Who is Israel?
The parables of Isaiah 5 and Matthew 21 show us that God is a farmer who wants to produce good fruit, generally referred to as "grapes." We know, however, that this is symbolic, rather than literal. The Old Testament knows it as the fruits of the Kingdom, because God's vineyard was the Kingdom of God. Isaiah 27:6 says,
6 In the days to come, Jacob will take root; Israel will blossom and sprout; and they will fill the whole world with fruit.
That is the promise, and those who believe the Bible do not question this fact. But many differ on HOW this will be accomplished, and through whom. Who will actually bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom that God desires?
When Israel failed to bring forth these fruits in the Old Testament, it was because they worshipped false gods and cast aside His law. The prophets speak of this constantly. So God judged them by casting them out of the land and stripping them of the birthright name, "Israel." He raised up the Assyrians from 745-721 B.C. to conquer Israel and deport the Israelites to Halah, Habor, by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" (2 Kings 17:6). This was the area around the southern half of the Caspian Sea.
Israel became "Not My People" (Hosea 1:9). God divorced them (Jer. 3:8; Hosea 2:1). He even said He would call His servants by "another name" (Isaiah 65:15), which, for many centuries, made it difficult to identify the "lost tribes of Israel." The Jewish Encyclopedia makes no attempt to tell us that these lost Israelites are to be found in today's Jews. It says,
"As a large number of prophecies relate to the return of 'Israel' to the Holy Land, believers in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures have always labored under a difficulty in regard to the continued existence of the tribes off Israel, with the exception of those of Judah and Levi (or Benjamin), which returned with Ezra and Nehemiah. If the Ten Tribes have disappeared, the literal fulfillment of the prophecies would be impossible; if they have not disappeared, obviously they must exist under a different name."
Yes, they do exist under a different name, and it is NOT the name "Jew." Official records of ancient Assyria, Persia, and Greece tell us that they called Israel by various names: Ghomri (Gomer), Khumree, Sakka (Saxons), Getae ("captives"), and so on. Thus, they lost their name "Israel."
Years later, wars pushed most of these people west and north into Europe. Since many of them crossed the Caucasus Mountains on their way into Europe, they became known as "Caucasians."
Although archeology has now proven where they went and who they are today, this does not negate the fact that they were cast out and were no longer God's people and no longer "chosen" as such. At best, we can say that they were EX-Israelites of the dispersion.
So the question is this: How does a person become an Israelite? How does an ex-Israelite of the dispersion become an Israelite again? And how does anyone else--Jew, Greek, Roman, whoever--become an Israelite?
It is a legal question, not a genealogical one, because it is a matter of citizenship in God's Kingdom. One's genealogy was of no help in Isaiah's day--God cast them out in spite of their genealogy. And today, one's genealogy can only trace one's family back to the people whom God divorced and cast out for violating His covenant. As a legal defense, one's genealogy is relatively useless.
The same would apply to the ex-Judahites of the dispersion in 70 A.D. They did worse than the Israelites. Jeremiah 3:8-11 says that hypocritical Judah was worse than the blatant harlot of Israel.
For this reason, God forsook Jerusalem like He had previously forsook Shiloh. Shiloh had been a town in Ephraim; Jerusalem was in Judah. He therefore forsook BOTH Israel and Judah equally. See Psalm 78:60 and Jer. 7:12-15. Verse 15 says to Jerusalem, "And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim."
So again, we need to know how to become one of God's "chosen" once again. As we will see, the answer is closely tied to the concept of the Debt Note. The Debt Note is the legal "paperwork" by which God CHOOSES certain nations to be given the authority to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom. And, of course, the final question is this: Of all the successive nations that God chose throughout history to give this authority to pay off the Debt Note, WHO WILL ACTUALLY DO IT? That is the key to understanding the concept of "chosenness."