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Israel or Church?

Link to israel_or_church.mp3

As we have discussed previously, the major theological movements that are the foundation of many denominations have confused and combined the kingdom of Israel and the Church.  Doing so obscures the heavenly body of Christ the Church and glorifies the flesh.  

This is not intended to be a comprehensive study of all the many detailed scriptures that make plain the difference.  Instead my purpose is to point out a few the major differences as a launching point for your personal study if you should desire.  As an introduction, I know no better passage to bring us to point.  Galatians chapter three, verse twenty six. 

Chapter 3

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Chapter 4

1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Both Israel and the Pagan religions represent the weak and beggarly elements which is bondage.  Bondage is slavery to laws, rituals, curses, sin and death.    Over eighty percent of the Bible is about and is addressed to Israel; both past and future.    Less than twenty percent of the Bible addresses and is addressed to the Body of Christ.   It is with grave results (pardon the pun) that the difference is not recognized.  

Israel was chosen to carry and protect the progenic seed of the Messiah until the fullness of time was at hand.    The people that carried the seed were consistently under attack from surrounding nations and empires.  The devil’s intent was to kill the people that carried the holy seed and thereby stop God’s plan.  But God protected His seed.  The nation of Israel reaped the benefits of protection provided they sacrificed and abided by the law.  

Before the day of Pentecost, Israel exercised very little effort in evangelization of other nations or peoples.  Previously Israel did not proclaim any gospel and was self absorbed.  In the future kingdom age Israel, still of the earth, will be a beacon for the other nations of the earth.  
The Church on the other hand, was spiritually born on the day of Pentecost with a prime directive to go unto the uttermost parts of the earth and preach the gospel.   Each and every one born of God’s seed has been called and sent to evangelize.  This will continue until the moment of Christ’s return to gather his heavenly family. 

It was Israel that demanded the death of Jesus.  It was the leaders of the people of Israel that cried out: "His Blood be on us, and on our children."  They are culpable of his death; nevertheless they will be in the future time period, saved as a nation on the ground of that sacrifice.

The Church on the other hand has an immediate and perfectly complete spiritual birth and freedom from guilt by way of the indwelling Christ in us.  The sacrifice of Jesus was the payment in full that set us free from the kingdom of Satan.  Our spiritual birth propels us into the Holy Family of God.  God is our Father as it is His seed that produced our new spiritual life.  We call Him our Father and boldly approach Him.  In truth; we are in Christ who is ever at the right hand of God.  We are truly a heavenly people.

Conversely, the people of Israel are earthly and as servants can only call God by His many primary titles which are descriptions of His actions.  Israel’s approach to God was through the priesthood and blood sacrifices.  Their blood sacrifice for the future time period is the blood of Jesus the Lamb of God.   

To Israel, Christ is their yet unrecognized Messiah, Immanuel, and King.  But to the Church which is firmly anchored in heaven, Christ is our Savior, our Lord, our Head, and our Life. We are wholly perfected in Him.  He is our all in all.

For centuries the laws of Moses were the rule of daily life for Israel.  The law system was endowed with no enabling power for its achievement. There were only sacrifices to cover guaranteed failure to comply.   There was constant failure because of the weakness of "the flesh" to which the law was addressed (Rom. 8:3).   Only on extraordinary occasions and for unusual service did the Spirit of God come upon an Israelite.  When the work was done the Spirit departed as freely as He came.

In contrast, the Church, the Body of Christ is composed of individuals that by virtue of birth have been endued with power and enabled for every requirement.  Paul said: "Sin shall not have dominion over you"; because: "Ye are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14).

Israel HAS a fleshly priesthood but the Church IS a royal priesthood.    In the book of Joshua  chapter eighteen verse seven it is written: “But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance: …..”   Israel has a fleshly priesthood inherited in the flesh from the tribe of Levy.  Only those springing from the loins of Levy were priests and will be priests to the nation of Israel.  Israel belongs to the earth and to the world-system. (i.e. the beggarly elements.)  Although set apart from the other nations of the world system; Israel is earthly. 

The Church does not have a priesthood it is a royal priesthood; also by birth. That is, each and every believer is a royal priest by virtue of the new birth.  Only those of us that are born of God’s seed and have “Christ in us” are royal priests.   We have the ministry of reconciling others to God by way of Christ. 

The Church is composed of people called from all nations (including Israel) and retains no citizenship here, but instead we are strangers and pilgrims in this kosmos.  We are citizens of Heaven.  We are IN Christ and He is IN us.  We are a heavenly and holy nation called to praise Him.  The first letter of Peter, in chapter two verse nine plainly states our position in Christ:  “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”

Israel will still come into judgment but the Church has already been judged, and will not come into another judgment.    In Matthew chapter twelve starting in verse 34; Jesus, speaking to Israel said:

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, (Israel) how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Mat 12:35  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Mat 12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (This is talking about Israel not the church.)
Mat 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

The Church however has already been judged, and will not come into another judgment.  Our flesh has been judged and sentenced to death.  Our flesh is crucified with Christ.  The book of Romans tells us to reckon our old fleshly man dead.  But our new man is alive forever.   Romans chapter eight verse one concludes:  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Israelites are subjects of the King in His earthly kingdom.  Isaiah declares, "But thou, Israel, art my servant" (Isa. 41:8).  Although Israel offered up seemingly endless sacrifices, the prophets, priests, and kings, were never able to call God Father.  They were the servants of Jehovah.

In contrast, is the Church:  Those of us who are born of God’s seed are heavenly sons and daughters of God.  We are members of the family and household of God.  As such we will reign with the King.  We are forever IN Christ and He is in us.  As it says in Revelations chapter twenty, verse six: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”  (This is talking about the church.)

Theology has blended the Church and Israel and thereby obscured the power and glory of Christ in you.   By leading Christians under the laws of Israel, they deny the completed work of Christ and discount the gospel given to Paul.   The origin of the word “Christian” was a derogatory comment about the early believers who couldn’t stop talking about having Christ in them: Hence the word: Christ-in which became Christian.  

There is no blending.  We are a new creation, not part of or subject to the old beggarly elements, but a newly created heavenly race, born of God’s seed and set free from sin and death.   We are not Israel. We are the body of Christ.  You can not be both. 

Stand fast therefore in the freedom wherewith Christ has set us free, and be not ensnared again in the yoke of slavery.

Be free!

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