JUBILEE BLESSINGS – 10 Jan 2011

Lev 25:1-13      

   –Sabbatical years and the Jubilee are statutes and judgments, promises and blessings given by YHVH to Israel, for when they came into the land which He gave them.

   –The Promised Land was to rest every Sabbath (7th) year, just as each person was to rest every Sabbath (the 7th) day.

   –The Year of Jubilee was not the seventh sabbatical year, but came after the 7th sabbatical year – after 49 years.  The Jubilee was a double Sabbath year, coming the year immediately following the 49th year, the 7th Sabbatical year.  When it was time for the Jubilee, two whole years were a Sabbath rest for the land!  The 50th year is the Jubilee (i.e., from the day after the end of the 49th until the “50th birthday”).  The next series of sabbatical years begins after the Jubilee year.
        —Lev 23:9-10   when you come into the land which I give you, beginning the day after the Sabbath during the week of Passover, the priest waves the firstfruits of the harvest.
          Lev 23:15-17,21-22   from that day after the Sabbath, count seven complete Sabbaths, till the 50th day – the day after the 7th Sabbath. This is the appointed time of Shavuot/Pentecost.  A new grain offering of leavened bread offered as first-fruits unto YHVH.  A double Sabbath day of rest.

   –The Jubilee is a special year of redemption, with every Israeli having his property and family restored.
        —Lev 25:9-10   The trumpet of Jubilee is blown on the Day of Atonements; proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants.

What does this all have to do with you who are Gentile Christians outside the Land of Israel?

Much in every way!  Eph 2:11 – 3:6   brought into the Commonwealth of Israel, whose God has become yours, and His Jubilee promises connected with the land and people of Israel becoming relevant to you as children of Abraham through your faith in Jesus as Messiah, the King of Israel.

Lk 12:32-40   It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!  (This is far better than being given, for example, Tanzania, as your inheritance.)  Jesus tells us to be anticipating His coming, even as we continue to do the work He has given each of us to do.  Where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.

What trumpet are we expecting to hear to proclaim liberty throughout all the Earth to all its inhabitants at that time?

Rev 11:14-18   the trumpet of the seventh angel, with loud voices in Heaven proclaiming, “The kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”    The ultimate Jubilee is about Jesus bringing back to God under His rule ALL of His possessions and family!

1Cor 15:51-58   the last trump on the Day of the LORD, giving to those in Christ the promised inheritance of a new body that will not decay or die, and of the Kingdom of God.  Far more than promised to Israel under the Law, yet by grace to enjoy the blessings of the Jubilee to Israel and to the rest of the nations under the Millennial rule of Christ, as we rule and reign with Him as kings and priests.

(Is 49:5-13; Is 55:6; Is 61:1-2a; Lk 4:16-30; Mt 11:2-6; Lk 14:12-35; 2Cor 5:16 – 6:2; Heb 3:12 – 4:16; 12:28-29)   

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 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!  

BECAUSE OF THE HOPE OF ISRAEL

Acts 28:17-29   . . .I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers. . .I have nothing of which to accuse my nation. . .[but] because of the hope of Israel I am bound [as a prisoner].

Acts 23:6   concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!

Acts 24:14-15; Dan 12:2   . . .according to the Way, which they call a cult, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.  I have hope in God,    which they also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

Acts 26:6-8, 21-23   . . .judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. . . .our twelve tribes hope to attain. . . .for this hope’s sake. . .I am accused by the Jews.

Some O.T. References quoted in the N.T. regarding the resurrection connected to Yeshua, and to those in Christ:
Is 25:8; Hos 13:14      1Cor 15:54-55; Rev 21:4   Death swallowed up in victory! Death, where your sting?! Hades, where your victory?!

Is 55:3; Ps 2:7; 16:10           Acts 13:30-35   You are My Son; today I have begotten You;
I will give You the sure mercies of David.  Your Holy One will not see corruption.

Ps 16:8-11                  Acts 2:22-33   My flesh will rest in hope; You will make me full of joy in Your presence!

Dan 12:2                    Acts 24:15   the resurrection of the just and of the unjust

The Apostle Paul did nothing against what was written in the Tanach – Moses and the Prophets.  All that became understood to prove that Yeshua was/is God’s Messiah is found in the Hebrew Scriptures.  This also includes, for example, that the “day after the Sabbath” – the first day of the week, or, Sunday —  would become an important day in the life and the testimony of believers in Him. (Lev 23:11,15-16)  The Book of Genesis, written by Moses, also is used to demonstrate why Gentile males do not need to become circumcised in order to be accepted by God. (Gen 15; Rom 4)

Moses and the Prophets write by inspiration of the Holy Spirit that Gentiles (non-Israelis/Jews) have always been in God’s heart in His plan of redemption and salvation:  all those who lived before YHVH’s covenant with Abram/Abraham, such as Enoch, Noah, Job; all the families of the Earth would be blessed through God’s choice of Abram/Abraham (Gen 12:3); some Gentiles have a place and a full inheritance with the native Israelis in the Promised Land during the Millennial Kingdom (Ezek 47:21-23).

We today do not accuse our nation, but through the preaching of the gospel and being witnesses of the truth of the risen Lord and Savior, we hope to bring our nation Israel back into the good of the hope which God gave the patriarchs and which they believed.  The same opposition faced by the Lord Yeshua and by the apostles and other believers during those early years is the same which we are facing more and more in our own generation in these last days.  Yet, by the power and grace of God, though the darkness becomes night, the light is more bright!

The controversy is over who “that Man” JESUS/YESHUA is:  man condemned Him to death as a criminal, but He was justified in the Spirit by His resurrection from among the dead – the firstfruits of all who have fallen asleep (1Cor 15:20; Lev 23:9-11).  Our hope – and the hope of Israel – is in God who raised up Yeshua our Lord from among the dead, who was delivered up at Passover because of our offenses, and was raised, on the day after the Sabbath, because of our justification. (Rom 4:24-25; Mt 28:1; Lk 24:1; Tit 2:13)

THE BIBLICAL PEACE PLAN FOR ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST

(Presented at conference in Altheim, Germany, November 1-4, 2009)

–Israel is the first-born (Ex 4:22; Jer 31:9 [8 Heb]) of the nations to God, even though there were other nations before her/him.  God has declared Israel/Ephraim to be His first-born, and with justification.

–The very fact of the Most High God, YHVH, has chosen Israel has brought in conflict – over the people and the Land.  This conflict comes first from Satan; then from others who feel rejected or ignored; and from within by those who lack both faith and the fear of the Lord.

–Various responses have been given as to how to make peace in Israel and the Middle East:
  –extreme Jewish and Arab views, sometimes even amongst believers, to rid the country of the other
  –compromise over covenantal promises and conditions
  –the gospel and expansion of influence by believers in the societies
  –the revelation of Jesus Christ

–Either the flesh and natural mind will insist on its own significance, or else the Holy Spirit will rule and we die to ourselves, pick up our crosses daily, and follow the Lamb wherever He leads us.

Ezek 38; Ps 83   in the latter years (i.e., in our own days now!), YHVH Himself will allow an invasion by mostly Islamic nations against Israel, which He Himself will defeat:  that all will KNOW that YHVH is the one true GOD, the GOD OF ISRAEL!

 Is 14:24-27; Ezek 39:1-8; Dan 11:21; 2Thes 2:8   both Gog and the Assyrian are those of whom YHVH has spoken, and He will bring them against His land in order to glorify His name and to bring Israel to repentance

Rev 15:1-4   God’s righteous judgments will cause all to fear and to worship Him, and to know that Jesus Christ is LORD (YHVH)!

Is 19:23-25   God’s peace in Israel and the Middle East, and the rest of the world

Zech 14:16-19   all the remaining nations of those which came against Jerusalem will be required to come up to Jerusalem to worship YHVH of Hosts – Yeshua! – during the Millennial Kingdom of GOD’s righteous and peaceful and joyful Kingdom – restored to Israel and to the world which He created and made!

Gen 12:1-3; Mt 25:31-46   nations which either blessed Abraham’s seed:  the sheep nations; and the nations which cursed/lightly esteemed/disrespected the seed of Abraham:  the goat nations

The same prophets of YHVH who spoke to Israel also spoke to the nations in the Near (Middle) East:
–Isaiah to/against Babylon, Philistia, Moab, Damascus (Syria), Egypt, Tyre and Sidon (Lebanon)
–Jeremiah to Egypt, to the Philistines, to Moab, to Ammon, to Edom, to Babylon
–Ezekiel to Babyon, Ammon, Moab, Edom, Tyre, Egypt, Magog
–Obadiah to Edom
–Jonah to Nineveh (Assyria)
–Nahum to Nineveh

YHVH God, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth is the one who sets boundaries and times: Acts 17:26-27
Jer 9:23-26; 12:14-17   both to pluck out, and to restore to the lands and heritage which are theirs from the God of Israel, when they have learned to teach His people to learn His ways
Ezek 47:21-23  for the Israeli and the stranger in the promised Land of Israel
   —Jer 48:47; 49:6,11   Moab, Ammon, Edom
Zech 9:6-7   Philistines (Gaza)

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)