“God's dealings with the nation of Israel were of a typical character; yet few have any adequate conception of how fully this was the case. It has doubtless been observed by many that the apostles, particularly the apostle Paul, in instructing the Christian Church, frequently refer to some striking features of type and antitype in the Jewish and Christian dispensations.
But a closer attention to the Apostle's teachings will show that he does not only make use of a few illustrations drawn from the Jewish economy, but that in his close reasoning’s he calls up the whole Jewish system as divinely instituted (ignoring entirely the "traditions of the elders," which were no part of that system), and shows that in ALL its features it was typical of the then dawning Christian dispensation (i.e. the Gospel age), mapping out most clearly the course of the Christian Church in the Gospel age, as well as pointing out its glorious work in the Millennial age.
Paul designates the Jewish Church "Israel after the flesh," and the Christian Church "THE Israel of God." (1 Cor 10:18; Gal 6:16)
We may therefore properly designate them Fleshly Israel and Spiritual Israel.
The Apostle also points out the higher plane of the spiritual house when he describes Fleshly Israel as a house [family] of SERVANTS, and Spiritual Israel as a house of SONS. (Heb 3:5, 6; Rom 8:14) The fleshly house was the honored servants of the spiritual house in various ways, but chiefly in that they unconsciously, under God's arrangement, furnished pantomime illustrations of spiritual things, which, if studied and heeded, greatly bless and enlighten the house of sons.
Sad that many fail to grasps this, for if they had they would have put forth more time in the study of the Tabernacle types, which the Apostle states are a “copy and shadow (types) of the heavenly things”, a shadow or representation of the entire Divine Plan (Heb 8:5), but most importantly the “KEY” to entry into the heavenly phase of the kingdom. The vast majority of professed Christians having missed this valuable lesson being misled by the “blind guides” will sadly to their dismay awaken in the earthly phase of the kingdom because they failed to take the necessary time to study the subject.
Getting back to our subject, in both cases there have been a Nominal Israel and a Real Israel, in God's estimation, although to men they have appeared as one; the nominal and the real not being clearly distinguishable until the end or harvest time of their respective ages, when the truth then due and brought to light accomplishes the separation, and makes manifest which are of the real and which of the merely nominal Israel.
Of the fleshly house Paul said, "They are not all Israel which are [nominally] of Israel" (Rom 9:6); and our Lord recognized the same fact when of Nathaniel he said, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile," and also when in the time of harvest he separated the real from the nominal, and called the former valuable wheat, and the latter mere chaff though, comparatively, the wheat was only a handful, and the chaff included NEARLY ALL of that nation.
In a similar proportion, and under a similar figure, the nominal and the real members of Spiritual Israel of the Gospel age are pointed out; and their separation, likewise, is in the time of the harvest-- the end of the Gospel age.
Presently only the wheat—a comparatively small number, a "LITTLE FLOCK"—are being separated from the masses of nominal Spiritual Israel, while the great majority, being tares and not real wheat, are being rejected as unworthy of the chief favor to which they were called, and will not be counted among the Lord's jewels. (Rom 9:27; 11:5; Luke 12:32; Matt 3:12; 13:24-40)
The head of the fleshly house was Jacob, surnamed Israel (a prince); and through his twelve sons he founded the house, which bore his name, the House of Jacob, the House of Israel. So with the Spiritual House: its founder, Christ, established it through the twelve apostles; and this house also bears the name of its founder--The Church of Christ. In point of time, God called Fleshly Israel first; but in point of favor, and in time of realization, Spiritual Israel comes first. Thus the first becomes last, and the last first. (Luke 13:30) The Scriptures clearly mark these two houses of Israel as being the fleshly seed of Abraham and the spiritual seed of Jehovah--the Heavenly Father whom Abraham typified.
In our next post we will note some of the parallels or correspondences between the Jewish age and the Gospel age.
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