Israel in Prophecy
Who is Israel?
But thus says the Lord: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a reproach, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers. (Jer 24:8–10 emphasis added)
In His answer to King Solomon’s dedication prayer for the temple, the Lord said,
I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. And as for you, if you walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, “You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.” But if you turn aside from following me, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished, and will hiss, and they will say, “Why has the Lord done this to this land and to this house?” Then they will say, “Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.” (1 Kings 9:3-9 emphasis added)
There is a principle in the emphasized portion of the preceding citation that is crucial to understanding the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel: the king represents both the temple and the people. As goes the king, so goes the people before God. If King Solomon were not to keep the Lord’s commandments and statutes, the temple would be destroyed and the people of Israel would be cut off from the land, thereby becoming a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
What was an unconditional promise made to David after David’s decades of demonstrated belief leading (most of the time) to obedience becomes a conditional promise made to Solomon prior to his obedience—actually, after his disobedience in marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. If Solomon would have turned to the Lord when sin slept in his bed and lurked at his bedroom door, waiting to devour him, the Lord would have established Solomon’s royal throne forever, thereby giving to Solomon an allotment and a position in heaven akin to that of King David. But Solomon couldn’t stay away from strange flesh: for all of Solomon’s wisdom, Solomon could never “see” except with his eyes. He could not distinguish lust from love. Apparently, he never realized that figuratively, sexual intercourse is 90% imagination. So by his many foreign wives and concubines, he sinned, thereby causing Israel to be a byword among the nations.
The people of Israel remain a byword to this day, three millennium later.
When asked why the Babylonian captivity, why the sacking of Jerusalem by Roman legions, why the Holocaust, the answer inevitably returns to because Israel abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt. The Exodus from Egypt remains the remembered event. The Ten Commandments remains the remembered movie about Israel. All other historic liberations of peoples pale into insignificance when compared to Israel’s exodus from Egypt three and a half millennia ago.
But what did the sons of Korah think about their post-Exodus state?
In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah.
But you have rejected us and disgraced us
and have not gone out with our armies.
You have made us turn back from the foe,
and those who hate us have gotten spoil.
You have made us like sheep for slaughter
and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a trifle,
demanding no high price for them.
You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
the derision and scorn of those around us.
You have made us a byword among the nations,
a laughingstock among the peoples.
All day long my disgrace is before me,
and shame has covered my face
at the sound of the taunter and reviler,
at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
All this has come upon us,
though we have not forgotten you, [p/s]
and we have not been false to your covenant. [s/s]
Our heart has not turned back,
nor have our steps departed from your way;
yet you have broken us in the place of jackals
and covered us with the shadow of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
would not God discover this?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.
Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
our belly clings to the ground.
Rise up; come to our help!
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!
(Ps 44:8–26 emphasis added)
Indented lines are spiritual portions of thought-couplets.
The promise the Lord made to King Solomon was that if he, Solomon, turned aside from following the Lord, and did not keep His commandments and statutes that He set before Solomon but went and served other gods and worshiped them, the Lord would cut off Israel from the land that He had given the nation. That promise was kept.
In understanding Scripture, especially when presented in Hebraic verse, the position of the thought or concept becomes extremely important. If the thought is in the physical portion of a couplet, or if the couplet itself is in the physical position of a squared or cubed couplet, then what is presented is physical. What is given in the spiritual portion of a couplet is spiritual. For example: in verse 8, the physical portion of the couplet has the sons of Korah saying, In God we have boasted continually … to this day, Jews boast in the Lord, the God of Abraham. Even after the Holocaust, Jews boast in the Lord who permitted far too many to perish in Nazi gas chambers. And why would the Lord not defend His people, if they really are His people?
When the prophet Hananiah prophesied that the Lord would break the yoke of Babylon in two years, bringing both the people and the vessels of the temple back from Babylon (Jer 28:2–4), what was wrong with what he prophesied, other than it wasn’t from the Lord? Did Hananiah not understand the covenant the Lord made with King Solomon, the covenant that required Israel to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord if the people were not to become a byword among the nations? Did Hananiah think that Israel had been keeping the commandments of the Lord? Consider what the poorest of the people told Jeremiah after Jerusalem and the temple was razed, the poorest then in Egypt:
All the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine." And the women said, "When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands' approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?" (Jer 44:15–19)
Why would the Lord permit Romans to kill Jews resisting Pax Romana, the peace of Rome? Why would the Lord permit Nazis to kill millions, or today, why does the Lord permit Muslim terrorists to knife old ladies? And why is Israel then condemned by the international community when it seeks to defend itself?
Long ago, the fate of Israel hung on whether Solomon, the wisest man who has ever lived, kept the commandments and statutes set before him. Israel was given rest (1 Chron 22:9) as a foretaste of David’s reign over Israel in the Millennium, when Christ Jesus will be Lord of lords and King of kings. But wisdom, even godly wisdom, wasn’t enough to keep Solomon from sinning; for “Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done” (1 Kings 11:6).
When the fate of Israel was in his hand, Solomon, like Esau before him, placed gratification of the flesh ahead of fully following the Lord. Instead of a bowl of porridge, Solomon went after foreign women of all sorts. And while at his end, he may have understood his mistake for he wrote,
The end of the matter: all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man [duty has been added by translators; the text better reads, the whole of man]. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Eccl 12:13-14)
Solomon’s deeds don’t seem all that evil to a generation being conditioned to believe that what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas … no, it doesn’t. The person who visits Las Vegas carries in his or her mind whatever happened in Vegas with the person for the remainder of the person’s life. Solomon carried in his mind and probably in his flesh his sins.
However, as with the repentance of the nation that left Egypt (Num 14:40-41), Solomon’s repentance, if that is what the book of Ecclesiastes is, came too late: the fate of Israel was sealed. And as the nation that left Egypt died in the wilderness and never entered God’s rest, the physical second nation of Israel [the children of Israel], given rest by the Lord, became a byword and proverb, a hated people blamed for killing the Son of God.
Muslims blame Jews for usurping the birthright promise that belonged to Ishmael, that belonged to Esau.
Prohibited from owning land, confined to ghettos, periodically and systematically slain, the physical nation of Israel has borne the fate Solomon delivered to the nation when it was in his power to establish the royal throne of Israel forever. Solomon is, thus, an extremely important “negative” figure in Israel’s history. Nonetheless, Solomon serves as the reversed mirror image of Christ Jesus’ reign over humanity in the Millennium.
Abraham by faith left his father and journeyed to a land he did not know (Heb 11:8). By faith, David killed Goliath. By faith, Solomon did what?
By faith, Noah built an ark. By faith, Moses entered the cloud (Exod 24:18). By faith, Elijah stopped rain and dew (1 Kings 17:1). By faith, Elisha followed Elijah (1 Kings 19:19-20). By faith, Solomon did what …
And herein lies the problem of the second generation.
If when far from the Lord, if when cast into a far land, Israel had in faith turned to the Lord and returned to keeping His commandments and statutes, loving Him with heart and mind, then the Lord would have been faithful to return Israel to the land promised as an inheritance to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
If when in a far land, Israel turned to the Lord so that the Moab covenant, mediated by Moses, could have been implemented, the Lord would spiritually circumcise the nation (Deu 30:1-6). But that didn’t happen prior to the Deportation, and hasn’t happened since … it is only the generation that returns to the Lord in faith and by faith that comes under the Moab covenant. The second or next generation is sanctified by the faith of their parents just as Solomon was sanctified and given rest by David’s faith. The second generation is like the lawyer who asked what he must do to receive everlasting life (Luke 10:25), and like the rich young ruler who asked the same question (Luke 18:18).
[Luke’s Gospel is a redaction of the oral gospel and early Christian writings, in particular Mark’s Gospel. It is, by its author’s admission, Luke 1:1–4, uninspired; therefore this gospel should not be used to establish sound doctrine but only as a support text.]
The opportunity presented Solomon was to establish the second generation in faith. The wisdom given Solomon was for this establishment. But Solomon squandered the spirit given him and is thereby responsible (as the first Adam was responsible for sin entering the world — Rom 5:12) for the history of Israel, and for the nation being sent into captivity in far lands.
Again, if Israel remembers the Lord in a far land, and returns in faith to Him through keeping the commandments, the Lord will return Israel to the Promised Land, with the dual referent theology of the Apostle Paul evident when Paul links Sabbath observance to the Promised Land (Heb chaps 3 & 4) … under the Moab covenant, the Lord promises that if, by faith, Israel will believe the Lord and do all that He commands, Israel shall live, with Paul writing by the hand of Tertius,
Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) or 'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Rom 10:5–13)
From where does Paul cite Scripture?
For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deut 30:11–14)
Paul cites the Moab covenant, the covenant that now has the glorified Christ as its mediator. And since God is not a respecter of person, the Gentile who believes that Jesus is Lord and believes that the Father raised Jesus from death, and who as a Gentile by faith turns to the Lord and begins to keep His commandments and His statutes and all that is written in the Book of the Second Covenant [Deuteronomy]—this Gentile will stand on the same theological turf as the observant Jew who by faith professes that Jesus is Lord and believes that the previously unknown God, the Father, raised Jesus from death. There will be no difference between Jew or Greek (Gal 3:28) except how the Gentile and the Jew arrived at the Tree of Life.
Israel’s return to the Promised Land is contingent upon Israel’s faith: a remnant has returned, but not fully, as seen the Messianic Movement.
Physically, a remnant of Judaism returned to Judea when autonomy was won in 1948. For this remnant to remain in Judea, the second and now third generation will have to keep the commandments and all that is is written in the Book of the Second Covenant, the book that Moses commanded to be placed by the side of the Ark of the Covenant (Deut 31;25–26). If the second generation, following the example of Solomon, place fleshly pleasures ahead of obedience to the Lord, the third generation will, mostly, be annihilated by Islamic fundamentalists, despite Israel possessing the Samson Option.
Previous generations of the circumcised nation, when returned to Jerusalem, pursued a law that would have lead to righteousness if this law had been pursued by faith, but these generations pursued righteousness as if it were based upon works (Rom 9:31-32). As a result, they were not established in Judea, but returned to captivity.
Jesus told the lawyer who had asked about receiving everlasting life that he, the lawyer, had read the Law correctly, and to receive life the lawyer needed to do how he read the Law. The lawyer then asked who was his neighbor, for the lawyer did not want to love just anyone. Likewise, the rich young ruler did not want to sell all he had and follow Jesus. Both were as Solomon was. Both kept the Law, and both possessed knowledge of the Law, but no faith entered their keeping of the Law. Rather, their keeping of the Law was by ritual and by tradition.
The Lord sent Israel into captivity so that some might be saved, so that some might return by faith to keeping the commandments, to loving the Lord with all their heart and mind. These are those who have been promised to David who by faith became a man after God’s heart.
Jerusalem and all in Judah have seen disaster in the past … the prophet Ezekiel wrote,
And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession.’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while [or in small measure] in the countries where they have gone.’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.’” (Ezek 11:14-20 emphasis added)
That is the good news pertaining to scattered Israel, but here is the bad news:
And the word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness … if I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, even if these three men were in it … they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate. Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, and I cut off from it man and beast, though these three men were in it … they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it … they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness. For thus says the Lord GOD: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. They will console you, when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it … ." (Ezek 14:12–23 emphasis added)
The Lord speaks to Ezekiel in the hypothetical after telling this son of Adam that the elders of Israel who have come before him have taken their idols into their hearts, that He, Himself, will answer such persons by setting His face against them. Therefore, what the Lord tells Ezekiel about Noah, Daniel, and Job being able to only save themselves by their righteousness, that even these pillars of righteousness have none to spare, none that could be used to save even a son or daughter; what the Lord tells Ezekiel about making the idolater a sign and a byword and cutting the idolater off from the midst of His people condemns the idolater who took his idols into his heart. This person cannot be saved even if the Lord brought His four disastrous upon Jerusalem … these elders were not in Jerusalem, but had already been taken captive to Babylon so the hypothetical scenario of the Lord bringing four disastrous acts against Jerusalem has a generic application suggesting future action taken by the Lord against Jerusalem.
When the above is taken out from the hypothetical and placed in reality, the “Jerusalem” against which the Lord will bring His disastrous acts is heavenly Jerusalem:
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. (Rev 11:1–2)
The wild beasts are the nations, Gentiles, that will trample the holy city for 1260 days, the period during which the two witnesses will prophesy destruction against unbelievers, calling into existence every kind of plague.
In the physical, Daniel would have been a young man when Ezekiel wrote …
Priests and prophets at Jerusalem did not teach and had not taught Israel to keep the commandments. Rather, they told the nation that it didn’t matter what they did, the land was Israel’s for the land was given as an everlasting inheritance to the descendants of Abraham. The prophets in this Jerusalem below taught to the physically circumcised nation a message that foreshadowed the message that is today taught to the spiritually circumcised holy nation; i.e., You who teach others to keep the Commandments, go far from here. Leave Christians alone; for the Lord gave Christians grace as an everlasting possession. Once saved, always saved. Have you, prophet, not heard the evangelistic core of the Christian message?
The scattering of Israel into far nations was a curse that works for good. Through being a byword and a proverb, Israel took knowledge of the Lord wherever the nation went just as the 1st-Century scattering of disciples took knowledge of Christ Jesus to the ends of the world. After the 2nd and 3rd Century Church rejected Apostolic teachings, electing instead to embrace Greco-Roman paganism in a manner similar to how Solomon’s heart clung in love to foreign women, not wholly following the Lord but building doctrines from the abominations of the nations, the “conversion” of circumcised Israelites (Crypto Jews) would seem to have kept the gates of hell from prevailing against the Jerusalem above. These converts brought into the Church knowledge of the Law, knowledge that was virtually lost. For with centuries of infant baptism, the Jerusalem above—by the beginning of the 16th-Century—was as deserted as the Jerusalem below had been for seventy years. Thus, the 1st-Century scattering of circumcised Israel into far countries following Rome’s sacking of Jerusalem parallels the spread of Christianity, and anticipates the captivity of the Church and the return of a remnant of Christianity to the Jerusalem above. Indeed, as a physically circumcised remnant returned to geographical Judea, a spiritually circumcised remnant returned to theological Judea, where they had to begin again the construction of this holy city.
As Sabbath observance forms the theological boundaries of the Promised Land, observance of the High Sabbaths [the holy days] equates to entering heavenly Jerusalem. Therefore as a remnant of Israel returned from Babylon to start construction on the walls of earthly Jerusalem in the days of Ezra, a remnant of Sabbatarain Christendom returned to observance of the High Sabbaths in the 20th-Century, this remnant constructing theological walls that separate the circumcised of heart from the uncircumcised.
The concept of a Jerusalem above lies at the heart of Christianity, and of typological exegesis, the application of Paul’s dual-referent theology. All prophetic understanding based upon typology incorporates the night/day metaphor in its reading strategy, and the Apostle Paul uses this metaphor in his ministry of death versus the ministry of glory. His ministry of death has the laws of God written on two tablets of stone; the ministry of glory has these same laws written on tablets of flesh, the hearts and minds of disciples. Plus, Jesus also used this metaphor when He allegedly magnified the commandments, for murder is what the hand does; anger is what the heart does. Adultery is what the body does; lust is what the mind does. The laws written on tablets of stone pertain to what the hand and body do; the laws of God written on the heart and mind of disciples govern the inside of the cup, and when the inside is clean, the actions of the outside are also pure. By extension, now, the physically circumcised nation is the physically living but spiritually dead shadow of the spiritually alive (through being born-from-above) Church. Thus, the recorded history of the circumcised Israel forms the lifeless shadow of the living Church universal. Endtime prophecies about the recovery of Israel from the north country and from the corners of the earth have a primary application to the living reality of the spiritually lifeless (but physically circumcised) nation, which remains loved by God for their ancestors’ sake. Therefore, the endtime scenario revealed by prophecy gives to both the living reality (i.e., the Church) and its shadow equal opportunity for salvation when the Son of Man is revealed. Both will appear naked before God. Obedience will be both nations’ only covering for sin.
The Sabbath commandment—the commandment pertaining to when an Israelite enters God’s rest, prefigured by entrance into the Promised Land of Judea and by the rest given to Solomon—will separate spiritual wheat from the tares, sheep from the goats; for the genuine Israelite enters when the promise of entering stands; that is, on the seventh day.
Magnification of the Sabbath commandment does not pertain to another day, but goes from what the hand and body does on the seventh day to what the mind thinks on the seventh day. When the Son of Man is revealed, attempting to enter God’s rest on the following day (the eighth day) will cause God to send a great delusion over the disciple so that this disciple cannot repent of his (or her) spiritual and physical lawlessness. The disciple will have condemned himself (or herself) to the lake of fire; all the while, this disciple will believe that he (or she) serves God.
When the seven endtime years of tribulation begin, all of greater Christendom will be filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God [pneuma Theou], the spirit of the Father as John the Baptist was filled with spirit. But, except for the Elect, none of greater Christendom will be truly born of spirit, having passed from death to life without coming under judgment. Greater Christendom will be judged, but not by their transgressions that will no longer be remembered, but by whether they believe or don’t believe God … when filled with spirit, the inner self of the person will be made visible. No longer can the inner self hide inner ugliness; for with being filled with spirit, the outer self will do whatever the inner self desires.
No parity will exist between those human persons not yet filled with spirit and those who are; for the person not filled with spirit can “mask” the desires of his or her heart and the thoughts of the mind by using a garment of cultural acceptability … today, in America, it is culturally acceptable to be sexually engaged with someone outside of wedlock, but this is not so before God. Therefore when a Christian is filled with spirit and has the Law written on his or her heart and placed in his or her mind, the person knows what the expectations of the Lord are. If the person engaged in intercourse outside of marriage continues to do so, this person will necessarily have to disbelieve God, thereby committing unforgivable blasphemy against the spirit. Yet, culturally, the person will do nothing wrong.
The mask of cultural expectations and acceptance of bad behavior will disguise Sin to such a degree that most Christians will rebel against God on or before day 220 of the Affliction, the first 1260 days following the Second Passover. This rebellion will prevent these Christians from ever entering heaven—and there is nothing anyone can do to stop this rebellion.
Following the Second Passover, for a Christian to spiritually live the Christian will have to keep the commandments. For the physically circumcised nation to live physically, this nation will also have to keep the Commandments. And if the physically circumcised nation is to enter heaven as part of the harvest of firstfruits, this nation—individually or collectively—will have to profess that Jesus is the Christ, and believe in hearts that God raised Him from the dead (Rom 10:9).
Most of greater Christendom will rebel against God on day 220, a Sunday in December in the year of the Second Passover; for the Church universal will not keep the commandments, even when the Law is written on hearts and placed in minds so that all know the Lord.
Most of the physically circumcised nation will not profess that Christ is Lord, and will physically die, only to be resurrected in the great White Throne Judgment where an accounting will be demanded of them.
So the future of Israel isn’t bright; however, there will be some that do what is right; that believe God; and that will be glorified. However, the majority of the harvest of firstfruits will come from the third part of humanity, symbolically spiritual Seth, with this third son consisting of all those who are not symbolically Cain or Abel:
And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'They are my people'; and they will say, “The Lord is my God.” (Zech 13:9)
During the Affliction, the saints will be delivered into the hand of the lawless one [the man of perdition] beginning on day 220, with the lawless one being a human person possessed by the Adversary, an Arian Christian who believes the spirit inside him is the Lord thereby creating no crisis of conscience for this Christian to declare himself God. Hence, the righteous will die as righteous Abel died. The lawless will be marked as Cain was marked—and once the Adversary and his angels are cast into space-time, these unbelieving Christians will take upon themselves the tattoo of the Cross, the mark of Death, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse.
Only a remnant, foreshadowed a second time by the return of Ezra from Babylon, will cross from the first half of the Tribulation into the second half. This is the remnant that keeps the commandments and holds the testimony of Jesus (Rev 12:17), with the testimony of Jesus being the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10).
That old dragon Satan the devil will come after this remnant, but will not prevail against it. Those disciples who keep the commandments and have the spirit of prophecy will, as Joshua and Caleb did, lead a new generation of Israelites to victory in God’s rest, for all who endure to the end shall be saved.
In the fulness of disclosure, the words of the prophet Zechariah concerning the little ones will be quoted:
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me, declared the Lord of hosts. “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones. In the whole land, declares the Lord, two parts shall be cut off and perish, and one part shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and rest them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (Zech 13:7-9)
Compare what the Lord says through Zechariah with what He said through Ezekiel: “’And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.’” (Ezek 11:20).
It is after Israel receives a new heart and a new spirit; it is after the third of three parts of the little ones has been tried by fire (with the other two parts dead) that the little ones are God’s. Israel requires a new heart and a new spirit that will be tested and purified.
Jesus identified Himself as the shepherd who would be struck (Matt 26:31). The little ones are the inhabitants of the whole land, not just disciples. But in the end, there will only be disciples. There will be no distinction between the physically circumcised nation and the spiritually circumcised nation. All of humanity that remains will be “Israel” following the wedding of Bride and Bridegroom.
(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."