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Retrobyter

How do the believers in Christ differ from Israel?

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Shalom (Peace) to all.

Marilyn had said (to wingnut-) in "ERRORS of the POST TRIB. view" under Prophecy/Eschatology:

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Hi wingnut,

So glad you are on topic. Now I hope I can explain what I think a bit more.

`Romans 9:6  But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,`

Here we read of two groups -

1. Those born of Israel and who will receive the promises given to Israel.

a) Men and women of the OT who believed God for the promises given to them. (Heb. 11)

b) Men and women who come through the trib. and go into the millennial kingdom. (Zech. 13: 8 & 9)

 

2. Those born of Israel but are NOT included in Israel`s inheritance.

a) Rebellious Israeli people who disobey God, (past, present & future).

b) Israeli people who come into the Body of Christ.

 

regards, Marilyn.

 

Her short outline provides the information that she divides the children of Israel into two groups: Those who receive the promises given to Israel and those who are NOT included in Israel's inheritance. I believe this division to be rather forced and extremely insulting. Here's why: Notice the ones who are NOT included in Israel's inheritance consist of "Rebellious Israeli people who disobey God" and "Israeli people who come into the Body of Christ." This almost makes the two subcategories on a comparative level. Ironically, many JEWS feel they are synonymous, but should WE feel that way, too? I don't think so.

Second, since this is an outline of JUST the children of Israel, she is implicitly making a distinction between the children of Israel and those who are NOT children of Israel, frequently referred to as "Gentiles," suggesting that they have different prospects.

She continued in a separate post:

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Hi Wingnut,

(Placing this discussion in context of the thread for others.) We are discussing who the `elect` is from Matthew 24: 31. Some have thought it is the Body of Christ and some Israel. As I have already stated that for the Lord to mean the Body of Christ He would have been deceiving the people of Israel to whom He was speaking, as all they knew was that they were the `elect.` Then also the Lord would have been lying as He would have been revealing the Body of Christ which He explicitly says to Paul that that revelation was not known before. As we well know the Lord is not deceitful or lying, thus when He says, `elect` He means Israel, those to whom He is speaking of their future.

As to Rom. 9 God is saying specifically that it is from Isaac`s line that come the children of the promise. The promised seed is Christ as Galatian`s tells us.

1.  Thus those of Isaac`s line, the children of the promise, are those in Israel of that line who believe God for what He specifically tells them of their inheritance - rulership on earth over the nations.  

2. Those who are born again of Christ are of Abraham`s seed, ie Christ, and are heirs of what God specifically tells us is our inheritance - rulership over the universe. (Rev. 3: 21)

These great topics would benefit from their own thread. I will close this thread soon (you may want to reply) as people are having trouble staying on topic and it may stir them to start those great topics themselves.

have enjoyed talking to you, wingnut. Marilyn.

 

(bold-facing mine)

Taking her advice, I've started this topic. This topic gets into prophecy and eschatology, but it's deeper than that. So, I decided to open this thread in  Doctrinal Questions. If the Moderator feels it would be better placed somewhere else, please feel free to move it.

I don't disagree with her basic conclusion that the "elect" refers to Israel (as the "chosen seed") especially in Matthew 24, but I must disagree with the highlighted portion. She concludes that Israel will have the rulership on earth over the nations, and that those who are born again shall have the rulership over the universe. ("Over the UNIVERSE?" That's a HUGE dominion and is probably MUCH greater than we, all those born again, could handle! And, we would be spread very thinly over a VERY GREAT area!)

While there is a difference between Gentiles and Israel outside of the Messiah Yeshua` (outside of Christ Jesus), there is NO difference between the two groups WITHIN the Messiah. Essentially, that makes THREE groups of people:

1. The Gentiles outside the Messiah,
2. the children of Israel outside the Messiah, and
3. believers (children of Israel and Gentiles) within the Messiah.

Paul describes the last group in Ephesians:

Ephesians 2:11-22
11 Wherefore remember, that ye (the Gentile Ephesians to whom Paul was writing) being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ (outside of the Messiah), being aliens from the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God (outside of God) in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus (in the Messiah Yeshua`) ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh (close) by the blood of Christ (the blood of the Messiah).
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain (two) one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off (the Gentile Ephesians), and to them that were nigh (the children of Israel).
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye (the Gentile Ephesians to whom Paul was writing) are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints (the holy ones; that is, the ones consecrated for God), and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself (Yeshua` the Messiah Himself)  being the chief corner stone (capstone);
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
KJV

The point I'm trying to make is this: When we are made "one new man," we are not putting the Jews (or more generally, the children of Israel) "into the Church," but rather God is accepting the Gentiles into the household of God, Yeshua`s Israel - Yeshua`s Kingdom to come, making them fellowcitizens WITH the saints, the children of Israel, who were consecrated by God for Himself.

The "Church," or rather the "churches," are simply groups of people that gather together for the same purpose. The Greek word, ekkleesia, was also used for the town council of Ephesus (interesting coincidence?) in Acts 19, particularly verses 32, 39, and 41. In the KJV, the word chosen to translate this simply called it an "assembly" instead of a "church."

However, ekkleesia is also found in Stephen's sermon in Acts 7:

Acts 7:2-41
2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia (between rivers), before he dwelt in Charran,
3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.
4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.
5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he (God) promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.
6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.
7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.
8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.
9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,
10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
11 Now there came a dearth (famine) over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance.
12 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.
13 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh.
14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.
15 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers,
16 And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.
17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.
19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.
20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months:
21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.
22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.
23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?
27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?
28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?
29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.
30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.
31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,
32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.
33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.
34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.
35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.
36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.
38 This is he, that was in the church (Greek: ekkleesia) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
KJV

Thus, the FIRST "church" was the congregation of the children of Israel that surrounded Mount Sinai when Moses received the "lively oracles" or the "living words" of God to pass on to us.

Thus, going back to Ephesians 2 above, the Gentiles who are grafted into the Olive Tree (Romans 11) are "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints (the holy ones; that is, the ones consecrated for God), and of the household of God." Thus, we who are Gentiles are no longer "aliens from the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God (outside of God) in the world!"

There was a song I used to sing as a kid, "Every Promise in the Book is Mine."  Its words are...

Every promise in the Book is mine,
every chapter, every verse, every line,
all the blessings of His love divine;
every promise in the Book is mine.

Later, I used to believe that this was not true, that there were some promises made to Israel that didn't belong to me as a Gentile.

Now, I've changed my mind again! As a Gentile who is accepted into the household of God and is now a citizen of Israel, a recipient of the covenants of promise, the promises ARE mine! Through the blood of the Messiah Yeshua`, I am also a member of the tribe of Y'hudah as Yeshua` is! (You are, too.)

The bottom line is this: Even believers in the Messiah have a part in the Millennial Kingdom of God here on this earth. We are PART of those who live and reign with Him, and that's not off in "heaven" somewhere; it's right here on this earth before the Millennium ends with the Great White Throne Judgment.

When Yeshua` gave His parable (Luke 19:11-28), even we who are the Gentiles who are grafted into His Olive Tree (Romans 11:16-25), are recipients of these evaluations and rewards. 

Luke 19:11-28
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
12 He said therefore,
 A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
27 But 
those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Yeshua` HIMSELF said this! Does this sound out of character for Him? It's NOT! These are HIS words!)
28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.
KJV

So, I find NO difference between the two. To the contrary, I believe that we ALL will participate in the Messiah's Kingdom right here on this earth during the Millennium.

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14 hours ago, Retrobyter said:

The point I'm trying to make is this: When we are made "one new man," we are not putting the Jews (or more generally, the children of Israel) "into the Church," but rather God is accepting the Gentiles into the household of God, Yeshua`s Israel - Yeshua`s Kingdom to come, making them fellowcitizens WITH the saints, the children of Israel, who were consecrated by God for Himself.

 

THIS QUESTION WAS ASKED ME ONCE.........Can a person be a child of God just because they are a direct descendant of Abraham, but have rejected Christ? Isn't Israel and the church one and the same?


MY ANSWER & EXEGESIS ON THE CHURCH AND ISRAEL 

No, but you can be a child of Abraham and. There is a Spiritual Abraham and Physical Abraham, both can be spoken of in various ways. So when Paul speaks of BLIND ISRAEL.........Is he speaking of Abraham's descendants or not ? HELLO.....You just inferred they aren't Israel, but Paul says they are Israel, they are JUST BLIND. 

Paul is trying to point something out by using a demonstration, and its not being picked up on by you guys. He is pointing out ISRAEL HAS BEEN BLINDED for an appointed time. Then he speaks about Israels true seed being of the BELIEVERS LIKENED UNTO ABRAHAM..............Well, OK, we understand this. But where does it say that Israel are not descendants of Abraham, the chosen people of God ? Oh, I get it, you think because Paul said not all Israel is Israel that they are not Gods chosen people....... BUT....... you missed something right in front of your eyes. 


Romans 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (You see, they are still ISRAEL IN THE FLESH....This seems to not be understood.) 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises...

We have always understood that NOT ALL JEWS GO TO HEAVEN. Why do you not understand that this is a forgone conclusion? Many of Israels Kings were wicked and are in hell or will be in hell shortly, SO....EL CORRECTO, not all who are born unto the SEED of Abraham are GODS PEOPLE, but those who live by FAITH and OBEY God are His true SEED. That has always been understood, BUT...........Israel is still the chosen people of God, and He will call them to repentance before the Day of the Lord, thus ALL ISRAEL will be Saved. This is EASILY PROVED. Follow me here for a brief time:

As a matter of fact, there is an inference here in Romans 9 that seems to be missed by many. Paul is speaking of Issac, he says the ELDER shall serve the YOUNGER. Do you not get that in this very chapter that Paul is telling Israel that God is taking the mantle away from the ELDER (Israel) and making him sever the YOUNGER (GENTILE CHURCH)?

Paul talks to the Romans, trying to tell them not to get the big head, thinking that they are special in comparison with the Jewish peoples, for it is Gods will being done, not that the GENTILES ARE SPECIAL. Then he points out what Hosea says in verse 25.....

Romans 9:25 As he saith also in Osee (Hosea), I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her (Gentiles/Church) beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. 

27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved. 30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
 

DO YOU SEE THE ERROR OF YOUR THINKING BROTHER? Paul is calling the UNBELIEVING nation of Israel....ISRAEL in verse 31 !! It seems you are confused as to what Paul is speaking about here, he is speaking about the ELDER (Israel) serving the YOUNGER (Gentile/Church) because God elected them to serve Him, just like he elected Issac instead of Esau !! 


Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (AGAIN, Paul calls them ISRAEL.)

Then the next 10 or so verses speaks about Faith in Christ, then Paul says this in verse 12:

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

NO WHERE is Paul saying that the Jews and the Gentiles/Greeks are the same, only that they ALL COME TO GOD/CHRIST VIA FAITH in like manner, Paul still called Israel ISRAEL in verse one in this very Chapter. In the previous chapter Paul is pointing out that the ELDER will serve the YOUNGER. Israel's mantel is given to the Gentiles. 

The next few verses, Paul speaks about how hearing the word creates faith, and we have to have preachers sent to preach to hear, and that whosoever shall call upon the name of Jesus will be saved etc. etc. THEN Paul says this:

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. 20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

This is Paul, saying the MANTLE has been passed from Israel, to the Gentiles, the ELDER is serving the YOUNGER because God chose it that way, because He saw unbelief in the ELDER, and the YOUNGER BELIEVED God. Thus God will use them to PROVOKE ISRAEL....There it is again, Paul is differentiating the TWO right here. He is saying that God will use the Gentiles to provoke ISRAEL TO JEALOUSY !! There is a Gentile Church and an Israeli Nation. 


Romans 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. { Not talking about the CHURCH HERE !! }

2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot (know) ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. {God isn't speaking about the CHURCH HERE}

5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear unto this day.

11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. { Paul is speaking about TWO ENTITIES, the Gentile Church and ISRAEL !! }

12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (ISRAEL'S)

13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?  { Paul is still speaking about ISRAEL in a SINGULAR MANNER vs the Gentile World or Gentile Church (With a few Messianic Jews). Israel as a Nation, not Israel as the Church and the JEWS !!! You have to read man, and quit listening to MEN WHO DECEIVE, it is right here in scriptures, dig it out. }

17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, IF THEY abide not still in unbelief, shall be GRAFTED IN: for God is able to graft them in again. {THEY = Israel}

24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? {Paul is speaking of TWO ENTITIES again, the Church and Israel, the Olive Tree is their own Olive tree, the Gentiles are the Wild Olive tree that has been GRAFTED IN.}

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL THE  fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 

Paul is saying here, hey Gentile/Roman Church, do not get the BIG HEAD thinking you are better than my Brother Jews, blindness IN PART has come upon them, only until the fullness of the GENTILES IS COME IN, or until the time of the YOUNGER (Gentile Church) is finished. There are some Messianic Jews and there will always be a few, thus Israel is blinded IN PART, but there will come a time, when the Gentile Church's mission is finished (RAPTURE), Then God WILL LIFT Israels blindness, and Elijah will turn Israel BACK TO GOD, Before the Day of the LORD !!! Amen. And ALL ISRAEL will be Saved. Meaning Israel as a Country comes back to God, and God blesses them and protects them, because they accept Jesus as THEIR MESSIAH !! 

26 And so ALL ISRAEL shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: .....Jacob !!! NOT CHURCH.

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes:but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes. { Notice the TWO ENTITIES AGAIN ? Its a trend man..............If you just take notice, its there. They are/ISRAEL/JACOB and FOR YOUR SAKE/The Gentile Church of Rome, its a plain as day man.}

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Via the Gentile Churches MERCY, God will thus ultimately have Mercy upon Israel. They will remember the Church's sayings, and they will remember that Jesus was THE CHURCHES GOD, and that they said all of these things will come to pass, and when Paul's writings start coming to pass, and Revelation comes to pass, and when the Church is Raptured via 100's of millions of CHRISTIAN'S DYING AT ONCE, Israel/Jews will understand, and when Elijah comes back preaching this SAME GOSPEL, Israel will understand fully the error of their ways, it will HIT THEM LIKE A BRICK........BOOM, Jesus is our Messiah, the scales will be lifted off, and ALL ISRAEL (As a Nation) will be Saved. Or turn to God.

We can't take verses out of context like There is no Gentile or Jew, that only means both come to God in the EXACT SAME WAY, Via Jesus Christs Blood............We see Paul speaking throughout Romans chapters 9-11 about the Gentile Church and Israel as SEPARATE ENTITIES continually, yet some try to force THE CHURCH IS ISRAEL false doctrine onto the world. It is a documented FALSEHOOD, and anyone that studies it will understand that, I call it Christians being lazy and not researching the subject in depth. 

The Church is not ISRAEL..........And Paul never says this, he is ONLY SHOWING how all men must come to God via FAITH ALONE, after all, it is by Faith in Christ Jesus that we are SAVED, not by Works, lest any man should boast. 

AMEN.

Edited by Revelation Man

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13 hours ago, Retrobyter said:

 

I don't disagree with her basic conclusion that the "elect" refers to Israel (as the "chosen seed") especially in Matthew 24, but I must disagree with the highlighted portion. She concludes that Israel will have the rulership on earth over the nations, and that those who are born again shall have the rulership over the universe. ("Over the UNIVERSE?" That's a HUGE dominion and is probably MUCH greater than we, all those born again, could handle! And, we would be spread very thinly over a VERY GREAT area!)

 

Hi Retro,

That`s great you have started this topic on its own thread, (thank you). Now we can look at it, as you say, in a deeper way, (than just connected to post-trib.)

Now....did you gift yourself with all the abilities you have? or with a body that is so wonderful? of course not. So it is not beyond God to enable us to be like Christ, wisdom, righteousness, knowledge, etc and able to go through dimensions in our new bodies. To rule with Christ upon His throne, (authority) over all, will be a growing responsibility - `the increase of His government knows no end...` (Isa. 9: 7)

Marilyn.

 

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13 hours ago, Retrobyter said:

 

While there is a difference between Gentiles and Israel outside of the Messiah Yeshua` (outside of Christ Jesus), there is NO difference between the two groups WITHIN the Messiah. Essentially, that makes THREE groups of people:

1. The Gentiles outside the Messiah,
2. the children of Israel outside the Messiah, and
3. believers (children of Israel and Gentiles) within the Messiah.

 

Hi Retro,

Actually God describes the three groups and in His word reveals sub groups.

`Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks, or to the church of God.` (1 Cor. 10: 32)

 

1. The Greeks - the Gentiles (nations) outside the Messiah and those who turn to God in the millennium and come through the GWT.

2. The Jews - the children of Israel outside the Messiah and those believing on the Messiah.

3. The Church, the Body of Christ - (Israeli and Gentiles) within the Messiah.

 

You missed out `those Jews who believe on the Messiah`

a) The OT saints (just men & women) awaiting their inheritance in the General Assembly, (Heb. 11 & 12: 23)

b) Those of Israel who come through the trib. (Zech. 12: 9)

c) Those of Israel throughout the millennium who obey their Messiah. 

 

You also missed out  `those Gentiles who turn to God in the millennium and come through the GWT.` (Rev. 21: 24  & 20: 13) 

 

God would not have any miss out on His mercy. Marilyn.

 

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14 hours ago, Retrobyter said:

The point I'm trying to make is this: When we are made "one new man," we are not putting the Jews (or more generally, the children of Israel) "into the Church," but rather God is accepting the Gentiles into the household of God, Yeshua`s Israel - Yeshua`s Kingdom to come, making them fellowcitizens WITH the saints, the children of Israel, who were consecrated by God for Himself.

 

Hi Retro,

I agree that the Gentiles are now included into the household of God, fellow citizens with the saints.

`Now therefore ye (the Gentile Ephesians to whom Paul was writing) are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints (the holy ones; that is, the ones consecrated for God), and of the household of God;..`  (Eph. 2: 19) (as you wrote)

However the assumption that we are now part of Israel has NO biblical foundation. Let`s look at some scriptures.

`These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, they were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things, declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a HEAVENLY COUNTRY. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.` (Heb. 11: 13 - 16)

Here we see the OT saints (Israelis and some Gentiles) who believed God for the promise of a heavenly city. We read on further and see that they await their inheritance in the General Assembly.

`But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the General Assembly and Church of the first born who are registered in heaven, to God the judge of all, to the spirits of just men (& women) made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.` (Heb. 12: 22 - 24)

So the OT saints are awaiting their inheritance, the heavenly city, in the General Assembly. Now notice the other group (besides angels) the Church of the first-born. They are also there but distinguished from the OT saints. If we are all in Israel then it would only say - the righteous ones. However God`s word is very specific and says - the Church of the first-born registered in heaven...and the just (righteous men and women) made perfect, (by their righteous works. Heb. 11: 33). The Body of Christ on the other hand is made perfect, righteous through Christ. The OT saints never had that possibility.

Then we read of the two inheritances -

`God having provided something BETTER  for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.` (Heb. 11: 40)

We, the Body of Christ have our inheritance in God`s great kingdom and so do the OT saints (& others) also in a part of God`s great kingdom. The question then is where are the different ones placed that God has specifically delineated in His word.

regards, Marilyn. 

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8 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

Hi Retro,

That`s great you have started this topic on its own thread, (thank you). Now we can look at it, as you say, in a deeper way, (than just connected to post-trib.)

Now....did you gift yourself with all the abilities you have? or with a body that is so wonderful? of course not. So it is not beyond God to enable us to be like Christ, wisdom, righteousness, knowledge, etc and able to go through dimensions in our new bodies. To rule with Christ upon His throne, (authority) over all, will be a growing responsibility - `the increase of His government knows no end...` (Isa. 9: 7)

Marilyn.

Shalom, Marilyn.

That's true, but as with all speculation, we must guard ourselves against using conclusions from speculation in our arguments for Scripture.  For instance, we don't really KNOW that Christ HAD the ability to "go through dimensions in His new body," which, by the way, is worded wrongly since He IS His body just as we are and are dependent upon our future resurrection. That's what I mean about hanging our conclusions upon a speculation in the construction of other points in our reasoning. IF we go that route, we MUST be sure that we QUALIFY our conclusions within our construction or we've introduced error into our equation.

To use a mathematical simile, this is why we use variables in algebra. We COULD use numbers in some instances, for instance, in calculations for gravity and weight. We could ALWAYS use 9.80665 metres per second squared for the g-force acceleration due to gravity in our calculations for earth, but if we want to apply it to a different planet or moon, we must use a different value based on its mass. Therefore, we give this g-force acceleration the variable "g."

The same thing must be true in our "calculations" of theological stances.

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 Jhn 10:11 ESV I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

 Jhn 10:12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  Jhn 10:13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

 Jhn 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,  Jhn 10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

 Jhn 10:16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

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12 hours ago, Retrobyter said:

Shalom, Marilyn.

That's true, but as with all speculation, we must guard ourselves against using conclusions from speculation in our arguments for Scripture.  For instance, we don't really KNOW that Christ HAD the ability to "go through dimensions in His new body," which, by the way, is worded wrongly since He IS His body just as we are and are dependent upon our future resurrection. That's what I mean about hanging our conclusions upon a speculation in the construction of other points in our reasoning. IF we go that route, we MUST be sure that we QUALIFY our conclusions within our construction or we've introduced error into our equation.

To use a mathematical simile, this is why we use variables in algebra. We COULD use numbers in some instances, for instance, in calculations for gravity and weight. We could ALWAYS use 9.80665 metres per second squared for the g-force acceleration due to gravity in our calculations for earth, but if we want to apply it to a different planet or moon, we must use a different value based on its mass. Therefore, we give this g-force acceleration the variable "g."

The same thing must be true in our "calculations" of theological stances.

Hi Retro,

I`m certainly not speculating, just going on what I read in God`s word.

`And after eight days His (Jesus) disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, stood in their midst, and said, "Peace to you!"  (John 20: 26)

`Now when He (Jesus) had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.` (Acts 1: 9)

So just in those two verses, (there are others) we can see that the Lord has abilities far beyond what we have. As to gravity, we, the Body of Christ will overcome that great force because of the power of His love that will draw us to Himself on that great day when we will all be gathered together unto Him.

Marilyn.

 

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19 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

Hi Retro,

Actually God describes the three groups and in His word reveals sub groups.

`Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks, or to the church of God.` (1 Cor. 10: 32)

Shalom, Marilyn.

Good! I was HOPING you would repeat these points.

Here's the thing: I avoid using terms that are little more than clichés, and "church" is one of them. It's been used for a particularly shaped building to the "world-wide universal (or Catholic) Church." A BIBLICAL "church" was a LOCAL meeting within a particular community, like a city (Ephesus) or a province such as "the churches of Galatia." There's only ONE locaton in Scripture that talks about a "universal" church, and that's the great gathering of all believers. If all the various churches were to be considered one, they would not have been called "churches" (plural). An ekkleesia is a "gathering," either the meeting itself or the members of the meeting as a unit.

Another such term that is often a cliché is the "body of Christ." That an ekkleesia was called "a body" was found in 1 Corinthians 12:

1 Corinthians 12:1-28
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

So far, this could be an analogy for a local or a global interpretation.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, "I have no need of thee (singular)": nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you (plural)."
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

Like a baby toe for balance, for instance!

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

This part above now indicates a LOCAL interpretation. It's hard for someone in Albuquerque to scratch a nose in Timbuktu!

27 Now ye (the meeting at Korinth) are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles ("sent-ones," missionaries), secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings (nursing), helps (being a waiter or waitress), governments, diversities of tongues (languages).
KJV

Therefore, I opt for "believers" or more specifically "believers that Yeshua` is the Messiah of God." (1 John 5:1)

19 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

1. The Greeks - the Gentiles (nations) outside the Messiah and those who turn to God in the millennium and come through the GWT.

2. The Jews - the children of Israel outside the Messiah and those believing on the Messiah.

3. The Church, the Body of Christ - (Israeli and Gentiles) within the Messiah.

 

You missed out `those Jews who believe on the Messiah`

a) The OT saints (just men & women) awaiting their inheritance in the General Assembly, (Heb. 11 & 12: 23)

b) Those of Israel who come through the trib. (Zech. 12: 9)

c) Those of Israel throughout the millennium who obey their Messiah. 

 

You also missed out  `those Gentiles who turn to God in the millennium and come through the GWT.` (Rev. 21: 24  & 20: 13) 

 

God would not have any miss out on His mercy. Marilyn.

I didn't forget about them; I just wasn't being specific on timing. And, here's why:

Zechariah 12:2-14
2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.
5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.
6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;
14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
KJV

I first discovered the significance of this passage in the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB):

Zechariah 12:9-14

9 “When that day comes, I will seek to destroy
all nations attacking Yerushalayim;
10 and I will pour out on the house of David
and on those living in Yerushalayim
a spirit of grace and prayer;
and they will look to me, whom they pierced.”

They will mourn for him
as one mourns for an only son;
they will be in bitterness on his behalf
like the bitterness for a firstborn son.
11 When that day comes, there will be
great mourning in Yerushalayim,
mourning like that for Hadad-Rimmon
in the Megiddo Valley.
12 Then the land will mourn,
each family by itself —
the family of the house of David by itself,
and their wives by themselves;
the family of the house of Natan by itself,
and their wives by themselves;
13 the family of the house of Levi by itself,
and their wives by themselves;
the family of the Shim‘i by itself,
and their wives by themselves;
14 all the remaining families, each by itself,
and their wives by themselves. 
CJB

These four names are found in another place of Scripture and in the same order, Luke 3:

Luke 3:23-38
23 Yeshua was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry. It was supposed that he was a son of Yosef who was of Eli,
24 of Mattat, of Levi, of Malki, of Yannai, of Yosef,
25 of Mattityahu, of Amotz, of Nachum, of Hesli, of Naggai,
26 of Machat, of Mattityahu, of Shim‘i, of Yosef, of Yodah,
27 of Yochanan, of Reisha, of Z’rubavel, of Sh’altiel, of Neri,
28 of Malki, of Addi, of Kosam, of Elmadan, of Er,
29 of Yeshua, of Eli‘ezer, of Yoram, of Mattat, of Levi,
30 of Shim‘on, of Y’hudah, of Yosef, of Yonam, of Elyakim,
31 of Mal’ah, of Manah, of Mattatah, of Natan, of David,
32 of Yishai, of ‘Oved, of Bo‘az, of Salmon, of Nachshon,
33 of Amminadav, of Admin, of Arni, of Hetzron, of Peretz, of Y’hudah,
34 of Ya‘akov, of Yitz’chak, of Avraham, of Terach, of Nachor,
35 of S’rug, of Re‘u, of Peleg, of ‘Ever, of Shelah,
36 of Keinan, of Arpakhshad, of Shem, of Noach, of Lemekh,
37 of Metushelach, of Hanokh, of Yered, of Mahalal’el, of Keinan,
38 of Enosh, of Shet, of Adam, of God. 
CJB

This is Miryam's (Mary's) lineage. Thus, for all of them to be alive and mourning for their ONLY Son or their FIRSTBORN Son at one time means that the Resurrection will have already occurred and they were NOT excluded!

The following chart shows what I've learned about the factions of people who will or will not participate in the Kingdom that the Messiah establishes: (This was created in 2003.)

Kingdom chart.png

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6 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

Hi Retro,

I`m certainly not speculating, just going on what I read in God`s word.

`And after eight days His (Jesus) disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, stood in their midst, and said, "Peace to you!"  (John 20: 26)

`Now when He (Jesus) had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.` (Acts 1: 9)

So just in those two verses, (there are others) we can see that the Lord has abilities far beyond what we have. As to gravity, we, the Body of Christ will overcome that great force because of the power of His love that will draw us to Himself on that great day when we will all be gathered together unto Him.

Marilyn.

Shalom, Marilyn.

Right. The Scriptures in John 20 says what it says; HOWEVER, there are several ways that this could be accomplished and some of those have absolutely NO supernatural miracle associated with it at all! Of course, the Scriptures are not "speculating," but the INTERPRETATION that this has to be "going through dimensions" is what is spurious.

He could have been invisible; He could have snuck in behind them; He could have shifted His appearance; He could have shifted his molecules to fit between the spaces of the molecules in the wall; He could have changed sizes and slipped under the door, changing back to normal size before they knew what was going on; He could have done a LOT of things that are told to us in Scripture. For us to settle on the "going through dimensions" solution is a problem. Stick to the Scriptures.

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      “You will come up like a storm,”
      Sudden and overwhelming. Are all storms sudden? No, in many cases people will say, this is storm weather and it always starts like this. So, the implication is that we have a strong probability of knowing when this will come. Just today (6/29/2018), through the MEMRI website, I learned of a Middle Eastern newspaper that leans heavily toward Erdoğan, publishing an article calling for the Muslim of the world to gather in Jihad against Israel (this article was published in Dec of 2017 – not that long ago. An aspect of the article was a map which showed Israel surrounded on every side with army tanks. Surrounded on every side sounds very much like Ezekiel's words.
      “you will be like a cloud covering the land.” - Clouds are formed by thousands of drops of water. We are told that the number seems innumerable.
      “you and all your troops, and many other peoples with you.” - These are people of a like mind – Muslims may not be unified in “religion” but they all seem to understand the idea of Jihad.
      Ezekiel 38:10-12 CJB "Adonai Elohim says: 'When that day comes, thoughts will well up in your mind, and you will devise a sinister scheme. 11) You will say, "I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates. 12) I will seize the spoil and take the plunder." You will attack the former ruins that are now inhabited and come against the people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and other wealth and are living in the central parts of the land.
      “ When that day comes,” - Question, does God do anything at random? The answer is NO, as everything is part of a precise and well thought out plan; a plan which includes giving man a free will and the opportunity to choose life or death.
      Regardless of the optional qualities, the plan is still in place and intact. So, is it possible that God would leave the option for Gog to design and plan out “his” own destiny? Not a chance and verse ten is no different, as “that day” is entirely in God's hands, and, a part of God's plan.
      Another consideration is the terminology “that day.” The phrase is attributed to several events; one of which is the return of Jesus as the warring and conquering Messiah, who also fights a bloody battle in the Jezreel Valley; there is the great white throne judgment and the entirety of the seven-years of God's wrath upon the earth.
      Are any of those events what we are looking at here? I do not believe so as there are always other events associated, which we do not see here.
      “thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan,” - 
      The Hebrew word for thoughts is dāḇār and literally means words. I could read this when that day comes, words will pop into your head, you are going to think this is your sinister scheme, but in reality, you will be doing what I have planned all along.
      Mind is the Hebrew word lēḇāḇ and also means heart. In God's understanding, the heart and the mind are one in the same.
      Devise is from the Hebrew word châshab and means to weave, fabricate, or plot.
      “You will say, "I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates. 12) I will seize the spoil and take the plunder.”
      The context of Deuteronomy 3:5 is applied to Israel's conquer of Og, the King of Bashan. Having destroyed Og's fortified cities they were never rebuilt by Israel. It also demonstrates that cities were typically fortresses; this is not what you see in Israel today.
      Deuteronomy 3:3-6 NASB "All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns.
      Zechariah 2:4 NASB and said to him, "Run, speak to that young man, saying, 'Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it.
      I like the way the ISV version translates Ezekiel 38:12, “the people … who live at the center of the world's attention.” Currently, all the world seems to be looking at Israel, once again. Whether Israel is at the center of the world or not is debatable, but God is making that nation the center of attention.
      And, although we have not covered the verse yet, it sums up the reason behind all this tumult.
      Ezekiel 38:16 ERV...I will bring you to fight against my land. Then, Gog, the nations will learn how powerful I am! They will learn to respect me and know that I am holy.
    • By omharris
      I was asked by my pastor why I study eschatology (end times events.) Ignoring the negativity of a challenge like this, I find that "end times events" are tied in with almost everything I read in scripture. Ezekiel 38 and 39 is such an event, as it speaks of a horrific situation that may happen at any minute.
      Try opening a conversation about what you find in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and the eyes of your audience will glaze over and you can watch them begin to look at their watches, wondering if there isn't somewhere else they need to go. There are reasons behind this lack of interest, and they stem from confusion; a lack of understanding; the inability of the speaker to put flesh and blood on the characters; and, the worst part is that there is a veil over the eyes and ears of the hearer so that they cannot comprehend. Along with those factors, there is a multitude of answers as to who the players are and when this event will take place. Ambiguity plays a role in the disinterest because an honest dissertation of an end-times scenario will typically put you in the ballpark, perhaps even provide the audience with the team name, but at this point, I am not sure we specifically say who the main characters are. Furthermore, two simple sentences can inspire books of commentary. I am going to try and condense but still give you an understanding of this prophecy.
      An introduction to Ezekiel:
      He was a priest, the son of a priest, and he was taken captive into Babylon. Already, you should be thinking, odds are not in his favor. Ezekiel was one of the few that give us precise dates.
      According to Dr. John Gill's commentary, chapter 38 gives an account of "an enemy of the Jews, under the name of Gog, that shall invade their land, and disturb their peace after they are settled in it;"
      J. Vernon McGee, in his commentary, demonstrates some classic old-school thinking as he tells us the theme of Ezekiel 38 is Russia's invasion of Israel. McGee is making his case for Gog to be Russia.
      I happen to think McGee's assessment is wrong and we should not be focused on the Russian President Putin. You have to keep in mind what was going on in the world that would have inspired the McGee's particular emphasis on Russia in his commentary. For example, The United States was deeply entrenched in the Korean war; the Vietnam conflict, with the cold war with Russia waiting just around the corner. I too assumed that Russia would be one of the major players (and no doubt they are, but we are trying to think biblically while paying attention to the context.) as we lived with the verified threat of Russian missiles 90 miles off our coast in Cuba - a Russian ally, as children.
      The Summarized Bible commentary conveys that “God does not only see those who are now the enemies of His people, but foresees those who will be so in the last days, and lets them know by His Word that He is against them, and will make their movements to serve His own purposes.”
      I know, every generation has had those that have said, "we are in the last days," and I would tell you that they were right.
      Now how would I come to the understanding that every generation comprehended that we are in the last days?
      Daniel chapter 9, spells out a seventy-week decree against Israel. Sixty-nine of those weeks have been fulfilled. The seventieth week of years (7years) has been on hold for over 2000 years. Therefore, we, the church, have been in the last days for over 2000 years. 
      Peter, on the day of Pentecost, filled with Holy Spirit, preached to the thousands milling about the streets of Jerusalem that day. An aspect of what Peter said came from Joel chapter 2 which speaks about the time of God's wrath which the seventieth year portrays. However, within that period, people are acting out in the power of the Holy Spirit as the prophets of old did. Peter said this part of Joel's prophecy had been fulfilled in your hearing.
      What did he say? We are living in the last days.
      Since the last days seems to be very focused on the seven-years of wrath, are we, at the moment, living in the seventieth week? No, and that will not come until the church is removed from the earth. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8
      The NASB opens our look into Ezekiel 38 with:
      Prophecy Against Gog
      Ezekiel 38:1-2 NASB And the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2) "Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him
      Note how the passage provided has no appropriate punctuation at the end. That is because the thought continues and we will pursue that shortly. But for the moment let's dissect the verses.
      “Son of man,” Is there any question as to whom the Lord is talking? The answer is Ezekiel.
      “set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,” Okay, what just happened? Ezekiel was told to prophesy against two entities:
      Gog; this person also happens to be the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
      And, the land of Magog; If Ezekiel is told to prophesy against him, and "him" includes the land, then we should be considering the possibility that this is:
      A nation? A people group? A demonic operation that controls a people group? As I try to understand, I turn my attention to my concordances and look up the word Gog.
      BDB Definition: Gog = “mountain” - A Reubenite, the son of Shemaiah (1 Ch 5:4); The prophetic prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and Magog (Read Ezekiel 32)
      Strong's concordance merely adds Gog, the name of an Israelite.
      The KJC keeps us in Ezekiel with one exception: 1 Chronicles 5:1-4 MKJV And the sons of Reuben, the first-born of Israel (for he was the first-born; but since he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, and the genealogy is not to be counted according to the birthright; 2) For Judah prevailed among his brothers, and from him came the chief ruler, but the birthright was Joseph's); 3) the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel: Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 4) The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, and Shimei, his son.
      The dishonor carried by the family due to Reuben's indiscretion, which excluded them from any rights of birth, surely plays a role in all of this.
      The Word Study Dictionary tells us this about Gog:
      He is pictured as a great enemy against God's people. Ezekiel 38:9 NASB "You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you."
      He is from the land of Magog or possibly "from the land of Gog." Gog. i.e., mountain, in reference to the Caucasus mountains, the chief seat of the Scythian people. Note: Rather, "Gog (the prince) of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal." The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury
      The Lord sets Himself against Gog (Eze_38:2). Gog will lead a coalition of nations against God's people who are then dwelling securely in the land of Israel (Eze_38:14-16).
      With the addition of the words, God's people who are then dwelling securely in ...Israel. They have turned this so that we are looking at the church and not Israel, which is incorrect.
      But God, in fact, will bring Gog forth and will destroy him and his people. Ezekiel 39:1-2; Ezekiel 38:19-23
      The Lord spoke about this through other prophets (Eze_38:17-18). Ezekiel 38:17 MKJV So says the Lord Jehovah: Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days, by the hand of My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days and years that I would bring you against them?
      The multitudes of Gog will be buried in the Valley of Hamon Gog, that is, "multitudes of Gog" (Eze_39:11), Ezekiel 39:11 CJB " 'When that day comes, I will give Gog a place there in Isra'el for graves, the Travelers' Valley, east of the sea; and it will block the travelers' passage. There they will bury Gog and all his horde, and they will rename it the Valley of Hamon-Gog [horde of Gog].
      The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature informs us that: They are the name of a mixed race dwelling in the extreme north, comprehended by the Greeks under the name of the Scythians; (2.) to the center and representative of their race, i.e. their king (Ezekiel 38:39). Gog comes forth from the distant north (Eze_38:15-23; Eze_39:2), ... And, if you are stickler for history - Interpreters have given very different explanations of the terms Gog and Magog; but they have generally understood them as symbolical expressions for the heathen nations of Asia, or more particularly for the Scythians, a vague knowledge of whom seems to have reached the Jews in Palestine about that period. Thus Josephus (Ant. 1:6, 3) has dropped the Hebrew word Magog, and rendered it by Σκύθαι;
      See attachment - Classic Bible Maps, The World as known to the Hebrews
      Of the maps, I looked at to better understand this ancient classic version shows me more and divergent details than any other map, as it points out Gog and Magog, and where they were located. I have also provided a link to Wikipedia which continues to fill in the blanks in understanding and prophecy with highly detailed information about the Scythians. Because of the quantity of information found there, which all seems important, I am only going to suggest that the interested pursue that there. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians]
      As you read the information, consider where Gog might come from. It may help you to understand more clearly how the Turkish "president" Recep Tayyip Erdoğan might best fill the role of Gog.
      Just for the fun of it, I searched the internet to find out if Genghis Khan could have been a Scythian. The Headline read, “Not Just Genghis Khan - Scythians Show Genetic Blending With Europe 2,000 Years Ago.” http://www.science20.com/news_articles/not_just_genghis_khan_scythians_show_genetic_blending_europe_2000_years_ago-96314
      Here is was I gather so far.
      Gog, from the disinherited family line of Reuben, moves North and becomes a nomadic mounted and warring nation known as the Scythians. They ranged into China, Siberia, Egypt, Asia Minor and as far south as the Northern African nations, however, they seem to be centrally located around Turkey and the Caspian Sea. They are heavily influenced and integrated by the surrounding nations such as Persia, Syria, and the Caucasus regions. They conquered Nineveh, the Assyrians, and the Medes. Having relations as violent as Genghis Khan one can assume that slaughter was their general theme. This is the people that God sees as one of Israel's few remaining thorns in the flesh.
       
       

    • By Sojourner414
      Iran Fires Rockets Into Golan Heights From Syria
      From NY Times:
      (more)
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/09/world/middleeast/israel-iran-attack.html
    • By Jonathan BeWell
      Dear Lord, in Jesus Christ's name I pray.   Welcome Holy Spirit, embody this nation, government and military. God bless Donald Trump, keep him protected, helped and leading your nation strong and free. God bless Justin Trudeau, bend his will to yours, humble him and teach him what he needs to know of You. Thank you Lord for the peace talks in Korea! This is an appreciated answer to so many pleading prayers! We pray for the same peace and understanding in Cameroon, please have mercy and save its people. Please forgive us of all our sins. Especially excuse evil where we oppose, mock and vilify You. Please Lord, we know not what we do. Bless and revive us Lord, thy kingdom come. Put us through the painful process of cleansing this world, nation, generation and church of backsliding, sleepiness, enemies within, blasphemy, watering down of God's truth, word and law. Prune and throw such chaff into the lake of fire. Have us accept and cherish your free gift of salvation and eternal life immediately through your Son's sacrifice in place of our sin debt. May we all pray for this in our life now! Heal, restore and revive your body of Christ saved to do good works in the Lord. May we be light, salt and disciples to this desperate world. Hallelujah, he is risen, he is risen indeed!   I pray this sincerely for all lost, enemies and loved ones in Jesus Christ's name, amen!   GregoryB
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