First the Question: The ELECT of God in this Dispensation of GRACE, the Dispensation of the Mystery, are members of the Body of Christ, and NOT elect Israel. True or False?
Take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day
And now the answer to the LLM Question of 7-17-2012
Question: Israel exceedingly erred in that they sought righteousness not by Faith, but as it were by the works of the Law. True or False?
Answer: TRUE! They stumbled at that stumbling stone (Romans 9:30-33). Israel was ignorant of the righteousness of God and they went about to establish their own righteousness, and they refused or failed to submit themselves unto the righteousness of God. Now, out of the 836 responses we received to this question, 90.2% of you got it right! Wonderful! Therefore, NOW, let us take a look at an in depth look at…
The Three Elections of the Nation of Israel, part 2 of 3
TWO VINEYARD PARABLES
We read in Isaiah 5:7, “the vineyard of the LORD of Hosts is the House of Israel and the men of Judah.” Read the LORD’s song concerning this Vineyard which He planted, a pleasant plant…in a very fruitful hill. Read Isaiah 5:1-7. Then with this read the solemn words of Israel’s Messiah and King, in His Vineyard Parable in Matthew 21:33-46. In this Parable the LORD Jesus told Israel of the great sins of their forefathers, and the still greater sin that Israel of His day was about to commit, and which they did commit. According to Acts 3:14-15; they killed “the Prince of Life”. As the LORD spoke the closing words of this Vineyard Parable he reminded Israel that Psalm 118:19-24 was being fulfilled. In order that righteousness and salvation might be provided, the builders, (Israel), would reject the STONE (CHRIST). This rejection and Christ’s work of redemption would be the LORD’s doings…“marvelous in our eyes”. The day that Christ suffered ONCE for sins on the cross, the Just for the unjust, to bring sinners to God was the day which the LORD made. (Psalm 118:22-26).
We are a very busy generation, much too busy to spend very much time searching the Scriptures to learn among other things the most interesting history of Israel, and learn why the question of Romans 9:4, “WHO ARE ISRAELITES?” We speak of the most interesting history of Israel; yes, it is fascinating, romantic, but tragic. And, we cannot be ready for the study of Romans 9, Romans 10, and Romans 11, until we have a general knowledge of God’s dealings with ISRAEL. Did you know that you need not spend more than several hours of diligent study to possess a rather fair general knowledge of Israel? Will you make the sacrifice? If you DO, here are the Scriptures to read together with the two Vineyard Parables we have mentioned: Genesis 15, Exodus 12 and Exodus 20, Psalm 78 and Psalm 106, 2 Kings 17 and 2 Kings 23, Daniel 2, Acts 2, Acts 7 and Acts 13, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16, Luke 21:22-33, Romans 11 and Acts 28:26-31. Ok Good!
Think this over…It is possible, within a few hours, to have a general history of Israel, mentioned BY the name ‘ISRAEL’ about 2570 times in the Bible. Now in comparison, The word ‘CHRISTIAN’ is mentioned just three times. So, after reading this brief history of God’s ‘ELECT’ Nation you will be convinced that there is a sense in which ISRAEL is a ‘Miracle’ nation. Remember Hebrews 11:12, “therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the seashore innumerable.”
ISRAEL HATH NOT ATTAINED THAT WHICH HE SEEKETH FOR. (Romans 11:7)
Israel exceedingly erred in that they sought righteousness not by Faith, but as it were by the works of the law. They stumbled at that stumbling stone (Romans 9:30-33). Israel was ignorant of God’s righteousness and they went about to establish their own righteousness, and they refused or failed to submit themselves unto the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:3). All day long God stretched forth His hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people (Romans 10:21).
In Matthew 21-23, the LORD Jesus summed up many of the charges against Israel. In John 1:11 we read that Christ came unto Israel, in His own world, and Israel received Him not. Then they added those words in Luke 19:14, “we will not have this Man to reign over us.” Christ warned Israel, in Matthew 12:31-33, that Israel’s sin against the Son of man would be pardoned; but not their sin against the Holy Spirit. The LORD Jesus said, “the Son of man must go” (Matthew 26:24)…the Son of man must be lifted up”. (John 3:14).
“The Son of man came to give Himself a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28). Christ was truly the foreordained Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:18-23), and was made lower than the angels for the suffering of death, that He should, by the Grace of God, taste death for every man (Hebrews 2:9).
Therefore, the Son of man declared that He must be lifted up, and in the shadow of the cross Christ said, “for this cause came I unto this hour.” (John 12:27-33). So, according to Psalm 118:19-24, and Matthew 21:42, and Acts 3:18, the rejection and death of Jesus Christ was the LORD’s work, for He was delivered according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God when wicked men put Him to death. (Acts 2:23).
“Christ died for our sins”, “according to the Scriptures”, or in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). What Pontius Pilate and Caesar and Israel did in the matter of the crucifixion of Christ was what God’s hand and God’s counsel determined before to be done. (Acts 4:26-28). Now, BECAUSE the death of Christ was inevitable and in the redemptive plan of the eternal, omniscient God (Luke 24:46, Acts 3:18, and Acts 17:3), and because Christ had to be lifted up and then become the firstfruits of them that slept, Christ prayed for His murderers on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). And, because of this prayer and the truth of Acts 3:18, God was willing to charge Israel’s great sin to ignorance and turn all of them away from their sins, IF they would repent and be BAPTIZED in the Name of Jesus Christ FOR the remission of sins. (Acts 3:26 and Acts 2:38). Israel’s Messiah was raised from the dead to be Israel’s Prince and Saviour, “for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:31). And, to witness this willingness of God to forgive Israel for the great sin of killing the Prince of Life (Acts 3:14-15), and all other sins, the Holy Spirit was sent.
Many Israelites believed and were saved (Acts 2:41, Acts 4:4, Acts 5:14, Acts 6:7, and Acts 9:42). BUT many MORE Israelites resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51), blasphemed the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:45, and Acts 18:5), and forbade the Apostles to preach the Gospel to Gentiles (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16) and the wrath of God came upon them to the uttermost.
So, Israel rejected Christ as their Messiah, Prince, and Savior, both before and after Calvary, before and after the coming of the Holy Spirit from Heaven. When Israel rejected Christ and had Pilate put Him to death, in fulfillment of Psalm 118:19-24 and Isaiah 53, in fulfillment of Christ’s predictions in Luke 18:31-35 and Luke 12:50, it was the LORD’s doing, for the day that Christ put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself was “the day which the LORD hath made.”
After Israel rejected Christ in resurrection, after the “ELECTION” obtained righteousness by Faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ, and the rest of Israel was blinded, that blindness to continue until the fullness of the Gentiles come in (Romans 11:7-8, and Romans 11:25), God ushered in a NEW Dispensation of very, extra special favor for Gentiles. Then cried the Apostle Paul, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways Past-tracing-out! Who hath known the mind of the LORD?” (Romans 11:33).
As we read Romans 11:33-34 together with Ephesians 1:11, in which verse we read that the members of the Body of Christ, chosen in Christ from before the overthrow of the world, predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:4-5), were predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will, we might well ask the question, “in what sense was Israel’s rejection of Christ after His resurrection the LORD’s doing and marvelous in our eyes.” (Matthew 21:42).
We do know, after reading Ephesians 3:9-11 and Colossians 1:24-27, that God’s eternal purpose concerning the Body of Christ, the hope of God’s calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:17-18), was ‘HID IN GOD’ and ‘HID FROM AGES AND FROM GENERATIONS’ (Ephesians 3:9, and Colossians 1:26).
So, take note, Israel’s prophets did not contemplate, in their prophetic utterances and writings, “the Dispensation of the Mystery”…“the Dispensation of the Grace of God for Gentiles”. One reason why the Apostle Paul was treated as a malefactor (2 Timothy 2:8-9), an “Ambassador in bonds” (Ephesians 6:19-20, Colossians 4:3-4), “the prisoner of Jesus Christ for Gentiles” (Ephesians 3:1 to 3), was because he could not prove, by an appeal to the Old Testament Scriptures, that his “GRACE” message and program, which he testified was given to him by special direct revelation from the RISEN, glorified Christ, was God’s UNprophesied, predestinated, eternal purpose.
In spite of the Apostle Paul’s testimony in 2 Cor. 12:1-12 as to the proof of his Apostleship as the LORD’s Ambassador of Reconciliation, because Israel had been cast away (2 Cor. 5:17-21, Romans 11:15), comparatively few in Paul’s time believed, and comparatively fewer religious leaders have TODAY believed, the Apostle Paul’s testimony in Ephesians 3:8 that special Grace was given to him to preach the UNSEARCHABLE (‘PAST-TRACING-OUT’) RICHES of Christ. One reason why present day Christians repudiate Paul’s claim in Ephesians 3:8 is because of a lack of understanding of the Mystery of Romans 11:25 and an understanding of the two-fold “ELECTION” of Israel in that great Dispensational chapter (Romans 11), and especially the time element, that is, the time when the FALL of Israel took place, and when, and why, and how, Israel shall yet be “ELECTED”.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)