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What Is Going To Happen With Israel?

What Is Going To Happen With Israel?

Israel, the Cross, and the End of the Age – Session 1

 

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This session provides an overview of the events spoken of by the Law, the Prophets, and then reiterated by the writers of the New Testament.

 

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What Is Going To Happen With Israel?

SEMINAR INTRODUCTION

SEMINAR INTRODUCTION

A.             The Scripture is unapologetically Israel-centered. Even a simple overview of the Scriptures will show that it is a book written almost entirely by Israel, for Israel, and about Israel. Being mostly a Gentile community we have to wrestle with this prior to the major shakings that are about to take place on the earth.

B.            Like the rest of the Scriptures, the subject of eschatology in the Scripture is completely Israel centered. Most of the church presently operates from a view of the Scriptures called Amillennialism. A simple way of viewing Amillennialism (which 99% of you were taught in the church) is that it views the eschatological promises to Israel from the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets as being reinterpreted and realized in the cross, and resurrection of the Messiah. This view ultimately requires that Israel be reinterpreted into ‘Spiritual Israel’.

25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” (Lk 24:25–26 NASB95)

14 “But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. (Ac 24:14–15 NASB95)

C.             The Scripture is actually laid out within a very simple storyline. The storyline was laid out in the beginning and simply reiterated throughout the Scripture. However, since most doctrine and theology within the church assumes that the storyline was redefined during the 1st coming of the Messiah many of the major subjects in the Scripture have become nebulous and veiled in misperception.

D.             Not the least of these is the subject of the 2nd coming of the Messiah. While presently the subject often produces confusion, strife, and self-preserving attitudes that are completely at odds with the Gospel; the subject was the sole hope of the early church.

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (Tt 2:11–13 NKJV)

13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Pe 1:13 NASB95)

E.               Both the subject of Israel and the subject of the 2nd coming of the Messiah can only be understood in this context. Unless this simple framework for redemptive history is kept absolutely central, then the rest of what the Scripture says about the events which precede the Messiah’s coming will always seem contrary to his character. 

THE STORYLINE

THE STORYLINE

Simple-Bible-Timeline

A.             The simple storyline begins with Genesis 1. God’s creation is ‘very good’ and perfectly suited for the purpose which He had for it.

31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Ge 1:31 NASB95)

B.            God’s chief creation and ‘vice-regent’[1] broke covenant with the Creator after being tempted by the Serpent, and choose to trust in their own ability to lead themselves and to govern the creation. God’s plan for the redemption for His creation involved subjecting His perfect creation to futility as well as promising a hope for it’s restoration.

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 17 To Adam he said, …“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” 20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living (lit. ‘life’). (Ge 3:15–20 NIV)

C.             This accomplished two things. First, through introducing men to difficulty, pain, and the fear of death (cf. Heb. 2:14-15) it exposed the frailty and complete inability of men to produce well-being through their own influence. During times of difficulty and suffering, the realities of the heart are exposed and men are confronted with their depravity.

D.             Second, it established a way for men to come back into trusting God’s leadership to lovingly restore us to the original perfection that we had in the beginning. The means from this moment forward to repent of rebellion and self-governance was to trust God to fix our problem and restore the earth through the Seed which He had appointed.

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. (Ac 3:19–21 NASB95)

E.             The appearing of the Seed was the preoccupation of all of the Godly Patriarchs. Lamech, the grandson of Enoch, named his son with the expectation that he would be the promised Seed.

28 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and became the father of a son. 29 Now he called his name Noah (lit. ‘rest’), saying, “This one will give us rest (cf. ‘rest’ in Heb. 4) from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed.” (Gen 5:28-29 NASB)

F.              Yahweh also made a covenant with Abraham that the promised Seed would come through him, and that his offspring would restore blessing to the earth and it’s inhabitants from their present condition.

18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Ge 22:18 NASB95)

4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 “I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. (Gen 17:4-7 NASB)

G.             It is important to note that God’s election to bless the earth through Abraham and his descendants out of all the nations happens in context to the next most significant event in human history. The dispersion of the nations after the rebellion at the tower of Babel was the first time that humanity was divided according to ethnic/tribal heritage.

H.             This choice of God was not understood as an exclusion of the other nations from participation in the resurrection, but of God’s appointment of the administrators of the inheritance. Much like an oldest sibling would administrate the inheritance/blessing given by their father to the rest of the siblings, God chose Israel to be the ‘firstborn’ amongst the nations.

22 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. (Ex 4:22 NASB95)

  • 8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel. (Dt 32:8 NASB95)

I.               Just as the Israel would be the ‘firstborn’ of the nations, so the promised Seed would be the firstborn of all the men on the earth.

27 “I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. (Ps 89:27 NASB95)

9 “…I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.” (Je 31:9 NASB95)

 


[1] A vice-regent is one who acts and communicates on behalf of a regent i.e. king. Adam was God’s vice-regent since – although He often walked in the garden – God was often not in the lower regions of His creation and so made one in His image who could act in “His name”.

MOSAIC STEWARDSHIP

MOSAIC STEWARDSHIP

A.             After a period of slavery, Yahweh rescues His firstborn out of slavery to Egypt and brings them to Sinai to enter into covenant with them.[1] Gathering them at the foot of the mountain, God appoints the “assembly of the firstborn” for Himself.

22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels in festive gathering, 23 to the assembly (Gk. ekklesia) of the firstborn whose names have been written in heaven, to God who is the Judge of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect, (Heb 12:22–23 HCSB)

  •  10 “The Lord gave me the two tablets of stone written by the finger of God; and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken with you at the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly (LXX. ekklesia). (Dt 9:10 NASB95)
  • 30 Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly (LXX. ekklesia) of Israel the words of this song, until they were complete: (Dt 31:30 NASB95)
  • 8 “So now, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly (LXX. ekklesia) of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the Lord your God so that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever. (1 Ch 28:8 NASB95)

B.            From this time on the firstborn nation is entrusted with a holy ‘stewardship’ of those things which will define their life and role in the age to come. The Messiah will properly be The Steward of those things, but the redeemed nation of Israel will be the chosen agents by whom He will administrate blessing to the earth again.

3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, (Ro 9:3–4 NASB95)

C.             The resurrection, the Kingdom of Israel, the Law, and the Temple are the things which will define the age to come. They have been entrusted to Israel in order to train and equip them for their ‘gift and calling’ under the Messianic Head in the age to come.

22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. (Jn 4:22 HCSB)

  • 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Ro 11:15 NASB95)
  • 3 He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel, In Whom I will show My glory.” 4 … I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Is 49:3–6 NASB95)

6 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 1:6 NASB95)

  • 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” (Ps 2:5–6 NASB95)
  • 35 “Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me. 37 “It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.”Selah. (Ps 89:35–37 NASB95)

2 Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the Lord Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Is 2:2–3 NASB95)

11 “Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. 13 “Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” ’ (Zec 6:11–13 NASB95)

  • 5 A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; Moreover, he will seek justice And be prompt in righteousness. (Is 16:5 NASB95)

D.             They were also entrusted with the only means of entering into the promises with the sacrificial system. From the beginning, persistent repentance and faith were established as the only means of entering into the covenant and the promises. From the time of the Mosaic stewardship onward, repentance and faith became defined completely in context to a substitutionary atonement.

E.             The mechanics of faith were most clearly presented in the Levitical system of atonement for sin. God revealed Himself at Sinai, and this revelation is dominated by the fact that God, being rich in mercy, loves His creation and wants to make a way for things to be restored. So, God left a system to atone for the covenant violations (i.e. sins, transgression, iniquities) of the people with whom he had made a covenant.[2]

“In all private sacrifices, except firstlings, tithes, and the Paschal lamb, hands were laid on, and, while doing so, the following prayer was repeated: ‘I entreat, O Jehovah: I have sinned, I have done perversely, I have rebelled, I have committed (naming the sin, trespass, or, in case of a burnt-offering, the breach of positive or negative command); but I return in repentance, and let this be for my atonement (covering).’[3]

Biblical-Hope-Simplified

 


[1] Important to note is that although God promised Abraham that He would make a covenant with his descendants, this is the first time God enters into covenant with a group of people rather than an individual.

[2]the sacrifices were limited in purpose to the covenant preservation and renewal of a redeemed people. The Levitical sacrifices were a part of the worship of a redeemed people in covenant relationship with their God. Corporately, and perhaps for the most part individually, the occasion of the slaying of the Passover lamb and the application of its blood to the doorposts in Egypt were outward expressions of inward faith that signaled the regeneration and justification of individual Israelites.” (BKC Vol. 1, pg. 166)

[3] Edersheim, A. (2003). The Temple, its ministry and services as they were at the time of Jesus Christ. (p. 114)

THE COMING BLESSINGS AND CURSES

THE COMING BLESSINGS AND CURSES

A.             The Sinai covenant – like all of the covenants recorded in the Scripture – was structured according to a common format in the Ancient Near East known as a Suzerain/Vassal Treaty [1]. It was a simple treaty made between a monarch and a servant who was placed in a region to represent the monarch in his absence.

B.            The ancient treaties that have been discovered from this time period all have almost the same format:

  1. 1.             Introduction of the Sovereign – including His name, and any past experience with the vassal.
  2. 2.             Stipulations of the covenant – i.e. conditions for remaining in covenant with Him.
  3. 3.            Blessings and curses – clearly stated blessings for keeping the stipulations and clearly stated curses for breaking the stipulations.

C.             The Torah concludes with a detailed reiteration of the curses and blessings of the covenant. Deuteronomy 28-32 leaves a detailed prophetic blueprint of the future of Israel. These prophecies – which includes the Song of Moses – are the single most referenced prophetic material in the Scripture. All of the Prophets and Apostles understood their own day as well as the coming of the Messiah in light of these 5 chapters.

D.             After laying out the initial blessings and curses for violating His covenant with them (Deut. 28), Moses prophecies that indeed all of the things written in the blessings and curses will come upon them.

1 “So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 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. (Dt 30:1–3 NASB95)

  • 15 “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you… 25 “The Lord shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror (lxx ‘diaspora’) to all the kingdoms of the earth. (Dt 28:15–25 NASB95)

E.             These things are absolutely sure since God has based His own name upon the completion of every promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Cf Eze 36:22-23)

18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Mt 5:18 NASB95)

 


[1] It should be noted that this format was probably common because it came from Adam, not because God imitated the contracts of other nations. The most likely scenario is that since God’s dealings with Adam in the Garden had a very similar format, Adam simply passed down this way of relating to others. 

THE PATTERN OF DISCIPLINE

THE PATTERN OF DISCIPLINE

A.             Their persistence in unbelief has perpetuated a pattern of discipline which was clearly laid out in the Torah, the Prophets, and attested by history. The pattern begins with God graciously bringing them into the Land and blessing them with a ‘down-payment’ of the prosperity to come, and then continues with them breaking the covenant with Him due to their influence by the surrounding nations. (cf. Deut. 8:7-14, Is. 5)

B.            After sending prophets to call them back into the covenant and to renounce the faithless ways of these nations, the prophets are rejected and other ‘prophets’ are raised up who tell the people that they will have peace and safety even though they walk in rebellion. (cf. Deut. 31:16)

C.              A very common example is the example of Baal. Baal was the Canaanite god of rain and thunderstorms. The Canaanites offered sacrifices to Baal when there was no rain, and often rain would come. The Israelites observed this pattern and during initial times of discipline when the Lord would withhold rain to alert them about their condition, they would simply turn to Baal to get their rain back. Thus, they would ‘play the harlot’ with other gods.

D.             He then exiles them from the Land due to their rejection of His messengers and their persistence in rebellion and faithlessness. Although we can speak of these things with little emotion, it should be noted that the contexts within which these things took place were devastatingly painful. God consistently raised up some of the world’s most brutal and depraved men (cf. Hitler) to be the instrument of their discipline and.

The pattern continues as they fully take the gods of the nations as their own. They attempt to assimilate themselves into these nations. From there the Lord causes them to be an object of hatred and wrath. (cf. Nazi Holocaust throughout Europe) After very intense times of persecution and wrath amongst the nations, He then has mercy and restores them to the Land.

THE COMING END TO THE CYCLE

THE COMING END TO THE CYCLE

A.             While this cycle remains unchanged for the last 4,000 years, the cycle will come to a dramatic end. The pattern’s end will be marked by the 2nd coming of Messiah who will personally and once-and-for-all bring a remnant back to the land. Both Israel’s cycle of rebellion-discipline as well as the curse upon creation will come to a complete and ultimate end on one day. (cf. Duet. 31:29)

B.            Leading up to this day the Lord will cause a final culmination of Gentile wickedness which will lead to the final and conclusive evidence of Israel’s waywardness. The nations will once again gather – like on the plain of Shinar – and will appoint a singular head to govern them. A reference to the nature of his leadership and influence this man is called the ‘man of sin’ in the NT.

3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (i.e the 2nd coming) will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (2 Th 2:3 NASB95)

C.             The final ‘abomination which causes desolation’ will be when Israel makes an alliance (cf Is. 28:15-18; Ez.38:8ff; Dan.11:23-30) with this man as an ‘anti-messiah’ or replacement Messiah in an effort to secure peace and security without repentance and faith. Once again the Lord will allow them to taste the fruit of their idolatry, and this man will break his pact and use his empire and military might to completely eliminate Israel. They will be persecuted and scattered to ends of the earth, delivered only when they turn to the One who struck them to heal them.

1 “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. 2 “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. (Ho 6:1–2 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.


  • Endtimes Grandma.

    This overview of history by Bill Scofield was hard for me to listen to; but I am glad I did. I’m like so many who have come to love Israel, I have not wanted for her to go through another wrenching trial. I know that view is flawed and not Biblical. We need God’s mercy to bear these things. Daniel was much loved of the Lord God, and God told him things that were wrenching to him. We need courage, that only could come from God.

    • Thank you so much for your comment and yes, may the grace of the Spirit be on us as history moves toward times of intense trial. Sorry that the audio was somewhat hard to listen to. We receive our resources from many different environments of recording and different ways by which to record. But we are glad that you were able to press through it and be encouraged by the content. Grace and peace to you!

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