Arminian Today

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More Thoughts on Isaiah 9:10

One major point I think that The Harbinger fails to recognize is that Israel was a theocracy set up by God and ancient Israel had a covenant relationship with God.  This is not so with the United States (nor with modern Israel).  The United States, despite the claims of Cahn, is not a theocracy.  The United States is a republic.  This means that the President of the United States is not a prophet of God nor is he a king chosen by God’s choosing (as with David).  The United States is a republic full of people who are true disciples, agnostics, Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, etc.  It is a divided nation full of sin but not a nation in covenant relationship with God as with ancient Israel.

Cahn, in his book and especially in his documentary video, over and over again claims that Israel and the United States are similar and nearly the same.  Isaiah 9:10 then applies not just to ancient Israel but to the United States as well.  He goes on to claim that God’s judgment of Israel in the rest of Isaiah 9 is also for the United States.

Yet there are so many problems with such a view.  Again, the United States has never been led by the Church.  The United States has not been established by God’s covenant with our founding fathers whom He brought out of bondage to this land that He chose.  The United States was established by men who, for the most part, were theistic rationalists.  They claimed belief in God (or a god) in their speeches and writings but they were not true Christians.  George Washington, the first US President, attended church during his presidency but only during his presidency and once out of office, he did not attend church again.  Ben Franklin, John Adams, etc. were theistic rationalists who believed in the power of the human mind that they believed came from God but they denied the God of the Bible.  Adams even wrote a tract on the Bible in which he attacked it as the pure Word of God.

Furthermore, has God established any covenant with any other nations but Israel?  The biblical answer is simple: no.  I don’t doubt that many nations in the West were once “Christian” nations in that their foundations were often based on Christian values and Scripture but none have been pure nations.  Even the Puritans showed us that they were too human.  The New Testament is clear on this issue.  Galatians 3:26-29 reads:

26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Who is the Israel of God today?  I believe it is His covenant people that are now in covenant with Him through His Son.  Galatians 6:16 reads:

And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

Adam Clarke noted about Galatians 6:16:

The true Christians, called here the Israel of God, to distinguish them from Israel according to the flesh.

John Calvin is better here on Galatians 6:16:

This is an indirect ridicule of the vain boasting of the false apostles, who vaunted of being the descendants of Abraham according to the flesh. There are two classes who bear this name, a pretended Israel, which appears to be so in the sight of men, — and the Israel of God. Circumcision was a disguise before men, but regeneration is a truth before God. In a word, he gives the appellation of the Israel of God to those whom he formerly denominated the children of Abraham by faith, (Galatians 3:29,) and thus includes all believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, who were united into one church. On the contrary, the name and lineage are the sole boast of Israel according to the flesh; and this led the apostle to argue in the Epistle to the Romans, that “they are not all Israel which are of Israel, neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children.” (Romans 9:6, 7.)

The people of God today are those who repent, those are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus (John 1:12-13).  The Jews rejected the Messiah as a people group and they suffered the judgment of God for that (Matthew 23:37-39) but individuals (including Jews) have been saved through faith in the Lord Jesus (Romans 10:1-4; 11:1-6).  The new people of God are those in Christ Jesus.  Those in Christ Jesus are the elect of God.  Paul does warn us, however, to be careful and to fear God lest we become like the Israelites of old (Romans 11:20-22).

Today the Lord is saving sinners who are British, Chinese, Japanese, Canadians, Americans, Russians, etc.  He is saving people through His Son (Matthew 28:19-20).  His gospel will shake the nations (Psalm 110:1).  His truth will go forth.  God does not have a covenant relationship with modern Israel or England or with the United States but He does have a covenant relationship with individuals in those nations who repent and look to Jesus Christ alone to save them (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-13).  Jesus has made peace between Jew and Gentile through His vicarious death on the cross (Ephesians 2:11-22).

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/13/2014 at 1:49 PM

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