A SEPARATED PEOPLE
"........the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." - Numbers 23:9
"........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." - Exodus 19:5, 6
"........ and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." - Deuteronomy 14:2
"........ l am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people. And ye shall be holy unto me: for l the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine." - Leviticus 20:24, 26
"........Out of Egypt have 1 called my son." - Matthew 2:15
"........You only have I known of all the families of the earth." - Amos 3:2
"........1 am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." - Matthew 15:24
"........Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people." - Luke 1:68
"........Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" - Acts 1:6
THE above are but a few of the very rnany verses which could be cited, showing that God did predestine Israel (see Ephesians ch. 1) and as Paul also writes to Titus, "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from
all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people (see second scripture above and Matt. 13:44) zealous of good works." - Titus 2:14
Yet despite this, people reject the Chosen Servant People theme of the Bible - either outright or by substituting another recipient of God's bounty. Do they realize what they are saying? That God made promises He couldn't keep? He changed His mind? That because Israel sinned He dropped the idea, despite His unconditional promise that they would be a nation before Him as long as the sun, moon and stars endure? (Jer. 31:36) These are the ones that in the same chapter He says He loves "... with an everlasting love."
The logical and inevitable conclusion one would have to reach from such conclusions is that God is not omnipotent. He is not omniscient. He is not omnipresent. He is not a God of truth. But what Christian would openly say any of these things? None! But they are saying it nevertheless if they deny continuing Israel. "By myself have 1 sworn," said the Almighty when He made the everlasting covenants to the patriarchs.
It seerns that it was Augustine, in his City of God, who first gave out the teaching that the national covenants to Israel were transferred to the church, which would have pleased the Catholics. But it should not have been taken up by the Protestants, in their Reforrnation challenge. It certainly provided fuel for the free-thinkers, leading Charles Bradlaugh to draw the conclusion that God was not a God of truth, or honour either, to transfer the covenants to another, the church.* He apparently knew that the Jews were not the Israel of the Bible. The Jews of today know that they are not all Israel, as their chief spokesmen affirm. Historically this should not be a problem, for the origins of modern Jewry are largely known and accepted. The problem lies with Christian ministers, writers and Bible teachers who reject the authority of the Old Testament, or give it a limited acceptance, and start with the New Testament. But this cannot be understood without the Old Testament. The Gospels, with the story of Israel's Redeemer, the Episdes written to Israelite communities, the Revelation, which is a companion volume to the book of Daniel, completing the story of the Times of the Gentiles, tell the story of Israel - the whole twelve-tribed nation, visited, redeemed and to be completely restored. In rejecting the Old Testament, these so-called scholars are thus rejecting the New!
To get themselves out of this predicament they have to, in fact, give up, and find a new Israel. They do this by resorting to a few theological somersaults and thereby create a spiritual Israel to receive these promises. In doing so they create even more problems. Is the church a nation? Does it have a throne as David had? Does it proclaim God's Law? Here's the problem for they reject the Law, substituting grace and freedom from any legal restraint.
Christendom has been sadly let down by its champions. They affirm the Jews are all Israel, whereas some would doubt that most are even of Judah, let alone all Israel. Or that the church is Israel and this involves the rejection of all God's covenants, and therefore the God of the Covenants.
How much easier to take the simple but positive stand that the whole Bible is true, that God is truly omnipotent and will complete the fact of redemption through His servant nation Israel, found today in modern Celto-Saxondom.
*Bradlaugh's statement was made in a controversy with Revd Brewin Grant.