The Holy One in Israel

Monday, April 4, 2016

“So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” (Ezekiel 39:7 KJV).

The King has returned!

Friend, hopefully, you read today’s Scripture slowly. Lest you did not, we duplicate its final words: “…the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” Note the little two-letter (seemingly insignificant) preposition “in.” Usually, in the Old Testament, we read of “the Holy One of Israel.” That term highlights that the Being separate from sinners—the Creator God—belonged exclusively to the nation Israel (as opposed to all nations). But, in today’s Scripture, the underlying thought goes beyond Israel merely having a relationship with God. Here, He is “in” Israel—not the “the Holy One of Israel” but rather “the Holy One in Israel!” You must be cognizant of the context of today’s Scripture to fully appreciate the change in terminology.

Chapters 38 and 39 of the Prophet Ezekiel’s giant book explicate the Antichrist’s reign and Jesus Christ’s return to fight and destroy him and his confederacy of nations (Battle of Armageddon). Also highlighted is the re-gathering, salvation, and restoration of the nation Israel so that she enters Jesus Christ’s Millennial Kingdom on Earth. The Jews, punished by God for centuries of pagan idolatry, have been scattered for over 2,500 years throughout every nation under heaven. At the point of today’s Scripture, this dispersion has ended.

At the time of today’s Scripture, Israel’s Messiah (Jesus) is no longer a royal exile in heaven. He went there 2,000 years ago when they refused to have Him as their King and demanded His crucifixion. Now, He is back, and He is literally standing in the land of Palestine (cf. Zechariah 14:4; Zechariah 8:23). The whole world can see Him in a physical body, the visible representation of the invisible God, literally right there in Israel’s midst! How exciting! Little wonder, we read: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7).

Return, LORD! #2

Friday, November 20, 2015

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel (Numbers 10:35,36 KJV).

What does today’s Scripture mean?

God was not at all surprised when Israel conspired with Rome to sentence Jesus Christ to death. The Holy Spirit had written in Psalm 2 nearly 10 centuries prior: “[1] Why do the heathen [Gentiles] rage, and the people [Israel] imagine a vain thing? [2] The kings of the earth [Gentiles] set themselves, and the rulers [Israel] take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed [“Christ” Jesus], saying, [3] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them [Gentile and Jew] in derision. [5] Then shall he speak unto them [Gentile and Jew] in his wrath, and vex them [Gentile and Jew] in his sore displeasure.”

The Old Testament provides various previews of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in wrath (cf. today’s Scripture). Amos chapters 1 and 2 identify the “flight path” the Lord Jesus Christ will take once He leaves the third heaven, His return “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). He will enter Earth’s atmosphere in Damascus, Syria, along the eastern Mediterranean shore. Flying southward, He visits (Gentile) Gaza and Edom. Turning northward on the Sinai Peninsula, He sends fire also into the land of the Ammonites, and Moab. Finally, flying westward, He crosses the Jordan River, reaching Palestine, judging the Jews—Judah (southern kingdom) and Israel (northern kingdom). Judgment not only falls on the Gentiles, but also on Israel.

Zechariah 14:4 says Jesus Christ lands and stands on the Mount of Olives, exactly where He left Earth some 2,000 years earlier (Acts 1:11,12). He and His angelic armies defeat the Antichrist and his armies (Revelation 19:11-21; Zechariah 14:1-3,11,12), and all lost Jews (Zechariah 13:8,9), allowing only the Little Flock (Israel’s believing remnant) to enter His earthly kingdom. The King has “returned” to Israel!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Have we been ‘grafted into Israel?’

Zechariah and Dispensationalism

Thursday, July 23, 2015

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:9,10 KJV).

What can the Prophet Zechariah teach us about dispensational Bible study?

A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine Jesus Christ’s two comings: these prophets saw one coming. In hindsight, however, we see two prophesied comings. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)

Today’s Scripture describes Messiah coming twice: first, He came meek and lowly, and then He will return in power and glory. These two comings are according to prophecy, “that which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). The Old Testament prophets were unaware of two additional comings of Jesus Christ to divide the two prophesied comings—one coming to start our Dispensation of Grace (save Saul of Tarsus and start the Body of Christ) and one to end it (save the Body of Christ from enduring the seven-year Tribulation). These are the two comings according to mystery, that “which was kept secret since the world began” but was manifested through Paul’s epistles (Romans 16:25,26).

Today’s Scripture (cf. Matthew 21:1-9) first predicts Jesus Christ riding the donkey into Jerusalem, the “Triumphal Entry” (First Coming). Then, it mentions His glorious return to destroy Israel’s enemies, bring everlasting peace, and establish His earthly kingdom over the Gentiles (Second Coming). Zechariah knew nothing of our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ. The mystery was not only “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9), but also completely hidden from Israel’s prophets. God kept a secret from Satan—He would use Calvary’s crosswork to form the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Dispensation of Grace (and its two comings) was also withheld from the Old Testament prophets, including Zechariah. Wow!

When the LORD Turns Israel’s Captivity #8

Friday, April 24, 2015

“That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee” (Deuteronomy 30:3 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, Moses prophesies Israel’s glorious future restoration!

The Lord Jesus Christ summarized Israel’s glorious re-gathering and restoration in Mark 13:26,27: “[26] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. [27] And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven” (cf. Matthew 24:30,31).

At His Second Coming, the Lord Jesus will send His angels to gather Israel’s believing remnant scattered around the world. They have physically survived the horrors of the seven-year Tribulation. While they have endured the Antichrist’s tyrannical reign, he has killed many believing Jews (Revelation 7:9; Revelation 20:4). As Revelation 19:11–20:7 teaches, Jesus Christ slays the Antichrist, whisks his soul off to the Lake of Fire, and slaughters the anti-Israeli troops poised throughout the Middle East. Satan is bound in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years. Israel’s believing remnant will be physically brought to the Promised Land; the Jewish saints of old, and those the Antichrist executed, will be bodily resurrected, entering that 1000-Year Reign of Christ.

As God sees it, there is no Israel today; Israel is fallen (Romans chapter 11). The “Israel” today is not the Israel of God. Men created it. Israel is in unbelief today. God is not forming Israel today; God is making the Church the Body of Christ. When we see the disarray and conflict in the Middle East today, we know that God is not involved there. If He were, there would not be a single enemy of Israel in the Middle East! There would be no such war, no such hostility against Israel. In His own time, God will move in, and take care of the Middle East, but not until He has finished our dispensation!

After God chastens Israel for breaking His Covenant of Law, He will bring them back into His land, forgiven, redeemed, and permanently….

*By the way, if you are interested, Grace School of the Bible will be hosting a three-day grace Bible conference this weekend in Chicago. It will be streamed live online, beginning tonight (7PM Central U.S. time) and ending Sunday evening. You can find more info at http://understandgrace.com/conference/gsb-soldiers-training-for-service/.

The Apocalypse, God’s Lips, and Our Mouths

Monday, March 23, 2015

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103 KJV).

What is the “Apocalypse” and how can it be honey from God’s lips to our mouths?

A Christian brother told me he utterly feared the Book of the Revelation. Doubtless a saved man, certain of his home in heaven because of the Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary on his behalf. Yet, in light of Revelation 22:18-19, he dreaded studying that last Bible book: he feared “adding to it” or “taking away from it” would bring God’s chastisement on him. The poor brother had to learn that that warning is given to unbelievers in Israel’s program, not us believers (members of the Body of Christ) in this the Dispensation of Grace.

While people often use the term “Apocalypse” in religious senses, they usually have little to no grasp of what the term means in the Bible. The first word of the Revelation is apokalupsis—“revelation, unveiling, uncovering.” As the (Greek) Bible uses it, “Apocalypse” describes the unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS is hidden in the third heaven, having not been seen in 2,000 years, exiled since His beloved nation Israel rejected Him. The door to the third heaven is currently closed, but one day it will swing open, and out will ride the Lord Jesus Christ! He will be leading tens of thousands of angelic soldiers to purge Earth of all its unbelievers, utterly slaughtering those who have persecuted His Israel—stolen her land and killed her people. Just as Satan’s plan of evil crescendos, and it looks hopeless, the God of creation wins and then reigns over all creation!

No wonder John wrote to Israel in Revelation 1:3: “Blessed [happy] is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” The book of the Revelation (“Apocalypse”) came from God’s lips; it should be as sweet honey to our mouths! Let us read it. It comforts us that evil will lose in the end, and our Saviour will be exalted in the end. Let us use our mouths to praise His holy name! 🙂

Israel, Be Still, and Know That He is God

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is a well-known verse from the book of Psalms; we look at it briefly within its context.

“[1] God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. [2] Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [3] Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”

As believing Israel struggles through Daniel’s 70th week, persecution by the Antichrist and his followers, JEHOVAH is her shelter and strength. He has a watchful eye on her, to “see” her through the seven-year Tribulation!

“[4] There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. [5] God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. [6] The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. [7] The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

Jesus Christ has now arrived on Earth, concluded those seven years, defeated Israel’s enemies in fire and wrath, redeemed and delivered His believing Jews, now become “Immanuel,” “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Zechariah 8:23).

“[8] Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. [9] He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. [10] Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. [11] The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

Israel rejoices that she is free from her captives, never again to fear oppression or war. Her King is sitting on David’s throne in Zion, Jerusalem, urging her to “be still,” rest, and enjoy Him, for she is now become His vessel to reach the Gentiles!

NOTE: As I announced Friday, I have been diagnosed with double-lung pneumonia (which can be fatal). Currently, I am on medication, improving in strength and appetite, recuperating slowly with much rest. Later this week, I visit my family doctor for a follow-up exam. I will provide additional info in the near future. Thank you for your continued prayer!

Swords, Plowshares, and Right Division

Sunday, August 31, 2014

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4 KJV).

Before there is world peace, there must first be world war.

Today’s Scripture is often quoted by Christians and non-Christians to advocate world peace, but they obviously overlook Joel 3:10: “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” Then, to make matters worse, we find today’s Scripture quoted in Micah 4:3: “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

It is Scriptural to “beat … swords into plowshares, and … spears into pruninghooks (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3). It is also Scriptural to “Beat … plowshares into swords, and … pruninghooks into spears(Joel 3:10). Why does God’s Word teach two completely different ideas here? Dispensational Bible study is just as important to Israel as it is to us in the Dispensation of Grace! “Rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) is necessary—to not separate (divide) these passages is to confuse them. Again, Israel must also use the Bible dispensationally.

The key to understanding these “Bible contradictions” is to realize that “beating plowshares into swords and pruninghooks into spears” belongs in one dispensation, and “beating swords into plowshares and spears into pruninghooks” belongs in another dispensation. In Israel’s program, there is a time when war and weapons are necessary, and there is a time when war has ended, peace reigns, and agricultural production increases dramatically.

When we study the contexts of these passages, we learn that Joel 3:10 applies to the wars of the seven-year Tribulation period (especially the Battle of Armageddon), and Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 describe the subsequent Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, when Satan is removed from Earth, and world peace from God will be in effect. What clarity!