PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART 106
The disbanding of Judea and the humiliation of Jerusalem by the Gentiles is more or less an illusion. For God has never given up on the genuine Yahweh worshippers (Romans 11:1-6). The spiritual kingdom of heaven was not and is not a replacement of the Jewish race or nation, but a mental and moral revival of the times of Moses and David. The Gentiles were the means and tools by which God grew Israel into a people to God’s liking by the Canaanites, the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans, and anyone else down into the twenty-first century AD. Gentle dominance was and is temporary. And Paul would not let his Gentile converts forget that they are only wild branches grafted into Sarah’s roots (Romans 11:11-21). The Gentiles are the children of Hagar, that would and did become competitors for the favor and the love of God (Galatians 4:21-31). At best, the Gentiles could be, being proselytes to Judaism. The Romans, for a long time, regarded the Christians as Jewish proselytes, and persecuted them as Jews (Acts 18:1-4). Paul, himself, was well treated in Rome, until the Jews rebelled (Acts 28:30-31). Thus, Paul was not the first to talk about a limit for the Gentile’s time to leave their mark on Israel (Romans 11:25-32). Jesus too predicted an end to the Gentile’s oppression of the people of God. Now, who are the true people of Yahweh (God)? And in the “New Israel,” after the intermediary kingdom of Christ (What is being called the spiritual kingdom of heaven), the Gentiles will no longer lead, but they will serve again the New Israel (Zechariah 8:20-23).
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; for these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all that is written. Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:20-24).
Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
As regards the gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards his election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy. For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all (Romans 11:25-32).
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WAS AND IS AN INTERMEDIARY REIGN OF CHRIST
Jesus’ reign began with “His First Coming,” and it will end, not at “His Second Coming,” but at the end of the “One Thousand Year’s Reign.” At that time, Jesus will hand over “His Reign” to the Father (I Corinthians 15:24-28). John Zebedee, who hoped to govern one of the tribes in the new Israel, received this message from the Spirit, while he was the head pastor over Philadelphia, and where the Church struggled with Satan (Revelation 3:7-13). John had been a pillar in Jerusalem before (Galatians 2:9), and he will again be in the new temple, in the new Jerusalem, named after Jesus. Israel will become the “Bride of the Lamb.” There will come a time when Israel will welcome Jesus as their Messiah (Luke 13:35; Matthew 23:39).
Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Revelation 3:10-14).
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:13).
Then I (John) saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while.
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who has not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life again, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life again until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6).
THE RESURRECTION OF HEAVEN AND EARTH AND ISRAEL
The rebirth of the human spirit, without a body to sustain it, is inadequate and incomplete. To Paul and to John Zebedee, for the human spirit and soul to live in eternity requires a total make-over of the world and of Israel herself. Creation, itself, has been strained enough, and groans for the delivery from the evil forces plaguing it. Hardships, sufferings, and trials have sapped creation of too much energy and it needs a desperate facelift. For Israel to be the bride of the Messiah, it needs a new and better environment.
I (Paul) consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of god. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes or what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience (Romans 8:18-25).
Then I (John) saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed;
On the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Revelation 21:1-14).
ISRAEL’S NEW TEMPLE AND COURTYARD ARE DECT IN SPLENDOR THAT OBLITERATES SOLOMON’S GLORY
The Jewis apocalyptics envisioned a new glorious material world with a super power Israel, and with riches beyond human imagination. Jews shall become the envy of the world and the Gentiles will delight being their hewers of wood and drawers of water.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: People shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I am going.’ Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (Zechariah 8:20-23).
But all the leaders said to all the congregation, “We have sworn to them (Gentiles) by the LORD, the God of Israel, and now we may not touch them. This we will do to them, and let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we swore to them.” And the leaders said to them, “Let them live.” So they became hewers of wood and drawers of water for all the congregations, as the leaders had said of them.
Joshua summoned them, and he said to them, “Why did you deceive us, saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you dwell among us? Now therefore you are cursed, and some of you shall always be slaves, hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.” They answered Joshua, “because it was told to your servants for a certainty that the LORD your God had commanded his servant Moss to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; so we feared greatly for our lives because of you, and did this thing. And now, behold, we are in your hand: do as it seems good and right in your sight to do to us.” So he did to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the people of Israel; and they did not kill them. But Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the LORD, to continue to this day, in the place which should choose (Joshua 9:19-27).