Why are Israel’s Descendants God’s ‘chosen people’?
Why does the Bible talk about Israel so much? What is the connection between God’s “chosen people” and America And Britain today? Exactly how does America and Britain fit into God’s plan? God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Yet He selected the ancient nation of Israel and their descendants as His ‘chosen people’. Why?
Ancient Israel was selected not for special favors,
but to ultimately establishment
the Kingdom of God on the earth! The United States And British People are ISRAEL’S DIRECT DESCENDANTS! See: The United States And Britain in Prophecy and related information on Page 1 of the America And Britains Future Free Library.
The Bible is a Book About Israel
It may surprise you to learn that the Bible is primarily concerned with the nation of ancient Israel. And that most other nations are mentioned only as they came into contact with Israel. But why?
God is reproducing Himself in and through man. Man’s awesome potential is that of being born into the family of God. The establishment of the ancient nation Israel was a part of God’s plan.
It is important that we understand God’s purpose for the ancient nation of Israel, for without this vital knowledge we cannot fully appreciate and understand the real purpose and incredible potential of mankind!
From Adam to Abraham
God created the first humans physically perfect. Yet they were unfinished pieces of God’s workmanship. The spiritual character of God was yet to be built into them. And in the character building process humans must perform their part. In rejecting God they also rejected His government— the way of His law of love. They chose instead the “get” way of life— the self centered way of vanity, covetousness, envy and jealousy, competition leading to strife, violence, destruction and rebellion against authority.
Consequently, God shut the first humans and their descendants off from His Spirit and spiritually revealed truth. From then on, spiritual knowledge would now be offered only to those relatively few God would call—until Christ, begins His reign on earth, when all minds will be opened to God’s spiritual truth. Before Abraham, only three men are specifically mentioned in the Bible as following God’s way of life.
2. From which son of Noah is Abram who later was renamed Abraham by God descended? Gen. 11:11-27.
COMMENT: God specially called Abram to prepare to establish the Kingdom of God – His government on the earth.
COMMENT: Notice there were two phases to the promises God made to Abram. The first part—that his descendants would become a great nation—is purely material and national (verse 2). The latter part of the promises is spiritual and individual—the promise of the Messiah (last part of verse 3).
5. Did God expand these physical, national promises to Abram? Gen. 17:1-8.
COMMENT: God promised that from Abraham would descend NATIONS and kings, and that Abraham’s descendants would be millions. God also promised to Abraham and his descendants “all the land of Canaan.”
6. Were these promises later made unconditional? Gen. 22:15-18.
COMMENT: God made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of both national prosperity and the “scepter”(royalty) promise and of the spiritual promise through Jesus Christ.
8. Did Jacob (Israel) pass on the blessings of Abraham to his children? Gen. 49:1-2. Who received the “scepter” promise? Verse 10. And to whom did the birthright blessings go? Verses 22-26; I Chron. 5:2.
COMMENT: The physical, material promises were passed from Jacob to his son Joseph and his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. (Originally there were twelve sons of Jacob and they became known as the tribes of Israel. But since Ephraim and Manasseh represent Joseph, there were in reality 13 tribes.)
‘The United States and Britain
in Prophecy’ makes clear who the modern descendants of the birthright nations of Ephraim and Manasseh are, and why they are so blessed today— because of God’s promises to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob. Many assume the birthright tribes are the Jews. But the Jews
descend from Judah, and the birthright was given to Joseph.
Israel Becomes God’s “Chosen People”
As previously mentioned, Israel (formerly Jacob) had 12 sons. His favorite son, Joseph, was sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph was taken to Egypt and eventually became a ruler second only to Pharaoh.
A great famine caused the patriarch Israel to send his sons to Egypt to buy food, where they became reacquainted with Joseph.
1. Did Israel, at the request of the Pharaoh and Joseph, move his family into the land of Egypt because of the famine in the land of Canaan where he had lived? Gen. 45:9, 17-18. Where did they settle? Gen. 46:28.
3. While in Egypt, did Israel descendants multiply exceedingly? Ex. 1:7.
4. After Joseph’s death, did another Pharaoh who did not know Joseph make slaves of Israel? Verses 8-14.
COMMENT: God chose Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt. He had previously caused Moses to be specially trained for this mission by having him grow up as a prince in the palace of the Egyptian Pharaoh (Ex. 2:1-10). God also had Aaron, his brother assist Moses by being his spokesman (Ex. 4:10-16).
7. Did God plan to send plagues against Egypt if Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave? Ex. 3:19-20.
8. What was the last plague that finally caused Pharaoh to let the people go? Ex. 12:29-33.
9. How did God rescue Israel? Ex. 14:21-22.
11. At Mount Sinai, what proposition did God make with Israel through Moses? Ex. 19:3-6. Did the people agree to God’s covenant? Verses 7-8. What did Israel become in God’s sight? Lev. 26:12; Deut. 29:13.
Through Moses, God proposed a covenant agreement which centuries later came to be known as the “Old Covenant.”
13. Did God also promise that Israel would become a great nation if they obeyed Him? Deut. 4:5-8. Would Israel have been an example for all nations on earth to follow? Same verses.
COMMENT: If Israel kept God’s commandments, every material blessing would have been theirs. And other nations would have seen their example, and would have wanted to obey God.
15. Was Israel commanded to choose—material blessings and long life on the one hand, or curses and death on the other? Deut. 30:15-20.
COMMENT: God laid everything out before Israel. He gave them His law
which they were to obey and detailed exactly what would happen if they
chose to obey or to disobey. If they would obey His laws and submit to
His government, He would prosper them, making them the wealthiest and most
powerful of nations. But notice in all this that God promised only national and material
blessings. He did not offer them
Israel Makes the Wrong Choice
Now let’s look at what Israel did once the knowledge of God’s way of life was given to them and they agreed to obey.
1. After the covenant between God and Israel was ratified, God called Moses to Mount Sinai where he stayed for 40 days. What did the Israelites request of Aaron while Moses was gone? Ex.32:1. How did Aaron respond? Verses 2-5.
COMMENT: Soon after Israel entered into a covenant relationship with God they broke this agreement.
2. What was the result of Israel’s law breaking? Verse 35.
3. God commanded Moses to send out 12 scouts to Canaan. What were they to do? Num. 13:17-20.
COMMENT: That generation of Israelites was not allowed to enter their new homeland. But their children entered the land of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua, Moses’ successor.
5. Did God bless the next generation of Israel as He had promised He would for their obedience? Josh. 21:43-45.
COMMENT: God was faithful in His covenant with Israel. He prospered them for their obedience under Joshua’s leadership.
COMMENT: A new generation turned away from God. In the days of Samuel, Israel committed an even greater sin. They rejected God as their king—demanding a human king, to which God consented (I Sam. 8:4-8). Still, God dealt with Israel. Under the later reigns of David and his son Solomon God prospered the nation greatly. However, because Solomon committed idolatry (I Kings 11:1-8), after his death God divided the nation in two—the House of Israel in the north and the House of Judah in the south (verses 29-38).
Throughout the reigns of many kings, God pleaded with His people Israel and Judah through His prophets admonishing them to return to His way. But for hundreds of years they refused to learn the lesson that experience should have taught them. Finally, just as He warned He would, God sent the House of Israel into Assyrian captivity, with Judah going into Babylonian captivity a century and a quarter later.
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT LESSON FOR THE U.S. AND BRITAIN TODAY!
Why They Broke Their Promise
Why did Israel fail to keep the covenant they made with God, even though God revealed to them His laws, established His government over them and they agreed to obey Him?
COMMENT: God chose Israel because of His promises to their forefathers— Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As God’s chosen nation, Israel was to set an example of obedience to God for all the other nations to follow (Deut. 4:5-8). But instead of assuming the leadership role among the nations by keeping God’s commandments, they followed the ways and customs of the pagan nations around them! They utterly failed to become a “kingdom of priests” and a “holy nation” (Ex. 19:5-6) and an example for the world to follow. But why wasn’t it possible for them to obey God?
COMMENT: Israel as a whole was not offered God’s Spirit. Only their prophets and appointed leaders were given This (Num. 14:24; I Peter 1:10-11). Ancient Israel did not realize their lack of God’s power when they agreed to the terms of the Old Covenant. They even had difficulty in keeping the letter of the law! Without God’s Spirit, Israel was also limited to understanding of material knowledge, even though God gave them knowledge of His spiritual laws. They could not obey, the spiritual intent of God’s Law!
4. Did God realize, when He made the covenant with Israel, that the people would not be able to keep it? Deut. 5:28-29. Did God give them the spiritual perception to understand the lessons they should have learned. Chapter 29:4. Did God know Israel would not obey Him after they entered their new land. Chapter 31:20.
COMMENT: God knew Israel would break the covenant He made with them. But He wanted to teach mankind a valuable lesson through Israel’s experience and horrible example. The multiple generations of Israel and Judah proved once and for all that without God’s Spirit, man’s mind is incapable of receiving and utilizing knowledge of God’s spiritual way of life as defined by His spiritual Law—the Ten Commandments.
God demonstrated through Israel that the mind of man, with the “human” spirit but without the addition of God’s Spirit-the power which emanates from God-we cannot submit to God or solve human problems and evils which are spiritual in nature. Carnal man simply cannot come to grips with and cure the spiritual problems that beset humanity!
God used ancient Israel to write in the pages of history these
lessons, which God intends all mankind to learn when the time comes for
spiritual understanding to be opened to all—not only to those ancient Israelites,
but to every human being who has ever lived!
Spiritual Israel Being Called Today
1. What, exactly, was the second part of the promises God made to Abraham? Gen. 12:3, last part.
COMMENT: The second phase of the promises—”in you shall all families of the earth be blessed”—refers ultimately to the Messiah. This promise was passed on through Abraham’s son Isaac, and then to his son Jacob, as was the material part of the promises (Gen. 26:1-5; 35:9-12).
COMMENT: The “scepter” was the promise of a’ kingly line’ springing from Judah and culminating in Jesus Christ.
COMMENT: Luke records Jesus’ genealogy through His mother Mary. Joseph, mentioned in Luke 3:23, And so Luke shows that Jesus was directly descended from Abraham (verse 34). One of the reasons Christ came to earth as a human being nearly 2,000 years ago was to announce the coming Kingdom of God to a remnant of Israelites who were then living in Palestine. He commanded them: Repent and believe the "Good News” (Mark 1:14-15). The good news of the coming world ruling kingdom of God on the earth. But notice that God did not remove the spiritual blindness which still covered these descendants of Israel at that time.
COMMENT: God did not intend to grant spiritual understanding and repentance to the descendants of Israel as a whole when Christ first came. Israel’s chance is still ahead, as we will shortly see.
COMMENT: Of the many thousands who had heard Jesus proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, there were only 120 who believed!
7. When did God fulfill the promise of sending His Spirit? Acts 2:1-4.
COMMENT: On Pentecost, A.D. 31, 50 days after Christ’s resurrection, God sent His Spirit to the ‘Church of God’.
8. Who stood up to speak to the Jews gathered from various nations on that day of Pentecost? Acts 2:14. As a result of his sermon, how many more did God call? Verse 41. What did they do to receive God’s Spirit? Verse 38.
COMMENT: In I Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul was drawing an analogy between the human body and God’s Church. In verse 13 he is speaking about being “baptized”—put into—the spiritual “body” or Church of God. When one receives God’s Spirit, he automatically becomes a member of God’s Church. But those God called into His Church on that memorable day of Pentecost were Jews. (Acts 2:5, 14). There were no non Jewish converts at that time.
COMMENT: About ten years after God started His spiritual Church, He began to call Gentiles. But the promises were made to Abraham and his descendants. How, then, could a non Israelite also become an heir to these promises?
11. How does someone who is not a direct descendant of Abraham become an “heir” to the spiritual promises made to him? Gal. 3:27-29.
COMMENT: Paul shows that the only way Gentiles can become heirs to the promise made to Abraham was by becoming children of Abraham by spiritual son ship. People from every nation may become “heirs” of the spiritual promises God made to Abraham. In Galatians 3:7, “Know you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” Regardless of race, Abraham is your “father” in the faith, and you become eligible to inherit the spiritual promises!
But what about Israelites? Is it enough to be an Israelite by natural birth? In Romans 11, Paul illustrates spiritual son ship by way of the analogy of grafting branches onto an olive tree.
COMMENT: God has allowed Israel to be spiritually blinded to fulfill His plan. And that plan includes the entire world including Israel!
COMMENT: Paul pictures Israel as a natural olive tree whose branches were broken off because of unbelief. This made possible God’s grafting in of the wild olive branches— Gentiles.
14. But can Israel—though now “broken off”—be grafted back in? Verses 23-24.
COMMENT: Ancient Israel’s blindness will not remain forever. Their time of understanding and participation in God’s plan has not yet come (verse 26).
Few Israelites whom God has called have become “spiritual Israelites.” Through Christ, both they and a few Gentiles have become members of the spiritual household of God (Eph. 2:19) and are unified into one spiritual body—the Church of God! (Gal. 3:28.)
COMMENT: Israel was called the “congregation of Israel” and a “church” because these people were the physical type of the spiritual Church Christ began to build at His first coming (Matt. 16:18). This is another example of the DUALITY principle in God’s plan.
God is preparing the Kingdom of God in DUAL stages. First was Old Testament Israel. They were carnal-minded, without God’s Spirit. They were the carnal congregation or church of Israel. In New Testament times, the spiritual Church of God, is composed of members of all nationalities who have become “spiritual Israelites” through Christ. (This DUALITY in God’s program is illustrated by the Old and New Covenants.)
The New Testament Church of God has received God’s Spirit-a part of His mind. And those in God’s Church are being prepared by God through His Spirit to become part of His ruling family which will help restore His government on earth at Christ’s return!
COMMENT: Paul here compares God’s Church to a building. The Old Testament prophets—along with the New Testament apostles—form the foundation of the true Church, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone.
17. Did those whom God called before Christ established His New Testament Church have access to God’s Spirit?I Peter 1:10-11.
COMMENT: The true Church is being trained to rule with Christ
as a spiritual “kingdom of priests” when He returns. They will help Him
restore the government of God over the entire earth and teach the nations
God’s way of life! But what about ancient Israel and their descendants? Did that
nation fail totally? Will it yet have a chance to set an example for the
rest of the world to follow?
God’s MODEL Millennial Nation!
He has not forgotten His covenant with ancient Israel. God will yet give Israel’s modern descendants an opportunity to live by His laws. This time they will obey! Let’s understand how God will bring this about in the very near future.
COMMENT: Ancient Israel did forsake God, as He knew they would. As punishment for their disobedience, God caused them to be taken captive and scattered among the nations! Today only a minority of their descendants, mainly from the tribe of Judah, now live in the modern state of Israel—part of the “promised land” of ancient Israel.
2. As ‘The United States and Britain in Prophecy’ explains Bible prophecy, that the birthright tribes of Israel Ephraim and Manasseh will be taken captive once again because of their continued national sins!
THESE ARE AMERICA AND BRITAIN TODAY! Will the modern descendants of Israel be scattered all over the earth? Isa. 11:11-12 YES! Will they turn to God in their captivity in the end time of mans rule? chapter 4:25-28. YES!
3. Will God bring His captive people back to the land He promised Abraham? Deut. 30:1-5. What is the time setting for the re-gathering of those who remain of America and Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand? Isa. 27:12-13.
COMMENT: The blowing of the “great trumpet” signaling Jesus Christ’s return to earth. (1Thes. 4:16; Rev. 11:15). At His return those remaining of Israel will be recovered from this modern captivity. Those still alive after the soon-coming WW3 – will be brought back to the land of Palestine where all 13 descendant peoples of Israel will be settled.
COMMENT: Jeremiah’s prophecy of this future exodus was written about 600 B.C. The first exodus was ONLY A LESSER TYPE or fore runner of A SECOND AND FAR GREATER EXODUS SOON TO OCCUR!
THIS WILL INVOLVE THE PRESENT POPULATIONS of the U.S. BRITAIN, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, also FRANCE, BELGIUM, HOLLAND, LUXEMBURG, SWITZERLAND, the NATIONS of NORTH WESTERN EUROPE and THE STATE OF ISRAEL!
Notice that these REGATHERED ISRAELITES WHEN CHRIST RETURNS, are Restored To the location of ancient Israel.
COMMENT: At Christ’s return, David, who ruled as king over all the tribes of Israel during his physical lifetime, will be resurrected. And as God promised long ago, David will once again become Israel’s king after God unites the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel.
6. Will God cause His people to see themselves as He sees them, granting them repentant attitudes for the first time? Ezek. 20:42-44; Jer. 31:8-9; 50:3-5. Will God forgive their law breaking? Ezek. 36:24-25; Jer. 33:7-8. Will He also give them His Spirit so they can obey Him? Ezek. 36:26-27; 11:19-20.
COMMENT: Recall that without God’s Spirit ancient Israel did not have the “heart” to obey God (Deut. 5:29; 29:4). But once— God gives His Spirit to His chosen people—, they will remain obedient, not departing from His way of life (Jer. 32:39-40). It is God’s Spirit that will make the difference! Israel will be able to understand God’s way and obey Him from the heart!
7. Will God teach Israel the knowledge and understanding of His way of life? Isa. 54:13; Jer. 3:15. Will this ultimately lead to their entering into the ruling family of God? Isa. 45:17; Rom. 11:26-27.
COMMENT: God will prosper our nation’s as he would have our ancestors had they obeyed him. (Lev. 26; Deut. 28).Although the British Commonwealth and the United States—Ephraim and Manasseh—have been the wealthiest and most powerful nations on earth (because of Abraham’s obedience to God), their status among nations today is only a foretaste of even “greater wealth and power to come once all of Israel is living under the government of God.
9. Abraham’s descendants were prophesied to become extremely numerous (Gen. 13:16). Will Israel’s population increase in the Millennium? Ezek. 36:10-11; Isa. 60:21-22. How does God describe this future explosive spread of Israelites ? Isa. 27:6.
COMMENT: Israel was intended to be a blessing to the rest of the world
both materially and spiritually. The Gentiles similarly will be blessed
as they follow Israel’s outstanding EXAMPLE of obedience to God! And they
too will be prospered spiritually by becoming —spiritual
Israelites—through Christ (Gal. 3:28-29), becoming members of the Family of God! In the one thousand year period Israel will truly become God’s model nation—the leader
all nations will want to follow. But what about those ancient Israelites who died long
ago? Will they also have a chance to receive God’s Spirit, obey
God, and become members of His ruling family?
Ancient Israel to Become a “Holy Nation”
“God has not cast away his people [Israel] which he foreknow,” wrote the apostle Paul (Rom. 11:2). Ancient Israel will also have a chance to receive God’s Spirit- His mind, and obey God from the heart. But how is this possible? These Israelites have been dead for thousands of years! Exactly where do the people of ancient Israel fit into God’s master plan?
COMMENT: All those who have ever lived and died since Adam and who were without the knowledge of God’s plan will be resurrected and given a chance to understand! This resurrection to physical life occurs after the Millennium (Rev. 20:4, 6). Those resurrected at this time will live for 100 years (Isa. 65:20). These will have their first genuine chance to receive God’s Spirit, grow in God’s character and become members of the family of God! They will be taught God’s way of life and be judged by the Word of God (Rev. 20:12)
JUST AS THOSE IN GOD’S CHURCH ARE BEING JUDGED TODAY. (I Peter 4:17).
3. Will ancient Israel come up in the ‘Great White Throne Judgment’ of Revelation 20? Ezek. 37:1-11. Notice especially verse 11. What will Israel say when God restores them to physical life? Verse 11, last part. How will God answer? Verse 12. What will God give them? Verse 14. Will ancient Israel then know the true God? Verse 13.
COMMENT: There is no injustice with God. Everyone is to have his full chance, including all those ancient Israelites who died without ever having an opportunity to know God’s plan. They will be resurrected and given their chance—and without Satan to tempt them!
The illustration of the “valley of dry bones” in Ezekiel 37 shows the whole House of Israel—those spiritually blinded who lived and died without a chance—resurrected back to human life as before. It shows their understanding being opened—the knowledge of God’s way of life coming to them for the first time as a result of receiving God’s Spirit.
Then ancient Israelites will finally become heirs to the Kingdom of God. Finally, “all Israel shall be saved.” Israel as a whole will have fulfilled her God-ordained purpose! They will have become the “holy nation” God originally intended (Ex. 19:6). And all the nations of the world will also take part in this same process!
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