ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED
By John C. Carpenter
 
The apostle Paul posed this question to the church in Rome: I say then, Hath God cast away his people? Paul then answered his own question: God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 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? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office. If by any means I may provoke to emulation them [the Jews] which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou [gentiles], being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them [Jews], and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree [which is Israel]; Boast not against the branches [the Jews]. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The [Jewish] branches were broken off, that I [the Gentiles] might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they [the Jews] were broken off, and thou [Gentiles] standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches [the Jews], take heed lest he also spare not thee [Gentiles]. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them [the Jews] which fell, severity; but toward thee [Gentiles], goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they [the Jews] also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree [Israel]: how much more shall these [Jews], which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery [of the salvation of unbelieving Israel], 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. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins (Romans 11:1-27). Who is the Israel that Paul is referring to here? All Israel could not possibly refer to every Israelite or Jew within the geographic nation of Israel, nor to the total number of people of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds living within the borders of Israel [which is estimated in 2020 as 8.6 million], because God said, in verse 4, that He had reserved a remnant of Israelites which number only seven thousand men. This issue of the salvation of Israel can be somewhat confusing because, obviously, not all of the total population of Israel shall be saved, yet the apostle Paul says in our subject verses that all Israel shall be saved [from God's wrath and the judgment and sentence of death due all sinners] (Rom 5:9-12)]. So who are the people who make up all Israel who Paul said will be saved?
 
WHO IS ISRAEL?
 
Technically, Israel means the adopted name of Jacob, including his descendants, literally or figuratively. To understand what Paul meant by all Israel, we should identify in his letter to the church in Rome who Paul described as Israel.Starting in verse 1 of our subject verses, Paul refers to the nation of Israel, the Jews, in a question. Paul asks the believers in Rome, Hath God cast away his people [Israel]? Through Paul, God identifies Israel as His own people, the Jews. After asking if God has permanently cast away His own people, Israel, Paul immediately answers His own question: 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. God hath not cast away his people [Israel]which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant [remainder] according to the election of grace (Romans 11:1-5). Paul added, [as a whole, the entire nation of] Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election [those seven thousand elected, chosen, selected by the will of God the Father] hath obtained it, and the rest [of the Jews and the nation of Israel] were blinded [rendered stupid callous or hardened] (Romans 11:7).
 
To continue with his point, the apostle then asks another question: I say then, Have they [Israel, the Jews] stumbled [offended, erred, sinned, failed] that they should fall [completely and eternally down, be rejected by God]? God forbid: but rather through their fall [side slip, error] salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them [the Jews, Israel] to jealousy. (Romans 11:11). Paul clarified that Israel, as a whole, had certainly stumbled, but some of them, a remnant, would not fall down completely, or eternally. Paul further identified who Israel is with these words: if some of the branches [on the olive tree of Israel] be broken off, and thou, being a wild [Gentile] olive tree, wert graffed in among them [Israelite, Jewish branches, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree (Romans 11:17). Through Moses, we cannot only identify the olive tree as the Jews, the nation of Israel, the descendants of Jacob, but we can also identify why some of the branches of Israel were broken off by God the Father: The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal (Jeremiah 11:16-17). Some branches [members] of the olive tree of the nation of Israel were broken off by God for a significant reason - Israel had been unfaithful and unbelieving, they had worshiped gods other than the one true God.
 
Regarding this mystery of the salvation of a remnant of some Jews or Israelites, Paul explained that because of unbelief they [some of Israel] were broken off, and thou [non-Jews, Gentiles] standest by faith. Be not highminded [Paul warned the Gentile church members in Rome], but fear [God]: For if God spared not the natural [Israelite, Jewish] branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee [Gentiles]. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them [Israel] which fell, severity; but toward thee [Gentile believers], goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they [Israel] also, if they [the remaining unbelieving Jews] abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in [the natural olive tree of Israel]: for God is able to graff them [the Jews] in again. For if thou [Gentiles] wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree [of Israel]: how much more shall these [Jews], which be the natural branches [on the tree of Israel], be graffed into their own olive tree (Romans 11:20-24).
 
In his letter to the church in Rome, the apostle Paul explained why the nation of Israel, the Jews, who have stumbled at the stumbling block of faith in Christ, could be grafted into their own olive tree: For I would not, brethren [fellow believers in Christ], that ye should be ignorant of this mystery [regarding the salvation of Israel], 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. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion [Israel] the Deliverer [who is Christ], and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they [Israel] are enemies [of the gospel and God the Father] for your sakes: but as touching the election [all of those chosen by God for salvation], they [the Jews] are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For [regarding Israel] the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [change of mind by God]. For as ye [Gentiles] in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their [the Jews'] unbelief: Even so have these [unbelieving Jews] also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all [both Jew and Gentile] in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever (Romans 11:25-36).
 
According to the scriptures, the Jews will eventually recognize, honor, and love their Messiah and Christ. God prophesied through Zechariah, I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn (Zechariah 12:10).
 
TO THE JEW FIRST, AND ALSO TO THE GENTILE
 
Within our subject verses, Paul clearly identifies two peoples who constitute [spiritual] Israel: the Jewish people of faith, and the Gentile people of faith. A third group of people also comprise the olive tree of Israel, and because they are not formally part of our subject verses, they will be mentioned only briefly.
 
First, Paul makes it perfectly clear that Israel [including Judah] refers not to the entire nation of Israel, that is, each and every member of geographic, ethnic or religious Israel, but to the remnant of [seven thousand] Jews or Israelites, or descendants of Jacob, who have shown faith and not bowed to Baal.. The scriptures clearly teach: Though the [total] number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant [remaining, a group set apart, a portion] shall be saved (Romans 9:27), and what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace (Romans 11:4-5). In God's timing, this remnant will therefore be grafted again into their own original, natural, good olive tree, the olive tree of Israel. Clearly, as God the Father declared through Paul, And they [the Jews, Israel] also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches [the Jews], be graffed into their own olive tree [of Israel, of all those with faith]? (Romans 11:23-24).
 
Second, Paul teaches that Israel is comprised of Gentiles as well, who have come to faith in Jesus Christ, and have therefore been restored to a relationship with God. To the [Gentile] saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossae, Paul said, And you, that were sometime alienated [from God] and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he [Christ] reconciled (Colossians 1:21). To the believing church at Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote, Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even [specifically]the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both [Jew and Gentile] unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:11-22). Paul taught the church in Rome that glory, honour, and peace, [are available] to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2:10-11).
 
When a Gentile comes to faith in Christ, he or she become a Christian, or so we say. Technically and spiritually, though, when a Gentile comes to faith in Christ, he or she is grafted into the olive tree of Israel, and by definition becomes, spiritually speaking, an Israelite and a Jew, a descendant of Jacob. Look what Paul tell us: For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly [circumcised physically, dress, traditions, culture, etc.]; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter [written Jewish law]; whose praise is not of men, but [that which results in the praise] of God (Romans 2:28-29). The believer in Christ has received a circumcision of the heart because of the operation of the Holy Spirit in his or her life, and not because of any adherence and obedience to the Jewish law. That believer is then spiritually grafted into the olive tree of Israel, and according to Paul, becomes a Jew and a spiritual member of the nation of Israel destined for eternal life with God the Father.
 
The scriptures tell us that Nathanael, a disciple of Christ, was circumcised of heart: Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile [craftiness, deceit, subtlety]! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Speaking of Christ, Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel (John 1:45-49). Nathanael revealed his faith when he described Christ as the Son of God and the King of Israel, and, as a result, Christ described Nathanael, because of his faith, not as a Gentile, a Jew, or a Christian, but as an Israelite; and as Christ said, an Israeliteindeed [truly, verily, obvious, clearly revealed]. According to Christ, Nathanael was a true, spiritual, faithful Israelite destined to be a faithful branch on the olive tree of Israel.
 
A third group of people also will comprise a part of Israel. That is, the old testament saints, or those chosen by God the Father for salvation before the first advent of Christ. Within the old and new covenants, the standard for salvation is the same, the righteousness of faith and salvation by the grace of God, and not our own works. Within the old covenant or testament book of Daniel, we read, O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for [because of] our righteousnesses [by own efforts and works], but for thy great mercies [and grace] (Daniel 9:18). Regarding the faith of Abraham, look what Paul teaches us in the new testament: What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed [Greek, pisteuo, which means assurance, fidelity, to have faith in, entrust one's spiritual well being, commit to trust in] God, and it was counted [imputed, reckoned] unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not [at keeping the law for righteousness], but believeth [and has faith] on him that justifieth [to render just or innocent] the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision [the Jews and Israel] only, or upon the uncircumcision [Gentiles] also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision [the Jews and Israel] to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise [regarding salvation and eternal life and], that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith (Romans 4:1-13).
 
Spiritual Israel, all of the elect, those predestined and chosen by God to have a spiritual, personal and covenant relationship with Him, is comprised of old covenant saints and new covenant saints. Old covenant saints [believers before the advent of Christ] are all of those individuals who believed in God, had faith and trust in Him, and who had a personal relationship with God the Father, and their faith was reckoned to them by God as righteousness. New covenant saints are comprised of Jews who have come to faith in Christ, as well as those Gentiles who have come to faith in Christ. Both new covenant believing Jews and Gentiles will be grafted into the spiritual tree of Israel - each and every one. Christ said, this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing [not even one who has faith], but should raise it up again at the last day (John 6:39). Not one man or woman of faith shall be denied salvation and eternal life with God the Father: as Paul said, all of those of faith, all of Israel, all spiritual descendants of Jacob shall be saved.
 
A SPECIAL PEOPLE UNTO HIMSELF, ABOVE ALL PEOPLE
 
Paul said that all Israel [believing Jews and Gentiles alike] shall be saved and become branches on the olive tree of Israel; but what are the characteristics of those of faith and righteousness, of the branches of the olive tree referred to as Israel? What is it that makes Israel special and distinct? What sets Israel apart, and makes them like no other people on earth?
 
First, according to the scriptures, God the Father clearly has a special love, an eternal love, for His people, Israel. Israel is loved by God the Father like no other nation on earth. Jeremiah prophesied God's eternal love of Israel: Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice (1 Kings 10:9). Through Jeremiah, God said, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (Jer 31:3). The LORD had a delight in thy fathers [of Israel] to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day (Deu 10:15). Additionally, the prophet Hosea referred tothe love of the LORD toward the children of Israel... (Hos 3:1). The scriptures leave no doubt that God the Father loves the nation of Israel, the Jews; He always has, and He always will.
 
Second, God the Father chose the nation of Israel so that He might do mighty works to and through Israel, and thereby glorify Himself. Samuel told Israel, And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even [specifically] like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God (2 Samuel 7:23-24). The prophet Isaiah clearly described Israel as chosen and special: But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him (Isa 43:1-7). Isaiah later added, Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me (Isa 44:210. Through His dealings with Israel, God the Father intends to sanctify and glorify Himself; ...I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes (Ezekiel 36:23).
 
Third, Paul also says that it is Israel, alone, who was adopted as God's people, who reflect the glory of God, who were given the covenants by God, who were given and received the law of God, who were given and received the promises of God, who are the parents of all those who enter into a relationship with God, and who are the genetic and spiritual materials from whom Jesus Christ came. Paul explained, For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption [as the children of God], and the glory [available through Israel only], and the covenants [given to Israel], and the giving of the law [to Israel], and the service [ministry, divine service] of God [to be performed by Israel only], and the promises [given to Israel only]; Whose are the fathers [parents, beginning teachers, initial experts], and of whom as concerning the flesh [who through the genetic line of Israel only] Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever (Rom 9:3-5). Through Isaiah, God adds, For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62:1-7). Through only Israel, or the Jews, came spiritual and eternal adoption by God, the glory of God, the covenants of God, the law of God, the ministry of God, and the promises of God. We must admit, you can't get more special than Israel.
 
Fourth, our heavenly Father even had His own reason for loving and choosing Israel, and it was not because of the strength, greatness, or goodness of Israel. God spoke through Moses and said, The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:7-9). God chose Israel because He loved them, and intended to be faithful to Israel through His mercy and the keeping of the promises He had made to them.
 
Fifth, Israel was and is to be an army, a mighty army who conducts spiritual warfare. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied (1 Samuel 17:45). Paul described Israels instruments of war: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Ephesians 6:11-18). To be an Israelite is to be a warrior.
 
Sixth, all men and women of faith, true Israelites, are to be holy before the Lord and man. Scriptures tell us, Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth (Deuteronomy 14:1-2). Israel shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel (Exodus 19:6). God says to Israel, I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth (Leviticus 11:44). Referring to new covenant Israel, that is, believers in Christ, the apostle Peter instructs, Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I [God] am holy (1 Peter 1:13-16).
 
God instructed Moses to instruct the nation of Israel, Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel (Exodus 19:5-6).
 
Seventh, from the beginning, God the Father has promised two things: God the Father will bless Israel, and Israel will bless the entire earth. Moses instructed Israel, he [God] will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle (Deuteronomy 7:13-14). The psalmist adds, The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace (Psalms 29:11), and through Moses, God told Israel, And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).
 
Through Israel, God shall also bless the world. God instructed Abram/Abraham, a patriarch of Israel, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). Isaiah prophesied of Israel and Christ, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth (Isaiah 49:6). Speaking to men of Israel, apostle Peter said, Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed [Christ] shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed (Acts 3:25).
 
Eighth, all Israelites [all men and women of faith] are in a special relationship with God the Father, a covenant relationship. In fact, God has made five major covenants [although the number of covenants is often argued among scholars] with man: Noahic covenant, Abrahamic covenant, Mosaic covenant, Davidic covenant, and the New Covenant. Each of these covenants can be studied separately, but are not the major point of this article. In the old covenant, the Hebrew word for covenant is beriyth, which means to choose, a cutting, a compact between pieces of flesh, a confederacy, or league. In the new covenant, the Greek word for covenant is diatheke, which means a disposition, a contract, a devisory will, or testament. A covenant is a transaction between God and man, or man and man. In a covenant, each party binds himself to fulfill certain conditions with the promise of providing certain advantages. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines covenant as a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement, or a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.
 
The new covenant, or new testament, is mentioned in both the old covenant, or testament and the new covenant, or testament. Within the old covenant, the prophet Jeremiah mentions the new covenant: Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to 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: 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. 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: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
 
The new covenant is mentioned in the book of Hebrews: For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people (Hebrews 8:7-10), and But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:11-15). Paul also described one aspect of the new covenant with different words: But what saith it? The word [of the gospel] is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:8-10). In the two sides of the new covenant, man promises to confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe that God raised Christ from the dead, God the Father promises to give eternal life.
 
Last, we should recognize that the Jews and the nation of Israel are special, very special. Scriptures make this abundantly clear. The Jews are God the Father's chosen people; a people He chose strictly for Himself. There is none other like the nation of Israel on this earth. Speaking through the prophet Moses, God told the children of Israel, Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure [jewel] unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy [sacred, sanctified, dedicated, consecrated] nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel (Exodus 19:5-6). Through Moses, God the Father adds, Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken (Deu 26:17-19). The psalmist explains further how special Israel is: For the LORD hath chosen Zion [a mountain in Jerusalem, a monumental or guiding pillar, a sign, a way mark; also refers to the promised land and the movement to establish a Jewish homeland];he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish (Psalms 132:13-18). In the book of Zechariah, Israel is described as the apple of God's eye: for he that toucheth [lay a hand on, subject to violence, to strike, defeat, destroy] you toucheth the apple [pupil] of his [God's] eye(Zech 2:8). Ezra exclaimed to Israel, what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt? For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, LORD, becamest their God (1 Chronicles 17:21-22). The psalmist explained, For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure (Psa 135:4).
 
The olive tree of Israel contains only the branches of those of faith. Those branches consist of all those individuals who are predestined, chosen, and elected to faith, righteousness, and salvation, whether they be Jew or Gentile. Paul clearly taught, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [Gentile]. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from [Jewish] faith to [Gentile] faith: as it is written, The just [that is, the Jew or Gentile of faith] shall live [be given the gift of temporal and eternal life] by [because of their] faith (Romans 1:16-17). In more succinct words, Paul said and so all Israel [all those of faith, whether Jew or Gentile] shall be saved.  AMEN.


 
 
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
"And they also,
if they abide
not still in
unbelief, shall
be graffed
in: for God is
able to graff
them in again.
For if thou
wert cut
out of the olive
tree which is
wild by nature,
and wert graffed
contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much
more shall these, which be the
natural branches,
be graffed into
their own
olive tree?"
(Rom 11:23-24)


 
Home
Our
Beliefs
TCH
Articles
Study
Aids
 
Books
Subject-Verse Index
 
Mini-
Studies
 
Links
 
For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my
sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day
that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep,
and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the
cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and
gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land,
and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in
all the inhabited places of the country”
 (Ezekiel 34:11-13).