The Jews, As A (Political) Nation, Will Turn To Their Messiah
July 2, 2014
Because I endorse Israeliteindeed’s blog, and do still do so, I believe it is necessary that I also say that she and I vary somewhat in our beliefs about the nation of Israel. She has recently written some posts about it (and we, for the most part, agree with each other), but, for clarification, here is my view (in a nutshell) on it:
As she and I both believe, all people, including Jews, are saved only by abiding in Christ which comes through believing in Jesus as God, Savior, and Boss and by repenting of sin (turning completely away from sin), and by walking in freedom from sin. (John 8:24,58 & 14:6 & 15:1-10 // Rom. 6:18 // 1 John ch. 1 & 2:1-6 & 3:5-10) However, I also believe that there will be a major end-time turn-to-Christ amongst the Jews, and in particular, the nation of Israel as a whole. As Rom. 11:25,26 say, “… Israel has experienced a hardening in part UNTIL the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob.'” Verse 27 then refers to that happening through what we know as “The New Covenant” so that their sins are taken away and they are saved.
When Rom. 11:25 says, “Israel has experience a hardening in part until…”, is this speaking of the physical nation of Israel or the spiritual one in Christ? Of course it is speaking of the ancestral / physical / political one. Then we cannot separate this reference and say that “Israel” in verse 26 refers to “the spiritual Israel in Christ”.
Therefore, when Rom. 11:26 says, “And so all Israel will be saved”, it means, I believe, that salvation through Christ will take place throughout the Jewish nation as individual hearts –and clans (Zech. 12:12-14)– recognize their Messiah –the One they pierced. (v. 10,11 & 13:1) In other words, they will repent as a nation / a nation that identifies itself with Jesus/Yahshua/Jeshua. (1:6) As the Lord says, “I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there My house will be rebuilt…” (v. 16) He also tells Zechariah, “Proclaim further: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.'” (v. 17) To deny that this refers to the physical place, especially in light of so many other Scriptures where the Lord is specific about land and towns and fields, is, I believe, to deny what God is telling us. Yes, (miraculously) the Scriptures (living and active as it all is –Heb. 4:12) can be spiritualized to fit our individual situations, but that does not negate other meanings of it.
God does not have a special love (choice and election) for Jerusalem –the place He promised to put His Name at forever? (2 Chron. 7:16) He does. (Zech. 8:1-3) What other nation and land does He talk about being jealous over (same verses // Ezek. 36:1-15) and loving zealously even though they be full of idolatry? (Jer. 3:12-20 // Ho. 3:1) Yes, all His born-anew-into-Israel people (–yes, “whosoever will” may join through faith) He loves and is jealous over, but Israel as a nation is not exempt, because, though for a time He, due to their continuous adultery, had to divorce them (Isa. 50:1 // Jer. 3:8), He had also betrothed these people and the land to Himself as a nation forever. (Ezek. 36:12 // Ho. 2:19)
Therefore, because God is a faithful, long-enduring Husband, He will buy Israel back again, clean her up, and watch over her until she truly returns to Him with her whole heart. (See Hosea 3:1-5) As Ho. 3:5 says, “Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David (Jesus) their King. They will come trembling to the LORD and to His blessings in the last days.” Thus, “In the place where it was said to them [by God], ‘You are not My people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'” (1:10) He will again show His love to the nation He divorced (1:11 & 2:23 & 3:1), He “will no longer hide His face from them, for He will pour out His Spirit on the house of Israel” (see Ezek. 39:29), He will be their God (Ho. 2:23), and He will plant them for Himself in the land forever. (same verse // Ezek. 37:21-28)
I have been encouraged through Ezek. ch. 36 & 37, hearing from the Lord through it about individuals, but that does not negate that it also refers to the Israelite nation –“the land of Israel… the mountains and hills… the ravines and valleys.” (See 36:6) How can the language be said any more specific –that God is speaking about a physical place (though it can also be spiritualized)? Physical nations are being spoken about throughout, such as in verses 22,23. The nation of Israel is going to be cleansed. (v. 24-29) The nations will see how God rebuilds His ruined nation. (30-38)
I believe the dry “bones came together” (Ezek. 37:7) already and that skin covers them, but I certainly believe there is yet no breath in them (v. 8 ) –no Spirit yet in them. But… it will happen! (v. 10) And they will become a vast army in the Lord’s Kingdom. (See same verse) In verse 11 God says to Ezekiel, “…these bones are the whole house of Israel.” In verses 12-14 the LORD says, “O My people… I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, My people… I will put My Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.” Verses 15-28 is certainly about the ancestral / physical / political nation (and the land itself) of Israel and how “they will all [meaning as a nation claiming their Messiah] have one Shepherd” (v. 24) who they will follow carefully. (same verse) Their Shepherd will be Jesus. The LORD continues: “They will live in the land I gave to My servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived.” (v. 25) God is most certainly referring here to the physical land which He promised on oath to Jacob and his descendants. (Dt. 34:4) That oath was about a physical land. Yes, they lost it through their rebellion, but the many promises of it being restored to them have, and will continue to, come to pass.
As I said, these passages can be applied to the spiritual land of salvation, but I do not believe for a second that God would promise all these things, make it sound like He is going to restore His people whom He elected as a nation (Rom. 11:28) and whom He “loved on account of the patriarchs” (same verse) –having promised to them and their descendants a particular spot of land forever– and then tell us later that it all was not to be interpreted literally, but only metaphorically.
I will continue to ask the Lord for His Word on this issue, but as I do so, I seem to be seeing it everywhere in the Word now –what I have always believed about this issue and what I explain above. May we all be careful about reading men’s writings on the issue, especially those who do not have the Spirit within them and who do not sit under His tutelage but instead under the “fine sounding arguments” (Col. 2:4) that come from the philosophies of men (v. 8) and from that which is called “knowledge” and “wisdom” but is actually false and misleading. (1 Cor. 3:18-20 // 1 Tim. 6:20,21)
Those who follow what the Word of God says need not bend to what the “politically correct” –whether in secular circles or in church circles– claim to be right and true. The Word of the Lord, along with His Spirit who has freed us from blindness, human interpretations, and our own biases, are sufficient for all theology. Let each one of us, therefore, study the Scriptures ourselves under the Spirit’s tutelage (1 John 2:26,27), all the while and by Him, searching “the mind of Christ which we have been given” (see 1 Cor. 2:16) so that therein and thereby we are guided into all Truth. (John 16:13)