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Thread: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

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    Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    I was recently informed that all discussion would cease in a particular thread as long as I perpetuate my claim that Israel contains both Israel and the Church. This certainly isn't the way I would word it, but I don't think it can be denied that Israel contained Christians in the Early Church period. The 12 Disciples of Jesus became the nucleus of the Early Church in Israel, which then led to the expansion outward to the rest of the world.

    The point is, Israel included Christians, because the Jews had more than a single religious belief. They held to Rabbinic Judaism, and some of them also held to Christianity. I don't really know why that would be controversial except for the fact it bolsters my claim that the Olivet Discourse (Mat 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) focused on both unbelieving Israel and on believing Israel, lending to my particular view of that Discourse.

    It appears to be most undesirable to most of the subscribers here to view the Abomination that causes Desolation as the 70 AD fall of Jerusalem, leading to an age-long Dispersion of the Jews. Jesus, however, addressed the believers in Israel, to get them to avoid the coming conflagration of 70 AD, which God intended for the unbelieving Jews.

    Actually, I think this makes perfect sense. If you think I'm right or wrong that Jesus addressed *both* believing and unbelieving Jews in the Olivet Discourse, let me know what applied to unbelieving Jews and what applied to believing Jews? I really am less interested in those who redefine Israel to mean "the Church," or those who prefer to see "Israel" as an exclusively unbelieving entity.

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    What we should be talking about is individuals.
    Not groups, such as ethnic or social entities.
    It is for every individual to decide for themselves who they follow; as Joshua 24:15 did.

    Followers of the Lord; born again Christians and every other person on earth. Two peoples in God's sight only, Romans 9:22-24 makes this truth clear.

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I was recently informed that all discussion would cease in a particular thread as long as I perpetuate my claim that Israel contains both Israel and the Church. This certainly isn't the way I would word it, but I don't think it can be denied that Israel contained Christians in the Early Church period. The 12 Disciples of Jesus became the nucleus of the Early Church in Israel, which then led to the expansion outward to the rest of the world.

    The point is, Israel included Christians, because the Jews had more than a single religious belief. They held to Rabbinic Judaism, and some of them also held to Christianity. I don't really know why that would be controversial except for the fact it bolsters my claim that the Olivet Discourse (Mat 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) focused on both unbelieving Israel and on believing Israel, lending to my particular view of that Discourse.

    It appears to be most undesirable to most of the subscribers here to view the Abomination that causes Desolation as the 70 AD fall of Jerusalem, leading to an age-long Dispersion of the Jews. Jesus, however, addressed the believers in Israel, to get them to avoid the coming conflagration of 70 AD, which God intended for the unbelieving Jews.

    Actually, I think this makes perfect sense. If you think I'm right or wrong that Jesus addressed *both* believing and unbelieving Jews in the Olivet Discourse, let me know what applied to unbelieving Jews and what applied to believing Jews? I really am less interested in those who redefine Israel to mean "the Church," or those who prefer to see "Israel" as an exclusively unbelieving entity.
    WE have dealt back and forth on this matter ad-nausea, but I would like to address two of your statements;
    1. The first is to your last; "I really am less interested in those who redefine Israel to mean "the Church," or those who prefer to see "Israel" as an exclusively unbelieving entity." But you have just stated that as the theme of the thread. It would seem that you would put forward a thought and then immediately preclude debate on its salient point. Has the previous debate shown you an area that is uncomfortable for you? Added to this, GOD has concluded "ALL Israel in UNBELIEF" (Rom.11:3). Who is the brave or foolish soul who denies this and says that SOME of of Israel are in BELIEF? Are God's saying to be called into question? Did He make a mistake by using the word "ALL"?
    2. Second, in the Olivet Discourse, AND the similar discourses in Mark and Luke, it is patently clear that our Lord addressed His DISCIPLES - not "unbelieving" Israel (Matthew 24:1, Mark 13:1 and Luke 20:45). And in the closing verses of Matthew Chapter 12 our Lord Jesus DENIED any connection to those of Israel BY BIRTH of of the flesh - EVEN HIS MOTHER AND SIBLINGS. He CONTRASTED "brethren" according to the flesh and "brethren" who believed, and DENIES connection to those in unbelief and joins Himself to His DISCIPLES!. The word "brethren" means that they have the same FATHER, and John 1:12 is specific as to who have God as their FATHER - those who RECEIVE and BELIEVE in Jesus! It is a false statement to say that our Lord addressed Israel in the Olivet Discourse. The information is directed at BELIEVERS!

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    The question really is what do you mean - Israel included Christians.
    If you mean someone who was born of Israel can then subsequently be born again as a Christian then I find your wording misleading as the Christian is not OF Israel. They may remain OF Israel, but now they are something more - they are OF Christ.
    You see being OF something means one is rooted in something else.
    Where it may get confusing is that we are all of Abraham being OF Faith, children of promise.
    Yet Paul himself delineates these two groups.
    So does Israel CONTAIN the church? No it does not. It contains those OF Israel alone.
    Can there be overlap? Of course, yet what is important is not to see Israel as containing the church nor the church containing Israel.

  5. #5

    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    The Israel of God is made up of the people of God.

    Israel in the Middle East was/is the physical type of the spiritual and godly antitype that is the Israel of God.

    The Israel of God is heirarchically constituted as follows :

    1. people (in the dispensation of God the Father)
    2. nations (in the dispensation of God the Son)
    3. tongues (in the dispensation of the beginning and ending of the Spirit)
    4. kindreds (in the dispensation of the first and last of the Spirit)


    The Church is made up of believers and faithfus in #3 and #4. So, the Church is the spiritual part/subset of the Israel of God. In the Church are believers and faithfuls from all races of mankind.

    Saints in #1 and #2 have fellowship with God the Son and the Father. They inherit the Church and are ultimately established in the Israel of God,respectivelt. They are established in the fulness of God.
    Grace and peace unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ!

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorious View Post
    The Israel of God is made up of the people of God.

    Israel in the Middle East was/is the physical type of the spiritual and godly antitype that is the Israel of God.

    The Israel of God is heirarchically constituted as follows :

    1. people (in the dispensation of God the Father)
    2. nations (in the dispensation of God the Son)
    3. tongues (in the dispensation of the beginning and ending of the Spirit)
    4. kindreds (in the dispensation of the first and last of the Spirit)


    The Church is made up of believers and faithfus in #3 and #4. So, the Church is the spiritual part/subset of the Israel of God. In the Church are believers and faithfuls from all races of mankind.

    Saints in #1 and #2 have fellowship with God the Son and the Father. They inherit the Church and are ultimately established in the Israel of God,respectivelt. They are established in the fulness of God.
    I see it thus;

    Israel is the name given to Jacob, father of the Twelve Tribes who sojourned in Egypt for 400 years, came out and received the Covenant of Law at Sinai. To be an Israelite one must be the seed of one of these 12 Tribes.

    The term, "Israel of God" only appears once in the whole Bible - Galatians 6:16. In the Whole New Testament Israel is CONTRASTED to the Church. In the Book of Galatians Israel and their Law is CONTRASTED with the Church with the Holy Spirit, and that these wto enties are ENEMIES who battle each other (4:29). Thus, the verse Galatians 6:16, is the end of a context CONTRASTING the "circumcision" and the "uncircumcision". Verse 15 teaches us; "For IN Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." Verse 16 wishes "peace and mercy be on them". Who are the "them"? According to the grammar it is the New Man of verse 15 in which circumcision is DISREGARDED. Then, verse 16 continues with the conjunction "AND". "AND" ,a conjunction, JOINS TWO OR MORE DIFFERENT THINGS. "Bread AND butter". "The engine AND the gearbox". So what comes after the "AND" is a SUBSEQUENT and DIFFERENT THING. The ONE is the "NEW MAN" AND the other is "THE ISRAEL OF GOD". THE END OF THE CONTEXT OF THE WHOLE OF GALATIANS, which has been CONTRASTING the New Man AND Israel, AGAIN CONTRASTS THEM. They are Two DIFFERENT THINGS!

    • Israel is born of the flesh from Isaac - The Church is born of the Holy Spirit
    • Israel have the Covenants - The Church is by Promise
    • Israel is earthy - The Church is heavenly (Heb.3:1)
    • Israel is "as sand of the sea-shore" - the Church is "as the stars of heaven"
    • Israel is first - the Church is after
    • Israel lose the Kingdom (Matt.21:43) - the Kingdom is the Church's (Lk.22:29)
    • Israel's House is "left desolate" by God (Matt.23:38) - The Church is the "House of the Living God" (1st Tim.3:15)
    • Israel are natural branches cut off - The Church is "wild branches" grafted in (Rom.11)
    • Israel is restored only AFTER the Church is "taken out" (Act15:14-16)

    And so on ... I understand that there can be no mingling of Israel and the Church.

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I was recently informed that all discussion would cease in a particular thread as long as I perpetuate my claim that Israel contains both Israel and the Church.
    This is just the way you took what was said to you, but this isn't actually what was said. You were "informed" that the debate would be "endless" as long as you guys didn't come to some form of "agreement" on how you both used the term "Israel".

    I will try to break it down Once again because even though i said it to you "twice" your post here seems to be how "you" personally understood my "posts".

    I was telling you that ALL of Walls Arguments where based on the understanding of a Division between the Church and Israel.

    The problem with your "debate" was that you where Ignoring All of Walls post that where based on this Division, by proclaiming you disagreed with his Premise all together.

    Its like being on two different train tracks, no one said the debate "had to end" the whole point of my post was so WALLS would "CONTINUE THE DEBATE".

    All i was saying it that you were "Ignoring all of Walls posts because you disagreed with his premise", you didn't actually try to disprove his division or claims but you wanted Walls to continue to explain why he didn't agree with you

    You where just saying well i disagree with how you(Walls) would define Israel so i reject the problems you have presented with my position and don't see the relevance of your arguments, then you would once more try to explain your position Under your personal definition. Here is an example.
    Quote Originally Posted by Randyk
    It's plain to me that your concern is with the argument, "Is this for Israel or is this for the Church?' Obviously, I did not share your definition of "Israel." And so we have yet to come to agreement on how "Israel" should be defined. If so, then we've only *begun* to understand our respective positions! Why give up now? Why resign yourself to this "give-up" attitude?

    Let me explain what I think is happening, and you tell me if I'm wrong. You see this as an either/or situation, where this Prophecy is either for Israel or for the Church? I didn't see you saying that necessarily. I saw you as saying, "This Prophecy is for Israel." And I agreed--that much is plain.

    But what you didn't realize, apparently, is that when I agreed with you that this Prophecy is about Israel, I define "Israel" to include the Church!


    Here you identified why the debate would be "endless" and then Got "offended" when i answer your question to say Yes Randy your right!

    Unless you guys "Agree" on the definition of Israel, you debate would be "endless" because you guys could reject/ignore all of each others posts by simply saying, we have different definitions of Israel.

    I was letting you know that in that situation Walls was not "giving up" just that his Only Option was to explain his position as Clearly as possible and move on because your personally Reject what all his arguments are based on.

    Clearly a debate like that would be "endless", but no one claimed it "had to cease". And in his next post to you, after what i wrote, he tried to take the argument from your perspective and once again his points where never actually addressed, see Post http://bibleforums.org/showthread.ph...08#post3424708

    Piggybacking on What He Wrote. To answer this question here
    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Those who prefer to see "Israel" as an exclusively unbelieving entity.
    Wouldn't this be Impossible?? How could Israel "by any definition" be an exclusively unbelieving entity?

    But if I were to say "Israel" is an exclusively believing entity, wouldn't by you Call that "The Church"?

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I was recently informed that all discussion would cease in a particular thread as long as I perpetuate my claim that Israel contains both Israel and the Church. This certainly isn't the way I would word it, but I don't think it can be denied that Israel contained Christians in the Early Church period. The 12 Disciples of Jesus became the nucleus of the Early Church in Israel, which then led to the expansion outward to the rest of the world.

    The point is, Israel included Christians, because the Jews had more than a single religious belief. They held to Rabbinic Judaism, and some of them also held to Christianity. I don't really know why that would be controversial except for the fact it bolsters my claim that the Olivet Discourse (Mat 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) focused on both unbelieving Israel and on believing Israel, lending to my particular view of that Discourse.

    It appears to be most undesirable to most of the subscribers here to view the Abomination that causes Desolation as the 70 AD fall of Jerusalem, leading to an age-long Dispersion of the Jews. Jesus, however, addressed the believers in Israel, to get them to avoid the coming conflagration of 70 AD, which God intended for the unbelieving Jews.

    Actually, I think this makes perfect sense. If you think I'm right or wrong that Jesus addressed *both* believing and unbelieving Jews in the Olivet Discourse, let me know what applied to unbelieving Jews and what applied to believing Jews? I really am less interested in those who redefine Israel to mean "the Church," or those who prefer to see "Israel" as an exclusively unbelieving entity.
    It's real simple. Israel is a country. The church is not.

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by CadyandZoe View Post
    It's real simple. Israel is a country. The church is not.
    I would argue you could say that Israel is a people, and so is the church. However you gain the citizenship of either through birth. Two separate births meaning two separate citizenships.

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    I would argue you could say that Israel is a people, and so is the church. However you gain the citizenship of either through birth. Two separate births meaning two separate citizenships.
    I couldn't argue this because when the Bible speaks of "a people" it refers to a family line.

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by CadyandZoe View Post
    I couldn't argue this because when the Bible speaks of "a people" it refers to a family line.
    Israel is indeed a family line, the line of Israel.

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    What we should be talking about is individuals.
    Not groups, such as ethnic or social entities.
    It is for every individual to decide for themselves who they follow; as Joshua 24:15 did.

    Followers of the Lord; born again Christians and every other person on earth. Two peoples in God's sight only, Romans 9:22-24 makes this truth clear.
    I know what you believe, but I appreciate you being willing to speak up. Nations are what we have, good or bad, and nations are mentioned in God's word, both as related to future promises and as a current reality. Whether they are ultimately the important thing is not my concern here, although I agree with you that in the long haul it's only a single city that may concern us--the New Jerusalem.

    But we have to deal with present realities, and there still are nations on earth. Prophecy addresses that, and we need to decipher how we are to deal with that. Are they determined by God to exist as such, or is God just tolerating them?

    I personally feel that God is being pragmatic, and has imposed international divisions for the same reason He broke up the Tower of Babel. It ensures a self-regulating international system, and does not allow rebellion against God to be institutionalized, world-wide.

    You may have prompted me to go back and reread the City of God, by St. Augustine. He was able to distinguish between a heavenly entity and its earthly representation in the Church.

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesuslovesus View Post
    This is just the way you took what was said to you, but this isn't actually what was said. You were "informed" that the debate would be "endless" as long as you guys didn't come to some form of "agreement" on how you both used the term "Israel".

    I will try to break it down Once again because even though i said it to you "twice" your post here seems to be how "you" personally understood my "posts".

    I was telling you that ALL of Walls Arguments where based on the understanding of a Division between the Church and Israel.

    The problem with your "debate" was that you where Ignoring All of Walls post that where based on this Division, by proclaiming you disagreed with his Premise all together.

    Its like being on two different train tracks, no one said the debate "had to end" the whole point of my post was so WALLS would "CONTINUE THE DEBATE".

    All i was saying it that you were "Ignoring all of Walls posts because you disagreed with his premise", you didn't actually try to disprove his division or claims but you wanted Walls to continue to explain why he didn't agree with you

    You where just saying well i disagree with how you(Walls) would define Israel so i reject the problems you have presented with my position and don't see the relevance of your arguments, then you would once more try to explain your position Under your personal definition. Here is an example.

    Here you identified why the debate would be "endless" and then Got "offended" when i answer your question to say Yes Randy your right!

    Unless you guys "Agree" on the definition of Israel, you debate would be "endless" because you guys could reject/ignore all of each others posts by simply saying, we have different definitions of Israel.

    I was letting you know that in that situation Walls was not "giving up" just that his Only Option was to explain his position as Clearly as possible and move on because your personally Reject what all his arguments are based on.

    Clearly a debate like that would be "endless", but no one claimed it "had to cease". And in his next post to you, after what i wrote, he tried to take the argument from your perspective and once again his points where never actually addressed, see Post http://bibleforums.org/showthread.ph...08#post3424708

    Piggybacking on What He Wrote. To answer this question here Wouldn't this be Impossible?? How could Israel "by any definition" be an exclusively unbelieving entity?

    But if I were to say "Israel" is an exclusively believing entity, wouldn't by you Call that "The Church"?
    Well perhaps, JLU, you just didn't understand where I was coming from. It is difficult, in this environment, to explain very fine points. I was not really saying I *knew* Walls to be defining "Israel" as *exclusively unbelieving.* I was actually *asking* him if this is what he meant. I was saying that based on what I heard him say it *seems* this was his point.

    So in saying this was just going to be endless argumentation over the same matters I wanted him to first explain how he was defining Israel--not telling him that this was his definition of "Israel."

    But thanks for speaking up. I didn't realize you misunderstood what I was saying. You've mischaracterized how I looked at this. Walls seems to have thought our views were already laid out, and we were just repeating ourselves. But I was telling him I was as yet unsure of how he was defining "Israel."

    It could indeed have led to endless debate if we came to a loggerheads over our different definitions of "Israel." But at that point that issue had yet to be resolved. Then you walked in and backed him up that this would clearly be "endless debate," seeing that we were mired in a perpetual conflict over definition of "Israel." But we *couldn't* be mired in conflict over a definition of Israel if I did not yet even know what his definition of "Israel" was!

    So that's what I wanted to know. He just seemed to want to quit right there, thinking nothing more needed to be said. Thanks for the clarification on how you saw it though. Yes, that little exchange is what prompted this thread. I wanted to know how others view "Israel" with respect to the way Jesus addressed them, whether Christian or non-Christian, or both? I think he saw Israel as both, with a generalized view that the nation was largely unbelieving and apostate. Your view?

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorious View Post
    The Israel of God is made up of the people of God.

    Israel in the Middle East was/is the physical type of the spiritual and godly antitype that is the Israel of God.

    The Israel of God is heirarchically constituted as follows :

    1. people (in the dispensation of God the Father)
    2. nations (in the dispensation of God the Son)
    3. tongues (in the dispensation of the beginning and ending of the Spirit)
    4. kindreds (in the dispensation of the first and last of the Spirit)


    The Church is made up of believers and faithfus in #3 and #4. So, the Church is the spiritual part/subset of the Israel of God. In the Church are believers and faithfuls from all races of mankind.

    Saints in #1 and #2 have fellowship with God the Son and the Father. They inherit the Church and are ultimately established in the Israel of God,respectivelt. They are established in the fulness of God.
    I may not agree completely, but I found that very interesting!

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    Re: Definition of "Israel" as inclusive of believers?

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    The question really is what do you mean - Israel included Christians.
    If you mean someone who was born of Israel can then subsequently be born again as a Christian then I find your wording misleading as the Christian is not OF Israel. They may remain OF Israel, but now they are something more - they are OF Christ.
    You see being OF something means one is rooted in something else.
    Where it may get confusing is that we are all of Abraham being OF Faith, children of promise.
    Yet Paul himself delineates these two groups.
    So does Israel CONTAIN the church? No it does not. It contains those OF Israel alone.
    Can there be overlap? Of course, yet what is important is not to see Israel as containing the church nor the church containing Israel.
    Yes, this kind of gets down to where I wanted to go. Is the Church a society or just a conglomeration of individuals? I think it's both.

    If so, then the Church can be nations--not exhaustively so, but significantly so. A nation can be defined as a "Christian nation," even if not everybody in that Christian nation is truly Christian.

    So did God want Christian nations, or just saved individuals? I think the former. And if so, He also wanted the nation of Israel. He wants redeemed societies, and not hermit monks.

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