For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. In Paul’s mind there is no controversy as to the identity of the Israel of God. Only those Jews and Gentiles who are new creatures in Christ are the Israel of God. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Only those Jews and Gentiles born of the Spirit of God are new creatures in Christ Jesus who now have the power, right and authority to worship and serve the true God. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The Israel of God is spiritual, not carnal. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Only those who are the promised elect according to the merciful sovereign eternal will of God are considered true Israel. They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. The Kingdom of God is spiritual, not carnal. And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Therefore, the Israel of God is the Kingdom of God since both encompass the same spiritual people. It has always been God’s plan to graft Gentiles into Jesus Christ, the olive tree and true vine that they, too, would be included in the Kingdom of God. 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. James explains the prophecy of Amos 9:11-12 (as well as those of several other prophets, including Ezekiel) as being fulfilled in the calling of the Gentiles: And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Paul elaborates the mystery of God’s calling the Gentiles into the household of God (Ephesians 2) whereby He no longer distinguishes Jew from Gentile. In Christ they are one new man, one body: Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Furthermore, Paul explains that the literal Jewish OT Temple was a type of its antitype: the spiritual NT Temple of God comprised of both Jewish and Gentile believers in whom God dwells: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. The truth of the Israel of God is not difficult to discern as it is explained by many pertinent examples throughout the New Testament, having been prophesied beforehand in the Old Testament. And is it not ironic that most of the explaining is done by an ex-Pharisee who had every right to glory in his flesh?