The earthly and temporal calling of Israel is manifest throughout the scriptures, for example; “For Jehovah your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey; a land wherein you shall eat bread without scarceness, you shall not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may dig copper; And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless Jehovah your God for the good land which he has given you” (Deuteronomy 8:7-10).
At the very beginning of Israel, Abraham was called to go from where he dwelt, leaving everything behind, “unto a land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). All is material, earthly and temporal, as far as Israel was concerned. God’s promises to Israel are for provision in this world, food, drink, defeat of their enemies, abundance in children, crops and herds. There is no looking beyond this earth and the privileged citizenship that the sons of Israel are to enjoy.
The scriptures for the Church stand in marked contrast, for example;
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling…..” (Hebrews 3:1;
“For our citizenship is in heaven…” (Philippians 3:20)”;
“..an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
As far as life in this world is concerned, the Church is promised difficulties, not blessings:
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19).
For the Jew, the incentive to godliness was earthly blessing, whereas to the one called in Christ, the blessing is “reserved in heaven”.
There are distinctive differences in the practices of worship too; Israel could worship in only one place and then, only at a distance and through the mediation of a priest; the Church worships “wherever two or three are gathered together in His name”, and each believer, as a priest to God, has “the boldness to enter in to the holiest”.
These scriptural observations of the differences between Israel and the Church are fulfilled in their destiny; Israel has been restored to the land, as prophesied, and will have her greatest earthly splendor and glory under the Divine Kingship of their Messiah ruling from David’s throne in Jerusalem; the Church, on the other hand, is to be removed from the earth entirely.
The outcasts of Israel have been assembled and the dispersed of Judah gathered together; finally, “the Lord will have mercy on Jacob and will yet choose Israel and set them in their own land; and the strangers will be joined with them and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob”. (Isaiah 14:1).
The Judaizing of the Church and its misappropriation of God’s promises to Israel, has become a hindrance to its maturity and a perversion of its role, to the extent that it has been destroyed spiritually. Instead of pursuing the appointed path of separation from the world and following the Lord Jesus Christ in its heavenly calling, the Church has used Jewish scriptures to demean its purpose into the christianisation of the world, the acquisition of wealth, the use of an imposing ritual, the erection of magnificent cathedrals and churches that impose burdens on the backs of the faithful, the artificial division of an equal brotherhood of priests into “clergy” and “laity”, and the calling down of God’s blessing on conflicting armies.
Christianity has become just another worldly philosophy and the Church just another voice in the world vainly crying out for recognition and significance; but its voice is not heard. The Church has turned its back upon Christ and offered the world Christianity instead, but life is only to be found in Him, not in philosophies or organisations.
The whole artificial house of cards that is the modern western Church is collapsing under the weight of its own lawlessness and corruption. The Church keeps itself going by the pursuit of changing religious fashions, but it no longer has anything to say to a world which gives a cynical eye to what the Church professes, on the one hand, and what it practices, on the other.