Friday, April 22, 2011

A nation, a foolish nation, but not the many…

In Romans 10:19-20 Paul quotes Moses and Isaiah.  "I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people" and "I was found of them that sought me not."  Paul appears to be using these passages to point to the church the body of Christ   but in the prophetic program; who and when were or are these "people?"

Are these the "many" in Matthew 8:11?

Although it appears to some that these verses refer to the body of Christ, I do not believe that Paul is referring to the church, the body of Christ in these passages.  Rather, I believe that he is referring to the believing remnant of Israel, the little flock! The “who are” and “when are” these people, refers to the little flock of Jewish believers during the Lord's earthly ministry and the early part of the book of Acts and also future from us in the Tribulation period when God resumes his prophetic program again.

First of all the church, the body of Christ is not in view in the prophetic scriptures after Abraham is separated in Genesis 12 and God begins his circumcision program (we are in type before Abraham: Adam/one new man, Enoch in Genesis 5/the rapture, etc). Secondly, in Romans 10, God through Paul is reminding the Jew that he already told them through his prophets that he would cast the unbelieving nation aside and from them make a new nation (the little flock [Luke 12:32]). 

Romans 10:19-20
But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

I don't see this passage speaking about the church, the body of Christ.  I see it speaking of the prophesied Kingdom church, the messianic Jewish church of the gospels, the little flock, the believing remnant of Israel. They did not seek him, but Christ went out, as the good shepherd, seeking the lost sheep of the house of Israel!

In the book of Romans, particularly chapters 9-10, Paul is explaining how God is just, to cast Israel aside for a season and for a reason and form the church the body of Christ in this present dispensation of grace. He uses their old testament scriptures to show that God had intended already to make a "New" people out of the nation of Israel, even if the mystery of Christ had not happened! He told them beforehand through his prophets about this ‘new Israel.’ Therefore it should be no marvel to Israel that God made up a ‘new people’ for today also (the body), because he already said that he would do it even in their prophetic program with their own people. This ‘new Israel’ is the focus of Romans 10:19-20!

In verse 19, Paul starts with a "but," which means it is connected with what he just wrote. He just wrote how Isaiah prophesied that Israel would not believe his and God's report  [Romans 10:16-17] about Messiah and his kingdom, but would fall away and receive another (the Antichrist...their idol). And because they did not believe God, he cast them away to form a new Israel that would believe. That is where verse 19 comes in...God prophesied this to them through Moses in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 32:21
They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

This "foolish nation" is not the gentiles/body of Christ (‘gentiles’ means nations, and is plural), but it is the little flock of Israel during the Lord's earthly ministry. They were viewed as "foolish" in the eyes of the apostate religious leaders for believing on Jesus as their Messiah!

Matthew 21:43
Therefore say I unto you [Israel’s religious leaders], The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Notice here that the Lord tells the unbelieving religious leaders of Israel that God will give the kingdom to this new "nation." This is not us gentiles/body of Christ (again, nations plural), but the little flock. It was the little flock who "angered" the unbelievers in Israel.  Read with me...

Romans 10:20
But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

Notice again, that Paul is quoting Isaiah about what God would do in the future (during the Lord's earthly ministry), not with gentiles, but with Jews. Isaiah and Moses wrote to Israel about Israel, not gentiles here!

Isaiah 65:1-2
I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;

The entire context of Isaiah 65 is God leaving the rebellious in Israel and turning to the believer in Israel. Notice in verse 1, he uses the term "nation" singular and not "nations" plural. Therefore again, he is talking about the little flock!  Look down further in the passage…

Isaiah 65:8-9
Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

Here it's clear that God has a little remnant of Jews in mind and not us gentiles. They will be that "seed" out of Jacob!

In fact, this "new wine" was mentioned by our Lord in reference to the little flock.

Matthew 9:17
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

So, I do not believe that God and Paul are talking about the present day’s church, the body of Christ in these prophetic passages, but I see them talking about the prophesied messianic, kingdom little flock, believing remnant of Israel church saints.

By the way, Paul even mentions them in Romans…

Romans 11:4-7
But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

Here Paul makes mentioned of that little flock that was still on earth at the time that he wrote the book of Romans. This little flock will be resurrected into the kingdom, but the rest of Israel was blinded and died in their sins!

1 Corinthians 15:6
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

Galatians 6:16
And as many as was according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the israel of God.

As for the ‘many’ in Matthew 8…

Matthew 8:11-12
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.  But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth...

Notice that the many shall come from more than one direction, and thus more than one (singular) nation! In the context of Matthew 8, a gentile just received a blessing from the Lord because he first blessed Israel.

Luke 7:2-5
And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.

So because he blessed (loved) Israel by building them a synagogue—according the Abrahamic covenant, whoever blesses Israel, God will bless—the centurion was worthy therefore of receiving a blessing. This centurion is a type/picture of the gentile nations (plural) who get into the kingdom when the Lord returns! Not a type of the body of Christ, nor is it the little flock mentioned in Romans 10:19-20.

Matthew 25:31-36
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:   Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

So we see that the "many" of Matthew 8:11 are those nations (plural) who inherit the kingdom at the Lord's return because they blessed his people of Israel.

Hopefully this helps

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

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