The Chosen People, Pt. 3

The Chosen People, Pt. 3

Scripture: John 8:39-40, Galatians 3:26-29, Romans 2:28
This is the third in a series on Israel. Who is Israel today? What does the Bible teach about modern Israel? A clear understanding on who the true seed of Abraham are opens up the whole New Testament?
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible to deepen our understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi! And welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the bible and how the Bible affects you today. I'm John Bradshaw.

Gary Gibbs: And I'm Gary Gibbs.

John: I've got to tell Gary on Bible Talk we don't shy away from the big questions. We're talking about a big subject today.

Gary: We've been hitting it lately and I hope we haven't offended people, John because we have been talking about a teaching that many churches really hold dear and that is "Who is Israel today?" A lot of people, their teachings in their church, their pastors, Israel, literally Israel, over there in the Middle East is central to their whole understanding of the Bible. We've pulled the rug out from underneath that by looking at the scriptures.

John: While we don't want to offend, what we certainly do want to do is provoke you to think. And study the Bible, because the answers are going to be found in the Bible. And honestly on this question, you don't have to look too far or too hard to find biblical answers.

Gary: You don't have to be a theologian. Really clear in the scriptures and the reason we want to cover this with our listeners John, is because once you get this straight, the whole New Testament opens up in a new way to you and it really starts making sense. Prophecy starts making sense if your eyes are focused on literal Israel for everything that happen, you're missing what is really happening. What God really predicted. Today we need to look at who is the true Israel? Who are the real seed of Abraham.

John: It reminds me of something I heard happened recently in England. A couple were waiting anxiously to deliver their baby, actually babies. Turned out to be twins, and these were children conceived via in vitro fertilization. These were going to be test tube babies. Mommy and daddy were just so excited and the babies were born. And then, mommy and daddy were perplexed. They looked at those children and they said, "Who in the world or whose in the world are those children?"

The children clearly weren't theirs. We know they were of different ethnicity, even a different skin color. And there was some real hard questions asked, "Whose children are these really?"

Gary: Who would want to be the doctor in that case, much less the parents?

John: We're going to ask a similar question today, whose or who rather are the true children of Abraham? Who are his children after all?

Gary: Let's look at a number of a New Testament texts when Jesus was here in John Chapter eight. There's a discussion that's recorded there. "And the Jews say Abraham is our father." Verse 39 and Jesus says on verse 40, "Well then if you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham."

John: Now where are we Gary?

Gary: We're in John 8:39 and 40.

John: I wonder why I couldn't find verse 39 and 40, because I'm on Matthew 8. So, that's fine.

Gary: Jesus says, "Yes, you are the children of Abraham if you do the works of Abraham, if you have the type of faith that Abraham had."

John: Something that needs to be said if you were thinking about who Israel are and Israel's purpose and God's in time covenant and people. Jesus went around this thing with their Jewish leaders and doctors of the law and Pharisees again. "We are the children of Abraham." "Oh, no, hang on. God could raise up these stones children of Abraham." Jesus emphasized many times. It wasn't just that you have a literal connection but as you said. You got to have that hot connection which is what exemplified the experience of Abraham himself.

Gary: Jesus tells them right here in John eight says, you're not doing the works of Abraham, because you're trying to kill me." He says instead, verse 44, "You are of your father the Devil and the lust of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning." And he says, "Because I tell you the truth you don't believe me." The true Israel, according to Jesus is the person who follows the works of Abraham, who believes in God and trusts God. Now that could be a biological Jew.

John: Oh, sure and would God that there were more who fit that category! No question.

Gary: But it doesn't exclude the biological Gentile either.

John: If you think that it's just the biological Jews who are the inheritors of God's promises and his covenant people today, what you're saying is that there is an advantage simply by birthright. That is just because of your family tree. Somehow you are especially favored of God. If necessity somehow carries favor in some way with Almighty God. God didn't do that through the Bible, not through the New Testament.

Gary: But many people would say John. They'd say, "But wait a minute, God made these promises to Israel. Didn't he and isn't he going to fulfill them?

John: Remember we have looked at this already last time on Bible Talk, all of those promises were conditional. I will do this if. I will cause this to come to pass providing you and you can't escape that. God never said to Israel, "You're going to get it all no matter what you do." He called them. Raised them up to be his Church, to be his people and they sealed their rejection of that whole notion. Not only in the rejection of Jesus Christ, but then in the rejection of the message of mercy that was brought to them by the Apostles themselves.

Gary: John, this is a big topic. Bigger than we're going to cover in this one program here, we've covered it in other programs. We have our free offer don't we that these people want more information they can write and call?

John: Yes, at the end of this program you'll get a number to call and email address to contact. We're offering you a little book called "Spiritual Israel." If you don't have this, you'll want this. This is powerfully written, clear, concise and insightful. "Spiritual Israel." Get the details. Contact us. We want to send that to you.

Gary: Get a copy, not only to read yourself but to share with your pastors. Share with the leadership of your church. If there was only one text in all the Bible that I would say makes us clear who true Israel is today in the New Testament era, you'd have to go to Galatians chapter 3. Now there are multitudes of texts that say this. But this one is really clear. Galatians 3:26 Paul says, "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." Now how many are sons of God?

John: All.

Gary: He says all of us are. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. If you accept Christ now you're his son. Now verse 28 he teaches this out. And he applies this to this issue of who is the true Israel. There is neither Jew nor Greek. There's neither slave nor free. There's neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

John: Here it comes now the big verse.

Gary: He says, "The biological distinction, the societal distinction between Jews and Gentiles, slave and free, all this is absolutely leveled any race at the foot of the Cross."

John: Right.

Gary: If you accept Christ. Then he says on verse 29, "If you are Christ then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promises." The promises of inheriting the land, of being a blessing to the world now are fulfilled in the Christian church.

John: That's very clear. You become a recipient of the promises made to Abraham. You become his descendant if you belong to Jesus Christ. I got to tell you what. Christianity must be a terrible thing to be involved in if you are a racist, because now you discovered that when you're a Christian, a true Christian, you're a Jew? You find out that Bible says, "We're all made from one blood. So, Red, Yellow, Black or White, we all come from the same grandparents according to the Bible. I tell you what. It's going to be hard to become a Christian if you can't love your neighbor, irrespective of it's ethnicity. But really that's on the side.

Gary: Romans chapter 2:28 Paul hammers his point home again. He says, "He's not a Jew, which is one outwardly nor a circumcision that which is outward in the flesh." But he is a Jew. Here's the true Jew according to Paul. He is a Jew who is one inwardly in circumcision is that of the heart in the Spirit. Not in the letter whose praise is not from men but from God." The true Israel, according to the Bible is the person who has the faith of Abraham who does the works of Abraham as Jesus said. Who believes in Jesus Christ, who's baptized in Christ and that can be Jew or Greek as long as they are a believer in Christ. Now they are the true heirs to the promises.

John: Another verse. This is the verse that amplifies this. Illuminates it. Find your adjective. This verse does it. James 1:1. James was not writing to Jews. James was writing to the Gentiles. Notice what he says, James, a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ to who? To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, "Greeting," he says. He wasn't writing the Jews. He was writing to Gentiles. Calls them the Twelve Tribes, because he understood that those people who have given themselves to Christ. Now they were Abraham's seed. They were heirs. They were of the tribes of Israel now.

It becomes very clear. Jesus was constantly in controversy with the Jewish leadership. Letting them know that a follower of Abraham would do Abraham's works.

Gary: John, if the converted Christians are the heirs to the promise, how are the promises of inheriting the land over there in literal Israel can be fulfilled in the Christian?

John: Well, you've got a lot of people today who think that the whole business about inheriting the land means we're going to crowd people back into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and Eilat and these other places. That means let's just find all the Jews on planet earth and fly them to Israel and somehow this is going to fulfill the promise of God. Not going to work like that.

Gary: How will it be fulfilled then?

John: The Bible says that we will inherit the promises. I'm just going to cut this for time's sake. God holds out not a patch of dirt here on this Earth, but he holds out to us through faith in Jesus Christ. Everlasting life and Heaven itself through faith in God.

Gary: In Romans 4:13, Paul tells us what the promise is, "For the promise that he, Abraham would be heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed, through the law but through the righteousness of faith." You see the promise to Abraham was not just inheriting that little piece of property there in Middle East. It was that he would inherit the World. Jesus says in Matthew Chapter five that the meek will inherit the earth.

John: That's correct.

Gary: Over in Hebrews Chapter 11. It makes it really plain around verses 16 to 17 through there that Abraham was seeking a heavenly country. Not an earthly country and the last verse in Hebrews 11 says that he'll not inherit those promises until we are also going into Heaven with him.

John: Right. Something you got to consider the history of Israel is a microcosm of the history of God's people that in the close of time. Now all these things happened under them for ensamples. They're written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the World are come. More information, get our offer. "Spiritual Israel." Call us. Write us. Just a couple of moments, we'll give you the contact info. Get this little book, powerful stuff, Spiritual Israel.

Gary: One other promise that is really focused on within Christianity is the rebuilding of the temple in Israel. It's this whole idea they have to go back to Israel. Rebuild the temple. The Bible doesn't predict that in the New Testament at all. In fact, if you look at 1 Peter Chapter 2:9, Peter is writing to the Gentiles and he says, "You are a chosen generation."

John: OK.

Gary: "You are a royal priesthood."

John: That's good.

Gary: "A holy nation. His own special people that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." Now the next verse I want to read, too. Because here He's saying, "You are this holy nation, you are the temple." In verse 10 he's talking to the Gentiles who once were not the people but you're now the people of God. And so, he says, "Within the Christian church, as the Christian church magnifies the name of God and shares the Gospel. They now fulfill the promise of rebuilding the temple."

John: Now let me show you here just how clear this is. When Peter was writing that, you're a holy nation of peculiar people. You're a royal priest. You know what he was doing? He was quoting Moses, when Moses said those exact same words to the Jews. He took promises to the Jews and now applied them to the Gentiles, to all believers. For time's sake, I won't read where Moses wrote that. But you can look it up in your time Exodus 19:5 and 6. Moses said those things to Israel.

Peter said, "I will take those same promises made to Israel. I'll apply them to the Christian church because Christians who believe in Jesus are part of God's Spiritual Israel."

Gary: In Ephesians 2:21 Paul says, "You are this building, you are the temple growing into a holy temple to the Lord that you could be in a dwelling place of the Spirit of God." And friend we can be the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. If we give our hearts to Jesus, we can magnify his praises to the world. [music plays]

John: According to the Bible, those promises made to Israel, a promise made to you. Because when you accept Jesus Christ by faith, you become part of God's spiritual Israel. Truly the best is yet to come. Thanks for joining us this time. Join us again next time for more on Bible Talk. [music plays]

John: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free informative Bible Study Guide, simply call, write or email and ask for "Spiritual Israel." The toll free number is 866-BIBLE-SAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, PO Box 1058 Roseville, CA, 95678, that's PO Box 1058 Roseville, California, 95678 or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org, bibletalk@amazingfacts.org.

Bible Talk is being produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of LifeTalk Radio.

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