THE NEW MOON: COVERED, OR REVEALED?

(Corrected and/or Revised on 10 Sept 2014; 4 Jan 2015; Mar 2015; June 2015; Aug 2015; Mar 2016)

Tonight (March 11, 2013), there is a New Moon.  Do you see it?  What is it that you saw?

This New Moon also marks the beginning of the first month in God’s redemptive calendar year given to Israel, leading up to the Passover on the Full Moon in two weeks. (Ex 12:2)

I am not going to give a teaching here on all that is written concerning the New Moon celebrations given by YHVH to Israel to commemorate, both under the Law of Moses and also in the future Millennial Kingdom (Lev 23:24; Num 10:10; Ezek 46:1-8)The New Testament tells those who are now believers in Yeshua/Jesus not to make too much of days, months, seasons, years, festivals, New Moons, Sabbaths – all of these things being shadows of things to come, but the substance is Messiah. (Gal 4:9-11; Col 2:16-17) 

The Lord has told us that all of the Scriptures are written about Him, and we know that all of the sacrifices and holidays/appointed times are also fulfilled by Jesus in the entirety of His first coming, and in the anticipation of His coming again to fulfill all that is written in the whole of the Bible, which still waits for the Kingdom of God to come. 

My main purpose here is to try to shed some light on a subject which seems to have been darkened by human reasoning, rather than understood by faith in God’s own Word. We believe by faith, not by sight.  (2Cor 5:7; Heb 11:2) 

In Scripture, we do have references indicating that the sun, the moon, and the stars symbolize the Son, Yeshua; Israel; and, born-again saints, respectively. (Gen 1:14-19; 37:9-11; Mal 4:2Eng; 1Cor 15:40-41; Rev 12:1-2) Yeshua is the glory both of Israel — His people — and of the Church — His Body and Bride. In Him, both find their true identity and fullness. (Is 49:3; Lk 2:32; 1Cor 11:7; Col 2:6-10) 

If we accept the truth that all things are created by God through Messiah Yeshua/Jesus Christ (Jn 1:1-3), and all in Christ find their true identity and purpose, then we can better understand that there is no Israel of God apart from Him; there is no true Church apart from Him.  Even the sun and moon exist only through His creation, but in the eternal New Heavens and New Earth there will be no need for the temporal sun and moon.  Again, these present things are but a shadow of the things to come, whose substance is Christ.  The Israel of God (the Millennial Israel, ultimately, I believe) and the Church of God (those in Christ, whether dead or still living) are identified with YHVH God and His Anointed Son – the Holy Spirit indwelling the born-again believersMessiah in us.

So, is the new moon covered over, that is, darkened?; or, is it a slim crescent, that is, partially revealed or exposed?  The Scriptures are not silent about this, since God commanded Israel to celebrate every New Moon, and to blow the trumpets on that occasion! (Num 10:10)  If Jesus does fulfill the meaning of the New Moon, and if the moon does symbolize Israel, then the answer to whether the New Moon is covered or partially revealed will be consistent with its symbolism.   When the Holy Spirit speaks through Scriptural authority, then it is other voices which need to be silenced, as we “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah…” (2Cor 10:5

There are three Bible references to the New Moon that can help us:
1Sam 20:5   “And David said to Jonathan, ‘Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the King to eat.  But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening.'”

From this verse, we can see that David knew when there would be a New Moon, without there being any official ‘spotters’ to watch for it and inform all the others after they had seen it.  David also says that he will be hiding in the field.  How hiding?  Because there would be no light of the moon to help make him detectable in any night-time movements (he would have been hiding out during the day in any event), as he sought to protect himself from the king who sought his life.  (Were the New Moon the first crescent sliver, then each succeeding night the moon would have waxed larger and brighter, making hiding at night more difficult.)  How long did he plan to hide out in the field during the New Moon?  Until the third evening, which is about the length of time for the dark moon to wax as the moon moves from its final light phase to its next crescent moon.   

Amos 8:5   “. . . When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? . . . .”

The heartless people, who were only concerned with their own commercial interests at the expense of the poor and needy, were anxious to know when the beginning-of-the-month New Moon (and also the end-of-the-work-week Sabbath) would be over – and not, “when is it beginning?” — so that they could get back to business and oppress the poor and needy.  If the New Moon were a sliver of light (like the Islamic sign by sight!), there would be no need of the question!  But if the New Moon is darkened by being directly between the Earth and the Sun, it could take up to three days until the light that was hidden to human sight appeared again.  (As an aside, an eclipse of the Sun can occur only at New Moon, while an eclipse of the Moon can occur only at Full Moon:  there is perfect symmetry in the moon’s phases.  And, exactly one half of the moon is always illuminated by the sun:  God always ‘sees’ a Full Moon!)  The oppressors wanted to know when they could again be ‘freed’ from the constraints of the Law of God in whatever way it restricted their greedy, self-serving thoughts and plans.  The commandment to sound the trumpet was for the New Moon beginning, and not for the New Moon ending.  Again, it is a new moon, not a renewed moon:  it is there, yet concealed, signifying the beginning of a new month, not a renewed month.  (Those who would make the first sliver of a crescent moon the New Moon are then putting the darkened phase at the end of the month rather than at the beginning.  This is akin to those who moved Sonday to be the last day of the week rather than the first.)

Ps 81:3-4 (Eng)   “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon; at the covering, on our celebration day.  For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.” 

Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) has been used by many to go through hoops not to accept it for what it plainly and simply says in Hebrew.  The two verses are in parallel.  Verse 4 (5 in Hebrew) says in parallel the same thing:  God gave His instruction to Israel – to Jacob – to celebrate the New Moon.  Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) is describing when to blow the trumpet:  at the New Moon, which is described as being covered.  The parallel part of the verse is not describing the time, nor is the verse speaking of two different moon phases, just as the other verse is not speaking of two different peoples.  And, God did not command Israel to blow the trumpets on the Full Moons (which they could, though, when holidays fell on them; e.g., Passover, Feast of Booths, Purim).  The Hebrew word is bakasehכסה), which simply means ‘at the [whole] covering’If something is partially covered, it is not ‘covered’:  it is partly exposed.  We do not speak of ‘covering’ something in some measure of light, but we speak of covering something over.  Light reveals; darkness covers.  Yeshua spoke of letting our light shine, not being hidden under cover of a basket. (Mt 5:14-16)

Identification with, and being the representative Israel (Is 49:3; Gal 4:4-5; Heb 2:14-18), the Man Yeshua came stripped of His innate glory as the Son of God.  But the Sun of Righteousness died, went down in burial (hidden in the secret, dark, lower parts of the Earth), and rose again visibly and triumphantly as the Bright and Morning Star on the third day!  As the risen Savior King and Head of the Church, believers ‘see’ Him clothed in divine light and majesty with the glory that was His before He came to His own, and to the world that He made.  Israel has no glory of her own:  the moon has no light but that of the sun which it reflects.  YHVH called Israel to be a light to the nations, but without receiving her Source of Light, she is darkened until. . . – having an inherent hope of a restoration through the covenant promises of God to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to their descendants.  Born-again Christians are a light.  Yeshua has said:  “You are the light of the world. . . . ”  Stars are lights of their own, each with its own glory, but none outshining the glory of the Sun. (1Cor 15:41)  Israel is still hidden from man’s view, as if away from the light of the Sun/Son, whom the nation still rejects because it prefers the darkness (Gen 3:7-10; Jn 3:19-21)  During the New Moon, the illuminated side of the Moon is then pointed away from Earth, but is full in God’s sight, who sees the end from the beginning! (Num 23:18-23)  The Church, through her historic replacement theology presuming that God is finished with Israel, also has consequently rejected the truth from God’s side that Israel’s future is assured. (Jer 31:35-37)  Israel is beginning to be seen since the re-establishment of the State of Israel, and will be seen in her full [moon] glory when she rises up to remember the former glory that was given her by YHVH, and seeks with all her heart the true Son who has risen! (Hos 6:15; Rom 9:4); finally repenting, and accepting the Sun of Righteousness, Yeshua whom she pierced. (Zech 12:10; Mt 23:39

The New Moon (which, technically, is only for a brief minute, but can seem to the natural naked eye to be extended over a period of some days) occurs when the visible side is completely covered from the light of the sun (much like a blanket over us to keep out light) by being directly between it and the Earth.  It is the phase when the moon is ‘out of sight’, and the night, which the moon rules, is less lit.  Yet, the stars are more brilliant and so many more can be seen when there is a New Moon.  Spiritually, it is Israel’s phase of “being there”, but out-of-sight, and, for too many people, also out-of-mind.  And, meanwhile, the born-again ‘star saints’ are given their opportunity to shine!  So God, in His infinite wisdom, gave Israel a statute to remember the New Moon.  The whole world — including Gentiles, angelic and demonic spirits, and the Body of Christ — are reminded of God’s New Moon which He gave for a sign and for seasons, and for days and for years:  every month (from the word, ‘moon’; in Hebrew חודש/chodesh, new month), begins with the new and unseen moon that is there!  It is a globally recurring heavenly sign from the Creator and Redeemer that He has thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give Israel a future and a hope. (Jer 11-14)  

The trumpets for the New Moon are for a memorial before YHVH.  The Memorial Feast of Blowing of Trumpets (Lev 23:24), which marks the beginning of the seventh month in God’s redemptive calendar to Israel (the Jewish ‘New Year’ today), is basically a uniquely appointed New Moon prophetic wake-up BLAST! to Israel to gather together for preparing to meet her God on the Day of Atonements, either to have her sins forgiven and removed by calling on His Name on that Day (Num 10:9; Joel 2; Acts 4:8-12; Mt 23:37-39), or else to face His wrath like the rest of His enemies.  Those who are saved celebrate the Jubilee — truly a new beginning! — and as on all the celebratory days for His people, the trumpet is sounded. (Lev 25:8-10)  Israel is the New Moon trumpet of God to the Church and the nations in these last days, to remember that the God of Israel keeps His covenant promises to the seed of Jacob.  Israel’s full glory – the Full Moon – will be manifested when the Lord returns to dwell in the midst of His completely restored people at the fulfillment of the Feast of Booths (which always begins at the Full Moon of the 7th month of the redemptive calendar) – the Millennial Kingdom.

Israel is Messiah’s treasure hidden in a field (Mt 13:44), to be uncovered on the third day (Hos 6:2) at the revelation of Jesus Christ (who is Himself now hidden from the world (Jn 16:10)), when the surviving remnant of Jacob shall see Him whom they pierced, repent with great affliction of soul, and all Israel will be saved. (Zech 12:10 – 13:2; Rom 11:25-27)

Yeshua fulfills the New Moon in His death, burial (covering and removing our sins out of sight), and resurrection to life everlasting.  Israel fulfills the New Moon, which symbolizes her as a continual reminder of God’s covenantal faithfulness — and of her hope in Him — that there is a day coming when her redemption will shine forth, the glory of the LORD will shine upon her, and all the nations will praise YHVH, God of Israel, and call her blessed when He cleanses her from all her sin against the Lord.  (Lev 26:40-45)  There is joy when a woman becomes aware that she is pregnant; there is greater joy when she has given birth. (Jn 16:21-22; Lk 15:7,10,32)  What began in secret in the inward parts, (even as in the womb at conception. ..Ps 139:11-15), will come to light and be seen by all in its full glory, that which was already conceived by the Holy Spirit for a new birth and the celebration of life (Is 66:5-14)!  Blessed is he who believes and has not seen!  Even the creation began with darkness, being outside of God, who is Light!  The heavens declare the glory of God!

God is redeeming Israel today.  He is again returning His attention to Jerusalem.  He is calling His people to remember Him and to rejoice in His goodness and long-suffering, which lead to repentance unto salvation.  Let all who want God’s purposes to be fulfilled, who desire the peace of Jerusalem, not keep silent, but remind the Lord as workers with Him to make Jerusalem a praise in the Earth, with a highway of holiness and blessing between Egypt and Assyria, running through Israel.  YHVH God will remove unrighteousness from Jacob, and all Israel will be saved.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

JERUSALEM AT PEACE, AND A PRAISE IN THE EARTH

Ps 122:6-9 Prayerfully ask about the peace of Jerusalem; those who love you shall be blessed. Peace be within your walls, blessings within your palaces. For my brothers and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within you. Because of the house of Yehovah our God I will seek your good.

Is 62:1-7 For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until its righteousness goes out as brightness, and her salvation as a burning lamp. And the nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name, which the mouth of Yehovah will name. You also will be a crown of glory in the hand of Yehovah, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You will no more be called Forsaken; nor will your land any more be called Desolate; but you will be called, My Delight is in her, and your land, Married; for Yehovah delights in you, and your land is married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so will your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, who always all the day and all the night will not be silent; you who remember Yehovah, do not be silent. And give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 

A PRAYER FOR THE SALVATION OF ISRAEL

Our Father in Heaven, thank-you for your goodness and long-suffering to your people Israel.  You have sent the Holy Spirit to the world to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.  Sin is not believing in Your Son, Yeshua, as the Messiah.  Our people still harden their hearts and stubbornly stiffen their necks against the truth of the gospel, despite all that we have done till now.

The New Covenant in the blood of Yeshua is the basis for the promise that You will save the full remnant of your people, as you have promised in many ways and places throughout the Scriptures, by forgiving their sins.

Act on behalf of your holy Name’s sake to show to the Jewish people everywhere in the world, and to the enemies of Israel round about Israel and anywhere else, that there is still a God in Israel!  Why should the nations say, Where is your God?!  Put Your fear in your own beloved people, and in those who would seek her destruction, that they would fear YEHOVAH, the God of Israel, God Most High.  Break the pride in Your chosen people regarding their being chosen as the first-born among the nations.  Bring them to see the futility of trying to justify themselves by their own works, rather than returning in humble confession to You in the way You have provided.  In wrath, remember mercy, O God!

Until the fullness of Gentiles comes in, You say that Israel will remain partially blinded.  Save more, and more, and more individual Israeli Jewish people now, Lord, until that day.  Save more of the Gentiles, especially round about Israel — the Arabs, Muslims — to bring us closer to that day when all Israel will be saved!  Give them a new heart, a new spirit through their repentance and faith in the gospel, that they would provoke Israel to jealousy and show mercy to Israel, rather than seek vengeance and her destruction.

Bring more Israelis to repentance for their unfaithfulness against You and Your covenant with them, in their heart’s desire to be like the Gentiles, a thing which You say will not be!  Work, LORD, for Your holy Name’s sake, through all the political power struggles and religious corruption that more and more of your people would become fed up with being like the Gentiles, who lord it over one another, and would begin to return to You; for You, YHVH God, to be King over them once again; for Your Kingdom to come — Your righteousness and Your true peace.

Act on behalf of your holy Name’s sake within the Body of Messiah here in Israel, that You would break through the impasse preventing us from going on in the truth of the one new man, in spiritual unity in love and in truth, that our testimony would be faithful to the truth of Your love and grace to us who believe in Jesus, whom You sent.  We plead, our Father, that our people would see something GOOD within the congregation and life of believers, that would draw them towards You. . .and You would run towards them.

Act, O Lord, for Your Name’s sake, that believers would feel the need for You, Lord Jesus, to come back, and that the Jewish people would begin to cry out, Blessed is He who comes in the name of YEHOVAH!  Let them see Him whom they have pierced, and afflict their souls in mourning for all their hatred without a cause towards Him — even as we have by Your lovingkindness.  Take away the curse out of their mouths, and bring them to call upon the only Savior:  Blessed are You, Lord Yeshua!  And heal them, and cleanse them — the people whom You love, and have chosen to be Your holy people, and for Yeshua to be the King of Israel, King of the Jews.

Thank-you, Father, for Your faithfulness,  in Yeshua’s name.  Amen.

O, Maker of peace in the high places,      (Oseh shalom bam’romim,
You will make peace upon us,                   (Ata ta’aseh shalom aleinu,
and upon all of Israel.                                   (ve’al kol Israel

And all say, say Amen.                                 (Ve’imru, imru Amen.

Make peace, make peace,                            (Ta’aseh shalom, ta’aseh shalom,
Peace upon us, and upon all Israel!        (Shalom aleinu, ve’al kol Israel!)

THE FEASTS OF YHVH AND THE FINAL HARVEST

The sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross was the fulfillment of all the sacrifices:  sin, transgression (guilt), peace, etc.  His death in history fulfilled what God had already ‘done’ before time:  the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8)  Therefore, all of the sacrifices given to Israel in the Torah were based upon that eternally ‘efficacious’ once-for-all sacrifice to be.

Since our salvation is of grace through faith in that sacrifice of Yeshua (Lev 16:30; 23:28-29; Rom 5:1-11), so has this been the lesson to be learned by the Jewish people through the Law and the Prophets, and by Christians through the Gospels and Apostles. Passover was a ‘grace thing’.  NOTHING was spoken about sin.  It was simply a matter of believing and obeying YHVH God, trusting Him to carry out what He was saying to deliver them from a real and felt bondage.  All who simply repent and believe the gospel are saved:  it is all of grace.  Sinners are justified through faith in the Word of God concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  The sacrifice of Jesus differs from, and is greater than, the Passover in that it was also a sin and trespass offering, thus fulfilling the Day of Atonements for all who believe.  The Passover occurs during the time of the barley harvest. (Ex 9:31-32)

After Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea, the Law of Moses was then given around Shavuot, the season of the wheat harvest (Ex 34:22).  The blood of the covenant was sprinkled upon the whole people, bringing them into their relationship with YHVH.  The law for sinners was given on external tablets of stone to bring us to know we are in need of God’s grace to forgive us if we are going to have rest and peace within ourselves, and to demonstrate this to others through love of God and of our fellow-man.

After the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was given to the born-again Jewish people at Shavuot/Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit filled and dwelled within the believers, bringing them/us into a more personal and intimate covenant relationship with God, as members of the Body of Messiah.  The law of Messiah on the ground of His death, and His resurrection from among the dead, becomes the basis for our living.

NOW (that is, after knowing the laws and regulations by which to live), Israeland the Church — have been given lots of time to figure out that they are not living up to the standard which we have been given, whether under the Old Covenant, or under the New.  We have all been disobedient, needing God’s mercies.  (Those outside God’s covenants are just that — outside — and are called to come inside.  This includes Jewish people too, since the New Covenant was, and still is, for them.  (Jer 31:31-37; Rom 9:4; 11:27) 

SO, what did the prophets do?  What did John the Baptizer do?  What did Yeshua do?  What do the apostles who wrote most of the N.T. still do, since the Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age?  They called — and still call — firstly the people of God, i.e., Jewish people and Christians to repent – and come back home to the Father — for the Kingdom of God/Heaven is near — for the coming of the Lord [to judge and to establish the Kingdom of God on the Earth] is near!  Based on what? . . .on the Law and the Prophets; on the Sermon on the Mount and the Epistles.

The New Covenant, first offered to Israel, but rejected in the sovereign wisdom of God in order to take the offer to all peoples, brings both Jews and Gentiles to accountability to the one true living God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob/Israel, who is Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, and the Redeemer through His Son, Yeshua the Nazarene.

Gentiles being brought into the Commonwealth of Israel through faith in the King of the Jews (but not becoming Jews or Israelis), both Israelis (Jewish people) and Christians (whether Jewish or Gentile) are being called to get ready through repentance and sanctification as the Memorial of the Blowing of Trumpets is nearing its fulfillment.  While God begins His judgment within His own household first, He is still working through the Great Commission to bring ever more people into His household.  Many more Gentiles will be saved before ‘all Israel’ will be. (Rom 11:25-27)                                                             

BEING SAVED BY GRACE (Passover) IS NOT TO BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED.  THE LAW, THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT, AND THE WHOLE WORD OF GOD, TELL US PLAINLY THAT WE ARE SINNERS WHO NEED TO EXPRESS HEART-FELT THANKS FOR SUCH GRACE AND MERCY (Day of Atonements), AND LIVE OUR LIVES OUT OF LOVE FOR GOD AND JESUS, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, WE LOVE THE BRETHREN ALSO, AND EVEN OUR ENEMIES. 

This being pretty difficult (understatement) to live out, Israel (and also the Church through a corresponding spiritual awakening) has the fulfillment of the Day of Atonements coming (Zech 12:10-14), when they deeply know and are afflicted in soul, both personally and collectively, for their sin and rebellion against YHVH God and against Jesus (Lev 26:40-43), against His commandments and judgments. (Rom 1:28,32; Jude; Rev 2:18 – 3:22, for some examples)

Yom Kippur is the conviction and the confession that we are sinners, that it is only the grace of God through His own righteousness, demonstrated by the foundational Passover sacrifice to bring us into that relationship with Him through faith expressed through obedience, which grants us forgiveness and life. 

There is only one atonement for all — accomplished on the cross — but God in His love and wisdom has worked out His redemptive plan to bring us humans into a knowledge — no longer innocence — of Him and His ways so that we mature into sons and daughters — and even to being the Bride of the Lamb for those who “overcome [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death”. (Rev 12:11)

On this ground of a cleansed and forgiven people — not only as a matter of doctrine or covenant promise, but of living faith in God’s provision of His blood sacrifice — YHVH, whose name is Holy, can dwell in the midst of His chosen people, and they will be then a blessing to the other nations, glorifying Him who has done it!  This is the fulfillment of the Feast of Booths (a temporary, semi-enclosed covering; not really ‘tabernacles’, which is another word, and carries a different connotation) for Israel as the Israel of God during the Millennial Kingdom yet to come.  This final feast/appointed time of YHVH for Israel celebrates the joy of all the harvests with the final fruit ingathering, and the prosperity which God supplies to and through His people. (Dt 16:13-15)

For the Church, the Bride of Christ, it is possible to say that we are already a ‘tabernacle’ of the Holy Spirit — an enclosed dwelling place for God — and those who have that blessedness to have part in the first resurrection will truly have the fullness of the Spirit (rather than ‘mere’ firstfruits Rom 8:23), and will rule and reign with Messiah over Israel and the nations during that final Sabbath Day of history and time, to bring everything to its culmination of the final harvest of souls, either to live forever with Yeshua in the New Heavens and New Earth, and New Jerusalem, in the abundant life God has planned for all who love Him (1Cor 2:9; Is 64:4; Jn 10:10); or else to exist forever separated from God in outer darkness, where the worm does not die, and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  These things I command you, that you love one another.” (Jn 15:16-17)

GOD IS REDEEMING ISRAEL TODAY: THE FIRST AND THE LAST – 19 Mar 2011

YHVH God is the same God today as in the days of Mordecai and Esther, acting sovereignly and “behind the scenes” to watch over His people, while also performing His word.

Rom 1:16   For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.
–historic precedence (Mt 10:5-6; 15:24; Acts 3:26; 13:46)
–not a personal obligation
–primarily about the demonstration of God’s power in saving, delivering, setting free the Chosen People, with the pride of life and the stronghold of religious self-righteousness  (consider also Rom 2:9-10 judgment and honor to the Jew first)

Balfour Declaration   “the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people” (see Ezek 36:23-25)
–significant for us today:  not a Jewish state, but a state for the Jewish people
–Jewish, Zionist state excludes from its understanding believers in Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God.
–Judaism (Pharasaic, Talmudic, Rabbinic) rejects Jesus as being God’s Anointed One, and of salvation by grace, through faith in YHVH and in His Word
–rejection and hostility to Jesus and the gospel, and of the righteousness of God
–works of law; self-righteousness; seeks man’s approval; uncircumcised heart
–Today the world is actively working to nullify the Balfour Declaration.
–God used man and the world powers to carry out His sovereign will for bringing back the Jewish people to the Land of promise, both in 1917 and in 1947.

Gen 15:16    “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet   complete.”  (see also with respect to God not being a respecter of persons:  Ezek 14:6-23; Rom 2:11)
–righteous ways of YHVH, and He has not changed; giving us an example for a pattern
–return of the Jews when the iniquity of the Muslims was fully exposed; when the British had reneged from their own commitments and obligations; when the Church, through unbelief and arrogance had presumed that God had finished withIsrael already; when the Arab Christians had largely become Islamized in their thinking and outlook, especially regarding the promises of God to the Jewish people and Israel as a nation
–amongst Christians in the West and in the Middle East, a lack of sympathy over the calamity of the Jews in the Holocaust
–Yeshua/Jesus will open the seals of judgment near the end of the end of the age when the iniquity is full in all the nations, including Israel, against the Word of God and Jesus, and against Israel as God’s chosen land and people.  His righteous judgments will be necessary for the sake of His Holy Name.
–Jerusalem is still being trampled down by the Gentiles until today; the Biblical city is in what today is East Jerusalem,

Lev 26:40-46    The Israelis/Jewish people are required by the LORD to admit and confess her guilt and sins against Him, despite the sins of other peoples and countries against them.
–The Law and commandments of YHVH’s covenant are given to the children of Israel, and she is obligated to Him in a way different from the other nations.

As Christian believers God is looking for those who will stand in faith for His holy name’s sake concerning Israel – like Moses and Paul – and not fall away from Him due to Israel’s continued unbelief and unrighteousness, as the voices of the world would tempt us to do.  Yeshua also willingly took upon Himself the reproaches of the Father, and was thrown out of the vineyard – outside the camp – bearing His reproach, being a scapegoat. (Eng Ps 69:6-9; Ezek 36:21-24; Heb 13:13)

SALVATION OF ISRAEL AND GREAT HARVEST OF GENTILES

(Korean Israel Conference, “The Kingdom of God”, October 6, 2010, in Seoul)

There is hope for the nations:  Jesus Christ is coming again!  This has been my hope ever since being saved, and over the years it has not only not diminished, it has intensified.  Praise God!

Acts 1:6-8   Therefore, when they had come together, [the apostles] asked [Jesus], saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?’  And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the Earth.’  [The Triune God is fully involved in the Great Commission.]

Rom 11:25-29   For I do not desire, [Gentile] brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:  ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’    [This full restoration of the full remnant from all the tribes that will be the ‘all Israel’ during the Millennial Kingdom of Messiah will be the reality of the Israel of God, a holy people for Himself as first-born among the nations chosen to glorify Him and to be a blessing to others. (Zech 12:10; Gal 6:16)]

There is a move of the Holy Spirit within the Body of Messiah to make the believers ready for the coming of the Lord.  The Bride is making herself ready, sanctifying and purifying herself, even as the Holy Spirit is sanctifying and purifying us by the Word of God in action.  We see in the New Testament that at the time of Jesus, there were movements of false messiahs whom some of the Israeli people accepted, because it was the time of the true Messiah to come.  So now, in these last days, there are increasing numbers of false messiahs/christs appearing and being proclaimed (Acts 5:36-37), as the devil tries to deceive even more people, and, if possible, even the elect. (Mt 24:4-5; Jn 5:43; 1Jn 2:18-19)

Do we really know and believe that the same Lord Jesus Christ who ascended to Heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, is going to return according to His promise, at a set time?!  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)  ‘Hold fast what you have till I come.  And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations – He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels – as I also have received from My Father. (Rev 2:25-27; Ps 2:7-9)  God is saving individuals from out of Israel and out from every nation now – as a royal priesthood and as a Bride for the Lamb – before He saves the full remnant of Israel as a nation, which gives hope also to other nations, including Korea, Ukraine, Zambia, Congo, Australia.  The devil seeks to discourage believers from thinking this will ever get done. (2Pt 3:1-5a)

A Remnant Will Be Saved
When Paul says in Romans 11 that “all Israel” will be saved, neither he nor the Spirit of God is saying that every Jew or every Israeli will be saved.  This is clear throughout all of the Bible that many Israelis and Jews have died in rebellion against the Lord, and Daniel speaks of the resurrection of shame and everlasting contempt for those not “written in the book”. (Dan 12:1-3)

YHVH speaks through the prophet Isaiah (1:9) that unless He “had left to us a very small remnant, would we have become like Sodom and Gomorrah”.

In the New Testament, we find also that Paul is quoting from Isaiah in Rom 9:27,29, when he writes that “though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved”. (Is 10:20,22)

It is important to remember that not all Israel is Israel (Rom 9:6).  Neither is all the Church the Church:  there are tares with the wheat (Mt 13:30)And there are sheep nations and goat nations (Mt 25:32-34,41; Joel 3:1-2 (4:1-2 Heb)).  The sheep nations will enter the Millennial Kingdom with all Israel that is saved.  But again, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection!”  God is dealing with both individuals and with nations.  The ways of the LORD are just, and He is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

Beer Sheva has a very significant history in the Bible.  First of all, Beer Sheva received its name from Abraham, and then confirmed by Isaac.  Jacob also lived there.  Hagar and Ishmael lived there, and YHVH God blessed them there, and gave them a hope in Him.  And there is more; but one thing which occurred in Beer Sheva has had negative repercussions until today.  In 1Sam 8, we read how the prophet and priest, Samuel, had two sons who were judges in Beer Sheva.  But they were corrupt in their character and in their duties.  The Israeli people at that time asked Samuel to give them a king like the Gentiles have!  YHVH, God of Israel, told Samuel that the people were not rejecting Samuel, but Him from being their King and Judge.  From that time, Israel as a nation has not accepted YHVH, who chose them for His own special people, to be either their King or God.  They have preferred to be like the Gentiles, the heathen; but praise the Lord, He will not let them be so completely! (Ezek 20:32)  When Jesus the Messiah came, He came to restore the Kingdom of God back to Israel – into their hearts — and to establish His kingdom over the other nations as well.  We learn from the New Testament, that the Jewish people (of whom I am also) did not want ‘this Man’ to rule over us. (Lk 19:14; Jn 19:15)  When Joshua told the people that he and his household would serve YHVH, the people said they would too.  But Joshua told them that they could not, because YHVH is a holy and jealous God, and the people still had their idols!

So until Jesus returns to forever establish God’s Kingdom over Israel and the nations, the Great Commission to take the gospel to all peoples and nations to make disciples of Jesus – to have the Kingdom of God in their hearts  — who already has all authority in Heaven and on Earth, remains in force.  This is the power which the Holy Spirit gives us, to be witnesses to Jesus (Acts 1:8; Rom 1:16); and God is so determined to save as many as possible, He has not left it to us – the Church – to finish the work (which we apparently cannot do), but He will also send out His angels to proclaim the everlasting gospel to all who dwell on the Earth before He pours out His wrath upon His enemies and those of His people. (Rev 14:6-7)

I want our confidence to be in the Word of God – in the Scriptures – and not in the wisdom of man, including my own, whatever I may have.  We will look at some passages from different books in the Bible which speak of Israel’s salvation and of the Gentile nations coming under the rule of the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel.  It is your responsibility, if you have any uncertainties, to search the Scriptures yourselves to see if what I am saying – or how I am putting passages together – is true or not.

One of the main things that we want to pay attention to is that these things have not yet happened.  The Lord Jesus Christ has told us that He did not come to annul the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them.  Heaven and Earth will not pass away until all is fulfilled, during the Millennial Kingdom! (Mt 5:17-18)

Is 11:1-13   the Son of David (the netzer) who will be Judge and King (Is 33:22) in Israel and over the nations; peace amongst the animals and between animals and humans; no more war as the Earth will be full of the knowledge of YHVH; Israel will have peace and become the head (first-born) nation under Messiah’s rule

Ezek 47:21-23   division of the inheritance in the land to the tribes, including non-Israelis (Gentiles) having an inheritance with the children of Israel

Zech 14:16-20   All nations will come up to worship YHVH in Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles during the Millennial Kingdom, with punishment from Him for those who do not do so.  Even the most simple and ordinary things will be holiness to YHVH!

Rev 7   the sealing of the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel, plus an innumerable multitude from all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues who have all come out of the great tribulation, who will be in God’s presence and serve the Lamb forever

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of YHVH!

THE MYSTERY OF ISRAEL

Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.

Is 25:7  And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.  

Rev 7  And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.  And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God:  and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,   Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 

And I heard the number of them which were sealed:  and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.  Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Asher were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Naphtali were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Manasseh were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.   Of the tribe of Zebulon were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. 

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.  And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,  Saying, Amen:  Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever.  Amen. 

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes?  and whence came they?  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest.  And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters:  and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

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

Jer 31:7  For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O YHVH, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.

Dan 12:1  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Zec 12:10-14  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications:  and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.  In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.  And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;  The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;  All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

YHVH’s COVENANTS WITH ISRAEL

(Teaching at conference in Lubumbashi, DRC – Pentecostal  Epiphanie Church — May 26, 2009)

Mt 5:17-19; 2 Cor 1:20     Jesus came not to cancel or to break the Law and the Prophets, but rather to fulfill every jot and tittle of them

Ex 25:21-22; Lev 16: 11-14     the Ark of the Testimony was set in the Holy of Holies; the intercessory cloud of incense covered, and the blood of atonement was sprinkled on the Ark as a witness to the hope of redemption from the holy and righteous demands of the Law of Moses

Acts 24:14-15  Paul’s testimony about the hope of the fathers, as written in the Law and the Prophets, for the resurrection

Rom 8:18-25    the redemption of our bodies in the resurrection

The word redemption in English means to buy (purchase) back and restore what is rightfully mine but legally lost through forfeit (loss of privilege or honor through disqualification by breaking, or by not living up to, the rules or law).  The word ransom means the payment of a price for deliverance from some evil.  It could be for a prisoner of war, a hostage, a slave, or one’s own life (Ex 21:29-30).  In the Bible, redemption requires two things:  the legally qualified person, and the willingness and ability of that person to pay the required price to buy back what was given up. (see Lev 25; Ruth 4; Heb 2:14-18; 1Pt 1:18-19)  The year of Jubilee is all about redemption and restoration, both of people and of property.  A redeemed person or possession is restored to his or its intended purpose.  His dignity is regained.  And the honor given him is greater than before the loss.  Redemption brings a better state than the original natural creation or nature.

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, let us be clear from the beginning that the redemption of Israel is assured by the fact—by the truth—that Jesus Himself is her Redeemer.  Not only does He deliver prisoners, slaves, debtors, but by His very name, Yeshua is the Savior and Redeemer of sinners. (Mt 1:21)    If Israel could redeem herself from her bondages, then certainly the Holocaust would seem to be sufficient ransom of her own sons and daughters.  But it clearly has not been so.  God wants the loss of intimate relationship with Him restored, so that Israel–and the rest of the world– can have rest and peace and joy.  Messiah Jesus is the uniquely qualified person who willingly paid the necessary price to buy back His own people and kinsmen according to the flesh, and the Land of Canaan, which YHVH, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, promised with an oath to give to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to their descendants forever.

Since Israel asked for a king like the heathen nations have (1Sam 8), YHVH has not been Israel’s God in practice from their point of view.  Jesus came—and was also rejected for Caesar! (Lk 19:14; Jn 19:12-15)—to restore God the Father’s Kingdom both to Israel and to the whole world, the gentiles having already rejected Him in Noah’s day, both before and after the Flood.   

Adam and Eve, through deception and disobedience, lost the paradise and the authority that God provided and gave to them.  Both the people of Israel and the Land of Israel were forfeited by Israel through their breaking God’s covenant with them. (Jer 31:32)  But Jesus was sent by God the Father to redeem His people, His land, even the whole of humanity and the whole Earth; even more—the whole universe of this creation, which has all been corrupted through sin and subjected to vanity, futility.  Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and the Savior of all, but especially for those who believe, for by faith we are saved through grace, not by law or through works or without condition.  Abiding in Jesus is the key to our faith and our love.  The Messianic/Christian faith is a relationship with the Father and the Son, and with others who are born of God.

Jesus says that the whole of the Book is written about Him, and that He has come to fulfill all that is written in the Law and the Prophets. He says that Heaven and Earth will pass away, but not before God has fulfilled every jot and tittle of the Word of God with respect to this creation, which is set and limited by time and seasons.  So as we look at the subject of Israel’s redemption, we do so as recognizing that all Scripture is inspired by the Spirit of God, and is given for our learning to make us wise unto salvation.  By them we can know not only God’s statutes, but also His ways regarding His people and the world at large.  

Israel’s redemption—both of people and land—gives hope and significance to other nations.  God is interested in nations of people, a corporate collection of individual persons bound together by a language, law, customs, culture, boundaries.  He has given each a destiny, and within each of the families of the Earth, the Father is seeking those who will love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to worship Him in spirit and truth.

Christians are expected to be stewards of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.  The Church—the Body of Christ—was a mystery which God revealed especially to Paul to explain.  And Paul also says that Israel’s salvation is a mystery, which again the Holy Spirit explains particularly through Paul.  But without knowing the truth of who Jesus really is, we can not understand either the Church–which is a new creation not of this world–or Israel, which is distinguished from the other nations.   

YHVH is a covenant-making and -keeping God.  Melchizedek brought wine and bread to Abram.  God is love, and so His covenants are expressions of His love and holiness.  Just as the Lord requires a husband and wife to remain faithful to each other, even more so is He faithful to His people—even His Bride—through the covenant relationship He has with us.  He cannot deny Himself.  Jesus’ death on the cross because of our sin and sins–and His subsequent resurrection to justify Him in man’s sight, and to justify in God’s sight all who believe that God raised Him up from among the dead—is the costly ransom which God paid to redeem us from the “legal” claims of the devil—a price which Satan tried to subvert.  God is debtor to no one, and is not out to appease His enemy.  The New Covenant assures us that God will keep all His previous commitments, and on the basis of that ‘filling full’ of all His purposes regarding the world He made, He will create a new heavens and a new earth, also in accord with what is already written in the Holy Scriptures.

Therefore Israel’s redemption is assured, even though only a remnant from each of the tribes will be saved to constitute “all Israel”—those of Jacob who repent from ungodliness so that they can receive God’s forgiveness of all their sins, transgressions, and iniquity. (Dan 9:24; Rom 11:26-27)  No weapon formed against Israel will succeed, just as the gates of Sheol will not prevail against the Church.  It is not by Israel’s or our own righteousness, but by God’s mercy we are saved through faith in Jesus, the beloved Son of God.  The redemption of both Israel and of the Church is connected with preaching the gospel to all nations—to the Jews and to the gentiles. (Mt 28:18-20; Acts 1:7-8)  Israel’s partial blindness and hardness to the good news of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God will remain until the fullness of the Gentiles is brought in. (Rom 11:25)  Gentile (i.e., non-Jewish) Christians have a calling and a responsibility to provoke Israel to jealousy over your own personal relationship with Israel’s own God and Father (Rom 11:11), while at the same time showing mercy to the Jewish people. (Rom 11:30-32)  (It is evident that classic anti-semitism has no place in the heart and mind of a true Christian).  And just as God saves individuals through the forgiveness of sin by their repentance unto faith, so too with nations. (Is 19:16-25 as an example)  The same YHVH God, who speaks to Israel through His prophets whom He sent to them, also speaks to nations, not only about them, through these same prophets.

The whole of God’s purpose in creation and redemption is to make known that He alone is YHVH, the only true God, and that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of the Father.  God wants us to want Him to honor His holy name in the sight of all (Mt 6:9; 23:39)—even as Moses did when the Lord suggested wiping out the rebellious people whom He brought out of Egypt.  We, too, must call upon God to save His people Israel, for the sake of His own Name and His Word, and to establish His Kingdom of Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit on Earth, as it is in Heaven.  For as Paul says, How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?  ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’ (Rom 10:14-15; Is 52:7; Eph 6:15

God is working from both sides – Jewish and gentile – to fulfill His redemptive history and purposes.  He has given us an active part in that: once we have been joined to the Lord through new birth, we become co-laborers with one another as we serve Him.  But, thank God, by His zeal He will do it!  This is our and Israel’s security and hope.  YHVH has done it!  Jesus lived and died and rose from the dead and lives forevermore.  Nothing is too great for Him to do! 

THE COVENANT OF YHVH GOD WITH ISRAEL

(Teaching at conference in Lubumbashi, DRC – Pentecostal  Epiphanie Church — May 26, 2009)

Eph 2:11-13   Gentiles brought into the Commonwealth of Israel

2Cor 1:19-20   All the promises of God ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Messiah Jesus

Gen 17:1-8      YHVH made an everlasting covenant to Abram (Abraham) and to his descendants for an everlasting  possession of all the Land of Canaan.  

Gen 26:1-5       YHVH reaffirms to Isaac the oath He swore to Abraham.  

Gen 28:10-15  YHVH, God of Abraham and Isaac, confirmed the covenant promises to Jacob.  It is taking a long time,  but YHVH God is doing what He has promised.  

Jer 31:31-37   New Covenant with Israel and Jewish people:  forgiveness of sin; God’s control of solar system his pledge

Dt 4:32-39      Because God loved their fathers, He wants Israel to know that YHVH Himself is God in  Heaven above and on the Earth.  He is involved with things on Earth.

Ezek 36:16-28   Return to the land in unbelief for the sake of God’s holy name

Rom 11:28-32  Concerning  the election, Israel is beloved for the fathers’ sake, that God may have mercy on all who were committed to disobedience – both among Jews/Israelis and among gentiles.  He has committed Himself to His promises to A, to I, to J, even though it brings reproach

Rom 11:26-27  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:  The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins. (Is 59: 20-21)   

Is 4:2-3           In that day the Branch (Tzemach/Plant) of YHVH shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.  And it shall come to pass that the one left in Zion and the one remaining in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem.

Rom 9:6-7      But it is not that the Word of God has taken no effect.  For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ (Gen 21:12)    

Is 1:9             Unless YHVH of Hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.

Is 19:18-25      In that day, Egypt, Assyria, and Israel will be saved and serve YHVH together as a blessing in the midst of the Earth.

Rev 7:2-8; 14:1-5  the sealed servants of God on their foreheads:  144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel. . .redeemed by Jesus from among men, first-fruits to God and to the Lamb

Ezek 47:13 – 48:35  the borders and division of the repossessed Land of Israel among the twelve tribes of Israel, for the native-born and for the strangers who sojourn among them and who bear children among them, during the millenial Kingdom of Messiah on and over the Earth

Rev 21:9-27   The bride, the Lamb’s wife, the new and holy Jerusalem descending out of Heaven from God; the gates are named after the twelve tribes of the children of Israel; the foundations named after the twelve apostles.  Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life can enter the city.  Certainly an expression of everlasting love and honor to have the gates and foundations named for you!

Jn 3:3-21      Only those in Israel and from other nations who are born again from above can see or enter the Kingdom of God.  Life is given only to those who have living faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.                                                                                                              

In Adam all have sinned, yet God has His plan to redeem and to save all who hear, believe, and obey His way to repent/return to Him.  So Israel—a nation of “Adams and Eves”—has sinned, and the same God over all has His plan to redeem and save a sinful nation personally chosen to be His inheritance.  Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  Since Israel is given by God to be an example to the Church to learn from, it becomes evident that not all Germans, or Americans, or Egyptians will be saved, even though each nation has its own place and destiny in God’s purposes.

If we are unfaithful to God, God remains faithful to Himself:  He cannot deny Himself.  Jesus’ death and resurrection secure for God everything that He has promised, both for blessing and for cursing; both for life and for death; both for justification of those who believe and for condemnation of those who do not.  This is all in accord with His word that He will be merciful to whom He will be merciful (Ex 33:19).

The gospel, of which the apostle Paul in particular received by revelation, is of grace, not of law; is received by faith, not by works or by wisdom.  The Lord Jesus commissioned Paul to speak to gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.  Chapters 9-11 of Romans are the Isaiah 53 of the New Testament.  The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said that every jot and tittle of the Law and the Prophets will be fulfilled by Him.  Until so, the whole counsel of God—the whole of the Bible—is living and relevant.  The redemption and salvation of Israel AS ISRAEL is necessary for the sanctity of God’s Name—YHVH, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.

Israel has a special calling and destiny, which has not been fulfilled.  That Messiah came through her was not the whole of the covenant promises spoken and given her.  But to her belong the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service, and the promises; of whom are the fathers, and through whom is the Messiah, according to the flesh.  Paul also states plainly that they are not all Israel who are of Israel; neither because they are Abraham’s seed are they all children.  It is according to promise, not merely natural considerations.  By analogy, not all who are called Christian are in Christ, but only those who have faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and know that their sins are forgiven. 

God is sovereign; no one can successfully oppose Him.  There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against YHVH (Prov 21:30).  We must all come to Him on His terms.  He came to us in His love to save all who would believe on the name of His only begotten Son Jesus, because no sinner can abide in His presence.  Yet this is God’s covenantal promise to Israel:  everlasting possession of the Land of Canaan, and an everlasting remembrance of the name Israel in the eternal Kingdom.  All the promises of God are “yes and amen” in Christ Jesus (2Cor 1:20).  No weapon formed against Israel will succeed, and as long as God controls the regularity of the solar system and universe, Israel will remain a nation before Him, and His covenant with David will remain in force.

But the promises are received through faith, and obedience with faith and thanksgiving.  It is all of grace—of a loving Father to His beloved child, of a loving husband to His beloved wife.  Israel has not believed this, but rather made the fact of being chosen its basis of righteousness, and of relegating the gentiles, whom the one true God also loves, to lesser status.  For even orthodox religious Jews do not obey all the requirements of the Law, so they begin to lower the standard or to rationalize and make relative their righteousness.  Self-righteousness is one of the worst sins.  Paul claimed himself blameless as touching the Law, but being so he persecuted the church and blasphemed the Lord Jesus, and so referred to himself as the chief of sinners.  But God justifies those who believe and trust Him for their worthiness, their significance, their identity.

The present election by grace of Jewish believers, and the present day return of Jewish people back to part of the very same Land of Israel—as the LORD spoke and promised through the prophet Ezekiel—is an on-going demonstration of God’s unchanging purposes.  Just as counting the sheaves each day between Passover and Shavuot was an indication of faith in the reality of the harvest to come – and as Jesus’ 40 days after His resurrection demonstrated that He was really alive and strengthened the faith of His disciples and of others — so God’s fairly recent intervention in the restoration of Israel as a nation gathered in its own land is an indication of the sure fulfillment to come.  Israel’s restoration is a sign to the world just as was the ark which Noah built:  the holy and righteous God is preparing to judge the world in righteousness and to save the remnant of His people and of the nations.   Again, not all Israelis/Jews will believe, but all Israel—the full remnant of Jacob’s descendants who turn from ungodliness —will be saved.  Like the apostle Thomas, these will believe the full love of the truth only after they have seen Him whom they pierced, and their individual and national soul will be afflicted, and God will fully cleanse and heal them from all their sin.

God’s wisdom deals with the pride of men and of nations, with envy and ridicule, with sin, righteousness, and judgment.  The gentiles have been brought in to God’s covenant relationship through Israel’s temporary fall and blindness.  But the promises of God remain sure for the sake of the name of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The root and tree are the Messianic promises and hope—realized in Messiah Jesus—which quickened the fathers Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and which their descendants are still learning through much struggle.  The good news rests in the goodness and faithfulness of God, and of His righteous ways.  As it is written, both gentiles and Israel have been disobedient so that salvation is of mercy to both Jew and non-Jew.  Israel’s salvation is assured, and her special calling to be forever memorialized in the new Jerusalem.  No other nation has such a promise which extends beyond time.  But Israel’s salvation and resurrection from the dead AS A NATION assures the CHURCH of her hopes and destiny, and assures Egypt and Assyria, for example, of theirs.

To Israel double judgment for all her sins as the first-born amongst the nations.  To Israel double honor as a holy kingdom of priests unto YHVH.  The name of Jerusalem shall be, YHVH our Righteousness is there!  

May it come speedily in our day!

Hallelu-Yah!  Amen.

OF GOD. . .OR OF MAN

Pr 21:30   There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against YHVH

Ps 51:4 (6 Heb)   Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight. . .that YOU may be found just when You speak, blameless when You judge.

Mk 11:25-33   –obligation to forgive
                     –by what authority do you do these things?
                        –by what authority does a government act? (Rom 13:1-7)
                        –by what authority do parents, church elders act?
–by what authority did Noah build the ark?
                     –by what authority was the baptism of John?  Of God, or of man?
                     –by what authority was/is the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in this land?
   —Of God, or of man?
                           –by the wisdom and understanding and sovereignty of YHVH God, both!
                              –God keeping covenant for His holy name’s sake
                              –Balfour Declaration in Nov 1917
                              –through a clear majority vote of the United Nations in Nov 1947

The sin of King David did not nullify YHVH’s covenant with him.

The sin of the Jewish people/Israel does not nullify God’s covenant with them. (Ezek 36; Rom 9 – 11)

The sin of human governments does not nullify their moral obligation to defend and protect its citizens.

Lk 7:28-30   the tax collectors justified God by being baptized by John, but the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by John.

Even though the religious leaders and theologians knew that the issue of Jesus was surrounded by the question, “of God, or of man”, so, too, today with the issue of Israel.  Are we fighting God, or justifying Him?

If we are not sure, then let the fear of God keep us from being too certain to take a position in our hearts which judges God and those who have acted with faith to support His plan for His Holy Name’s sake.

 If we think we are sure, let us humbly and patiently allow the Holy Spirit to bring repentance and freedom in those who are resisting the will of God for themselves.  Like David, God will also bring Israel to confess their sin against Him only, with all its consequences, and all Israel will be saved. (Lev 26:40-46; Ezek 20:39-44; 36:16-29; Zech 12:7-14; Rom 11:25-36)