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Israel-Only teaching says that the Gentiles in Romans 9 are only the lost tribes of Israel according to Hosea. But Paul says that Israel was his own people, the 12 tribes who had the law and that the Gentiles are pagans who were not under the law and not God’s people:
I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.
Paul talks about Israel – his own race, the 12 tribes, the patriarchs.
6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[b] 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”[c]
10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”[d] 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”[e]
14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
He says in the last example of Moses vs Pharoah – Israelite vs Gentile.
He makes the case that God calls people from Israel and Gentiles as well!
Those who were NOT God’s people have become His people. Those who were not His children have become His children!
But if you look at Paul, he was not saying that these Gentiles were solely the lost tribes of the house of Israel. He was merely quoting Hosea to make a point that the Gentile pagans who were once outside the covenant of Israel, and not God’s people, were now His children through faith in Christ.
Hosea wrote that the house of Israel (10 northern tribes) were scattered in the nations by the Assyrians:
Hosea 1 “The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel:”……Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel…… Yet the number of the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which can’t be measured nor numbered; and it will come to pass that, in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ The children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint themselves one head (Shepherd/leader), and will go up from the LAND”
The prophet Hosea said that God would also restore the house of Judah (2 tribes) who was exiled in Babylon back together with the house of Israel back to the LAND.
But all of this was already fulfilled when the Israelites came back from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple!
Jeremiah 31 is the fulfillment of the lost tribes of Israel being restored after the Babylonian exile.
Jeremiah 31 ““At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”…“The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.”…..I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. 5 Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria;……Make your praises heard, and say, ‘Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ 8 See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth…….‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ 11 For the Lord will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;…..18 “I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning: ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined….Restore me, and I will return, because you are the Lord my God…..Return, Virgin Israel, return to your towns…..23 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain.’ 24 People will live together in Judah and all its towns—farmers and those who move about with their flocks. 25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”…….27 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will plant the kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the offspring of people and of animals. 28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the Lord……31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah……..38 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah. 40 The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the Lord. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.”
Exodus 5 “Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’”
Exodus 7 “Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.”
So from the time of Israel’s existence, the rest of the nations were not God’s people.
This is why Paul said that ALL who sinned outside the law would be judged. This is why ALL Gentiles are not God’s people under the old covenant.
Romans 2 “12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law”
In the law, the Israelites were God’s people but the gentiles were not god’s people because they were not under the law.
Paul quotes Isaiah about Assyria’s war against northern kingdom and then their return as a small remnant. That would happen speedily when Israel would be restored back to their LAND after the exile.
27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:
“Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
only the remnant will be saved.
28 For the Lord will carry out
his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”[k]
29 It is just as Isaiah said previously:
“Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.”[l]
Isaiah 10 ”
21 A remnant will return,[b] a remnant of Jacob
will return to the Mighty God.
22 Though your people be like the sand by the sea, Israel,
only a remnant will return.
Destruction has been decreed,
overwhelming and righteous.
23 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, will carry out
the destruction decreed upon the whole land.
24 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:
“My people who live in Zion,
do not be afraid of the Assyrians,
who beat you with a rod
and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did.
25 Very soon my anger against you will end
and my wrath will be directed to their destruction.”
The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Your country is desolate,
your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners
right before you,
laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
8 Daughter Zion is left
like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a cucumber field,
like a city under siege.
9 Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us some SURVIVORS,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.
It was always a small remnant of Israelites who were saved. This opposes the language of Revelation 7 where a GREAT multitude are saved from the nations! Therefore the Israelites ARE NOT the Gentiles!
So then he makes the point that God only chose a small remnant by election from Israel but the vast number of Gentiles were saved – even those pagans who never knew the law or even wanted it but received righteousness.
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
The vast number of gentile nations did not want to join Israel and the Gentiles did not pursue righteousness through the law but God gave it to them
But Israel who pursued righteousness by the law FAILED because they tried it by works.
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[f]
This confirms that after the cross when Jesus culminated the law of Israel, there is no more Jew or Gentile and that EVERYONE who believes in Christ can be saved.
Romans 11 shows why only the remnant of Israel was chosen by grace so that Gentiles could be saved…to then make the rest of Israel jealous. So then it is clear that the Gentiles were not the lost tribes. Not at all. But they were the people who never even pursued the law at any time in their lives.
I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.
<<PAUL SAID that God’s people are the 12 Tribes of Israel. Therefore the Gentiles are NOT the 12 tribes of Israel.>>
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way[e] all Israel will be saved.
Israel (12 tribes) were partially hardened until the full number of pagans were saved and then the remaining number of Israelites (12 tribes) were saved by AD70.