One of the most heartbreaking scriptures that can be found in the Word of God is the following verse from the gospel according to Matthew. These words were spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ almost two thousand years ago.
O JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM, thou that KILLEST the PROPHETS, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you DESOLATE. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:37-39)
Please read the words above carefully, and listen to what the creator of all things is saying. Jesus the Christ [Messiah] is telling the people of Israel that they had killed and stoned the prophets that were sent to them. Then Jesus went on to say that He often wanted to gather them under his wings, but they were not willing to come to Him. It is important to realize that Jesus was not just talking about His limited time here on earth, and His ministry to Israel during that time, but was talking about His ministry to them since their very inception. For it was the eternal Christ who sent the prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel to warn the children of Israel for countless years to return unto Him and to amend their wicked ways. In the parable of the vineyard [Matthew 21:33-46] the Lord Jesus Christ spoke in similar terms when He described Israel as the husbandmen [gardeners] who stoned and killed the servants that were sent to them, including the Son of the householder [God] who is Christ. The servants were sent to gather the fruit from the field which the Householder [God] was expecting. The Lord then spoke this word to those Jewish religious leaders who stood before Him:
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be TAKEN FROM YOU, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matthew 21:43)
The Lord had declared that the kingdom would be taken from the UNBELIEVING Jewish people and given to a another nation (BELIEVING JEWS AND GENTILES) which would bring forth the fruits which the Lord desired. That nation is the nation that Peter spoke about here:
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: Which in time past were not a people, but are NOW the PEOPLE of GOD: which had not obtained MERCY, but NOW have obtained MERCY. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
This holy nation is presently made up of Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus Christ. Not only that but it is a spiritual nation and entrance into this nation is through Jesus Christ alone. Not only that but this nation can be called a spiritual Temple, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone, and every true believer are living stones in that very same Temple!
The Covenant Of Death Without Christ
The prophet Isaiah prophesied of Christ to the children of Israel in the following passage of scripture:
Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a COVENANT with DEATH, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made LIES our REFUGE, and under FALSEHOOD have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in ZION for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28:14-16)
To be out of covenant with the God who offers everlasting life is to have a covenant with death. That is what the prophet Isaiah was telling the children of Israel. The Jewish apostle Paul, who was formerly a severe persecutor and murderer of Christians, referred to that very same scripture when talking about those who followed the Lord by simple faith.
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? [Why?] Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion [Zion] a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall NOT be ashamed. (Romans 9:30-33)
The apostle Paul tells us that the children of Israel were seeking the righteousness of God by their law keeping, but the Gentiles sought the very same Christ by faith and that was acceptable to God. Paul is referring to the very same verse from the prophet Isaiah. The apostle Peter referred to that same verse from Isaiah the prophet right here:
Ye also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion [Zion] a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (1 Peter 2:5-6)
Israel And Their Rejection Of The Messiah
There are many people (perhaps billions) who do not realize that Jesus Christ was the one sent, from the side of the Father in Heaven, to this earth at the time that was prophesied by the prophets. Also keep in mind that the Christ of the scriptures is greater than any of the prophets that have ever existed, because He is the very one who sent the prophets in the first place. When Jesus came to this earth He was rejected by His own people which of course is the Jewish people.
He [Jesus Christ] was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his OWN (JEWS), and his OWN (JEWS) received him NOT. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that BELIEVE on his name: (John 1:10-12)
There can be no question that the people of Israel for the most part rejected Jesus Christ when He came to this earth. I remind you at this time that the word Christ means Messiah. When Jesus the Christ arrived on planet earth it was at the exact time that the prophets had said He would come. Let’s take a look at some of the incredible prophecies regarding Christ right now:
The prophecy of the everlasting one to be born in Bethlehem by Micah the prophet. [Micah 5:2] was FULFILLED when Christ was born [Matthew 2:6]
The prophecy of a virgin giving birth to Immanuel [God with us] by Isaiah the prophet [Isaiah 7:14] was FULFILLED when Christ was born of a virgin. [Matthew 1:18-23]
The prophecy of the death of Christ on the cross by Isaiah the prophet in [Isaiah 53:1-12] was FULFILLED when Christ died on the cross. [Mark 15:28,Luke 22:37,1 Peter 2:24-25, 3:18, Acts 8:32]
For those of you who are new to the Bible these scripture references may be a bit confusing to you. For example if you see this reference [Isaiah 53:4-7] it means that you can turn to the table of contents in the Bible and find the book of Isaiah. After you find that book you can turn to chapter 53 and then go to verses 4 through 7 and you would find the following:
Surely he hath BORNE OUR GRIEFS, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was WOUNDED for OUR transgressions, he was BRUISED for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was UPON HIM; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid ON HIM the INIQUITY OF US ALL. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a LAMB to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:4-7)
This particular prophecy was given approximately 700 years before Jesus the Christ [Messiah] died on the cross for sinners like me and you. It describes perfectly what the Lord did for us on the cross. He was wounded for our transgressions [sins] and He took our punishment upon Himself. He remained silent when He was beaten and finally killed as a lamb to the slaughter. That is why John the Baptist said this when he saw Jesus:
The next day John seeth JESUS coming unto him, and saith, Behold the LAMB OF GOD, which taketh away the SIN of the WORLD. (John 1:29)
This is nothing less than incredible when you truly think about it, but such is the character of the awesome God that we serve.
What About The National State of Israel?
There was a very interesting confrontation between Jesus and the Jewish leaders of His time because they were resting on the fact that they were the children of Israel, and declaring Abraham to be their father. Lets pick it up in the middle of the conversation here with Jesus speaking to them:
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed [descendants]; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to KILL me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If GOD were YOUR Father, ye would LOVE ME: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but HE SENT ME. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:36-44)
Jesus the Christ [Messiah] was not impressed with the Abrahamic lineage of the religious Jews who stood before Him. In fact he rebuked them for desiring to KILL Him. He told them that they would have LOVED HIM, if GOD was their Father, because GOD is the one who SENT His Son to them! Jesus then went on to say that the DEVIL was their Father!
John the Baptist was the person who was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus the Christ [Messiah] and he said something similar regarding those who claimed Abraham as their Father:
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (Matthew 3:7-9)
Most people believe that John was referring to the stones along the river where he was baptizing the people and that is probably correct. The main point that John was making here is that God is not impressed with any group of people, whether Jewish or Gentile. The focus will always be on Jesus the Christ [Messiah] and what you will do with Him.
The point that I make here is that this whole Gospel message is about Jesus Christ and not Israel. There is a mantra that is being preached in the land in these modern times, and phrases such as ‘Israel Is God’s Timepiece’ or ‘Bless Israel [ethnic Israel] or you will be cursed.’ are being being used to seduce many away from the truth. I refuse to be condemned by such talk because I know that Jesus Christ is the only timepiece that I need to be concerned about, and it is not what I do with Israel but it is what Israel [and everyone else] does with the person of Jesus Christ.
The whole prophetic Word of God will point you in the direction of Jesus Christ. The Tabernacle and Temple sacrifices were merely prophetic types and shadows of the ultimate and perfect sacrifice of Christ upon the cross. The Passover blood was a type of Jesus the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. [John 1:29] The Day of Atonement [Yom Kippur-the Day of covering] was another type of the blood sacrifice of Christ upon the cross. In fact the very veil in the Temple, where the High Priest would enter on that day, was torn in two from top to bottom by a supernatural act of God at the exact moment that Christ died! [Matthew 27:51] In fact the promise that God had given to Abraham stretches to the whole world and not to the small portion known as Israel today:
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:13)
Who Is The Israel Of God?
The key to understanding the whole matter of Israel is to understand the truth that there has always been an Israel within Israel.
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Galatians 3:6-9)
Every person who has put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is said to be blessed with faithful Abraham. True believers from every nation in the world are included in this promise.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is CHRIST. (Galatians 3:16)
Do not miss this because this verse shows us that Christ was the promised seed [descendant] and it was through Christ [Jesus] that the rest of the nations of the world would be blessed. If a person does not receive this promised seed, who is Jesus Christ, then it is very obvious that they are not included along with faithful Abraham.
For ye are all the CHILDREN OF GOD by FAITH in CHRIST JESUS. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither JEW nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither MALE nor FEMALE: for ye are all ONE in CHRIST JESUS. And IF ye be CHRIST’S, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and HEIRS according to the PROMISE. (Galatians 3:26-29)
The passage above tells us that there is absolutely no difference between the Jew and the Greek [meaning Gentile] and it shows us that we are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. The passage also tells us that if a person belongs to Christ then they are Abraham’s seed [spiritual descendant]. The apostle Paul made it clear that it was the spiritual circumcision of the heart that made a person a true Jew:
For he is NOT a JEW, which is one OUTWARDLY; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he IS a JEW, which is one INWARDLY; and circumcision is that of the HEART, in the SPIRIT, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of GOD. (Romans 2:28-29)
A Gentile person who puts their faith in Jesus Christ, and who receives the GIFT of salvation, has also become a “spiritual Jew” which is the Jew who has been circumcised in the heart. That same Gentile person is a true Jew, while the religious Jew who rejects Jesus Christ as Lord and Messiah is merely a Jew outwardly in the flesh (physical). That is EXACTLY the point which the Jewish apostle Paul made in that passage of scripture above. (Romans 2:28-29) The Jewish apostle Paul knew what he was talking about because he was formerly a Jew in the flesh only, and NOT the SPIRIT, that is UNTIL he got converted. After Paul’s conversion, he went on to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ himself. That is why it is absolutely ludicrous to tell people that the Jewish people are God’s CHOSEN people, despite their rejection of Jesus Christ! The same apostle Paul made the following statement:
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are NOT all ISRAEL, which are of ISRAEL: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the FLESH, these are NOT the children of God: but the children of the PROMISE are counted for the seed. (Romans 9:6-8)
Does that mean that God has forsaken the Jewish people? Absolutely not! [Romans 11:1-5] But what it does mean is that the Jewish people must come through the same door of salvation as the rest of the world because there is no other way to be saved. The Jewish people who REJECT Jesus Christ are merely Jews in the FLESH, but NOT in the Spirit, which is the only thing that matters! They ALL need to be born again of the Spirit! (John 3:1-8)
Be it known unto you ALL, and to all the people of ISRAEL, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, WHOM YE CRUCIFIED, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there SALVATION in any other: for there is NONE other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be SAVED. (Acts 4:10-12)
It is a despicable (and sickening) thing when you hear the so called “Christian Zionist” preachers, and so called “lovers of Israel” pandering to the Jewish people who reject Jesus Christ, and calling them “God’s chosen people.” You never hear them preaching the true gospel to them, or warning them that they are on the SAME road to an eternal Hell, that every other unbelieving person is on. The passage above should be read to those same unbelieving Jewish people, along with the following passage which will show them, and every other UNBELIEVER that the wrath of God is currently abiding upon them, and NOT his blessing!
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH of GOD abideth on him. (John 3:36)
If YOU are reading this article it is most important that you understand that the WRATH of GOD is upon YOU too, if you have never been truly born again of the Spirit of God, and have tasted of the true GIFT of salvation which he offers to YOU! There is no everlasting covenant for those who reject Jesus Christ. If you do not want Christ then you are still in your sins and the scriptures make that ever so clear. There is no longer a Jewish Tabernacle, nor is there a Jewish Temple and it is only the BLOOD that can atone for sin. [Leviticus 17:11] Jesus spoke those words to the Jewish people of His time and those words still stand true today:
And he said unto them, Ye are from BENEATH; I [Jesus] am from ABOVE: ye are of THIS WORLD; I am NOT of THIS WORLD. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in YOUR sins:for if ye believe NOT that I AM he [the Christ = Messiah], ye shall DIE in YOUR sins. (John 8:23-24)
True Believers Are Looking For A Heavenly City
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:8-10)
Abraham was not looking for a piece of property in the Middle East but he was looking for a Heavenly city where God was the builder.
Question: If Father Abraham and all of the other pillars of faith were looking for a Heavenly city and country, shouldn’t we also be looking for that same heavenly city and country if we claim to be His spiritual descendants?
But ye are come unto mount Sion [Zion], and unto the city of the living God, the HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are WRITTEN IN HEAVEN, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22-23)
The Lord Jesus Christ has the final word about everything and all judgment has been committed to Him. [John 5:22] The words from the passages below were spoken by Christ after He had risen from the dead and those same words still stand true today:
And he [Jesus the Messiah] said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be FULFILLED, which were written in the law of MOSES, and in the PROPHETS, and in the PSALMS, concerning ME (JESUS). Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved CHRIST [Messiah] to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in HIS NAME among all nations, BEGINNING at JERUSALEM. (Luke 24:44-47)
And he [Jesus the Messiah] said unto them, Go ye into ALL the WORLD, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that BELIEVETH and is baptized shall be saved; but he that BELIEVETH NOT shall be DAMNED. (Mark 16:15-16)