“All Israel shall be saved”

In my previous blog I wrote about a dream I recently had in which I left a question for a certain bible scholar to answer which he couldn’t. The blog was titled: “The things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned”.

The things of God wrote Apostle Paul, are spiritually discerned: his word, dreams and visions. Jesus taught by Parables which are also spiritually discerned.

The word discern means: to see, perceive, detect, recognise, notice, spot etc.

Discerned is the past tense of discern.

Therefore, spiritually discerned means to see, perceive, detect, recognise etc by the spirit. God who is Spirit communicates with our human spirit.

The born again spirit is alive unto God which is the best definition of being born again. God again, according to Apostle Paul, bears witness with our spirit that we are his children. If then children expect to be led.

Jesus asked his disciples whom do men say I the son of man am? Various names were given. The follow up question was whom do you say I am? No one spoke for this was a very big question. Then the silence broke, “thou art the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God” declared Peter.

No equivocation, no edging of bet, no sitting on the fence. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.

“Flesh and blood (human learning, intellect, brain power, guess work) did not reveal this to you but my Father (the God of all spirits, the Heavenly Father) revealed this to you”.

The word of God is spiritually discerned in that it must be understood through our spirit.

When the church was established it was characterised by various phenomena: fire, heavenly sounds, diverse tongues and miraculous healing. The detractors could not explain away the things that were being done for they happened in public and were reported on by others not the disciples. The only criticism they could level at the disciples of Christ was that they were unlearned and ignorant.

Yet these so called unlearned and ignorant men went on to establish the church: through sound doctrines, good administration and governance and holy practices.

Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1 and 2) in response to those who said the disciples were drunk declared that what the massive crowd was witnessing that early morning was a fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy concerning the universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Up until then if you were to have asked Peter what Joel meant I doubt he could have explained the prophecy, because the word is spiritually discerned.

Let me now turn to the subject of this blog. The word Israel was given to Jacob after he had an encounter with the angel, whom I believe was God. After this encounter Jacob was never the same again. Jacob refused to let go the angel saying he needed to be blessed first. The angel touched one of his thighs and thereafter he never walked the same again and indeed was never the same again. God then renamed Jacob, Israel which means prince of God.

Israel then is the name for the man who was changed after a divine encounter. The descendants of Israel the man were called the children of Israel. By the time of the prophets the nation was simply referred to as Israel or Judah and sometimes Ephraim.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Rome bemoans the condition of his people the Jews. In chapter 10 he writes: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. [2] For I bear them record that they have zeal of God, but not according to knowledge”.

He later gives a brilliant summary of their plight over the centuries which culminated in their wholesale rejection of Jesus as the Messiah or Christ. However, he wrote, the calamity that has befallen the Jews was not unknown to God; indeed He used this calamity to open up the kingdom to the nations.

As an analogy, a loving father builds a huge house for his nearest and dearest and their friends and neighbours. Many of his closest relatives are reluctant to live at the house preferring to go their own way. The father then opens the house to the friends and neighbours. It was the father’s intention all along to open the house to the friends and neighbours but gave preferential treatment to his nearest and dearest.

It was God’s will all along, wrote Paul for the Gentiles to enter the kingdom of God but those closest to Messiah, the Jews, were unwilling to enter so the Gentiles rushed in.

Has God forgotten the Jews? Asked Paul, no was the answer; for he too and most of the leaders in the church at the time were Jews. What will happen to the rest asks Paul? God will bring them in but through the church.

Paul entered the church at conversion and did a great deal to define and establish the church. He uses Isaiah’s words to explain. “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord”. (Isaiah 59:20).

With the birth of the church Apostle Paul goes from the future tense of Isaiah to present continuous tense when he wrote that the deliverer shall come out of Zion and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. (Romans 11:26). The key phrase is the Redeemer shall first come to Zion as our Lord did in building the church to the Redeemer shall come out of Zion.

Through Christ the Redeemer, Gentiles are brought into the kingdom of God and so too the Jews.

All Israel shall indeed be saved but this refers to the born again Jew. There are Jews who don’t believe in God and despise the name of Jesus. There are Jews who reject the New Testament and hate the church as do many Gentiles.

Jesus told the learned Nicodemus “you must be born again to see and enter the Kingdom of God”. 

So all Israel shall be saved but only the born again ones for it is written, again by Paul, “for he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: [29] But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God”. (Romans 2:28-29). 

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s servant 

Lloyd Denny