Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah 14 and Israel Only
The Israel Only mob (an apt description to be sure) claims that the only objects of God’s love and the only subjects of Christ’s death and salvation were the twelve tribes of Israel. That is why they call themselves Israel Only. I should note that due to the power of the testimony of scriptures some in that camp have now modified their claims to say that the objects and recipients of salvation are / were Abrahamic Seed Only. They are now (fatally) conceding that more than the 12 tribes could be saved, but, they are insistent that no truly “Gentile” non-Abrahamic person could be saved.
In my series on Romans 11: The Fulness of the Gentiles and Israel Only, I destroyed that claim, and demonstrated that Romans 11 simply does not support – in any way – the Israel Only claims. What is revealing is that while I posted six articles in that series, to my knowledge, not one spokesman for that paradigm has made any serious attempt to answer my arguments. Now, to be sure, there were lots and lots of diversionary, obfuscatory, hateful and sarcastic remarks, but, not one of them attempted to show where my lexical analysis was wrong. Not one of them attempted to show that my analysis of the context of Romans 11 was wrong. Not one of them was able to produce a single example of where Paul ever used the key word “pleroma” (translated as fulness in Romans 11:25) in a numeric meaning. The utter failure, the total silence of the IO camp in light of my articles is more than revealing, to say the least.
In a follow up article of two installments, on The Fatal Admissions of the Israel Only Camp, I then took note that the Israel Only representatives have made what can only be called fatal admissions. They have admitted that Israel – the ten northern tribes – were “among the nations.” This may seem like an innocuous admission but, the reader must realize that in Scripture, God not only promised to call Israel “out from among the nations” but, He also promised to save those nations into which Israel had been scattered. Thus, for the Israel Only camp to admit that Israel was not the nations and the nations were not Israel, but in fact Israel was scattered “among the nations” is a devastating admission that cannot be over-emphasized. How did that camp respond? More ranting and raving. More wailing and gnashing of teeth. More dust in the air. More verbal assault. More misrepresentations of what has been actually argued. In a word, no actual, substantive response.
In this article, I want now to lay before the reader a few more texts that deal (another) devastating blow to the Israel Only camp. We will end up in Zechariah 14, but for now, take a look at Isaiah 19:
In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.
Do you catch the power of this promise?
Egypt and Assyria – who by no stretch of the imagination or perversion of language can be considered “Israel” – would come to be called the people of God! This would be when “a Savior and Mighty One” would be sent by YHVH.
✔ In that time of the Savior, “Egypt my people and Assyria the work of my hands” would join with “Israel my inheritance.”
✔ Those foreign, pagan nations, would be called the Sons of God.
✔ They would be called God’s people!
✔ They would be “one” with Israel.
✔ They would all be blessed, equally blessed.
So, once again, Israel would be called “out from among” the nations, but, the nations that had enslaved her would become the Lord’s inheritance and become His children!
This promise is similar in theme and content, even if not identical, to Jeremiah 12:14-17:
Thus says the Lord: “Against all My evil neighbors who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit—behold, I will pluck them out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land. And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people. But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” says the Lord.
This promise was written during the time of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, much later than Isaiah 19.However, like the promises found in Isaiah, the Lord promised to deliver Judah “out from among the nations.” This once again proves that Israel / Judah, “among the nations” was not to be identified as the nations. She was “among them.” So, in both Isaiah and Jeremiah, the Lord promised to deliver Israel / Judah “from among” the nations to which she was dispersed. Thus, neither Israel or Judah were the nations and the nations were not Judah and Israel. But, in addition to delivering Judah out from among the nations– (and they were not dispersed to Israel!!) – the Lord made a promise, a remarkable promise that is fatal to Israel Only. Read it carefully:
“Against all My evil neighbors who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit—behold, I will pluck them out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.”
So, the Lord said that those “evil neighbors” of Judah that had taken her captive, and “among” whom she was dispersed, would in turn be taken captive, removed from their own lands and Judah delivered out from them. But, that is not all.
If those “evil neighbors” ) i.e. the Babylonians and her allies, would, “learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people.” This is reminiscent of Isaiah 2:2f where, when the Messianic Temple of the Lord would be established, in the last days, “all nations” would go there to learn the Word of God. Remember that the context of this prophecy is posited at the time when Israel would be restored. It is when Israel, “all Israel” would be restored that “all nations” could then partake of her salvation and blessings.
This is incredible!
The Lord promised that if those who had captured and destroyed Judah – and that was not Israel – would learn of His laws, walk in His ways, He would bless them and establish them “among my people”– “in the midst of My people.” This establishes several things:
1. Once again, it reinforces the point that for Israel / Judah to be “among the nations” meant that she was not, and cannot be, identified as the nations. This fundamental fact is totally destructive of the Israel Only claims. It cannot be over-emphasized.
2. It also shows that while Israel / Judah was “among the nations” that if those pagan nations turned to the Lord, that they would be accepted by Him and dwell “in the midst of my people.” This establishes even further that “among the people” delineates between the nations and Israel, between Israel and the nations.
So, Isaiah and Jeremiah both contain the promises that pagan nations, non-Israelite nations, non-Abrahamic nations, would be invited into the Kingdom of God and enjoy salvation. This totally falsifies the IO paradigm. There is no escape, but, I suspect that there will be more wailing and gnashing of teeth, with declarations that “Preston does not know what he is talking about.” Stay tuned. In the next installment we will examine Zechariah 14.