'true seed', are the spiritual descendants of Abraham, not the physical descendants. And then Paul gives an example of election with Jacob being elected to believe.
So we can clearly see there from verse 7 that not all ethnic Israel are of the true Israel. Not all physical decedents of Abraham are God’s chosen people, but only those who are called. No matter what ethnic background they came from, it is the children of the promise that are the true Israel of God.
And then if we look at verse 25 which says:
"As he saith also in Osee, [that is Hosea] I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
26And 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."
Some people say today, that if you don't believe God has two brides, then: "Oh you believe in replacement theology then". But no, in the Old Testament, the true Spiritual Israel of God (the actual saved people) was made up of virtually all ethnically born Jews apart from the odd one like Rahab. But here as prophesised in Hosea, many gentile born people, who were once not a people of God, have now become part of the true Israel. This is not replacement theology, this is enlargement theology.
And then if we look at Romans 10:12 (note: when it says Greek in this text, it doesn't mean people from Greece, but by Greek it means a non-Jew; as you were either classed as a Jew or a Greek):
Paul says in verse 12, "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him."
How much clearer can Paul make it? There is no difference between the believers in Jesus from an ethnically Jewish background and the believers from an ethnically gentile background.
Then if we look at Roman 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."
Again, this is not replacement theology. Paul was born of the physical nation of Israel. There are still ethnically Jewish believers in Christ. But gentiles are also included in the true Israel now. This is enlargement theology
Verse 2 "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew."
And then Paul gives an example in Rom 11:3-4 of this in the Old Testament, that only those reserved or elect were of the true Spiritual Israel. Only those were really God’s people.
And then in verse 5, Paul shows there is an elected remnant of physical Israel in the Spiritual Israel:
"Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."
Paul as he’s just said is one of them.
And then in verse 11 (and from other places), I think Paul clearly teaches, that many ethnically born Jews are going to be saved before the end.
Verse 11: "Have they [the ethnic Jews] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy."
And verse 12 "Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?"
Now as we’ve already seen the Bible clearly teaches that not all of ethnic Israel are of true Israel, and if you read Romans 11, what you will find is you get this picture of the Olive Tree, which is Israel. And what you see is that the unbelieving Jews are cast out of the Olive Tree (Israel). The unbelieving branches are broken off. And so a Jew that does not believe in Jesus is not of Israel. That’s what it says. And then we see that when a gentile believes then they are grafted into the Olive Tree (Israel). And so the Gentile believers in Christ become part of the true Israel. But then when an ethnically born Jew comes to Christ, he is then grafted back into, where?
Into the olive tree. Into Israel, where the gentile believers already are. God clearly has one people, one bride Israel. All the blessings are in Christ for those in Israel.
Now if we look at Galatians chapter 3, and Paul shows here that it’s the children of faith that are the children of promise. Paul clearly tells us here that the true Israel of God are not the physical descendants of Abraham but the spiritual seed.
If we look at verse 6:
"Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same ["those"] are the children of Abraham."
And look: we see in verse 8, it is talking about those from "all nations" and of a Heathen background, that are the true spiritual children of Abraham, by faith:
Verse 8 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."
And then from verses 10 to 15, Paul tells us that salvation is all of faith, and not of works of the law. Then verse 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."
So we see there, the true seed of Abraham that the promises are to is Christ. Not physical descendants.
And verse 29 says "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
So the believers in Christ are joint heirs with Christ. And also verse 23 says:
"But before faith came, we were kept under the law [the old Mosaic Covenant], shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."
That makes a nonsense of the dispensationalist claim to put Jews back under the Mosaic law, in a supposed millennial Kingdom after Christ has returned. I think Paul would rightly say today "O foolish dispensationalists, who hath bewitched you?"
Then verse 26:
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There 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.
29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
Now if we look at Ephesians 3:5. This is just another straight forward and simple to understand text that clearly shows, gentile and Jewish born Christians, are all one people in Jesus Christ.
Eph 3:5-6 "Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
The Bible does not teach separate bodies of Christians (Jewish and gentile believers) but fellow heirs of the same body.
And if we look at Ephesians 2:12
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"
So notice there that when we were without Christ, that also meant we were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, but this is of course no longer the case.
"having no hope, and without God in the world:
13But now [this is true of the present] in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were [or "were once"] far off are made nigh [made near] by the blood of Christ.
And be careful here. Being "made nigh" doesn’t mean that the gentile believers are brought close to the true Israel, but are just left outside the gate as 2nd class Christians, because in verse 17, the Jewish believers are also "nigh". And verse 14 makes this clear:
"For he [Jesus] is our peace, who hath made both one," [how many peoples of God are there? One]
"and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; [the dispensationalists are trying to build it back up]
15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; [the old sacrificial system has been abolished in Christ for good]
for to make in himself of twain [that's an old word for two]."
And what has He made?-
"one new man, so making peace; 16And that he might reconcile both unto God in [how many bodies?] one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off [the gentiles], and to them that were nigh. [the ethnic Jews]
18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19Now therefore [and look at this:] ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
If you are a Christian then you are a fellow citizen of the true Israel.
Next if we look at Philippians 3:3 and I want you see here that whilst Paul is talking to Gentile believers he says "We". He includes them in this. He says "we are the circumcision." The 'circumcision' is a name for Jews and Paul clearly includes the Gentile born believers he's talking to as Jews when he says "we".
Phil 3:3 "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit,
[Jesus said He's seeking such to worship Him]
and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."
So the true circumcision, the true Jew is anyone one who has no confidence in the flesh (in His own works). But his confidence is in Christ.
And if we look at this in Romans 2:28
"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29But 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."
So the true circumcision, the true Jew, is the one who has been circumcised in the heart. And by the Holy Spirit. This is something the Spirit of God does. In the Old Covenant, physical circumcision was just a faint picture, a foreshadow of this what God would do in a persons heart.
Then if we look at 1st Peter 2:9:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation,
[Who's the Holy Nation? It is Israel]
a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
So I think Scripture has made it clear there, that the all believers in Christ are of the true Israel. God has one bride Israel and all those in Christ are of the true Israel.
Taken from the sermon: Why I Am Not A Dispensationalist Or Premillenialist-Kevin Williams