Israel is Not God's Nation 1
By Larry White
The first thing that needs to be understood is the nature of the revelation given by Jehovah. A simple way to characterize it, is with what Paul the apostle said about the history of man:
"But that which is spiritual was not first, but that which is natural, then that which is spiritual." (I Corinthians 15:46)
This principle holds true in many things. Here, it is about the creation of the world. It was first physical with a natural Adam and carnal procreation, then God created a New Heaven and a New Earth in the spiritual realm - a new world. This idea is supported by the fact that there is a second, spiritual Adam (Christ) and a new birth, or as Jesus put it, a second birth.
This birth is to a spiritual life. Spiritual things are the only real and lasting things, though they were revealed second, the representative things came first. It was like God was using an illustration with physical things for young spirits to eventually grasp the real things of the heavenly reality. If the real things were to stand in the light and cast a shadow, that shadow would be the physical earthly things of the Old Testament. That shadow only represented what was real until the culmination of the ages in the first century AD when the maturity of man came, and when the spiritual Adam came. So Israel was a physical representation of the spiritual nation that was going to come. When the new came the old was no longer needed.
From the viewpoint of the nature of what happened, the new sloughed off the old like a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, or as Jesus put it, the old was giving birth to the new with associated labor pains. "For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." (Isa. 66:8-11) Indeed all people should read Isaiah chapters 52-66 until it sinks down in their ears how much God loves spiritual Israel and the incredible genius of him causing her to be born out of physical Israel.
From a doctrinal point of view, God was opening up the chance for spiritual life in his kingdom, starting from the cradle of the Jewish nation and it's theocracy and matriculating to the fully mature sons of God spread across the whole world, who worship God in the spirit.
From a moral point of view God was giving life to those in the world who have faith in him and search for him in righteousness and love him in truth, and he was rejecting any other way to him as the evil, self-serving activity that it is. The offer of life is to all. He rewards those who come to him through his only Son in truth and rejects those who persist in falsehood.
The rejection of the Jewish nation by God is dealt with by Paul the apostle in his treatise to the Roman churches, chapters 9-11. The reason for their rejection wasn't so much the sins of the people, because those things could be forgiven. Their rejection was because they rejected the spiritual life that is only found in the Messiah, Jesus. If they would have turned to the spirit and believed in Jesus then that nation might have continued until this day. But they refused to transcend. So God removed the physical nation, according to his covenant, from being his people, destroyed their city and temple and did not leave one stone on top of another. All of this was spelled out in the old covenant scriptures.
However, there were thousands of Jews who came to Christ Jesus and entered the Kingdom of God. God's kingdom was not prevented from coming as he promised. God's purpose in humanity from the beginning of the world was not prevented from being fulfilled. The faithless majority of the nation did not prevent the believing few from fulfilling what God had promised to them all. God's kingdom came and there is a real Israel now, a spiritual Israel. There is a real Jew now, a spiritual Jew. Not all people who call themselves Jews today persist in falsehood, but the majority of them do and have not obeyed the good news of this offer of life. The true Israel, the spiritual Israel of God, are all those who have now heard the truth and come to the faith in Christ Jesus who gives spiritual life to everyone.
God punished his covenant people in his judicial wrath for their rejection of the truth and the murder of their Messiah, by destroying their temple and city at the hands of the Roman army under Titus in AD 70. That is what the book of Revelation is about, not the end of the world but the end of that Age and the avenging of the apostles and prophets. This was according to the covenant or contract that God made with Israel through Moses (Lev.26). Revelation is more the last book of the Old Covenant scriptures rather than the New Covenant. But in chronological order it is the last book.
In the sight of God, there is no longer a physical nation called Israel. True Christians do not recognize them as God's people, because God doesn't.
“They are not all Israel which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, but In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Rom. 9:6-8)
Thus, fleshly Israel is not the Israel of the New Testament, and, in fact, never was. Fleshly Israel was always a type and foreshadow of the true Israel of God. Believers are counted for the seed and are the true Israel (Gal. 6:16). It is with them, not fleshly Israel, that the New Covenant is made. It is they who have the promises, not fleshly Israel. Fleshly, unbelieving Jews were never the object of God’s promised salvation. The promises belonged to “spiritual” Jews, to those who were “Jews” inwardly by faith.
"For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in spirit, not in letter; whose praise is not from men but from God." (Rom. 2:28-29)