Chris: When the church met to discuss what to do with the Gentiles in the 15th chapter of Acts, it says in the 15th verse: “God at the first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His Name. To this agree the words of the prophets as it is written, After this I will return and build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down and will build again the ruins thereof and will set it up that the residue of men may seek after the Lord and ALL THE GENTILES UPON WHOM MY NAME IS CALLED.”
And I think this is some place where we can rest: “known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.”
Peter, also writing in I Peter 2, beginning in verse 9:, “You are a chosen generation and a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that ye should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, which in times past were not a people, but are now the people of God, which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” Notice this is the same language practically that Hosea used – that’s where Peter got it! “Not my people” and “no mercy” and yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea that cannot be measured nor numbered. “And it came to pass in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are NOT my people, there shall it be said you ARE THE SONS OF THE LIVING God.” So Peter is writing to believers of that day and applying this Scripture of Hosea.
John: If I’m wrong, correct me, but and I think what set us off on the afternoon session is that Doug thinks maybe this issue of the tribes is unimportant; I do get quite a bit from the Christian community that we don’t have to worry about it, all we have to do is to preach the good news of the death, burial and resurrection.
Doug: Don’t send me there.
John: No? OK. But I’m just trying to give a general concept. The most important thing on the burner of this conference is the restoration of the whole House of Israel. If I may just say why, again, and tie that in with Isaiah 49 and 66:19, that once that’s completed then these will become a lamp and a light to the rest of the nations. He will send them to all the world. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s where I am right now.
Chris: That’s what it says in Acts that He will call out FROM THE Gentile nations a people who will believe, and then restore the house of David – that the rest of the world may know. This is God’s big plan. The pig picture is all the world.
Doug: I hope I didn’t present myself as being against —
All of us together said: No, No, No!
Doug: Restoration is my life.
Polly: I understand your reservations because of the “British Israelite” teaching. When the Lord first started dealing with me about these Scriptures a long time ago, that was one of the stumbling blocks. But we can’t throw out everything. They do have certain truths and.
Doug: But they buried them! And please don’t let it come across that I don’t feel it’s important that all the tribes of Israel be gathered. I do. My questioning was triggered by the underlying British Israel doctrine that I sensed. For I’ve been there, and fought that. It was quite amazing in the ‘60’s the inroads it made, saying, “We are all Israelites.” And finally that settled down and the next thing that popped up was, “Well, we’re not all natural Israelites, but we are SPIRITUAL Israel.” Then that finally died down and I heard this noise in the background, “Well, God is through with Israel altogether. He’s just dealing with the church now. So we’re neither spiritual Israel, we’re not really Israel. We’ve replaced Israel.” And that was why flags went up. I started saying, “Whoa, what are you talking about here? What are you saying?” And that’s why I wanted to question.
And I don’t think we’re far apart on our – I don’t like the word “theology” – we’re not far apart on our thinking about what God is doing, I think our nomenclature is different.
Howard: Do you believe that when Israel was dispersed into the countries that they are now the backbone of those countries? I believe that’s the summation that I had – you said “head” but they are actual backbone. [Then Howard mentioned instances of how Jews were used by God in the Diaspora.]
Ben: You (speaking to Howard) wanted to share something and you did it so beautifully. But also I can tell you about thousands of situations of Christian people who have discovered their Jewish roots. And if you will allow me to say it – IS THE FACT THAT THE LAW OF THE BIBLE exists and the way it’s been written in the Bible, it’s never going to cease; we’re going to come back to it, with the Messiah, at the time of the Messiah, until the Messiah and in preparation for the Messiah the fact is:
There is Grace and there is Law. In other words, Jesus, He came to explain the Law. He didn’t come to abolish the Law. And if we think his way is the right way, then we have to call our point, we have to pull up to it. We can’t say, “Just because I’m a believer in Jesus, then I have an exemption from that [The Law}, because I believe in Jesus and he’s the one whose going to forgive all my sins. I don’t have any sins any more.” It’s a little too much. You understand? This is the way I feel.
We are just a few people gathering together talking about it.
Polly: It’s a beginning
[Then there was some deep discussion from Deuteronomy and Zechariah, reading extensively from these, ending with]
“They will remember me in the far countries and they with their children will live and come back and I will bring them back from the land of Egypt and gather them from Assyria and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon until no room can be found for them.”Talk about real estate in Israel?