What are the implications for the Israel Only (IO) movement if IO proponents admit that non-Israelites became part of Israel? What if it’s admitted that non-Israelites (likely or definitely) became part of the body of Christ during the first century? It appears that this admission was made in a video that Jason DeCosta produced in September 2018. Starting at the 11:35 mark of this video (until the end – the 20:34 mark), Jason explained why he’s very much open to the idea that strangers and foreigners (i.e. those who were not physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) “became Israel,” just as long as they did so prior to AD 70. In fact, he gave some Scriptural evidence for why this was apparently the case, noting that “Covenant Only” may be more correct than “Israel Only.”
My understanding of the Israel Only movement is that there are two key points which the proponents of this view push on others day and night:  Only Israelites were given access to the kingdom of God, the New Jerusalem, and salvation in Christ.  Life in Christ ended in AD 70, at least on this planet (we’re left with a vague notion that it may continue off-planet for elect ancient Israelites).
The last nine minutes of this audio seem to just about dismiss point #1, leaving the movement only one leg to try to stand on if this viewpoint is generally accepted within the IO movement. This admission may also dismiss the common IO argument that only those who were under the old covenant were ever invited into the new covenant, ever redeemed by Christ, etc. In this audio, Jason seems to acknowledge that some people who were never under the law or the old covenant (and who did not physically descend from those who were at some point under the law or the old covenant) were likely added to the body of Christ between AD 30 and AD 70. Below is a transcript of the last nine minutes of this audio.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCBtHnxj-Mc (September 15, 2018)
TRANSCRIPT (11:35 – 20:34)
This guy was trying to make the argument that I say that it was only literal, bloodline descendants of Israel that were saved. Alright, and for those of you who know me and who have followed me, you know that I have always maintained that I’m still 50/50 on it. I still am kind of torn on whether it was bloodline or whether it was just covenant only. Because this is what people forget – if a foreigner joined Israel, they literally became Israel in the Old Testament, in the old covenant. It didn’t matter where they were from. If they joined Israel and they were circumcised, they became Israel. I think people forget that. They think of these people as still true foreigners, yet the foreigner actually became as native born. OK?
And I’ll read a passage from Ezekiel 47 to you, which kind of proves this. Ezekiel 47:21-23 says this, “Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves, according to the tribes of Israel. It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves and for the strangers that dwell among you and who bear children among you. They – the strangers and children – shall be to you as native born among the children of Israel. They shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give to him his inheritance, says the Lord God.”
So you can see that if a stranger joined themselves to Israel under the covenant requirements, ok, circumcision, whatever it be, they became as native born among the children of Israel. OK? So what this gentleman is trying to say is that I make the mistake by saying that it was only bloodline descendants, but I’ve never actually said that. You can’t find me saying that one time in over 100 videos that I’ve produced – not once. So I see that there is a possibility that these native ones who became Israel were indeed part of the promise.
So when Paul says in Romans 11 that all Israel was saved, that still doesn’t affect my point because these foreigners would be as native born among the children of Israel. They would be Israelites. Israel was a covenant name. OK? And it included literal descendants of Israel and it also included the foreigners who joined themselves to Israel. So the fact that all Israel was saved could very well include those foreigners who became Israel by way of joining. OK? So that doesn’t really affect my position one way or the other. There are passages that make me think that, yes, these ones who did join to them would partake of the promise because they were as native born. They were as a descendant of Israel. They would have looked back at Abraham as their father once they joined as he was the starting point of the promise, he was the starting point of the circumcision, and so on and so forth. I do see that that is a possibility.
And I don’t think that there’s enough proof in the Bible – I don’t see anything in the text – that would really sway me to believe that it was exclusively for blood descendants of Abraham. And I do see some passages, like I just showed you in Ezekiel 47 and other places, that seem to suggest that the stranger who became Israel would have an inheritance amongst the tribes. So, and of course they would be under the law, which, you know, Jesus came for those under the law, so it kind of makes sense that they would, you know, have an inheritance and be able to partake of that. But, you know, I’m undecided on it.
But, again, what I’m trying to get these people to understand is that all of these things are totally irrelevant. It’s fun to talk about them, you know. It’s fun to try to figure them out and get to the bottom of them, for clarity’s sake. But in terms of the continuance of the story, and the thing that these guys hate is the border-patrol, Donald Trump arguments. And, again, these people just don’t get it. You know, someone was telling me that they’re going to just stick to the border controls and just hammer that home to these wannabes because they’re doing anything and everything they can to divert away from that. They don’t want to admit that the borders are up. OK?
If all Israel was saved by the coming of the Lord, and that included the fullness of the Gentiles, the ones in the nations, then that means a couple things very, very clearly. Number one, there are no Gentiles being saved today. And number two, nobody is an Israelite today – spiritually, physically, whatever it is. And I mean that in the salvific way. Nobody is being saved and converted into some mystical, spiritual Israelite today, because all Israel was saved by the coming of the Lord and I just showed you in I Corinthians 15 that those who were Christ’s were delivered to God at the coming of the Lord. So, unless Jesus lied and that coming is still in our future, then nobody can be Christ’s today. OK? So the border patrols are up and all of these fine details are completely irrelevant to the main points here.
So again I’ll repeat, and I have said this many times, I… And I know Mike Bradley is a covenant only guy, which means that he’s more on the lines of thinking that the foreigners could partake of the promise because they became Israel – they were under the covenant. And I kind of like that idea. It makes a lot of sense to me, but I’m not going to jump on either side completely just yet. I feel like I could be more sure, one way or the other. So that’s why I don’t like to fully commit to either one – whether it be covenant only, as in anybody who was Israel, both literal descendant and foreigner, or whether it be exclusive to the blood descendants of Abraham. So I’m not fully settled on it yet, but there are passages to suggest that a covenant only understanding is proper, like the one I just showed you in Ezekiel 47.
So anyway I just wanted to get that off my chest, and I wanted to bring your attention to I Corinthians 15, where it’s very clear that the order was Christ the firstfruits, and then those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when the kingdom is delivered to God. OK? So you can’t be Christ’s if all those who were Christ’s were raised at His coming because His coming took place 2000 years ago. Alright? And that matches Matthew 24:14, which says that the gospel would be preached to all the nations and then the end – that same end – would come. OK? So the gospel was linked to those who were Christ’s, and the gospel ended at the coming and so did those who were Christ’s. Do you see how that works? I hope so.
Anyway, I think that’s where I’m going to leave it today. I have some stuff I need to get done. This one’s short and sweet. I hope it made some sense of I Corinthians 15. That’s just another one to add to the border patrol arguments – very, very clear and no way around it. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Take care, everybody. We’ll be back another place, another time, another day, and another rhyme.