Duel Distinction

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Ordained Chaplain
Oct 12, 2011
United States
The Lord Jesus revealed two distinct lines of truth. In the first, He presented Himself as Israel’s Messiah and called upon that nation for their long-predicted national repentance, in which He also declared the character of His earthly kingdom rule and Himself as the Fulfiller of the great Messianic purposes. At that time He said of Himself, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mat 15:24). In sending out His disciples He commanded them, saying, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mat 10:5, 6).

In the second, when Israel’s rejection of Him became apparent, He began to speak of His departure and Second Advent, and of a hitherto unannounced age which should intervene in which the Gospel should be preached in all the world to Jew and Gentile alike, and His disciples whose messages had before been restricted to Israel alone, were then commissioned to declare the glad tidings to every creature. A slight comparison of His farewell address to Israel; “. . . hated of all nations” (Mat 23:37; 25:46)—with His farewell word to those who had “believed on Him to the saving of their souls” (Heb 10:39; Jn 13:1-17:26) will disclose the most evident distinctions between Israel and the Church. Such contrasts could be drawn from the Gospels almost indefinitely, and without those distinctions in mind only perplexity can characterize the one who reads with attention.

In His death and resurrection the same two different objectives are discernable. To Israel His death was a stumbling block (1Co 1:23), nor was His death any part of His office as King over Israel—“Long live the King”! Yet, in His death Israel had her share to the extent He dealt finally with the sins committed aforetime, which sins had been only covered according to the provisions of the Old Testament atonement (Israel’s sins were forgiven by the sacrifices which were type and shadow of Christ’s Blood - Ro 3:25; Heb 9:15).

By His death the way was prepared for any individual Jew to be saved through faith in Him; and by His death a sufficient ground was secured whereon God will yet “take away” the sins of that nation at a time when “all Israel will be saved” (Ro 11:27). However, the nation Israel sustains no relation to the resurrection of Christ other than that which David foresaw, namely, that if Christ died He must be raised again from the dead in order that He might sit on David’s throne (Ps 16:10; Act 2:25-31). Over against that, it is revealed that Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it (Eph 5:25-27), and that His resurrection is the beginning of the New Creation of God, which includes the many sons whom He is bringing into glory (Heb 2:10).

In that New Creation relationship, the believer is in the ascended Christ and He is in the believer. This twofold unity establishes an identity of relationship which surpasses all human understanding. It is even likened by Christ to the unity which exists between the Persons of the Godhead (Jn 17:21-26). By the baptism of the Spirit, wrought, as it is for everyone, when one believes (1Co 12:13), the saved one is joined to the Lord (1Co 6:17; Gal 3:27). By that union with the resurrected Christ he is made a partaker of His resurrection Life (Col 1:27), is translated out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col 1:13), is crucified, dead and buried with Christ, and is raised to walk in newness of life (Ro 6:2-4; Col 3:1), is now seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6), is a citizen of heaven (Phl 3:20), is forgiven all trespasses (Col 2:13), is justified (Ro 5:1), and blessed with every spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3).

This vast body of truth, which is but slightly indicated here, is not found in the Old Testament, nor are the Old Testament saints ever said to be related thus to the resurrected Christ. It is impossible for these great disclosures to be fitted into a theological system which does not distinguish the heavenly character of the Church as in contrast to the earthly character of Israel (Israel—new earth representative; Church—new heaven representative—NC).

—L S Chafer

MJS daily devotional for Dec 22

“How often do we find believers plunged into the very depths of distress and darkness as to their spiritual condition and prospects! So many do not as yet see the application of the death of the Lord Jesus to their old man. They do not realize the glorious truth that in that death they were delivered from this present evil world, from the dominion of sin and the law, and from the power of the enemy.

“All believers see that the Blood of the Lord Jesus screens them from the judgment of God; but most do not as yet see that they are ‘dead unto sin’ in the Lord Jesus; that their ‘old man was crucified with Christ’; that not only have their sins been put upon Him at the Cross, but they themselves, as sinful children of Adam, have been personally identified with Him in His death unto sin; that God pronounces them dead and risen with Him. But if this foundational truth is not apprehended by faith, there is no bright, happy, emancipating sense of full and everlasting salvation.” - Charles Henry Mackintosh (1820-1896)