And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.(Romans 11:26-32)
Israel is at present estranged from God, in unbelief, and at times even enemies to the gospel. But at the same time the nation is beloved and elect of God, and destined to be re-instated as the holy nation of priests, evangelists and teachers that God ordained her to be. All of the gifts and callings enumerated in Romans 9, are irrevocable.
The estrangement of Israel was well documented and predicted by Moses and all of the prophets throughout scripture. Had Israel listened to Moses, she wouldn’t have been surprised by the long night she has had to undergo, of pograms, exile, disappointment, insecurity and rejection.
And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. (Deuteronomy 28:62-67)
But all of the prophets agree on this; that at the end of the present Age, Israel will come back into the Holy land in unbelief, and undergo a siege by the nations. When her enemies seem to be prevailing over her, God himself will come to her, and in one day, the nation will be saved. This is the climax of world history.
And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.(Deuteronomy 4:27-31)
For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without seraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.(Hosea 3:4-5)
Israel shall return, in two senses; first of all she returns to the Land she was expelled from in 70 AD, and secondly she will return,”Teshuvah”, i.e. repent of her sin and “seek the Lord and his goodness” in the last days.
There is one particular sin that Israel must acknowledge before she can be saved. Hosea the prophet refers to the need for Israel to acknowledge her sin(singular) in the time of her “Affliction”. God speaks through the prophet in the first person,
I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.(Hosea 5:15)
In what sense could the omnipresent God “go and return to His place”? Only in this, God had taught Israel to sanctify a piece of real estate, the temple mount, and to build a “holy house”, which he indwelt in a cloud of glory as recorded in the book of Kings.
But Ezekiel saw what Hosea prophesied, for the Shekinah glory of God left the temple, lingered shortly on the mount of Olives, and ascended to heaven!
Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim’s. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.(Ezekiel 10:18-19)
Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.(Ezekiel 11:22-23)
Jesus acted this prophesy out, when He, the glory of the Lord, stood for the last time in the temple in Matthew 23, and preached repentance and judgment to the nation.After proclaiming that “Your house is left to you desolate”, he pronounced this condition upon the nation, for salvation. “You will not see me again until you say,”Blessed is He that comes in the name of the LORD”. He then retired to the mount of Olives, and within 45 days, Jesus ascended to heaven from the mount of Olives, just as Ezekiel saw in the vision.
When will Israel be saved? Not until she confesses the national sin. What will it take to get her to do so? Nothing less than the Tribulation, the long night called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” spoken of by Jeremiah.In the day of affliction, distress and tribulation, she will seek the LORD truly and earnestly and He will come to her, to reveal himself to her as Joseph once revealed himself to his brethren,
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.( Zechariah 12:10)
What is salvation but the recognition of Jesus as He truly is, and the recognition of the trouble we are in without him? Jesus will come to His nation in their extreme distress, for by that time Jerusalem shall be over run and the enemies of Israel will almost be able to taste the victory over her that has long eluded her.
Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives…(Zechariah 14:1-4a)