Reflections on the Social and Religious Benefits of Commonwealth Theology - Dr. Gavin Finley1. Commonwealth Theology (CT) is set forth and authorized by Holy Scripture in Ephesians 2:11-14. As we see in this passage, there is to be a wider Israel than we see now, a Commonwealth of Israel; a bit like the British Commonwealth was expected to be, although never realized. The Commonwealth of Israel admits Jews and non-Jews into the adoption and the citizenship of Israel, and this by the same Messiah who established the Congregation of Israel as a company and a communion of faith. The entrance modality comes by the New Covenant. This chosen state before God is unique in that this salvation and subsequent fellowship with the Holy One of Israel, is open to Jewish believers and also to non-Jewish believers. The New Covenant gathers together an entire Commonwealth and Congregation of people. The gathering and the fellowship comes not by race, bloodline, generational lineage, or DNA. Rather it comes by the adoptive process of faith in Messiah. This is not just a religion of assent, a mere doctrine, nor a religious tradition. The “called out” people enter into a deep blood covenant union and an ongoing relationship with Messiah, the Christ of Israel. This re-gathering is not a political affair, nor an ecumenical based ecclesiastical one. Rather the election is based upon a personal salvation that comes by grace through faith.
2. A wonderful service to mankind comes in by a realization of the Commonwealth of Israel. There is an inherent engendering of peace among men. This comes by the inclusiveness in Messiah defusing the jealousy directed at the Jewish house of Judah. There is a virulent social disease that explodes from time to time among non-Jews. This is the toxic and seemingly irrational anti-Semitism. This reunion, reconciliation, and restoration in the two houses of Israel in association with the gathering to Messiah of people from all nations will change this for the better. Faith in Messiah is a peacemaker like no other. All this is part and parcel of the abiding Presence of the indwelling Christ in the New Covenant. So the positive story in the climactic re-gathering under the Messiah of Israel is a cross-linked Commonwealth and Congregation of Israel. This is a peace based upon both righteous Law and mercy and Grace. Both are upheld in the dual office of Messiah that comes in the Order of Melchizedek. Broadly speaking we might say the blood covenant union with Messiah in the New Covenant involves “politics and religion”. So an appreciation of CT is to discern both a national/international unity and a unity of the faith both of which rest upon a spiritual foundation in Messiah. The significant virtue of CT being advanced here is that it does not alienate, sideline, or replace the Jewish house of Judah, as previous replacement and dispensational theologies have done, but reunites and embraces both companies. The Commonwealth of Israel comes not by human hands but is a spiritual gathering, soul by soul, and silently by faith in Messiah. The Holy Spirit comes into human lives and restores not only the Jewish house of Judah and Benjamin but also those being saved out of lost ten tribes. But not only that, the Commonwealth of Israel also embraces, saves, and delivers a host of people from places far and wide. The prophet Isaiah spoke of a Servant being a Light to the Gentiles extending God’s salvation out to the ends of the earth. In Revelation 7 John saw the result of this. He saw a huge multitude gathered before the throne of God, people from every nation, race, and tribe.
3. So in CT we have peace on earth and a Multiculturalism that delivers. An understanding of CT and an embracing of Israel’s Messiah successfully and gloriously performs the ultimate multicultural gathering of the entire company of faith.
The gathering of all people in the New Covenant as a Commonwealth and as a Congregation will be successful because the union in Messiah is loving and personal. The God of Israel is respective of the distinctive character traits of individuals and nations. Multicultural union under Messiah is even now being achieved without erasing the distinctive character of each person or each nation. Each is capable of expressing the glory of Messiah in their own distinctive way. They achieve this even as the 12 jewels that sparkle and shine on the breastplate of the High Priest are different but yet remain in unity. So we can be assured that this union in Commonwealth Theology will bring the penultimate service to mankind, the best that can ever be expected.
4. We should expect that critics of CT, especially rabbinical Jewish authorities, and dominionist Christian hierarchies will be initially opposed to the idea of a Commonwealth of Israel. They are yet to appreciate this unfolding plan of Yehovah-God as laid out in Isaiah 49:6. They will say that proponents of CT are little more than Jewish “wanna-be’s”. This will provide an opportunity for the conversation to move forward. There will be a reopening of the discussion of the split in Israel over Law and Grace that occurred after the death of King Solomon at the Breach of Jeroboam. People will come to realize that there was an epic split of Israel into two kingdoms. The ten non-Jewish tribes rebelled from the throne of David, the Jewish House of Judah. They went their separate ways as the Northern Kingdom separate form the Southern Kingdom. The reopening of the Scriptures to examine the migration of the Northern Kingdom will also raise a big and appropriate question mark over the Jewish and Christian claims that the lost tribes were re-gathered and subsumed under Judah during the returns from the Babylonian captivity in the 6th, and 5th Centuries B.C.. The assertion is made that the Northern Kingdom and the lost ten tribes returned en-masse under Zerubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. This claim is made to justify the belief that the Jewish house we see today is all there is left of Israel. But the assertion is without historical or Biblical foundation. As the conversation and holy history moves on to the consummation of the age we can expect that many mysteries are yet to unfold. And they will, in their time.