During the time of the Apostles and the Early Church, there was no ‘New Testament’. What they had was the Old Testament and the remaining disciples of Jesus to help connect the dots and fill in the gaps. And, there was no reason to repeat what the Old Testament made clear.
This is why we don’t find as many references to the Return of Israel in the New Testament, since it’s abundantly clear that they WILL return. God spoke of this through the prophets. Enough said.
Unfortunately, false teachers were preaching a false message that the Jews were forever cast away from God and that they would never return. This lie had become so large that Paul had to speak about this in his letter to the church at Rome.
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”
This is not a blindness of the eyes, but a blindness of the heart. And, one day, when the time of the Gentiles is complete, God will remove this blindness and give them sight. Then, God will take away their sins.
How will God take away their sins?
Through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
Remember that there is no other way to salvation, except through Jesus. He was and is and always will be the only acceptable sacrifice. And, the only way that Israel can have their sins taken away is through faith.
Not through sight.
People who believe that the Jews will return to the Mosaic Covenant are being foolish. They have forgotten the way of salvation.
Later in chapter 11, Paul goes on to speak of the children of Israel as having been like branches that were cut off. He goes on to say that even though we took their place on the Olive Tree, we need to be careful. The true, natural branches will be brought back.
I find it ironic that the church at Rome was teaching Replacement Theology, while the Galatian church was teaching a polar opposite heresy, by attempting to Judaize their faith. Both are dangerous heresies with eternal consequences.
2 Corinthians 3
In another letter, Paul writes to one of the ‘problem churches’. Some of the things that the Corinthian church was involved in are truly shocking. But, in chapter three of his second letter (actually, his third), Paul is attempting to deal with some of their ignorance:
12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Paul was saying that there was a spiritual veil that was keeping the Jews from understanding the Old Testament – the only Bible that anyone had at that time. Since they were in rebellion against God, the veil was firmly in place, but once the time of rebellion is over… once they turn back to God …the veil will be taken away.
THAT is how the Children of Jacob will be saved.
They will turn to God.
The veil that keeps them from understanding will be taken away.
Then, they will become the children of God, just like it says in Zechariah 12:
10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;
Paul did not say that the Jews would see Him stand on the mount of olives and then realize that this was Jesus. There salvation will not be the visible and glorious rescue from the Antichrist. No, their salvation will be the quiet, crushing realization that they had killed the Messiah that they all had been waiting for, and that they had been rejecting Him for 2000 years. To be a religious Jew at that moment in time will be, in one sense, awful.
I have spent a lot of time among those who follow an authentic Judaism. Being forced to realize the deep error of their ways will be traumatizing. And, they will mourn over the vast number of their ancestors who died and went to Hell. It will be terrible, but also glorious.
In the end, there will be great rejoicing.
Then, Paul had to write to the Jewish Christians, to help them understand what this whole New Covenant ‘thing’ was. They had accepted Christ. They were born again. But, they were struggling with how to properly understand this new life that they were living.
They knew what the Old Testament said. They just didn’t know what it meant. One example was this whole idea of ‘faith’, which is why we have Hebrews 11. If you want the best definition of faith, go there.
However, our focus is on the nature of Jacob’s Return to God, and we have an excellent discussion of that in Hebrews 8:
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
This is HOW the Children of Jacob will return to God. There will be a deep response from the heart. No, more than that.
It will be spiritual, open heart surgery. The stony heart will be replaced by a living heart of spiritual flesh. For the first time in 2000 years, they will truly believe and live.
Revelation 7 And 14
Then, we break away from the writings of Paul and go to the great prophecy that comes to us via John the Apostle. There is a lot of confusion over what was written in the Book of Revelation, and some have destroyed themselves in an attempt to twist Revelation into something that makes sense to them.
Don’t do that.
There is a curse upon those who add to Revelation (suffering) and those who take away from Revelation (eternal punishment). I use that word ‘curse’ in the broadest sense of the term, and you can find these curses here:
18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
TRANSLATION NOTE: I can’t believe it. I just discovered another foul error. This one is particularly awful since they distort the verse that warns against distorting verses! Amazing.
The word ‘Book’ in ‘Book of Life’ is horrifyingly incorrect. The word is TREE! As in, TREE OF LIFE. And, this Greek word used is so basic that it is impossible to assume that this is just an accident. The fact that the translator TOOK AWAY from the meaning of this verse, means that he has condemned himself to eternal punishment. Wow.
Please, just humbly accept what the Book of Revelation actually says. It’s okay if a lot of it doesn’t make sense. Ultimately, it was only going to make sense to those who were going to go through what Revelation speaks of. There is safety in just saying that you don’t know and relying on God to reveal what you need to have revealed to you.
Anyway, there are two places in Revelation that concern us most in terms of the children of Jacob. And, we find the first passage in Revelation 7, and it begins just after the sixth seal was opened:
1 After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
After verse four, John hears that 12 thousand from each tribe are sealed. Each of the twelve tribes have twelve thousand representatives sealed in their foreheads.
Are these Gentiles?
OF COURSE NOT!!
These are Israelis. These are the Children of Israel, that have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. These are true Christians. In fact, these are so true, that they have been specially selected by God. These will not be the normal variety of Christian that warms the back pew every Sunday and ignores God during the rest of the week.
These will be a small portion – a fraction – of a larger group of Israeli Christians. The only question is…
How small a percentage is this group?
This is where we might want to turn to Revelation 14. But, I have to be careful here, because I can only tell you what I believe as I show you what the Bible actually says. Here are the verses in question:
1 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
There seems to be a connection between this passage and Revelation 7:1-4. However, there’s an important piece of information left out:
There are the same number of people. And, it appears that these people all have been sealed – or signed – in their foreheads. And, because of this similarity, I have always assumed that both passages are speaking of the same group of people.
Is this a correct assumption?
I think so.
And, there’s a reason why I am mentioning this – because Revelation 14 adds two important attributes to this group:
They are men.
They are virgins.
Think of how unique and special these men would have to be, to be chose by God for such an honor. Think about how small a percentage of Israeli society that they would represent. Then think about how big a society you would need to actually get these 144,000 men.
You would need a population numbered in the millions. I don’t know how many millions you would need, but you would certainly need more than just one. I doubt that more than one percent of any group of Christians would be holy enough, while being virgin and male. Although, in the case of Israel, we might find a much higher percentage.
Let’s say that five percent of Israeli Christians would qualify for this honor. This means that the population of Israeli Christians would need to be almost three million:
2.8 million x 5% = 144 thousand
Of course, God knows who will qualify, and who will not. He knows how to preserve these 144 thousand. Playing around with these calculations has limited value, except for one thing:
It demonstrates that the salvation of Israel happens BEFORE the seventh seal and long before the Second Coming.
This is an exceptionally vital point to understand. These 12 thousand from every tribe must be Israeli Christians. And, they must come from a large body of believers. It also must happen BEFORE Israel flees into the wilderness in Revelation 12.
This is strong evidence that the Return of Jacob happens BEFORE Armageddon and therefore BEFORE the Antichrist arrives. Remember that all of our evidence from the Old Testament tells us that the salvation of Israel cannot happen at the time when the Antichrist first arrives. The only question was whether the Children of Jacob return to God at the Second Coming, when Jesus returns to defeat the nations who recapture Jerusalem. And, Revelation 7 makes it clear that it cannot be at the Second Coming.
This is strong evidence that Gog and Magog happens long before the Antichrist arrives.
This is the kind of evidence that we’ve been looking for. It means that we should not be looking for the coming of the Antichrist. We should be looking for the coming of Gog and Magog. And, we are concerned about THAT because the coming of Gog and Magog brings Ezekiel’s Fire.
Please, if I must beg, I will…
…please, Please, PLEASE be watching for the coming of Gog and Magog.
I do not want you to suffer and die in the cataclysm that will follow.
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