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When we learn the truth of how the name 'Israel' came about, it starts to become clear. As we know, the name Israel was first given to Jacob (Genesis 32:28). Jacob's original name meant 'deceiver'. But his new name 'Israel' means someone who 'prevails' or overcomes. So wait a minute! Jacob goes from 'deceiver' (sinner) to someone who overcomes with God. Does that not sound like EVERYONE who are saved through Christ? So you can see God's plan here for mankind. And this applies to every single person, not just Jews of the flesh.

Now think about this - was Jacob called Israel because he was born of a Hebrew? No. Jacob was not called Israel until later in his life. The name Israel was first given to Jacob when he tussled with the angel of the Lord. When Jacob saw his helpless condition, he clung onto the Lord with all he had and would not let go. Through this Jacob overcome his sin and was given the name Israel.

This means that no person is an Israelite in the true sense of the word just because he is born of Hebrew ancestors. It applies to all who overcome through Christ.

The name Israel did not come from Jacob's ancestors, but from God Himself. Therefore you cannot be a true Israelite just simply through the flesh. The name is given to those by God Himself who become true children of our heavenly Father. Natural birth, physical form and national language have nothing to do with the name Israel and Jew. It is all to do with heart conversion.

Galatians 3:29.

From where was Abraham, the 'father' of Israel taken? From among the heathen (Gentiles). The same as us all, and we become part of Israel through Christ.

Romans 2:29 Philippians 3:3 Romans 9:6-8

So what does the statement - " they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" mean? Clearly, there are TWO Israels. The one is by birth, of flesh, which points to the Jewish nation, and which as we can see above does NOTHING for you. The other is through RE-birth in the Spirit, which points to ANYONE who has been born again in Christ. LOOK:

Galatians 3:28-29. 1Corinthians 12:13.

So there are two uses for the name Israel. One is to identify the Hebrew nation of the flesh. And the other to identify God's true people by faith in Christ, no matter where they descended from. And the prophecies regarding the demise of Israel, as we read further above, point to the literal nation of Israel. But the prophecies which relate to the 'restoring' of Israel in the end times, point to the TRUE 'spiritual' Israel - ALL who have surrendered their lives to Christ and walk in the Spirit. And Peter spoke of this:

1 Peter 2:5, 9-10

Going back to Jacob, let us consider the following. God also applies the SPIRITUAL name of Israel to Jacob's descendants.

Exodus 4:22-23.

Now who is God asking Pharaoh to let go? Not Jacob himself, because he was dead at this point. God was speaking about all His ppeople.So God is applying the name "Israel" to ALL HIS PEOPLE.

Now take a look at the following interesting application of the name Israel.

Hosea 11:1

Who was God talking about here? Was it the literal nation of Israel? Well, Israel had by now fallen in and out of apostasy many times, so was God talking about someone else?

Matthew 2:13-14

King Herod wanted Jesus killed and so God gave word to Joseph to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt. So was God talking about Jesus (as Israel) in Hosea? Well, look at this next verse.

Matthew 2:15

Do you see this amazing truth? Matthew is quoting directly from Hosea, saying that the "Israel" spoken of in Hosea was Christ Jesus! So do you see the SPIRITUAL application of the name Israel?

Galatians 3:16

Remember in the Old Testament that the Israelites were called God's "chosen people", " a kingdom of priests, a holy nation"?

Exodus 19:6

But this statement is now applied to all Christians.

1 Peter 2:9-10.

If you, like many others think that Peter is talking to the Jews, then take another look. Peter says these people were "in times past, not a people, but now called out of darkness and into His marvelous light". There is only one group of people this could be ... THE GENTILES CONVERTS who are now Christians!

Friend, this is the amazing Bible truth about Israel. If you remember in Galatians 3:16, Paul stated that Christ was now the seed of Abraham, and says that ANYONE who is in Christ is also Abraham's seed. In other words, ANYONE, whether Jew or Gentiles will be called Israel! And as Paul confirms in Roman's above, ANYONE can be a Jew (called Israel) if they are circumcised in the heart and are in Christ Jesus.