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The Errors of Christian Identity Doctrine
First published in 1996
There are two aspects to God's plan of Redemption. The temporal, and the eternal/ spiritual. Identity focuses on the temporal -- which is a part -- but only the inferior part. Jesus is the true fullness of the Gentiles.
One of the most disturbing systems of doctrine gaining influence today is Christian Identity, which is the contemporarily evolved version of the British-Israel position. Its danger comes as a result of two factors:
1) Identity properly teaches who isn't Israel. Identity clearly illustrates that the people in Palestine today, who refer to themselves as 'Jews,' are not God's chosen people, thereby refuting Dispensationalism (and every other such theology), which demands that they are. This declaration of truth is so dangerous, as:
2) Identity improperly concludes who is Israel. One who sees the number of truths in Identity, tends to be more willing to accept 'the rest of the story,' which mistakenly declares that the Anglo-Saxon tribes are Israel... as Christian Identity provides no other alternative, as to who is Israel, and no other fleshly nation seems to be possible (although Mormonism teaches that the Native American Indians are of the 'lost tribes' of Israel).
Christians Identity claims that God's promises to Old Testament Israel can be transferred to today's Israelites, who they claim are comprised of the fleshly remnant of the House of Judah, as well as the Ten Lost Tribes, which (it is taught) became the Anglo-Saxon, Germannic peoples. Therefore, only the 'Israelitic peoples' after the flesh can be inheritors of these promises. Many teach that non-Anglo-Germannic peoples cannot even be saved, but we will focus simply on that doctrine which declares that they can be saved, but cannot be partakers of the 'inheritance with the saints in light.'
This system of doctrine teaches one of the most terrible errors in Christianity today: that Christ is not the 'all in all' for Israelites, and Non-Israelites alike, in terms of station within His Body. In other words, that there is a difference of inheritance for the Israelite and Non-Israelite. It is my assertion that the inheritance of promise in the Old Testament is not only inseparable from salvation, but that it is salvation/redemption. All Old Testamentary promises referring to Israel after the flesh's remaining in the land of Palestine will be seen to have been conditional upon their obedience, all other promises having been made to Jesus Christ Himself (Gal 3:16).
Therefore, my accusation of Christian Identity is that, by placing the emphasis of 'Israelite-ness' as being salvation only (as many within the spectrum of Identity teach), or exclusive inheritance (as all teach), the focus is taken off Jesus Christ as being the 'all in all', and is placed upon the qualities or qualifications of man (who he is). This is clearly opposed to the clear teaching of the Word that the 'flesh profiteth nothing' (John 6:63), and that 'there is no respect of persons with God' (Rom 2:11), 'for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God... and if children, then heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ' (Romans 8:14,17). This is because '(Christ) is the heir' (Matthew 21:38) of all promises; Therefore, 'if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise' (Gal 3:29).
It is my belief that Scripture clearly teaches that Christ is the "hope of the fathers" for the elect descendants of the Houses of Israel and Judah, and the same hope for all who 'take hold of (His) covenant' (Isaiah 56). The teaching of Christ not being the fulfillment of the hope of the fathers, the inheritance, as well as being the promise to Abraham, places unmerited importance upon the flesh (temporal) to the detriment of the eternal. 'He is the head of the body, the church: who is the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence' (Col 1:18-19; see also Matthew 21:38; Heb. 1:2).
What must be understood first is the importance that Christian Identity places upon the word 'ethnos' to support their system. It is taught that ethnos, although most often translated 'heathen,' 'Gentiles,' or 'people,' is referring specifically to the 'sent out and scattered' House of Israel, otherwise known as the diasporia of the 'Ten Lost Tribes.' The logic is that the references that would seem to be teaching that Gentiles are non-Israelites, and thereby only children of Abraham by faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:29), are actually written to those who were already Abraham's children according to the flesh. So, they teach, when Scripture declares that 'the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles [ethnos]' (Gal 3:14), it is actually saying that only those Gentles who were of the ten tribes receive the blessing of Abraham by being 'redeemed,' or 're-constituted' in Christ. Therefore, according to their doctrine, the adding of non-Israelitic heathen to Israel by faith in Christ is unbiblical- concluding, thereby, that Israel in the New Testament is of the same substance as in the Old Testament (to which statement I would agree, but only on the grounds of the true Israel always referring to the elect in Christ) - that is, a fleshly nation.
There are two aspects to God's plan of Redemption. The temporal, and the eternal/ spiritual. Identity focuses on the temporal -- which is a part -- but only the inferior part. Jesus is the true fullness of the Gentiles.
It is true that the Northern Kingdom was "swallowed up of the Gentiles", and were to be called in by "the ensign", who is Christ, who was to "hiss" at them from afar to bring them back in. However, this is a spiritual process bringing spiritual gathering into the land of promise -- the true "land of cities without walls" (Not the USA).
Upon closer examination of the word "ethnos," we find that this interpretation is served whether "Gentiles" simply means "nation," or is intended to bespeak the ten northern tribes alone.
Regardless of the pleadings of Identity teachers, the word itself implies no particular identification with any nation in particular, but rather it simply means "nation." Many times it is modified by the definite article (i.e. "the nation"). This is important, as the assumption seems to be that every usage of 'ethnos' is in reference to the Anglo-Saxon peoples, which would clearly, then, support their assertion.
To which nation ethnos is intended to refer, however, is determined by the preceding context. A good example of this is seen in Luke 7:3-5. This is a passage that Christian Identity uses to teach that ethnos, which is most often translated 'Gentiles,' does not always mean non-Israelites. The following passage was spoken by a man from the Southern Kingdom of Judah :
Here the Greek word ethnos refers to those of the house of Judah (Jews). It must be realized, though, that this is because of the modifier "our." Ethos does not mean Judah, in this passage, but the word "our" identifies that the nation referred to is Judah. Again, ethnos identifies nothing apart from that which modifies it. What Christian Identity craftily accomplishes with this point, is determine the intent of the word by the context, and then determines the context of the passage by the word (which has just been presupposed). This is circular deduction (as is also used by Dispensationalism in assuming that prophecy regarding Israel is unfulfilled, and then determining a future for Israel by this same 'unfulfilled prophecy.').
I will not take the time I would like to raise all peripheral areas of dispute (which are numerous, particularly when the discussion enters the political arena). Instead, I will focus upon three fatal points of their exegesis in Galatians 3.
The three fatal flaws of Christian Identity's exegesis of Galatians 3 are as follows:
I. To Whom Galatians was Written
It is my contention that the book of Galatians was not written to the scattered Israelites (as Identity defines) of Galatia exclusively, but to all Christians in Galatia. In saluting those people to whom the epistle was written, Paul identifies them as 'all the brethren,' in v. 2 and 11. No mention of Gentile Israelite-ness, or lack thereof is made. In fact, the next mention of any type of Gentile is found in Galatians 1:16, where Paul declares that he was called to preach to the heathen, which word does not in any way imply, or distinguish, a diasporia. In fact, in Galatians 2:2, Paul refers to the same people he preaches to as 'Gentiles', with no distinction in meaning made or in any way implied. Paul shows us in verse 6 that it doesn't matter anyway, as 'God accepteth no man's person.'
The only distinction made is found in 2:7 as being that between circumcision and uncircumcision. Again, no distinction between types of uncircumcision (whether 'heathen' or 'Gentile/Israelite') is made... they are all in one lot, as far as Paul has let on. Verse 8 continues by calling the uncircumcision simply 'Gentiles', which Paul in no way differentiates between those to whom he was sent, simply referring to them as 'heathen' in verse 9 of Chapter two. Paul did not say he was sent to the diasporia; in fact, nowhere in the word of God does Paul make such a declaration! Nowhere in the Bible does he ever differentiate between 'types of Gentiles' he was sent to. He simply says 'heathen', 'uncircumcision', or 'Gentiles'. There is no reason to put words or Israelites into his mouth.
There is no question that Paul wrote to a mixed audience, though. As Philip Mauro commented, regarding the audience of the letter:
In verse twelve Paul uses the word 'Gentiles' but has given no reason to believe he is referring to anyone but the aforementioned 'uncirc./heathen'. The same is true in the rest of the chapter. So then, we have been given not even a hint that a specific type of 'uncirc.' is being referred to in this book, leading straight up to a most pivotal verse, Galatians 3:7.
Identity may claim that Paul's usage of 'we' in Galatians 3:23-25 is making grammatical company with the Galatians. Based upon that reasoning, the House of Israel scattered abroad never ceased identifying with 'Israel,' or 'Ephraim,' as we know they most certainly did... I'd be interested in seeing in the O.T. that the scattered house would still be identified as such. It is a misleading declaration that cannot be proven, except by assumptions - assumptions that Paul didn't hold, state, or imply.
II. For What Purpose Galatians Was Written
The most important chapter in Galatians, relative to this present discussion, is the third. In this chapter, the language of Paul dispels any teaching that the book was written only to teach that those which were previously carnal sons are still carnal sons, but only in Jesus Christ. Verse 7 of chapter 3 is the great battleground of this teaching; which states, 'they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.' The question arises as to whom are 'those of faith.' Is this to be taken at face value, meaning precisely what it says, referring to all those 'circumcised of the heart', or are we to understand that this is meant only for those who were 'previously sons?' In looking at this verse, and most others, the question that will determine the answer is whether the verse was intended to be understood inclusively or exclusively. Is the phrase 'they which are of faith' inclusive or exclusive? We will address this more later...
Identity states that this passage is written only to those previously carnal 'sons', telling them that they only remain carnal sons if born-again. Even if this were the intent of the verse (which it is not), what difference would it make to the heathen to whom Paul was sent, and to whom he is writing? After all, verse 8 refers to verse seven as talking about 'heathen.'
What purpose can we find for Paul's writing this letter? Was it for the purpose of:
Can we even establish that Paul was writing to the Galatians for any specific purpose? I think so. Gal 2:21 clearly establishes the intent of his writing (as 3:5 confirms) as being the irrelevancy of the law, and 6:15-16 ends the book with a clear declaration as to the nature of the heart as being the only pre-requisite for citizenship in the 'Israel of God."
What needs to be recognized are the distinctive promises made - some being after the flesh (which was already fulfilled - Joshua 21:44-45; I Kings 8:56), and the other after the Spirit to Abraham and his Seed, which is Jesus Christ (Gal 3:7-8), as this is the root of the issue.. but we will address the fruit issues.
So, I'll simply start by declaring that the adoption of sons does not belong to any Israel after the flesh, as Romans 9:6 clearly declares, saying they are NOT the children of God (If true of the House of Judah, then even more true of House of Israel - Jer. 3:8). But the adoption, rather, belongs to Jesus Christ, who gives it to anyone that calls upon His Name. Because 'the children of the flesh are not counted as the seed', the children of the Spirit (by faith in Jesus Christ - children of promise) are (Gal 3:29). There are no other alternatives, except to say that there are no children.
Again, the flesh profiteth nothing, and as the next verse in Romans 9 states, 'the children of the promise are counted for the seed'. There is no longer any Amos 3:2 relationship with a nation after the flesh. The 'nation' of I Peter 2:9 is the heavenly nation of the kingdom of God, including all ambassadors upon the earth (Matthew 16:18-19).
The Transfiguration is a good illustration of this point. The men wanted to exalt Moses and Elijah on an even level with Christ, but God said, 'hear ye him', and then they saw no other but Jesus...
In terms of the everlasting covenant, Jesus Christ was, and is, the total and complete fulfillment. We are not waiting for any future fulfillment in the flesh. The heirs of the Gospel covenant have always been those in Christ, in both the Old Testament times, and the New. Hebrews 11 clearly shows that salvation then is the same that it is today, their faith was accounted to them for righteousness until 'the seed should come to whom the promises were made' (Who is Christ, of course - not Anglo-Saxonism).
The book of Galatians is complete in its explanation of this covenant, and the means by which one must enter into it. Identity's exegesis excludes this promise/inheritance for those whom they claim are not Israelites after the flesh (as if that meant anything), but they fail in their attempt to show this from scripture, outside of some unbiblical assumptions relative to Paul's audience of Gentiles. Therefore, their exegesis is built as a house of cards that stands or falls on one point: exclusion. What I mean by this is that their doctrine of exclusion (excluding non-Israelites from the inheritance of sons) cannot stand if it can be proven that Paul's letters are written in an inclusionary way (including 'those which are of faith' as being the children of God - and if children, then heirs according to the promise, etc.).
Therefore, the fundamental flaw of Identity's exegesis is the attempt to convert clearly inclusionary verses into an intent of exclusion. They have to work pretty hard to make the kingdom inheritance exclusionary based upon physical lineage ! One would think in ALL THE PASSAGES where the fleshly distinctions are cast away (in the context of salvation and inheritance) it would be clearly stated that this doesn't apply to strangers (in terms of inheritance) In fact, I don't find ONE such Scripture! But I find plenty of such that say that 'as many as', etc. (which are worked upon by Identity to say otherwise).
This is the bottom line that must be established in the issue of who is heir: exclusion versus inclusion. In reading these pivotal passages, the face value, common sense intent is twisted by Identity's teachings to appear exclusionary, instead of inclusionary. Here are a number of verses given for example: Gal. 6:16 'as many as walk according to this rule, ... the Israel of God' See also Eph. 3:6; Heb. 6:12; Gal. 3:22; Gal 3:29; Gal.3:7; Rom. 4:16 Rom. 8:14; John 1:12-13; I Cor 7:19 and Philippians 3:3.
In all of these cases, no clarification is made as to the we's, as many as's, ye's, to them's, or any other inclusionary statement made relative to those in Jesus Christ except by bold assumption. In I Cor 10:32, Paul had the perfect opportunity to distinguish, but didn't. The only distinction in Gentiles is between those who are in Christ, and those who are not; the same and only distinction between all men! Romans 9:6-11 again plainly (no wonder Paul had to write this so often, knowing that, otherwise, people would believe what the Judaizers, Christian Identity and Dispensationalism are teaching) differentiates between men: those in Christ, and those not. One would think that if there was a third inheritance (1. Damnation; 2. Salvation and inheritance for Israelites; or as you teach, 3. Salvation with no inheritance for saved heathen), Paul would say so. The only distinction for Israelites (after the flesh) and non-Israelites (after the flesh) is uncircumcision vs. circumcision of the heart (Joel 2:13).
Christian Identity will then point to Romans 9:6, as if by Paul telling the Romans that "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel', people are only being subtractd from Israel, not Gentiles added thereto. As far as the subtraction of Romans 9 is concerned, the Israelites after the flesh are excluded from the eternal Israel (Christ) if they do not take hold of his covenant, which is the point made in this verse.. the next verse talks about the addition, as it says, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called', meaning those in Jesus Christ, otherwise called the children of promise, which would be as the sand of the seashore!
The unbelieving Israelites can be added back to the root, which is Christ, but only 'if they abide not yet in unbelief' (Romans 11:23). In a nut shell, all Israel has been cut off (v.23; Matthew 3:10), and the kingdom given to Christ (Matt 21:38; Heb 1:2; 11:10,13,16; Eph 2:20), who allows all those of faith to be grafted back, with the heathen, that he may have mercy upon all.
And Jesus Christ is, indeed, all in all.
III. The Separation of Salvation from the Inheritance
The most obvious fatal flaw of Identity's doctrine is the assertion that all the inheritance promised to the fathers was not solely in Jesus Christ, but actually belongs to Israel after the flesh, and therefore, is not for the 'heathen,' regardless of their station in Christ. This error is the reason Paul stood before Agrippa, and the very reason why wrote the book of Galatians as he did. It is also simply the other side of the Dispensationalist coin (See Also Three Errors of Dispensationalism), which also declares that the flesh gains merit with God. Instead of saying "the Jews (carnal nation of Palestine) are God's chosen people on account of their lineage" (which is also what Judaism teaches), Identity teaches that the diasporia (and the House of Judah) after the flesh are God's chosen people on account of their lineage, if they are in Christ." This is why it is not a half-truth to say that, because Jesus Christ is Israel, it all depends on our station in Him, for salvation and inheritance of the promises which are received through Him alone.
The children of Abraham are consistently referred to, not as according to flesh but, as according to the spirit. Galatians 3:7 is simply the most direct statement, in this regard. By the way, there is no switch in context from 3:7 to 3:8-9, where Paul identifies the justification of the heathen... The most significant aspect of this verse, however, is that it declares that the justification of the heathen is the focus of the "Abrahamic covenant", which Paul declares to be the GOSPEL! Why is it the Gospel? Because, as verse 3:16 tells us, "to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." The promise was given to Abraham and his seed, who is Christ Jesus. Acts 13:23 tells us that, "Of this man's (David's) seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour" (see Matthew 1:1). So, therefore, the promise referred to was that the Saviour would be raised to redeem to his people from their sins, and the 'Gentiles.. to open their eyes.. that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in (Christ)' (Acts 26:17-18). It was this same faith (and only this faith) in the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, that brought a good report and, thereby, inheritance, to the Old Testament Israel, as well.
The "Abrahamic Covenant" was a promise made to Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham, that he would be made great, the father of many nations, and that in Him would all nations of the earth be blessed, with curses falling upon those that cursed Him, etc. This is why Galatians 3:8 called the "Abrahamic covenant" 'the gospel'. The Old Testament/Covenant was always a covenant of promise... for salvation and inheritance through Jesus Christ to those of faith. He is the inheritor of all promises, and The Heir of all things (Matthew 21:43; Heb 1:2). The inheritance is all His. None belonged to ANYBODY outside of Him, whether Jew, Gentile, or newly re-Israelited Gentiles. It IS the whole story to say that Jesus is Israel and the inheritance is in Him, as he is the all in all...
In addition, Ezek 44:28, Jer 10:16 and Ezek 46:16, concur that the inheritance is for the stranger, as well. Gal 3:14 declares that, 'the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.' Ezek 47:22-23 clearly states, 'The strangers.. shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.., saith the Lord GOD.' Why, you may ask? Acts 26:18 concurs that Jesus Christ came 'To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light.., that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.' In Col 1:12, Paul clarifies, by saying that, '(the) Father,.. hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:' Eph 1:11 concurs by saying, 'In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.'
The middle wall of partition broken down was not simply that between Israel and Judah, but between them both as well as the Gentiles, within whom they mixed, making peace as a result of former hatreds. This is why God scattered Israel among the Gentiles, so that they could be brought back in on their shoulders, and in their arms. There is no doubt that Ezek. 36, etc. teaches that God will call them back, but this does not teach a distinction in inheritances. In fact, Joel 2:32, and I Cor 1:2 makes a point to declare that there is no distinction!
Romans 4 makes it clear enough that all of faith are the children of Abraham (v. 11), with no distinction between circ. or non (v. 12) or any other stated reason! Identity's distinction between Gentiles IS NOT FOUND in this explanation of grace by faith bringing the promise to be heir of the world (v. 13-14, 16, with verse 17 putting 'many nations' in to further prove my point)
A. Inheritance is promise - one in the same - for all those in Christ!
Romans 1:1-2, in conformity with what I've just written, calls the Gospel the same promise of the Prophets. The significance of this broad declaration is that there is no separating the gospel of the New Testament from the inheritance of the Old Testament, and also the inheritance spoken of in the New Testament, from the promise of the Old Testament. The promise is identified in many ways, but it is still the same promise. It is identified with eternal life (Heb 9:15; 1 Jhn 2:25; Heb 11:39; Eph 3:6; 2:12; I Tim 4:8), the land of Promise (2 Pet 3:13; Heb 11:9-10), and the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13; Luke 24:49; Galatians 3:14; Acts 1:4 Acts 2:33). The inheritance was by promise as well (Gal 4:23,28,30; Heb 6:12-17; Gal 3:8,18; Eph 3:6 & others we'll see in a bit) Gal 3:18 concurs, 'For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.' As does Gal 3:17 'And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.' As you can tell, Scripture equates the inheritance as being the same thing as the promise, which is what the Scripture teaches.
We can also see from Scripture that the inheritance/promise is given with Holy Spirit', with the holy Spirit referred to as simply the down-payment of the promises of inheritance (Eph 1:14; I Cor 1:22; 5:5; Gal 3:27; Romans 4:11-13), which was to be received at the return of Christ. Romans 8:15 even goes as far as calling the indwelling of the Spirit adoption, declaring that those with the Spirit are the children of God, heirs, and joint-heirs. This fact alone destroys any possibility for a distinction between believers, as we are indwelt with the same Spirit- the Spirit of adoption! The adoption of son and heirs - joint-heirs! And it is not the children of the flesh, but the children of the promise (Those born again in Jesus Christ) which are counted for the seed... Which is no surprise, as Philippians 1:19 calls Him the 'Spirit of Jesus Christ'.
For then to all become the children of God, (also called the seed, as they are in Christ), proves that they all are inheritors of the same promises... This is the clearest contradictor of Identity's doctrine, as one cannot separate the holy Spirit of Adoption from inheriting the promise of sons. The only alternative this leaves them is declaring that non-Israelites aren't indwelt with the Spirit! A few verses will suffice to show that all the seed are inheritors:
Which relationship proves the inheritance for all, as all saved are children, and all children are heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. This also is relative to the promises that go all the way back to Exodus 6:7 and before... the adoption of children. II Corinthians 6 declares this adoption, according to promise, plain, saying to ALL believers are the temple of God, 'as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.. And (I) will be a Father to you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters', which Paul calls in the next verse the 'promises'! This is also found in Hosea 2:32, Ezek 36:28; Romans 9:25-26, Zech 8:8, among others...
B. Land of Promise
As the land of rest is clearly a major part of the inheritance (Deut 25:19, etc.), Identity must teach that non-Israelites cannot take part in the rest in Christ or the New Jerusalem, which is again the same issue as the indwelling of the Spirit of Adoption.
Of course, the first assumption in this position is that the land which was promised as an eternal possession was temporal. This is not the case, however. The book of Hebrews is the only reference that need be visited, to show conclusively that Abraham regarded the eternal promise as referring to a city "whose builder and maker is God." This is identified as "a better country, that is, an heavenly" (11:10,16). In fact, verses 9,10 and 16 differentiate between the temporal land of promise, and the eternal land of promise, which they were still awaiting, when the book of Hebrews was written:
Regarding the time of the fulfillment of the promises of a temporal land, we have seen all promises given to the nation of Israel after the flesh at Sinai were fulfilled in the flesh as well (Joshua 21:44-45; I Kings 8:53).
C. Separation of Body of Christ from non-Israelites
Identity teaches that Ephesians is written solely to Israelites, who, alone, (they say) constitute the 'far off' of 2:13 (even though, again, no distinction is made as to types of Gentiles, simply broad, inclusionary statements), and that the 'wall of partition' was simply between the houses of Israel and Judah... Therefore, they must take the position that when Paul writes, 'hath made both one', and 'make in himself of twain one new man', he is speaking only regarding Israel and Judah's relationship.. This being the case, they must account for what 'man' the heathen are in. Some teach that they are not in any way members of the body of Christ! We know that this is not Biblical, as Ephesians 2:16 only mentions one body.. I Corinthians 1:13 even asks the question, 'Is Christ divided?'
Ephesians 3:1 has Paul, again, declaring that he is the apostle to the heathen (Gal 1:16; 3:8), declaring of these heathen, that they are the beneficiaries of the 'mystery of his will' (1:9), that they would be 'gather(ed) together in one' (1:10), and, by being in such position they 'should be fellowheirs, and OF THE SAME BODY, and partakers of the promise in Christ BY THE GOSPEL.' Verse nine declares that this is for 'all men'. The foundation being established of to whom Paul was sent ('ethnos' including, but not exclusively those scattered, etc.) demands that this body is of all saved in Christ...
Ephesians 4:5 even declares that there is but 'one body', with absolutely no distinction, explanation, or even hint that it is exclusive, instead of inclusive! Romans 12:5 says we being many are one body in Christ (no hint of exclusion). Romans 5:17-18 declares that this one body of Christ is for 'they which receive.. the gift of righteousness (inclusion, not exclusion)', by which righteousness (of Christ) 'the free gift came upon all men' (Identity, perhaps, teaches that this is not talking about the body of Christ, or that Paul made a mistake in saying 'all men' instead of 'all sons'). Romans 7:4 describes this life in Christ (salvation) as being a marriage (as in a bride). Ephesians 3:6 again says they are 'the same body.' To say otherwise is blasphemy (John 10:1). Regarding the temple of His body, I Corinthians 3:9;16-17 declares that heathen are 'God's building'. II Cor. 5:1-5 (II Cor. being written to 'all the saints') discusses the earnest of the spirit in relationship with this house.. I Cor. 12:13 declares that 'the body is one', 'for by one Spirit are we baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles (with no hint of exclusion).. and have been ALL MADE TO DRINK INTO ONE SPIRIT. Along these most important lines, I Cor. 6:15 declares that all saved Corinthians (no context that would state otherwise) 'are the members of Christ', saying that 'he that is JOINED UNTO THE LORD is one Spirit' , which brings up the Spirit issue again: They must cover their tracks by teaching that non-Israelites aren't partakers of the holy Spirit! They must, if they are going to say that the heathen are not inheritors. As we saw, the giving of the holy Spirit was the seal of the inheritance/promise (Eph 1:13; Luke 24:49 Acts 1:4 Acts 2:33).
The bottom line is that one cannot assume that a writer is writing to someone if the writer doesn't say so. Any attempt to say that Paul was writing exclusively and not inclusively is committing a gross violation of Biblical exegesis. Because there is no declaration of exclusion, inclusion must be accepted as the clear meaning of 'they which are of faith', and 'they which be of faith', and 'and if ye be Christ's', etc. Many teach that the word 'ethnos' (heathen, nation) doesn't mean Gentiles always, but can also mean 'Israelites'. As we have seen, the word ethnos is a general term which is defined by its context. It is defined by its adjective. Of course, the 'every', and 'our' are adjectives that modify ethnos. The scriptures that are exclusionary, such as Luke 7:3-5, serve a specific purpose; In other words, that ethnos means nothing but 'nation', the context determining the shade of meaning, it is pure speculation to say that the uses of ethnos mean something outside of the context which clearly establishes their meaning (such as Galatians' 3:7-8's 'heathen').
The foundational principle of all is that the flesh means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in regards to being unto Him a people, and any attempt to create a distinction is adding to the clear message of the New Covenant "children of flesh are not the children of God" and "as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and upon the Israel of God" God is no respecter of persons.. ANY exclusion is pure speculation.
The Scripture that they feel best supports them is the undoing of their position and the supporting of the present. This is the 'afar off' references of Romans and Ephesians 2:13. Instead of narrowing the field to simply Israelites, this widens the scope of the promises. Paul, in addressing Romans and Ephesians, addresses this to all saints, with absolutely no distinction. This is the 'mystery of the gospel', that Christ sent out and scattered the northern tribes within the heathen, to allow the elect from every nation to become a member of His Body/Temple by 'taking hold of His Covenant which he made with God, the Father, after the 'axe was laid to the root (not the branches, mind you) of the trees...' (Matthew 3:7-10) 'God hath concluded them ALL in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all...' 'For of Him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever'.
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