The Elect, the Remnant, and the Israel of God

The Elect, Luca Signorelli (1445-1523)
The Elect, Luca Signorelli (1445-1523) | Source
Author
Author

Introduction

There is a predominant teaching in Christendom today proclaiming two separate 'people of God', national Israel and the Church.

The popular ‘end times’ theory Dispensationalism is the major force behind this view, insisting God still has a plan for national Israel, which must not be confused with His plan for the Church; the anti-Semitic label is often attached to those who disagree.

In my opinion, God has one chosen people, described in the Scriptures as the elect, the remnant, the Israel of God.

I will attempt to explain why I believe it is important to understand there is only one 'people of God'.

The Elect of God

  • Deu 14:2 KJV For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

God’s eternal plan was not restricted to one nation. Old Covenant Israel was the elect of God from amongst the nations and it was through Israel the Gospel of Grace reached out to the Gentiles. Since the passing of Old Covenant Israel, the only means of salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of nationality.

  • Col 3:10-12 KJV And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Paul called the Colossians 'the elect of God', but before doing so, he reaffirmed the identity of the elect; those ‘born again’ into the Kingdom of God having put on ‘the new man’.

‘neither Greek nor Jew’ There is no racial discrimination 'in Christ', the barrier between Jew and Gentile has been removed and all are of equal standing before God regardless of birthright.

  • 1Pe 2:9 KJV But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Israel was a type and foreshadow of the ‘holy nation’, which is now established in Christ…Exodus 19:5-6.

  • Rev 7:9 KJV After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

John beheld in his vision a multitude from all nations worshipping God.

The Deluge

The Deluge, Gustave Dore (1832-1883)
The Deluge, Gustave Dore (1832-1883) | Source

The Remnant of God

Noah, the Flood, and the Lord’s Judgement

Throughout the Scriptures, there are references to God’s ‘remnant’. On numerous occasions, the ‘elect’ remained secure during dire times of persecution and judgement, even when dramatically reduced in numbers.

  • Gen 6:8 KJV But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

‘And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth’... Genesis 6:5. God’s remnant consisted of only eight people at the time of the flood, Noah and his family.

The Ten Tribes of the Kingdom of Israel, the Assyrian Captivity, and the Lord’s Judgement

  • 2Ch 30:6 KJV So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.

The remnant of God from the ten tribes of the Kingdom of Israel migrated south to the Kingdom of Judah and escaped the Assyrian invasion …2 Chronicles 34:9.

The Kingdom of Judah, the Babylonian Captivity, and the Lord’s Judgement

  • Jer 31:7 KJV For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.

Jeremiah prophesied God’s elect would return to the land at the end of the Babylonian captivity. This remnant rebuilt the walls, the temple, and Jerusalem, and thereby set the stage and backdrop for the advent of the Messiah.

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem AD 70

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem, David Roberts (1796-1864)
The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem, David Roberts (1796-1864) | Source

The Israel of God

Jesus Is the ‘Israel of God'

  • Mat 2:15 KJV And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Matthew alluded to the prophecy in Hosea 11:1. The Lord guided Jacob (Israel) and his family into the safety of Egypt prior to famine, and later delivered them at His appointed time. Jesus, taken by Joseph and Mary into Egypt to escape Herod’s 'slaughter of the innocents', was called out of Egypt in due course.

  • Hos 11:1 KJV When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Israel, a type and foreshadow of God’s Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

A Quote from John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

Hosea 11:1 ‘Was a child - In the infancy of Israel. I loved him - Manifested my tender and paternal affection to him. Called my son - Adopted him to be my son, and as my son, provided for him, and brought him out of servitude. Out of Egypt - But Israel, the first adopted son was a type of Christ the first - born. And the history of Israel's coming out was a type of Christ's future coming out of Egypt.’

  • Isa 49:3 KJV And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

A Quote from John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 49:3 ‘O Israel - As the name of David is sometimes given to his successors, so here the name of Israel may not unfitly be given to Christ, not only because he descended from his loins; but also because he was the true and the great Israel, who, in a more eminent manner, prevailed with God, as that name signifies, of whom Jacob, who was first called Israel, was but a type.’

Believers ‘in Christ Jesus’ Are Called the Israel of God.

  • Gal 6:15-16 KJV For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is 'the Israel of God' and all ‘in Christ Jesus’ are members of His Body and thereby share the title ‘the Israel of God’.

  • Gal 3:8 KJV And 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.

A Quote from Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

Galatians 3:8 'The Scripture, foreseeing - See the notes on Rom_4:3-16(note). As God intended to justify the heathen through faith, he preached the Gospel that contains the grand display of the doctrine of salvation by faith, before, to Abraham, while he was in his heathen state; and thus he is called the father of believers: therefore it must refer to them who shall believe the same Gospel among the Gentiles; and, as the door of faith was open to all the Gentiles, consequently the promise was fulfilled: In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.'

  • Joh 8:56 KJV Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

The Gospel is actually older than Old Covenant Israel, Abraham believed in Christ. Dispensationalism is uncomfortable with this, vainly imagining that God saved people in a different way and by a different gospel in previous dispensations.

  • Gal 3:16 KJV Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Believers enjoy the promises, no longer being 'in Adam' but 'in Christ'.

  • Gal 3:29 NKJV And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Everything we are and have is by virtue of our union with Christ.

  • Gal 3:28 KJV There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Spiritual Israel is God's people by faith; all who put their trust in Christ are ‘the Israel of God’.

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Conclusion

  • Rom 9:6-8 KJV Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That 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.

Paul clearly taught Israel after the flesh was not true Israel. He revealed the existence of national Israel and spiritual Israel. The former ‘the children of the flesh’ and the latter ‘the children of the promise’. National Israel represented the Israelites by blood alone, while 'spiritual Israel' is of Abraham’s seed, the Lord Jesus Christ.

National Israel believed all born of Jewish blood were saved by birthright, they felt secure because they were the children of Abraham and therefore in the covenant of promise. However, only spiritual Israel is the elect, the remnant, the Israel of God.

  • Rom11:17-20 KJV And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

A Quote from Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

Romans 11:17 'And if some of the branches, etc. - If the present nation of the Jews, because of their unbelief, are cut off from the blessings of the Church of God, and the high honor and dignity of being his peculiar people; and thou, being a wild olive - ye Gentiles, being without the knowledge of the true God, and consequently bringing forth no fruits of righteousness, wert grafted in among them - are now inserted in the original stock, having been made partakers of the faith of Abraham, and consequently of his blessings; and enjoy, as the people did who sprang from him, the fatness of the olive tree - the promises made to the patriarchs, and the spiritual privileges of the Jewish Church: -' Romans 11:18 ‘Boast not against the branches - While you are ready to acknowledge that you were included in the covenant made with Abraham, and are now partakers of the same blessings with him, do not exult over, much less insult, the branches, his present descendants, whose place you now fill up, according to the election of grace: for remember, ye are not the root, nor do ye bear the root, but the root bears you. You have not been the means of deriving any blessing on the Jewish people; but through that very people, which you may be tempted to despise, all the blessing and excellencies which you enjoy have been communicated to you.’

In my opinion, the Day of Pentecost was not the birth but the empowerment of the Church. All believers from the ages before the Cross, who by faith looked for the Messiah, and all since the Cross, who have come to faith in Christ, constitute the Israel of God...Hebrews 11. The Church did not replace Israel. Gentiles were 'graffed' into the Israel of God.

Does God really have two separate 'peoples'? God has only one people, 'the Israel of God'.

What do you think?

Alexander Gibb

© 2012 Alexander Gibb

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Comments 28 comments

Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

I agree with most of the things you wrote here; however, I would like to ask you a couple of questions.

I do believe the great tribulation Jesus spoke of in Mat 24 already took place during the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, however, according to what you stated...

"Immediately after the Great Tribulation period Christ’s Parousia took place ‘…with power and great glory...’

… are you claiming that Jesus' second coming already took place? If so, can you explain why do you believe this and point to scripture to support your claim?

Thanks


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

What do I think?

I think your article is not only outstanding, but it's one of the finest essays I've ever read.

You have spoken many words, but I have looked up and down, near and far, and high and low, but still cannot find something to disagree with.

Brilliant, thought-provoking, inspirational, accurate, well-written...shall I go on?

Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting and funny (because hearing the truth really tickles my heart). :0)

Thank you, Searchinsany, for being a powerful light on a hill. You make me stronger and you challenge me to be better than what I currently am.

Your #1 fan and loyal friend - C.J. Sledgehammer


charmike4 profile image

charmike4 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

Thanks searchinsany for an interesting perspective on end times. Your theory pre-supposes that there will actually be an end times and a second coming of Jesus, which might never happen. Christians, Jews, Moslems and others having been waiting over 2000 years for the end of times and the return or arrival of a messiah...

Thanks for helping me to understand the two theological perspectives. Cheers Michael


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Faithful Daughter

Thank you for reading my Hub and leaving a comment.

Yes, I do believe that the Second Coming of Christ took place in AD 70.

One of the reasons for believing this is because Jesus taught and the Apostles wrote about His imminent Return. The question is ‘did they get it wrong?’ Of course they didn’t. The Scriptures are the inspired Word of God and therefore I believe Jesus neither got it wrong, nor did He fail. If Jesus said it I believe it!

I am sure you will agree that it is easy to quote Scripture out of context to support a point of view; the crux of the matter is reading and understanding the context.

I have listed a few Scriptures as you request. If you have the time and the desire to study this subject more I would encourage you to read my Hubs, by doing so you will allow me the opportunity to explain in detail as to why I believe this view.

Mat 24:29 KJV Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Mat 16:27 YLT ‘For, the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father…’

Heb 10:37 KJV For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

1Pe 4:7 KJV But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

1Jo 2:18 KJV Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Rev 1:1 KJV The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Rev 1:3 KJV Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Rev 22:10 KJV And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

charmike4

Thank you for reading my Hub and taking the time to leave a comment.

I believe that 'the Last Days' were the last days of the Old Covenant Age in AD 70. The 'Return of Christ' took place in those last days and was the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets to Old Covenant Israel.

The physical manifestation of this event was the destruction of the Temple, Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews.

Whatever the future holds we can take courage and rest assured that Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords now!


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

C J

Thank you for reading and commenting on my Hub, you are truly a source of encouragement.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

Searchinsany,

Thank you for your response; I was curious to know how you arrived at your conclusion that Jesus' second coming already took place in 70 AD. However, I am not convinced as I do not share in your Full Preterits’ view. I can go into a lengthy debate with scriptures and explanations refuting this belief but that would not be appropriate in a comment's section but best written in a hub. Finding the time to sit down to write a full discourse on the topic is a challenge at the moment.

I do agree with you in this... "the crux of the matter is reading and understanding the context." Many years ago, there was a point in my life when I thought I understood the Bible. I have since changed many of my beliefs when I got down to studying the Word of God.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Faithful Daughter

Thank you for your comment.

I respect your view and agree the comments box is not the place for debate, I actually prefer to answer visitors questions on what I have written.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

searchinsany: I haven't got a clue about your opening statement. I don't know what the two views are about or how there is a separation.

Discussing MATT:24:21-22; you state "Through the great tribulation of the Last days, the elect "emerged" triumphant" Am I to conclude here that you believe that the "Great Tribulation" has passed and is over, or, is it yet to come.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Hello Searchinsany, there are some things we agree on. I do not believe in the trinity. There are some things in Revelation that have not come to pass, like the mark of the beast. One cannot buy or sell without the mark. The earth has not yet turned into Paradise. The great and the small have not yet stood before God to be judged. The sea has not yet given up it's dead. Things like that.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Hello searchinsany are you saying that Dispensationalism teaches that the end of times has passed? It does not teach that. It does teach it's followers how to prepare for the end of times.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Dave Mathews

Thank you for your comment on my introduction to this Hub. I have rewritten it because you are absolutely right about the lack of clarity. I would appreciate your opinion on the revised version.

I do believe the Great Tribulation and the Last Days are past events. In my Hubs I try to explain why I have come to this conclusion.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Michele

I hope you are keeping well. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my Hub.

I know we have different views on the End Times and I really appreciate that you still visit my Hubs.

I am not saying that Dispensationalism teaches the End Times are past; if I have written something that leads you to think that please let me know. I would appreciate the opportunity to correct my Hub.

On the contrary Dispensationalism is probably the most popular futurist doctrine today.

It is my opinion that all these are past events that took place by AD 70.

I attempt to explain why in my Hubs.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

That is a much more clear opening from your earlier one. Thank you for the clarification.

If the great tribulation has already taken place, that means that the "Second Coming Of Christ" Has taken place. If so then why is mankind still being plagued by Lucifer aka.satan,aka.the devil and his followers?

As a Christian, it is my understanding from my reading of God's Holy Word, The Holy Bible that prior to the commencement of the "Great Tribulation" beginning with the dead being called up to Jesus that 1/3 of the entire human population, those believing in Jesus, his crucifixion and resurrection in other words all Christian Believers will be gathered up to Jesus. Then those remaining will have to face the "Great Tribulation" which is to last 7 years and after those seven years of tribulation one last chance will be given to the remainder before Jesus descends to do battle with Lucifer, casting him and the anti-christ, and the false prophets and those refusing to acknowledge Christ as Lord, into the "Lake of Fire" and also Hell and Death will be hurled into the "Lake of Fire".

This is my teaching from God's Holy Word.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Thank you Searchinsany I am doing better. No seizures. Yes we do have different views. Thank you for letting me post. I have basically written why I thing the end of times have not yet come in the comment above this one.

Hope you are doing well also.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Dave Mathews

Thank you for your comment.

I believe the Second Coming of Christ took place in AD 70. One of the reasons is the constant references in the New Testament to Jesus' imminent return. Did Jesus and the Apostles get it wrong? Of course they didn't!

Regarding Satan there are Scriptures that state his demise was imminent.

Rom 16:20 ESV The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Joh 12:31 KJV Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Did Paul and John get it wrong?

In my Hubs I attempt to explain in detail why I hold this view.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Michele Travis

I am glad you are keeping better. Your input is always welcome, thank you.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Dave:

In referrence to the Great Tribulation having already taken place you said, "If so then why is mankind still being plagued by Lucifer aka.satan,aka.the devil and his followers?"

------------

I cannot speak for our friend, Searchinsany, but I believe Satan has already been tossed into the Lake of Fire. This does not mean, however, that another great evil spirit, such as Apollyon, has not stepped in to fill the void. Let us also not forget the evil that men and women harbor in their own hearts.

You also stated in regards to the Great Tribulation that "...1/3 of the entire human population, those believing in Jesus, his crucifixion and resurrection in other words all Christian Believers will be gathered up to Jesus."

-------------

It is interesting, Dave, that the Roman/Jewish war lasted 7 years. It got particularly nasty the final 3.5 years.

Do you want to talk about fear and depravity? Do you want to talk about a great tribulation that has no equals before it or after? If so, look no further than Jerusalem in A.D 70.

Gangs were roaming the streets killing each other, sometimes just to eat the contents out of another's stomach! Mothers were also seen eating their own children. Death, disease, hopelessness, destruction, starvation, war, and rampant fear - that was Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Luckily, for the Christianized Jews, in 66 A.D. (3.5 years into the fray with the Romans), General Cestius Gallus surrounded Jerusalem with his Roman army and in short order broke through the walls of the great city. It was then, that General Gallus and his legions entered the Holy City itself.

For reasons unknown to Rome and to the world, General Cestius Gallus promptly left, without an explanation and without reason. This lapse in judgment or Divine intervention, allowed the early Christians to flee from Jerusalem and Judea to the mountains of Pella to the west, and in doing so, were able to avoid the incredible destruction, onslaught, and wrath forthcoming to the Jews.

This, I believe, was in fulfillment of Luke 21;20-22 (20)"When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. (21)Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. (22)For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written."

It is also interesting that 1/3 of the inhabitants of Jerusalem perished during the seige (approximately 1,000,000 people).

Best wishes and be well - C.J. Slegehammer


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

C J

Thank you for your comment.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

I stand corrected, I should have said Pella was to the east, not to the west.


slcockerham profile image

slcockerham 4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

searchinsany, Quite an interesting take on the "Great Tibulation." This is known as a dual fulfillment of prophecy and can't be seen as the final Great Tribulation where the antichrist comes to power. Too many things are not yet fulfilled; world control by a mark, fire reigning down from heaven, 1000 year reign of Christ,etc...


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

slcockerham

Thank you for your comment.

'This is known as a dual fulfillment of prophecy' Where in the Scriptures or by what authority is this a dual prophecy?

'1000 year reign of Christ' Are you suggesting that Christ will only reign for a 1000 years?


Gary Blackhall profile image

Gary Blackhall 4 years ago

The apostles were living in a time of "Reformation", they were living in the "End Times", the End of the Ages had come. Jesus defeated Satan, put away sin and abolished death, he established his everlasting Kingdom and Covenant. Today we live in that Everlasting Age of Grace. The mistake most Churches and Christians have made throughout history is they have rejected the Messiah ship of Jesus and projected prophecies already fulfilled by Christ into the future and therefore end up with a Pharisee Messianic Jewish interpretation.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Gary Blackhall

Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub, I agree with your comment.


Bishop J L Hayes profile image

Bishop J L Hayes 2 years ago from Texas City, Texas

Praise the Lord searchinsany, I have only recently arrived on HP. I am encouraged by your above article. Truly, this is the direction the Spirit is leading the Lord's church. Keep up the good work.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Bishop J L Hayes

Welcome to HubPages and thank you for your comment.


Geoff 8 months ago

I would say that the Israel of God is always Israel, but it is the saved of Israel. It is not the gentiles in the church. In other words; completed Jews, the Messianic Jews. Gentiles are grafted in, having been unnatural branches. I am forever grateful to God that He added me to the body of His Messiah.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 8 months ago from UK Author

Geoff

Thank you for commenting on my Hub.

I do not believe the 'gentile' believers in Christ replaced the Israel of God, but were grafted in.

Gal 3:28 KJV There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Paul wrote that there is neither Jew nor Greek, we are all one in Christ Jesus.

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