Jesus Christ Is Israel
It is written:
|Hosea 11:1||Matthew 2:14, 15|
|When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My Son.||And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt;
and was there until the death of Herod, that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “Out of Egypt did I call My Son.”
As Jesus is the true Israel according to Scripture, He is also the true seed of Abraham for it is also written in the Scriptures:
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." – Galatians 3:7,8 (ESV)
and as Jesus is the true Israel and Seed of Abraham, the promises of God were made not to natural Israel, but to Abraham and to Christ, for again it is written in the Scriptures:
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ. – Galatians 3:16 (ESV).
There is one plan of redemption throughout history, by faith in Christ, the faith of Abraham, for it is also written in Scripture:
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. –Galatians 3:27-29 (ESV)
Thus there is only one true Israel, Jesus Christ, and none other; one redemptive plan of salvation throughout all history; one Gospel; one people of God –the Church, the Israel of God-by faith having been united to Jesus Christ, the true Israel and made heirs according to the promise of God.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. – 2 Cor. 1:20 (ESV) [emphasis mine].
The Dismissal of Earthly Jerusalem As Spiritually Significant
Isaiah 35: Glorious Gospel, Millennial Problem
Amen! Not getting this is a big part of the confusion in the Dispy camp.
Clear, concise, correct.
Thank you, Brother.
Clearly true. Let those who are deceived by Darby’s religion to repent and believe the Scriptures.
I cannot “AMEN!!” loud enough. :))
Here is another portion of the OT text speaking of Jesus in the same manner too:
 Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.
 He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away.
 And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
 he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
I think this point overlooks an awful lot of scripture, both Old and New Testament.
Would you mind highlighting some of those texts please Alan? I know there are many times Israel is mentioned in the Bible, but I sincerely believe that the Bible teaches clearly that our assumption of who is Israel is the thing in error.
The thing I often didn’t see past until fairly recently is that the Israel of the Bible is not an earthly nation as other nations. Rather they are a people who have been chosen by God, and led into a dwelling place that He has provided.
The Israel of God have Abraham as their father, for he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. As a result God poured out His blessing upon him through covenant promises. But as Joel points out clearly from Galatians 3, those promises were held captive by the Law until the One who is truly the seed of Abraham came, who is Christ. Hence the true Israel of God.
Christ is the only true Israel, and all whose lives are hidden with Him in God. And when He appears who is our life, we will also appear with Him in glory [Col 3:3].
You may find many verses talking about Israel in the Bible, but there is clear enough teaching to show that Christ and those found in Him are the only true Israel of God.
John, you’re right about there being many references to Israel in Scripture – over 2,500. The vast majority of these are referring to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Even in the NT there is very little question as to who is being referred to. I believe there is some debate about Gal 6:16, but other than that, the plain and overwhelming meaning of “Israel” in Scripture is the nation of Israel; those descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Does Gal 3 show that Christ is the “only true Israel”? Obviously you can’t mean that Jesus is the only spiritual descendent of Abraham, because your passage (Gal 3) shows that all believers are such. Evidently Jesus is “The Seed” – in the sense that He is the first among the spiritual descendents, the one who makes it possible for others to become such. However, I do not see Him ever clearly being referred to as Israel.
This may just be one of those instances where we agree in essence, but semantics are getting in the way.
Now, as for “those found in Him” (Christians, right?) being the the only true Israel of God… now we are stepping into a different discussion. Our host states that he “rejects replacement theology”, so perhaps it is best for him to respond to this.
Hosea 9:1 Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.
Jesus is Israel?
Clearly natural, rebellious, failing nation of Israel. And? You see, as the article pointed out, natural, rebellious, failing Israel is not the true Israel of God. And by the way, I reject ‘replacement theology’. 🙂
I’m confused by one part of the original post. On the one hand you say that only Jesus is the true Israel, then you go on to add that the Church is the Israel of God. Can both really be Israel?
As for providing additional scriptures; you’ve given one so far to support the identity of Jesus as Israel (Mt 2), can you please provide more? Then I will be happy to do similarly.
Your brother in Christ,
“Jesus is Israel.” This view is new to me, and I was hoping you might provide more than one Scripture. Without much else in the way of Biblical support, I think it more feasible to look at Matt 2:14,15 differently. Not that God is calling Jesus Israel, but that He is calling Jesus out of Egypt, just as He did the descendents of Jacob.
Alan, I understand. I tried to be as clear as possible in the post, however….The promises made to Abraham in Gen 12:3 were, as Paul points out in Gal 3, made to Abraham and to Christ, NOT Abrahams descendants, that is the earthly nation of Israel. This is what Paul is pointing out in Galatians, that the promises cannot be separated from the rule of faith in Christ. The principle to go by never changes in Scripture: prophetic truth is presented as mystery to unbelievers and revealed only to faith. Paul in Galatians 3 explains precisely what you are asking about, and I attempted to convey in the post. Note especially Gal 3:14, and 16 – the promises were never made to natural earthly, rebellious Israel. Miss that, and all is confusion. God bless.
I agree with you in part – the saving grace of God comes only through faith in Christ. However, it seems that Gen 12:3 doesn’t represent all the promises of the covenant. What about verses 1 and 2? And Gen 15:1-7? Hard to see how all of these promises could possibly apply to us.
And if the promises apply only to the spritual descendents, then why does God reaffirm the promises to Abraham’s physical seed (Isaac, Jacob and so on)?
So can this mean that some promises made to Abraham were for him, some for his physical seed, and others for his spiritual seed?
Don’t mistake me, I don’t think “rebellious Israel” will inherit squat. However, it appears that God has always provided a believing remnant within the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
One other thought… Jesus was not merely the spiritual seed of Abraham, but every bit the physical seed of Abraham. That is a significant point in the minds of the NT writers. I don’t think we can write off the flesh-and-blood aspect of God’s covenants quite so easily.
Last year, I stumbled across a book that turned out to be a wonderful examination of the Covenant structure of the Bible, highlighting differences between paedo-baptist and credo-baptist; supportive of the latter. This book helps one understand the point made by this posting – Christ is Israel.
A little more here: http://defendingcontending.com/2011/03/19/covenantal-dichotomism-2/
Also, take a look at Matthew 25…and compare it to the Old Testament where it says that God would curse those who cursed Israel and bless those who blessed Israel…Jesus is basically saying the same thing about himself and his followers…Matthew 25:34ff
Christ TRULY is Israel amen amen, This is what I said in the video Dec 5 2009. Has other scriptures to build on that fact too! See link above.
I was thinking about this subject today and looked up some resources and found this blog. So, I think I’m on track. The biggest stumbling block in explaining this subject seems to the error of equivocation. One meaning of ‘Israel’ is thrown in and confuses other examples, so when you try to bring up a clearer explanation that Christ is the true Israel and all other meanings are lesser meaning then people may think, “Are you saying that Jesus is the nation of Israel?” Sheesh! There are other words that have layers of meaning and also misunderstanding, like ‘Zion’. The understanding of Zionism of today diminishes the Biblical meanings and allusions of that word.
I love the total view of God’s plan of redemption for all of Israel all resting in Christ, because He is the true Israel and all those that are ‘in’ Him are part of His body with Him as the head, whether that be the faithful OT saints or the believing Jews and Gentiles since his resurrection, all saved the same way, through Christ and trust in Him. Not all Israel is Israel, not every man or woman walking through the desert with Moses was Israel, certainly not the Pharisees that Jesus said were not His sheep, and certainly not the Jesus-denying Jews in modern Israel today, or anywhere else. The Jew or Gentile who trust in Jesus are His body and are thus also true Israel because we are IN Him. Unfortunately, some people are so indoctrinated in dispensationalism that even a month of Sunday school lessons can’t clear it up. Loyalty to a favorite teacher may be what blinds the eyes to what scripture really says.
Exodus 19:5-6a is key: ‘Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Only the Lord Jesus obeyed fully so he is God’s true Israel. Receiving the promises is based on total obedience. Thus only the Lord Jesus gets the Abrahamic promises and all those who ‘belong to him’ are also included.
I’m sorry the Dispensationalists and others can’t see this. The New Covenant Theology crowd seems to understand it well.
Galatians 3:16; 28-29
1 Peter 2:9
Thanks for the good website.
Thank you for this. It is very helpful.
There are those who have mistakenly placed other things or lands or peoples “in place of Christ”. We must be careful not to do that, because that is “antichrist”. Antichrist means “in place of Christ” . We are not to even place semites “in the place of Christ”.
How do you interpret Romans 11?
The nation of Israel is not the fulfillment of prophecy about returning to the land. Deuteronomy 30:1-8 clearly states they won’t return to the land unless they obey the Lord with all their heart and keep His commandments.
Today most people in Israel are secular and the orthodox don’t believe in Christ which according the the NT is the only way to keep the law (when it gets written on our hearts) by grace through faith (a gift of God).
The nation exists probably becaues the orthodox pushed for it as pay back for atrocities committed. I don’t know the exact history involved but it’s not because they obeyed the Lord with all their heart which is a requirement for being brought back to the “land.”
Genesis 35:10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and everyone else leading up to Jesus was a for shadowing of Israel/Jesus and we the church or the saints are the Israelites!