The Israel of God Versus the Israelis
By John Thiel, mp3
The concept that the Jews, the Israelis that are living in the Middle East right now, are God’s people still now and that Jesus is going to bring back His nation and is going to dwell in Jerusalem with them for a thousand years is being taught by the various different churches.
We want to examine the Bible in regards to Israel and let the Bible speak for itself; and it will illuminate our minds as to who is Israel.
As we look in the Scriptures, we see that the God of heaven has chosen a people and made them a nation, His very personal own nation. We read about it in Genesis 17, where the birth of this nation was foreshadowed.
The People of God
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I [am] the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 4 As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
Any Jew who reads that will tell you, “See? We are to be in God’s expectation a nation for eternity.” And that is precisely where the Israeli confidence that they are God’s people comes from. It is because a promise has been made:
Genesis 17:7 I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
We pick it up here as well:
Genesis 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son]: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
This happened after God had tempted Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac; and because he would be so obedient to God, God had confirmed the covenant with him, and with his seed, his offspring, which of course were the people of Israel. Now comes a very important principle as to the promise and the covenant that was made to Abraham and his seed. To understand what God meant, let us go back to Genesis 17.
Genesis 17:15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah [shall] her name [be]. 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be [a mother] of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall [a child] be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
Abraham proposed to God that the son that he had brought into existence through normal processes, not through his wife but through Agar the servant of Sarah, should be regarded as his seed. And God had said, No; it is Sarah that is going to give birth to a son, and that is where the blessing is to be.
Genesis 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
The Seed of Abraham
Looking at this we see that God’s promise was made for the seed of Abraham that came, not through Ishmael, but through Sarah whose womb had already been closed. She was ninety years of age; she could not bear child. But God said; No, she is going to bear a child, and My covenant is with her son Isaac.
The question I now want to ask is this: Was Isaac’s birth supernatural? Indeed. Was Ishmael’s birth natural? It was. Isaac was born of God’s direct intervention whereas Ishmael was just a natural course of events. Let us explore what Scripture says in regards to Isaac and the covenant that was made with him and Ishmael who was conceived naturally. Here is a very important Biblical appreciation of what is meant here:
Galatians 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman [was] by promise.
The writings of inspiration here tell us that the natural birth of Ishmael was a birth according to the flesh whereas Isaac was by promise, by God promising to cause a birth to take place out of the normal, natural way of conception. So what does it mean to be born of Abraham’s seed? Abraham’s seed was Ishmael, but it was also Isaac. Which one did God identify as Abraham’s seed? Let Jesus explain this. In the following scripture Jesus is speaking to the Jews which claimed that they were of Abraham’s seed; and of course they were. But notice what He says:
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Now notice how the Jews reacted to that:
John 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: [but] the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Jesus was speaking in answer to the question that was posed, but the Jews said, “Wait a minute, Jesus, we have never been bondservants; we have always been of the seed of Abraham.” Then Jesus says:
John 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed;
He didn’t deny the fact that they were born along the fleshly seed of Abraham.
John 8:37 …but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, [even] God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Jesus has just made it abundantly clear that the Jews which were born of the natural line of the flesh after Isaac were not necessarily the children of Abraham. According to Christ’s words, what constituted them to be the children of Abraham? If they would do the things that Abraham did. Jesus had just clearly brought out to them that it is if they would continue in His word that they would be His disciples and would become free children of Abraham.
The Two Sons of Abraham
Let us now expand this concept through the reading of the Word in all its simplicity. Having spoken of the free woman and the bondwoman of whom Abraham had two sons, the apostle now says:
Galatians 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
So what did Jesus say? “If you will follow in my Word, then you will be free.” But these people continued in bondage.
Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
The Children of Promise
My covenant will I establish with Isaac. The apostle Paul here makes it very clear that the Jews, whom Jesus acknowledged to be Abraham’s seed according to the flesh, those Israelites who were born through the natural course of birth, are in bondage; they are of Ishmael’s line in respect to the allegory.So they are not the children of the promise. The children of the promise are those who come through Isaac by promise. And this why he is writing to the Galatians who are not Jews and says to them:
Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Isaac was born by God’s intervention. How can we be part of the nation of Abraham and Isaac of which they were the fathers?
Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Isn’t that what Jesus said to them? “If you continue in My word, then you are My disciples, then you are free.” We are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Here is a simple summary of the things that we have been reading. Those who have the faith in Jesus Christ, who have been baptized into Christ, who have put on Christ, if they have done that, then all the promises that were made to Abraham and his seed are in reference to them; the covenant is theirs. They are heirs according to the promise. This is very plain. And according to that, Apostle Paul then enlarges:
Romans 4:16 Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
So who is Abraham the father of? Of all, Jews and Gentiles, who believe in Jesus Christ, and who submit to Him by new birth. They are born like Isaac was, by the birth of God’s intervention. We see this in Peter’s words to the believers in Jesus:
1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
So according to this concluding statement by Apostle Peter, the nation which Abraham was the father of is not the Jewish nation by birth; it is the nation that has been born by promise, whether it be Isaac or all others who come in birth and conception through the Word of God. The question therefore is, What of the physical seed of Abraham? Do they not have any credence here? Are they not a special people as well? Consider the following words of Romans which give us a direct answer to this particular concept posed: Was the physical Israel not also part of the covenant?
The True Circumcision
Romans 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
What was circumcision a sign of? That they were the Israel of God. All people who were born to Abraham’s line were to be circumcised; so now circumcision identified the nation. But notice what he says, If your circumcision is not backed up by the keeping of the law, “if thou be a breaker of the law”, what does that circumcision mean? Nothing; it becomes uncircumcision.
Romans 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.
This is a declaration that a person may be by birth from Abraham’s loins, however, although they may be circumcised and called Israel, or Jews, if they are not doing the works of Abraham, which is obedience to the law of God, if they violate that, do they still remain Israel? There is the plain answer: their circumcision becomes uncircumcision. They are no longer Israel of God. And those who were not the Israel of God, who were not circumcised, but who take hold of Jesus and follow His process of salvation, they become circumcised in the heart. The Old Testament says this very thing:
Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? 14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens [is] the LORD’s thy God, the earth [also], with all that therein [is]. 15 Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, [even] you above all people, as [it is] this day.
He has chosen them; but now what does He say?
Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. 17 For the LORD your God [is] God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
He is not a regarder of persons. Just because we claim to be Jews, if anyone claims to be a Jew by birth, God is not a respecter of that. What is He a respecter of?
Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise … the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
Here is the true circumcision. The physical circumcision is according to the flesh, and if there is no keeping of the law in the heart where God is all in all to them, then their circumcision becomes uncircumcision because their heart is not circumcised.
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace [be] on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Who is the Israel of God? Those who walk according to this rule. What was that? In Christ Jesus, a new creature. That is what Isaac was when he was born; he was a new creature, totally intervened by God for his existence. So the people who are in Christ Jesus, who have become a new creature, who walk by that rule, are the Israel of God. That is scriptural preciseness. And this is the reason why James, writing to the Christian believers, addresses them in the following way, because he is writing to those who believe in Jesus, who have been born a new creature by the promise of God’s intervention.
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
Who is he writing to? Could he find the twelve tribes? Were they not scattered all around the world? You couldn’t identify which tribe they were anymore. But here he is writing to the Christian believers, saying, You are the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad; you are the Israel of God.
The Israelis of the Middle East
So what of the physical seed of Abraham? We just read it. If the physical seed of Abraham does not really embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, if they remain stiffnecked and continue to hold on to their natural birth instead of the supernatural birth, those circumcised people are no longer regarded as circumcised. And the people who were never circumcised but who have opened their heart to Jesus, they are the true Israel; they are of the twelve tribes. If the Israelis of today have not been circumcised in the heart, have not become a new creature, are they Israel? Are they Jews? It says: “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, but he … which is one inwardly;”
So they are not part of the promise. They are born of the flesh like Ishmael was. And it’s very fascinating that the Ishmaelites, which are the Arabs, or the Palestinians, or all those Muslim people there in the Middle East, being Ishmaelites of Abraham’s line, they are no different to the Jews, according to that. The Jews are also of Ishmael’s line; but they’re fighting, thinking they’re of God’s blessing, when really they are all of that same line.
All the precious promises recorded for Israel in the Bible, are they for Jerusalem in the Middle East? Who are they for? You see, this is the idea that many people propose; they say that all the promises of the Old Testament will come to fruition in the physical nation of the Israelis today. But according to the Bible, the Jerusalem in the Middle East is not the true Jerusalem. We read it in Galatians. Here it is in its simplicity, just as Inspiration has put it:
Galatians 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
The one that was barren, which was Sarah, gave birth. And now the allegory is put together: the barren one represents the Jerusalem above, and the one which was not barren, Agar, represents the earthly Jerusalem, those that are in bondage.
Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
The heavenly Jerusalem is the mother of us all, Israel. So with all those precious promises that are made for Israel, is the Jerusalem of the Middle East included in that? No. Why is it not included and what is their future? As we have already seen, they are not included because they reject their Lord and Saviour as a nation. Let us consider carefully Deuteronomy 28. Here we have the blessings that are to be experienced by the Jews, the Israelites, if they will do these things:
Deuteronomy 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 3 Blessed [shalt] thou [be] in the city, and blessed [shalt] thou [be] in the field. 4 Blessed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.”
Etcetera, etcetera, etcera. One blessing after another to whom? To the Israel who takes God’s voice and diligently heeds it. These are the promises. But the question is: Did the Jewish nation of today follow these ifs? Did they follow precisely the things that God had instructed them? We know they even rejected Christ when they were supposed to have received Him. So they did not do what He said. In Isaiah we read God’s lament.
Isaiah 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
The faithful city that was once God’s city became a harlot. And that being the case, were the blessings for them? So what was given to them instead if they would not do this?
Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: 16 Cursed [shalt] thou [be] in the city, and cursed [shalt] thou [be] in the field. 17 Cursed [shall be] thy basket and thy store.
And the curses continue:
Deuteronomy 28:20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until…
What will happen?
Deuteronomy 28:20 …until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. 21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. 22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption…
So He continues to talk about their destruction.
Deuteronomy 28:26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray [them] away.
What will happen ultimately? The carcasses of Israel shall be meat for all the fowls of the air. This is their curse by not submitting themselves to the Lord.
Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes … that all these curses shall come upon thee…
Observe how true this has been for the Hebrews of today, the Israelis of today, from the time that they rejected Jesus Christ:
Deuteronomy 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
The Hebrews understood all the nations that were around them, but there was a nation from the far distant west that was a foreign language to them. We read about them:
Deuteronomy 28:50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young: 51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which [also] shall not leave thee [either] corn, wine, or oil, [or] the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. 52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. 53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
This is precisely what happened. When Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman soldiers, they inside had no more bread, no food, and they would even eat their little babies. That was recorded. It was a direct promise by their disobedience to God that they would no longer be His people and that they would be destroyed as a nation for that period of time. So it went on and on.
Deuteronomy 28:63 And it shall come to pass, [that] as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
And so it was that from the time that the Romans surrounded the city of Jerusalem and conquered it the Jews were scattered everywhere thereafter. Now notice the following:
Deuteronomy 28:59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, [even] great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
Here is a mention of the plagues. When God pours the plagues and the final destruction upon the earth, and people are destroyed in the final destruction of the plagues, the birds will eat the flesh of these people that are scattered on the face of the earth. This is what we read:
Deuteronomy 28:26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air…
Let us now come to the plagues of Revelation 16. Notice that what was mentioned in Deuteronomy long before the Hebrews even came to the promised land to which God was leading them, was foretold if they were not faithful, and it says they would be subject to plagues.
Revelation 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Indeed, this is the terrible destruction that takes place even there in the place called Armageddon, or mountain of Megiddo. There in the Middle East, in the Jewish domain, is the place. It is right there on the side of the Jezreel valley where there is a fortress called Megiddo, a little mountain. And that includes the area where the Jews were and are today.
Revelation 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
The Vials of God’s Wrath upon the Earth
Jeremiah 25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. 16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. 17 Then took I the cup at the LORD’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:
Who were to drink of the vials of God’s wrath? Which one is the first one?
Jeremiah 25:18 [To wit], Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as [it is] this day;
Then it goes through all the nations that are all going to receive the vials of God’s wrath, of warfare.
Jeremiah 25:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished?
All the other nations have to be punished seeing He is punishing His own nation as well.
Jeremiah 25:29 …Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts. 30 Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread [the grapes], against all the inhabitants of the earth. 31 A noise shall come [even] to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them [that are] wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. 32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. 33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
Is not that what He said in the curses, that they would be food for the birds? Indeed, Jerusalem and all the other nations. So Israel, the Israelis of the Middle East, are destined as a nation to be destroyed together with all the other nations, according to Jeremiah 25.
The Circumcised with the Uncircumcised
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise [man] glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty [man] glory in his might, let not the rich [man] glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD. 25 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all [them which are] circumcised with the uncircumcised;
Remember what Apostle Paul said? The circumcision becomes uncircumcision; and so these who are circumcised and those that are uncircumcised will all be punished together,
Jeremiah 9:26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all [that are] in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all [these] nations [are] uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel [are] uncircumcised in the heart.
How clear the Bible is; how clear that those who are uncircumcised in the heart but are circumcised in the flesh are the same as though they were never circumcised at all.
The Self-Destruction of the Wicked
What may we know of the Lord in all this? There is something very valuable and very important here. As we study this in reference to God’s attitude towards the Jews that have crucified Christ and who have not returned to Him, in the following psalm we see very beautifully and simply that their own condition of insubordination will be the source of their destruction.
Psalm 9:15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit [that] they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 16 The LORD is known [by] the judgment [which] he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.
So the heathen create their own destruction; and as the Jews, the Israelis in the Middle East, enter into the same process of conflict and warfare, what do we know of God in this? They have rejected Jesus Christ who was their God, their King, and by rejecting Him they said, We have no king but Caesar. So now they reveal themselves to be like the other nations. And as the heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made, they, the Jews, together with them, will suffer the execution of God’s wrath. Our God is a just God. He has redeemed us through Jesus Christ; but all who reject His redeeming love are left to the consequences of their choice. He speaks to us as He speaks to all Israel. He says: “I have set before you life and death, good and evil. This is the choice you can make. If you will choose life and righteousness and good, then you will live. But if you choose the other, then it is death.”
Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; … 19 … I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, [and] that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he [is] thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
The Jews, the Israelis of today, have not chosen the Life-giver; they have chosen a different path; they have not done what He has said. And as we behold Israel of the Middle East, let us behold Israel who worship God in spirit and in truth and who look for the city that Abraham looked for. The Israelis of today do not look for the city that Abraham looked for; the city on earth is a different one to the city that Abraham looked for.
The Coming City
Hebrews 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God.
Did God build the earthly Jerusalem? Which city was He the builder of? The heavenly Jerusalem. And that was the city that Abraham was looking for.
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
That city is the one that we read of in Zechariah 14. Here is the beautiful place that God is going to bring down His city to:
Zechariah 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee [to] the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee.
This is where the New Jerusalem will come down with His saints after the thousand years, according to Revelation 21.
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Notice when He touched the Mount of Olives and it split, what happened to the earthly Jerusalem? He touched the Mount of Olives and then it split north, south, east, and west into a great plain. Where was the earthly Jerusalem? Ploughed over. And then the heavenly Jerusalem came down, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. … 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 And had a wall great and high, [and] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Here is the grand finale, the names of the children of Israel, the true Israel, for whom the city of God was to be the abiding place, their camp, their protection. So everything that is written in promises to the true Israel of God does not belong to the Israelis of the Middle East. It will only belong to some of them who have chosen to open their hearts to Jesus. But as a nation that rules among them, they will be destroyed like all the other nations, and the Jerusalem from heaven will be the headquarters of the true twelve tribes of Israel.
May God help us to understand this and not become confused by the many different applications where the Scriptures are misapplied by unlearned teachers who do not identify this scriptural simplicity.