What is a True Israelite?
- A True Israelite is not a literal descendant from Abraham, but one who has faith in God. As Abraham walked.
“And he believed in the LORD. And He counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6
"Even as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. Therefore, know that those of faith, these are the sons of Abraham." Galatians 3:6-7. "Not however that the word of God has failed, for not all those of Israel are Israel; nor because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children. But, "In Isaac shall your Seed be called." That is, not the children of the flesh are children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for a seed." Romans 9:6-8.
- The children of promise are those who put their faith in Jesus.
"And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise" Galatians 3:29.
- The fact is Abraham was not a Jew and neither was he an Israelite.
The name 'Israel' was given to Jacob who was the Grandson of Abraham, Jacob's descendants were then given the term 'Israelite's'.
The English term 'Jew' originates in the Biblical Hebrew word Yahudy, meaning "from the Kingdom of Judah", or "Jew". It passed into Greek as Ioudaios and Latin as Iudaeus, which evolved into the Old French giu after the letter "d" was dropped. A variety of related forms are found in early English from about the year 1000, including Iudea, Gyu, Giu, Iuu, Iuw, and Iew, which eventually developed into the modern word.
Yahudah (Judah) was Abraham's Great grandson and therefore Abraham would not have been referred to as a Jew or Jewish as this term only came about in modern times.
Whether one is Jewish or Gentile, Israelite or non Israelite God regards only those who have renewed hearts as true Israelites, One must be born again of the water and of the spirit in order to qualify as Christ's. See John 3:1-7, Acts 2:36-40.
Galatians 3:27 "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ".
"For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, nor is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter' whose praise is not from men but from God." Romans 2:28,29. "For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." Philippians 3:3.
- God has a special covenant with those who are true, spiritual Israelite's.
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel… says the Lord, 'I will put My instructions in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbour and none his brother saying, "Know the Lord," for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds, I will remember no more." Hebrews 8:10-12. Compare with Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Ezekiel 36:26-28.
- The Bible tells us the spiritual characteristics of God’s spiritual Israel. They are a morally clean people.
"Truly God is good to Israel, too such as a pure in heart." Psalm 73:1.
- They are a people who are spiritually intimate with God.
"He has exalted the horn of His people, the praise of all saints, even of the children of Israel, a people near to Him." Psalm 148:14.
- They are a completely honest people.
"I will mention the loving kindness of the Lord … toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His loving kindnesses. For He has said, Surely, they are My people, children that will not lie: so, He was their Saviour." Isaiah 63:7,8.
Speaking of Nathaniel, Jesus declared, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" John 1:47. Also see Zephaniah 3:13.
- God's True Israelite's are keenly conscious of the saving merits of Christ's blood.:
"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world; but now in Christ Jesus, ye who were sometimes [once] far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ… Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God ." Ephesians 2:11-13,19, see verses 11-22, also Revelation 7:1-14.
- The true Israel of God have been regenerated by the power of Christ's cross; they are held in the grip of its love and grace.
"God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." Galatians 6:14-16.
- Spiritual Israelite's have their citizenship registered is the New Jerusalem in heaven.
"For here we have no continuing city, but seek one to come." "A city which hath foundations whose builder and make is God " Hebrews 13:14; 11:10. "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels." Hebrews 12:22. This is the Jerusalem "above, which is free, the mother of us all" (i.e., all who have faith in Christ as their Redeemer. Galatians 4:26.
- Even our patriarch Abraham was looking for a city that was made by the LORD
Hebrews 11:10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
There are many opinions about where Jerusalem is actually located there are two possible locations. One is modern day Jerusalem and the other is in southern area of Israel called Tel Arad there are several other possible locations for Biblical Jerusalem, however for the sake of time I will only mention these two.
So as you can agree it's far more better to know that the Jerusalem we seek is the one above.
Contrary to many peoples thinking Abraham was declared by the LORD to be a father of MANY NATIONS, not just the Jewish people or physical Israelite's. True Israelite's as has just been outlined in this article are not made up of a bloodline but of the Spirit of God.
Genesis 17:5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
- When God creates a new heaven and a new earth, His spiritual Israelites will then inhabit the New Jerusalem.
God will set this city on earth and make it the spiritual capital of the Universe. It will be a city of peace that shall never be touched by apostasy, conflict, violence, or ungodliness of any kind.
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away… And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away…. And there shall in no wise enter into anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Revelation 21:1-4,27.
- Though respectful of human laws, spiritual Israelite's do not regard any earthly government as God’s supreme representative. Their spiritual citizenship and paramount affections are in heaven.
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." Philippians 3:21. For, "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light" 1 Peter 2:9.
- But God’s spiritual Israel does not to despise earthly government.
"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities." Romans 13:1. Yet when there is conflict between human law and divine law, it is written, "We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29.
Our Love to God, faith in Christ as a personal Saviour, and reception of a new heart that gives cheerful and willing obedience to His instructions is the essence of being a True Israelite. The names of all such are written the Lamb's book of Life.