sermon: The Doctrine of Israel (Part Six): New Testament Teaching
Israel in the Gospels-Acts
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 22-Feb-20; 73 minutes
Ancient Israel habitually forsook God and His laws in favor of pagan religion, just as modern Israel has done today. Even after God miraculously and powerfully rescued Israel from Egyptian bondage, our forebears never detached themselves from pagan culture. Judah degenerated to a lower moral state than the rebellious Northern Kingdom (Israel); ultimately both Judah and Israel degenerated to a lower moral state than Sodom, becoming as evil as the pre-Flood civilization. Recently archeologists have discovered an intact pagan temple complex only four miles from Jerusalem. Physical Israel and Judah had become so committed to spiritual harlotry that God divorced His people. Because of His promises to the patriarchs, after divorcing Judah and Israel, He selectively and personally called some Israelites and Gentiles to form the Israel of God, Spiritual Israel. The Book of Matthew firmly ties Jesus to Old Testament prophecies and to the genealogy of Abraham and David. Those who follow Christ's rule are the true Israel, the true Prevailers, the Elect, and the Chosen, called by God to precede unfaithful physical Israel in the sanctification and salvation process. God always starts out small, beginning with His elect and from that point expanding His work to include Israel and the Gentiles, eventually all who ever lived. Because the Church, as a type of firstfruits, is under the New Covenant, God has in fact lodged His Saints between Himself and physical Israel, gradually making of its members priests (intercessors) between God and man.
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