Who is “The Israel of Elohim?”
In Galatians 6:16, Paul makes a statement, when he refers
to “the Israel of Elohim,” that has caused no small amount of
confusion among believers today. Who are they? And, who
aren’t they? These two questions are what I hope to answer
in this article. In order for me to do that, we must go back
into the history of Israel and find their beginnings. Lets go
back and look at the man that the Israelites, Islamics AND
Christians can all refer to in their ancestry; Abraham.
In this portion of text his name was referred to Abram.
Gen 12:2 “And I shall make you a great nation, and bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing!
Gen 12:3 “And I shall bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you. And in you all the clans of the earth shall be blessed.”
Notice that he is told to leave:
- His country: His homeland, Mesopotamia or Babylon.
- His family: His posterity/pedigree and/or blood relatives.
- His father’s house: His birthright or inheritance.
Notice that he is promised:
- A land that Yahweh will lead him to and give to him.
- To be a great nation: A posterity surpassing the onethat he is leaving.
- To have a great name: A birthright (name) greater than his own.
Through Abram/Hagar (Egyptian slave) comes the son of the
flesh; Ishmael. Through Abraham/Sarah comes the son of promise; Isaac, his son; Jacob, who was eventually renamed by Yahweh; Israel. The natural tendency is to take the blessing given to Abram is being applicable to the nation Israel, or the descendants of Jacob/Israel. Lets read the blessing again: “I will make you a great nation (Heb:”goy” or non-Jew); I will bless you and make your name great; and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
If the application of this blessing is in accordance to
genealogy for the Israelites, why then Yahshua’s words in John
chapter 8:37-45, to the Jewish scribes and Pharisees (who
were claiming that very blessing as a result of them being
Joh 8:37 “I know that you are the seed of Aḇraham, but you seek to kill Me, because My Word has no place in you.
Joh 8:38 “I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
You Are of Your Father the Devil
Joh 8:39 They answered and said to Him, “Aḇraham is our father.”c יהYahshua said to them, “If you were Aḇraham’s children, you would do the works of Aḇraham. Footnote: cSee footnote Mat 3:9, Rom 9:8.
Joh 8:40 “But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has spoken to you the truth which I heard from Elohim. Aḇraham did not do this.
Joh 8:41 “You do the works of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of whoring, we have one Father: Elohim.”
Joh 8:42 יYahshua said to them, “If Elohim were your Father, you would love Me, for I came forth from Elohim, and am here. For I have not come of Myself, but He sent Me.
Joh 8:43 “Why do you not know what I say? Because you are unable to hear My Word.
Joh 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you wish to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Joh 8:45 “And because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
It sure sounds like YAHSHUA is pronouncing a curse on these MESSIAH rejecting Israelites! (“You are of your father the devil!?!”) And this in spite of them attempting to substantiate that Abraham, and ultimately GOD was their father! So, how can the Scriptures be interpreted as saying that EVERYONE born an Israelite is a recipient of the blessings given to Abraham? If they cannot, then WHO are those in line for the blessings promised to Abraham? What do the Scriptures say? Well, looking again at what Yahshua says in John 8 above, we begin to see what the criteria is for receiving the blessing: – Verse 39; “you would do the works of Abraham”
- He left his country.
- He left his family.
- He left his father’s inheritance.
- He “obeyed My (Yahweh’s) voice, kept My charge, My Commandments, My statutes, My Laws” (Genesis 26:4).
It doesn’t sound like these scribes/Pharisees realized what it would take for them to receive the blessing given to /
through Abraham. They also would have to:
- Leave their country. Meaning that they could not be as devoted to Land/Nation of Israel, as they were supposed to be devoted to YHWH…
- Leave their family. (or literally; “to leave one’s pedigree”) No longer could they trust in ancestral lineage for identification, but now would have to leave their family behind and follow YHWH!
- Leave their father’s house. Meaning that they would have to detach themselves from their inheritance, their birthright, and start all over!
- Obey HIS voice, charge, commandments, statutes and Laws. Meaning that they too would have to reject ANY/ALL “additions to and/or subtractions from” HIS WORD! (i.e. no more Oral Torah and/or Mishnah)
- verse 42; “you would love me” (YAHSHUA) By implication; “as your brother” or (fellow Israelite) Leviticus 19:17-18 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Yahweh.” / 1John 4:20-21 If someone says, “I love Elohim,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love Elohim whom he has not seen? 21And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves Elohim must love his brother also.To say that you love Elohim while at the same time being guilty of hating HIS MESSIAH, is NOT consistent with doing “the works that Abraham did!”
- verse 43; “you would understand…and listen to My (Y\AHSHUA) Word.”
To say that you love YAHSHUA, while at the same time being guilty of rejecting HIS Word, is NOT
consistent with doing “the works that Abraham did!”
1John 2:3-6 – “1Jn 2:3 And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands.a Footnote: aSee 1Jn 3:6.
1Jn 2:4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 2:5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfectedb in him. By this we know that we are in Him.c Footnotes bGen 17:1, Psa 119:1, Mat 5:48. cSee 1Jn 3:24.
1Jn 2:6 The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.”
So, we see that Yahshua knows who aren’t children of Abraham or children of Elohim. It appears that HIS disciple,
John (by references to his epistle above) knew as well! And Matthew records for us that Yahshua confirms that same
criteria (required of Abraham) again for those who would follow MESSIAH, then and now!
- Mat 19:28 And Yahshua said to them, “Truly I say to you, when the Son of Aḏam sits on the throne of His esteem, you who have followed Me in the rebirth, shall also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Yisra’ĕl. Mat 19:29 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My Name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Mat 19:30 “But many who are first shall be last, and the last first.
So, is it safe to assume (based on the writings of Moses, Matthew and John) that unless a person is willing to leave
their citizenship (country), their pedigree (family), their inheritance (father’s house), and their man-made religion,
they not only are NOT doing “the works of Abraham” but they also are not meeting the criteria that Yahsuah established for following HIM? I believe so, at least according to the above Scriptures…
So, who is “the Israel of Elohim” that Paul refers to in Galatians 6:16? The Israel of Elohim are those descendants of
Israel that receive Yahshua as the atoning sacrifice for their sins, who receive the SET APART SPIRIT into their lives
and reject their citizenship in the earthly Jerusalem in exchange for a citizenship in “the NEW Jerusalem coming
down out of heaven from Elohm, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”(Revelation 21:2)