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November 9th, 2015, 07:34 PM
The Remnant and the Remaking of Old Covenant Israel

"And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. 5. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6. O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel." Jeremiah 18: 4-6

This remaking of Old Covenant Israel is mentioned in II Kings 21: 13 and in Isaiah 29: 16. God said he was to turn Jerusalem upside down in II Kings 29: 16 and in Isaiah 29: 16, "Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay..."

It turned out that God used a remnant to begin his remaking of Old Covenant Israel.

A remnant of Old Covenant Israel returned to Jerusalem under Nehemiah, Ezra,Zerubbabel and others to rebuild Old Covenant Israel after the Babylonian Captivity. And Paul in Romns 11: 1-5 points out that a remnant - of Old Covenant Israel - was elected by grace and the multitude who rejected Christ were cut off (Romans 11:17-20).

"I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
3. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4. 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.
5. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Romans 11: 1-5

God did not cast away all of Old Covenant Israel, as Paul says. Then in verses 2 to 4 Paul briefly discusses a remnant that existed at the tme of Elias, or Elijah, who in I Kings 19: 14 asks the Lord if he, Elijah, is the only one left who is faithful to God. God answers in I Kings 19: 18, that he has seven thousand who have not bowed their knees to Baal, meaning they are God's remnant.

When the multitude goes into false doctrines and false practices, God raises up a remnant to begin again his people Israel.

Yet when the remnant of Romans 11: 1-5 was developing, it took some time for Paul's revelation from Christ (Acts 26: 15-18) to become the Gospel of Christ which was to fully become what Paul in Galatians 6: 16 calls the Israel of God, to differentiate it from Israel of the flesh (Romans 9: 6-8. I Corinthians 10: 18), and to realize for that remnant what Peter talks about in I Peter 2: 5, 9, to be as "...lively stones...built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood..."

In I Peter 2: 9 Peter quotes Exodus 19: 5-6 and applies it to Christians. Who are “ye” in I Peter 2: 5 and in I Peter 2: 9? “Ye” cannot be Old Covenant Israel. Those of Old Covenant Israel in Romans 11: 17-20 who did not accept Jesus Christ and were not born again were cut off.

The indications that the Jerusalem Christians under James were trying to add Jesus Christ to Israel of the flesh are seen in Acts 15 and Acts 21: 20-21. Acts 15: 5 says "But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses."

James acted as a compromiser in Acts 15, between the Pharisees who believed on Christ but demanded that all Christians be circumcised and Paul's crew who opposed circumcision and following the ceremonies of the law of Moses.. In Acts 15: 19-23 James decided not to impose circumcision on Paul's Gentile Christians, but he said in Acts 15: 21-22 that all Christians should abstain from pollutions of idols, things strangled and blood, and implied that the Gentile Christians should read Moses as he is "...read in the synagogues very sabbath day."

Then in Acts 21, when Paul and his crew were in Jerusalem to meet with James and the elders, probably including Peter and John, James said to Paul, "Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
21. And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs." Acts 21: 20-21

The doctrines of Paul taught that the Old Covenant physical ceremonies were just shadows of the spiritual which was taught by Christ, who is the substance. This is what Peter is talking about in I Peter 2: 5, 9, that "ye," the born again Christians, are now built up as a spiritual house, and these Christians, are now "a peculiar treasure unto me (God) above all people, and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."

Exodus 19: 5-6 says "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

In quoting Exodus 19: 5-6 Peter in I Peter 2: 9 says "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

James, the leader of the Jerusalem Christians, tried in to make the Christian Gospel fit in with the Old Covenant .He tried to add Christ to the Old Covenant without doing away with the Old. "He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." Hebrews 10: 9

But Paul and his followers were preaching the Gospel of Christ to the Greeks, without including Old Covenant ceremonies and doctrines. The preaching of the Gospel of Christ to the Greeks was to set that Gospel free of Judaism and the Old Covenant

This is what Paul means in Galatians 4: 24-26, that the Jerusalem, meaning Israel of the Old Covenant, is in bondage with her children. Under the Old Covenant physical doctrines and practices Old Covenant Israel was in bondage. "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.".

Paul does not explain in Romans 11: 1-5, about the remnant elected by grace, that this remnant was to become free of Old Covenant Israel, and to a great extent by the preaching of Paul and his people. Luke reports on the mix of the Christian Gospel in Acts 15 and in Acts 21: 20-21 with Old Covenant ceremonies of the flesh, but does not comment on it.

Yet - John Darby said that the "Church has sought to settle itself here, but it has no place on the
earth... [Though] making a most constructive parenthesis, it forms no part of the regular order of God's earthly plans, but is merely an interruption of them to give a fuller character and meaning to them..."

John. N. Darby, 'The Character of Office in The Present Dispensation'
Collected Writings., Eccl. I, Vol. I, p. 94.

"Them" are all physical Israel, or Old Covenant Israel. The church, for Darby exists to "give fuller character and meaning to all physical Israel." Darby thought that the purpose of the Christian church, the ekklesia as a meeting, assembly or congregation of Israel reborn in Christ, made into The Body of Christ like the Catholic capital C Church, was to honor all physical Israel.


"Return of Jesus Christ, The Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, By Lewis Sperry Chafer 1871-1952."

Chafer says "The nation Israel, God's chosen earthly people, to whom at least five-sixths of the Bible is addressed and with whom the great covenants are made (Rom 9:4-5) -- which covenants secure to that nation a land, a nation, a throne, a King, and a kingdom -- are now scattered throughout all the nations of the earth (Deut 4:26-28; Deut 28:63-68; Jer 16:13), and are to remain scattered until they (a remnant; ed.) are gathered into their own land (Deut 30:3-6; Isa 11:11-12; Isa 14:1-3; Isa 60:1-22; Jer 23:6-8; Jer 32:37-44; Jer 33:7-9; Eze 37:21-25; Mic 4:6-8) under the reign of Christ Jesus at His return."

Lewis S. Chafer refers to physical Israel as God's earthy chosen people. And early dispensationalists talk about the church as being only a "parenthesis" within dispensations.

"Israel is an eternal nation, heir to an eternal land, with an eternal kingdom, on which David rules from an eternal throne so that in eternity, '...never the twain, Israel and church, shall meet." Lewis S. Chafer, Systematic Theology (Dallas, Dallas Seminary Press, 1975), Vol. 4. pp. 315-323..