How All Israel Will Be Saved…Romans 9-11 pt 18

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)

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The Mystery Of The Olive Tree…Romans 9-11 pt 17

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.  For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.(Romans 11:22-25)

Israel is an ancient Olive tree. Israel was created by a miracle birth, at a time when all of the other trees (Nations) defected from God in the days of the Tower of Babel.

She was carefully cultivated by the hand of the original gardener. For centuries she was fertilized, dunged, pruned and nourished, in order to induce her to produce the finest of fruit and oil. The roots of this tree are Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, and the branches are mostly of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were of course other branches, such as Caleb and Ruth who were grafted in.

The time came when instead of the good fruit of repentance, the gardener only harvested pain, bitterness and rejection from the branches of this tree. Therefore he pruned those branches, and replaced them with the wayward branches of wild Olive trees. In God’s severity, he cut off some of the natural branches(Israel), and grafted  wild branches into the stock of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob.

I have a dear Christian friend in England, Rod Boggia,  who wrote a book about Olive trees, in the light of botany and scripture.

There are a number of physical attributes of the Olive Tree that have Spiritual parallels. The tree is almost indestructible and can shoot up again when cut down…Olive oil has seven uses;lighting,cooking,anointing,medicinal soaps,lubricants and cosmetics.

Finally the Olive tree has a unique property not shared by other trees;its ability to graft contrary to nature.

In horticulture,cultivated branches are always grafted onto wild,vigorous root stocks (i.e. roses) since grafting the other way around doesn’t work- except for the Olive tree. When wild olive branches are grafted onto a natural tree a remarkable change occurs; instead of a crop of olives small in number and size, the wild olive produces plentiful cultivated olives.

…When a farmer wants to increase his production of olives, but has no more space to plant additional trees, or doesn’t want to wait the many years for a sapling to grow into maturity, he does a remarkable thing.

He cuts off the perfectly healthy branches of a cultivated tree, and lays them on the ground at the base of the tree. Next, branches from a wild tree are grafted into the very places where the natural branches were cut off… Because these branches are from a different sort of tree and   a different DNA, and do not recognize the sap as being theirs. Consequently the tree needs to literally force the sap into these wild branches…for three and a half years, this stage of the process continues without alteration and without visible fruit. Once this period of time is over, the farmer drills holes alongside of the grafted in branches, and inserts the cultivated  branches that were cut off to make room for the wild ones.

My friend goes on to relate that though those branches had been cut off and had been laying on the ground for three and a half years and were dried out, an amazing thing takes place when the former branches are regrafted;

From a purely agricultural perspective and from the mouth of this unbelieving horticulturist, an amazing thing takes place; the engrafted cultivated branches become ‘jealous’ of the wild branches and begin to miraculously draw the sap- and come to life!(The Fig Tree, The Vine And the Olive Tree,Rod Boggia ,Old Mill Printers)

This is the mystery of the Olive tree, which Paul warned us not to be ignorant of. Israel is the planting of the LORD, her roots are deep, but some of her branches in history apostatized, and were cut off. In mercy God took branches off of wild trees and grafted us into the stock and heritage of Israel. We shouldn’t be proud, we should tremble! At the end God shall redraft into the tree, the branches that had been temporarily laid aside.

For a brief moment, did God turn away from Her, but at the end, when the last gentile is saved,God shall turn again in loving-kindness to his ancient people, and all of Israel will soon be saved.

Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;  For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.  Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.  For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.  For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.  In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.(Isaiah 54:1-8)

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The Very Thing He Warned Us Of…Romans 9-11 pt 16

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.(Romans 11:15-22)

Remember that the reason for Romans, chapter 9-11 is to explain why the Gentiles were pouring into the newly born Christian church, while the Jews were only coming in small amounts. Wasn’t this a Jewish religion, featuring Jewish prophets and Jewish apostles, and wasn’t it the gospel of a Jewish Messiah?

The church in Rome underwent four phases; first of all dating from Pentecost, it was predominantly Jewish. Secondly, as the light of Revelation increased, Gentiles began to be evangelized and saved into the early church. The third phase commenced when Claudius threw the Jews out of Rome, (Acts 18:2) and the church became almost entirely Gentile. The last phase of the church commenced after Nero called the Jews to come back into Rome, and the Messianic remnant returned to join an almost entirely gentile church.

Huge numbers of Gentiles had swelled the ranks of the church, and the Jewish remnant was only a minority. Some kind of replacement theology became the explanation for this, which Romans 9-11 attempts to refute.

The future of the church was gentile, with a remnant of Jews, elected of God. The born again gentiles would be tempted to draw the wrong conclusions, comparing themselves in their current state of grace, with the Jewish nation, currently estranged from God.

What Paul warned of was forgetting that our original lump of sourdough is entirely Jewish. All true religion is in unbroken continuity with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Everything ‘Christian’ comes out of that “Lump”. What the Lump of the church was originally is what the true church is. It is not physical affinity with Abraham and the fathers, but inward spiritual affinity with them that counts.

The second allegory is that of the root and the branches. Israel is like an ancient, cultivated olive tree, whose branches had become unproductive and had to be cut off. The tree has not been uprooted, only the branches were cut off.Those branches were not thrown away, they were placed on the ground beneath the tree, and have been dormant now for two thousand years.

The gentile church are wild olive branches which were cut off of their own useless, wild, sour, bitter fruit producing trees and grafted into the older, cultivated stock. Thus the branches are now nourished on the rich, fruitful heritage of Jewish prophets, apostles, teachings and worship, and above all, are grafted into the life of the Jewish Messiah.

Christians who despise Jews, or who theologically relegate them to the dustbin of salvation history, are doing the very thing Paul warned us not to do. They wrongly “boast against the branches” laying on the ground underneath the tree.  We gentiles were allowed to live and thrive in the Jewish tree, the stock of Israel, the roots of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, and the God of Israel.

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.(Ephesians 2:11-13)

Even now the Presbyterian church USA has been rewriting the scriptures, in conjunction with Palestinian Christians , stripping the Bible of all favorable references to Jews! Many Calvinists and especially the hyper Calvinists see no significance in the miracle of May 1948, because their theological system tells them God is through with the Jews! This in spite of prophecies proclaiming it as a sign of the latter times.

The Roman Catholic church is currently telling Israel to vacate the land of Israel, since it is ‘Arab land’.

This false belief in and commitment to replacement theology literally blinds Christians of all denominations to the program of God, especially to eschatology.

The true church began as a Jewish religion, and it’s consumption in history will be the restoration of the ‘cut off” branches of the Jewish people returning to God in the Messiah.

It was unbelief that cut off the Jewish branches. Should we imagine that God will deal with the Gentile church in a different fashion? Already many expressions of the church are as devoid of God as the temple was when the Shekinah left it in the days of Ezekiel. When does a church stop being a church? When God himself forsakes it.

Is the Homosexual ordinating church still a church? Are people not literally worse off for associating with it? Is the compromising “Chrislam” church still a church? It was when Israel began to accommodate Pagan spirituality that God cut her off, are we going to be any different? What about the church whose Bishops deny the resurrection?

What do we make of churches which promote the liberal agenda, such as abortion on demand? Are they any different from the Moloch accommodating King Manasseh? Will not the same Gd judge us every bit as harshly as He judged Israel? Are we better than they, or more deserving?

Paul warned us, that rather than indulge in replacement theology, and despise our estranged Jewish forbearers, we should fear God.  We must remember that we stand by faith in the grace of God, and there is nothing special about us. The jews are the ‘natural branches, not we. God didn’t spare them, he cut them off after long forbearance, for unbelief. Can the church somehow be expert from the same fate, when she indulges in the same idolatry and unbelief?

 

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Israel Is (Temporarily) Blinded…Romans 9-11 pt 15

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.   And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:  Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.  I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.  Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (Romans 11:7-15)

How is it that Israel, as a whole, has yet to enter into the “New Covenant made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…” that Jeremiah prophesied? Instead, those who are blessed to participate in the New Covenant of God, i.e.the church, has overwhelmingly consisted of gentiles.

Israel sought after Righteousness, but other than a tiny remnant, (the elect), the rest of Israel rejected the Righteousness of God which is by faith in the Messiah, and sought to establish her  own righteousness.

As a consequence, Israel has temporarily been judicially blinded, and deafened as Moses,Isaiah and numerous other prophets warned of. The full txt of the Isaiah portion that Paul quotes, is

Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:(Isaiah 29:9-11)

As a consequence of continual unbelief, Divine judgment has come upon almost the entire nation. Judicial blindness, spiritual drunkenness and stupor, deafness and inability to perceive. This is why Israel cannot see the Messiah in texts such as Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 and other obvious references and predictions fulfilled in Jesus.

Paul also cites the imprecations of Psalm 69, that “their table become a snare to them…”. The expressionTheir table” refers to the security of those who sit at a full table feasting, unaware of a sudden destruction. It is the same idea as the New Testament saying, “When they say Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them as a snare”.

The request that “Their table become a snare…” follows the lamentation of David that would be seen as a prophecy of the crucifixion of the Messiah,

Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.(Psalm 69:21-22)

Paul asks, “…have they stumbled that they should fall?”, ( utterly and absolutely) , to which the answer is ‘God forbid’! Israel’s fall is not absolute nor is it permanent.

Moses warned Israel from the beginning, in the song God gave him to teach the entire nation, that because of her obstinate unbelief, and faithlessness, God would make her jealous by another people who are not a people,

And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.  They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.(Deuteronomy 32:20-21)

Because of Israel’s fall, God simply turned to the gentiles, a “foolish nation” which wasn’t even seeking Righteousness, and which had not been trained from youth to accept the Messiah. He opened our eyes, and drew us unto himself, bestowing the riches of His grace on idolaters, and gross sinners.

The (temporary) fall of Israel from the Grace of God has been such a blessing to the gentiles, enriching the world with such things as the Church, Judeo Christian civilization, the light of scripture,deliverance from demonic paganism, knowledge, hope, love, humility and a host of other gifts.

Since this is manifestly obvious to any discerning person, Paul the Apostle of God asks us,

What then, do you think the restoration of Israel will mean to the world?  

Israel’s restoration to her position as Priests, teachers and preachers, will mean nothing less than a resurrection from the dead for the whole world.

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:  If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.  For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (Romans 11:13-15)

As the patient Father awaited the prodigal, God awaits the final repentance and acknowledgment of His people,Israel.  He has gone to the place from which He came, Hosea says, until they acknowledge their offense.(Hosea 5:14-15)

All of this sin cursed and weary Creation is awaiting this restoration. There must of necessity be birth pangs to bring it to pass, and many dreadful things must occur before the new day dawns, but it is a certainty, that when Israel is finally re-instated to her former position as “Priests and ministers of God”, the world itself will enter into a sabbath rest, the Millennium will commence ,

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.  For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.(Isaiah 61:4-8)

 

 

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God Has Not Cast Away His People(Israel)…Romans 9-11 pt 14

I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,  Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.  But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.(Romans 11:1-6)

Romans chapters nine through eleven are meant to be understood as one unified whole. If you were to just read Romans 9 and 10 and not eleven, you would be tempted to think that the God of the Bible is finished with His ancient people.

Romans 9 tells us that only a small believing remnant of Israel is Israel anyway, and as for the rest of the physical seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they are similar to Pharoah in that God has hardened their hearts, after years of their own resistance to His will.

Romans 10 tells us that Israel for the most part has stubbornly refused the free gift of Righteousness by faith in Jesus Messiah, instead seeking to establish a righteousness of their own, more in keeping with works based, self salvation. Furthermore Romans 10 tells us that Israel has no excuse, for the prophets, Apostles and the Messiah himself were all sent with the message of Righteousness by faith and substitutionary salvation, but Israel stubbornly refused to hear it.

Instead, Gentiles, who weren’t looking for Righteousness, have found it, when they heard the preaching of the Jewish Messiah, who loved them and gave himself for our sins. Now the Gentile world is flocking to the Jewish God, and drinking from Him, the “Fountain of Living Water”, whole the nation of Israel itself is drinking out of “broken cisterns” that hold no water.

But All day long the LORD hold’s out his hands to the disobedient and back talking Son, Israel.

But thankfully this passage which is a revelation of God, and a prophecy of the history which we are currently living, Doesn’t end with Romans 10.

“Has God cast away His people(utterly)”?

Perish the very thought of it! God is not through with the nation which is estranged from Him, He has a plan for them ,”For good and not evil, to give them an expected end”, as Jeremiah 29 prophesied.

Read the Song of Moses, or the 26th chapter of Leviticus, and see that God foresaw when he called Israel into existence that they would defect from Him, and go prodigal for centuries, and in the end return to Him to fulfill His plan for the world!

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 teraphim: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)

Remember Elijah? He thought he was the last faithful Israelite, but God assured Him that HE(God) himself had reserved to himself seven thousand who would not bow the knee to Baal.

Of course Israel doesn’t deserve these favors! Israel is a microcosm of the whole world. If Israel doesn’t deserve grace, neither do you and I? If anyone has a problem with Israel, they have a problem with the grace of God.

This is the grace of God, in love choosing and preserving a believing remnant and insuring the survival and integrity of the holy nation forever. Obviously the church hasn’t replaced Israel! God knew all along what was going to happen. The climax of History will be the restoration and reinstatement of Israel as the sacred nation of Priests and teachers of the whole world. The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it!

Read and understand well the prophecy of Jeremiah,

Thus saith the Lord; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.  Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the Lord hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. Thus saith the Lord; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.(Jeremiah 33:20-27)

It would be more likely that the sun not rise and the stars not shine, than that God should ever cast away the “Seed of Jacob and David” his servant.God has a beautiful plan for Israel, and which will involve blessing and restoration to them and to the whole world.

 

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Has Israel Heard The Good News?…Romans 9-11 pt 13

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!(Romans 10:11-15)

The Gospel is wonderfully simple, but that very simplicity has proven to be a stumbling block to Israel. They wanted a Righteousness that one could really work at, and take pride in, righteousness as an accomplishment, something only the notably  “Holy” could achieve to the honor and praise of others.

But it pleased God to provide a righteousness that all of broken, ruined and sinful humanity could access. Neither Gentile or Jew could be saved from sin in any other way, than through faith in Jesus Christ, who freely gave himself to God as a willing sacrifice for our sins. It is in the richness of the grace and generosity of God, that man can be reconciled to Him,  “Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

Had Israel listened to the prophet Jeremiah they would have realized  that by grace, all boasting is excluded, because salvation is by faith alone. The only true boast man could make , would be that he knows God, and that even that knowledge is a gift,

Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.(Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Here Paul anticipates an argument to justify Israel’s inability to receive the gospel,‘Why didn’t preachers come and tell Israel the gospel?’.

But countless preachers had been sent to Israel, bringing the message of justification by Faith, to the exclusion of works, and emphasizing the inadequacy of works righteousness.

How would Adam and Eve been saved? Moses explains in Genesis 3 that they believed in the original gospel promise, of the seed of the woman. How was Abraham justified? Moses tells us in Genesis “Abraham believed God and it was counted for Righteousness”! 

Prophet after Prophet and preacher after preacher came unto Israel, culminating in John the Baptist and then the Son of God himself, preaching salvation by grace and not works. After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended He sent forth the Apostles with the same message. Israel cannot say she wasn’t told.

Faith comes by Hearing and hearing by the Word of God, but Israel refused to hear John, Jesus and the Lord’s Apostles for the most part. They were all apostles, Jesus was sent from Heaven, John was sent and Jesus’ disciples were anointed and sent, but rejected by Israel.The very word ‘apostle’ means “sent one’.

But just like Isaiah, who Paul quotes here , about the “Beautiful feet of those sent to preach good news”, 

Paul anticipates another argument on behalf of Israel, “ Has she had an opportunity to really hear and understand the gospel’?

But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.  But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.  But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.(Romans 10:18-21)

In response He quotes the 19th Psalm which tells us that no one has an excuse because the Whole earth is the receptacle of the sound of the Word of God. Israel heard alright.

But Israel has proven to be stubborn, according to the Psalm of Moses, in which he predicted their whole history, from the very beginning to the end of time, warning Israel that Since she would provoke God to jealousy by idols, God would provoke her to jealousy by the gentile,’non-people’.

The Gentiles which didn’t concern themselves with Righteousness anywhere near as much as Israel, would be found of God, and flock to Jesus the Messiah. They weren’t looking for Him , but they found him and were enriched.

As for the Jews, for the time being, Isaiah complains in the name of God, that though he stretches pout his hands to them, they ignore him and even talk back to Him.

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Confession is Made unto Salvation…Romans 9-11 pt 12

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.(Romans 10:8-11)

Israel is currently exiled from her high calling as the Holy Nation of Priests and Evangelists of the New Covenant. Why?

According to the apostle Paul, it is due to Israel’s ignorance of the true nature of Righteousness (Right Standing) with God, and because of her stubborn insistence that  she could construct a Righteousness of her own, earning God’s favor through the performance of ‘Mitzvot’, i.e.  good works.

She has rejected  the Righteousness that God has provided, which is simple faith in the Messiah Jesus, who came  and died for our sins upon a Roman cross, but who was proven to be the Son of God, when God raised Him from the dead on the third day.

True Right Standing with God can only be entered into by the one who is willing to “Confess with His mouth the LORD Jesus, and Believe in His heart that God has raised him from the dead.”

This ‘Righteousness’  through a substitution sacrifice, is contemptible to the proud do-gooder religionists. There is nothing in it that is glorifying to man, in fact it is deeply humbling because it presupposes the total spiritual bankruptcy of mankind, and brings glory to the mercy of the Holy God.

We have examined how the ongoing belief that Jesus is the LORD, that is God in the flesh, transforms the sinner into a saint. The most determinate aspect of any person is what he believes, rightly or wrongly, about God.

When a rebellious sinner’s heart is broken by the gospel which tells him that the eternal God humbled himself and became a man, in order to save him, this belief wrests the control of sin and rebellion from the heart, and restores the sinner into what He was intended to be, a worshipper of the only true God!

Now Paul tells us that “Confession (of the Lord Jesus) is made unto salvation”.

What is it about the confession of Jesus that saves us?

There are many terms for salvation, because it is a multi-faceted experience, which we will admire for eternity, never plumbing the depths of the mystery of it. We speak of being “born Again”, and becoming a “New Creation”, being “crucified with Christ”, “reconciled to the Father”, “Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb”, and “Justified”, “Washed”, renewed”.

Each of these expressions and many more, focus on one aspect of the mystery of salvation, and each address different aspects of that out of which we are being saved.

When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, we are told he exhorted his hearers, to

“… Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:40)

What did He mean by this terminology? The Apostle was telling his hearers that one of things they need to be rescued from is their own generation, the age they were living in. They urgently needed to turn to Christ and to be willing to be identified in and with Him, that they not perish with their own (perishing) generation.

When we confess openly, with our mouth that “Jesus is Lord”, we are ‘saved’, i.e. separated out from among this “Wicked generation”. Confession is a very powerful way of identification. Identification with Jesus in the midst of the Messiah rejecting world, glorifies God.

Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.(Luke 12:8-9)

The perishing, hell bound world confesses that ‘man is LORD’ or that ‘SELF is Lord’ or even that ‘Caesar is LORD’, or ‘Allah is LORD’, but the Christian subscribes to a different confession, and that confession separates him from all others.

What are we saying when we say Jesus is LORD? We are proclaiming that God became a man and dwelt among us. As Paul tells us, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…”. We cannot truly say “Jesus is LORD’ but by the Holy Spirit.

The confession of Jesus is ongoing, it is not a one time experience. We take up the good confession, bearing it as Jesus bore the cross in his time. By our adherence to it, we are “Crucified to the world, and the world is crucified unto us…” for the confession that Jesus is LORD upends every worldly supposition about both God and man.

The Righteousness of God that the Jews have thus far refused to ‘submit to’, is attained by simple faith in Jesus, His death, resurrection and Deity.

Forme it was in the simplicity of a prayer something like this, that I found God, and peace with God;

“Jesus I believe that you died for my sins, and that God has raised you from the dead. I admit that you are LORD, Jesus you are my God. Come into my life, and wash away my sins and save my soul.”

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