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Israel and the Purposes of God

“What is so special about Israel?” #3

Date:August 23, 2023
Author: Wayne J. Edwards



Hardly a day goes by without some major news event being reported from the nation of Israel, and especially from the Old City of Jerusalem.

Beloved, when we want to determine where we are on God’s timeline in terms of the Last Days, we need look no further than God’s timepiece and the epicenter of prophecy: Israel and even more specifically, Jerusalem.

We will continue our study tonight as we look at the eight blessings God gave Israel years ago, including the covenants, and how they are being fulfilled in our day. As you prepare your hearts and minds for this study, ask yourself this question: If God did not keep His promises to Israel, on what basis could we be sure He would keep His Promises to us?

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The Bible is primarily a history book of the Jewish people from Abraham to the Millennial Kingdom.

  • The scriptures document the events of the past, which would be called “history,” but the Bible also describes the events of the future, which would be called “prophecy.”
  • However, what is prophetic can be both history and future in that there has already been a partial fulfillment of prophecy, but the final fulfillment is yet to come.
    • Daniel 11:21-35 – Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem in 167 BC by offering the sacrifice of a pig on an altar to Zeus.
    • Midway through the Tribulation, the Antichrist will desecrate the newly built Temple in some abominable way.
  • The word “Jew” is derived from Judah, the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Every Jew is an Israelite, but not every Israelite is a Jew, for all Jews are not from the tribe of Judah.
  • However, throughout much of history, certainly from the return of the exiles from Babylon, the term ‘Jew’ has been extended to cover all Hebrew people, regardless of their tribal background.

   Within the Evangelical Church, there are three views of the people of Israel; two are heretical.

  • Replacement theology (supersessionism) essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and that God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.
  • Kingdom Now theology is a theological belief that God lost control over the world to Satan when Adam and Eve sinned, and He is now raising an army of prophets and apostles who will lead the church into the overthrowing of the sin of the nations and the establishment of the Lord’s kingdom on earth.
  • God’s Chosen People – God has declared the Jewish people are a chosen people, according to the promise (covenant) He made with Abraham.
  • Deuteronomy 26:18-19 – “Today the Lord has proclaimed you to be His special people…that you are to be a holy people to the Lord your God.”
    • While they were to keep God’s commandments, their obedience was not a “condition” to His promise.
  • Deuteronomy 28:9-11 – “The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you,”
    • The Hebrew word for “sworn” is “shaba,” which means an eternal oath.
  • Therefore, no matter what Israel may do, or however much they may fail, God’s promises will hold, for His purpose is to use His relationship with Israel, not to exhibit their holiness, but to prove Himself as a promise-keeping, covenant-keeping God.
  • Jeremiah 31:33 – “I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
  • Ezekiel 36:26 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you: I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
  • In Romans 9-11, the Apostle said, God granted eight special privileges to the Israelites. (Tonight’s study)
  • Israel’s rejection of Jesus was not a surprise to God. In fact, it was part of His divine plan – first to ingratiate Himself to the Jews to make the Gentiles jealous of Israel’s God, and then to ingratiate Himself to the Gentiles to make the Israelites jealous of the Gentile’s God.
  • So, rather than abandoning the Jews, in Romans11:25-27, the Apostle Paul said: “All Israel will be saved, as it is written, the deliverer shall come out of Zion, and He will turn away the ungodliness from Jacob, this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

   Historically, the gospel began to be spread to the Gentiles in the events recorded in Acts 15:6-11. However, Paul said there will come a time when the “fullness of the Gentiles” will be accomplished.

  • The literal meaning of the word “fullness” is “the set number,” so God knows how many Gentiles will respond to His offer of saving grace to make the “body” of Christ complete, and then He will deal with the nation of Israel again.
  • The term “all Israel” does not mean every Jew of all time, nor the Jews that will be alive at the time of the Rapture, but rather from those who will be alive during the last half of the Great Tribulation, and just before the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. Zechariah 13:8
  • In Romans 11:28-32, Paul reminded his readers, just as God’s rejection of Israel was a part of His plan, so was their regeneration and restoration – Vs. 29, For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
  • Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God, for His love is manifested to us through His promises. Romans 8:39, Romans 11:33-36

The Eight Privileges God gave to Israel:

1. Adoption – Exodus 4:22 – God adopted Israel as His “firstborn son” through His call to Abraham.

2. Glory – Exodus 13:21 – The Shekinah glory was the visible manifestation of God’s presence in the pillar of cloud during the day and the pillar of fire during the night, and in the glory of His presence in the Tabernacle.

3. Five Covenants –

    1. Conditional – God says: “I will if you will.”
    2. Unconditional – God says: “I will.”
      1. The unconditional covenants:
        1. The Abrahamic – Genesis 12:1-3, which was later repeated to Isaac, and Jacob, and again in Genesis 35:10-12 – God has provided no other vehicle for His blessings than through His covenants with the Jewish people.
        2. The Mosaic – Exodus 24:1-8
        3. The Moabic – Deuteronomy 29-30
          (The error of the term “Palestinian”)
        4. The Davidic – 2 Samuel 7:8-16
        5. The New Covenant – Jeremiah 31:31 – which is still in force today

Containing five stages:

a) I will show you
b) I will give you
c) You will possess
d) You will possess forever
e) All the nations of the earth will benefit

And five stages of blessing:

a) I will bless you
b) I will greatly bless you
c) You shall be a blessing
d) I will bless those who bless you
e) Through you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.

4. The Law – which is “within” the Torah – the first five books of the Bible.

5. Service to God – Exodus 19:5-6 – the Israelites were to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation unto God.

6. The Promises –

     a. Exodus 6:2-8 – The covenant with Abraham confirmed.
     b. Exodus 23:27 – the legal right to the land established.
     c. Numbers 13:2 – the land given to Israel confirmed.
     d. Numbers 34:1-12 – the boundaries of the land established.
     e. Joshua 1:2-8 – The promises affirmed to Joshua.