There is hope for the nations: Jesus Christ is coming again! This has been my hope ever since being saved, and over the years it has not only not diminished, it has intensified. Praise God!
Therefore, when they had come together, [the apostles] asked [Jesus], saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the Earth.’ [The Triune God is fully involved in the Great Commission.] – Acts 1:6-8
For I do not desire, [Gentile] brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this isMy covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’- Rom 11:25-29 [This full restoration of the full remnant from all the tribes that will be the ‘all Israel’ during the Millennial Kingdom of Messiah will be the reality of the Israel of God, a holy people for Himself as first-born among the nations chosen to glorify Him and to be a blessing to others. (Zech 12:10; Gal 6:16)]
There is a move of the Holy Spirit within the Body of Messiah to make the believers ready for the coming of the Lord. The Bride is making herself ready, sanctifying and purifying herself, even as the Holy Spirit is sanctifying and purifying us by the Word of God in action. We see in the New Testament that at the time of Jesus, there were movements of false messiahs whom some of the Israeli people accepted, because it was the time of the true Messiah to come. So now, in these last days, there are increasing numbers of false messiahs/christs appearing and being proclaimed (Acts 5:36-37), as the devil tries to deceive even more people, and, if possible, even the elect. (Mt 24:4-5; Jn 5:43; 1Jn 2:18-19)
Do we really know and believe that the same Lord Jesus Christ who ascended to Heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, is going to return according to His promise, at a set time?! Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Rev 20:6) ‘Hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations – He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels – as I also have received from My Father. (Rev 2:25-27; Ps 2:7-9) God is saving individuals from out of Israel and out from every nation now – as a royal priesthood and as a Bride for the Lamb – before He saves the full remnant of Israel as a nation, which gives hope also to other nations, including Korea, Ukraine, Zambia, Congo, Australia. The devil seeks to discourage believers from thinking this will ever get done. (2Pt 3:1-5a)
A Remnant Will Be Saved
When Paul says in Romans 11 that “all Israel” will be saved, neither he nor the Spirit of God is saying that every Jew or every Israeli will be saved. This is clear throughout all of the Bible that many Israelis and Jews have died in rebellion against the Lord, and Daniel speaks of the resurrection of shame and everlasting contempt for those not “written in the book”. (Dan 12:1-3)
YHVH speaks through the prophet Isaiah (1:9) that unless He “had left to us a very small remnant, would we have become like Sodom and Gomorrah”.
In the New Testament, we find also that Paul is quoting from Isaiah in Rom 9:27,29, when he writes that “though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved”. (Is 10:20,22)
It is important to remember that not all Israel is Israel (Rom 9:6). Neither is all the Church the Church: there are tares with the wheat (Mt 13:30). And there are sheep nations and goat nations (Mt 25:32-34,41; Joel 3:1-2 (4:1-2 Heb)). The sheep nations will enter the Millennial Kingdom with all Israel that is saved. But again, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection!” God is dealing with both individuals and with nations. The ways of the LORD are just, and He is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow.
Beer Sheva has a very significant history in the Bible. First of all, Beer Sheva received its name from Abraham, and then confirmed by Isaac. Jacob also lived there. Hagar and Ishmael lived there, and YHVH God blessed them there, and gave them a hope in Him. And there is more; but one thing which occurred in Beer Sheva has had negative repercussions until today. In 1Sam 8, we read how the prophet and priest, Samuel, had two sons who were judges in Beer Sheva. But they were corrupt in their character and in their duties. The Israeli people at that time asked Samuel to give them a king like the Gentiles have! YHVH, God of Israel, told Samuel that the people were not rejecting Samuel, but Him from being their King and Judge. From that time, Israel as a nation has not accepted YHVH, who chose them for His own special people, to be either their King or God. They have preferred to be like the Gentiles, the heathen; but praise the Lord, He will not let them be so completely! (Ezek 20:32) When Jesus the Messiah came, He came to restore the Kingdom of God back to Israel – into their hearts — and to establish His kingdom over the other nations as well. We learn from the New Testament, that the Jewish people (of whom I am also) did not want ‘this Man’ to rule over us. (Lk 19:14; Jn 19:15) When Joshua told the people that he and his household would serve YHVH, the people said they would too. But Joshua told them that they could not, because YHVH is a holy and jealous God, and the people still had their idols!
So until Jesus returns to forever establish God’s Kingdom over Israel and the nations, the Great Commission to take the gospel to all peoples and nations to make disciples of Jesus – to have the Kingdom of God in their hearts — who already has all authority in Heaven and on Earth, remains in force. This is the power which the Holy Spirit gives us, to be witnesses to Jesus (Acts 1:8; Rom 1:16); and God is so determined to save as many as possible, He has not left it to us – the Church – to finish the work (which we apparently cannot do), but He will also send out His angels to proclaim the everlasting gospel to all who dwell on the Earth before He pours out His wrath upon His enemies and those of His people. (Rev 14:6-7)
I want our confidence to be in the Word of God – in the Scriptures – and not in the wisdom of man, including my own, whatever I may have. We will look at some passages from different books in the Bible which speak of Israel’s salvation and of the Gentile nations coming under the rule of the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel. It is your responsibility, if you have any uncertainties, to search the Scriptures yourselves to see if what I am saying – or how I am putting passages together – is true or not.
One of the main things that we want to pay attention to is that these things have not yet happened. The Lord Jesus Christ has told us that He did not come to annul the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. Heaven and Earth will not pass away until all is fulfilled, during the Millennial Kingdom! (Mt 5:17-18)
Is 11:1-13 the Son of David (the netzer) who will be Judge and King (Is 33:22) in Israel and over the nations; peace amongst the animals and between animals and humans; no more war as the Earth will be full of the knowledge of YHVH; Israel will have peace and become the head (first-born) nation under Messiah’s rule
Ezek 47:21-23 division of the inheritance in the land to the tribes, including non-Israelis (Gentiles) having an inheritance with the children of Israel
Zech 14:16-20 All nations will come up to worship YHVH in Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles during the Millennial Kingdom, with punishment from Him for those who do not do so. Even the most simple and ordinary things will be holiness to YHVH!
Rev 7 the sealing of the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel, plus an innumerable multitude from all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues who have all come out of the great tribulation, who will be in God’s presence and serve the Lamb forever
Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Blessed is He who comes in the name of YHVH!
This article was given as a speech at Korean Israel Conference, “The Kingdom of God”, October 6, 2010, in Seoul, originally posted on Streams in the Negev, and reposted with permission.