Israel in Prophecy
Who is Israel?
Therefore, behold, the days are coming when it shall no longer be said, “As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where He had driven them.” For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. (Jer 16:14–15)
Beginning any discussion of Israel in prophecy requires identifying the biblical nation under question, the task placed upon the first installment of this series, and the task continued in this second segment.
The prophet Isaiah wrote,
For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord’s land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them. (Isa 14:1-2)
The prophet Jeremiah also wrote,
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, “As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where He had driven them.” Then they shall dwell in their own land" (Jer 23:7–8).
The prophet Ezekiel wrote,
Therefore, prophesy to the land of Israel … Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I have spoken in my jealous wrath, because you have suffered the reproach of the nations … I swear that the nations all around you shall suffer reproach. But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. And I will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. (Ezek 36:6-10 ephasis added)
Will human enslavement return? Will the nation of Israel possess captives, or is something missing from the prophecy of Isaiah?
Sons of God have two indwelling “breaths” of life, one having come from the first Adam and one coming from the second or last Adam, Christ Jesus. In order for a people with only one breath of life to serve as the shadow and copy [the physical referent] for sons of God, people that should have two indwelling breath of life but for whatever reasons don’t, physical slavery has been the motif employed by the Lord. Thus, for ancient Israel (not born of spirit) to symbolically represent a second Israel at some future time, this second Israel being spiritually dead inwardly (not born of spirit), ancient Israel was physically enslaved by a physical king in a physical land [Egypt], with the Passover under Moses setting this ancient nation of Israel free from slavery. Thus the children of Israel, born free in the wilderness and then given the power to choose either good and life, or evil and death (Deut 30:15) serves as the shadow and copy of greater Christendom following the Second Passover liberation of this second Israel from enslavement to Sin and Death by all of greater Christendom being filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God [pneuma Theou]. So when reviewing prophesies given when no person was or had been born of spirit and all people had only one breath of life, the “breath” [used metonymically] given to the first Adam, captivity and enslavement symbolically equates to not being born of spirit. So what the prophet Isaiah declares about having captives that have come to Israel should be spiritually read to mean that people from the nations will come to Israel having only one breath of life whereas Israel will have two, and in coming to Israel these “captives” will learn the ways of the Lord; for no person truly knows a subject until the person can teach the subject. The cited prophecy in Isaiah should not be spiritually read to mean that Israel in the Promised Land will physically enslave those who come to them, but that spiritual Israel will be twice born whereas those who come to Israel will not yet be.
Therefore, the <Israel> of prophecy will return to the land of the nation’s nativity, but not before suffering severely for its lawlessness. The Israel of prophecy is the holy nation of God, with His eyes being continually on this nation. And the recovery of Israel from the north country and from everywhere the nation has been dispersed has not yet occurred; for Israel’s exodus from Egypt [the Exodus of Moses’ day] remains the remembered event in the physical nation of Israel’s history.
The Apostle Paul’s dual referent theology assigns two or more referents to a naming phrase such as <the north country>, which in the physical was the geography and its inhabitants that dwelt north of Jerusalem, namely Assyria and the great city of Nineveh. But in the spiritual, the north country —shortcutting a long explanation that will be given piecemeal—and the king of the North represents “Death” as the lands to the south of Jerusalem [Egypt] and the king of the South represents “Sin.” Thus, endtime liberation from Sin and Death will be liberation from the demonic king of the South and demonic the king of the North, each foreshadowed by the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires respectively.
A portion of the Apostle Paul’s people returned to Judea in the days of King Cyrus, but this portion did not return to peace but to continual war. Plus, the return of a remnant of Israel to Judea didn’t cause the Exodus under Moses to be forgotten. In fact, formation of the modern nation of Israel hasn’t caused the Exodus from Egypt to be forgotten. Nor has the recent return of Russian Jews to the modern nation-state of Israel Judea caused the Exodus to be forgotten. Rather, the Exodus is better remembered today than it was two millennia ago; for the return of Jews from post WWII Europe to Palestine is compared to the Exodus.
What will cause the natural descendants of Jacob to forget Israel’s exodus from Egypt is recovery of this physically holy nation of God from Death, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse–and escape from death only [no exceptions] comes via the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou].
Nothing except Israel’s recovery from Death is significant enough to erase memories of three and a half millennia ago. And today, Jews, almost without exception, refuse to accept Christ Jesus as their Savior. In fact, to be a theological Jew necessitates rejection of Jesus as the First of the firstborn sons of God; necessitates perceiving Jesus as a good man but a human man who died as all other men have died or will die.
Again, Sin and Death are, respectively, the demonic kings of the South and of the North. They are the third and fourth horsemen of the Apocalypse, and following the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, Sin will make merchandise of disciples represented by the grain harvests of Judean hillsides, with the early barley harvest representing those disciples [still with a single breath of life] who will be included in the harvest of firstfruits. These disciples would not be offered for sale if they were twice born: they would be as the oil and the wine are that Sin cannot harm. And these single-breath disciples will be “harvested” by angels, thrashed, and gathered into the barns of God at the end of this age.
When Sin appears as the third horseman, this king of the South cannot harm the oil and the wine, the already crushed and processed fruit of Judea … disciples who have mentally journeyed to spiritual Judea [Sabbath observance] and mentally live there in covenant with God [having love for God, neighbor, and brother] are today the olives and grapes of the mountains of Israel. They are not yet processed but they are undergoing processing through the trials of this world so that when processed, they are oil and wine.
Even wild olive branches, bearing small, mostly skin and pit wild fruit, when grafted to the root of righteousness will yield oil—not as much as a long cultivated olive scion would bear, but fruit that comes from the root of righteousness. Likewise, the fruit of the natural vine (the wild vine) when pruned, dug and dunged, yields its pressing that when aged is wine.
Continuing what the prophet Ezekiel wrote about the mountains of Israel:
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them. But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land.’ But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came. [paragraph break] Therefore say to the house of Israel … It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord … when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezek 36:16-28 emphasis added)
The prophet Jeremiah wrote,
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband … . But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days … : I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jer 31:31-34 emphasis added)
The prophet Isaiah wrote in thought-couplet verse:
Thus says the Lord,
who makes a way in the sea, [p/s]
a path in the mighty waters, [s/s]
who brings forth chariot and horse,
army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing …
I, I am He
who blots out your transgression for my own sake, [p/s]
and I will not remember your sins. [s/s]
Put me in remembrance; let us argue together;
set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
Your first father sinned,
and your mediators transgressed against me.
Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary,
and deliver Jacob to utter destruction [p/s]
and Israel to reviling. [s/s]
But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
Thus says the Lord who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you;
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, “I am the Lord’s,”
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, “The Lord’s,”
and name himself by the name of Israel. (Isa 43:16–19, 25–28; 44:1-5
In the poetic citation from Isaiah, indented lines indicate the spiritual portions of couplets. Where a couplet appears in the spiritual portion of a couplet, the spiritual presentation in the spiritual portion is denoted by <s/s>.
In the spiritual, sin goes from being the transgression of the Law to simple unbelief; hence sins [transgressions] are no longer remembered. What is remembered is unbelief, with (in Greek) belief equating to faith. To believe God is to have faith—and without faith, no one can please God.
Unbelief prevented the nation of Israel that left Egypt, except for Joshua and Caleb, from entering the Promised Land. Following the Second Passover, unbelief will prevent Christians from entering heaven. And for a Christian of greater Christendom to, following the Second Passover, worship God as he or she presently does will be manifested unbelief.
Isaiah’s juxtaposition of water with spirit, and dry ground with the descendants of Israel carries the same relationship that the exodus of Israel from Egypt has with the future recovery of Israel from Sin and Death. That which is physical precedes and reveals that which is spiritual. The former is the visible shadow of the latter. The covenant given on the day when the fathers of Israel left Egypt [the Passover Covenant — Ex 12:43–51] is the lifeless shadow of the everlasting covenant made with the holy nation of Israel when the laws of God are written on hearts and minds through being filled with the Holy Spirit [pneuma ’agion].
The central metaphor used throughout Scripture is that of night/day, or darkness/light. Darkness precedes light (2 Cor 4:6 — Paul cites Gen 1:3). Darkness is lifeless, or dead. Life comes to that which has no life as in the case of the first Adam, who was made a physical corpse complete in every way but was not alive until Elohim breathed into his nostrils. And from Adam, Eve, the life-giver, was formed. There was not a second person created from the dust of the earth. Rather, from the first came the second, and from the first and the second when joined together to become one flesh came all flesh. And so it is with the last Adam, a life-giving spirit [pneuma].
The first Adam and his physically living descendants form the spiritually lifeless corpse[s] of sons of God, the pattern having the man of mud prior to when Elohim [single in usage] breathed into his clay nostrils forming the shadow and copy of the earthly man Jesus before the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] descended upon and entered into [eis] Him when John raised Him from the waters of the Jordan.
Elohim breathing the breath of life into the nostrils of the first Adam is analogous to God the Father sending His “breath” down onto and into Jesus in the visible form of a dove, thereby causing Jesus to be the second or last Adam. Hence, the Genesis chapter two creation account of Adam and Eve serves as prophecy addressing the creation of spiritual sons of God, coming from Christ Jesus and His first disciples. The Temptation account of Genesis chapter three will now serve as prophecy to reveal what happened to the 1st-Century Church, with Adam and Eve being clothed in hair coats and driven from the Garden equating to the spiritual death of the Body of Christ (ca 100–102 CE). The three named sons born to Adam and Eve will be [symbolically represent] the three parts of the little ones mentioned in Zechariah 13:7–9, with the two parts against which the Lord of Hosts turns His hand representing Cain and Abel in the Affliction [the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years; the first 1260 days following the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel] and with the third part of the little ones represented by Seth in the Endurance of Jesus [the last 1260 days of the seven endtime years] It will be this third part of humanity that serves as the referent for what Isaiah declares:
Before she was in labor
she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her
she delivered a son.
Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?
For as soon as Zion was in labor
she brought forth her children. (Isa 66:7–8)
Indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets.
Since Eve, in the physical child birth pains precede human birth:
To the woman [the Lord] said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you." (Gen 3:16)
Again, indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets.
But the spiritual is the mirror image of the physical; hence, spiritual child birth pains follow and do not precede child birth … the seven endtime years of tribulation are the spiritual birth pains for the three spiritual sons of the spiritual Adam and Eve, with the first two sons having their birth order reversed [as in a mirror image].
Spiritual Abel is born when all of greater Christendom is filled with the spirit of God following the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, but 220 days later spiritual Cain will be born when the Apostasy about which Paul wrote (2 Thess 2:3) occurs, with this spiritual Cain slaying his righteous brother over the course of the following year thereby bringing upon himself and all humanity the wrath of the Lamb (Rev 6:12–17).
Of all humanity, only the Elect are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified without coming under judgment: “‘Truly, truly, I [Jesus] say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life’” (John 5:24).
The Elect are the processed oil and wine when Sin emerges as a prince following the breaking of the first and great horn/king of the King of Greece (Dan 8:8) because he is “first,” an uncovered firstborn at the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
The Elect are, from their spiritual birth, “one” with Christ Jesus because they have indwelling spiritual or eternal life through the spirit of God in the spirit of Christ having entered into the spirit of the person … the Elect are a special people in that the Father has drawn them from this world (John 6:44) and delivered them to Christ Jesus as the Father gave to Jesus the first disciples. Jesus then called them (John 15:16), then justified them by dying for them while they were still sinners (Rom 5:8), and glorified them by the indwelling of His spirit (Rom 8:9), without which the person doesn’t belong to Christ. So by the indwelling of the spirit of Christ, the person is raised from death [a dead inner self] as Jesus was raised from death by the Father. So it is the seven assemblies of the Elect that form the seven horns on the head of the slain Lamb John, in vision, saw (Rev 5:6). These seven horns are the seven named [for attributes] assemblies that Jesus creates.
To review, as only one man was made of flesh, the first Adam, only one Son of Man is made of spirit—and only when the man Jesus’ inner self receives the spirit/breath [pneuma] of the Father does this “corpse” live … the spirit/breath of God descended as a dove to rest upon and enter into (Mark 1:10) the man Jesus following His baptism; thus the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] becomes the heavenly vessel in which dwells the spirit of God [pneuma Theou], with this heavenly vessel being able to enter into the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropu] without the bright fire that is the glory of God consuming the person from the inside out. Therefore, God the Father and the Son, together, create the many sons of God that will be the younger brothers of Christ Jesus.
Prior to receiving the indwelling [in the spirit of Christ] spirit of God, every person born of woman is spiritually as the sculpted clay of the first Adam was physically before Elohim breathed into his nostrils (Gen 2:7).
The first Israel, the nation made holy in the wilderness of Sinai (Exod 19:5-6), was the firstborn son of God (Exod 4:22). But this firstborn son forms the spiritually lifeless shadow of the holy nation born of spirit (1 Pet 2:9) that is collectively the firstborn Son of God, Head and Body. The Head has already been inwardly and outwardly glorified; the Body has been inwardly glorified but awaits being glorified outwardly until the return of the Head [the Second Advent]. Thus, in the same way that the first Adam, created from dust to receive physical breath, forms the shadow of the last Adam, born of woman [the water of the womb] and of spirit to become a life-giving spirit, the first Israel forms the visible shadow of the last Israel. But more is at play: the first Adam became a naphesh, a breathing creature just as was every beast of the field. The difference between the man and the woman (both created in the likeness and after the image of Elohim), and the beasts of the field is directly comparable to the difference between the Circumcised and Uncircumcised; between the spiritually circumcised and those who are physically circumcised; between those “chosen” and those who are merely “called” (from Matt 22:14). All who have been called receive the spirit of God following the Second Passover, but as Jesus was not recognized by the circumcised nation as the Messiah, so too will those who are chosen not be recognized by the last Israel, greater Christendom filled with spirit.
The chosen do not have their being chosen validated by those who are called, but by God. The many do not validate the few by their approval, but by their scorn.
The first Israel’s father was an Amorite, its mother a Hittite (Ezek 16:3); the first Israel’s parents were not God the Father and the Son, but were two human beings, created of dust to return to dust. The Lord physically adopted the first Israel as a man might an abandoned infant. God the Father will spiritually adopt the last Israel because the Son has gone ahead to prepare these relationships in advance of returning (John 14:2-3). For the Father (through disciples being drawn — John 6:44) of the last Israel is God, and the life-giver is Christ Jesus, not the Church. Rather, the Church universal is the last Israel.
Therefore, the Israel of prophecy includes the portion of the circumcised nation that was broken off, but will be grafted back onto the Righteous Root, with most of this grafting to occur after the fullness of the nations has come to God (Rom 11:25-26). Most of this grafting will occur during the first 1260 days of the seven, endtime years of tribulation; will occur after the Son of Man has been revealed (Luke 17:26-30), when the garment that is Christ’s righteousness has been removed. The modern circumcised nation of Israel will now then be naked before God, its only covering being its obedience to God. When the Son of Man is revealed, the Church will be disrobed and will appear naked before God. It, though, will be empowered by the Holy Spirit, an empowerment that will be available to the circumcised nation upon acceptance of Jesus (Rom 10:9). All of Israel will live without sin during this period that is the reality of the Days of Unleavened Bread. Both the physically and the spiritually circumcised nation will be naked unless covered by their obedience by faith. Both will then be as the first and as the last Adam were.
The means by which the broken off natural branches will be grafted to the Righteous Root will be through the Sabbath commandment. Those who know God and are sanctified by God will keep the Sabbath (Exod 31:13). When saints are delivered into the hand of the man of perdition (Dan 7:25), who comes by the workings of Satan (2 Thess 2:3-10), the chosen will keep the Commandments, all of them. The great rebellion against God will be of saints attempting to enter God’s rest on the following day (Num 14:40-41), will be of the firstborn spiritual son returning to his lawlessness as did the firstborn natural son (Ezek chapter 20).
(To be continued.)
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."