18 April 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.” (Isaiah 65:1; all scripture quoted is from the KJV)
It is often the case that the unbeliever is drawn to Christ without seeking Him out. It is the irresistible draw of the Holy Ghost that may bring the sinner fighting and screaming to the Mercy Seat of God. This may seem illogical to the reasoning mind of man, but, of course, all miracles are illogical – and they happen every day.
When our Lord came into His earthly ministry, there were, in fact, two Israel’s – one national, the other spiritual. These two were in complete contradiction of each other. National Israel considered only the material and visible blessings to be evidence of the coming Messiah. They looked forward to a messiah who would defeat every enemy of national Israel and vanquish the Roman Empire from their land. They expected national Israel to be exalted above all nations – politically, militarily, and even racially. Our Lord was welcomed into Jerusalem on the 10th of Nisan (4 days before His crucifixion) by the multitudes of Jerusalem who entreated Him as King in the line of David. This was the Israel that had forsaken faith in the promise made to Abraham and had added law upon law to the Laws and commandments of God. The heavy spiritual burdens they placed upon the people were too grievous to bear though they themselves did not bear them. Four days later, the same scoundrels were calling for the crucifixion of our Lord.
Spiritual Israel was a different matter. Those who had believed in the promised Seed made to Abraham were a remnant of the greater number who were either perpetrators of error (Scribes, Pharisees, rulers), or else were in darkness to know what to expect and how to discern the true Son of God at His coming. In the fulness of time, all who believed in that Promise – both jew and Gentile – would be considered the children of Abraham and, likewise, Children of the Promise:
“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?4Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” (Galatians 3:3-9)
Spiritual Israel is today, and always has been, the spiritual nation to which God refers. Both Gentiles and professing Jews are citizens of that Spiritual Israel. It is a sin to contemplate with joyful eagerness the rebuilding of the Temple made with hands and in which animal sacrifices, in rejection of that once-and-for-all sacrifice made by Christ, are resumed. I am weary of hearing protestant professors promoting the resumption of those animal sacrifices as well as the gnostic twists they place on Holy Scripture.
The Gentile races, just as the Jewish race, is determined by blood lines; but the spiritual Israel for which our Lord suffered and died, is determined by faith alone. The believing Gentiles are no less part of Israel than the believing Jews. The unbelieving Jew who rejects Christ also rejects His part in the Kingdom of God in Israel.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:11-13)
It is in Isaac that the Promise was given evidence. He came by miraculous birth through Sarah at advanced age because he was promised. It is through Isaac that the Seed (our Lords Jesus Christ) was foreshadowed – and we believe by faith that this is the self-same Seed to which God made promise, therefore: “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Romans 9:6-8) We are all made One in Christ if we have come into that salvation of grace through faith.