Why Did Jesus Have to Come?

Introduction

 

The Holy Family With Angels Rembrandt Cir 1645

The Holy Family With Angels Rembrandt Cir 1645

There are three main reasons Jesus Christ, the son of God and the second person of the Trinity, had to come onto the earth as a human being:

  1. Cleanse the sin from the Heavenly Tabernacle of God.
  2. Cleanse the sin from the earth.
  3. Fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant with the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom.

Reason One

The Cherubim have the most prominent role of all the created heavenly beings because:

  • They are the closest to God in His heavenly throne room.
  • They surround God in all His glory.
  • They play a prominent role at God’s command in the Third Heaven, which is outside time and space.

We have seen them in Ezekiel chapter 1, and in Ezekiel chapter 10 they are lifting God’s physical manifestation (the Shekinah Glory) up out of the Temple in Jerusalem. They are also seen in the heavenly Throne Room of God in several passages of the Book of Revelation (Revelation 4:6-9; 6:1,3,5-7). The highest of the Cherubim was called in Hebrew Hallal, and is translated into Latin as “Lucifer” or “Daystar, son of the morning”.

Sin began in heaven with Lucifer when he desired to usurp God’s authority. Due to his rebellion his name was changed to Satan, which is Hebrew for “adversary”. Satan was not created evil. Instead of remaining the special Cherub overshadowing the Throne of God, he now wished to become the one on the Throne, or God Himself. As a result of this behavior, his sin polluted the Heavenly Tabernacle of God. The earthly Tabernacle, and later the Temple in Jerusalem, are important because they were built according to God’s directions, and “serve as a copy and shadow” of His Heavenly Tabernacle here on earth. (Hebrews 8:5). They are also where God resided on the earth in the midst of His chosen people, the Nation Israel.

Tabernacle Cutaway from divinerevleations.info

Tabernacle Cutaway from divinerevleations.info

 

Christ said He saw Satan fall from Heaven (Luke 10:18), and Isaiah says:

Isaiah 14:12-14

12How are you fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, that did lay low the nations! 13And you said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north; 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High (ASV, 1901).

He said, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God”, and whenever the word “stars” is used, it symbolically represents angels. With the second “I will”, he declared his desire to become the sole authority over all the angels that God had created. By so doing, he intended to depose Michael from his position and become the Archangel all by himself (Daniel 10:13). These “I wills” resulted from the pride of Satan that caused him to lead a revolt against God. He also drew one-third of the innumerable angelic host in Heaven into the rebellion with him (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation, 12:3-9). It is presumed that these “fallen angels” became the demons. From that point on there has been a war in Heaven as described in Revelation 12:7-9:

 Angels and Demons or Angel of Light     © George Grie,  March 2008

Revelation 12:7-9

“7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (KJV)

Reason Two

After God created the heavens and the earth as described in Genesis 1:1, Satan indwelled a serpent in the Garden of Eden. In this form he caused our first parents, Adam and Eve, to violate God’s Word, and that brought sin into the world. So there now are essentially two “Falls”: the first was Satan and his angels from Heaven, and second was Adam and Eve on the earth. Now the Heavenly Tabernacle (Reason 1) and the earth (Reason 2) both required cleansing from the sin of Satan and his demonic forces.

Christ’s cleansing of the heavenly Tabernacle that is clearly affirmed in the Epistle to the Hebrews is not developed very much in the rest of the Bible. We have seen that sin, which is alienation from God, did not begin on earth but in Heaven. There was sin in heaven before there was sin on earth. The rebellious demons led by Satan instruct and encourage men to rebel against God. Heaven was still infected by vestiges of that demonic rebellion prior to Christ’s cleansing of it. A particularly difficult aspect for us to understand of that contamination was Satan’s ability to stand before the Almighty as man’s Accuser (Job 1:11; 2:15; Zechariah 3:1; Luke 33:21; 1 Peter 5:8). The Bible assures us that this situation will end. We have our protection in Christ Jesus, the Jewish Messiah from his accusations, and someday he will no longer be able to even make accusations:

Revelation 12:10-11

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (KJV).

Hebrews 9:23-28

23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

When we consider the reasons that the Lord Jesus came to earth, the most important one is for the salvation of this earth and mankind. Because of the sin that our first parents Adam and Eve brought into the world, God said that He would send a redeemer to correct this event. God made a covenant with Adam immediately after the Fall from the Garden of Eden when God declared to Adam what man’s life would be like now that sin is in the world. The conditions of this covenant will exist until the Messianic Kingdom Age (Romans 8:21).

This covenant is unconditional which means there is no appeal, and there are no human conditions or responsibility involved. Mankind has no personal activity requirement, for example, if you do this, then I (God) will do that. The outcome of the arrangement is entirely based on God and His sovereign control. Elements of the covenant are the cursing of the serpent used by Satan (Genesis 3:14; Romans 16:20; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 14; Revelation 12:9), and the promise of a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15).

Because of the two “Falls” (first in in Heaven and then on earth) both locations have received the curse of God. The most significant curse was the “spiritual death” that Adam and Eve experienced “on the day they ate of the fruit.” This death was a break in the relationship they had enjoyed with God Himself while in the Garden and which caused them to be removed from the Garden. Cherubim, with a flame and swords that turned in every direction, was placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden as a testimonial to covenantal restriction of Adam and Eve ever being allowed there again, and to guard the Tree of Life that was within the Garden (Genesis 3:24). Also according to the covenant, God made specific promises to bring the Lord Jesus, who would cleanse the Heavenly Tabernacle and make an end to sin on the earth (Genesis 3:15). Without Jesus’s sacrifice mankind has no access to Heaven upon death.

The fact that the Messiah had to come is well attested to in Scripture which starts with the foundational verse of Genesis 3:15:

Genesis 3:15

15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (KJV).

One unique aspect of the Scriptures is the prophecies and their validated fulfillment at later times throughout the long chronology of the Bible’s story. These alone attest to the Scripture’s validity. Christ, after He was risen, explained many of the prophecies in the Bible and the fact that He had to die in order to accomplish the task He was to sent to do (Luke 24: 25-27). He is called the “Lamb of God” that takes away the sins of the world for a reason (John 1:29). Christ’s first advent is well prophesied in Scripture. Some of those are:

500px-Gethsemane_Carl_Bloch

God Would Provide Himself A Sacrifice.

Introduced in Genesis 22:8 and fulfilled in John 19: 17-18.

He would be born in Bethlehem in the region of Ephrathah.

Introduced in Micah 5: 2 and fulfilled in Matthew 2: 1-5.

He would be the Son of God

Introduced in Psalm 2: 7 and fulfilled in John 3: 16-17.

He would be born into the Hebrew tribe of Judah

Genesis 49: 10 and fulfilled in Hebrews 7: 14.

He would be born of a virgin

Introduced in Isaiah 7: 14 and fulfilled in Matthew 1: 18-22.

He would be a prophet like Moses

Introduced in Deuteronomy 18: 15 and fulfilled in John 7: 15-17.

He would be the king of Israel

Introduced in Zechariah 9: 9 and fulfilled in John 12: 12-15.

He would be rejected

Introduced in Isaiah 53: 3 and fulfilled in John 1: 11.

He would be beaten

Introduced In Micah 5: 1 and fulfilled in Mark 15: 19.

He would be silent during his interrogation

Introduced in Isaiah 53: 7 and fulfilled in Matthew 27: 12-14.

He would be betrayed

Introduced in Psalm 41: 9 and fulfilled in Mark 14: 17-20.

He would be tried and condemned

Introduced in Isaiah 53: 8 and fulfilled Matthew 27: 1-2.

He would be crucified

Introduced in Psalm 22: 16 and fulfilled in John 19: 17-18.

His garments would be divided

Introduced in Psalm 22: 18 and fulfilled in John 19: 23-24.

He would be given gall and vinegar

Introduced in Psalm 69: 21 and fulfilled in John 19: 28-29.

His bones would not be broken

Introduced in Exodus 12: 46 and fulfilled in John 19: 31-36.

He is our sacrifice

Introduced in Isaiah 53: 5-6 and fulfilled in I Peter 2: 24-25.

He was raised from the dead

Introduced in Psalm 16: 10 and fulfilled in Luke 24: 1-7 and 47.

The resurrection of Christ is the most significant event in all of world history. It provides a remedy for the “Falls” that we have seen which came into Heaven and the earth as a result of the sin caused and originated by Satan. If one truly believes in the historical facts of the Gospel, and is regenerated, one is granted eternal life through the finished work of Jesus of Nazareth (Romans 6:23; Titus 3: 5). The gospel is clearly presented in several places in Scripture. None are clearer than I Corinthians 15:

1 Corinthians 15: 1-4

1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures,” (KJV). 

Reason Three

This is not the end of Christ’s work. God made a covenant with a man named Abraham, who the Bible calls the first Hebrew (Genesis 14:13). The Messianic Kingdom will be the final fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham, and is the third reason Christ had to come to earth as a man. The Messianic Kingdom will happen after the seven year Great Tribulation is conducted by Jesus (Revelation 5).  The purposes of the Great Tribulation are to make and end of sin, to conduct the greatest evangelistic effort the world has ever seen, and to bring the Jewish people (as a nation) to national regeneration through belief in their Messiah.

 

The chief characteristics of the Mosaic system were law and obedience.  The chief characteristics of the present system, also called the Church age, are belief and grace.  The chief characteristics of the Messianic Kingdom will be peace and righteousness (Isaiah 2.1-5, 11.1-10; Jeremiah 23.5-8).  Other characteristics of the Messianic Kingdom are long life, perfect environment, and wealth.

 

There are many verses in the Old Testament prophesying the Messianic Kingdom.  The orthodox Jews have long awaited it, and the Jews, who have not accepted Jesus as their Messiah, believe that He (their Messiah) will appear to set up the Messianic Kingdom. Some Old Testament references to the Kingdom are listed below:

 

  • Isaiah 52:1 Jerusalem will be pure and no longer trodden down by the Gentiles (uncircumcised and unclean ones).
  • Isaiah 60:3 Gentiles with their leaders will serve the Jews.
  • Psalm 15:1-5 People in the Kingdom will possess a kind of righteousness.
  • Isaiah 11:6-9 Universal peace will be prevalent and the world’s animals will be at peace with each other and be vegetarians.
  • Isaiah 65:17-25 Here Isaiah describes the Messianic Kingdom’s new heaven and new earth, which is actually a renovation of the earth as we know it now. (This is not a description of the eternal order, which will be a complete new order to the heavens an earth described in Revelation 21-22.)
  • Micah 4:1-5 Jehovah’s house in the Messianic Kingdom becomes a center of attention with Messianic teaching and the absence of war and universal peace.

 

Peace By William Sttrutt Cir 1896 depicting Isaiah 11:6-7

Peace By William Sttrutt Cir 1896 depicting Isaiah 11:6-7

It was this Messianic Kingdom that John the Baptizer proclaimed when he said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).  Jesus proclaimed the same message that John had begun, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).  While the nation of Israel rejected their Messiah and His coming kingdom after Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples continued to expect it to come. Right before His ascension the disciples said, “And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ “ (Acts 1:6).  Jesus replied that He could not reveal this knowledge.  Jesus did not reject the idea of the Messianic Kingdom or spiritualize it. He simply discussed it and His answer affirmed the prophetic Scriptures, but He just could not reveal the timetable.  All the prophecies in the Old Testament related to the Messiah’s first advent have literally been fulfilled, therefore we can expect that the prophecies related to the Messiah and His Kingdom will also be literally fulfilled.  Some New Testament references to the Kingdom are:

 

  • Mark 1:15 – “the kingdom of God is at hand.”
  • Luke 17:20, 21 – “the kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed… behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
  • John 3:3 – unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
  •  Romans 14:17 – “the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
  • Matthew 3:2; 4:17 – “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
  • Matthew 5:3,10 – “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
  • Matthew 5:19,20 – “enter the kingdom of heaven.”
  • Ephesians 5:5 – “inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
  • Colossians 1:13 – “the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
  • II Peter 1:11 – “eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”
  • Matthew 6:33 – “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…”
  • John 18:36 – “My kingdom is not of this world/realm.”
  • Acts 20:25 – “went about preaching the kingdom.”

 

Jesus taught His apostles to pray: “Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). The Messianic Kingdom is coming, and He let them know that the when the Messianic Kingdom comes upon earth, it would mirror God’s heavenly Kingdom. This was to be sometime yet future to the time of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and to the time of Acts 1:6-7. With the world in increasingly worse turmoil we can say that the Messianic Kingdom has not yet arrived, and it is still yet future to us.

Conclusion

These are the reasons that Jesus had to come. He had to die to fulfill God’s requirement of justice for payment for sin.

 

Christmas is the time when the world celebrates His arrival on earth. We must be assured that He came to save us from our sins. God loves us so much that He gave us Himself as a gift to a fallen and sinful world. He has also promised to return. We look for His return……..

 

John 3:16

 

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV)

 

The Birth of Christ by Sandro Fillpepi Botticelli Cir. 1500

The Birth of Christ by Sandro Fillpepi Botticelli Cir. 1500

 

Daniel E. Woodhead

 

 

 

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Doom To Ancient Judah For Sin – Can America Be Far Behind?

In this passage of Scripture God Tells the Jews through the prophet Ezekiel that He has had enough of their sins. He goes on to tell them that doom is coming upon Jerusalem and all the land of Israel. Seeing how God only tolerates sin in a nation for so long before He brings judgment, we must ask: Can America’s judgment be coming soon? 

Ezekiel Told To Alert The Idolaters to What is Coming

 

 

Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens 1610

Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens 1610

Ezekiel 6:11

11Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Smite with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas! because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel; for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence (ASV, 1901).

Now the Lord commands Ezekiel to proceed with His judgment upon Israel with a strong gesture to alert them to what is coming. He says to Ezekiel, “Smite with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot,”         which is a known way to alert others for mourning or rejoicing. In Hebrew it is better translated as “Pound with your hand and stamp with your foot”. Smiting (clapping) hands together, was a sign of rejoicing (2 Kings 11:12; Psalms 98:8) or mockery (Job 27:23; Lamentations 2:15; Ezekiel 21:14, 17; 22:13; 25:6, “clapped your hands”; Nahum 3:19). The phrase here was a symbol of contemptuous ridicule ending the idolatry (cf. Ezekiel 25:6). The clapping of the hands was also a custom of the paid Jewish mourners. Stamping ones foot is also a common symbol for ending some undesirable activity by the person with authority. One says, “he put his foot down over that activity, essentially ending it.” This illustration punctuates and sets the tone for the admonition what follows. God now tells Ezekiel that the decision has been made in the divine councils and now “they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.”  There is no turning back and no repentance will be effective. The decision to carry out God’s vengeance has been made. This seems to be true of America. We don’t turn from sin, we nationalize it.

Who Will Die of What Means?

Ezekiel 6:12

12He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my wrath upon them (ASV, 1901).

God in His earnestness of following through on what He has prophecied through Ezekiel made a decree. The three judgments, sword, famine, and pestilence, are divided between those far off, nearby, and any who are left. The swords of the Babylonian army will get many after they starved the city through a blockade. Pestilence always follows war. With no food and war wounds disease follows. Obviously, this judgment includes everybody. There was now no way for the people to escape the wrath of God when they continued their wicked practices after sufficient warning. It would only be when these judgments overwhelmed them that they would realize the extent of their depravity and God’s holiness. This might have been an irksome task for Ezekiel to keep repeating these warnings. The constant flow of warnings to the Jews left them without excuse for the results of their abdominal practices.

The Realization Will Come to Israel

Ezekiel 6:13-14

13And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the places where they offered sweet savor to all their idols. 14And I will stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate and waste, from the wilderness toward Diblah, throughout all their habitations: and they shall know that I am Jehovah (ASV, 1901). 

 

Parthian Warriors Artist Unknown

Parthian Warriors Artist Unknown

God now clearly states that the entire nation will know who God is when they see all the dead among the idols surrounding the pagan altars. This is His Royal Seal of the events to be conducted very soon. The place of their death will be exactly where they offered incense and their adoration to the idols. God is using the place where they worshipped in abominable adoration to the Canaanite occultic gods to be the death ground for the Jews. The desolation will extend from the southern wilderness (around Beersheba) to Riblah, near the northern border of modern Lebanon. Riblah was where Zedekiah the king was captured fleeing. He was captured by Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, and there his eyes were blinded after his children were killed (2 Kings 25:5, 7; Jeremiah 39:6–7; 52:8–11, 26–27). Riblah is a city on the Orontes River in Syria. The text says Diblah. There is no mention of a city named Diblah in Judah. However, it is probably meant to be Riblah due to the similarities of the Hebrew letter for R is resh (ר) and D is dalet (ד). A Scribe could easily have copied these in error.

The Babylonian Invasion is Near

Ezekiel 7:1-4

Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 2And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto the land of Israel, An end: the end is come upon the four corners of the land. 3Now is the end upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways; and I will bring upon thee all thine abominations. 4And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity; but I will bring thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am Jehovah (ASV, 1901)

 

Jerusalem under attack by Titus Vespasian Artist Poussin 1623

Jerusalem under attack by Titus Vespasian Artist Poussin 1623

The frequency of the warnings seems to the modern reader as unnecessarily repetitious. However they were necessary to provide to all the certainty of the impending judgment of God upon the nation Israel. The pleas of their God had fallen on deaf ears. The people by and large did not care and even went so far as to characterize the true prophets as false because their message was contrary to how the people and their leaders wanted to behave. God is now saying that An end: the end is come upon the four corners of the land. No part of the land would be exempt. Interestingly God says that He will bring upon thee all thine abominations. He will no longer have pity upon Israel for her conduct and their repayment is now immanent. Israel was being repaid in a divine sense for the detestable practices she committed. God is going to repeat verses 3 and 4 in 8 & 9. In the midst of the judgment they will know that it is God who is doing this and also what it is they have done.

The Doom Will Come Upon The Land

Ezekiel 7:5-9

5Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: An evil, an only evil; behold, it cometh. 6An end is come, the end is come; it awaketh against thee; behold, it cometh. 7Thy doom is come unto thee, O inhabitant of the land: the time is come, the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting, upon the mountains. 8Now will I shortly pour out my wrath upon thee, and accomplish mine anger against thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways; and I will bring upon thee all thine abominations. 9And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will bring upon thee according to thy ways; and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I, Jehovah, do smite (ASV, 1901).

Ezekiel is told to repeat what God is saying. God says, “An evil, an only evil; behold, it cometh. An end is come, the end is come; it awaketh against thee; behold, it cometh..” In saying this He means that what was about to come upon Jerusalem had no historical parallel. They had like so many today have a uniformitarian view of world events. Namely, the way things are today are as they have always been and always will be.  Many do not believe in divine judgment or that many of their activities constitute sin in God’s economy. The manner of the written warning is becoming more urgent as can see from the style of the Hebrew text. The Hebrew phrases are becoming short and choppy, and the words “coming” or “came” occur six times in verses 5–7. Ezekiel had been proclaiming, Disaster! A here-to-fore unknown disaster is coming. A sense of urgency is being conveyed. Sin had run its course and only judgment was left. There was no turning back now because God says,” Now will I shortly pour out my wrath upon thee, and accomplish mine anger against thee,” Because of the repetition of the warnings there is an element of monotonous tiring on God’s patience for the degree and volume of sins the Jews were committing against Him. Nearing the day of judgment there would be panic, not joy, upon the mountains. Those who had been leisurely practicing their idolatry on the high places (joyful shouting, upon the mountains) would be thrown into a state of apprehension when overtaken in judgment. Such is the case with the segments of the population that are without God’s Spirit living within them. During the coming Tribulation men will realize that it is God who is bringing the calamities on the earth and they will defy Him. After nearly half of mankind had been destroyed and much of the earth is ruined.

The Fourth & Fifth Bowl Judgments

Revelation 16: 8-9

8And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 9And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory, 10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds (KJV).

 

The Bowl Judgements by Pat Marvenko-Smith

The Bowl Judgements by Pat Marvenko-Smith

The fourth Trumpet judgment will destroy one-third of the light source causing a partial darkening of the earth. This judgment makes the sun hotter so that men on the earth are scorched with increased temperatures. Again those on the earth that have aligned themselves with the satanic government blaspheme God and do not repent of their sins. They will recognize that God is doing all this to them and still they will not repent. They have aligned themselves with the sins of the world and the satanic deception brought through the Antichrist. The people and especially the leaders of ancient Israel realized that the judgment coming upon them was from God and most did not care. They were in a sense blaspheming the name of God for their desired lifestyle was being interrupted and they did not like it. The fifth bowl judgment will result in the fourth blackout of the end times. The entire kingdom of the beast (Antichrist) will become dark. Only the refuge areas in the three Trans Jordanian nations where light will continue to exist. In addition to the darkness men receive a gnawing pain that causes them to blaspheme God all the more. There will be a thick darkness, which can be felt too. This parallels the plagues in Egypt (Exodus 10:21-23).

The Closeness of the Calamity

Ezekiel 7:10-13

10Behold, the day, behold, it cometh: thy doom is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded. 11Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness; none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of their wealth: neither shall there be eminency among them. 12The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. 13For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they be yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, none shall return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life (ASV, 1901).

Mall Culture Artist Unknown

Mall Culture Artist Unknown

God still assuring the nation Israel that the doom is a foregone conclusion uses imagery of a rod or a branch that has buds appearing indication the full bloom is near in time. Most view the rod as Nebuchadnezzar and the bud as how near he was to breaking through the walls of Jerusalem to get at the people. It was his pride that carried him to desire the earth as his domain to conquer. In verse eleven the rod becomes a symbol for the judgment, which will be used to flog, the disobedient people that is, a rod of wickedness. 

God’s judgment would have a devastating effect on the economy. When it struck, none of the people would be left, none of that crowd.  Nothing of value would remain. Because of the Captivity, property and material possessions became worthless. All of the people’s personal possessions would become the property of the Babylonians. The property owners would be torn from their land and carried to Babylon. God through Ezekiel says, “let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.” The buyer who normally rejoiced over a good business deal should not be happy because he would not be able to possess the land he had purchased. And one forced to sell his land should not grieve because he would have lost it anyway. Normally according to the Mosaic Law when land was sold in Israel, the transaction was always temporary.

Every 50 years after seven Sabbaths, during the Year of Jubilee, the property reverted to its original owners (Leviticus 25:10, 13–17). However, God’s coming judgment would prevent original owners from reclaiming their properties; they would be in exile along with the buyers. In ancient Israel, land wasn’t sold in fee simple as we are used to. This is a permanent and absolute tenure of an estate in land with freedom to dispose of it at will. Since God was the real landowner, Israel was simply a tenant under conditions of obedience. When land was “sold,” what the buyer received was only the use of the land, not clear title. There were conditions under which a kinsman of the seller could “redeem” the land back to the original family such as we see in the book of Ruth. Here Boaz performs the role of the “Kinsman-redeemer.” By his intervention, the forfeited lands are returned to Naomi. All this is according to the temporary ownership of the land under the Mosaic Law. God is the actual landowner, the fee simple holder and can assign its temporary rights to anybody He decides to. In this case it is the Babylonians. In the twentieth century after being out of the land for 1878 years (since the Roman destruction of 70 AD) God exercised His rights under the fee simple ownership and restored the Jews to the land of Israel in 1948 on the eastern banks of the Mediterranean Sea.

No human effort could hinder God from accomplishing His plan in 586 B.C. Though they would call soldiers to battle by the trumpet, no one would go into battle. Jerusalem would try to defend herself, but she would fall with little resistance to a foe with God’s force behind him.

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Joseph The Dreamer

Joseph’s Place in the Family – The Dreamer

 

Genesis 37: 2-4

2These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and he was a lad with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought the evil report of them unto their father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. 4And his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren; and they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him (ASV 1901).

Joseph - With The Coat of many Colors by Pietro Dandini Cir 1646-1712

Joseph – With The Coat of many Colors by Pietro Dandini Cir 1646-1712

 

The text begins by telling us that Joseph was seventeen years old. He left Paddan-Aram when he was six. During the last eleven years he lived in Succoth, Shechem and now in Hebron. Jacob was one hundred seven years old. Isaac who was still alive was now one hundred sixty seven. The text tells us that his work was that of a shepherd. He was working with his brother and half-brothers. Their ages were close together. He was out in the pasture working with the sons of his father’s concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah. The text reverses the order of the wives since Joseph would have been closer to Bilhah his mothers hand maid. Some suggest that the reference to them as wives indicates that Leah has passed as well as Rachel. The distinction though was two fold, one they were the progeny of concubinage relationships and two, Joseph was not only the first-born son of a legal wife, Rachel his mother was the much loved favorite wife of his father Jacob. The text then progresses to the statement that, Joseph brought the evil report of them unto their father. There is some depth to this statement that is not clear from the plain text of Scripture.

Ruben, the chronological first-born son of Leah and Jacob had two strong criteria     causing Jacob to remove him from the rights of the first-born in the family. First, he was the son of Leah who was hated because she was thrust on Jacob and she was not beautiful like Rachel. Second, Ruben committed incest with Bilhah his father’s concubine (Genesis 35: 22). Jacob might have had motivation to deny Reuben this position but the incest sealed it. Jacob removed him from the first-born position. Now Joseph as the first-born son of Rachel moved into the blessed position of the first-born son. So Joseph was the overseer to his brothers and found them doing some wrongdoing while he was out in the field with them. He, as the overseer, reported back to his father as required. Some say that Joseph was a tattletale. However, it was his job and genuine wrongdoing was occurring so he was acting properly. The Bereshit Rabbah says that his brothers ate limbs torn from live animals (Bereshit Rabbah 84: 7). They were engaged in some form of evil and it was not wrong for them to be reported back to Jacob. Joseph was being a faithful servant and naturally the wrong doing brothers hated him for relating their behavior to Jacob.

The texts say that, Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. The Hebrew words translated as “The Son of His old Age” is kee-ben zekunim כִּי־בֶן־זְקֻנִים   and it is an idiomatic phrase meaning, “As Son of Wisdom.” Joseph was known to have wisdom far beyond his chronological age. We see this confirmed in his willingness to do what was right in the eyes of God no matter what the circumstances were in which he found himself. Those that fear God receive His wisdom (Proverbs 2: 6 etc.).

In recognition of the status he had as first-born of the favorite wife Rachel, he was given a special coat signifying this status. This caused additional envy from his brothers. Jacob should have known better since he saw first hand from his birth family what favoritism does to the stability of the family unit. Jacob gave Joseph the coat. The Hebrew text describes it as a ketonet-passim, כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִּים that is translated as a long coat with full sleeves, a coat of royalty. The multi-colored designation came from the Septuagint (Cir. 250 B.C.), which also found its way into the Latin Vulgate (Cir. 380 AD). In Egypt the Tombs of Bene Hassein confirm this royal apparel worn by the Semites. Bene Hasan is one hundred sixty miles south of Cairo (and just north of Amarna on the map). Named after the local Bedouin tribe living there for centuries. Little of the city is left, except the rock-cut tombs in the cliffs high above the Nile’s eastern shore. Here, Egyptologists found a now-famous tomb painting, which offers important insights into the world of the Biblical Patriarchs. The Israelites went down to Egypt during a famine and stayed four hundred years. Archaeologists refer to them as Asiatics. The following is a quote from the Association for Biblical Archaeology regarding the tombs.

From The Association of Biblical Archaeology

From The Association of Biblical Archaeology

“Most immediately distinctive is the difference in clothing. While the two Egyptians wear the traditional white linen kilt, the Asiatics wear mostly multi-colored garments. Five of the men wore robes to their knees, three of them with colored cloth.  All four women wore colored robes to their ankles. Most robes (men and women) appeared to cover only one shoulder. Three of the men and the walking child wore colored kilts. With white representing the basic color of linen or wool garments, the multicolored red, white and blue would represent a considerable financial investment. In addition, the colored kilts of the last two Asiatics and the leader’s robe all seem to have fringe on the hem.”

(ABFBR http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/09/09/the-beni-hasan-asiatics-and-the-biblical-patriarchs.aspx#Article accessed on June 15, 2012)

This coat was an insignia of leadership in ancient Israel and Joseph was appointed as leader of the tribe. This coat demonstrating his leadership over them was a visible insignia provoking them to hatred. His brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren; and they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. So they were even unable to exercise civility toward him. A closer examination of the Hebrew for “could not speak peaceably to him (velo yokhlu dabro leshalom) gives us a more accurate translation of, “they could not abide his friendly speech.” So despite his attempts at conciliatory dialogue they hated him. Joseph on the other hand seemed to be oblivious to their evil intentions toward him because he began to reveal his innermost thoughts and dreams to them. If he had any retaliatory feelings toward them he concealed them well.

Joseph the Dreamer

Genesis 37: 5-11

5And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 6And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7for, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves came round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. 8And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. 9And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed yet a dream: and, behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars made obeisance to me. 10And he told it to his father, and to his brethren; and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 11And his brethren envied him; but his father kept the saying in mind (ASV 1901).

Joseph Reveals His Dreams to His Brothers by Giulio Romano - 1449-1546

Joseph Reveals His Dreams to His Brothers by Giulio Romano – 1449-1546

 

Joseph begins to relate his dream to his brethren and it accelerated their hatred for him. Any conversation of this sort implies the individual relating the dream is on intimate term with those hearing it. They obviously did not want that degree of intimacy with him and their hatred was kindled so that as he proceeded with the details of the dream they did not take it well.

He relates a dream that was obviously an illustration of some agricultural setting with his eventual ascendancy over them. Even though the dream seemed to give the impression that they were all working together, the dreams imagery of Joseph clearly shows that he would rise above them without assistance indicating his ability to withstand forces opposing him. Finally the dream’s imagery demonstrated that even though there were many opposing him they all acquiesce to him by bowing down to him. The brothers got the essence of the dream because they said, “Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?” This caused them to hate him more for not only the dream but also how he spoke to them. They could not know if he was actually receiving a dream or if he was telling them of what he aspired to achieve over them. Hence, this was additional fuel for their hatred. Joseph in relating the second dream seemed oblivious to their growing dislike for him. The second dream encompassed the heavens. This dream suggested that the sun (as his father), and the moon (as his mother, Rachel) and eleven stars (representing his eleven brethren) bowed down before him. These dreams clearly showed in an unmistakable way that Joseph would someday exert supremacy over them all. The first level of supremacy would be over his brethren, the second over the whole house of Israel. Jacob when told of these dreams interprets them not Joseph. His brothers knew what they meant too. Jacob rebuked Joseph for this presumptive dream but he then referenced Rachel even though dead would be a component and then fell into silent contemplation over what he heard. He was no stranger to special messages from God and must have thought on the possible heavenly source of these dreams.

Joseph Tells His Dreams to Jacob Lucas van Leyden Cir 1500

Joseph Tells His Dreams to Jacob Lucas van Leyden Cir 1500

 

The New Testament gives us additional insight over the meaning of this second dream. Revelation 12: 1-2 makes reference to this passage (Genesis 37: 9-10) and the woman of this chapter is symbolized as Israel not the Church. Israel has been referred to as the “Wife of Jehovah” (Jeremiah 31: 32).

Joseph’s Cast Into The Pit

Genesis 37: 12-24

12And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13And Israel said unto Joseph, Are not thy brethren feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. 14And he said to him, Go now, see whether it is well with thy brethren, and well with the flock; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? 16And he said, I am seeking my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they are feeding the flock. 17And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. 18And they saw him afar off, and before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say, An evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. 21And Reuben heard it, and delivered him out of their hand, and said, Let us not take his life. 22And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood; cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but lay no hand upon him: that he might deliver him out of their hand, to restore him to his father. 23And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph of his coat, the coat of many colors that was on him; 24and they took him, and cast him into the pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it (ASV 1901).

 

Jacob’s sons had driven the flocks to Shechem then to Dothan an area a day’s journey north of Shechem. They passed through Shechem uneventfully because the Jews owned the city since the slaughter after the rape of Dinah. Jacob next sent Joseph the overseer to check on them. He would be traveling at least three days on foot to reach them. When he got to Shechem and didn’t see them he asked a stranger that answered by saying, “They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan.” So he continued on an additional day’s travel to Dothan to find them. Some see this man as an angel but the text does not support this assumption. Certainly he was divinely inspired to instruct Joseph in the direction he must travel in his trip of historical importance for the Israelite nation’s development. That would be their eventual departure to Egypt for a four hundred year sojourn. Dothan was located on the east-west trade route between Gilead and the Coastal Plain, which was connected to the Via Maris. The Via Maris was the road way to Egypt. These events were in anticipation of the sale of Joseph to the Midianites.

The brothers thought that if they killed Joseph, the dream of his ascendancy over them would be extinguished (and we shall see what will become of his dreams). Reuben the first-born was uncomfortable with the killing and sought his brother’s agreement in not directly murdering Joseph. He wanted no part of the conspiracy to murder. He was willing to cast Joseph into a dry cistern to die of starvation, thirst or exposure though. This was what he said to his vengeful brothers. He had a different motive though as the text says, that he might deliver him out of their hand, to restore him to his father. This was his real intent, to restore him to Jacob his father. Even though Reuben knew that Joseph had replaced him in status as first-born it did not lead him to the same level of malevolence as his siblings had toward Joseph. So they took Joseph’s coat, cast him into the pit, and Reuben intended to return alone and rescue Joseph.

Joseph is Sold

Genesis 37: 25-36

25And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. 26And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brethren hearkened unto him. 28And there passed by Midianites, merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they brought Joseph into Egypt. 29And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. 30And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go? 31And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a he-goat, and dipped the coat in the blood; 32and they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father, and said, This have we found: know now whether it is thy son’s coat or not. 33And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat: an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces. 34And Jacob rent his garments, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 35And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down to Sheol to my son mourning. And his father wept for him. 36And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, the captain of the guard (ASV 1901).

 

Joseph's Bloody Coat Brought to Jacob Diego Rodriguez da Silva y Yelazquez Cir 1599

Joseph’s Bloody Coat Brought to Jacob Diego Rodriguez da Silva y Yelazquez Cir 1599

The opening verses describe how Joseph was actually sold. Joseph’s charge from his father in visiting the brothers was to check on their activities to determine if they were engaged in nefarious goings-on as before. He was in the pit and some suggest that it was Simeon who threw him in. All were guilty in the collusion to harm him. His brothers had decided to follow Reuben’s request and keep him in the cistern instead of killing him outright. However since Reuben was not telling them that his personal hidden agenda was to rescue Joseph afterward they saw an opportunity to market Joseph as a slave to the Ishmaelites. They were a semi-nomadic group of traders from the Transjordan. Judah took the opportunity to propose to his brethren to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites. “What profit is it,” he said, “if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites; and let not our hand be upon him (in other words to kill him), for he is our brother, our flesh.” Judah may have had a slight change of heart and did not want to kill him as Reuben was also so minded. The others saw this a good opportunity too.

They were so insensitive to Joseph that while he was in the cistern crying out for mercy they were making merry and enjoying a meal. In fact they admitted to this at a later time. Their hatred for him was so strong that they had hardened their hearts toward his torment as he cried to them to be released.

Genesis 42: 21

21And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us (ASV 1901).

The brothers were near a trade route that crossed the Jordan near Gilead in what is today Jordan. It then wound through the Jezreel valley toward the Mediterranean coastal area and then turned southward at Megiddo so as to connect with the ancient trade route from Damascus to Egypt known as the Via Marais. The Ishmaelites had goods that represented their trading prowess. This seemed like a good opportunity to broker a trade for Joseph. The caravan was laden with spices: נְכֹאת, Nehchoat which is a gum-tragacanth; צֹרִי, Tsoree balsam, for which Gilead was celebrated (Genesis 43:11; Jeremiah 8:22; 46:11); and לֹט, Loat ladanum, the fragrant resin of the cistus-rose.

There is an exchange of terminology between Ishmaelites and Midianites. The Midianites were a tribe of the progeny of one of Keturah’s son Midian who she had with Abraham as his second wife. Judges 8: 22-26 connects those two tribes together. Then Joseph’s brothers drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The general idea was that the Midianites would take him to Egypt and sell him, off into the slave markets there. The text does not reveal exactly what the brothers’ thought would happen to Joseph. They just wanted him out of their life. Their wrath at Joseph would end up praising God.

The meager price of twenty pieces of silver they got for Joseph later became the price which Moses fixed as the value of a boy between 5 and 20 (Leviticus 27:5), the average price of a slave being 30 shekels (Exodus 21:32).

They did not tell Reuben what became of Joseph because he would have told Jacob that his favorite son was still alive. So they concocted a story of his death by wild animals. This whole process obviously frustrated Reuben to find that Joseph was gone and now he was unable to rescue him. He was extremely distraught when they told him Joseph was dead. He said after renting his clothes“ The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?” Normally, this phrase means that a person has died. So he must have been led to believe that Joseph died. Then the brothers took Joseph’s coat and dipped it in the blood of a recent slain he-goat. They did not want to face their father with this news so they sent someone else.

They expected Jacob’s response, which was to rent his garments, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and then he, mourned for his son many days. His sons and daughters came to comfort him but he did not want them comforting him and said, “For I will go down to Sheol to my son mourning.” And his father wept for him. What a sad state of circumstances for Jacob to believe he lost his favorite son so early in they boy’s life. It is easy to imagine the depth of his grief. He was sure it would last his entire life. Sheol is the place where the Old Testament people went before the sacrifice of Christ. There were multiple compartments depending on the destination God assigned to them (See Attached Chart). The faithful and the unfaithful both entered Sheol when the spirit separated from the body.

Finally Joseph was sold again this time to Potiphar in Egypt. This was an officer of Pharaoh and he was the captain of the guard. He was part of the Egyptian military and the term , the captain of the guard literally means “The Chief of the Executioners.”

Spirit World Destinations by Daniel Woodhead

Spirit World Destinations by Daniel Woodhead

Daniel E. Woodhead

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FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY TO ISRAEL Part II

GOD’S FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY TO ISRAEL SINCE THE TIME OF CHRIST Part II

By

Thomas S. McCall Th.D.

 

End Time Prophecies About Israel Fulfilled During The Church Age

God Preserves The Jews, Their Identity And Culture in Spite of Persecution

STC172909 A Rabbi tying the Phylacteries to the arm of a boy (oil on canvas) by Jewish School (19th century) oil on canvas Private Collection The Stapleton Collection Israeli, out of copyright

STC172909 A Rabbi tying the Phylacteries to the arm of a boy (oil on canvas) by Jewish School (19th century) oil on canvas Private Collection The Stapleton Collection Israeli, out of copyright

Psalm 121:4

4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep (NASB).

There were prophecies in the Old and New Testament discussing the future restoration of Israel, with a descendant of David sitting on his throne. The disciples also are assured they will rule over the tribes of Israel when the Son of Man sits on His throne:

Jeremiah 33:17

17 “For thus says the LORD, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.’” (NASB)

Luke 1:31-33

31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end” (NASB).

Ezekiel 37:12-14

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 (NASB).

Matthew 19:28

28 And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (NASB).

Jewish and Christian Zionism

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declares that a State of Israel would not be possible without Christian Zionists. Throughout the centuries there have always been Jewish people who believed in the restoration of Israel, with the hope of meeting together “next year in Jerusalem.” However, it was not until the 1890s that Theodore Hertzl organized the First Zionist Congress in Switzerland, and the vague hope of restoration became a practical reality. How did this happen? The answer to this development lies in the little known relationship between certain key individuals, now known as Christian Zionists, and their counterparts in the Jewish Zionists movement.

Theodore Hertzel

Theodore Herzl

Around 1700 A.D. Among the earliest Christian Zionists (who were sometimes called Restorationists) was the American Puritan pastor Increase Mather who wrote The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation. By reading the prophecies of the future of Israel, he rediscovered the Biblical teachings of Christian Zionism. He described the mystery as follows: “The scope of this Treatise is to hold forth the calling of the Jews, their reduction into their own Land, and the glorious estate of the Church which shall then be.” [1]

Later, in the mid 1800s, J. N. Darby and others studied the same prophecies and developed the Powers Court Prophecy Conferences. A rediscovery and reaffirmation of the future of Israel, the Rapture of the Church, Dispensationalism, and Christian Zionism were the products of these intensive Bible studies.

One of the main passages reaffirming Israel’s return to the land is the “Vision of the Dry Bones” found in Ezekiel 37. This describes the process of a vast amount of dry human bones coming together, forming skeletons, and then flesh coming over the skeletons making dead bodies. Finally, the Sprit of God blows over the bodies, and brings them to life. The Lord explains this vision of the Dry Bones as being the Nation of Israel being restored and replaced in its own Land in the end times:

 

Valley of the Dry Bones of Ezekiel by Gustave Dore. Cir 1850

Valley of the Dry Bones of Ezekiel by Gustave Dore. Cir 1850

Ezekiel 37:1-10

1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 And He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, Thou knowest.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’ 5 “Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. 6 ‘And I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin, and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.'” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew, and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”‘” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life, and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army (NASB).

Theodore Herzl And William Hechler

Many people are aware that Theodore Herzl was the founder of Zionism in the 1890s, but few know about his critical relationship with William Hechler. Hechler was the son of a German father and a British mother who became an Anglican minister and was assigned as a chaplain to the British Embassy in Vienna, Austria. He was an avid student of Bible prophecy, deeply involved in the Dispensational movement in Britain, and a close friend of Sir Robert Anderson. By reading Anderson’s book, The Coming Prince, Hechler was aware of Christ’s prophesied triumphal entry on Palm Sunday into Jerusalem, which conclusively demonstrated the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. Sir Anderson was a serious Bible student, as well as being the head of the famed Scotland Yard, the premier British detective bureau in London.

While serving in the British Embassy in Vienna, Hechler soon learned of Theodore Herzl, who was trying to organize a movement so that Jews could return to Israel. He was having little success because he had no significant connections. When Herzl first met Hechler, he thought he was somewhat of a religious eccentric, but gradually realized that this Christian chaplain was just as serious about Jewish restoration as he was.

Furthermore, Hechler had connections. He knew a German Duke who knew the German monarch, Kaiser Wilhelm. Hechler was able to get the Kaiser and Herzl together and they agreed to pursue the Zionist cause. Next the Kaiser met with the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and later a subsequent meeting between the Kaiser and Herzl took place in Jerusalem. There was considerable confusion surrounding these meetings, but the London press reported that the events provided a strong advance for the cause and organization of the Zionist movement. By 1900 many of the Jews of Europe had adopted the Zionist Movement.

The strange irony in all of this was that the German monarch was the first European head of state to give formal recognition to Zionism, in part through the efforts of the little known Christian Zionist, William Hechler. Yet this was the same country that turned so violently against the Jewish people a few decades later under Hitler and the Holocaust.

CHAIM WEITZMAN AND SIR ARTHUR BALFOUR

 

 

Chaim Weitzman from His home in Jerusalem

Chaim Weitzman from His home in Jerusalem

The next major advance in Zionism came at the end of World War I. Weitzman was a German Jewish chemist who moved to Britain, and discovered a high powered explosive that was able to end the trench warfare stalemate, and allow the Allies to defeat the German army. Weitzman was also a committed Zionist, and was a good friend of Foreign Minister Lord Arthur Balfour. Balfour was a Scottish Presbyterian, who had learned the Old Testament as his mother’s knee, and was a Christian Zionist at heart.

The British government wanted to show its appreciation to Weitzman for his vital assistance during the War, so Weitzman and Balfour composed what has come to be known as the Balfour Declaration in 1917. [2]

In 1917 Britain issued the Balfour Declaration encouraging Jews to return to the Land.

Foreign Office

November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,

Arthur James Balfour

This document allowed Jews to return to the Land with the blessing of the British government, which was now in control of the British Mandate of Palestine. What had been a trickle of Jewish immigrants now became a veritable stream of Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe and Russia fleeing the turmoil of the Communist revolution. Once again, it was the collaboration between a Jewish Zionist and a Christian Zionist in the right place, at the right time that brought about this advance.

In 1925 the League of Nations ratified the San Remo Treaty recognizing Palestine as the Jewish home. The British were granted authority, called The Mandate, over Palestine. The actual administration of the Mandate was called the Mandatory.

The Mandatory was to be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine as the national home for the Jewish people. It was clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

Specific Biblical Prophecies Regarding Israel’s Return

The prophet Ezekiel received prophecies regarding the future for Israel in “the last days”. Some of these focused on the period after the Great Tribulation such as the thirty-seventh chapter when they would be restored to the Land because then they will have believed in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. This is commonly referred to as the “valley of dry bones” prophecy described earlier. Other prophecies Ezekiel received from God made it quite clear that the Jews would be in the Land as a nation before they experienced a national repentance and restoration:

Ezekiel 20: 33-38

33“As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. 34            “I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out; 35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36“As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,” declares the Lord God. 37 “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 and I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the Lord (NASB).

The Lord is giving this prophecy to Israel used the Exodus as an illustration of what He is going to do in the future. Much in the same way God led them out of the persecutions by the Egyptians, and moved them into the Promised Land, He declares He would do it again. Looking back in time and remembering that this prophecy was given in the sixth century before Christ, it is clear that He has already done that prior to this day (2015).

This time, though, God interestingly says that He will bring them out from “the peoples” and gather them from the countries (plural) where they have been. Since 586 B.C. they have been scattered throughout the countries of the world. Almighty God began regathering them out of all the countries in the world in the late 1800’s, which is known as the Zionist movement. They were persecuted in many of the nations in which they lived and wanted a safe homeland. The judgment described must be significant in order to make it into the biblical text. The most serious judgment He brought on them was the Nazi holocaust when six million Jews were destroyed in the Nazi’s genocide of the Jews. This set the stage for world sympathy, which led to them becoming a nation. The regathering, though, was in unbelief. We can see in the passage cited above that this regathering, “is with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out.” This is God saying to the Nation Israel, and repeating it twice, that He gathers them out of wrath and for wrath. The term “outstretched arm” means that God is exercising His wrath. This is coming from wrath, and then going into wrath. The wrath that He leads them from is the Nazi persecution. He brought them into the Land as a sovereign nation while still in unbelief. They will live as a nation for a while in unbelief until the Great Tribulation when the Antichrist will declare himself god and initiate the worst persecution the Jews will have ever seen. After that final wrath they will turn to Him and accept Christ as their Messiah. But from the Nazi Holocaust to the Great Tribulation there will be a period where they will have residence in the Land, but not be spiritually regenerated as a nation. In other words, God will not be their God; and Christ will not be their Messiah. Nevertheless, God loves them. Because He loves them, and made promises to their patriarchal ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He will give them the Land they have been guaranteed. God’s promises are always kept, and there are no exceptions.

 

Nazi Yellow Star Pined on Jews

Nazi Yellow Star Pined on Jews

The second passage is found in Ezekiel chapter twenty-two and further describes the issue of being in the Land, but in unbelief:

Ezekiel 22: 17-22

17 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to Me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are the dross of silver. 19 “Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because all of you have become dross, therefore, behold, I am going to gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 ‘As they gather silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into the furnace to blow fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in My anger and in My wrath and I will lay you there and melt you. 21‘I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you will be melted in the midst of it. 22‘As silver is melted in the furnace, so you will be melted in the midst of it; and you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out My wrath on you.’ (NASB).

In this passage the prophet Ezekiel is given God’s Word describing a regathering of the Jews to Jerusalem. Here God describes the fact that they are far from Him as He characterizes their spiritual condition like the impurities in metallurgical processing. Dross is the burn-off of the undesirables, while the metal is purified through the consistent application of a high temperature fire. Fire is used in the Bible to refer to the refinement process God uses to bring those that He has chosen into submission to His will. This is exactly how He describes what He will do to them in the future for the purpose of purifying them. But for the purposes of identification and setting the chronology of this verse, it is when they have gathered in the Land and before the judgment. So today they in the Land regathered from the various nations throughout the world and Jerusalem is their capital. This is where this judgment will take place. So they are back in the Land in unbelief not realizing that their judgment is coming. Although there are several more passages that could be cited to confirm that God has brought them back into the Land in unbelief, the last passage that will be referenced is located in Zephaniah chapter two.

Zephaniah 2: 1-2

1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame, 2 Before the decree takes effect—The day passes like the chaff—Before the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you, Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you (NASB).

Again the text says that they are gathering together as a nation but they have no shame. This means that they are not recognizing their sinful ways. Therefore, they are gathered together in unbelief. They will receive the judgment meted out by the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation referred to here as the “day of the Lord’s anger”. This is the most common form of reference to the Great Tribulation in the Old Testament. The Tribulation will begin with the signing of a seven-year covenant between the Antichrist and the Nation Israel. So since begins before the Tribulation, we can assume that there are Jewish political leaders in a Jewish State. The Jewish State does exist, they are back in the Land in unbelief, and they don’t realize it now, but their judgment and refinement is nearing its time.

 

Photo from Dachau Concentration Camp from the Jewish Virtual Library http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/dachaumartins.html

Photo from Dachau Concentration Camp from the Jewish Virtual Library http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/dachaumartins.html

After the Nazi persecution Jewish refugees fled to the Land and established the revived sovereign State of Israel in May of 1948. Since then Israel has been attacked numerous times and miraculously survived. Ezekiel chapters 20 and 22 prophesied that Israel would return from their dispersion throughout the earth’s the nations. In Ezekiel chapter 37 the regathering was a process described beginning with Dry Bones. At present there are seven million Jews in Israel. This represents approximately half of the Jews in the world. At present there are reported to be 15,000 Israeli believers in Christ, continuing “the remnant”. Some Israelis know the Bible teaches that a future Temple will be built, and are making preparations for it to include re-establishing the priesthood and a governing body known as the Sanhedrin.

End Time Prophecies About Israel After The Rapture of The Church

After the Rapture of the Church, 144,000 Jews will be saved and sealed as God’s evangelists during the Tribulation:

 

The Rapture of the Church artist Unknown

The Rapture of the Church artist Unknown

Revelation 7:3-4

3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel (NASB).

A Seven Year Treaty is Ratified Between Unbelieving Israel and The Antichrist

Daniel 9:27

27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate” (NASB).

At The End of The Tribulation The Surviving Jews Will Receive Christ and be Saved

Zechariah 12:10

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born” (NASB).

Romans 11:25-27

25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and thus al Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” 27 “And this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins” (NASB).

Israel will have a prominent role in the Millennial Kingdom

Isaiah 14:1-2

1 When the LORD will have compassion on Jacob, and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. 2 And the peoples will take them along and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the LORD as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive, and will rule over their oppressors (NASB).

Revelation 20:6

6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years (NASB).

 Conclusion

Some have erroneously thought that Israel has dropped off the divine radar since the First Coming of Christ, and that there is no present or future for the Jewish people. This article has presented the evidence that there are many prophecies in the Old and New Testaments that describe the tragic dispersion of the Jewish people, their miraculous preservation throughout the Church Age, and their equally miraculous restoration of Israel as a nation among the family of nations. Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists have played a significant role over the past few centuries in these remarkable developments.

 

 

[1] Mather, Increase, The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation Explained and Applied, Publisher John Allen, London, 1669.

[2] Sachar, Howard M. A History of Israel From The Rise of Zionism to Our Time, 2nd Ed. Publisher Alfred A. Knopf New NY 2006 pg.109.

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FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY TO ISRAEL Part I

GOD’S FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY TO ISRAEL SINCE THE TIME OF CHRIST

By

Thomas S. McCall Th.D.

We often hear of Bible prophecy as it relates to the First and Second Coming of Christ, which is very important, but there is much more Bible prophecy concerning what the Lord is doing between the two Advents of Jesus during the Church Age. These prophecies specifically pertain to God’s ancient covenant people, Israel, and His new covenant people, the Church. This article explains God’s preservation of, and promises to the Jewish people throughout the Church Age, in preparation for the ultimate restoration of Israel to its own Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophecies will be grouped under two headings; first, those that have already been fulfilled during the Church Age, and second, the end time prophecies yet to be fulfilled during the Church Age.

Bible Prophecies About Israel Fulfilled During The Church Age

The Nation of Israel will be preserved intact until the Second Coming of Christ and through the Millennial Kingdom.

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Jeremiah 31:35-37

35 Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: 36 “If this fixed order departs From before Me,” declares the Lord, “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever.”37 Thus says the Lord, “If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off al the offspring of Israel For all that they have done,” declares the Lord (NSAB).

The Lord said to Jeremiah that He would always view the Nation of Israel as His, no matter what the circumstances on this earth are, or what they have done.

Jerusalem would be the Cradle of Christianity

Acts 1:8

8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (NASB).

Christ Himself prophesied all of this, and Israel played a large role in the creation of the Church. The Church began in Jerusalem, with thousands of believers on the Jewish holiday of Pentecost, and spread from there to the ends of the earth. The invitation to become believers in Christ joins each believer to the Church, and is still developing today. Humanly speaking, if the Jewish believers had not started the Church, there would never have been a worldwide church.

The Jewish Apostles Built The Church on The Foundation of Christ

Doubting Thomas by Caravaggio Cir 1602-03

Doubting Thomas by Caravaggio Cir 1602-03

Ephesians 2:19 – 22

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (NASB).

Paul explains in the book of Ephesians that the church is a bifurcated organism, composed of two parts: Jewish believers and Gentile believers. In effect, a church without Gentile believers is incomplete, and a church without Jewish believers is incomplete. They are like a bird with two wings, both wings necessary to enable the bird to fly.

The New Testament Was Written by Jews

Romans 3:1

1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all , that they were entrusted with the oracles of God (NASB).

The Oracles of God came to Israel

The Oracles of God came to Israel

Furthermore, God’s plan is that when He has a message for the human race, He has always had it written down by Jewish hands, both for the Old and New Testaments. Some say that Dr. Luke was a Gentile, but I am convinced that there are many cogent arguments to support the fact that Luke was a Jew. (A more detailed discussion regarding Luke’s Jewishness can be found on the blog article I wrote on this subject.[1]). Throughout its 4,000-year history, Israel has frequently been a “lost” nation, just like the rest of the nations who turned away from God. However, there has always been a minority, a remnant, in Israel that has looked forward in faith to the coming Redeemer Christ, or who have looked back in faith to the first coming of their Redeemer Christ.

A Remnant in Elijah’s Time

Romans 11:2-4

2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have torn down your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is God’s response to him? “I have left for myself seven thousand men who have not knelt to Baal.” (NASB)

A Remnant in The Church Age

Romans 11:5-7

5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened (NASB).

The Bible declared that the Lord wanted the Gospel to be given to the Jews first throughout the Church Age. This was the priority of all evangelism during the Church Age, to the Jew first and then to the Gentile:

Romans 1:16

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (NASB).

The Lord’s desire prophesied in both Testaments was for the Gospel of Christ, in every generation, to be delivered to the Jews first, and then it would proceed out to the greater Gentile population. Regrettably, after the first century, this was rarely the case. The Church did not carry this out as the Lord desired.

The Synagogue Was the Natural Place For The Gospel to Be Taught

Acts 17:1-4

1 Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonian, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a great multitude of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women (NASB).

The Lord Jesus taught in the synagogues (Luke 4:15, 13:10; Matthew 4:23,13:10). The synagogue was an institution that developed during the Babylonian exile, and was a place where Jews gathered for worship, study, and prayer. For the exiles in Babylon it served as a replacement for the Temple. It grew in importance over the years, and by the time of Paul’s missionary journeys they populated the entire Roman Empire.

Judgment on Israel, Jerusalem and The Temple in 70 A.D.

Jerusalem under attack by Titus Vespasian Artist Poussin 1623

Jerusalem under attack by Titus Vespasian Artist Poussin 1623

Matthew 23:33-39

33 “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell ? 34 “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 that upon you may fall the guilt of al the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 “Truly I say to you, al these things shall come upon this generation. 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 “For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'” (NASB)

There is no question that a terrible judgment fell upon Israel for not recognizing and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah and Redeemer. The Temple was destroyed and as a result the Jewish people have been scattered over the entire earth for hundreds and hundreds of years. Nevertheless, as the Bible tells us this judgment will not last forever. The end to the judgment will come when all Israel as a nation recognizes that the Jesus they despised has always been their true Messiah. They are not corporately ready to do that today. One must ask the question, what will cause them to do this? Sadly, it appears that the only thing that will accomplish this will be the awful experience with the future Antichrist and the Old Testament designation of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, known in the New Testament as the Great Tribulation. Then, and only then, will Israel be eager, willing, and able to receive Jesus, and welcome Him as the one whom the Bible says will come in the Name of the Lord.

Persecution of Israel Throughout The World

Jesus further prophesied the following:

The results of what would happen to Jerusalem and Israel as a consequence of their rejecting His Messiahship as well as His redemptive kingdom.

Within 40 years the Romans would surround the capital, destroy the Temple.

The Jewish people would be scattered in captivity throughout the Gentile world.

Luke 21:20-24

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand. 21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, in order that al things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 “Woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people,24and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (NASB).

The Church Turns Against Israel With Replacement Theology

After the First Century, John Chrysostom, one of the early anti-Semitic Church fathers (349 – 407 A.D.), developed the theology that the Church has replaced Israel, and there is no future for Israel in God’s plan and purpose, resulting in the church turning against the Jewish people and becoming anti-Semitic.[2] This is in direct opposition to Paul’s prophetic warned using imagery of the Olive Tree as God’s blessing, and telling the Gentile believers not to become conceited and boast against the “natural branches”, since the natural branches are Israel who were chosen first to receive God’ divine blessing. Paul warned what would happen if they pursued such an erroneous doctrine:

Romans 11:17-21

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you (NASB).

Abandonment of Jewish Evangelism by the Church

Romans 11:11

11 I say then, they [the Jews] did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous (NASB, clarification added).

The purpose of salvation coming to the Gentiles during the Church Age was not to obliterate Israel. Rather, it was meant to cause the Jewish people to be amazed that Gentiles were coming to faith in the God of Abraham, that they believed the Jewish Bible, and were drawn to knowing the Jewish Messiah in order to receive eternal life through Him. This was to cause the Jews to want all these things themselves. But the Church turned its back on the Jew, and was even instrumental in the persecution of the Jews through much of Church history.

The Church rejected the Biblical teaching of the future of Israel by 500 A.D.

Saint Augustine in His Study by Sandro Boticelli 1840

Saint Augustine in His Study by Sandro Boticelli 1840

The Carthaginian theologian Augustine at first was a Chiliast (premillennialist), but was converted to amillennialism, and by the time he visited Rome no longer believed in the future of Israel. He then popularized Replacement Theology, which replaces the Jews with the Church as God’s chosen people, and made it the dominant doctrine of Christianity to this day. This was in direct contradiction to the admonition to the Church about Israel by the Apostle Paul:

Romans 11:25-26

25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” 27 “And this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins” (NASB).

CONTINUED IN PART II

[1] http://doctorwoodhead.com/was-luke-a-jew-or-a-gentile/

[2] Allen, Pauline, Wendy Mayer. John Chrysostom. London: Routledge, 2000.

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