Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Israel, the Israel "of Israel", the Gentile, and the Church

Update: Revised Drawing

I have really gotten off on a tangent!
I wanted to visually show how I see this verse, Romans 9:6, and how it looks in relation to the present program and purposes of God... whereby He is revealing His righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. (Romans 3) He is creating in Himself one new man from the two... that He might reconcile them both to God in one body... (Eph. 2) This is the Church.

There is no millenium in this picture. Notice that the defining characteritic of the church is the blue hat. It doesn't matter what nation you come from. You must be born again by grace through faith and you need the blue hat. Note that there are no yellows in the church. You must have faith - being from the nation Israel alone will get you nowhere in Christ's church.

The church is not Israel and it is not the Israel "of Israel" because there are gentiles in the church. The Israel "of Israel" is part of the church in this present time, but it is not the whole church.


  • Great graphic, Rose. I get it.

    Now I feel the need to buy a blue hat. {c:

    By Blogger Missy, at 8/29/2007 11:54 AM  

  • Thank you Missy!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/29/2007 12:00 PM  

  • It is a good idea.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/30/2007 4:19 AM  

  • Nice graphic!

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 8/30/2007 5:51 AM  

  • I changed it.
    It was bothering me that the gentiles could just go up to the church and get the blue hat without a change in color.

    Feel free to give me any of your ideas or criticisms (in private email, of course: rcole@ambt.net)

    Thank you. You are such a gentleman.

    Thanks, John!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/30/2007 7:48 AM  

  • Rose, what exactly does the hat represent?

    By Blogger Missy, at 8/30/2007 8:12 AM  

  • Missy,
    the hat would be the immersion in the Holy Spirit peculiar to the NT saint, via faith in the revealed Son of God, Jesus Christ, and His finshed work on the cross as a privion for eternal life.

    (In my humble understanding)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/30/2007 10:12 AM  

  • Hey, I just noticed that the first 12 that are wearing blue hats are oarnge. Cool!

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 8/31/2007 6:21 AM  

  • Good, John!
    Did you also note that yellow and blue are primary colors, but when you add red to each, you get orange and purple?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/31/2007 9:23 AM  

  • 12 apostles?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 8/31/2007 9:57 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    My life is more under control now. I was reading the last several entries. We part in our interpretation of "true Israel" in Romans 9 at an early stage.

    Forgive the math terminology in the following comment. Scratch me and I bleed mathematics. :o}

    I read the analogy of your previous post, that is a way of looking at things, but the problem, as I see it, is that Paul is talking about "true Israel" as those who have cimcumcision of the heart. That circumcision of the heart is, so the speak, no respector of persons. It is "color blind" and "ethnic blind". I would view it as a Venn Diagram (I am borrowing picture from somewhere else) where there are 3 circles, blue on the left, red in the middle, yellow on the right. They intersect so that the blue intersects with the red, and the yellow intersects with the red. The red circle is "true Israel," the left circle is "Ethnic Israel," and the yellow circle are "Gentiles." So, "True Israel" contains some "Ethnic Israel" and "Gentiles."

    As you can see, this results in a different interpretation of Romans 9. I would argue that my approach is a more natual reading of Romans and keeps the integrety of the book, while the other view "imports" a view on top of the text.

    So my question to you all, other than the analogy of the previous post of the family names, how do you arrive at the view that "true Israel" is a subset of "Ethnic" or "National" or "Religious" Israel.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/31/2007 1:38 PM  

  • ...by the way Rose, you writting and arkwork are outstanding. Very nicely done.

    By Blogger Earl, at 8/31/2007 3:04 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I read the previous previous post and saw some of the reasoning. That's all I was curious about.

    I should have read more before.


    By Blogger Earl, at 8/31/2007 5:54 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Your graphic sure explains a lot.

    Earl, have you ever considered Romans 9-11 as pivotal as opposed to parenthetical? Paul having declared all under sin, first the ethical Jewish people, then the Jewish religious people, then the gentiles, and concludes we are all under sin! All may be saved by faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone. Then Paul turns (pivots) to give an explanation; the question is if the Jews were not secure in the promises of God how can the gentiles find security in His promises? Therefore Paul focuses now on Israel. Israel is Israel, no matter what “is” is.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 9/01/2007 7:50 AM  

  • John,

    Thanks. That is precisely the kind of thing I am curious about. My goal isn't to argue my point, but to understand your viewpoint.

    I'm teaching a series on Revelation in which understanding how you approach it will allow me to understand the viewpoint of some of the people in my class. I've never thought about True Israel in these terms before so it is difficult for me to get the big picture and follow the ideas of your approach. Hence, I have a hard time talking with those in my class that share your viewpoint. I want to change that.

    So, thanks for any help you give me on this.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/01/2007 10:34 AM  

  • Earl,
    I am sorry. I have not taken time to answer so well this week.

    You ask:
    So my question to you all, other than the analogy of the previous post of the family names, how do you arrive at the view that "true Israel" is a subset of "Ethnic" or "National" or "Religious" Israel.

    I guess it seems self evident to me from the verse in question.

    Here is the verse in several translations:

    New International Version (NIV)
    For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.

    New King James Version (NKJV)
    For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,

    English Standard Version (ESV)
    For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;

    Darby Translation
    for not all [are] Israel which [are] of Israel;

    It sounds to me like it is saying just because you belong to the larger group (physical Israel) does not mean you belong to the subset (Israel of Israel - spiritual or faith bearing Israel).

    That also seems to be through the chapter like in verse 27:

    Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved.

    Does that make sense?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/02/2007 4:54 PM  

  • yes, DF - those guys.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/02/2007 4:55 PM  

  • Rose,
    A more accurate graphic of the church would show no distinction at all between Jew and Gentile believers. We are one in Christ!
    Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self [4] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, [5] free; but Christ is all, and in all.

    Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, [3] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by [4] the Spirit.
    Galatians 3:23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave [7] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 9/02/2007 10:08 PM  

  • Susan,
    I was wondering who was going to bring that up! I knew someone would. ;~)
    Those passages mean that the Jew has no advantage in the gospel. There is no difference in the church between Jew and Greek, man and woman etc... but there are Jews and Greeks, men and women in the church. I was just illustrating that there are Jews and gentiles in the church. My illustration also shows that there is no difference because they all have the same hat. (hehe)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/02/2007 10:22 PM  


    Ephesians 2:
    14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

    See those words ONE NEW MAN? I wonder how covenant theologians deal with that. This says that he created ONE NEW MAN in place of the two. This sounds like the church is a new thing, not a continuation of Israel.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/02/2007 10:22 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I can see your point that "True Israel" is a subset of "National Israel". But then the new creation grafts those of "True Israel" with Gentiles who are also "circumcized of the heart" into "True Israel". Since the cerimonial and sacrificial laws are eliminated, the "True Israel" has been recreated into the bride of Christ, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/03/2007 9:11 AM  

  • [See those words ONE NEW MAN? I wonder how covenant theologians deal with that. This says that he created ONE NEW MAN in place of the two. This sounds like the church is a new thing, not a continuation of Israel.]
    Hi Rose,
    I have a couple of quotes from a a theologian and a reformed pastor that may surprise you. Something wonderful and new did happen when the church was born at Pentecost.


    Doctrinal Considerations in Acts 2:17-21
    After God's work of creation and the incarnation of the Son of God, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is the third major divine act. From the Old Testament we know that the Spirit was present before Pentecost but always temporarily and for special purposes. For example, the Holy Spirit rested on Eldad and Medad in the camp of Israel and enabled them to prophesy (Num. 11:26; also compare I Sam. 10:6, 10). Jesus' disciples knew from the prophets that God would pour out his Spirit on the Messiah and on the house of Israel (Isa. 11:2; 44:3; Ezek. 89:29; Joel 2:28-32). Indeed, God gave the Spirit without limit to Jesus (John 3:34) and he filled John the Baptist and his parents with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1: 15, 41, 67).
    After his resurrection and before his ascension, Jesus breathed on his disciples and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you retain them, they are retained" (John 20:22-23). Then, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, the women and Mary, the brothers of Jesus, and others, in all 120 persons (Acts 1:12-15; 2:4, 17).
    God gave the Holy Spirit to be with Jesus' church forever. When Jesus gathered his twelve disciples he began to build his church (Matt. 16:18) in distinction from Judaism. As long as Jesus was not yet glorified, the Holy Spirit would not come, for Jesus himself was the divine presence in their midst (_John 7:39). But when Jesus was glorified, he breathed on them the Holy Spirit in anticipation of Pentecost. In the interim between Jesus' ascension and Pentecost, they experienced the Holy Spirit's presence. With the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the church assumed its own identity separate from Judaism.
    In harmony with Jesus' command to the apostles to begin in Jerusalem, Peter proclaimed Christ's gospel first in the holy city. Later he preached the Good News in Samaria and Caesarea, and in these places the Holy Spirit was poured out. The result has been that from its inception Christ's church is a universal church, for every Christian confesses these words:
    I believe in the Holy Spirit;
    I believe in a holy universal church,
    The communion of saints.
    --Apostles Creed

    by Simon Kistemaker From The New Testament Commentary

    ...When the Holy Ghost descended on the Day of Pentecost, when the Lord Jesus Christ baptised with the Holy Spirit, as He had said He would do, what was happening was the formation of the Church as the body of Christ. Now, before this there were believers. The apostles were obviously believers before the Day of Pentecost; you must not regard them as unbelievers before then. We know perfectly well that though they were imperfect and unclear in many respects, nevertheless they did believe in our Lord, and when He appeared to them, you remember on the day he rose from the dead, He breathed upon them and said, `Receive ye the Holy Ghost.' So if you do not believe that they were believers before that, they must have been believers then. But that was before the Day of Pentecost.
    So, then, what was it that happened on the Day of Pentecost? Well, I would suggest that the believers were welded together as members of the one body of Christ. Before that they were separate believers, even as the believers in the Old Testament were believers and were citizens of the kingdom - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and David and the patriarchs and so on - but they were not members of the body of Christ. On the Day of Pentecost the primary event was that all these became one. This is something which we can understand if we see that it could only happen after our Lord's ascension. While He was here in the flesh and teaching his followers, the Church as His body had not yet been formed. In the book of Acts, we read a statement, do we not, that He has `purchased [the Church] with his own blood' (Acts 20:28). Thus the Church in that sense could not have existed before our Lord had completed the work which He had come to do. And He only completed that work as He ascended into the presence of the Father, but the moment He did that, He completed the work which was necessary for the purchase of the Church. He was made the head of the Church and as the head of the Church, the Holy Spirit was given to Him that He might give it to the Church which is His body.
    So the point I am emphasising is that all that could not have happened before the ascension, but you would expect it to happen after it. And that is precisely what happened - ten days after the ascension, our Lord, now the head of the body which is the Church, sent His Spirit into and upon the body, to fill it. It was the gift that He gave, the promise of the Father was sent by the Son who had completed the work that was necessary in order that it might happen. So on the Day of Pentecost the Church was established as one unity, as the body of Christ.

    Quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones
    from God the Holy Spirit

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 9/04/2007 11:13 PM  

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