God's First Purpose (2)
by Oscar M. Baker
Because of the wide-spread ignorance of God's present purpose in connection with the Heavenly Places, men have gone back to former things of another dispensation. They seek to revive the old things which have passed away. And that is idolatry even as the worship of the brazen serpent 800 years after it had served its purpose in the wilderness. With Israel Low-Ammi (not My people) today, the uncircumcised have stolen their feasts, washings, and the like and set them up as objects of worship.
The above conglomeration is what we call Christendom today.
In the O.T. there were prophets, judges, and kings. When they knew the signs of the times, they knew what to do. So Israel had plenty of instruction. But they wandered far from it at times. And so it is today with the churches.
The spiritual unity of the church today is voiced in Eph. 4:3-6. It is already made. All that needs to be done is to keep it. But men turn their backs on it and try to make all kinds of fleshly unity of their own. But all in vain. There is one unity of the Spirit. Those who keep and hold this unity are the true circumcision, worshiping God in Spirit and Truth having no confidence in the flesh.
Everywhere you go, it seems that most want to start their studies, whether at home or in the church, in Matthew. And there is no truth for today in Matthew. That Gospel is about the King and the kingdom here on earth, the hope of Israel and the promises of the prophets.
Not only do men try to go back to the ordinances of the law of Israel, but they also seek Israel's spiritual gifts, those connected with the kingdom only. At no place in the Word can you find one manifesting spiritual gifts who at the time had a hope of going to heaven some day. They had the hope of the kingdom here on earth. No spiritual gifts in connection with the church which is the body of Christ and which He is the Head.
The good workman rightly divides the Scriptures. He knows the difference between kingdom and church. He knows the difference between Jew and Gentile as they appear in the Word. In the records, the nations are mentioned only as they come into contact with Israel. Otherwise, they are not known to the Scriptures. For example, notice Egypt, Assyria, Moab, Ruth, Rahab, Rome and others who are mentioned.
All people outside of Israel are called Gentiles in the Bible. And these Gentiles make up the 70 nations. But the nation (singular) is Israel. This simple right division can help to avoid many errors.
These nations and Israel are both named before they existed. See Gen. 10:5 and compare with Deut. 32:8. This might be significant, too. Then we discover that in the Bible, history is recorded only when Israel is on the scene.