THE DESTINY OF NATIONS AND THE GOSPEL TO WHOMSOEVER

(Delivered at “The Government Shall Be Upon His Shoulder” conference in Canberra, Australia, July 23, 2010)

Acts 17:30-31   Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising [Jesus] from among the dead.

Some basic assumptions:

  –Jesus Christ is Lord/YHVH!
  –The whole of the Bible is the Word of GOD, and inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  –The Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age (end of the last days). 1Cor 10:11, Rom 15:4
  –Messiah came to fulfill all that is written in the O.T., not to annul them.  We are not to add to them nor take away  from them.  Mt 5:17-19
  –Each of us is responsible for searching the Scriptures if we are unsure about anything taught.  Acts 17:11
  –The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again!  Rev 22:7,12,20 

The prophets of Israel – or, better, the prophets of YHVH in Israel – spoke the Word of YHVH not only to the Israeli/Jewish people, but also to the nations round about the Land and People of Israel.  God chose Israel to be His first-born [nation], His son. (Ex 4:22-23a), but there were other nations already in existence before Israel:  Babylon, Egypt, Amalek (Gen 10:11; Num 24:20).  (Jesus is also the first-born, although He was not the first person who was born:  God has declared Him to be the first-born. Ps 2:7-8; 89:27; Rom 8:29; Col 1:15-18)

Christians from the nations that write off Israel – or ignore the many ways that God has given her as an example to the Church – write off their own people and nations (if it were possible), or at least misdirect them.

Rom 8:29   For whom [God] did foreknow He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  All IN Messiah are firstborn with Him.

Heb 12:22-23   But you have come to Mt. Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn registered in Heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect

Heb 11:39-40   And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

1Cor 4:8,14   You are already full!  You are already rich!  You have reigned as kings without us – and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you! . . .I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.

Before there was Israel, there were ‘only’ Gentiles, and we know some of them believed in YHVH God, even if they did not know Him by that name. (Ex 6:3)  For some examples, there are Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Amongst nations which God says that He will destroy, there are still individuals that the Bible mentions that we know He has shown mercy to and given them a place in His kingdom:  Rahab, the Canaanite; Uriah, the Hittite; Nebuchadnezer, the Babylonian.  Some nations about which it is written that they will come against Israel, for example Syria, but Elisha the prophet healed Naaman the leper (2Kg 5); Lebanon, and YHVH sent Elijah to the widow in Zarephat to give her hope in the one true God (1Kg 17:8-24);  Cush (Ethiopia/Sudan), yet we have the Ethiopian eunuch who was saved by the God of  Israel in the New Testament, plus the Ethiopian, Eved-Melech, who saved the prophet Jeremiah out of the pit (Jer 38:10; 39:15-18; Acts 8:26-39).  Of course, YHVH God blessed the father and mother of the Arab peoples – Abraham, Hagar, Ishmael – with a future and a hope, and many Arabs are also believers in Jesus, even though their nations are against God’s covenant with the Jewish/Israeli people. (Gen 17:20; Ps 83:6)

The classic beginning of God making  sovereign choices between nations is between Ishmael and Isaac (Gen 16:12; 17:19-20) and between Jacob and Esau, even while they were still in the womb of their common mother, Rebecca. (Gen 25:23)  There is a destiny of two nations given here which remains until the end, but for individuals within those nations, there is good news for whosover will hear, repent, and believe it for salvation.  Let us remember:  the Lord Jesus has said, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.  Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years”. (Rev 20:6)

Rom 11:25-27   All Israel shall be saved when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

GOD IS PRESENTLY AT WORK THROUGH THE GREAT COMMISSION TO PUT A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT INTO INDIVIDUAL PERSONS – WHOSOEVERFROM ALL NATIONS, TRIBES, PEOPLES, AND TONGUES, RULING IN THEIR HEARTS THROUGH THEIR FAITH IN CHRIST CRUCIFIED, AND RISEN FROM THE DEAD. (Rev 5:8-10 for born-again individuals) 

THE TRUTH THAT YHVH GOD IS KEEPING HIS COVENANT PROMISES TO SAVE A REMNANT PEOPLE/NATION ISRAEL, WHOM HE HAS CHOSEN UNIQUELY FROM ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH (Am 3:1-3), GIVES SIGNIFICANCE AND HOPE TO ALL OTHER NATIONS.  Having a firstborn implies having others who will have been born (Rev 7:9-15 for sheep nations (?) Mt 25:31-46), coming out of the great tribulation. . . .

Is 19:23-25   Egypt, My people; Syria, the work of My hands; Israel, My inheritance

**The prophets of YHVH spoke about and to the nations round-about Israel:   

Jer 46:1   The Word of YHVH which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the nations (Paul is the apostle to/for the nations.):
   —46:25-26   Egypt, but with a hope
   —46:27-28   Jacob
   —47:1   against the Philistines in Gaza
   —48:1,47   against Moab (middle Jordan), with hope
   —49:1   against Ammon (northern Jordan)
   —49:7   against Edom (southern Jordan and part of the Negev)
   —49:34, 38-39   against Elam (part of present-day Iran and Iraq), but with a hope
   —50 – 51   against Babylon

Ezek 35; Obadiah   against Edom

Joel 3:1-2,12; Zech 12:2-9   All nations/ all surrounding nations YHVH will bring against Jerusalem, and He will judge them

Jonah   against Nineveh; Jonah was the first missionary, sent by YHVH, to Gentiles, who were also Israel’s enemies.  They repented at the word preached by Jonah, and he is the sign which Jesus gave the Jewish people, and in the synagogues every Day of Atonements, Jonah is read! (Mt 16:4)

**Where are we now in God’s plan to have His King on His holy hill of Zion?

The Holy Spirit is bringing to pass ALL that is written in the Law and the Prophets.  Not one word will fail!  The realization, the full-fillment of all this will be during the Millennial Kingdom.  For Israel the first-born, and so for all the other nations who will become God’s children.

Mt 10:34-36; Mic 7:6   Do not think that I (Jesus) came to bring peace on Earth.  I did not come to bring peace but a swordFor I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’, and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

1Pt 1:3-5,13-15   living hope for believers until the revelation of Jesus Christ:  ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’

Mt 28:18-20   the Great Commission is until the end of the age

Wherever we are, whatever we are. . .in the marketplace of the world (to use a current term), our message today is the same as that of the prophets and of the apostles:  repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!  God has not changed His ‘script’, and has already seen the end from the beginning.

God’s love and grace and mercies are all around in His longsuffering, but His righteousness will be revealed at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  As we all seek to identify with, and be a blessing to our nations, let us be careful not to be as Israel still is: an enemy of the good news. (Mt 2:4-6; Lk 19:45-48; Acts 5:34-40)

YESHUA ESTABLISHING HIS THRONE OVER ISRAEL AND THE NATIONS

(Kingdom of God conference, Canberra, Australia:  “The Government Shall Be On His Shoulder”, July, 2010)

Rom 3:29-30  YHVH God is the God of both Jews and Gentiles
Acts 1:6-7   God has His own appointed times to fulfill His covenantal promises

Mt 28:18-19   ALL authority has been given to Yeshua by God the Father, in Heaven and on Earth.
Eph 20-22   Jesus is currently sitting at the right-hand of the Father, interceding for us; the church (not the world at this time) is His body and the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  Jesus is far above the  creation He made.

1Sam 8   Israel, from Beer Sheva, asked for a king like the Gentiles have, rejecting YHVH God as their King.  (God gave them who/what they asked for in Shaul/Saul, whose Hebrew name means ‘asked for’.)
Mt 2:2; 27:37-42   Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and was already King of the Jews at His birth (and in His death on the cross).  Jesus came to restore the Kingdom of God to Israel.
Lk 19:14   “But His citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after Him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’”

Zechariah (520 BCE)
1:1-6   repent and believe the Word of YHVH; brings self-judgment of God’s righteousness

2:12-17 [8-13
Eng]   God’s judgment against nations who have plundered Israel will be evidence that 
YHVH of Hosts has sent YHVH of Hosts!; many gentiles will be joined to Him in that day; He will inherit Judah and Jerusalem, and come out from His holy dwelling. **The expression “in that day” is always in reference either to the Day of the LORD/YHVH or to the Millennial Kingdom.

3:1(Num 25:10-13)   Joshua the High Priest is a descendant of Phineas, with whom God covenanted an everlasting priesthood.
3:3(Jude 23)   Even the High Priest was clothed in filthy garments, whose iniquity needed to be purged and removed before pure garments could be placed upon him.
3:8-10   Joshua and his friends are a “sign of things to come”; YHVH says He will bring His servant, the Branch/Plant (tzemach), who will bring cleansing to the land in one day and bring peace and security under the vine and fig tree in that day.

4:1-3   lampstand:  seven lights, seven channels two olive trees
4:10(Rev 4:5; 5:6)   the eyes of YHVH which range throughout the Earth
4:11-14(Rev 11:4)   the two servants (witnesses) of the Lord of all the Earth

5:1-4(Jn 10:8; 1Cor 12:3; 16:22)   The Law (both tablets) will condemn all who oppose YHVH, and will root out lawlessness.     The Law both restrains and exposes sin and rebellion.
5:5-11(Rev 17:17-18; 2Thes 2:6-8)   lawlessness restrained until released and manifested in God’s time

6:1-5(ctr. Rev 2:1)   four chariots (four winds of heaven) of God’s judgment throughout the Earth
6:11-13(Jn 2:18-22; Gen 14:18; Ps 110:4; Ezek ch. 40 – ch. 44)    Yeshua (Ezra 2:2) the High Priest fulfills the covenant promise to Phineas and the sons of Zadok;  Jesus, the Man-Branch, is the fulfillment of the anointed Priest-King on the Throne of God, transcending both Aaron and David.

7:12(2Pt 1:21 – 2:3)   Israel would not heed the prophetic word of God and fell into apostasy, just as in the last days in which we live

8:19   fast days turned into occasions of joy and gladness after Messiah comes:  for us now; for Israel in the Millennial Kingdom.   (Messiah HAS already come, and has brought in a new reality for believers!)
8:20-23   Many nations, with the Jews, will seek YHVH in Jerusalem because He will be there!  Millennial blessings upon Jerusalem and her inhabitants

10:6-9   redemption and ingathering of the whole house of Israel

11:15-17   contemporary warning against apostasy with the false prophet of the future

12:3,4,6,8,9   on that dayArmageddon and salvation; YHVH is the God of Israel who strengthens His people
12:7   YHVH will save the dwelling of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be greater than that of Judah:  equality in the Father’s house; no place for pride of election
12:10-12 (Jn 19:37; Rom 11:26-27; Rev 1:7)   Israel looks upon YHVH whom they pierced, and will afflict their souls:  Israel’s national Day of Atonements; the full remnant of Israel (‘all Israel’) will be saved.

Ch. 13   encouragement of future repentance of Israel and their purification:  millennial kingdom will be established upon the blood of atonement, the finished and accepted sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua for Israel’s sin, both personal and as a people, as a nation

14:2-3   all nations to come against Jerusalem, and YHVH will fight them
14:5(Jude 14)   the Lord and all His holy ones will come to battle
14:6-7(Mt 24:36,42)   a unique day known only to YHVH
14:8(Ezek 47:9)   living waters flowing out from Jerusalem
14:9   YHVH will be King over the whole Earth; YHVH will be one and His Name one.
14:12   plague to destroy all those nations who fought against Jerusalem
14:16-19   All surviving nations must come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, YHVH of Hosts, to celebrate the Feast of Booths.  Any nation not doing so will be punished by YHVH.
14:20-21(Jn 2:16)   EVERYTHING will be HOLY TO YHVH in Jerusalem, in the land, in the House of YHVH of Hosts!

The sovereignty of God and the free will of Man will converge at YHVH God’s appointed time (for His will shall be done!) to bring these things to pass:  the revelation of Jesus Christ – no-one can know the day or the hour; no-one can change the set time which the Father has decreed.

–The Lord Jesus remains at the right-hand of God until:
Ezek 36:37   Thus says the Lord YHVH:  I will also let the House of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them:  to increase them like a flock of people.

Hos 5:15   I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense.  Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.  (also Lev 23:40-45)

Mic 5:3; 7:9   Therefore He shall give them up, until the time she who is labor has given birth.  Then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.  (1Thes 5:3; Rev 12:1-5; Mt 24:32)

Mt 23:39   for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of YHVH!’

Acts 3:18-21   Repent . . and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. . .that [God] may send Jesus Christ, whom Heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by . . .all His holy prophets. . . .

1Cor 11:26   Believers take the Lord’s Supper until Yeshua comes again.

Lk 17:21   The Kingdom of God is within us now, and part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control to do God’s will.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

1Cor 4:8   the believers were already reigning, as if it were all about them, and not having a true Kingdom understanding

Heb 11:35-40   God has His own plan:  we (all believers from all times) will be perfected together, and reign together with Messiah Yeshua!