By Pastor Alan Campbell
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that ye should show forth the praises of him, who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light” I Peter 2:9.
THE VAST BULK of organized Christendom today teach that this verse refers to the Church, the mystical Body of Christ, and yet a closer examination of the text will show that this is not the case.
Peter began his epistle with the words “to the strangers scattered throughout Asia. ”
The Greek word for stranger means a sojourner or a temporary resident. It is the same word used by Paul in Ephesians 2:19 where it is translated as foreigner. In verse nine which we are considering Peter uses the pronoun ‘ye’ which is emphatic in the Greek and therefore he is implying that the people he is addressing in his letter are distinct from those amongst whom they live. So a picture is building up not of a multi-racial Christian Church, but of a chosen generation (better translated as race) who were only temporary dwellers in their present location, strangers or foreigners living among people who were not of the same ethnic background.
DID SUCH A GROUP OF PEOPLE EXIST?
The answer is a resounding YES, for if we turn to the gospel of John we find that the Lord when disputing with the Jews said:
” Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me, and where l am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves whither will he go, that we shall not find him? Will he go, unto the dispersed amongst the Greeks and teach the Gentiles?” (Ethnos – nations or tribes of Gentilized Israel) John 7:34-35
Those “dispersed amongst the Greeks ” are the same people to whom Peter wrote, they were the Diaspora, the scattered sheep of the House of Israel, who went into Assyrian captivity between 745 and 676 B.C. never to return to Palestine. It was to these people that our Lord sent his disciples saying:
“But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of lsrael” Matthew 10:6 and those sheep were our Ancestors.
FURTHER EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY
Further on in his epistle Peter addressing these same people says: “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. ” I Peter 2: 10
These words immediately take us back to the warnings given by Hosea the prophet to the House of Israel, prior to their deportation from Old Canaan Land:
“For 1 will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, but 1 will utterly take them away. ”
“… Then said God call his narne Loammi for ye are NOT MY PEOPLE and I will not be, your God. ” Hosea 1:6 & 9
Yet God promised: “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea which cannot be measured or numbered; and it shall come to pass 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”. Hosea 1: 10
These words cannot be used to describe the Jews who at the most number some 15 rnillion in our world today. They are spoken regarding the so called lost Tribes of Israel, found today in this great nation of America and throughout the Anglo-Saxon world.
They migrated under a variety of names across Europe, into Scandinavia, Holland and the British Isles, ultimately moving ever westward to the North Arnerican Continent.
A DIRECT QUOTATION
One final piece of evidence needs to be supplied to demonstrate the identity of the people to whom Peter wrote. The verse under consideration is in fact a direct quotation of the words spoken by God to Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai, concerning not a church but national Israel:
“Ye have seen what 1 did unto the Egyptians and how 1 bare you on eagles wings and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto me A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS AND AN HOLY NATION’. Exodus 19:4-6
These “chosen people” are in our earth today, the House of Joseph is yet alive. Safely regathered in the appointed places of prophecy they are even now being built up as living stones, chips of the Israel block, upon the one sure foundation, even Jesus Christ our King, the chief cornerstone; and says Peter “He that believeth on him shall not be confounded” I Peter 2:6