DID HOSEA 1:10 AND HOSEA 2:23 PREDICT THE BODY OF CHRIST?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Read Romans chapter 9: “ What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,  Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?  As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.  And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” (Note: “Osee” is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew “Hosea.”)
The “Jews and Gentiles” in verse 24 are certainly the Body of Christ. You can check Ephesians 2:11-22, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Galatians 3:28, and Colossians 3:11. Believing Jews and Gentiles being joined in one body, the Body of Christ, was unknown prior to the Apostle Paul. Gentiles not being required to convert to Judaism or bless Israel to fellowship with her God, was also unheard of prior to Paul. (More on this shortly.)
Some argue that Paul, by quoting Hosea twice, was really trying to say that Hosea knew about the Church the Body of Christ. While it is true that Romans 9:25 cites Hosea 2:23, and Romans 9:26 quotes Hosea 1:10, this is not to imply that Hosea was aware of the Body of Christ. If words mean anything, the Body of Christ was not revealed to man until God revealed it to and through the Apostle Paul.
Ephesians chapter 3: “ For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:….”
Until the Lord revealed it to Paul, the Body of Christ was “a mystery hid in God” (verse 9). This “fellowship”—or group of saints—was certainly not known to any Old Testament prophet (including Hosea). Yet, when Paul twice quotes Hosea in Romans, people needlessly stumble. Do not look for the Body of Christ in Hosea, friend!! All will be clear if we keep Ephesians chapter 3 in mind. Looking at the whole of Romans chapters 9–11, we see Israel’s past, present, and future statuses. She fell politically with the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities (which Hosea warned about). She fell spiritually with the stoning of Stephen in Acts chapter 7. That spiritual fall opened our Dispensation of Grace, which Paul lays out in Romans 11:11-14. Through Israel’s spiritual fall, salvation is come unto the Gentiles. Paul is thus “the apostle of [God’s spokesman sent to] the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13).
Notice how Romans chapter 9 resumes: “ As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.  And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.”
Again, yes, verses 23-24 speak of the Body of Christ, but verses 25-26 cannot be the Body of Christ because that would contradict what we just read in Ephesians chapter 3. Hosea did not speak of the Body of Christ because he did not know about it. He was certainly not speaking of Gentiles being saved in the Body either. Verse 25 does not point to verses 23-24 but back to earlier statements in the chapter. The context is Israel (see verses 1-19). Israel’s restoration is what Hosea saw. No Gentile salvation is in view. No Body of Christ salvation is in view. With Israel entering the captivity, she became “not my people” (read Hosea chapter 1). Hosea chapters 1 and 2 spoke of a day when Israel would become God’s people again. That will occur after our Dispensation, with the Second Coming of Christ (see Romans 9:25-29 and all of Romans chapter 11).
Just so we understand, see verses 27-28 of Romans chapter 9 now: “ Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:  For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” This quotes Isaiah 10:22-23, and notice that it is about “Israel… Israel” (Romans 9:27). It is this believing Jewish remnant that will become God’s people, the new Israel. The old Israel (abounding with apostates) has been wiped away. Be sure to note that the Body of Christ is not in view at all in Romans 9:25-29.
» Did Hosea 6:2 predict the Dispensation of Grace?
» Why did Jesus Christ stand in Acts 7:55-56?
» Is Israel “cast away,” or not? Has Israel “fallen,” or not?