By Oscar M. Baker
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” (II Tim. 2:15.)
We see right division from the very start. In Genesis, the darkness is divided from the light and the waters below and above the firmament are divided by a new firmament, or heaven it is called. In studying the Bible today to find our place in God’s purpose, there’s another division we have to observe or know about. We don’t have this division today, but it has been, and that is Jew and Gentile.
Israel was God’s earth People. Abraham was the father of that Nation. And remember that the promise given to Abraham was concerning a land and a purpose for the earth, that he and his seed should be a blessing to the Nations. (Gen. 12:1-4.) There is no other way in the Bible that Nations, as such, could ever be blessed excepting through Israel, and Israel is non-existent today. They are scattered among the Nations, a lost People, waiting the time that they will be called out as they were called out of Egypt. So since they have no blessing, and are not a recognized People, there’s no blessing for Nations today, and hasn’t been for 1914 years [note tape date of 1978]. They are going their own way today very fast!
We must make this distinction [between Jew and Gentile] because if we were to associate or identify ourselves with Israel, as does the bulk of Christendom, we have to remember that they are an earth People with an earth purpose, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Mt. 5:5.) This People never had any promise of heavenly places to live in – never had any idea of going to heaven – it was not a part of their promise or purpose. They were to be an earth People, and be a blessing to the Nations of the earth, even throughout the Millennium and beyond, even in the New Heavens and New Earth. They will be in the New Jerusalem here on the earth, and the Nations will bring their glory unto it, those Nations that believe, are saved. (Rev. 21.)
Now the Church which is the Body of Christ, and which was never revealed until Acts 28:28 (when Israel was set aside about AD 64) has its hope far above all heavens where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Now as we start in Ephesians we want to keep some of that in mind.
Before we start in on Ephesians, however, another thing that has mixed people up is that during the last 18 years of the Acts period, there were Gentiles grafted into Israel. And they partook of Israel’s blessings, for to provoke them to jealousy, so that they might turn – be converted. (Rom. 11:11-17.) Of course, we know from reading Acts and the Epistles written at that time, that this was rather a dismal failure. The People (Israel) were just as strong headed and rebellious about accepting their Messiah as they were of going into the land of Kadesh-barnea. And there was a time they wouldn’t have Moses for their leader. So in the book of Acts we have Gentiles who were grafted into Israel’s commonwealth, and partook of Israel’s blessings. Cont’d
[Excerpts from T.F.T. tape 12/5/78]