Does this apply to Christians?

Thread starter #1

gordon 2

Senior Member
If we go back as few verses to catch the context of the passage, we see that when Israel was scattered among the other nations, they profaned God's holy name.

God sent word to give the people of Israel a message. The same Israel that was scattered. The same Israel that profaned God's holy name.

God said "I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations."

God said "I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all the countries, and I will bring you back into your own land."

God said he is not doing this for Israel's sake but to vindicate his holy name. That when he does it the other nation will know that He is God.

Then after the vindication, God says "Then you will live in the land that I gave your forefathers; you will be My people, and I will be your God."

Then God will make their crops plentiful and no more famine for them. The people of Israel will then remember how terrible they were towards God.

Again God says " It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord GOD—let it be known to you. Be ashamed and disgraced for your own ways, O house of Israel!"
"I will cause the cities to be resettled and the ruins to be rebuilt."

To think he will do all of this just to vindicate His holy name. He said twice he wasn't doing it for Israel.

It applies to all Christians as a lesson of God's vindication against national Israel and His power.
 
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Ezekiel 36:36-37
Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.'
37"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Once again I will yield to Israel's plea and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep,

Now some believe and it's possible that somehow through the context of this passage that this isn't national Israel. That it's always been about the spiritual Israel. Others say it was once about national Israel but then God "changed" it or God "switched" it to spiritual Israel after national Israel profaned God's holy name.

Perhaps some believe the restoration of the land, the increase in crops, and no more famine to be symbolic of the growth of spiritual Israel.
That would be a big leap of faith for me considering the context of the Ezekiel passage and a few others as well.

You might could convince me of the morph or the "always been" with other passages but not this. Maybe something along the lines of "not all of Israel is from Israel" etc.
 
I also thinks it's a good lesson on the Potter and God having mercy on whom he will have mercy.
I'm reminded of this verse along the same context of the Ezekiel passage. Romans 11 may be a parallel passage to the Ezekiel passage.

Romans 11:33
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

Like I'm always being reminded;

36For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

It's a good lesson on the Gospel as well. It shows God electing for His purpose and not the works of man. The Ezekiel vindication passage parallels the Gospel story in that God does what he does for His purpose and plan.
So we can see that what he will do for national Israel, he will do for us. The cleansing, the salvation from famine, the eye opening of how wretched we are. Receiving God's Spirit. God's calling for his purpose. Not that Israel or us deserve any of it.
 
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Ezekiel 36:36-37
Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.'
37"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Once again I will yield to Israel's plea and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep,

Now some believe and it's possible that somehow through the context of this passage that this isn't national Israel. That it's always been about the spiritual Israel. Others say it was once about national Israel but then God "changed" it or God "switched" it to spiritual Israel after national Israel profaned God's holy name.

Perhaps some believe the restoration of the land, the increase in crops, and no more famine to be symbolic of the growth of spiritual Israel.
That would be a big leap of faith for me considering the context of the Ezekiel passage and a few others as well.

You might could convince me of the morph or the "always been" with other passages but not this. Maybe something along the lines of "not all of Israel is from Israel" etc.
How about the context of the book of Ezekiel, in which God says more than 50 times that His actions, both negative and positive, are purposed that someone (They (Hebrew and Pagan), Israel, etc.) will know that He is God. "I will be YOUR God, and YOU will be MY PEOPLE" Not My nation, or My race, or My gender, or My pagans, or, dare I say it, My church, or My denomination ….
 
How about the context of the book of Ezekiel, in which God says more than 50 times that His actions, both negative and positive, are purposed that someone (They (Hebrew and Pagan), Israel, etc.) will know that He is God. "I will be YOUR God, and YOU will be MY PEOPLE" Not My nation, or My race, or My gender, or My pagans, or, dare I say it, My church, or My denomination ….
God restores for His name’s sake. It was a "nation" that profaned God's holy name. In this particular passage it was that particular nation that would know that God is their God and that they are His people. Even the "other" surrounding nations will know that he is God when He is proved Holy by the nation that profaned his name.

There are other passages that show us he is our God and we are his people as well.
 
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God restores for His name’s sake. It was a "nation" that profaned God's holy name. In this particular passage it was that particular nation that would know that God is their God and that they are His people. Even the "other" surrounding nations will know that he is God when He is proved Holy by the nation that profaned his name.

There are other passages that show us he is our God and we are his people as well.
So, did He show preference to the people through the nation, or did He show preference to the nation through the people? One way He is God, the other way He is a bigot. Right?
 
Thread starter #8

gordon 2

Senior Member
So let me get this strait. The verses in the OP don't apply to Christians... per say. They are addressed to Jews.
 
So, did He show preference to the people through the nation, or did He show preference to the nation through the people? One way He is God, the other way He is a bigot. Right?
To start with God can have mercy on whom he will have mercy, individual or nation. He is the Potter. It's the same election method which is at the hands of God. Matters not how God elects, it's his mystery to us. See Romans 11:33.
It was God who chose national Israel. Regardless of for what reason, he chose Israel. Perhaps for failure as the Potter like Pharoah. Does that make God a bigot or God?
Imagine God choosing a nation for failure to show His people through that nation. To show the people of all nations who was God. To show how His gospel plan works. It's almost an exact mirror of his gospel plan. His people chosen before creation. Set up for failure. Set up for redemption. That nation's failure and redemption showing the gospel. Showing election. Showing God's power. Showing God's mystery. Showing how unsearchable his judgments are. How untraceable His ways!

The whole story of Israel is all about God's power through election. Election for failure and salvation. Who has known the mind of the Lord?

Regardless he first showed a preference by setting Israel up to fail. Then he showed a preference, through vindication of his name, to national Israel. Not for their works but His glory. This in turn shows the rest of the nations who is God.

I don't see national election being any more right or wrong than individual election. Regardless of if those nations or individuals are chosen for failure or salvation. Neither is right or wrong, because it's God doing it. It doesn't make God a bigot any more than God taking one's life makes him a murderer.

It's the mystery of his election as explained in Romans 11. Again, God chose Israel for something. Failure or salvation. Just by singling them out makes God, well God. We don't know the mystery of why God chooses an individual or a nation for failure or salvation. That's what Romans 11:33 is teaching.
 
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To start with God can have mercy on whom he will have mercy, individual or nation. He is the Potter. It's the same election method which is at the hands of God. Matters not how God elects, it's his mystery to us. See Romans 11:33.
It was God who chose national Israel. Regardless of for what reason, he chose Israel. Perhaps for failure as the Potter like Pharoah. Does that make God a bigot or God?
Imagine God choosing a nation for failure to show His people through that nation. To show the people of all nations who was God. To show how His gospel plan works. It's almost an exact mirror of his gospel plan. His people chosen before creation. Set up for failure. Set up for redemption. That nation's failure and redemption showing the gospel. Showing election. Showing God's power. Showing God's mystery. Showing how unsearchable his judgments are. How untraceable His ways!

The whole story of Israel is all about God's power through election. Election for failure and salvation. Who has known the mind of the Lord?

Regardless he first showed a preference by setting Israel up to fail. Then he showed a preference, through vindication of his name, to national Israel. Not for their works but His glory. This in turn shows the rest of the nations who is God.

I don't see national election being any more right or wrong than individual election. Regardless of if those nations or individuals are chosen for failure or salvation. Neither is right or wrong, because it's God doing it. It doesn't make God a bigot any more than God taking one's life makes him a murderer.

It's the mystery of his election as explained in Romans 11. Again, God chose Israel for something. Failure or salvation. Just by singling them out makes God, well God. We don't know the mystery of why God chooses an individual or a nation for failure or salvation. That's what Romans 11:33 is teaching.
And what happened to "neither Jew or Gentile" not forgetting that it is illustrated in the OT.
 
So let me get this strait. The verses in the OP don't apply to Christians... per say. They are addressed to Jews.
Spiritual Jews.

Romans 2:28-29

28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
 
And what happened to "neither Jew or Gentile" not forgetting that it is illustrated in the OT.
It's still there, We also still have male and female as well each having their own roles in God's plan.
It is a bit confusing but concerning Jews and Gentiles as with most biblical topics we have to look at all the scripture and it's context.

Romans 9:13-15
So it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Absolutely not! 15For He says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

Romans 11:31-33
so they too have now disobeyed, in order that they too may now receive mercy through the mercy shown to you. 32For God has consigned all men to disobedience, so that He may have mercy on them all. 33O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways!

I would agree thought that concerning election there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male or female. The promises to national Israel still stand. The scattered will be gathered back to the land of their ancestors.
 
Spiritual Jews.

Romans 2:28-29

28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Is the term Spiritual Jews ever used in scripture?
I can see what Paul is saying in Romans 2:28-29 but what is he saying in Romans 11?
What is the Ezekiel passage saying? They profaned the Holy name of God. Who, what nation?
For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land. What people were scattered, who will be returned to the land of their ancestors?

You will be my people, and I will be your God. All of this was a message from God to the scattered Israelites. God said pass this message on to them.

This message in no way says that God isn't our God as well. It doesn't take away from God being the God of all. It's a vindication story to the Isralites for profaning the holy name of God.
God will save them from their uncleanliness. He will restore their crops, no more famine. They will become aware of their evilness and loathe the way they were.
This in no ways means we as Gentiles can't be made aware of our evilness and loathe the way we were.

God said "Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!"

Then after this restoration the nations surrounding Israel will know that God is God.

Could God do this to show who the true elect are? Sure. Set up a nation for failure to show who the true elect are? Why not.

Give a failed nation salvation to show the gospel to the elect? I believe so. Not all who is from Abraham are the elect.
 
Romans 11
God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.

“God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see, and ears that could not hear, to this very day.”

However, because of their trespass, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous.

God's offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.

and if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery,

And so all Israel will be saved.

remove all wickedness from the descendants of Jacob.

Doesn't this sound like the Ezekiel passage? God removing evil from Israel.
 
but regarding election, they are loved on account of the patriarchs.

For God's gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you.

O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways!

We've got the Ezekiel account that most definitely appears to be about national Israel and we have the Romans 11 account that most definitely appears to be national Israel.

Paul even says we can't fathom God's ways concerning the fairness of God's election of nations or individuals. We don't know the mind of God.

We do have scripture that says not all of Israel is Israel. That
A man is not a Jew because he is one outwardly, nor is circumcision only outward and physical.

The key is how we read the context of scripture to somehow make it all work. We can't toss the Ezekiel passage and Romans 11 aside just because there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male or female, slave or free.

We can't say those passages are not about national Israel. Now they may show the way to the true Israel or spiritual Israel or the Church. They may show a change from physical to spiritual Israel. They may point to the true elect, the true seeds of Abraham, etc. but those passages are definitely about national Israel. How we tend to tie them in to what we believe may differ but they ate still about national Israel or physical Israel.
 
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Art,

Having read, reread, and re-reread all that you have posted in this thread, I have a question — In your insistance on national Isreal are you saying that, in spite of God's revelation of the "tares in the wheat", and that the tares are to be left in the wheat until harvest, we should forget that there are tares in the wheat when we read about Isreal?

If so, I would suggest that you look at the several passages concerning the "remnant", including Rm. 11 where the remnant is the primary point of the opening/introductory portion of the passage.

I am not at all saying that all that you have said is wrong; I am saying that, if I understand you correctly, you have not addressed a very important point which could easily, and I think would, lead many to an unfortunate view of God's character; as well as a misunderstanding of His relationship with His People, and their response to Him.
 
Art,

Having read, reread, and re-reread all that you have posted in this thread, I have a question — In your insistance on national Isreal are you saying that, in spite of God's revelation of the "tares in the wheat", and that the tares are to be left in the wheat until harvest, we should forget that there are tares in the wheat when we read about Isreal?

If so, I would suggest that you look at the several passages concerning the "remnant", including Rm. 11 where the remnant is the primary point of the opening/introductory portion of the passage.

I am not at all saying that all that you have said is wrong; I am saying that, if I understand you correctly, you have not addressed a very important point which could easily, and I think would, lead many to an unfortunate view of God's character; as well as a misunderstanding of His relationship with His People, and their response to Him.
In that parable the field is the world. The harvest is the end of the age.
I'm not sure where I see a big difference from God harvesting his seed(the sons of the kingdom) or his elect from individuals of the world or nations of the world.
Maybe God will remove the tares from the scattered before he has them to come back to live in the place of their ancestors. Maybe the Potter made them temporary tares by blinding them and will open their eyes before the harvest to become wheat.
It's a thought provoking question though.

If they were always of the elect then they were never tares to begin with. Just lost wheat that needed gathering before the harvest.
It's someway related to the Ezekiel passage and the Romans 11 passage as well. Paul knew we wouldn't understand fully God's purpose or judgement when it pertains to national Israel as in verse 33 he said; "Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! We can't fathom why God would do such a thing especially since there is neither Gentile or Jew, male or female when it comes to salvation and election. I agree, I don't understand the mystery of it all either.
 
Art,

Having read, reread, and re-reread all that you have posted in this thread, I have a question — In your insistance on national Isreal are you saying that, in spite of God's revelation of the "tares in the wheat", and that the tares are to be left in the wheat until harvest, we should forget that there are tares in the wheat when we read about Isreal?

If so, I would suggest that you look at the several passages concerning the "remnant", including Rm. 11 where the remnant is the primary point of the opening/introductory portion of the passage.

I am not at all saying that all that you have said is wrong; I am saying that, if I understand you correctly, you have not addressed a very important point which could easily, and I think would, lead many to an unfortunate view of God's character; as well as a misunderstanding of His relationship with His People, and their response to Him.
The elected remnant is a primary point of the opening of Romans 11. Also in the opening is Paul saying did God reject his own people? Then Paul says;
"I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin." That lets us know when he says God's own people that in this part of the passage it is national Israel.
Paul doesn't make it sound like it's the Church or spiritual Israel, whatever that's suppose to mean.

Later in this passage we read where others can become a part of His people by becoming a part of Israel. I know what you will say, how can on become His people if they were chosen before creation? Something else I don't have an answer for. I'm just repeating how Paul lays it out in Romans 11, not other chapters or books.

In Romans 11 we read "God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew." In the context of Romans 11, this is national Israel. I would agree that in other books "His people" is all of the elect.

Then a remnant is chosen from Israel by grace and not works. The same way he elects individuals but in this account he is selecting a group of Israelites. The rest of Israel was hardened. Again for God's purpose. What does that say about God? A God that elects some and hardens the rest. That same question people ask about the "field"(world).

Of the hardened ones Paul says "because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious."
"their trespass means riches for the world, and their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!"

Now a question or problem I have with this passage is; If Jesus died on the cross for our sins, why in the world did God have to do all of this with national Israel to allow salvation to the Gentiles? Remembering from Ephesians as well they were without hope and without God, strangers to the promises of the Commonwealth of Israel. Just part of the mystery I guess. Especially if they were elected before creation but it sounds like an "Age of Grace."

If it was an Age of Grace as revealed to Paul from God the maybe the plan was to harden national Israel to allow salvation to the Gentiles who were once strangers to the promises. Isn't that what Romans 11 is saying after all?
"their trespass means riches for the world, and their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!"

According to Paul in Romans 11, this transgression by Israel had to happen to allow the Gentiles to be grafted in. Then the hardened Jews eyes would be opened to see the truth. Maybe it's an account of Israel being hardened to send Christ to the Cross. Maybe that's the tie-in to God's purpose for national Israel.
They were hardened to send Christ to the Cross. Interesting plan.

Now back to Romans 11;
For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

See Paul is doing this back and forth thing about Jews and Gentiles even though he said "there is no Jew or Gentile."
Gentiles suddenly being able to receive the nourishing sap of the root of the olive tree. Natural branches broken off, Gentiles grafted in, natural branches being grafted back in.
It's Paul saying this. The same guy who said there is neither Jew nor Gentile wrote Romans 11, the Word of God.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove godlessness from Jacob.

Now getting back to the advice to read about the Remnant. At first it was just a remnant chosen but that will change. Now we read "the rest of the story."
"And this is my covenant with them, that I will take away their sins."
"regarding election, they are loved on account of the patriarchs"
"For God's gifts and his call can never be withdrawn."

That is showing national Israel. First a Remnant was chosen. Later after the full number of Gentiles comes in, all Israel will be saved.
Aligns perfectly with the Ezekiel passage.
 
Art,
I am not at all saying that all that you have said is wrong; I am saying that, if I understand you correctly, you have not addressed a very important point which could easily, and I think would, lead many to an unfortunate view of God's character; as well as a misunderstanding of His relationship with His People, and their response to Him.
What is the very important point that would lead many to an unfortunate view of God's character?
Keep in mind that God chose national Israel for something. If it was only a way to bring salvation to the Gentiles then what does that say about God? True even if only a remnant was chosen.
You mentioned that the way one views this could make God appear to be a bigot. Can't the Potter choose a country for failure in order to show the way to the world? Was Israel chosen for failure to show us who the Church is? What the real Kingdom is?

God had to know that the rest of Israel, the hardened ones would not believe Jesus was the Messiah. Look how many Jews today don't believe Jesus is the Messiah. Couldn't that make God appear to be a bigot? By choosing a nation for failure to bring salvation to his true people? Free will or predestination, those people do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. They are blinded by their hardening.

One could read or make of it that national Israel was set up by
God to all be tares if God hardened them for his plan to send his
Son to the Cross. That by being chosen for this mission they were doomed.
I think the jist of Romans 11 is that God isn't a bigot. He did use Israel to bring salvation to the world but their hardening was only temporary. He did harden them to make his plan come about. He had to otherwise he wouldn't be God. Romans 11 tells us their hardening is only temporary. If not then "that" is what would appear to make God a bigot.
 
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