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Israel's Future


Isa 51:3 ...Truly the Lord has comforted Zion, comforted all her ruins; He has made her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the Garden of the Lord. Gladness and joy shall abide there, thanksgiving and the sound of music.

Some of that passage is written in the past tense, as though the events promised had already happened; which should assure the reader that what God has in mind for Israel is sure to come to pass.

Israel truly has a great future out ahead. One day she will be the seat of all political power, world economics, and the center for religious studies. For now she is sidelined while God accomplishes special purposes with the Gentiles. But she is only on the back burner, not out of the picture.

Hos 2:1-2 …The number of the people of Israel shall be like that of the sands of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted; and instead of being told, "You are Not-My-People," they shall be called Children-of-the-Living-God. The people of Judah and the people of Israel shall assemble together and appoint one head over them; and they shall rise from the ground— for marvelous shall be the day of Jezreel!

Jer 31:8-9 …I will bring them in from the northland, gather them from the ends of the earth—the blind and the lame among them, those with child and those in labor— in a vast throng they shall return here. They shall come with weeping, and with compassion will I guide them, by a level road where they will not stumble. For I am ever a Father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.

In this chapter, we comment on some important covenants God made with Israel. A biblical covenant is a very flexible kind of pact. It does not have to be strictly a contractual kind of agreement. It may include stipulations for all parties involved; and then again it may stipulate responsibilities for only one of them with the other simply being along for the ride.

Most of Israel's covenants are unconditional, that is; God alone is responsible for making good on certain promises that rely not at all upon the beneficiary's compliance with any duties or responsibilities. Actually, the only one we have on our list of a conditional nature is Moses' Covenant.

Some have attempted to fuse all of Israel's covenants into one single indiscriminate mega pact. I sincerely believe that to be a huge mistake; because it nullifies the specialized purposes to be accomplished by each individual covenant. It also obscures their time line, which is very important to understanding how the covenants relate to each other.


Abraham's Covenant                 

Gen 17:7-8 …I will maintain My covenant between Me and you, and your offspring to come, as an everlasting covenant throughout the ages, to be God to you and to your offspring to come. I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting holding. I will be their God."

I believe we can safely assume four "givens" for Abraham's covenant.

1…It is a literal covenant and should therefore be interpreted literally. Its very wording conveys a decisive meaning and not some hidden or mystical purpose that requires many centuries to revolve in order to develop.

2…It is an eternal covenant. Actually it is said to be precisely that in Genesis 17:7, 17:13, and 17:19. And in other places too.

1Chron 16:15-18 …Be ever mindful of His covenant, the promise He gave for a thousand generations, that He made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel, as an eternal covenant, saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan as your allotted heritage."

3…It is an unconditional covenant and depends solely upon the integrity of God for its fulfillment. When God confirmed this covenant with Abraham, the Lord walked alone between the pieces while Abraham was conked out.

Gen 15:7-17 …Then he said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you out of from Ur of the Chaldees to assign this land to you as a possession. And he said, "O Lord God, how shall I know that I am to possess it?" He answered, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat¸ a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young bird" He brought him all these and cut them in two, placing each half opposite the other; but he did not cut up the bird……As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a great dark dread fell upon him...

...When the sun set and it was very dark, there appeared a smoking oven, and a flaming torch which passed between those pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kennites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."

The Euphrates river designates Iraq's eastern border. So, it looks like ol' Saddam is going out of business some day. And those pesky Palestinians will be sent packing too.

4…Abraham's covenant was made with a covenanted people: Israel. Abraham's covenant was not made with Gentiles per se; although they benefit from it indirectly as pet dogs under the table who eat food that falls off the children's plates; and as wild olive sprigs grafted into a domestic tree to take nourishment from its rootstock.

Abraham's covenant was not made with any Christian denominations; not by any stretch of the imagination. It was made with Abraham and with Abraham's natural posterity.

Rom 11:17-25 ...If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

...Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! 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.

Israel's obstinacy is neither permanent, nor total. There has always been a percentage of Jews remaining faithful to the Bible's God. But their numbers are relatively few. The majority of Jews today are secular, but one day every single one of them will repent on a national scale

Rom 11:26-29 ...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." As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.

Gentiles benefit from Abraham's covenant through conversion. But converted Gentiles do not supplant Israel. Quite the contrary— they join her.

Eph 2:11-19 ...Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ........Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,

You know what happens to Gentiles who convert to a Jewish religion and become citizens of Israel and members of God's household? They become Jews. Maybe not Jews by blood; but certainly Jews in principle.

Gal 3:26-29 ...You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

The future citizenry of Israel will not be 100% ethnic Hebrews; but an amalgam of Hebrews and Gentiles.

Eph 2:14-18 ...For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Normally,  Jews and Gentiles are worlds apart.

Acts 10:28 ...[Peter] said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him."

Peter was a pious Jew, and would never have gone into a Gentile home without a very good reason.

Acts 10:17-30 ...While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."

The Oath                    

Gen 22:18 …The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, "By Myself I swear, the Lord declares: Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your favored one, I will bestow my blessing upon you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands on the seashore; and your descendants shall seize the gates of their foes."

Abraham's compliance with God's request to sacrifice his son Isaac, didn't earn him the blessing. He had that already from an earlier chapter in Genesis. His obedience earned him the security of an oath.

How has Israel managed to survive all these years after so many attempts to extinguish her light? Because she is so strong and persevering? Because she is so obedient and respectful of her God? No. I think we can rule out every one of those possibilities right from the get go. Israel has survived because God has integrity, and is a man of his word. That oath He swore, which was witnessed by Abraham and his son Isaac, guarantees the survival of Abraham's posterity right on into eternity. And they will one day be the head of this planet; the center of all political power.

So by two immutable things— the word of God, and an oath of God —Abraham's covenant is secure; and impossible to make go away.

Heb 6:16-18 ...Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.

Jer 31:35-37 …Thus said the Lord, Who established the sun for light by day, the laws of moon and stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea into roaring waves, Whose name is Lord of Hosts: If these laws should ever be annulled by Me— declares the Lord— only then would the offspring of Israel cease to be a nation before Me for all time. Thus said the Lord: If the heavens above could be measured, and the foundations of the earth below could be fathomed, only then would I reject all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done— declares the Lord.

Ishmael                     

Gen 17:18-21 …And Abraham said to God; "O that Ishmael might live by your favor!" God said; "Nevertheless, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac; and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come. As for Ishmael, I have heeded you. I hereby bless him, I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous. He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation. But my covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year."

Although God's promise to give Palestine to Abraham included Abraham's offspring, it did not include every one of them— only the line that leads directly to Jacob. So neither Ishmael, nor any of Ishmael's posterity, have a Divine right to Palestine. Ishmael's clan are Gentiles; and they have no special privileges just because they can trace their origin to Abraham. Ownership of Palestine, since somewhere around 585 BCE, has been often decided through the machinations of political struggle. However, in the future God has to restore the land to Abraham's and Isaac's posterity once and for all because He swore it was theirs forever.

The line has to include Sarah too. She was just as much a part of the promise as her husband. So Ishmael was never a serious candidate for the benefits of Abraham's covenant because he was Hagar's son. Ishmael was out of the running even before he was born, and Abraham should have known better than to think Ishmael might substitute for the long awaited son promised to he and Sarah. God would quite literally have been forced to break his word in order to accommodate Abraham's feelings about Ishmael; and that is never going to happen under any circumstances.

Resurrection                       

Even if no one else in all of creation will be raised from the dead, God must raise at least Abraham in order to keep His promises to him concerning the occupation, and ownership, of Palestine.

Gen 13:14-17 …And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had parted from him, "Raise your eyes and look out from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west, for I give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, then your offspring too can be counted. Up, walk about the land, through its length and its breadth, for I give it to you."

It would be improper to say that Abraham realized ownership of the land through his posterity because God said in verse 15 that Abraham would not own the land through his posterity, but right along with them.

...For I give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever.

The only part of Palestine that Abraham ever actually held in possession was the cave of Machpelah where he buried Sarah, his wife, after she died.

Gen 23:3-20 …Then Abraham rose from beside his dead, and spoke to the Hittites, saying, "I am a resident alien among you; sell me a burial site among you, that I may remove my dead for burial."………Abraham accepted Ephron's terms. Abraham paid out to Ephron the money he had named in the hearing of the Hittites— four hundred shekels of silver at the going merchant's rate.

That is ironic. God had, by this time, already promised Abraham free and clear title to the Hittites' land in Genesis 15:20; but in his day he had to buy some of it so he could bury Sarah. So it remains yet for Abraham to receive the full amount of real estate that was guaranteed him on oath.

He has to be raised from the dead so that can happen. And he will be raised, or God will be found out to be a liar who does not keep a promise— a promise that was made upon oath; and also confirmed when the smoking lamp passed between the pieces in Genesis 15:7-17

Gentile Jew                     

Technically, a Jew is any person whose religion is Judaism. Abraham began his relationship with God while he was a Gentile living in the country of Ur.

Gen 12:1 …The Lord said to Abraham, "Go forth from your native land and from your father's house to the land that I will show you.

Gen 15:7 …Then He said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to assign this land to you as a possession"…..(1985 JPS Tanakh)

If Abraham were still living in Ur today, he would be an Iraqi; living southwest of, and across the Euphrates from, the Iranian town of An Nasiriyah.

Objection: Abraham is from whence all Jews sprang. Since he's the father of the Jews, then why wouldn't he be one too?

That logic doesn't make Abraham himself a Jew any more than it would make Miriam a God simply because she gave birth to the Son of God.

It's true that Abraham was a Hebrew; but being a Hebrew is not the same as being a Jew. Genetically, everyone who descends from Abraham is a Hebrew, including Ishmael's side of the family the Arabs. But not all Arabs are Jews; are they?

Abraham actually remained a Gentile his entire life, and never did become a Jew because there was no Judaism to convert to in his day. He pretty much practiced the very same religion as Able, Seth, Enoch, and Noah. All of those men, along with everyone else at the time, were Gentiles.

The first occurrence of the word Hebrew is at Gen 14:13 and designates Abraham's ancestor Eber. The word for Hebrew is from `Ibriy (ib-ree'); which means; an Eberite (i.e. Hebrew) or descendant of Eber; who himself is listed in the genealogies (Gen 10:21,25; Gen 11:14) as the great-grandson of Shem, and father of Peleg and Joktan.

The word *hebrew* means the other side, or across. Hebrew, which is derived from 'Ibriy, is apparently denoted peoples or tribes who came from the other side of the river (the Euphrates) from Haran (Gen 11:31), whence Abraham and his dependents migrated to Canaan.

The word *Jew* doesn't occur in the Bible until 2Ki 16:6. The Hebrew word for Jew is Yehuwdiy (yeh-hoo-dee'); which means: a Jehudite (i.e. Judaite or Jew), or descendant of Jehudah (i.e. Judah)

Judah is the name of one of Jacob's twelve sons. But his offspring aren't the only Hebrews regarded as Jews. Jacob's other sons engendered Jews too. The original Jehudah is a mystery man because we haven't had any luck locating him anywhere in the early genealogies. But Judah is an especially important tribal leader because the patriarchy passed to him and it is through his posterity that Messiah came into the world. So we could say that a Jehudite is any anyone who not only practices Judaism, but is also submissive to the royalty of Judah; viz: David's line.

Point being; God created the Jewish people from Gentile rootstock— Abram and Sarai. And the Jews are truly a miracle because Sarah was barren; and her womb had no more life in it than a stone. And even if it had been working okay, Isaac's conception would still have to be assisted with a miracle because she was in post menopause when she conceived.

Gen 18:10-14 …Then one said, "I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!" Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped having the periods of women.

So, the Jewish people actually got off and running with Isaac; Abraham and Sarah's miraculous little baby boy.

The Worst                           

Moses' covenant wasn't made with Abraham, nor with Isaac, nor with Jacob: nor even with any of their offspring clear on up until the time of the escape from Egyptian slavery. So no Hebrews prior to that time are effected by Moses' covenant in any way at all. Only the people of Moses who came up out of Egypt with him and Aaron, and then, as time went by, with all the Hebrews who have ever been engendered down through the centuries even until now.

Deut 5:2-4 …The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. It was not with our fathers that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, the living, every one of us who is here today.

Deut 29:13-14 …I make this covenant, with its sanctions, not with you alone, but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here this day.

Deut 27:26 …Cursed be he who will not uphold the terms of this Teaching and observe them.— And all the people shall say, Amen."

Their Amen sealed the future of every Hebrew since then. Today's Hebrew children are born under the jurisdiction of Moses' covenant. They have no choice about it because their ancestors swore them into it many, many years ago.

The covenant that God made with Abraham was an unconditional one. That's the best kind for human beings because that way there is nothing they can do to ruin it for themselves. But the Mosaic covenant is very conditional, and hinges upon faithful compliance to many stipulations, and legal mandates.

The Mosaic covenant was, in my opinion, the biggest mistake that Israel ever made— ever. Because it has the potential to limit their tenancy in that land. And worse, it has always managed to wreck their standing with Moses' God.

The Mosaic covenant often called the *old* covenant relies too much upon human will power; which is vulnerable to human nature; and I believe that is why Israel really shot themselves in the foot when they entered into a covenant with God based upon law.

Ex 19:4-8 …You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Me. Now then, if you will obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine, but you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation……… Moses came down and summoned the elders of the people and put before them all that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered as one, saying, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do."

Not too long after their sacred pledge of allegiance, Moses' people constructed a golden bovine idol and gave to it the credit for rescuing them from the Egyptians. (shrug)

The Jews' success, and their failure, under the Mosaic covenant, hinges upon a very big if:
"IF you will obey Me faithfully and keep my covenant"

When they promised to do it; that sealed their doom. They could have enjoyed a relationship with God based on the religion of Abel, and Noah, and Abraham. But no, they rashly chose to go with law instead. That was not wise. They should have at least waited until they heard all the terms and conditions of the covenant before agreeing to it. They have never kept their end of it even to this very day. At the end of the forty years of wanderings, Moses said:

Deut 9:24 …As long as I have known you, you have been defiant toward the Lord.

Point being; a covenant with God, based on Moses' Law, is a stacked deck. Because of it, even today's modern Jews are at risk of losing control of the land all over again for non compliance with the Law.

Lev 26:43 …For the land shall be forsaken of them, making up for its sabbath years by being desolate of them, while they atone for their iniquity; for the abundant reason that they rejected My rules and spurned My laws.

The land itself will always be a Jewish possession. That is secure because of God's covenant with Abraham. But their occupancy is regulated by stipulations in the Mosaic covenant. Out in the future, Jeremiah's new covenant will remedy the problem of human nature and then Abraham and his posterity will settle in Israel for good.

The Royalty                          

The covenant God made with Abraham regards promises made to a specific Gentile. The Mosaic covenant regards terms and conditions God mandated for a specific nation. This next covenant regards promises that God made to a specific Jew.

2Sam 7:16 …Your house and your kingship shall ever be secure before you; your throne shall be established forever.

2Sam 23:5 …Is not my House established before God? For He has granted me an eternal pact, drawn up in full and secured.

Ps 89:4 …I have made a covenant with My chosen one; I have sworn to My servant David: I will establish your offspring forever, I will confirm your throne to all generations.

That pact permanently designated the selection of a royal family for Israel; kind of like a Jewish house of Windsor. So Israel's final, and permanent, form of national government will be a monarchy, and the king will be one of David's descendants.

The most exciting part of David's covenant is an additional promise, contained in its wording, of one last restoration of Moses' people to permanent occupancy in Israel.

2Sam 7:10 …I will establish a home for my people Israel and will plant them firm, so that they shall dwell secure and shall tremble no more. Evil men shall not oppress them any more as in the past, ever since I appointed chieftains over my people Israel. I will give them safety from all your enemies.

Those promises are not just chipped in rock; they are words right out of the mouth of David's God. So Israel has a great future out ahead. And one day they will dwell secure, without fear, and without anxiety. Which means that all of their enemies must be crushed first before God's promises can become a reality.

Today they are not secure, nor without fear in that land. The Gulf war with Iraq proved that much; and Islamic terrorism continues to buffet the people of Israel. So the promises that God made in David's covenant have not been realized yet because there is no monarchy, and because there is no peace and safety in Israel.

So, since they are not safe, nor secure, nor free from worry about war and terrorism, and especially since there is no monarchy ruling in Israel at this time; then there is good reason to believe that Israel is still very much at risk of once again being conquered and dominated by foreign powers.

The Middle                     

Out in the future at some time, just prior to the reality of Messiah's kingdom, the Diaspora will rounded up from all over the world and taken to one place. At that time each individual Jew will be evaluated to determine which ones qualify to return to Israel under Messiah's regime. The evaluations will be according to the law in Moses' covenant. Those Jews who do not measure up will be banished from Messiah's kingdom; and many will be summarily executed on the spot.

Ezk 20:33-44 …As I live— declares the Lord God— I will reign over you with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with overflowing fury. With a strong hand and an outstretched arm and overflowing fury I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples; and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.

. .As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you— declares the Lord God. I will make you pass under the shepherd’s staff, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will remove from you those who rebel and transgress against Me; I will take them out of the countries where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

It's been my own personal experience that the average Jew honestly considers themselves righteous enough to survive their day in court face to face with Yhvh God. Well, just think back to the time when God entered into judgment with the Jews when He brought them out of Egypt. How many adults over the age of 20 entered the promised land? Only two: Joshua and Caleb. Not even Moses himself made the cut; nor even Bezalel and Oholiab, the two artificers endowed with special skills and aptitudes by God's own spirit. And remember the Jews who were killed by snake venom when they complained about manna? And the entire family of Korah the Levite, and his allies, who were incinerated and swallowed down into the ground alive when it split open and they all fell in? And the Jewish men who were slain for fathering children by pagan women in the incident with Balaam, the prophet for profit?

Being genetically Jewish is not an eo ipso guarantee they'll make the cut and partake of the benefits of Isa 11:1-14, Ezk 36:28-38), Mic 4:1-7, and Joel 2:19-27. Modern Jews just don't know who they're really dealing with.

<>Dan 12:1-2 . .At that time, the great prince, Michael, who stands beside the sons of your people, will appear. It will be a time of trouble, the like of which has never been since the nation came into being. At that time, your people will be rescued, all who are found inscribed in the book. Many of those that sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, others to reproaches, to everlasting abhorrence.

The Best                        

Israel's tenancy in her land, and control over her own destiny, has been intermittent down through history. That's because the Mosaic covenant, the *old covenant* as it is sometimes called, forces her eviction through national disrespect for God, and disobedience to Moses' Law.

But we saw in David's covenant, that there is a day coming which will be her last, and final, return. God has promised a perpetual occupancy for her; never to be evicted, nor dominated, ever again.

But what about the Mosaic covenant? Its provisions mandate that God must punish Israel whenever she loses respect for The Law. And if history is any evidence at all, then we know that she will continue to stumble again and again; requiring a never ending string of evictions, economic problems, and war— as far into eternity as you might choose to go. That has got to be remedied somehow so Israel can stay on her land indefinitely, and in control of her own destiny, as God promised to David.

Even if there was no such a thing as the New Covenant, reason would cry out for one because it is so desperately needed to secure Israel's future and to prevent recurrences of the loss of her sovereignty, and the humiliating heels of foreign domination. The only really practical solution to her problem is a tough, righteous government operating under a different covenant with a new set of laws.

Jer 31:31-34 …See, a time is coming— declares the Lord— when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, though I espoused them— declares the Lord.

...But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days— declares the Lord: I will put my Teachings into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, "Heed the Lord"; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me— declares the Lord.

Ezekiel said something about it too.

Ezk 11:17-20 …Yet say: Thus said the Lord: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall return there, and do away with all its detestable things and all its abominations. I will give them one heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a soft heart, that they may follow My laws, and faithfully observe My rules. Then shall they be my people and I will be their God.

Ezk 36:27-28 …and I will put My spirit into you. Thus I will cause you to follow My laws and faithfully observe My rules. Then you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be My people and I will be your God.

Isn't that incredible?!? Not only will the individual Jew himself be given a new spirit, which implies a change of attitude, but his will to serve God will be augmented by God's spirit; so that each Jew will be a little human mini temple, housing God's spirit. In that day, every single Jew living in Israel will be a priest, and all, collectively, will finally be a kingdom of priests serving God acceptably like He intended for them to do in the first place. Only at that time will Hosea's prophecy come true. The nation, as a whole, will finally once again be His people, and He will be their God.

Joel 2:2 …I will even pour out My spirit upon male and female slaves in those days.

Deut 30:4 …Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers. Then the Lord your God will open up your heart and the hearts of your offspring to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, in order that you may live.

So everything will fall into place: David's descendant Messiah will be installed upon his throne and empowered to rule the country. Israel will get her land, along with peace and prosperity. And God will finally get some respect. And too, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will return home for their fair share of the property that was promised to them so long ago.

The new covenant also includes a provision to completely, and totally, absolve all sins. And that word *all* has to include both intentional, and unintentional sins, because the word *all* loses any real meaning if we tack on a qualifier.

Ezk 36:25 …I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your fetishes.

Jer 31:34 …for I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.

Jeremiah's new covenant is far superior to Moses' because his doesn't permit forgiveness for intentional sins nor for certain specified capital offenses. But Jeremiah's absolves everything. And on top of that, there are no threats in Jeremiah's covenant to evict the people of Israel from their land if the nation should ever fall into sin.

The old covenant's law is an outstanding religious, and civil code. But it lacks provisions to cure the lawbreaker's tendency to do as he pleases and commit sin. Moses' Law is valuable for law and order and punishing violators; but it doesn't rehabilitate anybody. The new covenant does rehab sinners. We can tell from the wording of Jeremiah's covenant that the new heart and the new spirit promised in it creates a new nature in people so that they will be inclined to listen to God with a willingness to comply.

Just exactly when God will make the new covenant an Israeli national policy is uncertain because Jer 33:19-22 guarantees the Aaronic priesthood will remain as long as the cosmos continues. So the Temple and the Aaronic qorbanot system will remain in effect in Messiah's kingdom for a while until such a time as the next Genesis and God destroys the current universe. (Isa 65:17, 2Pet 3:10, and Rev 21:1-5)

Isn't Israel's future astounding? Man! I love it. I tell you; it is all so wonderful, and so exciting, that I just want to shout and throw my hat into the air like those graduates do at West Point every year!
 

Objection: Why can't Israel's current statehood, and its people's return to the land, be fulfillments of Old Testament prophecy?

Were I a modern Jew, I would not pack up and move to Israel just yet; but would wait until Yhvh evicts the Muslims and makes eretz Israel once again a land of milk and honey. Right now, as a place to live and raise a family, the country of Israel sucks. There's not enough water, there's not enough arable land, there's not enough rain, there's not enough peace, there's not enough prosperity, there's not enough security, and there is neither religious nor political harmony. When Messiah comes to rule, there will be one religion, one government, abundant peace and prosperity, swift justice, and absolutely no more stones, car bombs, bullets, mortars, and rocket attacks.

Isa 11:1-14. . But a shoot shall grow out of the stump of Jesse, a twig shall sprout from his stock. The spirit of Yhvh shall alight upon him: a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and valor, a spirit of devotion and reverence for Yhvh. He shall sense the truth by his reverence for Yhvh:

. .He shall not judge by what his eyes behold, nor decide by what his ears perceive. Thus he shall judge the poor with equity and decide with justice for the lowly of the land. He shall strike down a land with the rod of his mouth and slay the wicked with the breath of his lips. Justice shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his waist.

. .The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard lie down with the kid; the calf, the beast of prey, and the fatling together, with a little boy to herd them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion, like the ox, shall eat straw. A babe shall play over a viper’s hole, and an infant pass his hand over an adder’s den. In all of My sacred mount nothing evil or vile shall be done; for the land shall be filled with devotion to Yhvh as water covers the sea.

. .In that day, the stock of Jesse that has remained standing shall become a standard to peoples— nations shall seek his counsel and his abode shall be honored. In that day, my `Adonay will apply His hand again to purchase the other part of His people from Assyria— as also from Egypt, Pathros, Nubia, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the coastlands. He will hold up a signal to the nations and assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Then Ephraim’s envy shall cease And Judah’s harassment shall end; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. They shall pounce on the back of Philistia to the west, and together plunder the peoples of the east; Edom and Moab shall be subject to them and the children of Ammon shall obey them.

Mic 4:1-7. .In the days to come, the Mount of Yhvh's House shall stand firm above the mountains; and it shall tower above the hills. The peoples shall gaze on it with joy, and the many nations shall go and shall say; Come, let us go up to the Mount of Yhvh, to the House of the God of Jacob; that He may instruct us in His ways, and that we may walk in His paths. For instruction shall come forth from Zion, the word of Yhvh from Jerusalem.

. .Thus He will judge among the many peoples, and arbitrate for the multitude of nations, however distant; and they shall beat their swords into plow tips and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not take up sword against nation; they shall never again know war; but every man shall sit under his grapevine or fig tree with no one to disturb him.

Joel 2:19-27 . .In response to His people Yhvh testified:

. .I will grant you the new grain, the new wine, and the new oil, and you shall have them in abundance. Nevermore will I let you be a mockery among the nations. I will drive the locust horde far from you, I will thrust it into a parched and desolate land— its van to the Eastern Sea and its rear to the Western Sea; and the stench of it shall go up, and the foul smell rise. For Yhvh shall work great deeds.

. .Fear not, O soil, rejoice and be glad; for the Lord has wrought great deeds. Fear not, O beasts of the field, for the pastures in the wilderness are clothed with grass. The trees have borne their fruit; fig tree and vine have yielded their strength.

. .O children of Zion, be glad, rejoice in Yhvh your God. For He has given you the early rain in kindness, now He makes the rain fall as formerly— the early rain and the late— and threshing floors shall be piled with grain, and vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. I will restore you the years consumed by swarms and hoppers, by grubs and locusts, the great army I let loose against you. And you shall eat your fill and praise the name of Yhvh your God who dealt so wondrously with you— My people shall be shamed no more. And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: that I Yhvh am your God and there is no other. And My people shall be shamed no more.

If Messiah were to come this week, I have no doubt whatsoever that many of the Jews who are already settled in Israel would be summarily evicted and relocated elsewhere.

Ezk 20:36-37 . .As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you— testifies Yhvh God. I will make you pass under the shepherd’s staff, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will remove from you those who rebel and transgress against Me; I will take them out of the countries where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel.

Matt 8:11-12 . .And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites— those for whom the Kingdom was prepared —will be cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Objection: There were difficulties to overcome during the days of Joshua and the Judges; so just because Israel is not reaping all the benefits of those passages doesn't mean that their return isn't according to prophecy.

That objector failed to take into account a very important component of Joshua's campaign.

Josh 5:13-15 . .Once, when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him, drawn sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked him; Are you one of us or of our enemies? He replied; No, I am captain of Yhvh's legions. Now I have come! Joshua threw himself face down to the ground and, prostrating himself, said to him; What does my 'Adonay command his servant? The captain of Yhvh's legions answered Joshua; Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy. And Joshua did so.

What a joke to compare Israel's current government with Joshua and the Judges. Joshua (and the Judges too) was in direct, personal contact with the Tanahk's Yhvh during his whole campaign in Palestine. Israel's current government is not, nor has it ever been, in direct personal contact with the Tanakh's Yhvh. No, they are, and they have always been, off-reservation, operating independently, completely on their own just like everybody else, and that's why eretz Israel is not yet a land of milk and honey as per Isa 11:1-14, Mic 4:1-7, and Joel 2:19-27.

No, there there's not enough water, not enough arable land, not enough peace, not enough rain, not enough prosperity, not enough security; and there is neither religious nor political harmony. When Isa 11:1-14, Mic 4:1-7, and Joel 2:19-27 come to pass, there will be one religion, one government, abundant peace and prosperity, swift justice, and absolutely no more stones, car bombs, bullets, mortars, and rocket attacks.

When Isa 11:1-14, Mic 4:1-7, and Joel 2:19-27 all come true then maybe that objector will have something to say worth listening to; but until then they will only continue to bore the h_ll out of me with more and more of their spurious prophetic fulfillments.

Objection: You are not privy to the personal experiences or contacts of Israel's leadership.

No, but I am privy to Joshua's personal and direct contacts with the Tanakh's Yhvh; and the Judges' contacts too. Hey, I just had an epiphany. Why doesn't somebody write a letter to Israel's prime minister right now, today, requesting him to detail his direct, personal contacts with the Tanakh's Yhvh and/or the captain of Yhvh's legions. I've no doubt he would be anxious to share everything they told him in order to bolster the courage and persistence of his fellow Jews in a land currently void of Messiah's own personal auspices.

Objection: It's interesting how your whining compares to the fearful whining of those first scouts in Numbers 13-14

Apples and oranges. Nobody among the people of Israel doubted the productivity of the land; they only doubted their ability to conquer its occupants; viz: they didn't believe God would step up for them though He promised (via personal, direct contact with Moses) that He would.

BTW: there isn't enough water either, let alone enough arable land. But according to Isa 11:1-14, Mic 4:1-7, and Joel 2:19-27, when Yhvh himself takes the reins, there will be an abundance of water, an abundance of arable land, an abundance of rain, an abundance of peace, an abundance of prosperity, an abundance of security, swift justice, and absolutely no more stones, car bombs, bullets, mortars, and rocket attacks. Israel will no longer need American assistance then because Yhvh will be both its provider and its protector.

One of the oft-overlooked benefits of Yhvh's personal auspices is that everybody will have their very own permanent piece of land; yes, no more apartments; no more squatting. Each man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree. That's just not the case today; and not only is that not the case; it is an impossible case for Israel's current climatic conditions to make happen. When Yhvh take over, conditions are really going to improve.

Isa 35:1-2 . .The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of Yhvh, the excellency of our God.

Lebanon's glory of old was timber; especially cedars (1Kng 4:33). Sharon was known for its flowers (Song 2:1) and Carmel for its orchards (Isa 33:9). How God will get timber, flowers, and orchards to flourish in the Negev should be interesting but that won't be the only portion of the MidEast to become verdant when Yhvh takes the reins.

Gen 15:18a . .On that day Yhvh made a covenant with Abram, saying; To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

If you have a map handy, it's instantly apparent just how huge a piece of real estate that God assigned to Abram's offspring. It's very difficult to precisely outline the whole area but it seems to encompass a chunk of Africa east of the Nile, (including the delta), the Sinai Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Onan, U.A.E., Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

The "river of Egypt" is very likely the Nile since there was no Suez Canal in that day. The Euphrates is Iraq's eastern border. Measuring straight across; the distance from Cairo Egypt to Al Basrah Iraq is about 990 miles as the crow flies. That's roughly the distance from San Diego to Albuquerque. North to south, from the Sinai peninsula to the top of Syria, the distance is about 1,698 miles as the crow flies; which is roughly the distance from Los Angeles to Vancouver B.C.

We're talking about some serious square mileage— over 1,538,370; which is more than Ireland, United Kingdom, Scotland, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Finland combined! Currently, Israel contains 8,473 square miles. Subdividing 1,538,370 square miles into 182 sections; modern Israel would consist of just one of those 182 sections.

Anyway, my point is: every square mile, and every square inch of that covenanted land is guaranteed by Yhvh's testimony to produce timber, flowers, and orchards; plus provide property for every man's vine and every man's fig tree. Do you really think that's a credible possibility with Israel's current administration? I don't think so. They can't even control the Palestinians, let alone that many square miles of hostile political boundaries; not to even mention the agricultural problems associated with massive amounts of MidEast desert that at present can barely sustain a goat.

Israel's ambitious irrigation systems are about as effective as a gnat trying to drink up the Mediterranean Sea when you consider the monumental effort it would take to provide enough water to sustain 1,538,370 square miles of timber, flowers, orchards, and vines and figs.

Objection: They're working very hard on achieving peace and security— with no help from you.

And with no help from Yhvh either, that much is clearly evident to me. Do you remember what happened to the Jews under Moses' command in Num 14:39-45 who attempted to possess Palestine without God's providence? Yes; that's right; they got the h_ll kicked out of them.

The Jews' current return to the pathetic little fraction of Abraham's covenanted land is not of Yhvh's doing; no, it is totally a man-made endeavor, and is only serving to set Israel up for its crushing defeat during the time of Jacob's trouble in Jer 30:1-24.

Here's a rough-hewn outline. At first, there will be a temporary peace in that whole region between Arabs and Jews orchestrated by a political figure referred to in Daniel as a beast. He will sign a treaty with Israel's administrators and then later breach it and make himself prime minister. It will be very easy to do because the beast will have help from a counterfeit Messiah who can perform very convincing miracles and even bring a statue of the beast to life and enable it to speak. Yhvh himself will ensure the people are deceived by the counterfeit Messiah by sending them strong delusion in order that they willingly believe the lie and not escape what's coming next.

Unfortunately, the beast, in his ambition, will tick off a number of the world's governments and they will form an alliance and invade Israel with the intent of deposing the beast. Right about in there somewhere is when Yhvh will step up and defend Jerusalem. To my knowledge, that is the only city in Israel that Yhvh plans to defend which means that Jews living in other towns, and/or out in the boonies, will fall victim to the invasion. Those that aren't killed outright will be rounded up and relocated.

Sometime after defending Jerusalem, Yhvh will initiate the round-up of Isa 11:11-16, Ezk 20:33-44 and Mic 4:6-7, and all of Isa 11:1-14, Mic 4:1-7, and Joel 2:19-27 will come to pass, and that will be the very last time anybody invades Israel and carries its people off captive. It will also be the very first time in human history that Abraham and his posterity take full possession of every last inch of those covenanted 1,538,370 square miles.

2Chrn 7:13-14 . .If I shut up the heavens and there is no rain; if I command the locusts to ravage the land; or if I let loose pestilence against My people, when My people, who bear My name, humble themselves, pray, and seek My favor and turn from their evil ways, I will hear in My heavenly abode and forgive their sins and heal their land.

Since that land is currently in desperate need of healing, I feel justified to assume its because Yhvh's people are not humble, nor have they turned from their wicked ways, nor have they prayed and sought Yhvh's favor, nor are their sins, as a corporate nation, forgiven. And why is that?

Because less than ten lousy percent of the world's Jews are Orthodox. Even in the very land of Israel itself, more than half of all Israelis describe themselves as hiloni (secular). I'm not talking about an insignificant number of Jews. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, there were 12,753,500 Jews worldwide as of 2006. Ninety percent amounts to a whopping 11,478,150 non-Orthodox Jews!

Of those 12,753,500 Jews worldwide: 5,313,800 lived in Israel; which means, that as of 2006, there were 7,439,700 Jews living outside the land. Why would I even mention that? Because according to Yhvh's own personal testimony, when the really and truly re-gathering takes place, Jews will not be asked to volunteer to relocate to Israel; no, they will be dragged there, against their will if necessary.

Ezk 20:33-34 . .As I live— testifies Yhvh God —I will reign over you with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with overflowing fury. With a strong hand and an outstretched arm and overflowing fury I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered

Micah 4:6-7 . .In that day— testifies Yhvh —I will assemble the lame [sheep] and will gather the outcast and those I have treated harshly; and I will turn the lame into a remnant and the expelled into a populous nation. And Yhvh will reign over them on Mount Zion now and for evermore.

Modern Jews who are under the impression that the current migration to Israel is somehow a fulfillment of predictive prophecy are just as uninformed as Christians who are under the impression that the so-called Wailing Wall is a remnant of Solomon's Temple. When the really and truly re-gathering takes place, there will be no question about who's behind it. The whole world will know, and not only be scared out of its wits; but will gladly do all in its power to assist Yhvh's people to get back home just like the Egyptians at one time gave Yhvh's people all they requested on the night of the exodus.

Joel 3:1-2 . .After that, I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy; your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. I will even pour out My spirit upon male and female slaves in those days.

Honestly, I do not see God's spirit upon all flesh; no, I don't even see His spirit upon Yhvh's own people let alone all flesh. When that event finally comes to pass, then I will give my stamp of approval that Yhvh has finally brought His people home. But until then, I believe I am justified to regard the present migration to Israel as merely a jumping-the-gun, thoroughly presumptuous human undertaking.

Isa 40:31 . .But they who wait upon Yhvh shall renew their strength as eagles who grow new plumes: they shall run and not grow weary, they shall march and not grow faint.

In my enthusiasm over the timber, flowers, orchards, and vines and fig trees, I forgot all about rain, grass, livestock, olives, and grain.

Joel 2:19-27 . .In response to His people Yhvh testified:

. .I will grant you the new grain, the new wine, and the new oil, and you shall have them in abundance. Nevermore will I let you be a mockery among the nations. I will drive the locust horde far from you, I will thrust it into a parched and desolate land— its van to the Eastern Sea and its rear to the Western Sea; and the stench of it shall go up, and the foul smell rise. For Yhvh shall work great deeds.

. .Fear not, O soil, rejoice and be glad; for the Lord has wrought great deeds. Fear not, O beasts of the field, for the pastures in the wilderness are clothed with grass. The trees have borne their fruit; fig tree and vine have yielded their strength.

. .O children of Zion, be glad, rejoice in Yhvh your God. For He has given you the early rain in kindness, now He makes the rain fall as formerly— the early rain and the late— and threshing floors shall be piled with grain, and vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. I will restore you the years consumed by swarms and hoppers, by grubs and locusts, the great army I let loose against you. And you shall eat your fill and praise the name of Yhvh your God who dealt so wondrously with you— My people shall be shamed no more. And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: that I Yhvh am your God and there is no other. And My people shall be shamed no more.

Yhvh specifically testifies that the abundance of rain, pastures, grain, olives, grapes, and insect control, will be the rock solid proof of His personal presence in Israel. Just think about what He is testifying! All that sand and rock and gravel and heat in the MidEast will one day be pleasant verdant land! It is just beyond belief; in point of fact, it is so far beyond reason that when it happens, even the most secular, atheistic Jew on earth will have to admit that there really is a biblical Yhvh after all. But right now? No, Yhvh is not in that land. For now, He's occupied with another, far more important order of business: that of recruiting Gentiles to His name. (Rom 11:25-32)

When Yhvh is done with that, then the Tanakh's God will turn His attention back to His people— and to their land —and start making good on all benefits promised in Isa 11:1-14, Jer 31:31-34, Ezk 20:33-44, Ezk 36:24-28, Mic 4:1-7, and Joel 2:19-3:2.
 


Related References    

Answering Jewish Objections To Jesus
by Michael L. Brown
Volume 1 ISBN 0-8010-6063-X
Volume 2 ISBN 0-8010-6334-5
Volume 3 ISBN 0-8010-6423-6

 

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