NATURAL ISRAEL OF JACOB and
SPIRITUAL “ISRAEL” OF JESUS.
by Venerable Dr I. U. Ibeme
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From Christ and His Apostles we learn that for purposes of biblical messianic
covenant redemption of THE PEOPLE OF GOD, the New Testament Apostolic 12
Tribes of the Messianic Kingdom Church – SPIRITUAL ISRAEL OF JESUS – has
replaced but never excluded the Old Testament Political 12 Tribes of the
Patriarchal Kingdom Nation – NATURAL ISRAEL OF JACOB – (Matt 19:28; Luke
22:28-30; Gal 6:15-16; Rev 21:12-14). According to the Scriptures, Natural Israel
belongs to Jerusalem below which brings to bondage and desolation by the Old
Covenant and has been cast out; Spiritual Israel belongs to Jerusalem above
which brings to freedom and restoration by the New Covenant and is the heir of
the promise (Gal 4:24-31).
The New Testament Gospel teaches that prophesies and promises of redemption
of “ISRAEL” is most properly fulfilled in the “CHURCH”. In the Old Testament, the
NATURAL NATIONAL ISRAEL was partitioned and distanced from other NATURAL
NATIONAL GENTILES whereas in the New Testament the partition and distance
were removed to unite the both into One Spiritual Body in Christ for one Bridal
Heavenly Jerusalem (Eph 2:11-22; 3:1-10; Rev 21:9-27).
God’s SECRET IN CHRIST is that His plan for HIS PEOPLE (Jacob’s Natural Israel) is
now available for ALL PEOPLES (Jesus’ Spiritual “Israel” of Jews and Gentiles
alike) because of Christ’s redemptive work. On the Cross, Christ fulfilled all
partitioning requirements, whereby He nullified all Jewish and Gentile custodial
bondages, through His propitiatory death and victorious resurrection. The result
is that all “guardian” written ordinances against the Israelites (Jewish Biblical
LAW called Schoolmaster in Gal 3:22-29KJV, Grk=paidagōgos) and all “guardian”
spiritual powers against the Gentiles (Heathen Rudimental LAW called TutorGovernor in Gal 4:1-9KJV, Grk=epitropos/oikonomos).
Colossians 1:25-28 (GNB)
(25) And I have been made a servant of the church by God, who gave me this task to
perform for your good. It is the task of FULLY PROCLAIMING HIS MESSAGE,
(26) WHICH IS THE SECRET HE HID THROUGH ALL PAST AGES FROM ALL HUMAN
BEINGS BUT HAS NOW REVEALED TO HIS PEOPLE.
(27) GOD'S PLAN IS TO MAKE KNOWN HIS SECRET TO HIS PEOPLE, THIS RICH AND
GLORIOUS SECRET WHICH HE HAS FOR ALL PEOPLES. And the secret is that Christ is
in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God.
(28) So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them
in order to bring each one into God's presence as a mature individual in union with Christ.
Colossians 2:11-15 (GNB)
(11) In union with Christ you were circumcised, not with the circumcision that is made by
human beings, but with the circumcision made by Christ, which consists of being freed
from the power of this sinful self.
(12) For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were
also raised with Christ through your faith in the active power of God, who raised him from
(13) You were at one time spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were
Gentiles without the Law. But God has now brought you to life with Christ. God forgave us
all our sins;
(14) HE CANCELED THE UNFAVORABLE RECORD OF OUR DEBTS WITH ITS BINDING
RULES AND DID AWAY WITH IT COMPLETELY BY NAILING IT TO THE CROSS.
(15) AND ON THAT CROSS CHRIST FREED HIMSELF FROM THE POWER OF THE
SPIRITUAL RULERS AND AUTHORITIES; he made a public spectacle of them by leading
them as captives in his victory procession.
Christ and His Apostles clearly taught that the New Testament messianic Israel of
Christ’s Apostolic spiritual successors, should be reckoned as the true fulfilment
of God’s Word (promises/prophesies) in the Old Testament about national Israel
of Jacob’s Patriarchal natural successors (Rom 2:28-29; 9:6; 11:25-26; 1Pet 2:910 cf Exod 19:5-6). HENCE THE OLD TESTAMENT (UNDERSTOOD FROM CHRIST’S
POST-RESURRECTION REVELATORY EXPOSITION) WAS THE FIRST SCRIPTURES OF
THE EARLY CHURCH. The New Testament Scriptures were written on this basis
(Mat 1:2; 2:17; 1Cor 10:6,11; Heb 8:8-13; 1Pet 3:21).
Luke 24:44-49 (GNB)
(44) Then he [the resurrected Jesus] said to them [the disciples], "These are the very things
I told you about while I was still with you: EVERYTHING WRITTEN ABOUT ME IN THE
LAW OF MOSES, THE WRITINGS OF THE PROPHETS, AND THE PSALMS HAD TO
(45) THEN HE OPENED THEIR MINDS TO UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES,
(46) AND SAID TO THEM, "THIS IS WHAT IS WRITTEN: the Messiah must suffer and
must rise from death three days later,
(47) and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be
preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem.
(48) You are witnesses of these things.
(49) And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in
the city until the power from above comes down upon you."
144,000: LITERAL and SYMBOLIC.
Jacob's NATURAL ISRAEL is an Ethnic Nation excluding other nations but Jesus'
SPIRITUAL ISRAEL the Universal Church including Israel nation and all nations.
The Natural is the symbolic shadow and the Spiritual is the substance and
Before Christ (PRE-MESSIANIC AGE), nationalities mattered but since the
coming of Christ (MESSIANIC AGE), God no longer deals with us according to
the nations we belong to, whether we are Israelites or Gentiles. What matters
to God eschatologically, is whether we are in Christ or against Christ. That is
why the Gospel and End Times prophecy is NOT about Nationalities (Israelites
versus Gentiles) BUT about global Personages – Christ versus Antichrist.
Again the reality and facts of history is that the full Twelve Tribes of Israel no
longer exist except the Jews who are from the southern Two Tribes of Israel,
so also is ancient political geography no more extant.
There are about 14 million Jews in the world today with half of these residing in the State of
Israel, and there may be more or less at the Tribulation when the 144,000 restored remnant
shall be sealed. The elect “144,000 of Israel” is NOT MERELY a “literal number” of “all the
Tribulation-Saints OF JACOB’S NATURAL ISRAEL” who may be alive during the final
tribulation just before Christ’s second coming (Rev 7:1-4), BUT ALSO the “symbolic
number” of “all the Redeemed-Saints OF JESUS’ SPIRITUAL ISRAEL=the Church” of both
Jacob and all Gentiles, non-partitioned and reconciled by One Spirit into the ONE BODY IN
CHRIST (Eph 2:13-18; Rev 7:14), who are being redeemed with Christ’s Blood and sealed
with the Holy Spirit since Calvary till the end of the Great Tribulation (2Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph
Therefore, the sealed “144,000 Tribulation Saints of all Israel” (Rev 7:1-8) also
symbolically represents the REMNANT “all Israel that are children of promise” (Rom
11:26-28) i.e. ALL elect Israel who truly believe (Rom 9:6-9) as well as the “inwardly Jews
of heart and spirit” (Rom 2:28-29). Conversely the REDEEMED “complete number of
the Gentiles” (Rom 11:25-26) i.e. complete number of ALL nations who truly believe (John
12:32; Rom 11:32) or “the innumerable Saints of every Nation” (Rev 7:9-12; 14:2-3)
“cleansed and redeemed with Christ’s Blood from all Humanity” since the
beginning of creation till the end of the Great Tribulation (Rev 7:13-17; 14:1-4). ALL remnant
Israel and ALL redeemed People do not literarily mean EVERY SINGLE Israelite and EVERY
SINGLE Person. National Israel and National Gentiles are not replaced by Christ’s
Spiritual Israel (The Church); rather, Christ’s Spiritual Israel (The Church) is redeemed
from National Israel and National Gentiles.
(15) This agrees with the words of the prophets. As it is written,
(16) 'After this, I will come back and set up David's fallen tent again. I will restore
its ruined places and set it up again
(17) so that the rest of the people may search for the Lord, including all the gentiles
who are called by my name, declares the Lord. He is the one who has been doing
(18) that have always been known.'
Everyone knows (or should know) that pure blooded descendants of Ten out of the Twelve
Tribes of Israel can no longer be distinguished from the Middle Eastern peoples. The
northern Ten Tribes of Israel carried away by Assyria in 722 BC were scattered and got lost
by assimilation among the Middle Eastern nations and never returned nor retained their
Israelite identity. They were replaced by the Samaritans brought from other Middle Eastern
nations by the Assyrians (2Kings 17:21-24).
The JEWS are not the 12 Tribes of Israel but the southern Israelites from JUDEA (made up
of the southern Tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi) who maintained their pure blood and
identity. These were mostly carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 582 BC (2Kings
25:8-12) while the rest of them took Prophet Jeremiah along and migrated to Egypt (2Kings
25:25-26). Some of those Jews (southern Israelites) carried to Babylon returned later to
Judea with Zerubbabel in 538 BC, with Ezra in 458 BC, and with Nehemiah in 444 BC.
After the time of Christ, the Jews were again sacked from Judea by the Romans and replaced
by the Palestinians in 70 AD as prophesied by Daniel and Christ in Dan 9:27b and Matt
24:2,15,16. Since then, in fulfilment of Christ’s prophecy in Luke 21:24, Jews have suffered
anti-Semitism as sojourners in all nations while Jerusalem remained “trodden by the
Gentiles”– ruled in turns by Romans, Syrians, Arabs, Crusaders, Egyptians, Turks, and
Britons, till the Jews returned eventually to found the modern State of Israel (Medinat
Yisrael) in 1948 after the Second World War. Today, the Jews still share Jerusalem with the
Palestinians (Rev 11:2).
Updated November 7, 2015
by Ven. Dr. I. U. Ibeme
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