Article Menu

Israel, Jews and End Times

  • PDF

IsraelThere is a lot of current teaching for and against on how Jesus is returning to Israel to save the Jews and that the Jews are God's chosen people.  I sought God on this many times but heard nothing so decided to scour the Scriptures to see what they say.  Like so many times in the past there are Scriptures supporting this, and Scriptures against.  So what is the truth? I really didn't know so I decided to wait on the Lord.  When I do this He always shows me the bigger picture where the for's and againsts tell a much bigger picture and they both come together and make sense.

On 6/6/2015 the Holy Spirit downloaded upon me answers to some of the questions I had earnestly sought on this topic.  This is what I believe He spoke to me:-  "My heart is for the Jews to be saved.  It has always been, but not only this, it is My heart for all of mankind to be saved.  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4, KJV). The Jews were the chosen people of God whom through the Saviour was born - Why? Because when the other tribes of Israel rejected me they chose to continue to follow Me." Now it came to pass when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they sent for him and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel. There was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only (1 Kings 12:20, NKJV). The Bible shows us that God chose the ancient nation of Israel to be His people (Deut. 7:6). This included all twelve tribes—not just the tribe of Judah (the ancestors of the Jewish people). The term Jew today denotes people who have descended from the tribe of Judah. Many today are claiming that all Israelites (from the 12 tribes of Israel) are Jews.  This is man’s idea not Gods as there is a clear distinction separating the two in the Holy Bible. The term "Jew," a shortened designation for "Judah," was first applied to people who lived a few generations after Abraham. The word Jew in Greek according to Strong’s concordance is loudaios and means 'of Judea'.  In Hebrew it is Yehuwidy and means 'Judah'. Although God has no favorites or shows favoritism when it comes to people (Acts 10:34), He selected Israel as His model nation. They were chosen to show the world the physical blessings that are received when God’s Law is obeyed. The Bible shows us that God also chose many men and women in the Bible to fulfill a purpose but it does not mean that they are more special, better or more important than anyone else.  We are all chosen for a purpose by God and that purpose is to save many and bring Glory to Him. God wants all the Jews to be saved, but not only this the Gentiles too. In Romans 11 we see later that even the Jews rejected God so He grafted in the Gentiles so that the Jews would get jealous and return to Him.  In this, God could see a win-win as now He can also save all the Gentiles.  We see by Scripture that in Christ there are now no Jews or Gentiles. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28, NKJV). For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him (Romans 10:12, NKJV).

For there is no partiality with God. (Romans 2:11, NKJV). God has no favourites but He has to fulfill a promise given to David in regard to protecting the Children of Judah. Yet the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever (2 Chronicles 21:7, NKJV). The Lord Jesus as we know from Scripture descended from the Tribe of Judah as did David.   So we see this promise was given to the Jews but earlier on we see God also has given a similar promise to Abraham whom he also chose that His seed would also be protected and blessed forever.  Was Abraham a Jew? What Was Abraham's Nationality?  Abraham himself was not Jewish (or Israelite) but, it would seem, Chaldean:"And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there." (Gen 11:31). Abrahams decendants are the children of faith that are from the seed of Isaac. Isaac of course being Abrahams son. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,  nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise. (Romans 9:6-9, NKJV).  Israelites of course were the descendants of Jacob whom the twelve tribes of Israel came from.  Jacob was both a Hebrew and an Israelite, but not a Jew. Jacob was the son of Isaac and had his named changed by God to Israel. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed (Genesis 32:28, NKJV). The promise by God given to Abraham includes all the tribes of Israel. We see by this that Jesus is not the God of the Jews only, but the God of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  For those who are in Christ it includes the Israelites, the Jews and even the Gentiles! Interestingly the word Gentile in Hebrew is Gowy and according to Strongs concordance means nation, people 1a) nation, people 1a1) usually of non-Hebrew people 1a2) of descendants of Abraham 1a3) of Israel. So we see the term Gentile also refers to the lost tribes of Israel as well as non-Hebrew people who later are grafted in to the tree. The tree being Christ. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree (Romans 11:17, NKJV). Part of the promise given to Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 12 and 15 was the land of Canaan. Abram bowed with his face to the ground, and God said: I promise that you will be the father of many nations. That’s why I now change your name from Abram to Abraham. I will give you a lot of descendants, and in the future they will become great nations. Some of them will even be kings. I will always keep the promise I have made to you and your descendants, because I am your God and their God.  I will give you and them the land in which you are now a foreigner. I will give the whole land of Canaan to your family forever, and I will be their God.(Genesis 17:3-8, NKJV). I followed the chronological order of the Bible to see what happened with this land. This is what I found. There were two exiles of the Israelites from the land and two exoduses back into the land.  The first exile was when the Israelites were taken as slaves in Egypt.  Moses was sent by God to bring them back into the land.  This was completed by Joshua. According to the account in the Book of Joshua, following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes. Judah's divinely ordained portion is described in Joshua 15 as encompassing most of the southern portion of the Land of Israel, including Jerusalem. Not long after that the Israelites did what was wicked in the site of the Lord and He gave them over to the Babylonians. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nehemia and Ezekiel all prophesy about the capture, release and restoration for the Israelites back into the land promised by God to their forefathers.  One such example of this is:- "For behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’” (Jeremiah 30:3, NKJV).

 Many people use these Scriptures and claim they are for today not realising the book of Ezra actually fulfills these prophecies.  In Ezra and Nehemia we see that King Cyrus allows the Israelites to be released from captivity by the Babylonians back into the land to complete the building of the second Temple.  This was the second exodus back into the land after the exile. Interestingly in the Bible itself Ezra, Isaiah and Nehemia are before Jeremiah but the chronological order of course tells a different story with Ezra and Nehemia following after Jeremiah. They are the last two books before Malachi which is the end of the Old Testament. Does this mean then that the land of Jerusalem and Israel was for the men and women of God only in the Old Testament?  'No' I since found out why - The book of Zechariah fortells in the second half about the age to come where God transforms Israel into a truly Holy society and the nations will come to worship God (as Jesus) in Jerusalem.  Zechariah chronologically is around the same time as Ezra and before Nehemia. The prophecies then I believe by Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zecharaiah are about the Babylonian exile and exodus but also the forecoming of the transformation of the nation Israel that will be restored for God's church and is still to come. Isaiah especially in the second half is clearly about the age to come. 

 We now flip over to the other side of the argument where those against the Israel teachings claim that the old covenant promises given to Abraham by God are gone as the new covenant makes the old covenant obsolete. The believers of this teaching claim that the New Covenant blessings are primarily spiritual, rather than physical. These are the commonly used Scriptures for this:- For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins (Hebrews 10:1-4, NKJV). So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,  which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ (Colossians 2:16-17, NKJV). Again I sought God on this.  I received a wonderful vision.  In my vision I was in an old Temple.  Jesus was with me and asked me to walk outside with Him.  We walked outside to a large lake which had gone stagnant.  There was a road and a seat which Jesus and I sat on.  I asked Him where we were.  This was His reply "We are in Israel.  I am going to restore Israel/Jerusalem.  This was the land I gave your ancestors.  Israel the land always was and is for My children. This is where you will live and dwell with me for 1000 years whilst satan is bound. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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 Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6, NKJV). 

“Thus says the Lord:‘I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,The Mountain of the Lord of hosts, The Holy Mountain' (Zechariah 8:3, NKJV). All of Jerusalem will be restored for you.  My children will come home. I will gather you up and bring you to the land I gave your ancestors.  Israel is not just for the Jews - it is for the church. You are the church - the children of the promise through Isaac.  I am giving you back the land which is your inheritance which was promised to your ancestors through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  After the 1000 years is passed the devil will be cast in the lake of fire forever. The physical Jerusalem will pass away and the new Jerusalem will come down. There will be a new Heaven and a new earth." Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:1-4, NKJV).

 Wow -  I now needed to find in the Bible Scriptures that back up what the Lord spoke to me. The Lord told me to study the Old covenant and the New Covenant and there I would find my answers.  I did this and found plenty!  

First of all what is a covenant?  An agreement usually between two parties. The Old Covenant agreement was the promises of the blessings God made to us when we committed ourselves to keeping His law. The problem with this covenant was man kept breaking them by not keeping Gods law. When searching for the differences within the two covenants the first thing I found was that there were Scriptures in the Old and New Testament proclaiming Gods promises that were saying exactly the same thing.  “Now therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, ‘It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence’: Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul' (Jeremiah 32:36-41, NKJV).

Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’ And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God (Ezekiel 11:16-20, NKJV).

Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you (Ezekiel 16:60, NKJV).

For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God (Ezekiel 36:24-28, NKJV).

“David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.  Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore.  My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore" (Ezekiel 37:24-28, NKJV).

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away (Hebrews 8:6-13, NKJV). After I found these Scriptures the Lord said to me "God is the same yesterday, today and forever". I realised that what He was showing me was that the promises given to Abraham within the Old covenant are the same promises given to man in the New Covenant - only better. You can attain the inheritance not by works as in the Old Covenant but by believing and accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior.  Within the new covenant the original promises remain the same.  Why would God renig on His promises.  These things are now free gifts given by the work of Jesus on the cross.  He died for your inheritance. No more works or sacrifices or your behalf to receive them.  The old Covenant was about works, the new covenant is about grace and mercy.  The promises are not gone - they way you attain the promises is gone.  A new way, a better way to receive all he has for us. Put simply the Old Covenant is obselete in the sense that nothing we can do in the way of works enables us be in right standing with God or earn our salvation or inheritance.  The Old Covenant system was about earning our salvation through works of righteousness by keeping the law and ceremonial traditions. The New Covenant is about us already being righteous, inheriting salvation and being right standing with God by believing and accepting Jesus into our lives and receiving all He has for you by faith. The love of God is the basis of the new Covenant and it is based on faith.  Faith in the belief of Jesus and His work on the cross. Now I could see how Hebrews 10:1-4 and Colossians 2:16-17 had been misconstrued as a doing away of the old covenant and the inheritance of a spiritual blessings rather than the physical blessings promised in the Old Covenant.  The old Covenant is indeed a shadow of things to come, the substance is of Christ.  It represents the difference in how we attain the blessings between the old and new Covenant!  We now inherit spiritual and physical blessings through the promises of God given to Abraham. No more works!

Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”, that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:5-29, NKJV).

It is very interesting how these passages claim the promise was given to Abraham and His seed - the seed being Jesus.  Jesus is the seed Who inherited the promises given to Abraham as He fulfilled the whole requirements of the law. We now inherit the promises through Jesus Who is the seed if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil (Matthew 5:17, NKJV).   I took the word fulfil back to Greek, which is pleroo and is translated 'complete' and 'to carry through until the end'. Jesus fulfilled the whole requirements of the law so we didn't have to. Why? Because in our own strength it was impossible! His words 'It is done" means He fulfilled the requirements of the law set by God to inherit all that God had promised through the keeping of the law. Jesus then comes to complete and carry through to the end the fulfillment of His work on the cross 'through us' as we allow Him to sanctify and cleanse us from all sin through His Holy Spirit working in us. He helps us to achieve this. Gods objective is to transform us into the express image of His son Jesus.  This is possible and can happen to us whilst on earth.  It is when we are glorified - walking in the fullness of God with no spot or wrinkle, then and only then has Jesus completely fulfilled the law through us.  In the next verse He goes on to say; For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:18, NKJV). Currently Heaven and earth have not passed away!  This is still to come.

Other Scriptures which clearly show the promises that God gave us through Abraham are still available today:- For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:13-15, NKJV).

Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (Romans 4:16, NKJV).

You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed' (Acts 3:25, NKJV).

For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen (Romans 9:3-5, NKJV).

By Tania Francis