"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 22, 2012

ISRAELOLOGY – Why Israel Matters To the Biblical Christian - Part Two

~ ~ By James Fire

The Promises and Covenants with Israel Have Been Broken? 

There are those that believe that since Israel has rejected their Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ that the promises of God to build them an everlasting kingdom where Jesus, the Son of David, would rule from His father’s (David) throne have been done away with. Jesus was crucified, being rejected by Israel’s ruling authorities, and so these people believe that the promises once given to Israel have been given now to the church.

This is called Replacement Theology and is unbiblical (we will see why this is so in the following second half of this two-part article)! To help us address this issue (and some others) we now want to watch this video on Paul Wilkinson at The BEREAN CALL Conference regarding these issues: Christian Palestinianism in 2011 (1 hr. 06 mins.) as well as this video: Pre-Trib Conference #14 - Paul Wilkinson - Israel Betrayed: Christian Palestinianism’s Crusade Against Premillennial Truth in 2015 (1 hr 18 min).

God’s Promise Delayed, NOT Deleted!

After the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He meets with His disciples in the first chapter of Acts where they ask the LORD about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel:

ACTS 1:6–7
6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

By now the LORD Jesus had already established His church (which He spoke about previously in MATT 16:18
) and yet here we have the disciples asking about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.

Note what the LORD Jesus did NOT say
“Do you not yet understand that since Israel has rejected her King, that God no longer will give them the kingdom?”

He simply said that the time for that event is in the Father’s keeping, to be revealed later on, but not now – now is the time to wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Holy Spirit so that the disciples will have success in preaching the Gospel and being witnesses all around the world and those that believe would become disciples of Christ themselves and members of the church!

The time of Israel’s kingdom and greatest glory in the LORD was delayed but not at all deleted: God will ALWAYS keep His promises!

Now let’s turn to another chapter in ACTS 15

The Council of Jerusalem

There were some disagreements among Jewish members of the church regarding the Gentile believers; many Jews, especially Pharisees that became disciples of Jesus Christ, believed it was proper for Gentile followers of Christ should be circumcised and to follow the Law of Moses (ACTS 15:1,5).

It was determined that it was not at all necessary for the Gentiles to be circumcised or to follow the Law of Moses, for this did not provide salvation nor was it a burden that even the Jews could bear, but Jews now can get saved just the same way as the Gentiles (ACTS 15:7-11) – but then if such things were unnecessary, then what would be the need for Israel to remain as a nation?

Was there yet a future for Israel now that the church had been established?

Toward the end of the Counsel, the elder of Jerusalem, James (the half brother of Jesus the Christ) stood up and made a statement:

ACTS 15:13–17
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Simeon (Peter) 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.

James quoted from the book of Amos which says the following:

AMOS 9:11–12,14-15
11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

Elder James understood that “the tabernacle of David” would be raised back up and built “as in the days of old” but that this would occur once God visited the Gentiles “to take out of them a people for His Name” – which is the church!

Once the church is completed then, the LORD God will turn His attention once again to Israel and rebuild that nation and restore the kingdom as in the days of David.

In Paul’s epistle to the Romans he takes three chapters (9, 10 & 11) to explain why God is not yet finished with Israel. In chapter 11 he says the following:

ROMANS 11:1-5
1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Do ye not know what the scripture saith of Elijah? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Here Paul the apostle presents the biblical concept of a remnant; that is, of all of a particular body of people (whether of Israel or the church) there is a remnant that has not fallen from the faith or apostatized.

Just as God informed Elijah of the fact that while the prophet thought he was alone, there were in fact, seven thousand others that “have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal”.

Dr. Scofield comments:

Our Library Commentaries – Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)

1I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

“Cast” - That Israel has not been forever set aside is the theme of this chapter.

(1) The salvation of Paul proves that there is still a remnant (ROMANS 11:1)
(2) The doctrine of the remnant proves it (ROMANS 11:2-6).
(3) The present national unbelief was foreseen (ROMANS 11:7-10).
(4) Israel's unbelief is the Gentile opportunity (ROMANS 11:11-25).
(5) Israel is judicially broken off from the good olive tree, Christ (ROMANS 11:17-22).
(6) They are to be grafted in again (ROMANS 11:23-24).
(7) The promised Deliverer will come out of Zion and the nation will be saved (ROMANS 11:25-29).

That the Christian now inherits the distinctive Jewish promises is not taught in Scripture. The Christian is of the heavenly seed of Abraham: GEN 15:5-6; GAL 3:29 and partakes of the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant; (See Scofield "Genesis 15:18") but Israel as a nation always has it own place, and is yet to have its greatest exaltation as the earthly people of God.

See "Israel" GEN 12:2; ROM 11:26.
"Kingdom"; GEN 1:26-28; ZECH 
11:5; 12:8

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

“Remnant” Summary:

In the history of Israel, a "remnant" may be discerned, a spiritual Israel within the national Israel. In Elijah's time 7,000 had not bowed the knee to Baal (ISAIAH 1:9). In Isaiah's time it was the "very small remnant" for whose sake God still forbore to destroy the nation (
ISAIAH 1:9).

During the captivities the remnant appears in Jews like Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Esther, and Mordecai. At the end of the 70 years of Babylonian captivity it was the remnant which returned under Ezra and Nehemiah. At the advent of our Lord, John the Baptist, Simeon, Anna, and "them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (LUKE 2:38) were the remnant. During the church-age the remnant is composed of believing Jews (ROM 11:4-5).

But the chief interest in the remnant is prophetic. During the great tribulation a remnant out of all Israel will turn to Jesus as Messiah, and will become His witnesses after the removal of the church (REV 7:3-8). Some of these will undergo martyrdom (REV 6:9-11) some will be spared to enter the millennial kingdom (ZECH 12:6-13:9).

Many of the Psalms express, prophetically, the joys and sorrows of the tribulation remnant. Remnant. See ISAIAH 1:9 
(completion of commentary by Dr. Scofield).

Of course today in the nation of Israel there are very few of “spiritual Israel” (remnant) and these are Jews found in the church, but nevertheless, nationally speaking belong to that nation (just as any Christian might belong to the nation of Italy, Brazil, or China, etc).

Most Jews today are atheist, agnostic, or just secular; others partake of Eastern religions or New Age beliefs. Yet just as it was stated in Ezekiel’s “dry bones” prophecy (EZEK 37:1-14) these would first be brought together bodily, having their “bones and sinews” and “skin” established, meaning the actual national Israel being brought back into the land, but without the Spirit of God.

Yet once assembled nationally, on the day appointed by God, His Spirit will come upon them, and bring them to spiritual life!

EZEKIEL 37:11-14
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

And again in 

ROMANS 11:25-27
25 For I would not, brethren that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

National Israel right now cannot see by faith that Jesus is truly their Messiah; they are blind to this truth, but not forever, says Paul the apostle! The blindness will only last UNTIL the “fullness of the Gentiles” has arrived.

What is this ‘fullness of the Gentiles”? It’s what was spoken of earlier in the Book of Acts – That God will call out of all the Gentile nations “a people for His name”: this is the church of Jesus Christ, and once the church is completed (and only God knows when this will occur) then the church will be taken home by the rapture of the church.

Once this “fullness of the Gentiles” is completed, then and only then will the blindness of Israel will lift away and they will call upon the Name of the LORD and repent of their rejection of Jesus their Messiah and pray that He return to them, and so He will as indicated in the book of Hosea.

The REAL Return of the King!

HOSEA 5:15
15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

Who is speaking here in this verse? You have to trace back to chapter 4:1 before you learn clearly that the speaker here is “the LORD”. In chapter 5 it states that the LORD will return to His place – which would be heaven, right? Well, when did the LORD return to heaven? To return, that means He would have to have LEFT heaven – so when did He do that?

This is of course, speaking of the LORD, Jesus Christ – God the Son! He left heaven to become a babe in a manger in Bethlehem, He grew up to be a man and declared Himself to be the Messiah, He was crucified, buried and then raised from the dead and later He ascended and “returned to His place”.

For how long will He remain at His place in heaven? According to Hosea, it will be “UNTIL they (Israel) acknowledge their offense” (this is in the singular form, that is one specific offense) which I believe is their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah – once they repent of this sin and seek His face, THEN the KING will return to Earth, and to Israel. And as we just saw:

ROMANS 11:26
26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

First Abrahamic, then Davidic, Now a New Covenant!

JEREMIAH 31:31–37
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. 35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: 36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.  37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

This new covenant is the spiritual fulfillment of the covenants that the LORD God made with Abraham and with David, that just as the LORD gave a land and a progeny to Abraham and a kingdom to David as well as a continuation of that progeny – the very family line of the Messiah Himself, He will now by promise (not by the covenant that He made with their fathers, which they broke, that is to say the Mosaic covenant and the Law) bring about this new covenant in which the LORD will inscribe His Law in the hearts of Israel’s people; note this is an inward work of the Spirit, not an outward work done by overt obedience to the Law. This inward work will instill an innate “knowledge of the LORD” which all Israel at that day shall possess! Please note how binding this promise towards Israel is!

The LORD has stated that if the ordinances of the sun for light by day and that of the moon and stars for light by night depart from before the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall cease from being a nation! He further states that if the heavens and the foundations of the earth can be “searched out” then He would cast off the seed of Israel.

Both of these propositions are impossible for human beings, not to mention Israel herself. It’s God’s way of declaring unilaterally that His promises will remain intact!

Also see:

EZEKIEL 36:24–28
24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 
28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (JOHN 3:3-5; “born again” according to Jesus)

Here the LORD God states that He will not only place His Law and knowledge of Him within the hearts of His people, but also His very Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the believer is the condition of the church – we who are born again by Jesus Christ, through faith in Him. We are the “temple of the Holy Spirit” as stated in 
1 COR 6:19-20 (see also 2 COR 6:16; EPH 2: 20-22).

Yet on that blessed Day when Israel is saved, she also will enjoy the presence of the Living God indwelling them, whereas before the Old Testament saints would only have the Spirit of God come upon them, but not indwell them (which is why David could legitimately pray, “Take not Thy spirit from me” (PSALM 51:11) which happened to Saul, his predecessor.

Again, note God’s promise that the Jewish people would dwell in the land, which belongs to the LORD GOD alone, and only HE has the right to give it to whom He will, and through the Word of God, He has made His declaration!

JEREMIAH 32:37-42
37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear (reverence) in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. 41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. 42 For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.

Observe the passion and the conviction with which God makes this declaration!

“I will plant them in this land assuredly WITH MY WHOLE HEART AND WITH MY WHOLE SOUL”!
One gets the impression that God is serious about establishing Israel in the land and that He says what he means and means what He has said in His WORD!

Other verses that speak on God’s faithful promise to bring Israel back to the land which belongs to God Himself, a territory He specifically marked out as His very own special land:

ISAIAH 11:11-12; JEREMIAH 16:15; 23:3-8; EZEKIEL 11:14-20; 36th and 37th chapters; JOEL 3:1-2;18-21; AMOS 9:11- 15; ZEPH 3:14-20; ZECH 10:10-12

For an excellent 3 min 40 sec video on this, here is:

Eye to Eye - Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel

So why does Israel matter to the biblical Christian?

For whatsoever things were written aforetime
[Old Testament] were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

As the church, we see how God dealt with Israel with mercy, kindness, grace, long suffering and patience even though they were a rebellious people prone to sin and idolatry, forsaking the LORD only to be drawn back by Him. We can take comfort by these OT lessons and understand that if the LORD God is that faithful to Israel, He will also be faithful to us, entirely trustworthy and a GOD of HIS WORD that can be completely depended upon by faith and be relied upon for all His promises to us, His children!

Notes from Dr. Scofield’s Study Bible On ROMANS 11:26:

Summary: Israel (the nation), so named from the grandson of Abraham (a.k.a. Jacob), was chosen for a fourfold mission:

(1) To witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry: 
DEUT 6:4; ISAIAH 43:10-12.
(2) To illustrate to the nations the blessedness of serving the true God: DEUT 33:26-29; 1 CHRON 17:20-21; PSALM 144:15.
(3) To receive, preserve, and transmit the Scripture: DEUT 4:5-8; ROMANS 3:1-2.
(4) To produce, as to His humanity, the Messiah: GEN 3:15; 12:3; 22:18; 28:10-14; 49:10; 2 SAM 7:12-16; ISAIAH 7:14; 9:6; MATT 1:1; ROM 1:3. According to the prophets, Israel, re-gathered from all nations, restored to her own land and converted, is yet to have her greatest earthly exaltation and glory.

May the LORD GOD bless always and forever the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with salvation, in the LORD Jesus Christ, Y'shua ha Meschiach-Nagid!

PSALM 125:1-2
1 They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. 2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

UPDATE 11/25/2023

No comments: