I had been meditating on what it really means to be of the seed of Abraham and to be his descendant by faith. And then one day the phrase, “one new man,” from Ephesians 2:15 caught my attention. Was I missing something in what I currently knew about this new creation that was neither Jew nor Gentile? I knew Yeshua had radically re-created me more than four decades ago, and He continues to renew me: spirit, soul and body. So what was God saying to me today about this new creation? And what was its connection to the seed of Abraham?
Rather than getting a direct answer to my question, my thoughts turned toward other questions: What does it mean that all Israel will be saved? Who really is “all Israel,” referred to in Chapter 11 of Romans as the grafted-in branches of the olive tree, both wild (Gentile) and natural (Jew).
When defined in the context of One New Man? I recalled that Apostle Paul says the natural heritage is not the definition of the true Israel: “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel.” (Romans 11:26b) “All” Israel can only be construed to be those who have a heart change by coming to the Father through the Son. All Israel that will be saved is the one new man, the seed of Abraham, who was made righteous by faith. This new creation will have more than the heritage of either a Jew or a Gentile — he will be a sort of super chosen, spiritual species. I find the significance of this one new man is dawning on me in the context of the true Israel that will be saved.
You might say the natural seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was God’s chosen “place markers,” awaiting the appearance of the one new man created thru the redeeming work of Yeshua and the Cross. That doesn’t mean, those broken-off branches are tossed into the garbage heap with no chance of salvation. I do believe that in the latter days, there will be a tremendous harvest of the broken-off, natural branches. The seed of Abraham, the grafted-in Jew (as a generic word for those physically descended from the patriarch Israel) and grafted-in Gentile, the true Israelites, will enter through one of the twelve gates of the celestial city upon the return of Yeshua. There is no thirteenth gate for the believing, Gentile. He is either grafted-in or not. God will place each of these seeds of Abraham in the appropriate tribe for entry into the City of God. All who enter the heavenly city will have the new spiritual identification of one new man.
Apostle Paul had a burden for the broken-off, natural branches and so too should we (Jew and Greek) who are grafted-in, but they are just that–broken-off, and will only be grafted in through Yeshua. The Psalmist says:
“Oh, that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies,
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
The haters of the LORD would pretend submission to Him,
But their fate would endure forever.
He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;
And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”
Psalms 81:13-16, NKJV, emphasis added
I understand the predominant attitude in Israel today is a legally prescribed submission to sabbath and the feasts, but at best only a tolerance for the deeper things of God. In my opinion, the majority of those who live in Israel today are not listening nor walking in the ways of God. The Psalmist equates ostensible submission with hatred of God. God’s promises are to Israel the people, not Israel the national identity of today. The Hebrew transliterated word for nation is usually “gown” (or “goyim”) which to me implies a people group as opposed to a corporately defined, geographic entity. Strong’s says it is generally translated as “nation,” but the second meaning is “people.” If you consider “nation” not as an entity, but a collective noun to describe only the inhabitants, then it is appropriate.
God does specifically define the boundaries of the land mass Israel which he has set aside from all the earth. He will physically rule and reign through his son, Yeshua, in his millennial tenure from this chosen site. As I read the scripture God does not recognize other land masses, i.e. geographically defined nations, but does often refer to people groups. All people groups will come to God’s chosen, defined land mass, Israel, specifically Jerusalem, and worship King Yeshua.
So, as I came to the end of my spiritual journey of identity exploration I can rejoice in my grafted-in position in God’s chosen root stock of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Whether any natural born Jew can accept me as an Israelite, the seed of Abraham, matters little. It’s my identity in the sight of my God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that thrills and excites me.
The promise is that the grafted-in branches: the seed of Abraham, Jew and Greek, One New Man, all Israel will rule and reign exclusively from the land mass Israel for one thousand years with Messiah Yeshua.