A few Identifying Marks...
It is really important to know the who when reading scripture. There are many times when reading the scripture that people misunderstand who the text is about.
If one knows the law of the kinsman redeemer you know that you can only redeem a close relative. In scriptural times you might have a servant because of a debt. Other than the servant working off his debt only that servant’s close relatives could redeem them.
In the book of Ephesians. Chapter 1:5 talks about Christ “having predestined us to the adoption of children”and in Ephesians 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood”.
Most of Christianity ignores the details. Adoption and redemption are both mentioned here. If one looks at Romans 9:4 you will notice that Paul plainly tells us that the adoption belongs to Israel.
Romans 9:4 “who are Israelites; to whom belong the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the promises;”
There are no exceptions or additions found anywhere else in scripture. It may not have occurred to most that at this point one should conclude that the people in Ephesians 1 are Israelites. There is much to this. Look at Romans 2:14-15.
Romans 2:14 “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;”
The subject people are “Gentiles”. Nations is a better translation and the word does not mean “non-Jew”. Verse 15 says that these people have the “law written in their hearts”.
Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16 say that only Israelites have the law of God written in their hearts.
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Heb 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
These are both quotes from Jeremiah 33. I guarantee that Jeremiah was only talking about Israelites as well. So then when one reads Romans 2:14-15 and finds some “Gentiles” that have the law written on their hearts one should conclude that the “Gentiles” are in fact Israelites.
This is correct when one remembers other scriptures such as the following.
Micah 5:8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
There are many such verses in Ezekiel.
However as the promise of the parable of the Prodigal Son shows, the house of Israel and the house of Judah are reunited under Christ and have become, for the most part Christians.
Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
Ephesians chapter two is full of identifying marks. The chapter is not about Israel and non-Israel reuniting. It can not be as they were never united in the past. It is all about the house of Israel and the house of Judah reuniting under Christ. You can find more. The other sheep fold that Christ mentioned in John 10 was the house of Israel.
John 10:16 And I have other sheep which are not of this fold. I must also lead those, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock, one Shepherd.
This post is an admonition then to you want to add some other people to who is being discussed remember to find scripture to j make sure you read the scriptures for context and understand just who is the subject of any given lesson. Then if ustify it.