17 January 2017
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Bearing in mind my earlier post with reference to the ambiguity of the word 'all' (in Romans 11:26) and leaving aside the figure that the term "full number of the Gentiles"represents, it seems clear that the great end-of-age blessing relates to the Holy Spirit opening the eyes of the Jewish people.
I am greatly concerned that much of the so-called evangelical church appears to be blind to this reality, and even, very sadly, assumes a political view based on newspaper headlines which are antipathetic to the Jews and nation of Israel. By so doing they place themselves in a position which is contrary to God's eternal purposes, on the side of God's enemy, and therefore outside of His protection.
But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fulness bring!
25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there for ever, and David my servant will be their prince for ever.
26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them for ever.
27 My dwelling-place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
28 Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them for ever.' "
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."
It is clear as day that the Jews will not be converted to Christ without appallingly severe judgments. Zechariah 14.1-5 is conclusive on that point.
Behold a day of the Lord cometh when thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half the city shall go 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 upon the Mount of Olives.
Now that prophecy is certainly unfulfilled. After it is fulfilled then "the Lord shall be King over all the earth" (v.9). Jew and Gentile therefore pass through the purifying and desolating judgments before the Lord is King over all the earth.
It is evident however, that the deliverance of the REMNANT of the Jews from the siege of Jerusalem described above by Zechariah and in the 118th Psalm, ends their unbelief FOREVER. From thenceforth Israel is "Holiness to the Lord": the whole nation accepts the Deliverer. As He comes for their salvation they cry: "Hosanna!" Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!"
I think it more useful to stick to Scripture than quoting the work of a mystic?
Re Zech. 14 see -
That's an incredibly good study! Critiques could be difficult because there is such a lot in it. I may not agree with every detail but that's just quibbling.
Interestingly, Muslims believe that God will bring the Jews back to the Land in the Last Days in order to destroy them! Hamas believe they are the chosen instruments of Allah to bring this about. (This should bring home to us that most Muslims don't have much of an idea about the character - the faithfullness and love - of God)
When we talk about judgements on the Jews - as per JL (Guest) - we should bear in mind that 1) it includes us as well 2) Such "judgements" are more like chastisements, ie, meant for our healing. This is quite distinct from the final judgements passed on the wicked.
We should also bear in mind what Job said "Pity me, at least you, who are my friends, for the Hand of God has touched me". How pitiless Christians have been toward the Jews in the last 2,000 years.
Colin, your concern about the Church being ignorant about God's purposes for Israel is shared by many of us. However, I think God has been bringing about a "conversion" in recent years, giving many ordinary Christians a great love for the Jewish People. So things are getting better even if we are appalled by the hatred of Jews which is also crawling out of the woodwork.
We are the Bride of Christ (Jew and Gentile together) and like Queen Esther, we do have to go through a beautifying process to make us ready for our marriage to The King. When you think of some of the awful things women do to make themselves beautiful or desirable, it's nothing by comparison!
See following regarding a differing view ( from -
) regarding what lies ahead for Israel:
Extract from CFI EDITORIAL (March 2106)
ISRAEL IS A "CALLED OUT" PEOPLE
When Isaiah declared God's Word to Israel in Isaiah 41:8 "But you Israel are My Servant, Jacob whom I have chosen" and goes on to say to them that "You are my Servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away" was he unaware of events that would take place to greatly challenge the idea of God's faithfulness in Jewish minds? In 722 BC, Israel would be scattered amongst the nations and then in 586 BC Judah would be carried off into Babylon.
Only a remnant (50,000) would return to the Land and rebuild the walls and cities in the period of Ezra / Nehemiah whilst the rest busied themselves in life as exiles.
But I wonder what the people of the time thought of Isaiah's prophecy? It must have sounded a very hollow message indeed. "Fear not, for I am with you..." 41:10. But 43:1-5 repeats this assurance that despite all their failings that would lead to judgment falling upon them for their sin, God would fulfil His promise to declare to the world that He is a faithful God.
Nevertheless, that fulfilment would not be to bring honour to Israel but to His own Name (Ezekiel 36:22). No doubt in those times there must have been much discussion over the issue of God's faithfulness to Israel. Why would God bring us back to the Land only to disperse us again?"
MORE HEAT THAN LIGHT
Today, the argument continues. And sadly, there has been more heat than light generated in some quarters over the prophecy of Zechariah especially chapters 12-14 on account of the prophet being specific in the numbers in Israel who will be killed before Jesus returns to Jerusalem. Why, would God bring Jewish people back to the Land only to put them through another 'holocaust?" [their words]
Strange question to ask, you might say. Why wouldn't it happen, since it happened before? Surely, it's not being anti-Semitic to recognise the historical reality, that despite Judah being returned from Babylon in 538 BC where they rebuilt the cities and the Temple, in 70 AD there was again a destruction of Israel and a massive expulsion under Titus in 70 AD and Hadrian in 135 AD.
Now, it is easy to understand the sensitivity in Israel on the subject because it is seen to come from those Evangelical Christians who, although being pro-Israel, maintain a "pre-tribulational" rapture position. But not everyone holds to the view that Jewish and gentile believers in Jesus will be raptured, to leave Israel to face "Big Trouble" that will envelope the world before the Lord's return.
THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE
Jeremiah, like the other prophets, was chosen by God to call Israel to repentance and to fulfil their calling to be witnesses to the world, despite the opposition. That opposition would culminate in a unigue time he calls "Jacobs trouble, - but he shall be saved out of it." Jeremiah 30:7. It comes at a time after they have returned to the Land (vs 3) - not just Judah which happened in 538 BC but Israel and Judah. Here it can only refer to the last century which saw the re-establishment of the State of Israel. "Foreigners shall no more enslave them" (vs 8) — pretty well fulfilled and "They shall serve the Lord their God and David (Yeshua) their king" - in progress but some way to go at this time.'
Messianic scholars (eg David Baron) recognise that this prophecy runs parallel to Ezekiel 36 that speaks of a return to the Land and then a return to the Lord. Zechariah 12 also describes this process but also highlights the action of all the nations as they seek to prevent it taking place (Psalm 2). Zechariah 13 focuses on redemption, reflecting back to the fountain that was indeed opened at Calvary for sin and uncleanness that now becomes nationally effective in times of trouble. Hosea also confirms that this national conversion will take place in troublesome times. "In their affliction they shall earnestly seek Me." Hosea 5:15
This is of course typical of prophecies where the prophets clearly see the peaks but not the troughs in between. Ultimately, the promise will only be fulfilled when all Israel is saved (Romans 11:26) and experiences the redemptive mercies of God.
So, in our time, trouble has been allowed to erupt once again for Israel. Since 1948 over 23000 Israelis have already died in wars. Ezekiel 38 & 39 describes the attacks of Gog and Magog as all nations come from the north against Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:3 says all nations will be gathered against it. This has never happened before. Therefore it is not inconceivable that many more Israelis will be killed in the process of defending their Land (unless all nations bypass "the mountains of Israel" and drop by parachute onto the walls.) But Ezekiel 39:4 says clearly, that on the mountains of Israel, "there the nations will fall."
LET BROTHERLY LOVE CONTINUE
So let's be clear, no-one wants to see any more people killed in Israel or anywhere else for that matter, just to justify our own theological convictions. And no-one needs to fall out of fellowship with other true believers over matters of such nature. Where it happens it is a disgrace and brings shame on the Lord's Name. So let's endeavour (work at) to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3 & 15)
This is not unity at any price over essentials of the faith as is being done in large parts of evangelical Christianity but as we keep looking up let us grow up in all things. "For we know in part and we prophesy in part But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away." (1 Conrinthians 13:9-10)
I don't want to see "any more people killed in Israel, or anywhere else for that matter" as you put it, either. But, nevertheless is it not a fact that a great many, with no little knowledge of Scripture accuse God (rightly so?) of genocide? They would haul Him up in front front of the Hague if they could!!! God in Christ ordered the wholesale massacre of certain human families (a little knowledge of OT Scripture confirms this). God in Christ ordered the complete destruction of men, women AND children-for just one of many examples that may be adduced, read 1 Samuel 15.3 God commands Saul "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy ALL that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, INFANT and suckling..." Are we (apart from God's free sovereign electing grace apart) any better than the Amalekites and the other families in Canaan whom also God ordered Joshua to "utterly destroy"? See Joshua 6.21, 8.26, 10.28, 10.35 and a great many other places. At the human level this makes for very depressing reading, and I hope that I don't need to give an exposition on why God ordered this genocidal destruction? We do ourselves a great disservice if we think we are any better than these humans (men, women and CHILDREN) that God ordered to be destroyed?
This "harvest" that I keep hearing about, will, W-I-T-H-O-U-T exception ONLY include those names written in "the Lambs book of life" Rev 13.8, NO more, NO less. As regards those in Israel in the aforementioned Scriptures in Zechariah; obviously the "third" will "call on my name" Zechariah 13.8-9-they have been CHOSEN by God-they are His! They have God's Name written in their "foreheads"; Revelation 7.3, 9.4, 14.1 and in Ezekiel 9.4, 16.12 etc. As for the rest?
Sadly, many are ignorant to the very plain admonition of Scripture-
"Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1 Corinthians 10.11.
Any Harvest first depends on there being seed planted. And so that is the mission of the Church since the day of pentecost as given by our Lord Jesus before he ascended into heaven. To plough and plant the seed of the gospel that there may be a harvest of souls.
And we pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send his rain to pour upon the planted seed that salvation may spring up.
Everything we do, as the body of Christ, should be for the Harvest and its increase.
1st Cor 3:5-9
Guest, I'm wondering where you are coming from? God's command to destroy Amalek is the passage trotted out by so many atheists that it makes me wonder if there is some website with "good bible passages to nab Christians with"! Just to put that passage into context: Deut. 25: 17 on states that Amalek came up behind Israel and killed the feeble folk who were lagging behind. Amalek was a horrible bully, oppressor and murderer. There were presumably women, children, old folks, sick people, the lame etc. at the back of the group. What we learn from that is that God SEES (God bless you El Roi!) the small, feeble, unimportant people who seem to have little contribution to make. He does not overlook their tear, their oppression. God is The Judge of the Poor. He will plead their cause. But you accuse Him of genocide! Jesus said if our eye is evil, our body will be filled with darkness, adding "beware lest your very light be dark".
It is a principle in scripture that you will be judged as you yourself judge. Your own words will be used to judge you. Your own actions will be used to judge you.
Frankly, you sound more like Stephen Fry than a child of God who loves his Heavenly Father. Your view of God is slightly slewed.
Likewise, I most CERTAINLY agree 100% with what Colin/Editor? says! An even heartier "Amen Colin!" from me! MOST sincerely so.
BUT! Notwithstanding, O-N-L-Y those names in the Lambs Book of Life WILL, without exception be recorded therein. In spite of our best or worst efforts, "My sheep HEAR my voice" John 10.27? Often my most 'eloquent' efforts of witnessing/preaching have borne no fruit (so I have perceived), and the odd 'throw-away' remark HAS had a most notable effect; "the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit." John 3.8.
Yes, Mini, that is correct, God ordered the destruction (genocide) of Amalek and his children, because Amalek did the foul deed that you described. Now, most (sadly including many believers) shy away from these difficult verses, as you intimate. But, nevertheless God in Christ ordered 'innocent' babies to be destroyed. As with king Saul who spared Agag, and because of Saul's disobedience, Haman, Agag's descendant, came within a whisker of annihilating the Jewish race! Read the book of Esther. So God ordered infants/babies to be destroyed; shall we accuse Him of being a 'genocidal monster' as the likes of Fry and many others? "Is there any unrighteousness with God? God forbid." Romans 9.14. We don't accuse God thus, His ways, however, are "past finding out" Romans 11.33.
I 'reverse the charge' that you have made against me.
I ask you, whose "view is slewed"?
I could say a LOT more-maybe another time?
"Repentance though it be the act of man, is but the gift of God."
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