Bible Correspondence Course Lesson 16
Why is Ancient Israel GOD’S "Chosen People"
does the Bible talk about Israel so much? Chosen People? What is the connection
between God’s "chosen people" and spirit-begotten Christians today?
Exactly how does ancient Israel fit into God’s plan of salvation? God is not
a respecter of persons (Acts
10:34). Yet He selected the
ancient nation of Israel as His "chosen people." Why?
Most people have heard that God raised up ancient Israel to be His special
people. Yet almost no one understands that He denied them His Holy Spirit and
eternal salvation, except for their prophets and a few select others. Why?
Ancient Israel was God’s chosen people—selected not for special favors, but
for a special PURPOSE preparatory to the ultimate establishment of the Kingdom
The Bible is a Book About Israel
may surprise you to learn that the Bible is primarily concerned with the nation
of ancient Israel. And that most other nations are mentioned only as they came
into contact with Israel. But why?
As we learned in our previous studies, the Creator God is reproducing Himself
in and through man. Man’s awesome potential is that of being born into the
universe-ruling family of God. God’s plan is breathtaking beyond words! And the
establishment of the ancient nation Israel was an integral part of God’s plan.
It is important that we understand God’s purpose for the ancient nation of
Israel, for without this vital knowledge one cannot fully appreciate and
understand the real purpose and incredible potential of mankind!
So now let’s begin the intriguing story. We will start by retracing the
unfolding of God’s great Master Plan from Adam and Eve to the founding of the
nation Israel. Then on to the establishment of the New Testament Church of
God—"spiritual Israel" today. Finally, we’ll see what part the peoples of Israel
will play in God’s plan during and after the Millennium.
But before we begin, be sure to get your Bible—if you haven’t done so
already. It is very important to look up and read each verse of scripture given
in answer to the questions. And why not write out these scriptures, just as the
kings of ancient Israel were instructed to write out God’s laws? (Deut.
17:18-20.) This will help you
understand and remember the vital truths you will be studying. Now let’s begin
this important subject.
From Adam to Abraham
God created the first humans physically perfect. Yet they were but unfinished
pieces of God’s workmanship. The spiritual character of God was yet to be built
into Adam and Eve and all those who would spring from them. And in the
character-building process humans must perform their own vital part.
As we learned in Lesson 14, Adam and Eve rejected God as Revealer of
spiritual knowledge. In rejecting God they also rejected His government— the way
of His law of love. They chose instead Satan’s "get" way of life— the
self-centered way of vanity, covetousness, envy and jealousy, competition
leading to strife, violence, destruction and rebellion against authority.
Consequently, God shut the first humans and their descendants off from His
Holy Spirit and spiritually revealed truth. From then on, spiritual knowledge
and salvation would now be offered only to those relatively few God would
specially call—until Christ, the second Adam, begins His reign on earth and all
the minds of men are opened to God’s spiritual truth.
As men began to multiply on the earth, all of Adam’s sons, except one,
followed in his Satan-inspired course of human nature. Prior to Abraham, only
three men are specifically mentioned in the Bible as following God’s way of
1. Which of Adam’s sons did Jesus Christ call a "righteous" man? Matt.
23:35. Who are the other two men
who "walked with God" prior to Abraham? Gen.5:22; 6:9.
2. From which son of Noah is Abram (who later was renamed Abraham by God)
COMMENT: Shem was the direct ancestor of Abram. He may have continued for
some time in the knowledge and perhaps worship of God. But there is no record of
his or anyone else "walking with God" from the time of Noah until Abram. God
specially called Abram to have a function’ preparatory to the establishment of
the Kingdom of God.
Did God tell Abram to leave the land of his kindred and go to a land He would
show him? Gen.
12:1. What did God promise him if
he would obey? Verses
COMMENT: Notice there were two phases to the promises God made to Abram. The
first part—that his flesh-born descendants would become a great nation—is purely
material and national (verse
2). The latter part of the
promises is spiritual and individual—the promise of the Messiah and salvation
through Him (last
part of verse 3).
4. Did Abram obey God’s instructions without protest or question? Verse
4. Where did God lead him? Verses
5. Did God expand these physical, national promises to Abram? Gen.
COMMENT: God promised that from Abraham would descend nations and kings, and
that Abraham’s descendants would be prolific. God also promised to Abraham and
his descendants "all the land of Canaan."
6. Were these promises later made unconditional? Gen.
7. Did God reconfirm the same promises to Isaac, Abraham’s son? Gen.
26:1-5. And to Jacob, Isaac’s
27:26-29;28:13-14; 35:9-12. What
was Jacob’s name changed to? Gen.
COMMENT: God made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of both national
prosperity and the "sceptre" promise of eternal salvation to come through Jesus
Did Jacob (Israel) pass on the blessings of Abraham to his children? Gen.
49:1-2. Who received the
"sceptre" promise? Verse
10. And to whom did the
birthright blessings go? Verses
9. Did Jacob adopt Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh? Gen.
48:3-5. And did he pass on the
birthright—the material promises—to them? Verses
COMMENT: The physical, material promises were passed from Jacob to his son
Joseph and his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. (Originally there were twelve sons of
Jacob and they became known as the tribes of Israel. But since Ephraim and
Manasseh represent Joseph, there were in reality 13 tribes.)
General Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy
makes clear who the modern descendants of the birthright tribes of Ephraim and
Manasseh are, and why they are so blessed today—not because of any righteousness
on their part (of which there is little, if any), but because of God’s promises
to their faithful forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Many assume the
birthright tribes are the Jews. But the Jews descend from Judah, and the
birthright was Joseph’s!
If you do not have a copy of Mr. Armstrong’s aforementioned book, then by all
means send for it immediately. (Use the convenient coupon and envelope found in
the middle of this lesson to request your free copy.) If you have already read
this book, be sure to review it again. This fascinating volume gives basic
background information which space does not permit us to cover thoroughly in
this lesson, but which you need to know to fully comprehend the subject we are
Israel Becomes God’s "Chosen People"
previously mentioned, Israel (formerly Jacob) had 12 sons. His favorite son,
Joseph, was sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph was taken to Egypt and
eventually became a ruler second only to Pharaoh.
A great famine caused the patriarch Israel to send his sons to Egypt to buy
food, where they became reacquainted with Joseph.
1. Did Israel, at the request of the Pharaoh and Joseph, move his family into
the land of Egypt because of the famine in the land of Canaan where he had
45:9, 17-18. Where
did they settle? Gen.
2. Did God promise to eventually bring Israel back out of Egypt? Gen.
3. While in Egypt, did the children of Israel multiply exceedingly? Ex.
4. After Joseph’s death, did another Pharaoh who did not know Joseph make
slaves of the children of Israel? Verses
5. Did the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob see the affliction of the
Israelites in Egypt? Ex.
3:7. Did He promise to deliver
them from slavery and to bring them back to the land which He had promised
6. Who did God call to lead the nation of Israel out of Egyptian slavery and
into the promised land? Ex.
COMMENT: God chose Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. He had
previously caused Moses to be specially trained for this mission by having him
reared as a prince in the palace of the Egyptian Pharaoh (Ex.
2:1-10). God also commissioned
Aaron, his brother, to assist Moses by being his spokesman (Ex.
7. Did God plan to send plagues against Egypt if Pharaoh refused to let the
Israelites leave? Ex.
COMMENT: In the ensuing plagues God brought upon Egypt, God turned the
Egyptian gods and objects of worship against them to show that these were not
living, active gods who could help Egypt.
8. What was the last plague that finally caused Pharaoh to let the people go? Ex.
COMMENT: The Israelites left Egypt at Pharaoh’s urging. But once they were
gone, he changed his mind and led his army in pursuit of Israel.
Upon reaching the Red Sea, the children of Israel were stopped in their
tracks. They appeared to be trapped. Before them was a broad expanse of water
and behind them the Pharaoh’s army was in hot pursuit. There was nothing they
could do. They just stood there—helpless! At that point they had to rely on God.
How did God rescue Israel? Ex.
14:21-22. COMMENT: In Egypt God
had caused Israel’s release from slavery by a series of supernatural plagues.
Now God miraculously caused the waters of the Red Sea to roll back to form a
wall of water on either side, causing a wide, dry path on the sea floor between.
The Israelites walked through.
10. Did Pharaoh and his entire army attempt to pursue Israel through the Red
23. What happened to them? Verses
COMMENT: Once on the opposite shore of the Red Sea, the Israelites looked
back and saw Pharaoh and his army entering the same path they had traversed.
When all the soldiers were between the towering walls of water, God allowed the
waters to suddenly collapse upon them, drowning the Egyptian army.
The Israelites then proceeded toward Mount Sinai where God had them set up
11. At Mount Sinai, what proposition did God make with the children of
Israel through His servant Moses? Ex.
19:3-6. Did the people agree to
God’s covenant? Verses 7-8. Thus what did Israel become in God’s sight? Lev.
29:13.COMMENT: God offered Israel a special relationship with Himself. The
people wanted to become a "peculiar [not odd, but special] treasure" unto God.
They desired to be a "kingdom of priests" and a "holy nation." They consented to
come under God’s theocratic rule and thus became God’s chosen people.
Through Moses, God proposed to the children of Israel a covenant agreement
which centuries later came to be known as the "Old Covenant." (The Covenant with
Israel at Sinai was a type and forerunner of the NEW COVENANT. The latter will
be made with the New Testament CHURCH, which is spiritual Israel. The subject of
the Old and New Covenants will be covered in-depth in Lesson 17.)
12. Once the covenant was ratified, what material blessings did God promise
Israel—if they would obey His commandments?Deut.
13. Did God also promise that Israel would become a great nation if they
obeyed Him? Deut.
4:5-8. Would Israel thus have
been an example for all nations on earth to follow? Same verses.
COMMENT: If Israel kept God’s commandments, every imaginable material
blessing would have been theirs. And other nations would have seen their example
and blessings, and would have wanted to obey God too!
14. But what curses would result if Israel disobeyed God? Deut.
15. Was Israel commanded to choose—material blessings and long life on the
one hand, or curses and death on the other?Deut.
COMMENT: God laid everything out before Israel. He gave them His law which
they were to obey and detailed exactly what would happen if they chose to obey
or to disobey. If they would obey His laws and submit to His government, He
would prosper them, making them the wealthiest and most powerful of nations.
But notice in all this that God promised only national and material
blessings. There was no promise of eternal life. He did NOT offer them spiritual
Israel Makes the Wrong Choice
Now let’s look at what Israel did once the knowledge of God’s way of life was
given to them and they agreed to obey God.
1. After the covenant between God and Israel was ratified, God called Moses
up to Mount Sinai where he stayed for 40 days. What did the Israelites request
of Aaron while Moses was gone? Ex.
32:1. How did Aaron respond? Verses
COMMENT: Soon after Israel entered into a covenant relationship with
God—promising to obey Him—they forgot the God who had spoken to them directly
and who had miraculously delivered them from slavery in Egypt! They built a
golden calf and worshipped it, breaking the first and second commandments!
2. What was the result of Israel’s sin? Verse
35. COMMENT: God’s anger waxed
hot against Israel (Ex.
32:10).Nevertheless, Moses interceded for them to God so that they were not
all destroyed (verses
3. In the second year after leaving Egypt, when Israel had reached the
wilderness of Paran, God commanded Moses to send out 12 scouts to Canaan. What
were they to do? Num.
4. What kind of report did the men bring back? Verses
25-28, 32-33. As
a result, did the people of Israel complain against God and want to return to
COMMENT: Because Israel refused to go forward in faith to possess the
promised land, God sentenced them to wander in the wilderness 40 years, until
everyone 20 years of age and over (except the two faithful scouts, Joshua and
14:11-38). Hence that generation
of Israelites was not allowed to enter the promised land. But their children
entered the land of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua, Moses’ successor.
5. Did God bless the next generation of Israel as He had promised He would
for their obedience? Josh.
COMMENT: God was faithful in His covenant with Israel. He prospered them
abundantly for their obedience under Joshua’s righteous leadership.
6. Did the people of Israel continue to obey God after Joshua’s death? Judges
2:8, 10-13. COMMENT:
A new generation turned away from God and reaped the curses they had been warned
about. But in mercy God sent judges to Israel to rescue them from oppressors.
Yet as soon as the judge died the people returned to idolatry (verses
18-19). This happened repeatedly.
In the days of Samuel Israel committed an even greater sin. They rejected God
as their king—demanding a human king, to which God consented (I
Still, God dealt with Israel. Under the later reigns of David and his son
Solomon God prospered the nation greatly. However, because Solomon committed
Kings 11:1-8), after his death
God divided the nation in two—the House of Israel in the north and the House of
Judah in the south (verses
Throughout the reigns of many kings, God pleaded with His people Israel and
Judah through His prophets—admonishing them to return to His way. But for
hundreds of years they refused to learn the lesson that experience should have
Finally, just as He warned He would, God sent the House of Israel into
Assyria captivity, with Judah going into Babylonian captivity a century and a
Why They Broke Their Promise
Why did Israel fail to keep the covenant they made with God, even though God
revealed to them His laws, established His government over them and they agreed
to obey Him? To answer this we need to understand God’s purpose in choosing
Israel to be His people.
1. What was the reason God made Israel His chosen people? Deut.
COMMENT: God chose Israel above all other nations on earth to be His own
nation because of His love for and promises to their forefathers—
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As God’s chosen nation, Israel was to set an
example of obedience to God for all the other nations to follow (Deut.
But instead of assuming the leadership role among the nations by keeping
God’s commandments, they followed the ways and customs of the pagan nations
around them! They utterly failed to become a "kingdom of priests" and a "holy
19:5-6) and an example for the
world to follow.
But why? Wasn’t it possible for them to obey God? The answer to this question
brings us to the crux of this lesson!
2. What is the heart, or mind, of man described as? Jer.
17:9. Is it possible for carnal
man, without God’s Spirit, to submit to God’s Law? Rom.
3. And is it at all possible for one without God’s Spirit to really
understand spiritual knowledge—which includes the spiritual principles of God’s
Cor. 2:9-11, 14.
COMMENT: Man’s nature can be very sinful without God’s Spirit (Gal.
5:19-21). This, as we learned in
previous lessons, is because Satan, the god of this world, "broadcasts" his
nature—his attitudes of sin—to the minds of all people (II
Israel as a whole was not offered God’s Spirit. Only their prophets and
divinely appointed leaders were given the Holy Spirit(Num.
Peter 1:10-11). Thus the
Israelites did not resist Satan and submit to God.
Ancient Israel did not realize their lack of God’s power when they agreed to
the terms of the Old Covenant. They desperately needed spiritual help, but
didn’t realize it. They even had great difficulty in keeping the letter of the
Without God’s Spirit, Israel was also limited to the acquisition and
understanding of material knowledge, even though God gave them knowledge of His
spiritual laws. Thus they could not comprehend, let alone obey, the spiritual
intent of God’s Law!
Recall that Adam and Eve had also been instructed by God in His way. But they
too rejected it, and turned to the way of self-centeredness—of vanity, lust and
greed—of jealousy and envy—of competition and strife.
4. Did God realize, when He made the covenant with Israel, that the people
would not be able to keep it? Deut.
5:28-29. Did God give them the
spiritual perception to understand the lessons they should have learned from
their 40 years of wandering in the desert? Chapter
29:4. Did God know Israel would
not obey Him after they entered the promised land? Chapter
COMMENT: God knew Israel would break the covenant He made with them. But He
wanted to teach mankind a valuable lesson through Israel’s experience and
The multiple generations of Israel and Judah proved once and for all that
without the Holy Spirit from God, man’s mind is incapable of receiving and
utilizing knowledge of God’s spiritual way of life as defined by His spiritual
Law—the Ten Commandments. Thus God demonstrated through Israel that the mind of
man, with the "human" spirit but without the addition of God’s Holy Spirit,
cannot submit to God nor solve human problems and evils which are spiritual in
nature. Carnal man simply cannot come to grips with and cure the spiritual
problems that beset humanity!
God used ancient Israel to write in the pages of history these indelible
lessons, which God intends all mankind to learn when the time comes for
spiritual understanding to be opened to all—not only to those ancient
Israelites, but to every human being who has ever lived!
Spiritual Israel Being Called Today
The promises made to Abraham were twofold—material and spiritual. Even so,
the Holy Spirit and eternal salvation were not offered to ancient Israel as a
whole, except to those few called by God to carry out a special mission
preparatory to the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Let’s now trace the spiritual phase of the promises from the time of Abraham
to this present day.
1. What, exactly, was the second part of the promises God made to Abraham? Gen.
12:3, last part. COMMENT: The
second phase of the promises—"in thee shall all families of the earth be
blessed"—refers ultimately to the Messiah and salvation through Him. This
promise was passed on through Abraham’s son Isaac, and then to his son Jacob, as
was the material part of the promises (Gen.
2. To which of Jacob’s 12 sons was the spiritual promise passed? Gen.
4:22. COMMENT: The "sceptre" was
the promise of a kingly line springing from Judah and culminating in Jesus
Christ and eternal life through Him.
3. Does Luke
that Jesus was a direct descendant—a "seed"—of Abraham? Did He clearly spring
from the tribe of Judah? Verse
33. Also notice Hebrews
7:14. COMMENT: Luke records
Jesus’ genealogy through His mother Mary. Joseph, mentioned in Luke
3:23, was actually the son-in-law
of Heli, the father of Mary. And so Luke shows that Jesus was directly descended
from Abraham (verse
One of the reasons Christ came to earth as a human being nearly 2,000 years
ago was to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to a remnant of Israelites
who were then living in Palestine. He commanded them: "Repent ye, and believe
But notice that God did not remove the spiritual blindness which still
covered these descendants of Israel at that time.
4. Why did Jesus speak to the multitudes in parables? Mark
4:10-11. Was it to make His
teaching clearer? Verse
12. Wasn’t this a fulfillment of
a prophecy found in Isaiah? Isa.
COMMENT: God did not intend to grant spiritual understanding and repentance
to the descendants of Israel as a whole when Christ first came. Israel’s chance
for salvation is still ahead, as we will shortly see.
5. Recall from previous studies that no one can come to Christ and be truly
converted unless the Father calls him (John
6:44).After three and one-half years of preaching, how many did the Father
call to be disciples of Christ? Acts
COMMENT: Of the many thousands who had heard Jesus proclaim the good news of
the Kingdom of God, there were only 120 who believed!
6. Had Jesus previously promised to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples? John
16:7; 14:26. Where
did Christ tell them to wait to receive God’s Spirit? Luke
7. When did God fulfill the promise of sending His Holy Spirit? Acts
COMMENT: On Pentecost, A.D. 31, just 50 days after Christ’s resurrection, God
sent the Holy Spirit to beget and empower Christ’s disciples.
8. Who stood up to speak to the multitudes of Jews gathered from various
nations on that day of Pentecost? Acts
2:14. As a result of his sermon,
how many more did God call? Verse
41. What did they do to receive
God’s Spirit? Verse
9. Once these new converts received God’s Spirit, what did they automatically
become part of? I
Cor. 12:13. What body is Paul
talking about? Verse
COMMENT: In I
Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul
has drawn an analogy between the human body and God’s Church. Inverse
13 he is speaking about being
"baptized"—put into—the spiritual "body" or Church of God. Thus when one
receives God’s Spirit, he automatically becomes a spirit-begotten member of
God’s Church. (If you have any questions about whether God has called you to put
you into His Church, don’t hesitate to request a visit by one of our ministers
to counsel you about this important spiritual matter. Lesson 12 contains
instructions on how to contact a minister of the Worldwide Church of God near
But those God called into His Church on that memorable day of Pentecost were
Jews, or Jewish proselytes (Acts
were no Gentile (non-Jewish) converts at that time.
10. When and how did God finally open up salvation to the Gentiles? You
should read all of Acts
chapter 10, noticing especially verses
34-35. Also see Acts
COMMENT: About ten years after God started His spiritual Church, He began to
call Gentiles to repentance and salvation. But the promises of salvation were
made to Abraham and his descendants! How, then, could a Gentile also become an
heir to these promises?
11. How does one who is not a direct descendant of Abraham become an "heir"
to the spiritual promises made to him? Gal.
3:27-29. COMMENT: Paul shows that
the only way Gentiles can become heirs to the promise of salvation made to
Abraham was by becoming children ("seed") of Abraham by spiritual sonship
through Christ! Thus people from every nation may become "heirs" of the
spiritual promises God made to Abraham by becoming his "seed" through Christ.
We also read in Galatians
3:7, "Know ye therefore that they
which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." If you are a
spirit-begotten Christian, regardless of race, Abraham is your "father" in the
faith, and you become eligible to inherit the spiritual promises!
But what about Israelites? Is it enough to be an Israelite by natural birth?
Or must they also become Christ’s to receive these promises?
11, Paul illustrates spiritual
sonship through Christ by way of the analogy of grafting branches onto an olive
12. Does Paul show that the Israelites, represented by the branches of an
olive tree, has been spiritually blinded? Rom.
Verses 20, 32.
COMMENT: God has allowed Israel to be spiritually blinded to fulfill His
plan. And that plan includes the salvation of the world, including Israel!
Has Israel’s being broken off the olive tree made possible the Gentiles being
grafted in? Verses
COMMENT: Paul pictures Israel as a natural olive tree whose branches were
broken off because of unbelief—disobedience to God. This made possible God’s
grafting in of the wild olive branches— Gentiles.
14. But can Israel—though now "broken off"—be grafted back in? Verses
23-24. COMMENT: Ancient Israel’s
blindness will not remain forever. Their time of understanding and participation
in God’s plan of salvation has not yet come (verse
But in the meantime the comparatively few Israelites whom God has called have
become "spiritual Israelites." Through Christ, both they and Gentiles have
become members of the spiritual household of God (Eph.
2:19) and are unified into one
spiritual body—the Church of God! (Gal.
15. Ancient Israel did not have access to God’s Spirit. Yet what are they
Chron. 13:2; Acts
COMMENT: Israel was called the "congregation of Israel" and a "church"
because these people were the physical type of the spiritual Church Christ began
to build at His first coming (Matt.
16:18). This is another example
of the duality principle in God’s plan.
God is preparing the Kingdom of God in dual stages. First was Old Testament
Israel. They were carnal-minded, without God’s Holy Spirit. They were the carnal
congregation or church of Israel. In New Testament times, spirit-begotten
children of God are the spiritual Church of God, composed of members of all
nationalities who have become "spiritual Israelites" through Christ. (This
DUALITY in God’s program is illustrated by the Old and New Covenants, to be
covered in the next lesson.)
The New Testament Church of God has received the Spirit of God. And those in
God’s Church are being prepared by God through His Spirit to be born into His
ruling family which will restore His government on earth at Christ’s return!
16. Are those in the body or Church of Christ a part of the spiritual
household of God? Eph.
2:19. Who constitutes the
foundation of this building? Verses
COMMENT: Paul here compares God’s Church to a building. The Old Testament
prophets—along with the New Testament apostles—form the foundation of the true
Church, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone.
17. Did the patriarchs and prophets of antiquity—those whom God called before
Christ established His New Testament Church—have access to the Holy Spirit? I
COMMENT: Notice that the Spirit of Christ...was in them." God gave His Spirit
only to those whom He called to perform special tasks. Those few had the Holy
Spirit and will be born into God’s Kingdom, as we’re clearly told in Hebrews
Likewise, those called into God’s Church today also have a great work to
perform. Christ has commissioned His Church today to proclaim the Gospel of the
Kingdom of God to the entire world! (Matt.
18. Are those in God’s Church also in training for responsibilities in the
World Tomorrow? Rev.
2:26-27; 5:10; 20:4.
COMMENT: Spiritual Israel today is being trained to rule with Christ as a
spiritual "kingdom of priests" when He returns. They will help Him restore the
government of God over the entire earth and teach the nations God’s wonderful
way of life!
But what about ancient Israel and their descendants? Did that carnal nation
fail totally? Will it yet have a chance to set an example for the rest of the
world to follow?
God’s MODEL Millennial Nation!
God reveals He has not forsaken His chosen people. He has not forgotten His
covenant with ancient Israel. God will yet give Israel’s modern descendants an
opportunity to live by His laws though their forefathers failed for thousands of
years. This time they will obey! Let’s understand how God will bring this about
in the very near future.
1. Did God know Abraham’s descendants would forsake Him and His way? Deut.
31:16. How would God punish them?Verses
COMMENT: Ancient Israel did forsake God, committing grievous sins as He knew
they would. As punishment for their disobedience, God caused them to be taken
captive and scattered among the nations. Today only a small minority of their
descendants, mainly from the tribe of Judah, now live in the modern state of
Israel—part of the "promised land" of ancient Israel.
2. As aforementioned book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy
explains, Biblical prophecy reveals that the birthright tribes of Israel
(Ephraim and Manasseh) will be taken captive once again because of their
continued national sins. Will the modern descendants of Israel be scattered all
over the earth? Isa.
11:11-12. Will they turn to God
in their tribulation in the end time? chapter
COMMENT: Ancient Israel did forsake God, committing grievous sins as Deut.
4:29-30. (Notice especially the
words "latter days" in verse
30.) Will God then remember the
covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Verse
3. Will God bring His captive people back to the land He promised Abraham? Deut.
30:1-5. What is the time setting
for the regathering of the remnant of Israel? Isa.
COMMENT: The blowing of the "great trumpet" refers to the "last trump"
signaling Jesus Christ’s return to earth as King of kings (I
Thes. 4:16; Rev.
11:15). At His return Christ will
seek out and bring back the remnant of Israel from this modern captivity. Those
still alive after the soon-coming great tribulation will be brought back to the
land of Palestine where all 13 tribes will be settled after their former
4. Will this coming exodus of God’s people Israel from captivity around the
world be much greater than their former exodus from Egypt in the days of Moses? Jer.
16:14-15; 23:3, 7-8.
COMMENT: Jeremiah’s God-inspired prophecy of this future exodus was written
about 600 B.C. The first exodus was only a lesser type or forerunner of a second
and far greater exodus to come!
Notice that these regathered Israelites are not changed to immortality when
Christ returns, but rather restored to the promised land of ancient times as
physical human beings.
5. Once back in the land promised to their forefather Abraham, will God
reunite the nations of Judah and Israel? Ezek.
37:16-22. Who will be their king? Verses
COMMENT: At Christ’s return, David, who ruled as king over all the tribes of
Israel during his mortal lifetime, will be resurrected to immortality. And as
God promised long ago, David will once again become Israel’s king after God
unites the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel.
6. Will God cause His reclaimed people to see themselves as He sees them and
to loathe themselves for their wickedness, granting them repentant attitudes for
the first time? Ezek.
31:8-9; 50:3-5. Will
God then cleanse them from sin?Ezek.
33:7-8. Will He also give them
His Holy Spirit so they can obey Him? Ezek.
COMMENT: Israel will repent bitterly of their wickedness which caused God to
temporarily forsake them and allow them to go into national captivity—to wake
them up! They will then truly seek God, repent of their sins, receive God’s Holy
Spirit, and enter into a "perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten" (Jer.
50:5). This was not possible
during the days of the Old Covenant when the nation as a whole was without God’s
Recall that without the Holy Spirit ancient Israel did not have the "heart"
to obey God (Deut.
5:29; 29:4). But
once God gives His Spirit to His chosen people, they will remain obedient, not
departing from His way of life (Jer.
32:39-40). It is God’s Holy
Spirit that will make the difference! Israel will be able to understand God’s
way and obey Him from the heart!
7. Will God proceed to teach repentant, spirit-begotten Israel the knowledge
and understanding of His way of life? Isa.
3:15. Will this ultimately lead
to their being born into the ruling family of God? Isa.
8. Will God cause the laws of nature to function for the benefit of His
obedient people during the Millennium? Isa.
3:10-12. Will there be great
rejoicing over the abundance of crops and cattle God will bestow upon them?Jer.
31:12. Will there be a
superabundance of foodstuffs? Amos
COMMENT: During the Millennium, God will bestow upon obedient Israel all of
the great material blessings He promised to give their ancestors had they obeyed (Lev.
Although the British Commonwealth and the United States—Ephraim and
Manasseh—have been the wealthiest and most powerful nations on earth in this end
time (because of Abraham’s obedience to God), their status among nations today
is only a foretaste of even "greater wealth and power (in God’s service) to come
once all of Israel is living under the government of God.
9. Abraham’s offspring were prophesied to become extremely numerous (Gen.
13:16). Will Israel’s population
reach its zenith in the Millennium? Ezek.
60:21-22. How does God describe
this future explosive spread of Israelites into every part of the globe? Isa.
10. Will Israel inherit the whole world? Isa.
54:2-4. Thus will all nations be
blessed because of Abraham’s "seed"? Gen.
28:14. But how? Isa.
61:9; 62:1-2, 7. Will
the Gentiles therefore want to learn God’s way and become obedient to Christ?Isa.
COMMENT: Israel was intended to be a blessing to the rest of the world both
materially and spiritually. The Gentiles similarly will be blessed as they
follow Israel’s outstanding EXAMPLE of obedience to God! And they too will be
blessed spiritually by becoming Abraham’s "seed"—spiritual Israelites—through
spirit-begotten and finally spirit-born into the very Family of God!
In the Millennium Israel will truly become God’s model nation—the leader all
nations will want to follow.
But what about those ancient Israelites who died in their sins long ago? Will
they also have a chance to repent, receive God’s Spirit, obey God, and become
members of His ruling family?
Ancient Israel to Become a "Holy Nation"
"God hath not cast away his people [Israel] which he foreknow," wrote the
apostle Paul (Rom.
11:2). Ancient Israel will also
have a chance to receive God’s Holy Spirit and obey God from the heart. But how
is this possible? These Israelites have been dead for thousands of years!
Exactly where do the people of ancient Israel fit into God’s wonderful master
1. Is it God’s will that all mankind come to understand the truth about His
master plan? I
Tim. 2:4; II
Peter 3:9. Will all Israel
therefore be given an opportunity to receive spiritual salvation? Rom.
2. Is a resurrection to physical life prophesied to occur after the
20:5 (first part), 11-13.
COMMENT: All those who have ever lived and died since Adam and who were
without the knowledge of God’s plan of salvation will be resurrected and given a
chance to understand! This resurrection to physical life occurs after the
20:4, 6). Those
resurrected at this time will live for 100 years (Isa.
These physical mortals will have their first genuine chance to receive God’s
Holy Spirit, grow in God’s holy, righteous character and be born into the
universe-ruling family of God! They will be taught God’s way of life and be
judged by the Word of God (Rev.
20:12)--just as those in God’s Church are being Judged today (I
Peter 4:17). (The surprising
truth about this coming time of judgment will be the subject of a future
3. Will ancient Israel come up in the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation
37:1-11. Notice especially verse
11. What will Israel say when God
restores them to physical, mortal life? Verse
11, last part. How will God
12. What will God give them? Verse
14. Will ancient Israel then know
the true God? Verse
COMMENT: There is no injustice with God. He will deny no one an opportunity
for spiritual salvation. Everyone is to have his full chance, including all
those ancient Israelites who died without ever having an opportunity to know
God’s plan. They will be resurrected and given their chance—and without a devil
to tempt them!
The illustration of the "valley of dry bones" in Ezekiel
37 shows the whole House of
Israel—those spiritually blinded who lived and died without a chance—resurrected
back to mortal life as before. It shows their understanding being opened—the
knowledge of God’s way of life coming to them for the first time as a result of
receiving the Holy Spirit of God.
Then ancient Israel will finally become Abraham’s spiritual children, and
heirs to the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. Finally, as God
inspired Paul to write, "all Israel shall be saved." Israel as a whole will have
fulfilled her God-ordained purpose! She will have become the "holy nation" God
originally intended (Ex.
This multiple choice test is designed to help you review the preceding
lesson. It’s an enjoyable way of putting to use some of the vital knowledge and
understanding you have gained through this lesson.
Select one of the four choices given under each question or incomplete
statement. The other three are incorrect—unless stated or indicated otherwise.
Take sufficient time to understand each question or statement, as well as the
choices. Try to do as many as you can without referring to the lesson. If you
have difficulty deciding on the correct answer, then review the part of the
lesson in question.
1. After Adam and Eve rejected God as Revealer of spiritual knowledge, God
A. limited spiritual knowledge and salvation to the descendants of Abraham. B.
called the majority of men and women prior to Christ’s first coming. C. offered
the Holy Spirit to all their descendants. D. shut off the first humans and their
descendants from His Holy Spirit and revealed truth.
2. Prior to Abraham, only three men are specifically mentioned in the Bible
as having followed God’s way. They were: A. Shem, Ham and Japheth. B. Seth,
Lamech and Jared. C. Abel, Enoch and Noah.D. Enos, Moses and Isaiah.
3. The first part of the promises God made to Abraham was A. the promise of
the Messiah and salvation through Him. B. material and national—that Abraham’s
descendants would become a great nation C. spiritual and therefore individual
in nature. D. not fulfilled in any way.
4. The second part of the promises God made to Abraham was A. spiritual and
individual—the promise of the Messiah and salvation through Him. B. that his
descendants would inherit all the land of Canaan. C. that his descendants would
be prolific. D. that his descendants would become a great nation.
5. The birthright promise A. was not passed on for want of a legitimate heir.
B. was passed on to the Jews. C. was passed on to Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and
Manasseh, when Jacob adopted them. D. stated that Christ would be blessed
6. The "sceptre" promise went A. to Judah. B. went to Joseph. C. has never
been fulfilled. D. has nothing to do with eternal salvation through Jesus
7. The descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh today have been blessed abundantly
only because A. of their obedience to God. B. their forefathers were Jacob’s
favorite grandsons. C. of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. D. of time
8. Which one of the following is not true? A. The children of Israel
multiplied greatly in number. B. Eventually the Israelites became slaves of
Egypt, helpless to change their circumstances. C. God’s miraculous intervention
through a series of miracles set Israel free of Pharaoh. D. God encouraged the
tribes of Israel to blend into the surrounding nations so as not to be
9. God offered the nation of Israel A. only material and national blessings.
B. nothing in return for obedience to Him. C. the Holy Spirit. D. spiritual
understanding and salvation.
10. The children of Israel agreed to become God’s chosen people A.
immediately after they crossed the Red Sea. B. at Mount Sinai. C. in Egypt when
they kept the first Passover. D. out of respect for their forefathers Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob.
11. God chose Israel above all other nations on earth because A. they were
the best candidate to be a "holy nation." B. of the natural leadership ability
of the twelve tribes. C. they were already obedient. D. of His love for and
promises to their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
12. Instead of setting an example for the surrounding nations, ancient Israel
A. assumed an overbearing leadership role in the region. B. followed the ways
and customs of the pagan nations around them. C. asked that God would be their
king. D. forsook their promised land and voluntarily moved to Assyrian
13. What did God do to His people after pleading with them for centuries to
obey Him? A. He sent them into captivity as punishment. B. He forced them to
obey Him. C. He rejected them and chose another nation as His own. D. He
continued to plead with them for several more centuries.
14. Israel didn’t keep its part of the covenant with God because A. blessings
for obedience never came when they followed righteous leaders. B. the blessings
were insufficient for the effort required. C. in lacking God’s Holy Spirit, they
couldn’t resist Satan and submit their carnal natures to God. D. of their
spiritual comprehension of God’s Law.
15. The record written in human experience by Israel and Judah proves A.
nothing for us today. B. that disobedience was unique to them. C. that given
enough time they finally would have obeyed God. D. that without the Holy Spirit
man is incapable of understanding God’s spiritually revealed truth and obeying
the Ten Commandments from the heart.
16. Why did Jesus speak to the Israelites in Judea in parables? A. To make
plain the truth of God. B. To maintain the spiritual blindness of the majority
because their time to understand had not yet come. C. So they would understand
and repent. D. To gather a large following of true believers.
17. When did God start to open spiritual understanding to the Gentiles after
founding His New Testament Church? A. Simultaneously with the Jewish converts.
B. One year later. C. About ten years later. D. Just after the Romans destroyed
18. Which one of the following is not true? A. Gentiles (non-Israelites) can
become heirs to the spiritual promises made to Abraham by becoming spiritual
"children" of Abraham through Christ. B. Israelites by birth must also become
Christ’s to receive the spiritual promises. C. To date, comparatively few
natural-born Israelites have been called by God to become spiritual Israelites.
D. The spiritual promises made to Abraham pertain to flesh-born Israelites only.
19. Why did God call ancient Israel a "congregation" and a "church" even
though they did not have the Holy Spirit? A. These people were a physical type
of the spiritual Church that was to be established when Christ came. B. Duality
in God’s plan certainly has nothing to do with it. C. Because the nation was
deeply religious. D. Because the Israelites were churchgoers.
20. Spiritual Israel today A. is the Church of God composed of spiritual
Israelites, whether Israelite or gentile by birth. B. is in training to rule
with Christ when He comes. C. has been called by God to proclaim the Gospel of
the Kingdom of God to the world. D. All of the above.
21. Another captivity of Israelites A. will never happen. B. is to happen
with modern-day descendants being taken as slaves to nations all over the earth.
C. will be mild compared to the former captivity. D. will not include the Jews.
22. Which of the following will not happen to the modern-day descendants of
ancient Israel? A. God will allow all of them to die in captivity as punishment
for past sins. B. At Christ’s return He will rescue the remnant of Israel from
captivity. C. The coming exodus of Israel out of captivity will be far greater
than their former exodus from Egypt. D. Christ will restore these regathered
Israelites to the promised land where He will make them a model nation.
23. How will the Israelites respond to God when restored to the land of their
forefathers? A. They will rebel against Him as before. B. They will reject David
as their king. C. They will resist unification of the nation. D. They will
repent bitterly, turn to God in obedience, and become an example for other
nations to follow.
24. What will not contribute to Israel’s obedience toward God? A. Their
realization, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, of having sinned against
God. B. Their receipt of the Holy Spirit which will help them to obey. C.
Attending church regularly on Sunday. D. Their appreciation for God’s manifold
25. What does the "valley of dry bones" in Ezekiel
37 picture? A. The utter
desolation at the close of human misrule. B. The destruction of all mankind. C.
A resurrection to spiritual life. D. Millions of ancient Israelites being
physically resurrected after the Millennium to receive their first chance to
understand God’s master plan, develop His character and receive eternal life.
ANSWERS TO LESSON 16 TEST
1-D, 2-C, 3-B, 4-A, 5-C
6-A, 7-C, 8-D, 9-A, 10-B
11-D, 12-B, 13-A, 14-C, 15-D
16-B, 17-C, 18-D, 19-A, 20-D
21-B, 22-A, 23-D, 24-C, 25-D