ISRAEL – NATION OF DESTINY
ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH ARE DIFFERENT
This is huge! I counted approximately 1.6 billion churchgoers world-wide that go to churches that teach the false doctrine of Amillennialism and hear nothing on prophecy even though over one quarter of God’s word is on prophecy. I, myself, went to one of these churches for a number of years without hearing anything on prophecy and not knowing anything about God’s future plans for us and His church at the end of this age (the Church Age). They believe that Jesus returned in A.D. 70 and that all prophecy has been fulfilled, that Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, is already fulfilled and that most of Revelation refers to things in the past. Amillennialism denies the literal fulfilment of the prophecies of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Amillennialists deny that there is a literal rapture, a 7-year Tribulation period and a literal kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule on earth for 1000 years (which is mentioned 6 times in 7 verses in Revelation chapter 20). They also spiritualize a passage of Revelation 20:1-3 and believe that Satan has been bound up and is no longer active in the world today and we are living in the millennium of peace. Anyone with eyes to see and a brain in their head can certainly see that we are certainly NOT living in the millennium of peace these past 1900 years and that Satan has NOT been bound up.
Ephesians tells us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age. That we should be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).” Yet these Amillennialists want us to believe that Satan is no longer active in the world. You need to ask where in the world did these false doctrines come from? Let me tell you! This erroneous theology was taught by Origen and Augustine and adopted by the Roman Catholic Church – Satan counterfeiting the Christian religion. After the Reformation, the Reformed Church denominations merely held on to this doctrine when they split from the Catholic Church. This doctrine contrasted to what the apostles and what the vast majority of early church fathers taught. They taught that there would be a Millennial Kingdom where Christ reigns and rules for 1000 years where “He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples, and they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war (Isaiah 2:2-4).” In verses 1-3 we see the son of Amos looking at the glorious kingdom of the Messiah. In that day Jerusalem will be established as the religious and political capital of the world. The Gentile nations will make pilgrimages to Zion for worship and for divine instruction. “ Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” The Bible even describes some of the conditions of the millennium in Isaiah 11:6-9 where “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.… Where the nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the Viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain…” Isaiah 11 is one of the greatest passages on the Millennium in either the OT or the NT. In summary, the character and nature of the planet, including its occupants and even the animal creation will revert to their positions as before the “fall of man.” We see here that wild animals submit to Christ’s rule, making it possible for a nursing child to play by the cobra’s hole. Paradise is restored as it was in Adam’s day during the millennial reign of Christ Jesus on earth. One of the most glorious promises in all of Holy Scripture is the second half of verse 9, giving the reason for the ideal conditions during the Millennial Kingdom. “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Amillennialism denies the literal fulfilment of the prophecies of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is inconceivable that God would fulfil all the prophecies of Christ’s First Coming in a literal manner, and then have most of the prophecies of His Second Coming fulfilled in an allegorical manner. It tells us in Scripture: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).” One must ask who is more trustworthy concerning doctrine: the false Roman Catholic church, which invented Amillennialism, or Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament prophets, the apostles, and the early Church fathers?
Readers need to see and understand that Amillennialism is doctrinal error, a deception of Satan, and of his counterfeiting of Christianity, and promoting it through his false Romanized church (RCC) and for over 1000 years this is what people believed and when the Reformation came these Reformists just carried on with this false doctrine that they had been taught and it wasn’t really until the middle of the 20th century that people could really see that this theology was false with God’s greatest miracle of the past 1900 years being fulfilled on May 14, 1948 when Israel became a nation. The land, government, army, postal service, stamps, flag, currency, etc. – it all happened in one day just as God’s prophet Isaiah prophesied 2500 years ago. “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such a thing….Or shall a nation be born at once (Isaiah 66:8)?” Then 19 years later following this miracle, the year 1967 fulfilled this key prophecy of Christ Jesus: “And they (the Jewish people) will be led away captive into all Nations (A.D. 70 & 135). And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles UNTILL the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24).” June 10, 1967, marked the end of more than 2500 years of Gentile rule over Jerusalem when Israel gained control over the entire city of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War. This is just one more biblical proof that we are now living at the end of the Church Age.
According to Jesus, the Jewish repossession of Jerusalem will precede His return. For 1900 years believers could not point to this sign, but today in our generation both Israel and Jerusalem are back in Jewish hands just as God predicted. This is when God’s prophetic clock started ticking loudly to wind down 6000 years of man’s self-rule on earth. God is a God of numbers, and the number 7 is His number for completion or perfection (or in this case 7000). After the “time of Jacob’s trouble” when the Tribulation period ends with the battle of Armageddon and 6000 years of man’s government on earth comes to completion, next up we have 1000 years of Christ’s government on earth which upon completion adds up to a grand total of 7000 years (6000+1000 = 7000), or completion of God’s program for man on earth. Then we are transitioned into the Eternal State – a New Heaven and a New Earth to be with our Lord and Savior for all eternity.
There are more false teachings that these Amillennialists adhere to but for today’s posting I want to focus on their very damaging doctrinal teaching that originated with Amillennialism and perhaps you never heard of before which is “replacement theology.” It became the fertile soil from which anti-Semitism grew and has infected the church for nearly 1700 years. Replacement theology teaches that the church replaces Israel in God’s plan. Amillennialists believe that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are now fulfilled in the church, not in Israel. So, the prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are “spiritualized” or “allegorized” into promises of God’s blessing for the church. The church is now the new Israel and Amillennialists teach that the Jewish people have no special future and no longer have a special purpose in the plan of God. This view is at the root of much of anti-Semitism and is a major doctrinal heresy. In this posting I want to correct this erroneous belief and show that God has promised a bright future for Israel but before I do that, I want to leave you with this promise (warning) that God has for the advocates of “replacement theology.”
Since the fifth century of the church era, Satan has deceived virtually the entire church into believing that Israel was no longer God’s chosen people, and that status has now been transferred to the church. This deception has freed the church to pay no heed to God’s curse in Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you (Israel), and whoever curses you I will curse.” I need to remind advocates of “replacement theology” that they open themselves up to come under this curse. Since replacement theology is both blasphemous and essentially dangerous, remaining in a church or a denomination that teaches and believes this error; you should confer with God as it might be time for you to leave – to flee “Babylon.” Why you ask? God is serious, this curse is re-confirmed in Numbers 24:9b, “Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.” Be forewarned – That promise (warning) of God still stands for those who advocate this false doctrinal heresy.
ISRAEL – NATION OF DESTINY
There are two keys that unlock the Bible – Christ and the Jew. The Jew makes a mistake by leaving Christ out, and the Christian makes a mistake when he leaves the Jew out. It is important that every believer understand Israel’s place in the plan of God, or the Bible becomes like a jigsaw puzzle with a missing part. Leave Israel out when you study your Bible, and your Bible becomes meaningless.
One of the gravest errors made by teachers of Amillennialism is that they confuse prophecy concerning Israel with revelation concerning the church, which is a completely unjustifiable tampering of Holy Scripture and God warns us about doing that. Israel’s sphere is earthly, the church’s sphere is heavenly, and they should not be confused. Israel is not the church, and the throne of David is not in heaven; it is on earth. In the Bible there are three streams of prophecy, no more and no less. There is no prophecy in all of Holy Scripture concerning mankind which cannot be put into one of these three divisions. There is one stream of prophecy wholly concerned with the Jews. There is a second stream wholly concerned with the nations of the world, frequently called the Gentiles, and then there is a third stream entirely related to the church of the Redeemed in Christ Jesus.
Now in order to understand Israel’s place in the plan of God, let us examine the four major prophecies pertaining to the past, present, and future of Israel.
(1). Israel’s Land – “I will give to you (Abraham) and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, ALL THE LAND OF CANANN, for an ever-lasting possession; and I will be their God.” Now this prophecy has never been completely fulfilled. It is true that the Jews moved into the Land of Promise during the days of Joshua, but they have never fully occupied all the land which God said He would give them. Notice the boundaries of the land which God promised to the seed of Abraham. “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates [Iraq] (Gen. 15:18).” Look, God cannot lie. God promised Israel a land – all the land of Canaan and He will deliver it to them during the millennial reign of Christ Jesus on earth.
(2). Israel’s Dispersion – God warned Israel over and over again that He was a jealous God and that He would not tolerate His people worshiping false gods. Moses predicted that Israel would be plucked up out of their land and scattered throughout the nations of the earth if they refuse to obey the Lord. “And the Lord will SCATTER YOU AMONG THE NATIONS, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you (Deut. 4:27).” All of this has been literally fulfilled to the very letter. It was in the year 70 A.D. that Titus and his Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the Jews to the four corners of the earth. Ever since that time the Jews have been running from one country to the next, seeking rest and finding none.
(3). Israel’s Regathering – The third thing which was prophesied concerning this nation was that God in His own time and according to His own schedule would regather the Jews back to the land of Israel. “It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people …. from the four corners of the earth (Isa. 11:11-12).” Once again, God reconfirming His word: “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land (Ezekiel 36:24).” What do we see today? Well, we have seen Israel return to their own land and become a nation in our own generation. Jews from 86 nations of the earth have already returned to the new state of Israel. God did exactly what He promised them – His greatest miracle of the last 1900 years was fulfilled on May 14, 1948, with the re-establishment of the State of Israel. It doesn’t take an expert to see how Israel’s very existence today is a miracle.
(4). Israel’s Great Tribulation – According to Bible prophecy, the greatest and saddest days lie just ahead for the nation of Israel. “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it (Jer. 30:7).” Here in this prophecy, we are told that Israel is yet to experience her greatest hour of trial. The prophet Jeremiah calls it “the Time of Jacob’s trouble.” Ezekiel 22:17-22 calls it “the fiery furnace of God’s wrath.” Daniel 12:1 calls it “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” The Jews have gone through awful sufferings and persecutions in the past – tribulation in Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Rome, and Hitler’s Germany. Yes, the Jewish people have had tribulation in almost all of the ancient and modern capitals of Europe – but all those tribulation’s pale in insignificance when we think of their Great Tribulation or the time of Jacob’s trouble that we read of in the book of Revelation chapters 13 through 19.
Look, the Church will NOT go through the Tribulation. The Tribulation is for “Jacob.” That’s why it’s called “the Time of Jacob’s trouble.” Today Israel thinks that the United Nations will protect her in time of war. But the day is coming when Israel will be abandoned and forsaken by all her friends. The day is coming when the world (through Antichrist) will seek to destroy the Jews from off the face of the earth. Terrible days are ahead for Israel – “And it shall come to pass in all the land says the Lord, that two thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one third shall be left in it (Zech. 13:8).” God’s word tells us that two thirds of the Jewish people will be destroyed during the Tribulation. Only one third shall be spared. No wonder the Bible calls this “the Time of Jacob’s trouble.”
This will be the darkest hour of Israel’s history. The Jews are a stubborn and rebellious people, and only the judgement of the Great Tribulation will bring Israel into repentance. This is the reason for the Great Tribulation – “When you are in distress and all things have happened to you, then in latter days you will return to the Lord your God and obey Him (Deut. 4:30).” This tells us that when Israel goes through the (bowl) judgements of the Great Tribulation and feels the wrath of her Holy God, she will then turn back to the Lord. Yes, the Lord will have to use the fiery judgements of the Great Tribulation to bring Israel to repentance.
Yes, and we also know that there is a great day coming for the nation of Israel and the nations of the world. The day is coming when there will be such marvellous blessings in Israel that the Gentiles will send delegates to Jerusalem to learn the secret of the wonderful prosperity of that city (read Isaiah 2 and Zachariah 8). God will give to father Abraham every square inch of ground He promised to him, and King Jesus will sit on the Throne of David in Jerusalem and reign over the earth. There is no Christian nation today, but the first nation in the Millennial Kingdom that will be called a Christian nation will be Israel when she is saved, sanctified, regenerated, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH ARE DIFFERENT
The Church is completely different and distinct from Israel, and the two should not be confused. In fact, the Church is an entirely new creation that came into being on the Day of Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection from the dead and will continue until it is taken to heaven at the Rapture when we the Church is “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air and taken to our heavenly home. The Church enters into the Abrahamic and New Covenants, for instance, only by divine application. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matt. 26:28).” This leaves all the other covenants, promises, and warnings to Israel intact. To be sure, Israel has been sidelined during these past 1900 years and the Church has taken over center stage in the Lord’s affairs as the gospel is spread throughout the world. Nevertheless, God has carefully preserved the Jewish people, even in unbelief, through every kind of distress and persecution throughout all these centuries and will keep His promise to save a remnant of Israel.
In the future, both God’s warnings and promises to Israel will come to pass. When the last body of believers have come to be saved, and the Church has been completed and taken to heaven in the rapture, God will once again restore Israel to center stage and start dealing directly with His people during the Tribulation. This dreadful period of seven years begins relatively lightly during the first half but intensifies into full focus during the latter half known as the Great Tribulation or as the Old Testament prophets called it “the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7).” During this time the world is judged for rejecting Christ but more specifically Israel is judged, purged, and prepared through the fiery trials of the Great Tribulation for the Second Coming of Christ.
The good news is that when Christ does return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation, Israel will be ready, willing, and eager to receive Him and proclaim, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord (Matt. 23:39).” The remnant of Israel which survives the Tribulation (approximately one third of the Jewish population) will be saved and the Lord will establish His kingdom on earth with Jerusalem as His capital city. Israel will be the head of the nations and all nations will send representatives to Jerusalem to honor and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Isa. 2:2-3; Micah 4:1). The Church will return with Christ after the Tribulation and will rule with Him for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). Jesus Himself told His disciples that they would rule over the 12 tribes of Israel in the restoration (Matt. 9:28). So, as you can see, Israel has not been forgotten in God’s plan. While the Jewish nation still has a dark period facing it there is a glorious finale to Israel’s long history.
For 40 days between His resurrection and ascension the Lord had appeared to His disciples, offering the strongest possible proofs of His bodily resurrection. During that time, He had also discussed with them the affairs of the kingdom of God. Just before Christ’s ascension the disciples eagerly inquired about the timing of that earthly kingdom when they asked, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6).” Jesus did not reject their literal interpretation, but instead He told them that they would not know the timing of the restoration (Acts 1:7-8).
Years later, Paul addressed the problem of the present unbelief of most Jews by declaring that this rebellion would one day be reversed. “A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved (Rom. 11: 25-26).” When God has accomplished His purposes for the Church and it is taken to heaven in the Rapture, He will again turn His attention to the nation of Israel and bring them to faith in Christ. How do we know that? We can see the beginning of this future for Israel with the sealing of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists in Revelation 7:1-8.
Why is the restoration of Israel so important? It is of paramount importance as God’s very reputation as a promise-keeper is on the line. Paul said, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29).” If we cannot trust God to keep His irrevocable promises to Israel (Jer. 31:35-37), then we cannot trust Him to keep His irrevocable promises to us (Rom. 8:35-39). It’s as clear as that. Can we trust God to keep His promises? Absolutely! Does Israel have a future? Absolutely! Will the Church be in heaven during the period of Jacob’s trouble? Absolutely!