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Wednesday, August 22 2012
Israel In History and Prophecy: The New Covenant
The ultimate spiritual meaning and purpose of "Israel" will be addressed in the next, and last, study of this series, however prophecy plainly explains how physical Israel is not yet fulfilled either. It will not be so until after the return of the Messiah, when the Kingdom of God will be established on Earth (see the Fact Finder question below).
The human known as Jesus of Nazareth existed long before, eternally before, He was born as a mortal man (see When Is The LORD's Day? and What Is The Day Of The LORD?). Jesus Christ was "the LORD God" of Creation. Jesus Christ, as the LORD God, created Israel from the man Jacob (see Where Jacob Became Israel), and centuries later delivered the Israelites in the Exodus (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Exodus).
"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Moses] in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV)
But what happened when the Israelites refused to obey the LORD? "They were overthrown in the wilderness" and "were destroyed of serpents." It was a carnal spirit of rebellion that persisted, from the ancient time to the present, in the minds of those who regard "Israel" as an end in itself, which it became for those people - a dead end.
"10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Sinai Journey].
"I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah"
Much has been written and taught about the "old covenant" and the "new covenant," but just who was it that broke the old covenant with Jesus Christ? And with whom did Jesus Christ make the new covenant? The Scriptures state the answer to both questions very plainly: "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord" (verses 8 and 9 below). Israel and Judah broke the Old Covenant, and it's with Israel and Judah that the New Covenant offer will be made.
"8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man [see The Holy Place In History And Prophecy].
Many prophecies of the Holy Bible are dual. For example, Jeremiah prophesied about Judah's return from the Babylonian exile. Judah has once again however begun to return, physically, from "Babylon" (see What And Where Is Babylon Today?), while their Christ-rejecting religion still has them spiritually in "Babylon" (which means confusion). As we will get to, Judah was the first to return, not the return entirely.
"50:4 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. 50:5 They shall ask the way to Zion [see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism] with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.
Some dual prophecies weigh more in the original event, while some expound greater in the later fulfillment. Jeremiah did both.
"31:7 For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. 31:8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. 31:9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes].
"I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel"
Ezekiel's famous "dry bones" prophecy about the physical resurrection of the entire people of Israel from throughout history describes a great awakening event that will occur after Christ's future return.
"37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?
At that time, Israel and Judah, who have been divided for about 3,000 years as of now, will be reunited: "they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all."
"37:15 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, 37:16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: 37:17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
At that time, Israel, all of Israel, will obey the LORD in the way that they did not ever do before.
"37:24 And David my servant shall be king over them [see Israel In History and Prophecy: King David]; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 37:28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore." (Ezekiel 37:24-28 KJV)
This Day In History, August 22
476: The barbarian Odoacer was proclaimed Rex Italiae ("the king of Italy") by his troops.
565: Columba, a prominent Irish monk of the Church of Rome, reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness - one of the earliest of such recorded sightings.
1138: The English battled the Scots at Cowton Moor. Banners of various supposed "saints" were carried into battle, which led to its being called the Battle of the Standard.
1350: John II, also known as John the Good, succeeded Philip VI as king of France.
1485: Richard III of England was defeated and killed at The Battle of Bosworth Field, the last of the Wars of the Roses between the Houses of Lancaster and York.
1567: The Duke of Alba, sent to re-establish Spanish authority in the Netherlands, instituted the Council of Troubles at the start of his tyrannical rule. It was nicknamed the "Council of Blood."
1642: The Civil War in England began between the supporters of Charles I ("Royalists" or "Cavaliers") and of Parliament ("Roundheads").
1846: The U.S. annexed (a political term meaning "take by conquest; as of territory") New Mexico from Mexico.
1864: The Geneva Convention for the protection of the wounded during times of active warfare was signed, leading to the formation of the Red Cross.
1910: Korea was annexed by Japan after five years as a protectorate.
1922: Irish politician and Sinn Fein leader Michael Collins was killed in an ambush. He was largely responsible for the 1921 Anglo-Irish treaty.
1939: Foreign ministers Molotov of Russia and Ribbentrop of Germany signed a non-aggression pact which paved the way for the German invasion of western Poland and for Russia to take eastern Poland and the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Germany and Russia soon thereafter declared war on each other.
1941: Nazi troops reached the outskirts of Leningrad. They eventually surrounded the city on September 8 at the start of the siege which lasted until January 1944.
1942: Brazil declared war on the Axis powers. It is the only South American country to send combat troops into Europe during the Second World War.
1944: German officer Heinz Stahlschmidt deliberately blew up a bunker full of detonators, effectively preventing the planned destruction of Bordeaux by his own retreating German army.
1968: Pope Paul VI became the first pope to visit Latin America, in Colombia.
1971: Bolivian President General Juan Jose Torres Gonzalez was deposed in a coup by Colonel Hugo Banzer Suarez.
2003: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended after refusing a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building (see also Turning The Tables to understand what the Ten Commandments actually looked like).