The Israel of God
- What is the modern State of Israel?
- Is it a fulfilment of Bible prophecy?
- Should we as a Christians stand uncritically in support of the State of Israel?
- In light of Scripture like Gen. 12: 3; Num. 22: 12 and Zec. 2: 8 are we in danger of incurring the curse of God on our lives if we say negative things about or against the State of Israel?
- Are most modern day Israelis connected with the ancient Israelites of Bible times?
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Mat. 23: 37-39)
“Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 ‘Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.’” (Mat. 24: 1-2)
In discussing the issue of Israel with a brother one question he would often ask is: “Who really is Israel?” That’s a very good question.
In great trepidation and at the risk of losing my head I want to share my understanding of this issue. Please note that square bracketed comments in Scriptural quotes are mine and unless otherwise stated all Scriptural quotations are from the NIV. All emphases are mine unless noted otherwise.
The Israel of God
Rom. 9: 1-5 “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”
Comment: Paul has a heavy burden for his ethnic kinsmen the physical fleshly descendants of Jacob/Israel known as Israelites/Jews – the nation of Israel. As Paul said of himself in Acts 21: 39: “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.” And again in Rom. 11: 1b “I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.”
Rom. 9: 6-7a “It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children…”
Comment: Not all ethnic stock Israelites/Jews, are really Israel/Jews a.k.a. Abraham’s children. Paul made this point earlier in Rom. 2: 28-29 when he said: “A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, [i.e. physically/ethnically] nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart [i.e. inwardly/spiritually, cf. Jer. 31: 31-34], by the Spirit, [i.e. the Spirit of Christ, see Rom. 8: 9] not by the written code [i.e. by the law]. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.”
Case in point: the Pharisees’ encounter with Jesus recorded in Jn. 8: 39-47
“Abraham is our father,” they [the Pharisees] answered.
“If you [Jews by physical descent] were Abraham’s children,” [or “Israel” as Paul defines Abraham’s children; see again Rom. 9: 6-7a] said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did [Q. What did Abraham do? A. He rejoiced as he looked forward to see the day of Jesus the Messiah and was glad; see verse 56 of this same chapter of John’s gospel] 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me [true Jews a.k.a. Abraham’s children/Israel love Jesus. Unfortunately this cannot be said of the majority of Jews around the world or in the modern State of Israel¹], for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? [there is an inner teaching of present day Pharisaic Judaism which in its hatred of Jesus states that He is being punished in Hell for eternity by being made to sit in a cauldron of boiling excrement]. If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God” [the uncomfortable truth of this statement is that Jews who do not believe in Jesus do not belong to God].
This passage of Scripture recorded in John’s gospel brings into sharp focus the meaning of Jesus’ statement also recorded by John in Rev. 3: 9 which says: “I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars–I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”
Rom. 9: 7b-8 “On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring [“seed” KJV] will be reckoned.’ 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring [“seed” KJV]”
Comment: The phrase “your seed” in the sentence “It is through Isaac that your offspring/seed will be reckoned” is a reference to Christ Jesus while the phrase “the children of the promise” in the sentence “it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring/seed” is a reference to those saved through faith in Christ as Paul said in Galatians 3: 16 and 26-28 “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ…26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then [and only then] you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Therefore Roman’s 9: 6b – 7a which says: “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his [Israel’s] descendants are they all Abraham’s children…” and Rom. 9: 8 which says “In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise [i.e. those saved through faith in Christ Jesus] who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring” means that in all Jewry only Jews who have received Jesus as their Saviour/Messiah are God’s children a.k.a. Israel.
Modern statistics show that the world’s core Jewish population, as at the beginning of 2013, is estimated at 13,854,800 (around 0.2% of the world population). In 1939, the core Jewish population reached its highest historical peak of 17 million (0.8% of the global population). The total number of people who hold or are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return — defined as anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent, and who does not actively profess any other religion — is estimated at around 21.7 million, of which 6.3 million are currently living in Israel. In stark contrast there are only about 350, 000 Christian/Messianic Jews worldwide (cited at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population_by_country and https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091203172349AAi95Zk)
Paul addressed the issue of the sparsity of true Israel among his own people in Romans 9: 27-33 which says:
“Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:
‘Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
only the remnant will be saved.
28 For the Lord will carry out
his sentence on earth with speed and finality.’
29 It is just as Isaiah said previously:
‘Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.’
“30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith [in Jesus Christ] but as if it were by works [of the law]. They stumbled over the stumbling stone . 33 As it is written:
‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him [Christ Jesus] will never be put to shame.’”
Therefore true Jews from the ethnic stock of Abraham are those Jews who down through the last 2,014 years of this New Testament era have received Jesus as their Messiah exercising faith in Him unto salvation. These Jews – inclusive of Old Testament Jewish saints who also by faith, like Abraham, rejoiced to see Jesus’ day and was glad (see Jn.8: 56; cf. Heb.11: 8-40; 1 Pet. 1: 8-12) – are Israel.
Jn. 1: 11-12 “He came to that which was his own [ethnic Jews] but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God [Abraham’s seed/true Jews/Israel]— 13 children born not of natural [physical ] descent*, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
*(cf Mat. 3: 9 “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham” – John the Baptist)
Jn. 3: 1-7 “Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’
3 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’
4 ‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’
5 Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, [Jesus here addresses the Jewish “We have Abraham as our father” syndrome by which they automatically thought they were children of God; see again Mat. 3: 9 and Jn. 8:39-41] but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”
As Paul again said in Rom. 2: 28-29 “A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, [i.e. only of physical descent] nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.”
Thus in effect true Jews from the ethnic stock of Abraham are born again Christian Jews.
Acts 11: 19 -21 & 26b “Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord… The disciples [both Jews and Greeks/Gentiles] were called Christians first at Antioch.”
These Christian Jews – inclusive of Old Testament Jewish saints who also by faith, like Abraham, rejoiced to see Jesus’ day and was glad – are the remnant of Israel of which Paul was one.
Rom. 11: 1-7 “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 ‘Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me’? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? ‘I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ 5 So too [as it was in Elijah’s time], at the present time [the first century when Paul was writing] there is a remnant chosen by grace.6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened.”
As servants of Jesus these Christian Jews will not or should not fight for the land of Canaan/Israel/Palestine to make it an independent Jewish State/Kingdom as the Jews of Jesus’ day expected the Messiah to do when – to use the words of one commentator – “the kingdom had been for some time taken away from the Jews and Judea was reduced to a Roman province under the power of a Roman governor.” Biblical examples of the Jewish expectations of a political revolutionary Messiah who would throw off the Imperial colonial yoke of Rome and Jesus’ response to such expectations are found in the following Scriptural references:
Jn. 6: 14-15 “After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, ‘Surely this is the Prophet [Messiah] who is to come into the world.’ 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.”
Jn. 18: 36 “Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.’” (see also Mat. 20: 21; Lk. 24: 21).
Instead of fighting for the restoration of an independent Jewish State/Kingdom, true Jews (i.e. born again/Christian Jews) on Jesus’ orders are to join in the Great Commission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ (see Mat. 28: 16-20) and wait for Him to physically return and establish the true Davidic Kingdom in the Father’s own time.
Acts 1: 6-8 “Then they gathered around him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’”
Ultimately, ethnic stock Jews as well as Gentiles who have both received Jesus as their Lord/Saviour/Messiah are collectively the Israel of God
Rom. 9: 8-26 “In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: ‘At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.’10 Not only that [i.e. the statement ‘At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son’ wasn’t the only way the promise of Christ was made] but [it was made in the following ways as well] Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election [i.e. to bring forth Christ] might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ 13 Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ [those two statements ‘The older will serve the younger’ and ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’ were two other ways the promise of Christ was made showing not only through whom He would come but also the superiority of Christ (“the seed”) and the New Covenant Church to the Old Covenant and Judaism. As Heb. 8: 6 says: “But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.” This was a position held by early Church Fathers. For example Justin of Martyr (100 AD – 165 AD), in his book —Dialogue with Trypho— written in the early second century A.D., doesn’t hesitate to define Jacob as a symbol of the Church. He said: “For the true spiritual Israel … are we who have been led to God through this crucified Christ.” His polemic writing had a great success in the Early Church] 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion’ [i.e. God had the sovereign right, based no doubt on His foreknowledge, to choose through whom the promise (i.e. Christ) should come and to have compassion on the children of the promise; all those who receive Jesus Christ]. 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’[just as God raised up hardhearted Pharaoh to accomplish His purposes so He raised up hardhearted Israel of the flesh to accomplish his purposes; cf. Acts 2: 23; 7: 51-53] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden [i.e. while God has mercy on the children of the promise (Jews and Gentiles) apart from the woks of the law; see Rom.3: 20 and Gal. 2: 15-16, He hardens in judgment those who in the context of Romans are Jews who reject Jesus Christ; see Rom. 11: 7-10] 19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? [i.e. those Jews who are guilty of rejecting Jesus as Messiah resulting in God’s pronouncing judgment on them] For who is able to resist his will?” [i.e. weren’t those Jews who denounced and crucified Jesus just carrying out God’s will? So why is God pronouncing judgment on them as a nation for their continued obstinacy?] 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
[With regard to verses 20, 21 Pulpit Commentary makes the following observation: “Hath not the potter power (rather,authority) over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (Jeremiah 18:1-10). The figure of the clay, first introduced from Isaiah, is carried out at length in the passage from Jeremiah which is referred to. It is important, for understanding St. Paul’s drift, to examine this passage. The prophet, in order that he might understand God’s way of dealing with nations, is directed to go down to the potter’s house, and watch the potter at his work. The potter is at work with a lump of clay, with the view of making a vessel of it; but it is ‘marred in the hand of the potter;’ it does not come out into the form intended; so he rejects it, and makes anew another vessel after his mind, ‘as seemed good to the potter to make it.’ The prophet’s application of the illustration is that, ‘as the clay is in the potter’s hands, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel, saith the LORD;’ meaning that if the house of Israel failed to answer to the LORD’S purpose, he could reject it at his pleasure, as the potter did the marred vessel; and in vers. 7-10 the view is extended to God’s power over, and way of dealing with, all nations of mankind; and then, in ver. 11, the men of Judah are warned to return from their evil ways, lest the LORD should so do unto them. Thus it is by no means implied by the illustration that Israel, or any other nation, has been formed with the primary and irresistible purpose of rejecting it as a ‘vessel unto dishonour,’ or that, when rejected, it has not had opportunity of being otherwise; but only that God has absolute power and right over it, to reject it if proved unworthy.” cited at http://biblehub.com/commentaries/pulpit/romans/9.htm; italicized emphases mine]
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath [the Jesus rejecting Jewish nation]—prepared for destruction? [cf. Mat. 23: 39; 24: 1-2; cf. Acts 7: 48 – fulfilled in AD 70. Regarding verse 22 Pulpit Commentary again says: “The idea expressed by ‘endured,’ [KJV/‘bore’ NIV] etc., seems suggested by Pharaoh’s case…but it is the Jewish nation of his own day that he has now in view. They were rejected from inheritance of the promises, and under Divine wrath; as he says in another place, ‘The wrath had come upon them to the uttermost’ (1 Thessalonians 2:16). But they were still borne with; they were not finally cut off; and what if their present rejection were but subservient to the great purpose of mercy to the true Israel?” cited at http://biblehub.com/commentaries/pulpit/romans/9.htm; emphasis mine]
23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, [the children of the promise; cf. 1 Cor. 10: 1- 11] whom he prepared in advance for glory— [see Rom. 8: 28-30; cf. 2 Cor. 3: 10-11; 1 Pet. 1: 10-12]24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea:
“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”
“In the very place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
These statements above quoted from the prophet Hosea were all made to repentant Old Covenant Israel. Under the New Covenant they are now made to “even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles” – the New Covenant repentant Israel of God, those who have accepted Jesus the Messiah as Saviour and Lord.
Gal. 3: 26-29 “So in Christ Jesus you [Jews and Gentiles] are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, [i.e. there is no classism in the Church of Christ] for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Gal. 6: 15-16 “Neither circumcision [Jewish] nor uncircumcision [Gentile] means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all [Jew and Gentile] who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.”
The Israel of God is also called by Paul “one new man/humanity in Christ”
Eph. 2: 14-22 “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups [ Jews and Gentiles] one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body [i.e. the Church; Eph. 1: 22-23; Col. 1: 18] to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you [Gentiles] who were far away and peace to those [Jews] who were near. 18 For through him we both [Jews and Gentiles] have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you [Gentiles] are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people [Christian Jews] and also members of his household [Israel], 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building [the Church; see Mat. 16: 18] is joined together and rises to become a holy temple* in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
*Notice the New Covenant focus is shifted from the physical Temple – the Old Covenant “house of God” (see 1 Kings 8:26-30; Is. 56: 7; cf. Mat. 21: 12-13) in the physical city of Jerusalem which was destined for destruction (Mat. 23: 39; 24: 1-2; cf. Acts 7: 48 – fulfilled in AD 70) to God’s New Covenant spiritual Temple the Church – the body of Christ/house of God (Jn.14: 23; 1 Cor. 3: 9, 16-17; 6: 19-20; Eph. 1: 22-23; Col. 1: 18; 1 Tim. 3: 15; Heb. 3: 6; 1 Pet. 2: 5) which is destined for glorification (Eph. 5: 25-27).
The Israel of God (God’s New Covenant Church) is also called by Paul “the Jerusalem that is above.”
Gal. 4: 21-26, 31 “Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.
24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem [i.e. the physical city in the 1st century physical land of Israel which adhered to the Mosaic Covenant which, 20 centuries later, has not changed with the emergence of the modern State of Israel which claims adherence to that same covenant], because she is in slavery with her children [i.e. Jesus rejecting Jews in bondage to the Mosaic law] 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother…Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.”
Paul even admonished Christians to disassociate themselves from earthly Jerusalem which is in bondage to the obsolete Mosaic covenant. In his own words:
Gal. 4: 28-31 “Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.”
Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles will reign with Christ when he returns as the only one to rightfully establish the Davidic Kingdom which will not be confined to that relatively small piece of real estate in the Middle East but will be universal.
Mat. 19: 28 “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’”
Acts 3: 21 “Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.”
Rev. 21: 2 “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, [the Church; the Jerusalem above] coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
Furthermore Jesus the Messiah is already ruling over His Kingdom (Jews and Gentiles – the Israel of God) and they (Jews and Gentiles – the Israel of God) are already joint heirs in His Kingdom awaiting its ultimate manifestation on earth when Christ returns (Rom. 8: 16-23; Eph. 2: 1-7; Col. 1: 13-20; Rev. 11: 15).
Conversely the antichrist Jews throughout the New Testament era including those who now rule and inhabit the modern State of Israel (with disastrous consequences) are already and will be thrust out of Christ’s Kingdom.
Mat. 8: 11-12 “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom [Jesus rejecting Jews] will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Lk. 13: 28-29 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you [Jesus rejecting Jews] yourselves thrown out.29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus rejecting Jews are already cut off from the true Israel of God.
Acts 3: 22-23 “For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.”
These antichrist Jews will only be grafted back in if they repent by embracing Jesus as their Messiah.
Acts 3: 19-20 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you [Jews]—even Jesus.”
Rom. 11: 23 – 24 “And if they [Jews] do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 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 [ethnic stock Jews/Israelites], be grafted into their own olive tree [spiritual Israel]!”
Rom. 11: 25 “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,”
Comment: “Israel has experienced a hardening in part…” Not all Jews throughout the past two thousand years were or still are unbelievers in Jesus Christ although the majority were and still are unbelievers. As Paul said earlier in Rom.11: 2-5: “God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 ‘Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me’? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? ‘I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ 5 So too, at the present time [1st century New Testament era when Paul was writing. And it is even so to this very day in the 21st century] there is a remnant chosen by grace.”
Jewish rejection of the gospel opened up the way for the gospel to be preached to the Gentiles: Acts 13: 44-46 (NASV) “The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. 45But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming.46Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, ‘It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.’”
Salvation of the Gentiles was always God’s intention: Genesis 22: 18 (NASV) “In your seed [i.e. Christ, Gal. 3: 16] all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (see also Jn. 3: 16).
This rejection of Jesus Christ among the majority of the Jews will continue to be so “until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,…”
Rom. 11: 26 – 27 “and in this way [the rejection of Jesus Christ among the majority of the Jews] all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
Comment: “and in this way all Israel will be saved.” In what way is Paul talking about? In the way of Christ rejecting Jews leading to the salvation of Gentiles who along with believing Jews (the remnant) comprise the Israel of God; God’s New Covenant Church (Gal. 6: 15-16).
“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.” Jacob here is the real Israel from among ethnic stock Jews as Paul said in Rom. 9: 6 “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.”
“And this is my covenant [the New Testament Covenant; see Lk. 22: 20] with them when I take away their sins.”
It is the real Israel from among ethnic stock of Jews (i.e. Jews who embrace Jesus as their Messiah) who reap the benefits of Christ’s atoning sacrifice – sins forgiven.
Rom. 11: 29- 32 “As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”
Comment: They are unbelieving Jews who were and are currently enemies of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout this New Testament era who in the foreknowledge of God were and are destined to become believers in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul was a prime example of this fact as he said in Rom. 11: 1-2a “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.” Although Paul was himself at one time an enemy of the Church of Christ he was foreknown by God as one of His who would be brought to repentance (Gal. 1: 13-24; cf. 2 Tim. 2: 19).
The Modern State of Israel
In complete opposition to the will of Jesus (the true Jewish Messiah) the present State of Israel is the purely humanistic efforts and work of revolutionaries such as the militant Zionist group known as the National Military Organization in Israel/the Stern Gang/Lehi. This group was founded in 1940 by Avraham (Yair) Stern. The group’s stated purpose was to evict the British colonial authorities from Palestine by resort to force, (much like 1st century Jewish zealots who tried to evict Roman colonial authorities from Judaea, a practice which Jesus rejected) allowing unrestricted immigration of Jews and the formation of a Jewish state, a ‘new totalitarian Hebrew republic.’
Lehi split from the Irgun militant group in 1940 in order to continue fighting the British during World War II. Lehi initially sought an alliance with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, offering to fight alongside them against the British in return for the transfer of all Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe to Palestine. On the belief that Nazi Germany was a lesser enemy of the Jews than Britain, Lehi twice attempted to form an alliance with the Nazis. During World War II it declared that it would establish a Jewish state based upon “nationalist and totalitarian principles”²
After Stern’s death in 1942, the new leadership of Lehi began to move it towards support of Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union.³ In 1944 Lehi officially declared its support for National Bolshevism.⁴ It said that its National Bolshevism involved an amalgamation of left-wing and right-wing political elements – Stern said Lehi incorporated elements of both the left and the right⁵ – however this change was unpopular and Lehi began to lose support as a result.
Lehi and the Irgun were jointly responsible for the massacre in Deir Yassin. Lehi assassinated Lord Moyne, British Minister Resident in the Middle East, and made many other attacks on the British in Palestine.⁶ On May 29, 1948, the government of Israel, having inducted its activist members into the Tzahal, formally disbanded Lehi, though some of its members carried out one more terrorist act, the assassination of Folke Bernadotte some months later⁷ an act condemned by Bernadotte’s replacement as mediator, Ralph Bunche. Israel granted a general amnesty to Lehi members on 14 February 1949. In 1980, Israel instituted a military decoration in “award for activity in the struggle for the establishment of Israel,” the Lehi ribbon.⁸ Former Lehi leader Yitzhak Shamir became Prime Minister of Israel in 1983.
The stated goals of Lehi⁹ were/are as follows:
- THE NATION
The Jewish people is a covenanted people, the originator of monotheism, formulator of the prophetic teachings, standard bearer of human culture, guardian of glorious patrimony. The Jewish people is schooled in self-sacrifice and suffering; its vision, survivability and faith in redemption are indestructible.
- THE HOMELAND
The homeland in the Land of Israel within the borders delineated in the Bible (“To your descendants, I shall give this land, from the River of Egypt to the great Euphrates River.” Genesis 15:18) This is the land of the living, where the entire nation shall live in safety.
- THE NATION AND ITS LAND
Israel conquered the land with the sword. There it became a great nation and only there it will be reborn. Hence Israel alone has a right to that land. This is am [sic] absolute right. It has never expired and never will.
- THE GOALS
1. Redemption of the land.
2. Establishment of sovereignty.
3. Revival of the nation.
There is no sovereignty without the redemption of the land, and there is no national revival without sovereignty.
These are the goals of the organization during the period of war and conquest:5. EDUCATION
Educate the nation to love freedom and zealously guard Israel’s eternal patrimony. Inculcate the idea that the nation is master to its own fate. Revive the doctrine that “The sword and the book came bound together from heaven” (Midrash Vayikra Rabba35:8)
The unification of the entire nation around the banner of the Hebrew freedom movement. The use of the genius, status and resources of individuals and the channeling of the energy, devotion and revolutionary fervor of the masses for the war of liberation.
Make pacts with all those who are willing to help the struggle of the organization and provide direct support.
Consolidate and increase the fighting force in the homeland and in the Diaspora, in the underground and in the barracks, to become the Hebrew army of liberation with its flag, arms, and commanders.
Constant war against those who stand in the way of fulfilling the goals.
The conquest of the homeland from foreign rule and its eternal possession.
These are the tasks of the movement during the period of sovereignty and redemption:11. SOVEREIGNTY
Renewal of Hebrew sovereignty over the redeemed land.
12. RULE OF JUSTICE
The establishment of a social order in the spirit of Jewish morality and prophetic justice. Under such an order no one will go hungry or unemployed. All will live in harmony, mutual respect and friendship as an example to the world.
13. REVIVING THE WILDERNESS
Build the ruins and revive the wilderness for mass immigration and population increase.
Solve the problem of alien [Arab] population by exchange of population.
15. INGATHERING OF THE EXILES
Total in-gathering of the exiles to their sovereign state.
The Hebrew nation shall become a first-rate military, political, cultural and economical entity in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean Sea.
The revival of the Hebrew language as a spoken language by the entire nation, the renewal of the historical and spiritual might of Israel. The purification of the national character in the fire of revival.
18. THE TEMPLE
The building of the Third Temple as a symbol of the new era of total redemption¹⁰
It has been noted that “In rabbinic thinking, the reestablishment of the Davidic kingdom was tied to the Messiah, who was to be a descendant of King David. He would redeem the Jews from exile and reestablish their independence in the land of Israel. With this the world would be ushered into a new era of righteousness and universal peace.”¹¹ However, the constant war in the Middle East for more than half a century ever since the 1948 reestablishment of the modern State of Israel with its in-gathering of the exiles to their sovereign state shows it is surely not the expected Davidic kingdom tied to the Messiah who would redeem the Jews from exile and reestablish their independence in the land of Israel ushering a new era of righteousness and universal peace. Consequently Jesus the Messiah has nothing to do with it.
Hos. 8: 1-4 “Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle is over the house of the Lord
because the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law. 2 Israel cries out to me, ‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’ 3 But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him. 4 They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction.”
Old Testament Terms and Conditions for the Israelites return to the land of Israel
Under the terms of the Old Covenant God told the Israelites these words recorded in Deut. 29: 9-12: “Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. 10 All of you are standing today in the presence of the Lord your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, 11 together with your children and your wives, and the foreigners living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. 12 You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath… 19 When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20 The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven. 21 The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law. 22 Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it. 23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger.24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
The only way the Israelites/Jews could be restored to the land is if they repented of their sins and followed the terms of the covenant as Deut. 30: 1-10 says: “When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back.5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
New Testament Terms and Conditions to be a part of Israel
God in Christ has since inaugurated a New Covenant with Israel as Jesus said as recorded in Lk. 22: 20: “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’” This new covenant was foretold by Jeremiah in Jer. 31: 31-34 and explained by in Heb. 8: 7-13 which says: “For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:
“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
13 By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
As God pronounced judgment on national Israel for not following the terms of the Old Covenant resulting in destruction and exile from the land He also pronounced separation from the covenant people (Israel) and destruction and exile from the land on account of their rejection of the Messiah and the terms of the New Covenant (see Mat. 23: 37-39; 24: 1-2; Acts 3: 22-23). Exile from the land under the Old Covenant was enforced by invading foreign-tongue speaking armies. As Jerimiah 5: 15-19 says: “People of Israel,” declares the Lord,
“I am bringing a distant nation against you—
an ancient and enduring nation,
a people whose language you do not know,
whose speech you do not understand.
16 Their quivers are like an open grave;
all of them are mighty warriors.
17 They will devour your harvests and food,
devour your sons and daughters;
they will devour your flocks and herds,
devour your vines and fig trees.
With the sword they will destroy
the fortified cities in which you trust.
18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely. 19 And when the people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.’”
The book of Acts which records the momentous events of the transition between the Old and New Covenants records that on the day of Pentecost and on several other occasions God spoke to Israel through the use of foreign tongues as a sign of the impending judgment of an invading foreign-tongue speaking army which and was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Roman general Titus and his armies sacked Jerusalem. The apostle Paul, citing Isa. 28: 11-12, spoke to this issue in 1 Cor. 14: 21-22a when he said: “In the Law it is written: ‘With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners [i.e. invading armies] I will speak to this people [the Jews], but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers [those who have accepted Jesus as Messiah] but for unbelievers [those who have rejected Jesus as Messiah]…’”
By the way that’s why this particular sign gift ceased; since God’s judgment on Israel was fulfilled in 70 AD there was no longer any need for the sign gift.
The modern State of Israel and its people for the most part has not repented of its sin of rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. This ingathering of Jews to the land of Palestine establishing a State of Israel is illegitimate in light of God’s terms of repentance before restoration clearly laid out in Scripture under the Old Covenant (see again Deut. 30: 2-3).
This anomaly of a re-gathered Israel without repentance shows that the Old Covenant has indeed “disappeared” (see again Heb. 8: 13). If it didn’t there would be no way they would be re-gathered without following all the terms of the Old Covenant. As Deut. 28: 58 – 64 says: “If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God— 59 the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.
64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known” (see also Jos. 23: 6-13).
The fact is while a vast majority of unbelieving Jews may be re-gathered in the land of Israel they are really not Israel. Under the terms of the New Covenant that privilege and right is reserved only for Christian Jews and Gentiles who accept Jesus as the Messiah (including Christian Arabs and Palistinians!) whether they reside in the land of Israel/Palestine or anywhere else around the world. In these New Testament days Israel has gone global in the Church of Jesus Christ (see Gen. 22: 18; Jn. 3: 16; 4: 19-24).
The present State of Israel (Israel by name but not Israel by God’s definition) is nothing but the result of purely unrepentant revolutionary human efforts to reestablish the ancient Davidic Kingdom without Jesus as the Messiah. This ingathering to the land is the work of purely self-willed and self-made efforts of antichrist Jews who seek their own Messiah, as Jesus said to the Jews: “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.”
Commenting on this verse Pulpit Commentary at biblehub.com says: “I have come in the name (i.e. in the power, with the credentials, with the encompassing revelation) of my Father, and ye receive me not. Your idea of the Father’s glory is so profoundly different from the reality, that you do not recognize it when it is offered you and shining over you. Christ did not profess to have come in his own name. He was not a mere evolution of humanity, or of Israel, or of the house of David. He was the Only Begotten of the Father, born from above, sent down from heaven. The language of the world was, ‘This is not Divine;’ ‘It is too gentle, too gracious, too sympathetic for God!’ The religious world listened eagerly for some echo of the trumpet peals of Sinai. It desired a king greater than Solomon, a prophet more terrible than Elijah. When he came with the real glory robes of the love of God, and with the majesty of the Name of the Lord, there was widespread disappointment and cruel rejection of his commission. Should another come in his own (proper, peculiar) name, that is, with no testimony from heaven, seeking “honour (δόξα, glory) from men,” creating a sovereignty by enlisting the voices of men, compromising with evil, making no warfare against the power of the world, allowing the legitimacy of the throne of the prince of this world; – should he come in his own name, alas! him (that one) ye will receive. The eagerness on the part of the Jews to find the Messiah has led them to accept in some sort no fewer than sixty-four false Christs (Schudt, ‘Judische Merkwurdigkeit,’ 6:27-30; Bengel and Meyer)…”
Evangelical Christians, rather than blindly supporting the modern State of Israel in all she does, should be calling her to national repentance by accepting Jesus as the Messiah that she would truly become partaker in the New Covenant universal Israel of God – the Jew and Gentile comprised Church of Jesus Christ. They should tell her that rather than just being “Israel” by name, hypocritically and viciously chasing after the shadows of the long gone Old Covenant, she would become true Israel by nature and heirs of the reality of the promises only in Jesus Christ. But alas for the past 2000 years that privilege has only been and will continue to only be experienced by the remnant of Israel.
There is striking but oft overlooked Scriptural indicator that the Jesus rejecting nation of Israel with its ancient capital of Jerusalem is really the whore of Revelation 17. The indicator is in the book of Revelation itself.
Rev. 11: 3, 7-8 says: “And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth…Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified.”
The city mentioned here is obviously Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and which was figuratively called Sodom and Gomorrah in Isaiah 1: 1,10,15 which says: “The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah…Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah!…When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!”
The denunciation is again made in Isiah 3: 8-9 which says: “Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling;
their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence. The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.”
While Amos 4: 10-11 identifies Israel with Egypt when it says: “I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord. “I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord” (see also Jer.23:14; Ezek. 16: 44-58).
So Jerusalem is the great city that is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt. However, later in Revelation 17:18 we read that “The woman you saw [Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes/harlots and of the abominations of the earth] is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”
So either you have two great cities being referred to in Revelation or they are one and the same. I submit that it’s a reference to the same city of Jerusalem which God also denounced as a prostitute/harlot in the same Isaiah chapter one where he figuratively called Jerusalem Sodom and Gomorrah. As Isaiah 1: 21 says: “See how the faithful city has become a prostitute! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her— but now murderers!”
Her murderous deeds are echoed in Revelation 17: 6 which says: “I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.”
Jeremiah 3: 1-3 in its denunciation of Israel as a whore says: “If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers—would you now return to me?” declares the Lord. “Look up to the barren heights and see. Is there any place where you have not been ravished? By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers, sat like a nomad in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute; you refuse to blush with shame.”
This passage in Jeremiah about unfaithful whoring Israel is perfectly echoed in Revelation 18: 2b-3 which speaking of the whore Babylon the great city says: “…all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
Remarkably, to this very day the Jesus rejecting modern State of Israel in its correspondence to the first century Jesus rejecting nation of Israel identifies itself as the whore of Revelation with the mysterious name written on her forehead “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World” (Rev. 17: 5, New Living Translation) via the symbol boldly emblazoned on its national flag know as the “Star of David”, “Shield of David” or the “Seal of Solomon.” In reality this symbol has nothing to do with ancient King David but rather its an ancient pagan obscene sex symbol associated with pagan sex worship which is very important to Freemasonry and other occult groups. As Masonic authority Albert Mackey, writing in his book The Symbolism of Freemasonry said: “The triangle pointing downward is a female symbol corresponding to the yoni [female sex organ/vagina] and the upward pointing triangle is the male, the lingam [male sex organ/penis] … When the two triangles are interlaced, it represents the union of the active and passive forces in nature; it represents the male and female elements [i.e. the sex act]” (The Symbolism of Freemasonry, p. 195, 219, 361, pub. 1869).
For more insight into the true meaning of the “Star of David” see the article “Sex-Crazed Pagan Roots of ‘Star of David'” posted at http://www.weeklyuniverse.com/2004/hexagram.htm
So biblically speaking the Jesus rejecting nation of Israel with its ancient city of Jerusalem “the great city” does not have a lot going for it as it is (under the judgement of God) likened unto Hagar the slave woman (Gal.4: 25), Ishmael the child of the flesh and not of promise (Gal.4: 28-29), Sodom and Gomorrah (Rev. 11: 7-8) and Babylon the great whore (Rev. 17: 5, 18).
¹Although nobody knows for sure how many Messianic/Christian Jews live in Israel, it’s believed that out of Israel’s over six million Jews there are about 120 congregations now and 10,000-15,000 Jewish believers in Jesus.
²Sasson Sofer, Zionism and the Foundations of Israeli Diplomacy, Cambridge University Press, 2007. Pp. 253-254. See also Leslie Stein, ‘The Hope Fulfilled: The Rise of Modern Israel,’ Greenwood Publishing Group 2003 pp.237-238, cited at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_(group)
⁴Robert S. Wistrich, David Ohana. The Shaping of Israeli Identity: Myth, Memory, and Trauma, Issue 3. London, England, UK; Portland, Oregon, USA: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., 1995. Pp. 88
⁵Sasson Sofer, Zionism and the Foundations of Israeli Diplomacy,Cambridge University Press, 2007. Pp. 253-254
⁶Ami Pedahzur, The Israeli Response to Jewish Extremism and Violence: Defending Democracy, Manchester University Press, Manchester and New York 2002 p.77
⁷Gabriel Ben-Dor and Ami Pedahzur,’Jewish Self-Defence and Terrorist Groups Prior to the Establishment of the State of Israel: Roots and Traditions,’ in Ami Pedahzur, Leonard Weinberg (eds.), Religious Fundamentalism and Political Extremism,, Frank Cass, 2004 pp. 94–120, pp. 115–116:’one final terrorist act. . .’
⁸The Stern Gang] LEHI – Fighters for the Freedom of Israel Ribbon on the Israeli Ministry of Defence website
⁹Save Israel, Articles and Thoughts on the Jewish State, http://www.saveisrael.com/stern/saveisraelstern.htm
¹⁰This last goal sums up and encapsulated the outright defiance of God’s New Covenant in Christ (Jn. 4: 21; Acts 7: 48) and the judgment Jesus pronounced on the nation of Israel and its Temple which was fulfilled in AD 70 (see Mat. 23: 38; 24: 1-2)
¹¹Source: Britannica Online: Talmudic Judaism
*Roger Marshall is executive director of Project PROBE Ministries, a Barbados based Christian apologetics organisation.