To Jehovah`s witnesses.
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Who of the people living on the Earth now are members of the spiritual Israel?
Till now the members of the spiritual Israel were considered to be the anointed rest of veritable christians living on the Earth. However much more careful research of the Bible obligates to bring in some clarifications in understanding of sense of word-combination "spiritual Israel". Below in the text the verses of the Scriptures and arguments founded on the Bible will be given which help to understand the membership of spiritual Israel nowadays. For this purpose it is necessary to consider the answers to the questions:
1. What does the word "spiritual" mean?
(to the beginning)
In the Bible you can`t find the combination of words "spiritual Israel" as well as "spiritual paradise'. However, probing attentively the essence of literal Israel and literal paradise in the Bible it is possible to understand: if literal Israel on flesh inhabited the literal Promised Land, the modern "Israel people" inhabit the Promised Land in figurative sense - feel the attitude and lead the way of life of ancient Israel people. In order to understand it better, we will consider the following examples from the Bible:
In the Bible it is said "he is not a Jew, which is outwardly. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit'- Rom 2:28,29. In other words from the point of view of Jehovah an Israelite is not a physical descendent of Judas on flesh, having external physical likeness with him, but that person who on internal essence, on spirit, looks like an Israelite: he imitates the way of life and thinking of an Israelite.
In order to become a spiritual Israelite, it wasn`t necessary to be born in the family from the tribe of Judas. For example, the Bible reports that after some events many people from Midia and Persia became the spiritual Israelites - Esther 8:17, having accepted the laws of life of Israelites - Is 56:5-7. Exactly not all of carnal children of Abraham are his real children - heirs or followers, but only those who inherited from Abraham his basic character traits - the absolute trust to Jehovah -and became similar to Abraham on the internal essence - Gal 3:7 - on spiritual essence.
If to talk about the human "sons" of Jehovah, none of the people could be born from him on physical flesh and become His physical son, because God is the spiritual personality and does not have a physical body. However Jehovah is ready to acknowledge as His spiritual sons (not in physical sense) all who choose the way of Jehovah, try to imitate the way of life of His human son - Christ - born by His spirit - 2Cor 6:18, Jer 3:19.
Let`s make a parallel between the biblical examples of heredity and understanding of physical descendants of a modern family:
1.The son is a physical descendant on the flesh of his father. Although he can have strong external likeness with his father, it does not mean at all that he will inherit his character traits necessarily, will choose on your own the vital principles of his father and will become the follower of his father in some businesses. In this case a son, being the physical descendant of his father, is not his descendant on spiritual essence.
2.The adopted son, educated by his stepfather, not having external likeness with him, adopts the habits, the character traits of his stepfather, tries to live in accordance with his principles and is the follower in the matters of his stepfather. In this case, vice versa: being not the physical descendant of his stepfather, an adopted son is his son or heir on internal spiritual essence.
Thus, the word "spiritual" in combination with the word "Israel" can have only two meanings:
1."people who do not have the physical body",
2."people who have the spiritual essence and structure of physical Israel of old times".
Because we should find out, who of the tellurians are the members of spiritual Israel, the first meaning is inapplicable to our case, because all the tellurians have physical bodies, including anointed christians. Therefore, let`s stop on the second meaning of the word-combination "spiritual Israel" and let`s probe, who of the people living on the Earth nowadays imitates the spiritual essence of Israel on flesh.
2.Who of the people of old times were Israelites on flesh for Jehovah?
(to the beginning)
According to the Bible, from the physical descendants of Abraham - a Jew - Gen 14:13 - who were born in his family from Isaac and Jacob - Rom 9:7, 13 - numerous people were formed. Jehovah planned to show on them the advantages of His rule - Deut. 4:6-8, Ex. 19:5,6 - and to make from them a rescuer of the world - Christ- in the physical human flesh - Gal 3:16.
Grandchild of Abraham- Jacob- had the honour to get the new name from Jehovah - Gen 32:28, after that all the next descendants of Abraham in the line of Jacob began to be called "the sons of Israel", "Israel" - Ex 4:22,31- or "Israel people" - Judges 21:1, Rom 11:1. Later Jacob - Israel and his 12 sons moved to Egypt for residence and in course of time became slaves of the Egyptian pharaoh - Ex 1:6-14.
After Jehovah took them out of Egypt, He concluded the agreement with the people of "Israel"and promised to organize their vital functions in the best way for them provided they agree voluntarily to live after His guidance - Deut. 29:10-13,30:15-20. They agreed.
In course of time Jehovah organized from them the state Israel on the territory of Promised Land, about which He told to Abraham - Gen 17:4-8. The structure of Israel and the way Israel of Jehovah on flesh was organized we will get to know from the answer to the question 6.
3.What had to be the "internal essence" or spiritual matter of ancient Israel on flesh?
(to the beginning)
Abraham, the forefather of God`s Israel of old times had such close relations with the Creator, that he became His friend - Jac 2:23. Jehovah loved Abraham who was faithful to Him by his heart - Nehem 9:7,8.
It was necessary to believe that Jehovah was strong enough to fulfill His promise to Abraham - to give birth to numerous people from him and to give the world the rescuer from Adam`s sin and death, because it had to happen in the distant future and at the moment of promise to Abraham Jehovah didn`t plan to bring Christ over - Gal 4:4,5. Abraham trusted God in regard to the future blessings, because he didn`t get the promised things during his life - Hebr 11:8-10,13. For this faith and ability to see the future with the spiritual sight Abrahan was beloved by Jehovah - Rom 4:18-21.
Abraham was under the obligation to teach his physical descendants the vital principles of Jehovah, but not his own - Gen 18:18,19.
His grandchild Jacob, renamed on "Israel" inherited from his grandfather Abraham his faith to Jehovah. He had an enormous desire to please the Ruler and to get benediction of Abraham from Him - to give birth to Christ for the rescue of humanity in his family line - and for it he "contested" with his brother and with the angel of Jehovah - Gen 25:31, 28:1,4,14, 32:24-26, Os 12:3,4.
Thus, faith or absolute trust to Jehovah was the basic internal description of spiritual essence of forefathers of Israel, and this faith had to become the spiritual essence of ancient Israel of Jehovah. In other words, the spiritual side of Israel on flesh was that they were the people of Jehovah living under His guidance and for execution of His intentions.
4. Why is it impossible to our contemporaries to define the degree of the hereditary from Israel on flesh?
(to the beginning)
In order that every Israelite could live under the guardianship of Jehovah and also in order to trace genealogy of future Christ, the priests of Jehovah`s temple made the records of genealogy of every child, who was born in the family of Israel meticulously. They could prove on them the family belonging to the descendants of Abraham from Jacob - Israel.
There is an example in the Bible, when some priests of the time of Nehemiah were not able to prove their hereditary from Aaron and that`s why they were excluded from the priests - Nehem 7:63,64. Also the example of genealogy of Christ indicating on His descent from Abraham on the line of Jacob-Israel and Judas - Matt 1:1,2
Because in course of time Israel adopted bad habits of other people alienated from Jehovah and stopped to live in accordance with the principles of Creator they could not have the honour any longer to remain the people of Jehovah. Apostate state Israel was at first divided into Judaea (the territory of descendants of Judas) and Israel (the territory of other 10 tribes of Jacob), and later they stopped to exist.
The Israel people stopped to be the representative of God on the Earth, nothing was left from the spiritual essence of Israel except for some faithful to Jehovah Israelites. - Hebr 11:32-39 - and all the damnations of Mose`s law were carried out on them - Deut. 28:58-68, Jes. 21:26,27.
Because the survived people of Jehovah - Israelites - began to act wickedly, the principles of Jehovah were ignored also by heathens - by those people who had to see and appraise the life under the direction of celestial Ruler - Rom 2:17-24.
The Israelites didn`t accept the envoy of Jehovah - Jesus Christ - and although they were the descendants of Abraham on flesh, on the internal essence they stopped to be his descendants, because they didn`t believe that Christ was the envoy of Jehovah - as Abraham trusted it - John 8:37-39,44.
In 70 AD the Romans finally destroyed Jydaea which was left from the state Israel, destroyed the temple of Jehovah in Jerusalem and burned out all genealogical scrolls of Israel of old times. Since then none of the tellurians, even if he is a Jew, can prove his hereditary descent from Israel. That means: the physical Israel lost its value in the eyes of Jehovah, however Jehovah foresaw that the descendants of Abraham will appear in spiritual sense - those who will become the spiritual people of Jehovah and will have the faith, similar to the faith of Abraham - Gal 3:7. Further - about the spiritual Israel of contemporaneity.
5.Who of the inhabitants of the planet nowadays has the internal essence of Israel on flesh and is the spiritual Israelite?
(to the beginning)
Jehovah foresaw that among the people of the Earth His people will live - "Israel" - the followers of faithful Abraham,who will trust Jehovah, will accept His son and will come to love His vital principles like faithful Abraham loved them. And it is unimportant, whether they will be the relatives of Abraham on flesh or not - Rom 2:28,29, Gal 3:7. That`s why Jehovah through Christ organized the searches of the members of the new Israel - not relatives of Abraham on flesh, but "relatives' on the spirit - internal essence - those people of any nationality who will respond voluntarily to the sermon about the rule of Jehovah, will agree to live in accordance with the principles of Creator and will begin to imitate the example of His son - 1Peter 2:21-23. The apostles of Christ told about it - Acts 13:44-47, 10:34,35.
Thus, all the followers of Jesus Christ who responded to the sermon, accepted the word of Jehovah and dedicated themselves to Him are presently the members of spiritual Israel - people of Jehovah.
6.Which parallel exists between the structure of Israel on the flesh and the spiritual Israel?
(See in the scheme DICTIONARY OF TERMS paragraphs 1-4)
The ancient state Israel was named "the kingdom of priests" - Ex 19:5,6, Lev 20:26 and in those times it was the earthly organisation of Jehovah in which life of the citizens of Israel (people of Jehovah) was organized by anointed priests. Modern "state Israel" in which the spiritual Israelites - the modern people of Jehovah live - is also the earthly organisation of Jehovah in which the vital functions of "citizens" are organized by the modern "anointed priests" - 1Peter 2:9.
1.The organizational structure of the state "Israel":
Israel on flesh
Israel of Jehovah of old times lived in the state Israel, located on the territory, which was limited by Jehovah - Joshua,13 - the Promised Land. The state had its government, formed by Jehovah, its organ of management, its "constitution" - the law of Jehovah, passed through Moses and, of course, its citizens - numerous Israelites whose life Jehovah ruled through the organ of management in order that they lived and felt well - Deut 10:12,13. The capital of Israel was the earthly Jerusalem, located on the hill Sion - the city of truth and the great king - Jehovah - 1 Kings 11:36, Psal 131:13, Zakh 8:3, Matt 5:35. Since ancient times all Israelites who were related to the power, inhabited the capital - Jerusalem - Nehem 11:1,3a, 4-19. Besides from the capital the law of Jehovah came - Is 2:3.. Consequently, historical essence of earthly Jerusalem was that this city presented the government of Jehovah on the Earth.
"The state" where the "spiritual Israel " lives - exists similarly, only it is named not Israel, but earthly organization of witnesses of Jehovah. Its territory is not limited, but widespread all over the Earth - Acts 11: 18, Psalms 21:28-30, being spiritual Promised Land. The "state" also has the government, formed by Jehovah, its organ of management, its constitution - the Bible - the word of Jehovah and, of course, the "citizens". "The capital" of spiritual Israel is the celestial Jerusalem - Rev 21:10, which presents the celestial government of Jehovah at the head with Jesus Christ and His helpers.
2. Legislative power
Israel on fleshThe legislator and the head of the government of physical Israel was Jehovah - the celestial King - Is 33:22.
The legislator and the head of the government of spiritual Israel is also Jehovah who entrusted the power to Jesus Christ and appointed Him to be the king over the Earth - Dan 17:13,14 - for 1000 years - Rev 20:4.
3. The Organizational structure of management organ
Israel on flesh
For organization of vital functions in the capital of the physical state Israel Jehovah foresaw the earthly "organ of management" - the special order, consisting of the temple and members of the government - the priests of the temple and the kings, who sat on the Lord`s throne. Through this order - legislative and executive power - all Israel was taught to go the ways of Jehovah.
In the capital of the "spiritual" state there is also a "management organ" - the spiritual "temple" of Jehovah. In His spiritual temple the modern members of celestial government serve - the anointed sovereigns of Jehovah, having the organizational structure for the modern people of Jehovah, by which all the people of Earth can be taught the laws of life of the Creator through the trained preachers.
4. The membership of "management organ"
Israel on flesh
The literal temple of Jehovah consisted of internal and external courts - see WT 01.05.02, page 30. The function of organizers of life of Israel - legislative power - was executed by the servants of internal court of Jehovah`s temple - the priests - the small group of Israelites chosen by Jehovah which had to belong to Him - to devote their entire life to Jehovah, so that He could use them at His own discretion. Although the privilege to serve in the temple was primarily given to the first-borns from all the tribes of Israelites, since Jehovah "bought" them back for Him from death in Egypt - Numb 3:13, Ex 22:29, then instead of first-borns of all the tribes Jehovah chose for this service the descendants of Levi - Jacob`s son - Israel, because they wanted voluntarily to become the Lord`s servants and to belong to Jehovah, carriing out His will, but not their own whims - Ex 32:26, Numbers 3:45, 8:16-18.
The function of leaders - executive power- was presented by the kings who had to worship in the external court of the temple along with the heads of generations and other citizens of the state Israel - all Israel people - Deut 17:18-20.
The fact of electing of the priests and kings by Jehovah for His aims was designated by the "chrism" of a chosen person with special composition - the holy anointing oil or miro - Ex 30:25, 30-32. Therefore those who were chosen by Jehovah were called the anointed sovereigns - 1 Sam 24:7.
The head of a chosen person was usually oiled as the sign of the fact that from that moment the head of the anointed person is "inspired" from above - by Jehovah - and its content - the thoughts and the mood - must conform to the requirements of the Ruler - Lev 8:12, 1Sam10:1, 2 Kings 9:6.
The priests had to become the announcers of Jehovah for all physical Israel. It means that they had to teach the people of Jehovah not to their own but to the Divine norms of good and evil and the life in accordance with these principles of Jehovah had to provide prosperity to Israel - Malakh 2:4-7. Only the anointed priests but not the kings had to conduct the sacred service in the internal court of Jehovah`s temple - 2 Chron 26:18, Numbers 18:7.
The spiritual temple of Jehovah consists also of internal and external courts. Servants of internal court are "priests" in spiritual sense - the modern anointed sovereigns of Jehovah, whom He called in order that they became His announcers - 1 John 2:20, 27, Rom 8:14,15. Their "head" is filled from above - with the sainted spirit of Jehovah - the principles of Jehovah. They are the announcers of Jehovah and teach the word of God correctly - Matt 28:19,20, 2Cor 2:17, 4:2, 5:19,20. They organize the teaching to the truth - the word of God - all over the Earth like real priests of Israel - 2Chron 17:7-9, publishing and distributing educational publications, based on the Bible.
Like in ancient Israel originally only first-borns from all tribes were intended for service in the temple as priests - Numbers 3:13, 8:14-19 , in spiritual Israel anointed sovereigns, carriing out the function of priests are first-borns to God and Christ - Rev 7:3,4, 14:1-4 regardless of whose children in succession they were born actually.
Like Christ got the rank of Melkhisedek - united in Himself two "positions" - a high priest and a king- an organizer and a leader - Hebr 7:21-28, the anointed sovereigns of spiritual Israel will serve to Jehovah as priests and kings - Rev. 5:9,10. Like Jesus did not belong to the "elite" tribe of priests from the generation of Aaron, so the anointed sovereigns of the New Testament are gathered from all the people, not having any privileges with Jehovah before - Hebr 7:11-17. Modern citizens are the great crowd of people serving in the external court.
5. Distinction between "authorities" and "citizens" in the state Israel
Israel on flesh
The priests of Israel did not have the earthly lot unlike other Israelites. Their destiny was to be in immediate proximity with Jehovah in the temple with the sanctum, where Jehovah was presented symbolically as a cloud or voice - Numbers 18:20. The priests organized the vital functions of citizens of Israel for their good - Deut.10:8,9, Ex 19:5,6. The citizens of Israel, including kings, had earthly destiny - Joshua 11:23,13:14.
There were not many priests in Israel before the Promised Land - 22 000 priests for 603 550 other Israelites - Numbers 2:32,3:39.
Modern priests - anointed christians - "do not have the earthly destiny": they "closely" socialize with Jehovah due to a chrism, and in the future they have the hope to be in His celestial place - Phil 3:20, Rev 14:1. "Citizens" of the modern spiritual state "Israel" are the great number of "other sheep" - have "earthly destiny" - hope to live on the Earth - Parables 2:21, Matt 5:5.
There are also not many anointed sovereigns of spiritual Israel - only 144 000 - the small herd - compared with great number of "other sheep" of Jehovah - Luke 12:32, Rev 7:9.
6. Organizational structure of "citizens" of the state Israel
Israel on flesh
For simplification of organization of citizens all the people of Jehovah were divided into "groups" - tribes of relatives, who had the distinctive signs and their senior men - the heads of generations who had to help the priests and the kings to manage the people of Jehovah - Numbers 2:1-15. Jehovah appointed the chiefs in His people.
"Spiritual Israel" - the modern people of Jehovah - are also divided into groups - into congregations of witnesses of Jehovah all over the Earth and have "the heads of generations" - the elders, appointed in accordance with the requirements of Jehovah for them - 1Tim 3:1-7, who help the anointed sovereigns to organize the matter of sermon everywhere.
If to show in the scheme the membership in the structure of literal Israel (on flesh) and spiritual (modern - on spirit), their likeness will become obvious:
Spiritual Israel - the people of Jehovah -
Imperfect people of Jehovah - literal Israel of the period of the Old Testament:
Imperfect spiritual Israel - the people of Jehovah of the New Testament
So it is evidently, that nowadays the members of spiritual Israel or Israel in sense "people of Jehovah" are christians organized by Jehovah by means of the king - Christ, dedicated to Jehovah, loving His vital principles, living in accordance with them already now and expecting the heavenly system of things. This structure in the organization of vital functions of "citizens" is characteristic for the imperfect people of Jehovah.
There are no biblical arguments to assert, that only the anointed sovereigns are the members of people of Jehovah in spiritual sense. The anointed sovereigns only have their place in the organizational structure of Jehovah`s people and carry out the role of organizers and leaders in it, given to them by Jehovah.
In the period of 1000 year rule in the celestial government they will get spiritual bodies which Jehovah will give them for life in the heavens. "The other Israel" will live on the Earth of Jehovah in physical body under the rule of the Divine celestial government. And thus the intention of Jehovah will be fulfilled - the earthly will "unite" with the celestial under one head - Christ - Eph 1:10.
After 1000year rule all the earthly people of Jehovah will also become sainted and perfect. We will show in the scheme the structure of sainted perfect people of Jehovah in the future.
(About abolition of external court and structure of sainted people of Jehovah - read in detail in the article "Revelation - the new version", chapters 21,22.)
In connection with this understanding of word-combination "spiritual Israel" it is also interesting to consider what the words of Jesus from Matt 10:23 mean: "You will not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come"
This prediction consists of two parts:
-the march of Christ`s disciples about the cities of Israel
-the advent of Human Son, that is Jesus.
According to the context, Jesus gives His disciples the task first to warn the lost sheep of Israel house of danger which is to come on the unfaithful people of Jehovah and of possibilities to avoid it - Matt 10:6, 11-15. The first part of prediction of Jesus was fulfilled for unfaithful people of Jehovah in 70 AD, because when Romans destroyed the judaic system of things, actually, the disciples of Jesus visited not all cities, inhabited by the literal Israel. However the second part of prediction of Jesus "the Son of man will come" was not fulfilled with the destruction of the judaic system of things, because in that historical period Jesus was not appointed a king above all the Earth yet. - Ps 109:1 and His parousia (presence as a performer of sentence of Jehovah) did not begin at that time. Consequently, the march about the Israel cities with the warning news was in prospect for the disciples of Christ before Armageddon yet - before Jesus will come "to win" - Rev 19:11-16.
What can the words of Jesus mean "You will not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come" before the end of the satanic system of things?
According to the Bible and this article cities of Israel are places of inhabitation of literal Israel - the people of Jehovah of old times. Presently the people of Jehovah are not literal Israel, but Israel in spiritual sense: people of Jehovah who submit the Ruler of the Universe and try to live in accordance with His principles. Because presently the peolple of Jehovah are spread on all the territory of the planet Earth, it is possible to assert that cities of Israel before Armageddon are congregations of Jehovah`s people, organized all over the Earth and practically in all countries.
Why did Jesus, warning of His parousia and of sermon related to it before Armageddon about the approaching end, told not about the cities of the Earth in general, but specified exactly on the cities of Israel? Could He mean all the cities of the Earth in general? If it was so, He would say that before Armageddon they will not "have time to go round all the cities of the Earth", like He said about "all the cities of the Earth", sending His disciples on a sermon - Acts 1:8.
Could Jesus be not exact in the expressions? The Bible says that He could not. - John 12:49. In Matt 10:17 Jesus warns that His disciples will suffer from "their people" - representatives of Jehovah`s people, because the expression "... in the synagogues will beat you" means that they will be beaten in places, where the laws of Jehovah are taught. The similar warning was described by John - John 16:2. Jesus Christ suffered from it - Acts 13:27,28. If His disciples are His veritable followers - the anointed sovereigns, they will suffer through it before Armageddon. - John 15:20. Moreover, Jesus warned the disciples that "it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem" - Luke 13:33. That means that the anointed sovereigns of closing dates will have to perish in some future Jerusalem like Him and apostle John confirmed that in Revelation - Rev 11:7,8.
Thus, the words "You will not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come" can mean the following: the anointed sovereigns of closing dates before Armageddon will "undertake a march" in the modern "cities of Isral" - in that sense that they will warn of danger the congregations of Jehovah`s people all over the Earth, however they will have not enough time to do it in all congregations before Armageddon comes.What must happen with these anointed sovereigns and what Jerusalem they will perish in - see the next article.
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