Three points that I insist on noting up front are these. – First, no human has ever been promised salvation or eternity with God, just because of the fact that they were born. – Second, I am not an Anti-Semite. On my Facebook page, “The Conservative Christian,” we sometimes get comments from folks who are bitterly Anti-Semitic. If you are one of these people, I am not here to chastise or do battle with you, but rather to explain why we choose to be friends and allies with the people of Israel. – Third, in order for us to discuss and study the people and events we hear about in the news every day, and discuss them in relation to biblical prophecy, we have to include the nation of Israel, the place and the people, because Israel, more particularly Jerusalem, will be Ground Zero just before Christ’s second coming.
Let’s get rid of this word
I don’t personally like, or maybe I should say I don’t agree with the word Judeo-Christian. That’s like saying black-white, or north-south, or even Protestant-Catholic. You can’t just take two opposing words, jam a hyphen between them, and make a logical word.
Judaism is a religion that means, among other things, “not Christian.” Christianity is a religion that means “a follower of Christ,” so it simply cannot be paired with Judaism. There are different ways of referring to converted Jews, such as saying “Jewish Christian” or Christian Jew” maybe, instead of making non-words.
The beginning of a Great Nation
We would all do well to pay close attention when God speaks, so as not to misunderstand what He is telling us. As you learn about the birth of the nation of Israel, you will learn of God’s love for these people, and how they are very special to Him. In fact, if you read the scripture in the next paragraph noting Abram’s appointment as the father of the nation, you will quickly learn that to curse Israel is to bring a curse upon yourself.
Now, most of us already know that Abram was appointed by God to be the father of a great nation, (see Genesis 12:1-3 KJV), although it will be a couple of generations later before you actually see the name, Israel. (see Genesis 32:28 KJV)
Then, God names the nation of Israel as His Chosen People (see Deuteronomy 7:6 KJV), He names the tribe of Levi to be His priests (see Deuteronomy 21:5 KJV), and He names Jerusalem as the city where He has chosen to put His name 1 Kings 11:36 KJV, one of many instances),
So, what does “chosen people” mean?
What I’m about to write here is my opinion. I am not a theologian, I’m not Jewish, and I am not a scholar of Jewish law and customs, and I don’t wish to get into a discussion where I must rebut opposing views. Therefore, I will give you my interpretation which you can accept or not.
God chose the children of Israel to be his spiritual messengers on earth, to receive His laws and teachings, and then to convey them through word and deed to the world. In short, they were to spread the Word of God to the world, thus bringing the world to salvation through belief and faith in the Most High God.
Note: Contrary to some beliefs, being a chosen people does not mean automatic rights to Heaven by accident of birth. Just like Christians today, an Israelite’s faith in God, before the new covenant, determined his eternal home after death, with two exceptions! First, they had to have faith in God, instead of the Son of God as we do now, because at that time Jesus was years from being born and dying for our sins. Second, salvation was not permanent and secure as it is now with faith in Jesus, because sin meant separation from God, and God could not be approached until that sin had been forgiven by a sin offering. The sins never ended so the sacrifices never ended, that is until Jesus became that ultimate sacrifice, the last sacrifice that would ever need to be offered for our sins.
Wait a minute. More chosen people?
With the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, things changed. Most Jews didn’t, and still don’t believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah. That doesn’t change the fact that He was the promised deliverer of the nation of Israel, the One prophesied about in their own scripture, and the One who would make a new covenant with them. (see Jeremiah 31:31-34 KJV)
I’m about to give you two examples where the Lord has chosen a people to be His chosen ones, one in the old testament under the old covenant, and the other in the new testament under the new covenant. Pay close attention to how similar the wording of each verse is to the other.
The first is from the old testament and the old covenant where God chooses the Jews as His chosen ones:
“For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.” (Deuteronomy 14:2 KJV)
The second is from the new testament and the new covenant where God chooses both Jews and Gentiles who have believed on the Son of God and have been born again as His chosen ones:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV)
So, what about the Jews now?
God has always had a special affection for the Jews and the land of Israel. He still does. But, they had stopped being messengers of His Word and were no longer working to bring outsiders to faith in God. It was time for the promised Messiah. There would be a New Covenant, a new message, a Savior for both Jews and Gentiles, a new chosen people, and some new commandments. The focus would be taken off Israel and the entire world would become the recipients of grace through each individual’s faith in the shed cleansing blood of the only begotten son of God, Jesus Christ. Wow, what a blessed time for the inhabitants of a sin-ridden earth.
A few past and current prophecies
It would take up too much time to list all the past prophecies of Israel, but anyone with internet and a decent search engine will find scads of documented prophecies. However, a few would be; God’s love for Israel, the dispersion, persecution, desolation, and preservation of Israel.
Current prophecies include the regathering of the Jewish people, the nationhood, the reclamation of the desolate land, the reviving of the original Hebrew language, the re-occupation of Jerusalem, their military strength, and Israel’s becoming the focal point of world politics.
NOTE: In the previous two paragraphs, the prophecies I mentioned were taken from the website, Lamb & Lion Ministries, The Jews In Prophecy.
Each of the following events can be found in the Book of Revelation. I mention these verses, not to explain them or tell their stories, but to show you reference points where God will be maintaining a relationship with the Jews
The sealing of the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. (See Revelation 7:3-8 KJV) – (As a side note, the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that they are the 144,000 referred to above, although I don’t hear of too many of them describing themselves of Jewish.)
In Revelation 11:1 we find that the new temple has been built and people are worshipping in it.
In Revelation 11:3, the two witnesses are first mentioned. No one knows who they are, but I think they could be two old testament men of God, possibly the two who never died. In keeping with the subject, these men would be Jews. (This is an interesting story if you care to look it up. See Revelation 11:3-12 KJV)
In Revelation 12:14, we find Israel flying into the wilderness to be protected from the dragon (Satan) for three and a half years.
In Revelation 20:3, we find a verse that doesn’t quite tell us everything that we are searching for at the moment, but we can use past knowledge to fill in the gap. I’ll show you the verse and then give a brief explanation.
“And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Revelation 20:3 KJV)
Verses 3 and 4 mentions “the thousand years” or the Millennium and tells us who will rule and reign during that period, but it doesn’t tell us who will be the residents for that 1,000 years. I’m sure that a great part of these residents will be the thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of Jews who are still alive (those who had been protected from the dragon in Rev 12:14). Then, of course, there will be all the tribulation saints (Jews and Gentiles) who made it through the tribulation alive.
Later, at the end of the peaceful Millennium, Satan will be released for a while from the abyss (the bottomless pit) to take up his old ways of deceiving the nations. He will be largely successful, and will once again try to wage war against God. In Revelation 20:9, Satan and his armies surrounded the “beloved city” which by now we should know is Jerusalem. It will be from there that Jesus will reign during the Millennium.
Lastly, we have the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. (Revelation 21:2-14 KJV) In verse 12, it’s gates ware named after the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Then in verse 14, it’s twelve foundations had in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
That should be enough!
If by now I have not convinced you that the Jews have a special place in God’s end time plans, then I will leave you to your beliefs. As Christians, we already know the things I’ve written about, because we have the Word of God to tell us and many of us have been taught it all our lives. But, the Jews, for the most part, don’t read the New Testament, so they don’t know. They should, but they are so bogged down in their law, they are not allowed to believe that their Messiah has already come. And, until they do believe, every Jew that dies is destined for hell.
Don’t hate these people for their unbelief. Talk to them. Witness to them. A born again Jew can witness and minister to his own so much more quickly, easily, and more often than we can. He might be believed by one of his own more readily, than from an outsider like myself.
I grew up in the United States Deep South, just like my father and his father, and his father before him. I can think of no place I’d rather live than the South, and nothing I would rather be than a Southerner. However, just by being a Southerner, I am a target for hate.
Slavery was very popular all over a young United States, but today it is only remembered as existing in the South. Even though none of my family on my father’s or mother’s side ever owned slaves, still I am white and live in the South and therefore must be hated.
By the same token, the Jews are remembered for the crucifixion of Jesus. Never mind that the Romans crucified Him! Many of the Jews didn’t like Him so they are the only ones remembered for His death.
I hope this article can bring to at least a few, a better understanding of, not only the Jews, but also the fast approaching end times, the tribulation period, and the second coming of Christ.
Thanks for listening. Please pray for us, and we’re asking God’s blessings on you and yours.