Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 1, 1958
NUMBER 1, PAGE 7a,13b

The Israel Of God

Forrest Darrell Moyer, Tucumcari, N. M.

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." (Gal. 6:15-16.)


The question, "Who is God's Israel today?" should be easily answered. But even so, there are a host of people who are constantly bringing forth varied Israelite theories. The Anglo-Israelite theory is by no means dead. Under the leadership of William L. Blessing of Denver, Colo., thousands of pieces of literature monthly are flooding the mails. And the tragedy is that many people are swallowing this false doctrine. In a folder published by Blessing, we read:

Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, were exalted over all Israel. (1 Chron. 5:1) The names of Abraham, Isaac and Israel were called upon them. (Gen. 48:16, Gen. 49:22-26) Ephraim was to become a company of nations and Manasseh a Great Nation (Gen. 48:19). This is fulfilled in Great Britain and the United States of America — the latter day Israel of God. We rule over the earth and no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper (Isa. 54:17). (Emp. mine, FDM) Front the same folder, I quote:

We are Anglo-Saxon, Cymric, and Scandinavian Israelites and we are definitely interested in establishing the Kingdom politically and economically as the dominion of YAHVEH on earth as much so as we are in establishing the Church as the temple of YAHVEH in the heart of Israel. With the Church and Israel restored, then will begin the gradual resurrection and restoration of all nations in their alloted places on earth and ultimately the reconciliation of all things.

Such teaching as this calls for a study of the question, "Who is God's Israel?" Pastor Blessing says, "The United States and Great Britain are the Israel of God." What does the Bible teach?

I. The Promise To Abraham

When God spoke to Abram, He said: "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing . . and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:2-3.) He also promised to give to him the land of Canaan. (Gen. 12:7.) Thus, there were two especial promises given to Abram: 1) the land of Canaan to be given to his descendants, and 2) the seed of Abraham that would cause all nations of the earth to be blessed. Paul comments on this latter promise in Gal. 3 and shows that Jesus Christ is the seed by which all families are blessed. (vv. 8; 14-16.) One promise involved a physical blessing — the land. The other promise was spiritual — Jesus Christ.

1. The fulfillment of the Land Promise. The Scriptures are emphatic in showing the fulfillment of the land promise. How a premillennialist can say that God never did give the Israelites all their land is beyond me! Listen to Holy Writ: "And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein ... There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass." (Josh. 21:43-45.) Inspiration declares that God gave them the land. But if this is not sufficient, let us hear Nehemiah: "Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gayest him the name of Abraham. and foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous." (Neh. 9:7-8.) God fulfilled His promise concerning the land! Thus, there is nothing to be gained by attempting to say that God has not yet given the Israelites the land that He promised them.

2. The Fulfillment of the Blessings to All Nations. "Through thy seed shall all families of the earth be blessed." Paul comments on this and says, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Gal. 3:16.) Jesus Christ was the promised seed through whom all nations should be blessed. It is vitally important to keep these two points in mind as we continue our study.

3. In bringing these two promises into fulfillment, it was necessary for God to keep the children of Abraham pure and unmixed from the other nations of the world. Therefore, He selected Jacob, whose name He changed to Israel, to be the father of His people. He called them out of Egypt and gave them the law to serve as a middle wall between them and the nations about them. He gave them the land of Canaan. Under the Old Covenant, the Israelites were God's people.

II. God's People In The Old Testament

There are several significant expressions used in reference to God's people under the Old Testament dispensation.

1. They were called the Seed of Abraham. "We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man." (Jn. 8:33.) Paul addressed the "men of Israel" in Acts 13:16 and referred to them as "Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham." (v. 26.) Paul himself asked, "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I." (2 Cor. 11:22.) To be the seed of Abraham meant that they were the people of God — those whom God had chosen.

2. They were Israel — people of God (lit. "ruling with God.") "And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." (Matt. 2:6; Mic. 5:2.)

3. They were referred to as "The Circumcision." Paul distinguishes between Gentiles and Israelites in Eph. 2:11-12; "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." The same idea may be found in Gal. 2:9; Rom. 3:30; 4:9. Col. 4:11. Under the law, God's people were the Circumcision.

4. God called them "My people." "If my people, which are called by my name." (2 Chron. 7:14.) "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." (Deut. 14:2.)

5. Were the Jews true Israelites? Those who have espoused the Anglo-Israel theory have made much ado about the Jews. According to them, the Jews are not and were not true Israelites but were the enemies of God's people. Such a distinction is unwarranted. The Jews of the New Testament were God's people — there were true Israelites. A few scriptures will suffice:

a. John preached repentance to the Jews "of Judea" (Mark 1:4-5.) but he preached "repentance to all people of Israel." (Acts 13:34.)

b. Nicodemus was a "ruler of the Jews" (John 3:1.), but Nicodemus was a "master of Israel." (John 3:10.)

c. Paul was an Israelite (Rom. 11:1.), but he was a Jew (Acts 22:3.) and a Hebrew of the tribe of Benjamin. (Phil. 3:5.)

d. Paul called the Jews his own nation (Gal. 1:13-14.), but he called Israel his nation. (Acts 28:18-20.)

e. Peter was a Jew like "other Jews." (Gal. 2:11-15.)

f. The "oracles of God" or old covenant was given to the Jews (Rom. 3:1.), but the old covenant was given to Israel. (Rom. 9:4.)

h. In His conversation with the Samaritan woman, Jesus admitted that He was a Jew (John 4:9-22.) — "salvation is of the Jews."

Seeking to make a distinction is entirely out of order — the Jews were God's people, Israel, under the Jewish dispensation.

(more to follow)