Israel under the Old Covenant took great pride in the title the People of God, and rightly so. With respect to both Old Covenant and the New, the appellation denotes the bride or wife in the covenantal relationship of marriage with God the Son.
The Old Covenant was instituted shortly after the exodus of Israel from Egypt. Entrance into the Old Covenant was by birth, so the covenantal relationship included not just Israelites justified by faith, but the entire population, including all the unjustified. Because of this, the Old Covenant could not provide benefit beyond the grave, for the death of either party dissolves the marriage relationship.
The covenantal relationship continued unchanged through the reign of Solomon. But when the son of Solomon, Rehoboam, ascended the Throne, ten tribes broke away from submission to the Throne of David and formed a new kingdom. Surprisingly, the covenantal relationship remained in effect despite the division. Speaking of the new arrangement, the Prophets draw the analogy of one man married to two sisters, alluding to the marriage of Jacob to Leah and Rachel.
The entire nation, both Northern and Southern Kingdoms, engaged in idolatry. But, unlike the Southern Kingdom, the Northern Kingdom made no attempt to conceal her sin. Of course, for a people married to the Lord God, idolatry amounts to adultery. As husband of an unfaithful wife, the Lord exercised his prerogative of divorce. In the divorce, the Northern Kingdom lost several things:
The eviction was accomplished by the Assyrian Empire, in several waves of invasion.
Upon divorce of the Northern Kingdom, only the three tribes of the Southern Kingdom, Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, had right to the title, the People of God. Thereafter, whenever Israelites of the Southern Kingdom made reference to the alienated tribes, they used the term ethnos, meaning simply tribe, people, or nation. By a perverse and likely sinister twist, in the English Bible instances of ethnos typically are represented by the meaningless term “Gentile.”
The Southern Kingdom was known as “Judah”; consequently, members of the tribes comprising the Kingdom were known as “Jews.” These were the Remnant of Israel. Not long after divorce of the Northern Kingdom, the idolatry of the Southern Kingdom became so excessive that discipline was mandated. However, the Lord refused to divorce the Southern Kingdom, for the sake of the Canon of Scripture, which had been committed to them. Instead of divorce, the Lord decreed invasion and conquest, followed by seventy years of captivity in a foreign land, Babylon.
The captivity was designed to motivate repentance within the Remnant. Through the Prophet Ezekiel, the Lord offered to the Remnant a glorious future and plans for a new and greater temple. But the Remnant generally was unrepentant; consequently, the offer was withdrawn and the great temple of the Prophecy of Ezekiel was not built. When the captives were released, relatively few returned to the Land of Promise. Most of those who returned to the Land quickly fell under the spell of Talmudic Judaism, a vile religion concocted within the Remnant during the Captivity. A small number rebuilt a temple and repaired the wall of the city. There ensued four centuries of prophetic silence which finally was broken by John the Baptizer heralding the Kingdom of God.
The incarnate Christ came to his own, but his own did not receive him. Jesus offered the Remnant of Israel entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, but most of them could not see beyond the details of the present life; they had no interest in the things of God. Some failed to apprehend the reality of their covenantal relationship; others assigned it no value. As a result, the Remnant, the wife of the Son of God, murdered him. Of course, the death of the husband dissolved the marriage relationship of the Old Covenant. As a widow, the Southern Kingdom lost the right to use of the appellation, the People of God.
The Resurrected Christ Jesus entered a new marriage relationship, termed the New Covenant. And though his bride is nominally the same, Israel, she is comprised exclusively of the Justified. The Justified are drawn primarily from the line of Abraham-Isaac-Jacob. Some were justified before the division of the nation; but most were justified afterward. A regrettably small number are descendants of the tribes of the Southern Kingdom, the so-called “Jew”; while an astounding multitude descend from the alienated tribes of the Northern Kingdom, the so-called “Gentile.” A fact which the Protestant seems not to have perceived is that, in the Resurrection, there is made no distinction between the historical era in which a person lived. All the Justified shall be raised together, and all shall form a single body, the Body of Christ.
Inasmuch as Christ in Resurrection no longer is subject to death, and the Justified have the promise of the Resurrection to Life Everlasting, the New Covenant is an everlasting relationship which cannot not be dissolved by death. Thus, the appellation, the People of God, evermore appertains to the Body of Christ.
The Contemporary Jew. The appellation, the People of God, has incredible influence over the Kosmos, despite the fact that the Kosmos chafes at the restrains of the Lord God. Accordingly, the unregenerate Jew has found it profitable to continue to lay claim to the title; this despite the fact that revival of the Old Covenant is impossible and his right to the title irretrievably is lost. Misapplied to the populace of the contemporary Jewish state, the label functions much like the Get Out of Jail Free card of a popular board game. The influence seems to be largely a matter of intimidation, backed by superstition; bribery and extortion of world leaders undoubtedly is a factor.
In centuries past, every nation which offered the Jew refuge subsequently saw its error and expelled them, sometimes more than once. But the contemporary Kosmos seems fearful to call into account the growing number of atrocities committed by the Jewish state. Sadly, the Church generally suffers from poor instruction and from teaching which has been thoroughly leavened by the Jew. Many Christians are unaware that the appellation the People of God is rightfully and exclusively their own. Far from being the People of God, the contemporary Jews are the offspring of the murderers of the Son of God. The Talmudic Jew is the greatest enemy of Christ Jesus and of the Body of Christ.