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How Will God Carry Out His Plan For Israel?

How Will God Carry Out His Plan For Israel?

Israel, the Cross, and the End of the Age – Session 3

 

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This session will be a survey of the the prophetic writings from the Torah and the Prophets about the end of the age, and view the major eschatological themes in the NT with this proper OT context.

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How Will God Carry Out His Plan For Israel?

THE PROMISED RETURN OF THE FIRSTBORN

THE PROMISED RETURN OF THE FIRSTBORN

A.             In this session we want to talk about exactly how God has said that He will bring this whole story of Israel and her wayward history to a dramatic close. Paul noted that Israel’s acceptance of the Gospel of a crucified Messiah would mean ‘life from the dead’ for the world.

13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Ro 11:13–15 NASB95)

B.            God has bound the destiny of the world to Jewish repentance, and the promise of the resurrection and the restoration of all things hinges upon the elder brother’s acknowledgment of their depravity and need for the Messiah’s atonement.

19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time… “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” (Ac 3:19–26 NASB95)

C.             The end of the time of Israel’s discipline is synonymous with the time of the earth’s restoration from the curse upon the ground.

17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind19I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying. 20 “No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will be thought accursed. 21 “They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 “They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands. 23 “They will not labor in vain, Or bear children for calamity; For they are the offspring of those blessed by the Lord, And their descendants with them. (Is 65:17–23 NASB95)

  • 30 “You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; you shall build a house, but you will not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit. 32 “Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and yearn for them continually; but there will be nothing you can do. 33 “A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors, and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually. (Dt 28:30–33 NASB95)

D.             The softening of their hearts to the Gospel is the primary indicator of the 2nd coming of the Messiah. (cf. Matt. 23:39) It is very encouraging to hear stories of the small remnant of Jews who are coming to faith in the Messiah, however this falls vastly short of the Biblical vision presented by the prophets. The coming national repentance has only been prophesied in context to an ultimate stripping of strength.

36 “For the Lord will vindicate His people, And will have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their strength is gone, And there is none remaining, bond or free. (Dt 32:36 NASB95)

6 … “How long until the end of these extraordinary things?” 7 Then I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river. He raised both his hands toward heaven and swore by Him who lives eternally that it would be for a time, times, and half a time. When the power of the holy people is shattered, all these things will be completed. (Da 12:6–7 HCSB)

E.             The Lord will wait until their strength is gone because only this context will they actually come to faith. Faith in God to mend our condition demands the acknowledgment of depravity and guilt. This is evident in the Levitical system as well as throughout the NT. Those who boast in themselves are excluded from the Kingdom of God and the resurrection.

27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded (lit. ‘it has been shut out’). By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. (Ro 3:27 NASB95)

F.              Israel’s national refusal to acknowledge their depravity has lead to a total refusal to acknowledge the Lord’s hand in their discipline and exile. The Lord has determined that through the utter stripping of their strength they would acknowledge their depravity, their need for the great atonement, and then be delivered from His wrath.

15 I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. (Ho 5:15 NASB95)

23 Who among you will give ear to this? Who will give heed and listen hereafter? 24 Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel to plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, And in whose ways they were not willing to walk, And whose law they did not obey? (Is 42:23–24 NASB95)

28 “For they are a nation lacking in counsel, And there is no understanding in them. 29 “Would that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would discern their future! 30 “How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the Lord had given them up? (Dt 32:28–30 NASB95)

2 “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah… 10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication (lxx ‘compassion’), so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. (Zec 12:2–10 NASB95)

THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

A.             The eschatological stripping of their strength will happen in context to a Gentile siege of Jerusalem. This will be the climax of a time referred to as ‘the times of the Gentiles’.

24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Lk 21:24 NASB95)

B.            The ‘times of the Gentiles’ began in 586 BC with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian Empire. The significance of this time cannot be understood apart from God’s covenant to David in which He promised that David would have an heir on his throne in Jerusalem forever.

10 “I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly (cf. the pattern of exile/restoration), 1112 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (2 Sa 7:10–13 NASB95)

  • 35 “Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 “His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me. 37It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.” Selah. (Ps 89:35–37 NASB95)

C.             This destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC was the beginning of the time of exile for the Jewish people. This has lasted until now. The exile is not conditional ONLY upon them living in the land – since they have lived in the land several times since that time – but upon the Davidic monarchy being restored.

D.             It doesn’t matter if the United Nations has decided to acknowledge Israel as a nation or not, the Jewish people are in exile until the Son of David sits on his throne again. Since this is the end of the exile – and thus to the curse upon the earth – the disciples asked Jesus just before His ascension if He was about to end the time of exile by restoring the Kingdom to Israel. i.e. the Davidic monarchy.

3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Ac 1:3–6 NASB95)

  • 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; (Lk 1:32 NASB95)

E.             This season of exile and Gentile wrath will climax at the end of the age. God will gather all the nations against the city of Jerusalem, and will allow them to prosper in every evil intent in their heart for 3.5 years.

2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. (Zec 14:2 NASB95)

  • 2 “Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. (Re 11:2 NASB95)

25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (gk. eiserchomai ‘has come into’ or ‘has commenced’); 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” (Ro 11:25–26 NASB95)

68.7 εἰσέρχομαιc; ἐφίσταμαιf (and perfect active): to begin, with the focus upon the initial stages of an activity—‘to begin, to commence.’

εἰσέρχομαιc: εἰσῆλθεν δὲ διαλογισμὸς ἐν αὐτοῖς ‘an argument began among them’ or ‘they began to argue’ Lk 9:46[1]

17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. 18 According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense. 19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind of the Lord drives. 20A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord. (Is 59:17–20 NASB95)



[1] Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies.

SIFTED THROUGH ALL NATIONS AND THE GREAT TEST

SIFTED THROUGH ALL NATIONS AND THE GREAT TEST

A.             One central theme regarding the Messianic mission at the 2nd coming will be leading the Jews who were just captive back to Zion after the crushing of their adversaries. This final Aliyah will be marked by everlasting joy.

1 When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream. (Ps 126:1 NASB95)

11 So the ransomed of the Lord will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, And everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Is 51:11 NASB95)

  • 3 then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 “If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. (Dt 30:3–4 NASB95)

12 “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel… 14 “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’ ” (Eze 37:12–14 NASB95)

B.            This obviously assumes that between now and the coming of Jesus there will be one final exile. Amos, referring to this final chastisement, wrote that they would be sifted through all nations.

8 “Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom (i.e. Israel, cf. v. 7), And I will destroy it from the face of the earth; Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” Says the Lord. 9 “For surely I will command, And will sift the house of Israel among all nations, As grain is sifted in a sieve; Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground. 10 All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, Who say, ‘The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us.’ (Am 9:8–10 NKJV)

  • 24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? (cf. Is. 5 Parable of the Vineyard) How then does it have tares?’ 28 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ” (Mt 13:24–30 NASB95)
  • 11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Mt 3:11–12 NASB95)

C.             This final exile will cause such an upheaval amongst the nations that it will constitute the hour of testing upon the whole earth. The faith of all of the nations will be either authenticated as real, or exposed as false during this time.

10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. (Re 3:10 NIV)

23…For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled… 34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Lk 21:23–36 NKJV)

  • 7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it. (Je 30:7 NKJV)

D.             The times of testing upon the earth always yield evidence of the authenticity and genuiness of faith. This is why the testing of your faith might result in praise, honor, and glory at the coming of Jesus.

7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Pe 1:7 NIV)

  • 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. 38 But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. (Heb 10:36–38 NASB95)

E.             The Hebrew calendar depicts a final moment of decision every year on the Day of Atonement in which Yahweh determines if they are found in the covenant by faith or excluded from the covenant through faithlessness. This decision will determine if God will accept the sacrifices offered by the individual that prior year, since there is no sacrifice for willful and unrepentant sin. (cf. Num. 15:27-31)

F.              In the same way there will be a day when God’s exile of the Jewish people will be used to weigh the faith of every Gentile on the earth – thus counting them inside the covenant by faith, or excluded from the covenant due to faithlessness.

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’… 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; … (Mt 25:31–41 NASB95)

  • 47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. (Dt 28:47–48 NASB95)

1 “For indeed, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says the Lord of Hosts, “not leaving them root or branches. (Mal 4:1 HCSB)

13 each man’s (i.e. teacher’s) work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. (1 Co 3:13–14 NASB95)

 

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Bill Scofield Bill Scofield (52 Posts)

Bill is husband to Charis, and father to their 6 children. He is a Bible teacher, elder, and missions trainer.


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