Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Excerpt from Rock of Israel

Towards a Reformed Israelology

Can one be Covenantal in theology, that is, believe the New Covenant community is spiritually Israel and as such is already experiencing in this age the promises of the prophets to Israel, and yet still maintain in some way ethnic Israel is unique? Let us consider how the term "Israel" is used.
The word is used in many ways in the Scriptures, yet all the uses are interrelated. It means "He who has struggled with God". Ultimately, God is the one who has the right to answer the question as to who or what is Israel. He determines who or what is Israel, not man or men's traditions. Here is a provisional list of some of the uses of the word in the Scriptures.

1. The man Jacob, Genesis 32:28
2. Jacob's Physical Descendants(The Jewish People), Gen. 46:8; 48:28; Ex.1:7
3. All Old Testament Believers(Both Jews and Gentiles), Ex. 12:38,47-49; Dt. 23:8Nu. 15:13-16; Ruth 1:16
4. The Land Josh. 11:16; Jud.19:29, 1 Sam. 13:19; Mt.2:20
5. The Northern Kingdom, Is.7:1, 9:12
6. Citizens of the North, Is. 9:14; Jer. 3:11,17
7. The Spiritual Remnantamong the Jewish People, Rom. 9:6? Rom. 11:1?Rom. 11:26?
8. All Who are in the Messiah(A continuation of #3, that is, all believers, the Church), Eph. 2:11-19; Rom. 4:12-17;Rom. 9:6,7,8,24-26 Rom. 11:17; Gal.3:29, 4:21-31
9. Modern Ethnic or Political Israel (Jews and Gentiles!?), Is. 19:24-25; Acts 1:6 (maybe?)(Israel is certainly one of the nations of Rev. 7:9!)
10. The Messiah Himself, Mt. 2:15; Is. 49:3-6; Gal. 3:16

There are then a number of possible Scriptural meanings of "Israel". But, is there a most ultimate meaning of the word Israel? There is -- it is the Messiah Himself (#10), for all the promises of God have their `yes' in Him (2 Cor. 1:20). Jesus is the ultimate seed of Abraham, (Gal. 3:16).

Ilya Berdichevsky
Rock of Israel
P.O.Box 15443
Philadelphia, PA 19149

Phone: (215) 333-7242