If I understand you correctly, you say that what your present post touches upon "is not essential doctrine," but I would point out that (if I understand the sense of it correctly) it does
however, promote a concept which is contrary to essential Scripture doctrine
. Please understand that my saying this is not to judge of your own salvation, as I am well aware that true Christians have many times unwittingly promoted positions which are inconsistent with the gospel (for example, Christians who teach (contrary to gospel purity) as though Christ cannot regenerate any unless man takes the first step
and gives him his permission &c., might, on their knees however, freely acknowledge before God from their hearts that, "had he not sovereignly interposed with his grace when they were going on in a course of sin, they had perished").
I will attempt an explanation of my charge by addressing various statements from your post.
The Lord has come and many Gentiles have received Him, but still not many of God’s people have received Him...
I understand the meaning here to be that ethnic Jews, as distinguished from the Gentiles, are "God's people." However, this sentiment which lays the groundwork for what follows, is not the teaching of Scripture:
"...I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God [i.e., true David (being himself very God, and of the line of Judah according to the flesh), meaning Christ
and all of His spiritual seed], and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people
[speaking in this context to physical Israelites
], and I will not be your God. Yet the number of the children of Israel [through Christ, who is the true Israel] shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people [i.e., among the Gentiles], there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. ...and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people
; and they shall say, Thou art my God. Hos. 1:6-10; 2:2
There are those among “God’s people” who presently believe in God (Jn 14:1 – “believing Israel”), but not in [H]is Son. These He has sur[e]ly saved (still in union but presently out of fellowship), for what is there to be said of the years God has and is dealing with believing Israel; which is saying much more than not believing at all, which has always been the state of the majority of the world. Otherwise a vast majority of the Jews would be lost! There have always been those who believe in God who love Him, thus is the love to them to be finally shunned?
Even devils believe in God, but apart from saving faith in the Son of God, there is no salvation
(there is neither union nor
fellowship with God, nor actual love to God apart from faith in Christ specifically):
"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." Jas. 2:19
"WHOSOEVER believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat [i.e., God the Father] loveth him also that is begotten of him [i.e., God the Son, -the meaning being: all that truly
love YHWH love Jesus Christ]. ...this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life
." 1 Jn. 5:1,9-12
Many I’m sure are not familiar with the fact that God has saved the Israelites who believe in Him, by the same method of Christ’ Blood efficacy, as it was “paid forward” (Act 2:2; Rom 3:25; Heb 9:15-22).
Let us take a look at the suggested passages of Scripture:
"And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting." Acts 2:2 (no comment)
[vs. 24, "...Christ Jesus] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood
, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." Romans 3:25
[Note: where faith in Christ's blood is lacking, there is no remission of sins. While it is very true that believers under the Old Covenant had faith in Christ's atoning work as it was preached to them beforehand in the sacrificial system (see next passage below), yet it is not possible to have faith in that propitiating sacrifice (and blood) now having been actually accomplished in time, while at the same time explicitly and purposefully rejecting him who was the sacrifice Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world.]
"And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." Heb. 9:15-22
None of these places teach that the redemption which was purchased by Christ can be applied to anyone (Jew or Gentile, -whoever having sufficient intellectual capacity to comprehend the gospel message, and so to believe) apart from faith in Christ, -whether as being yet to come (as was the case under the Old Testament) or as having now already come and accomplished redemption through his blood.
The only time that remains for the return to fellowship of believing Israel (to fellowship, not union which has never been broken) is during the Millennium, when they shall finally see Him and believe (but no son-ship in Christ, just a people of God); and this is when they and the Christians will take part in the “first resurrection” (Rev 20:5).
Union with Christ (and by implication, with God
) is not national or ethnic in nature, and so while it is true that believers under the Old Covenant could never fully or finally lose those inward covenant
privileges which even they enjoyed (including fellowship
with God), yet it is not true
that the outward bond of the Covenant (for there was an external covenant "union," which is even now true of the Christian Church) could not be, and was not broken with Israel as an earthly nation, when they fell under unbelief:
"...Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto
me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce
; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah." Jer. 3:6-11
"What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off
, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith
. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also
shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob..." Rom. 11:7-26
Perhaps this is a good point to touch a little upon the eschatological. I do believe (as seems to be implied in the passage quoted immediately above) that God will again show mercy to large numbers of ethnically Jewish people, and for this we may rejoice! And that the time is coming very soon, I doubt not, for even the "Judah" of the Christian west (or the seemingly most faithful remnant of the assemblies of conservatives and evangelicals), very sadly may be described with that same description of Judah given in Jeremiah 3 above. But this re-enlarged mercy to the Jews will not take place in the (now already past
) Millennium, but rather, in the beginning of the eastern
/worldwide time of the Gentiles, beginning with the reconstitution of the Church at Jerusalem (see Lk. 21:24 with Zech. 14:8 & Ez. 47:1-12).
Furthermore, our Jewish friends will experience these blessings only as fellow sons and (therefore) joint heirs with Christ and along with the Gentile fellow believers. There is no blessing or inheritance for sinners outside of Christ, who is the first born among many brethren (who's the inheritance is
) and in whom (as a spiritual seed) all believers are adopted and receive also the inheritance along with the blessings of sonship. The true "Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16) is the saints (Jew and Gentile alike), and this is what is meant in the passage quoted above (Romans 11:26) when it says: "And so all Israel
shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob
The "first resurrection" is nothing other than regeneration -see Jn. 5:21-27 (although this should be taken in a way not to exclude subsequent revivals of the Christian as well, -all of which are effects of having been regenerated and of the "seed remaining in us"). Obtaining Christ and a Triune God in regeneration is that one thing needful if we would escape the second death (Rev. 20:4-6). The numbers of those that were regenerated during the Millenium (during which -though Satan, or the primary representative
of the evil one on earth -the pagan magistrate- was bound; yet many if not all
of the hindrances and opposition of Babylon and of Antichrist still continued) was nothing in comparison with what will come about very quickly in that final hundred years or so, which will follow after the destruction of Babylon and the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary (at the time of reconstitution), when "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven
, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." (Dn. 7:27. -See also Dn. 2:34-35 &c.).
For a proper understanding of Scripture Covenant Theology (with its two distinct outward administrations, -the Old and the New), see the Westminster Standards. Perhaps I will have time to take that topic up at a later date, but I think I have written enough for now.
To give a quick summary before closing:
1. (Concerning those having sufficient ability to comprehend the gospel): There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Christ
(this is essential doctrine
, which we must never allow to be corrupted or in any way downplayed).
2. The true Israel of God consists of Jewish ("the Jew first") and Gentile believers both, being gathered together into one body and bride