Would God Almighty lie to us?
I don’t think so! That’s why it seems so difficult to believe that most of us in Christendom today think that the Israelites of the Bible are just a small group of people spread around the world, who, by their own reckoning, number less that twenty million.
After all, God promised there would be so many Israelites they couldn’t be counted; in fact, He said that the descendants from just one of the tribes of Israel would form both a great nation and a company of nations. For my part, I refuse to believe that our God was a failure and had to change His entire plan midstream? After all, He is perfection! From our limited perspective, His plan may seem imperfect at times but if we inject the proper study, we will soon see that everything is moving toward His greater purpose, in exactly the way He wishes. Yet, for a true understanding of the Bible, it is critical that the identity of true Israel is clearly understood.
You know, reader, so often, God employs an analogy of a gardener when referring to His plan. He particularly uses this analogy when talking about His people Israel. It’s very interesting to view His references to gardening as He talks about the Israelites. For instance, in 2 Samuel 7: 10, the prophet Nathan conveys God’s words about His people Israel to King David, “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more…” This statement cannot be clearer; the Israelites were to move to appointed lands. Here’s the important part! It had to be lands other than Palestine, because the Israelites were living in Palestine at the time Nathan conveyed this message to King David.
Let’s just read five Bible passages. As we do, try to visualize the Great Gardener holding His huge spade, while peering down upon the world, carving out territories for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
- “… I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged, but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry” (Isaiah 5: 5-7)
- “He shall cause them that come out of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (Isaiah 27: 6).
- “He took also the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree” (Ezekiel 17: 5).
- “Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength” (Isaiah 41: 1).
- “Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified” (Isaiah 60: 21).
One thing I am sure on which we all agree, God doesn’t say things and then go ahead and do something else. This is why it is so important to realize that the foundation He laid in the Book of Genesis had to come to realization. Otherwise why give the Bible any credence at all! I mentioned that part of His foundation called for a great nation and a company of nations (Genesis: 48: 19). It called for an explosion in the numbers of His people, so much so that they could not be counted. God made this promise to Abraham (Genesis 22: 17), to Isaac (Genesis 26:4) and to Jacob (Genesis 28: 14). If God said it, I’ll sure believe it. And if the Great Gardener said he was going to remove Israel from Palestine and plant them somewhere else, that’s good enough for me. I guess we will one day occupy Palestine again, at least a representative group from each tribe, but I’m sure this won’t happen until the Lord Jesus Christ returns to reign.
Anyway, as it was with me when I began my journey toward the Israel Truth, it is important to identify the lands and the hundreds of millions of people to whom God was referring. If we can do this, then we shall have identified the Israelites. I can’t think of any better way of doing this than checking to see if there are any identification marks that enable us to plainly recognize an Israelite of old. Part two of this article examines a number of these identification marks.