Growing up in church during the late nineties and early two-thousands, I was simultaneously terrified of the end-times yet fascinated by the movies produced by Cloud Ten Pictures. If you’ve never seen a great low-quality end-times film, I highly recommend it; some of my favorites are; Left Behind, Judgement, Vanished, and The Mark.
Last year I read the book of Revelation for the first time. I always skipped it during my yearly Bible reading because how I had perceived it from childhood scared me. However, as I was about to start studying Second Corinthians, I felt strongly that I needed to spend three months in Revelation instead. With that being said, I do not pretend to be an expert on the subject, nor is this post an exposition on the entirety of Revelation. During my three months in Revelation, I consulted a four-view commentary, a prophecy handbook, Premillennial Dictionary, and John MacArthur’s Commentary set. I will say upfront; I am a Premillinialist. I know that calls into question just how Calvinistic I am; go ahead and throw in there that I hold to believers baptism. I am not concerned with fitting a theological label; I endeavor to study, consult church history and reach a biblical conclusion.
The purpose of this post is to put forward the biblical case that Israel and the Jewish people are the epicenters of the biblical narrative from beginning to end. The end-times are not doom and gloom but the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the salvation of Israel, and the defeat of satan.
To understand the end of Scripture, we must first understand the beginning of Scripture. To do so, I will present a few Old Testament passages and then offer comments.
Jeremiah 16:14-21 TLV “Therefore, the days are quickly coming,” declares Adonai, “when it will no longer be said. ‘As Adonai lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’ 15 Rather, ‘As Adonai lives, who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ So I will bring them back into their land that I gave to their fathers. 16 “Behold, I will send for many fishers,” says Adonai, “and they will fish for them. After that, I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down from every mountain and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For My eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes. 18 First I will repay them double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have profaned My land, and they have filled My possession with the carcasses of their vile things and their abominations.” 19 Adonai, my strength, my stronghold, my refuge in the day of affliction, to You will the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, futility and useless things.” 20 Will man make gods for himself? Yet they are not gods. 21 “So I will surely make them know— this time I make them know My hand and My might— they will know that My Name is Adonai.”
Jeremiah 30:1-3 TLV “The word came to Jeremiah from Adonai, saying: 2 thus says Adonai, the God of Israel: “Write all the words that I have spoken to you in a scroll. 3 For behold, the days are coming,” declares Adonai, “when I will return My people Israel and Judah from exile,” declares Adonai. “I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they will possess it.”
Jeremiah 32:36-44 TLV “Now therefore thus says Adonai, the God of Israel, concerning this city, about which you say, “It is handed over to the king of Babylon by the sword, famine, and pestilence. 37 “See, I will gather them out of all the countries, where I have driven them in My anger, My fury, and great wrath, and I will bring them back to this place and cause them to dwell securely. 38 They will be My people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them one heart and one way, so they may fear Me forever; for their good and for their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never turn away from doing good for them. I will put My fear in their hearts, so that they will not depart from Me. 41 “Yes, I will delight in doing good for them, and with all My heart and all My soul I will in truth plant them in this land.” 42 For thus says Adonai: “Just as I have brought all this great evil on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them. 43 So fields will be bought in this land, about which you are saying: ‘It will be a desolation, without man or beast; it is handed over to the Chaldeans.’ 44 Men will buy fields for money and sign and seal the deeds and call witnesses in the land of Benjamin and in the areas around Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah, in the towns of the hill-country, in the towns of the foothills, and in the cities of the South—because I will bring them back from exile.” It is a declaration of Adonai.”
There are several other Scriptures I could have shared. Also worth mentioning are Amos 9:11-15, Micah chapter four, Zechariah chapter eight, and several portions of Ezekiel. First Samuel 15:29 says the eternal God of Israel. Isaiah chapter two tells us that the Lord reigns from Zion, chapter eleven foretells of the root of Jesse (Jesus), who will recover the land of Israel. Isaiah fourteen says the Lord will restore Israel. The point is God established a covenant with Israel; it began in Genesis chapter twelve, and it stands to this day. God is not a covenant breaker nor a transferer. The Church has not replaced Israel. In Romans chapters nine through eleven, Paul said that God still has a covenant with Israel and that we have been grafted into Israel. Jews who receive Messiah do not convert to Christianity; they do not throw off their Judaism – in the Messiah, they give full expression to their Judaism.
Ephesians 2:11-22 TLV “Therefore, keep in mind that once you—Gentiles in the flesh—were called “uncircumcision” by those called “circumcision” (which is performed on flesh by hand). 12 At that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Messiah Yeshua, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. 14 For He is our shalom, the One who made the two into one and broke down the middle wall of separation. Within His flesh He made powerless the hostility— 15 the law code of mitzvot contained in regulations. He did this in order to create within Himself one new man from the two groups, making shalom, 16 and to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross—by which He put the hostility to death. 17 And He came and proclaimed shalom to you who were far away and shalom to those who were near— 18 for through Him we both have access to the Father by the same Ruach. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. 20 You have been built on the foundation made up of the emissaries and prophets, with Messiah Yeshua Himself being the cornerstone. 21 In Him the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple for the Lord. 22 In Him, you also are being built together into God’s dwelling place in the Ruach.”
I want to allow Scripture to speak for itself. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. Jesus is the hope of the believer, He is the cornerstone of the Church, and Jesus is coming again. He is coming again to Jerusalem to defeat Israel’s enemies, save His people and establish His Kingdom. The promise began with Israel, and it will culminate with Israel, and as a Christian, I stand with the Jewish people and for the nation of Israel.
If God was done with the Jews and Israel, explain the continued persecution and absolute hatred for the Jews after the time of Jesus. If the nation of Israel didn’t matter to God, explain 1948; if Jerusalem and Zion are no longer His places of rule and where the Word comes forth, explain 1967. The God of Israel of the Old Testament is still God in Israel today. I don’t view Scripture as Old and New Testament but First Covenant and Renewed Covenant. The New Covenant was prophesied to Israel in Jeremiah 31:33, 32:40, and Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26. The book of Revelation is the culmination of that promise.