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 LSB “Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As Yahweh lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’15 but, ‘As Yahweh lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ For I will return them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.16 “Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,” declares Yahweh, “and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the crevices 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 I will first doubly repay their iniquity and their sin because they have profaned My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable idols and with their abominations.”19 O Yahweh, my strength and my strong defense, And my refuge in the day of distress, To You the nations will come From the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, Futility and things of no profit.”20 Can man make gods for himself? Yet they are not gods! 21 “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know— This time I will make them know My power and My might; And they shall know that My name is Yahweh.”
Jeremiah 30:1-3 LSB “The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,2 “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.3 For behold, days are coming,’ declares Yahweh, ‘when I will return the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah.’ Yahweh says, ‘I will also cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’”
Jeremiah 32:36-44 LSB ““So now, therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you are saying, ‘It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence.’37 Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have banished them in My anger, in My wrath, and in great indignation; and I will cause them to return to this place and make them inhabit it in safety.38 And they shall be My people, and I will be their God;39 and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them.40 And I will cut an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.41 And I will rejoice over them to do them good and will truly plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.42 For thus says Yahweh, ‘Just as I brought all this great evil on this people, so I am going to bring on them all the good that I am promising them.43 Thus fields will be bought in this land of which you all are saying, “It is a desolation, without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.”44 Men will buy fields for money, sign and seal deeds, and call in witnesses in the land of Benjamin, in the surroundings of Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negev; for I will return their fortunes,’ declares Yahweh.”
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 LSB “Therefore, remember that formerly you—the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands—12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups one and broke down the dividing wall of the partition15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might create the two into one new man, making peace,16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having in Himself put to death the enmity.17 And He came and preached the good news of peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, is growing into a holy sanctuary in the Lord,22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”
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.