DISTINGUISHING TENETS OF COMMONWEALTH THEOLOGY
PREAMBLEThe Living God desires relationship with man. Fellowship has been extended to chosen people through a series of covenants. God desires obedience but requires faith in His identity and in His intent to accept, bless, and show mercy. (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 9:32)
Both the House of Israel (Ephraim) and the House of Judah broke their covenant with God. (Jer. 11:10) The House of Israel was declared to be divorced (Jer. 3:8); and, “not My people.” (Hos. 1:9) Thus God’s covenant with Ephraim was technically broken. The House of Israel/Ephraim was intentionally scattered and diffused into the Nations (Gentiles) so that they were “swallowed up.” The House of Judah was sent away without a certificate of divorce. (Isa. 50:1)
But God has not forgotten nor forsaken either Judah or Ephraim. (Isa. 49:14-16; Jer. 3:12; Rom. 11:1,2) Both the everlasting Abrahamic covenant and the Mosaic covenant remain in place on God’s part: “Concerning the election...the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:28,29); “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13)
How God might legally take back his unfaithful partner, Ephraim; and, how God might bring the Gentiles (who were “strangers from the covenants of promise”) into a covenant relationship, was a mystery. This mystery of the Servant-Savior, was stated but not comprehended in Isaiah’s narrative (Isa. Ch’s 49-53) which addressed: the Gentiles, the divorce, and the vicarious suffering and death of Christ for the sins of all parties - “the sins of the world.” (John 1:29; 1 John 1:22)
Christ is “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Col. 1:26-28)
SUMMARY OF DISTINGUISHING FEATURES1. Commonwealth Theology (CT) presents a consolidation of present-day evangelical theologies which conform to a more biblical basis for the Church’s relationship to today’s Israel.
2. CT presents a more organic, yet spiritually vibrant, relationship between Jews and Christians.
3. CT distinguishes itself from Catholic-Reformed (Replacement), Evangelical-Dispensationalism, and even Messianic (Jewish-Christian) theologies.
4. CT acknowledges the biblical record of the deportation, scattering, and assimilation of the Northern Tribes (House of Israel) among the nations. “Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone...So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.” - 2 Kings 17:18,23c This passage and many others prove the 1999 white paper against the so-called “Ephraimite Heresy” to be without biblical merit. CT recognizes that some, but relatively few, members of Ephraim merged with the House of Judah to form a consolidated Jewish identity.
5. CT further distinguishes itself from “Identity Theologies,” e.g. British Israelism. CT affirms God’s plan for the inclusion of the Gentiles in the Commonwealth of Israel without the prerequisite of actual genetic descent from Jacob.
BIBLICAL PRECEDENCECommonwealth Theology is introduced by distinguishing itself from mainstream theologies. Commonwealth Theology, nonetheless, predates popular post-Apostolic Age theological systems by referring directly to the Bible. CT does not, however, assert sola scriptura in regard to the early creeds, but rather affirms the basic tenets of the Christian faith. Commonwealth Theology does reject the theological separation between the Jews (Israel) and the church which emerged in the Early Church and which has been preserved and developed into today’s Reformed and Dispensational Theology.
COMPARISON OF THREE MAIN THEOLOGIES RE: ISRAEL & THE CHURCH
BACKGROUNDEnmity between Jews and Gentiles was never part of God’s plan. “Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (Isaiah 49:6)
On the part of the Jews; first century Jews perceived that being chosen as God’s special people established their exclusive right to God’s promises. Even the Apostles were, at first, shortsighted and reticent to participate in the inclusion of the Gentiles.
On the part of the Gentiles; the preponderance of the first Gentile believers belonged geographically, ergo politically, to the Roman Empire. Bound up in the patriotic spirit of the day was the attitude that the Jewish people were contrary and contentious. By the beginning of the second century the Jews had become “enemies of the state.”
This anti-Semitic Roman patriotism influenced the theology of the Early Church Fathers; especially in the Latin Church where Gnosticism had migrated from North Africa and infiltrated the church. Neo-Platonists like Marcion of Sinope rejected the Old Testament, the “Jewish Gospels,” and even the Creator God of the Old Testament.
Christianity remained headquartered in the capitals of the East and West Roman Empires for 1,000 years establishing a voluminous body of anti-Semitic narrative. By the time of the Reformation, theologians presumed that the longstanding separation of the Church from the Jews found its basis in the Scriptures. Dispensational Theology, although kinder in spirit toward the Jews, separated the Church from the Jews by hypothesizing a variety of partitions of time, space, and divine relationships.
Animosity and persecution of the Jews by the Nations will end when the Gentiles are united with restored Israel to complete the Commonwealth of Israel. “And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24b)
TERMINOLOGY“Israel” - (ambiguous) - Descendants of Jacob belonging to any of the twelve tribes of Israel; Both “houses” of Divided Israel: Judah & Ephraim; the State of Modern Israel.
“Israel” (disambiguous) - The “House of Israel,” referring to the northern tribes of the divided kingdom, also known as Ephraim/Jezreel.
“Jews” (disambiguous) - Direct descendants of Judah; identified as belonging to the “House of Judah” consisting of the southern tribes of the divided kingdom.
“Gentiles” - Gr. ethnos’ nations.
“Commonwealth” - Polity; State.
“Ekklesia” - Congregation, assembly. The writers of the New Testament at no time employed a separate word meaning “church.” Early English translations honored the intent of the Apostolic scribes by translating ekklesia as “congregation.” King James, however, insisted by edict that “church” be used instead of “congregation.” “Church’ was a familiar word for a gathering place for worship. (It is suggested that the king desired to gain control over the building in which the congregation assembled since Christ is obviously the head of the congregation.) The king’s plot, however, blurred the distinction between the religion and the edifice; e.g., Jews meet in a synagogue/temple, Buddhists in a temple, Muslims in a mosque, but the “church” - in a church. The tragedy of this etymological manipulation is that the continuity between the “congregation (ekklesia) in the wilderness” and the “congregation (ekklesia) of Christ” is lost to the English reader.
“Aliens” (Ephesians 2:12) - Alienated.
APPEAL FOR RECONCILIATION(* indicates sections essentially quoted from Commonwealth Theology by Douglas W. Krieger, used by permission)
It is our affirmation that the strongest bulwark against Antisemitism in the Last Days is Commonwealth Theology where today’s Jew/Judah is given a major, even equal, prophetic role both now and unto the end of the age WITH the Stick of Ephraim (Ezek. 37:19) – the “elect called out from among the nations.” We, the “Lost Sheep of the House of Israel” have but One Shepherd, One Flock, One Stick IN THE HAND OF THE LORD.*
CT would appeal to Messianic Congregations throughout their associations to see in this new “body of theology” more than a friend and ally, but as your brothers and sisters in Messiah, Yeshua, the Christ—that we are included, as you, in the Commonwealth of Israel. There should not be jealousy between us. Nor should there be jealousy between the present progeny of Abraham (a.k.a., the Jewish people, ethnic Jews) and those called out from among the Gentiles/the Nations, who attest to their lineage and spiritual dimension as Ephraim and who bear the title as the “children of promise.” To the contrary, we should all be in mutual support of our common Redeemer and Deliverer who shall “roar out of Zion!”*
Appeal to Ephraim: “How long will you [Ephraim-Israel] gad about, O you backsliding daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth–a woman shall encompass (lit. “woo” or “court”) a man.” (Jer. 31:22). Could it be that Ephraim, the “backsliding daughter” – the “gad about” – now woos Judah – “For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth–a woman shall encompass a man.” Therefore, is not Ephraim charged to “provoke them to jealousy” that they might be delivered as we are delivered by Messiah’s undying love and mercy?*
CT views the present State of Israel as the prophetic expression of the gathering of the exiles of Judah to their ancient homeland as heralded by the Hebrew Prophets—this is NOT an accident or a coincidence, but it is orchestrated by the God of Israel as a precursor for the unveiling of our common Messiah and Earth’s Redemption. We applaud a more “Biblical Zionism” in hopes of igniting a hunger for the Torah among God’s ancient people. We refute the teaching of current evangelicals who postulate that today’s Israel may NOT be the final ingathering or that today’s Israel has absolutely no prophetic promise from Scripture (i.e., all such promises belong exclusively to the Church—that we refute). Our bond with the Jewish people is irrevocable because we who were scattered among the nations – yes, swallowed up by the nations – have “come to ourselves” as the Prodigal Son, and have returned to our Father to be under one roof with our Father’s faithful son, Judah. May all jealousy and contempt depart from this One House, banished forevermore through His Everlasting Mercy and Love! May the “blood feud” between Judah under Rehoboam, and Ephraim under Jeroboam, be extinguished once and for all eternity through the BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT!*
CORE TENETS OF COMMONWEALTH THEOLOGY1. Commonwealth Theology distinguishes itself from Replacement Theology, Dispensationalism, Identity Theologies by accepting both the House of Judah (the Jews) and the House of Ephraim (purposefully sown among the nations – a “people called out from among the nations”) to be the Whole House of Israel – both form the Commonwealth of Israel (Eph. 2:12) – the ELECT throughout the ages from Adam onward who constitute the “people of God”—although there are those who are “tares” and those who are “wheat” who shall grow together until the end of the age at which time there shall be a final separation by the Judge of all the Earth.*
2. There is only ONE NEW COVENANT offered to both houses of Greater Israel. “...I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah...” (Jer. 31:31) The new covenant in Jesus’ blood absolved the transgressions of both the northern and southern kingdoms. “For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” (Rom. 11:27) God was a husband to both houses when He led them out of Egypt. (Jer. 31:32) The house of Israel was expressly divorced for unfaithfulness (Jer. 3:8) and therefore expressly addressed in Jer. 31:33. However, Judah/Zion (Oholibah- Ezek. 23 and Isa. Chapters 49, 50 respectively) was also “sent away” because of sin without a certificate of divorce. Just as Jesus ministered first to the house of Israel and commissioned His witnesses first to Judea before sending them to the ends of the earth, so Jesus also inaugurated the New Covenant at the Last Supper among His Jewish brethren and afterward prayed; “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-21) This same priority by which salvation is extended is also noted by Paul; “for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16c)
3. CT is emboldened to recognize the prophetic ingathering of BOTH HOUSES into the Household of Faith at the close of the age – and sees in the rebirth of the State of Israel as the prophetic fulfillment of that ingathering – primarily of Judah in anticipation of their Redeemer, the Deliverer, the Messiah whom we, “called out from among the nations,” attest to be the Son of David, the Son of God and the Son of Man.*
4. We declare that God has sown (Jezreel) the seed of Ephraim, among the nations, and though they are swallowed up by the nations—yes, notwithstanding, ALIENS, NON-CITIZENS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL—yet, His SHEEP hear His voice and are known of Him. He has come to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel (“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” –John 10:16) – and they have heard His voice and, like the Prodigal Son who was dissipated and had totally forfeited his inheritance – like the Harlot of Hosea who was no longer a people and had sold herself for hire among the nations – yet BOTH the Prodigal and the Harlot have “come to themselves” and have returned to the LORD, to the Father, to her Husband (for she may marry again, since her first husband died–even “Christ died for the ungodly . . . and was raised again from the dead” [Romans 5:6; 4:25] – and though they were NOT THE PEOPLE OF GOD – they have, through God’s mercy, become THE PEOPLE OF GOD.*
5. The "joyful assembly" - "the congregation of the firstborn" (Heb. 12:22-24) and the "congregation/assembly in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38) must be understood in the expanded context in which we understand the ekklesia--i.e., there has always been the ASSEMBLY - but now, through the blood of Messiah, the nations (both of Ephraim and Edom) have entered into the Commonwealth of Israel--into this ONE ASSEMBLY of God's people! What was introduced through the cross was the breaking down/tearing down the wall of separation - nailing to the tree the ENMITY (hatred) between Jew and Gentile - bringing the nations into the Commonwealth of Israel - into the CONGREGATION - into the ASSEMBLY/EKKLESIA. The effect of the cross was not separation, but INCLUSION. Now instead of Israel/Ephraim being absorbed among the nations, the nations are being absorbed by the EKKLESIA! That was the Mystery of Christ given to Paul--the INCLUSION of the nations into the Commonwealth of Israel - NOT a completely unrelated entity known as the Church.
6. We affirm that there is but ONE OLIVE TREE – Made up of Natural (the progeny of Abraham of the flesh) and Wild Branches (those “elect” from the nations – sustained by the ONE ROOT (Messiah) WHO BEARS THEM! To suggest that the “wild branches” must be raptured in order for the “natural branches” to be grafted back into the “root that bore us” is contrary to the metaphor of the One Olive Tree–no, “He is able to graft them in again!” (Romans 11:23) . . . all the while the Wild Branches abide on the root—awaiting the full ingrafting, together, of the natural branches who were broken off; thus, and forevermore, there shall be ONE OLIVE TREE!* The ONE OLIVE TREE clearly stands for ALL ISRAEL. Its ultimate timing is directly connected with the "multitude of the nations be come in" - when that happens, then shall the Deliverer roar out of Zion and then ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED - it is obviously at a time of Judah’s deliverance and subsequent acceptance of the New Covenant given to both houses (and unto all Edom who have believed on Him).
7. We affirm that the Stick of Judah and the Stick of Ephraim prophecy found in Ezekiel 37:15-28 has not been fulfilled in fullness but is fast upon us and that these Two Sticks, Two Houses, Two Branches – SHALL BE ONE IN THE HAND OF THE LORD—this process is both gradual at the close of the age and abrupt at His Appearing, Second Coming as, BEHOLD, THE MAN, WHOSE NAME IS BRANCH—Zechariah 6. Indeed, and in accordance with Jeremiah 30 which bespeaks of the full restoration of Judah and Ephraim: “In the latter days you will consider it”– those “latter days” are NOW upon us! (Jer. 30:24)*
8. We affirm that there is but ONE BRIDE OF MESSIAH – comprised of Judah and Ephraim – of the Jew and of the Greek – that is the Plan and Purpose of the Almighty and always has been . . . there are NOT two Brides—i.e., the “Wife of Jehovah” and the “Bride of Christ” – there is ONE BETHROTHAL, ONE ESPOUSAL, one Bride for Messiah. Likewise, there is ONE RESURRECTION of the JUST, not two resurrections as espoused by Dispensationalism; consequently, there is but One Bride of Messiah–all the redeemed throughout the ages – both O.T. saints and N.T. saints up through and including the final Week of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 12:2a “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life” – and Revelation 20:5-6: “This is the first [i.e., “best” – “superior” – “first in kind”] resurrection. ‘Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection, Over such the second death has no power, but they [all the saints from the O.T. and the N.T.] shall be priests of God and of Christ, and SHALL REIGN WITH HIM A THOUSAND YEARS‘ . . . also: Job 19:25-26; Hebrews 11:16, 19; Psalm 16:19; 17:15; John 5:28-29; Luke 14:14; Acts 24:15; 1 Thess. 4:16; 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 52; Phil. 3:20-21). (Our caps)*
9. The Word of God persistently calls the followers of Yeshua either Jew or Gentile—distinguishing the two well after Pentecost. Yes, there is “neither Jew nor Greek in Christ” but neither is there “male or female” but there certainly are brothers and sisters in Christ; ipso facto there are Jews and Greeks in Christ (Acts 15:5-20; 18:2, 24; 19:17; 21:20; 21:39; 22:3; Rom. 1:16; 2:10; 3:29; 1 Cor. 1:24; Gal. 2:14-15; 1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 3:11). There is “neither Jew nor Greek” – but that is IN CHRIST, but not “By Nature.” There is NO SEPARATION in Christ – yet, prophetically there is IN NATURE distinction between the Jew and the Greek.*
10. We reject outright the notion that today’s Jerusalem is Babylon the Great, the Great City of the Revelation. The “great city” of Revelation 11:8 where their Lord was crucified is OUTSIDE THE CAMP, outside the gate and is domiciled, not in the Holy City (Revelation 11:2; Hebrews 13:13) but in Babylon, that Great City. Revelation contrasts the Holy City (New Jerusalem—whose gates bear the names of the 12 Tribes of Israel and whose foundations bear the names of the 12 Apostles of the Lamb – the 24 Elders of the Revelation are the Stick of Judah and the Stick of Ephraim in the “Hand of the LORD” as one New Jerusalem, One Stick vs. the Great City, Babylon. This Great City found in Revelation 11:8 is akin, just as it says: “Allegorically/spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt” – THAT is its name—it is Babylon the Great throughout the Revelation; whereas, the Holy City is comprised of Israel and the Elect from the Nations.*
DEVELOPMENTAL ASSERTIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS1. Many of us affirm that the Ladder of Jacob as highlighted by Jesus in John 1:41-51 to Nathaniel is the Son of Man who brings heaven to Earth as the Son of God and brings mankind into Heaven as the Son of Man; but who shall establish His BETHEL – House of God upon the Earth as did Jacob! This is the El Beth-el – God, the House of God, which is the Household of God—both Judah and Ephraim—the Whole House of God, the Whole House of Israel. Currently, there is a MAN IN THE GLORY – Messiah shall return to the Earth, bodily, first and foremost as the SON OF MAN! God’s plan and purpose of the ages was to defeat the Rebel, the Lawless One, Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, that Old Serpent who led a third of the angelic hosts in rebellion—thus was he thrust to the earth—there to be defeated by the Creation through the pinnacle of His Creation, MAN, created in the very Image of God. But, MAN was disobedient – yet, the Almighty, sent His only Son as the Second Adam and overcame sin by nailing it to His Cross that He might be the first-born among many brethren – He, as the Son of Man, overcame as a Man and shall overcome in His people, His NEW CREATION!*
2. Many of us affirm that God has always designed TWO WITNESSES – Judah of Israel to the Gentile World Powers to be a Light to the Gentiles – and the Congregation of the Living God (now seated in “heavenly places in Christ”) to be a witness to “principalities and powers in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 6:12) – but the Deliverer shall come out of Zion and once and for all demolish these dimensional barriers between the seen and unseen and there shall be ONE KING OVER THEM BOTH—the Stick of Judah and the Stick of Ephraim (Ezek. 37:24) – One Shepherd. The MANIFESTATION of the Son of David over both Houses shall be both an earthly and heavenly manifestation at the SAME TIME wherein the dimensional divide of heaven and earth will be broken, united together by the Son of Man as seen in John 1:41-51. This “Son of David” in Ezekiel 37:24 is NOT King David of the O.T. or a miscellaneous “son of David” but is the ROOT OF JESSE, My Servant, the Branch, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep – He alone sits upon His Throne: “My Servant David shall be their Prince FOREVER” (Ezek. 37:25) (See also: Rev. 22:16 – “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star” – and Isaiah 11:1-2; Zech. 3:8; 6:12; Rev. 5:5). The “physicality” of the “Root and Offspring of David” being the Messiah turns Dispensationalism on its head–why? Because the Messiah is seated upon His Throne on the Earth and obviously He is KING and SHEPHERD over the “two kingdoms” in an eternal display of reconciliation and governance...in the Kingdom of His Dear Son!*
3. Many of us adjudge that the Law was fulfilled in Christ—the Law of Christ—and that it is holy and undefiled. Indeed, the Law was given as our schoolmaster to bring us to Messiah (Gal. 3:24) – how can something that brings us to the Messiah be onerous or unsanctified? Therefore, we give grace to those among us of the nations and to our Jewish brethren who affirm the followers of Messiah who are pleasing to Him and do affirm the “commandments of God” but “have the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17); who “sing the Song of Moses, the servant of God and the Song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3).*
4. Many of us are persuaded that the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 – the Two Olive Trees and the Two Lampstands – could readily be the corporate witness of Judah (Israel) to the Gentile World Powers at the end of the age (the Two Olive Trees); and the Two Lampstands could be the corporate witness of Ephraim (“the elect from among the nations” – the Ekklesia) as a witness to the principalities and powers in the last days. The Seven Luchnia/Lampstands or Churches of Revelation 1-3 are not seven Jewish congregations, they are the same Luchnia seen in Revelation 11 and are the EKKLESIA in history up through the end of the age.*
5. Commonwealth Theology is Premillennarian. Jesus will return in bodily form, Satan will be bound, and Christ will reign for a literal 1,000 years (stated six times in the ancient texts by the exact number “chilias”). The “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21) is not the end of the world; but is the form of the present world passing away (1 Cor. 7:31). The regeneration of the earth is a mystery that includes a disruptive aspect figuratively described in the Scriptures as dissolution, consumption, piercing the veil, folding up, and various other catastrophic imagery depicting a dimensional transition.
6. Furthermore, many of us affirm that the New Heaven and New Earth commences when the Glorified Son of Man sets His foot upon the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:9-11). We find no GAP in 2 Peter 3:10-13 between the Great and Awesome Day of the Lord and the New Heaven and New Earth. Furthermore, the New Heaven and New Earth do NOT circumvent the land allocations given in Ezekiel 48 but substantiate their materiality, nevertheless do NOT omit the participation of the ELECT from among the Nations as seen in Ephraim’s inheritance described in the region of “Galilee of the Gentiles.” The “meek shall inherit the earth” does not obfuscate the land allotments found in Ezekiel 48–we simply cannot comprehend how BOTH the entire earth, and yet such a specific allocation of these tribal allotments correspond–there are some biblical truths we shall NOT comprehend until that Day.*
7. Again, many of us affirm that the New Heavens and the New Earth is NOT postponed until the Eschaton but occurs nigh immediately when the Glorified Son of Man sets His foot upon the Mt. of Olives (Zechariah 14:4); therefore, there are NOT two Holy Cities, Two Sanctuaries, nor does the Bride of Messiah spin around the Earth like a satellite somewhere in the ionosphere – she descends to the Earth. Therefore, the vision seen by Ezekiel in Ezek. 40-48, and that seen by John the Apostle in Revelation 21, is MULTI-DIMENSIONAL – it is both HEAVENLY and UPON THE EARTH – it can be explained in no other fashion.*
THE REVIVAL OF COMMONWEALTH THEOLOGYOne can logically inquire: Why is this incredibly substantial TRUTH just now breaking upon both Jew and Christian? If it were so vitally important, wouldn’t we have seen it long before this time? That inquiry in and of itself validates the prophetic consummation of the age–we’re “seeing it now” because on an eschatological plane it was prophesied to take place in the “latter days and years” (Jer. 30:3, 24–spoken to both Israel and Judah; Ezek. 38:8) . . . “In the latter days you will consider it” (Jer. 30:24). Indeed: “Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For though I spoke against him, I earnestly remember him still, therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the LORD . . . and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy; which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Nations?” As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people; and her beloved, who was not beloved . . . and it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.‘” (Jer. 31:20; Romans 9:23-26; Hosea 2:23; 1:10).*
Ephesians 2:11 - 3:7 The Gentiles granted access into the Commonwealth of Israel as citizens, fellow heirs, members of one body, and partakers of the covenants of promise.11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you 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. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
Ezekiel 37:15-28 Awakening and uniting of the whole House of Greater Israel. Context of Ezekiel’s writing indicative of fulfillment upon Judah’s revival (Vision of the Dry Bones); and, just prior to the Gog/Magog War.15 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 16 “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.
18 “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’— 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” ’ 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.
21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
Acts 15:14-1714 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16 “After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.”
In the verses above, the Jerusalem assembly alludes to the United Kingdom of Israel under David—wherein the House of Judah (Judah and Benjamin, later some of Simeon and the Levites), and the House of Ephraim, which is the House of Israel (the other ten tribes), were wholly united under King David and his son, King Solomon. Although there are many “spiritual insights” in reference to the restoration of the Tabernacle of David (or TENT of David), as far as the apostles and elders who gathered at Jerusalem for this most dramatic analysis of “what was happening” with the “entry” of those from among the nations, now being called in the EKKLESIA, it was all related to the original Tabernacle/Tent of David which expressed the United Kingdom of Israel.
Peter brought up the YOKE that they could not bear, nor the fathers--this alludes to the YOKE of circumcision and the yoke borne by the 10 tribes under Rehoboam; and, hence, the breach of Jeroboam and the division -- the breakup of the United Kingdom of David; but NOW it was being “rebuilt” so that the rest of “mankind” (lit. “Edom” – Obadiah 19, Amos. 9:12) “may seek the LORD, even all the Gentiles [ALL THE NATIONS] who are called by My name” (Acts. 15:17). * Includes excerpts from Commonwealth Theology
Romans 9:22-26; Hosea 1:10; 2:23 Inclusion of the Gentiles bound up with God’s divorce/annulment and remarriage/reconciliation to the House of Israel.22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As He says also in Hosea:
“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
Ephraim did, through the blood of the Cross, transverse the “breach of Jeroboam”-from Lo-Ammi, NOT MY PEOPLE, to Ammi, MY PEOPLE. …“For great will be the day of Jezreel! Say to your brethren, ‘My people,’ and to your sisters, ‘Mercy is shown.’” (Hos. 1:11, 2:1) We now are included in Messiah (IN CHRIST), in the Seed, and are, therefore, IN CHRIST… “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise…Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.” (Gal. 3:29, 4:28)*
Romans 11:11-32 Grafting in of the Gentiles with the fullness of Israel in view. “Some,” but not all, natural branches broken off indicating continuation of God’s covenant with the House of Judah.11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.