Most Christians' end time beliefs today are in the camp of Dispensational (the theology that God has divided history into different ages with which He conducts His rule over the world), Pre-Millenial (Christ will come before the Millennial Reign, which is the 1000 year reign of Christ mentioned in Revelation 20:1-7), and Rapture (the church will be caught up to heaven secretly prior to the Tribulation). They believe this way because it is what has been mass produced and marketed ever since the Scoffield Bible propagated these teachings and ever since Hal Lindsay's book called "Late Great Planet Earth" came out, which sold millions of copies. But this teaching actually goes back to a man named John Nelson Darby who lived from 1800 - 1882. He is known as the "Father of Modern Dispensationalism". (Some will say Dispensationalism goes back further still in the writings of a French philosopher named Pierre Poiret who lived from 1646-1719.) But prior to that none of the early Church Scholars taught any of this. Nor do we see the Apostle Paul (who wrote 2/3rds of the New Testament) teaching any of this, (how does Robert Breaker get around that?) nor does the book of Revelation, written by the Apostle John, tell us to view these letters as "time period letters". (Please see page on Dangerous Bibles to see why the Scoffield Bible is untrustworthy.)
I will attempt to illustrate another viewpoint on End Time Propechy in the following paragraphs of this page. I say attempt because I am not a scholar and the subject gets very involved, but I feel confident that you will come away with important information once I take on the modern End Time views. I would not care about any of this if I didn't think the Dispensational, Pre-Millenial, Rapture view stole glory away from Jesus Christ. But it does, not only because of how I have already stated Robert Breaker's teachings put a wedge between me and my Savior's teachings, and thereby a wedge in my relationship to Jesus but also because in this theology Christians have made everything in this current age we are in to center around the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. This has made idols of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel and you will see many Christian ministries today telling Christians to bow down to Israel and serve her if you want blessings from God. I intend to prove to you this is not only worship of someone/thing other than Jesus Christ, it is prejudice for a group of people above other people, when Jesus came to die for all of mankind. And it is also politics at its worst, which I will explain further on in this piece. Suffice it to say right now that everything about Christianity is supposed to center around Jesus Christ, not a people group and not a nation here on earth. (Someday there will be a new Jerusalem here on earth but that is different than mankind lifting up a current nation and people group.) And actually modern American Christians also lift up America and Israel equally and interpret Scripture based on those two elevations of nations and peoples. But is that how we are to approach Scripture? With a false foundation (or a foundation other than Scripture) and then build up from there? What would happen if you built a house that way? Well, I wouldn't want to be in that house when a storm or earthquake hit! (Matthew 7: 24 - 27 and I Corinthians 3: 10 - 15)
One of the main things I have a problem with in Dispensationalism is how they have taken the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation and have said that each letter represents an age that has followed right up to the current day we are in right now and up until Christ's return. In contrast, I believe the letters in Revelation were for churches that really existed in the day that the Apostle John was on the Isle of Patmos when Jesus appeared to Him and told him to write the letters to the churches. The reason why I don't think there can be a double meaning to the letters, such as stretching them out over history too, is because God has true and false representation in the Earth at all times. As an example, when Rome dominated the Earth in the Dark Ages and all kinds of heretical teachings abound, there were at least two groups of people (the Wadenses and the Abigenses) that were teaching Scripture and witnessing to the lost based solely on Scripture. (Please see http://www.reformationhappens.com/works/Waldenses/) And to this day we all know there are some who are truly seeking God and wanting to serve Him in Spirit and in Truth and then those who are teaching heresy in His name or those who are only Christian in name and cold in their formality. The other thing Dispensationalists do that I don't agree with, and actually this is my main beef with their views, is they teach that God will save all of the Jews during the Tribulation based on how God will never abandon His relationship with them. (they say they see this promise in Scripture but I will show you that what they project as happening in the future has already been fulfilled) Ironically they also teach the Holy Spirit is the restraining power that is keeping the Antichrist from rising up to power currently but that once the Holy Spirit and the Church are gone, (they believe the Church will be raptured prior to the Tribulation), the Antichrist will come to power and the Tribulation will take place. My question to you is how will the Jews get saved if the Holy Spirit ceases to be on the Earth? It takes the Holy Spirit to convict a heart of sin and a person's need for salvation. And how can the Holy Spirit cease to be on the Earth when God is Omnipresent? So, right there you can see they have some theological problems in how they interpret Scripture. And might I suggest the obvious that God has not abandoned His people the Jews because Jesus Christ, who was God who came to earth in the incarnation of a Jewish man, only focused on the nation of Israel during His ministry. And after He taught in their Temple and streets for 3 1/2 years, Jesus died in front of them on the Cross of Calvary. And even after they cried out against Jesus "Crucify Him and let His blood be on us and our children", (Matthew 27:25), God even sent His power on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts Chapter 2) in visible signs and in the languages of the Jewish people so they could know the Truth of the Gospel. Peter preached that day with great boldness and told them they had sinned by crucifying their Lord and Savior but told them they could accept Christ now with repentance. Three thousand Jews that day were saved (Acts 2:41). Later in Acts 4:4 another five thousand came to Christ. After the first Jewish Christian martyr named Stephen, a man named Saul, a Pharisee of Pharisees and a rampant persecutor of Christians got saved and he went on to preach the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles alike. Peter, a Jew who walked with Jesus, had a ministry of preaching to the Jews from the Day of Pentecost until he was crucified upside down as a martyr for Christ. And then in 70 AD God fulfilled a very solemn sign to the Jews to show them that they missed their day of visitation (Luke 19: 41 - 44) in that the Jewish Temple was destroyed in the most horrific of circumstances. The Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus, (a non Christian), wrote about this event in great detail in The Wars of the Jews (or you can get the complete works of Josephus that also has his writings on "Jesus and the Apostles from a man who saw it"). And today in our modern culture there are Messianic Synagogues established around the world because Jewish people have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. So I don't see how anyone can say that God has forgotten the Jewish people and I also don't see where in Scripture God says He is going to save "all" of them in some future generation. Think about it, if that was God's plan, why would he let so many millions of Jewish people die unsaved throughout the last 2000+ years (the amount of time since Christ's death) to only pick some future dispensation in which He is all of a sudden going to save ALL of THAT generation? It doesn't even make sense and it certainly doesn't fit with the consistent, balanced teaching of the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament alike, that there are only a remnant of believers in each generation. So I don't see how anyone can say that God has forgotten the Jewish people and I also don't see where in Scripture God says He is going to save "all" of them in some future generation.
believe what Christians are caught up in today in end-time teachings is
sensationalism, maybe because human beings have an inherit need to be excited
about things they can perpetuate and put their hands on as a project. But also
maybe we are being sold all of this because there are those who are instruments
of the devil, who are striving for power here on earth. The devil knows the
Scriptures and he has been twisting them ever since he asked Eve, "Did God say?
(Genesis 3:1) and he will influence people to believe anything that is going to
confuse and ruin the truth of the Gospel. So, I would like to suggest to you
that this modern movement of lifting up the nation of Israel and America's
"important role" as being the nation that stands with Israel, is a political
agenda more than a Christian one. Its the devil's plan to join politics and
religion in one end time powerful Antichrist movement and to take as many
Christians with him as he can.
I will attempt to show you facts that will prove this but before I do this I would like to point out that because Christians believe that God is going to save all of the Jews and that He is going to do it once they all get to Israel, there are Jewish organizations that take Christians' money to advance helping Jewish people getting back to Israel or in helping poor Jews to have food which takes this money out of the hands of Christian ministries that evangelize to the lost, because these Pro-Israel groups have no intention of evangelizing the Gospel to the Jewish people. The majority of the Christians do it though because they believe Genesis 12:3 trumps New Testament Scriptures such as Mark 16:15 and they want that extra blessing from God. Well that just shows we live in a greedy modern culture where we give to get blessed rather than give to obey Jesus. Please look up both of those two verses and decide which you think is more important to obey and then also see more about the real meaning of Genesis 12:3 on this website: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/it-true-god-blesses-those-who-bless-israel-and-curses-those-who-curse-israel/
One of the first problems I encountered in believing what Dispensationalists teach was in how they took Daniel 9:25-27 and they split the 70 weeks (of years = 490 years) to be divided up to say that 69 weeks (of years = 483 years) were fulfilled in succession and the last week (of years = 7 years which they say is the 7 year Tribulation) got thrown out way into the future because they say Jews rejected Christ rather than accepting him. (In case you are confused about why it says weeks but we are talking years, its because of how God says in the Book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 4:6) a day is a year and also how when the Jews wandered in the wilderness (Numbers 14:34) a day equaled a year so the Bible Scholars calculated 7 days (in a week) x 70 weeks which equals 490 years.) Now before I get into all of the teaching on the 70 weeks prophecy found in the Old Testament book of Daniel, let me make this obvious statement: God was not taken by surprise that the Jews were going to reject Jesus so He had no reason to say something in a way that He could not fulfill in succession. For example if you asked God how long until you would meet your future spouse and He answered 7 years but then you did something He didn't like so he stopped the clock at 6 years and threw the last year (which would be the year he fulfilled his promise) off into the future somewhere like 30 years from now. . . . . . you would call God a liar or a trickster at best because He didn't tell you straight that it was going to be 36 years from now. Well, since the Bible is clear that God does not lie nor does He repent from fulfilling His Word, (Numbers 23:19), we should not go along with a splitting of the years in this prophecy like the Dispensationalists teach.
Please take a look at Daniel 9:25-27 and read through it before we go further. Now, for background on the situation, the Jews were taken into captivity for their repeated idolatrous ways and Daniel who was a faithful man of God was also taken to Babylon. He lived in a better situation than most of the Jews there in that he lived as one of the king's advisors. In the beginning of Daniel Chapter 9, Daniel is reading the Book of Isaiah and finds that God had told the Prophet Jeremiah that after 70 years in captivity in Babylon, God would bring the Jews back to Jerusalem. It said that God would do this through a man named Cyrus. This encouraged Daniel because he wanted to get out of captivity but it actually was meant to do even more than that! Years later King Cyrus was also reading the Book of Isaiah and saw that his name was written in the prophecy as the person who would allow the Jews to go back to Jerusalem. So King Cyrus (who must have been amazed his name was written in this prophecy) obeyed the writing and allowed the Jews to leave Babylon to rebuild. Now onto verse 25 - it says that once the decree went out for the Jews to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild, there would be 69 weeks (483 years) until their Messiah would come. And it was exactly that long before Jesus Christ came! Now it says that after the 69th week, so the 70th week, in the middle of that week (3 1/2 years) Christ would be cut-off but not for himself and then after that Jerusalem will be destroyed which takes us to the last fulfillment of time in this passage. But actually let's back up because at verse 26 is where the camps divide - the Dispensationalists and the Non-Dispensationalists, (like myself). The Dispensationalists say that in the future sometime the Antichrist will come and stop the sacrifice and destroy the city (which infers the animal sacrifices will have to start again since Jews no longer do that), but the Non-Dispensationalists say that Christ dying on the Cross is what stopped the need for animal sacrifices and when the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. the animal sacrifices stopped and of course destruction came to all the Jews living in Jerusalem at that time. (The Christian Jews were warned to look for signs of the upcoming destruction and to leave the city, flee to the hills before it took place, so they were spared. Josephus writes about that in his book) Let's look at the week that talks about the Messiah, it says that the first 3 1/2 years would be Jesus' ministry and then He would be cut-off. What happened in the second 3 1/2 years? The church was birthed and the Apostles went around preaching the Gospel. And they preached to the Jews first and only at the point that Cornelius get converted in Acts 10 do we see a shift to include the Gentiles too. So, we can say that Christ, through His church, continued to try and reach the Jews, but when that week was up, the destruction of the Temple, which Christ prophesied about, (Luke 13: 34-35 and Luke 21:23), was sent as a judgement from God. Now, the Bible doesn't give exact times of the events that took place in Acts but Scholars have lined up rulers with some of the events which gives a time-frame and it certainly is within reason that God gave the Jews a full week (7 years) to come to Christ before the Temple was destroyed. When verse 26 says "the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city" (which happens after Jesus is cut off) translates to the future Roman leader since the Roman people were already existing and the Jews were living amongst them already, but the leader who would destroy them, named Titus, was yet to come. And in verse 27 where it says "and he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week" may sound like a future Anthichrist to Dispensationalists but no where is Antichrist mentioned in these verses, only the Messiah is named and Titus is referred to as the leader who destroyed the Temple. So 'he' in this verse has to be the Messiah because Jesus confirmed the covenant that God offered to the Jews for one week (7 years) and then He caused their destruction by sending Titus and the Roman Armies. To learn more about the 70 weeks of Daniel prophecy please order Great Prophecies of the Bible by Ralph Woodrow at www.ralphwoodrow.org
Now let's take a look at the Rapture. As mentioned above, Dispenationalists believe there are two stages at the end of time for Christians - 1st where Jesus comes for His Saints in the pre-trib rapture and 2ndly how He will come with His saints at the end of the tribulation to fight the battle of Armaggedon. They say the rapture can happen at any time and when it does there will be un-manned cars and aircraft if Christians are driving them, so there will be explosions that take place right afterward. They teach that people left behind will be bewildered and scared because they will assume things like aliens have taken them. This they says will afford these left-behind people another opportunity to accept Christ, in fact they teach that churches will be headed by those who know they've missed the rapture and they will then spear-head evangelism efforts to reach the lost. They do warn that they will suffer the tribulation and will have to pay for their lives by martyrdom and point out that now they can just accept Christ and miss all of that horror. But is all of that Scriptural? How many times does it say Christ will come back? My Bible says ONCE! No where does my KJV Bible teach that Jesus is coming back twice. He came once in His bodily form to die for our sins and the next time He comes it will be as the glorified Lord and he will come on the last day. John 6:40 says: And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. In John 11:24: Martha said unto him (Jesus), I know that he (Lazarus) shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Notice in the next verse that Jesus did not correct her but went on to explain that "He is the resurrection and the life" and that was because He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. Peter teaches us in II Peter 3: 10: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. So the day of the Lord will come unexpectantly but with great noise and the earth will be burned up. Rapture teachers contradict themselves because they teach the rapture will come secretly and quietly like a thief in the night but they fail to look at the rest of the verse where there is great noise and the earth is burned up. So this verse must be talking about one return of the Lord at the end of age/world because no one can live on a burned up earth. As a sister verse to II Peter 3:10, take a look at I Corinthians 15:52: "In a moment , in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed". So you can see it happening unexpectantly but with a loud sound, a trumpet, the last trumpet, and all of the bodies rise up to be changed into their heavenly bodies. Take a look at one of the parables Jesus teaches in Matthew 13:24-30 where the wheat and tares were growing in a field together and the servants of the household asked if they should gather up the tares that the enemy had planted amongst the wheat and He answered them, "Nay, lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them. Let them both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn". This shows the Lord will rapture the church at the end but the wicked will be burned. It doesn't say the church will be raptured and then there will be a second chance for the wicked to accept Christ during a tribulation. Also if Jesus is going to come in a pre-trib rapture 7 years before He comes on the last day then anyone would be able to tell when Jesus was coming because all they would have to do is count 7 years past the day everyone went missing. This would be against Scripture because for example Mark 13:32 says: But on that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Another thing to consider is Jesus didn't pray the Father take His disciples out of the world before He died on the Cross, (see John 17: 15) so why would He have this be the plan prior to "the Great Tribulation'? (I put that in quotes because I will also show you there is no Great Tribulation as in an end-time 7 year period. No, contrary to that Jesus tells a parable in Luke 19 where He says in verse 13, "And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Rapture enthusiasts say that because the church isn't mentioned past Revelation 4 where Jesus tells John "Come up hither" that this shows Jesus is referencing a rapture of the saints prior to the plagues that follow. They go on to teach that the church reappears in verse 19 which is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and then also in verses 20 and 21 but the word church is not used in any of those verses. And even though the word church stops at chapter 3, the word saint(s) appears throughout Revelation such as Revelation 13:7 where it says the beast will make war with the saints. Their response to that is "saints" doesn't refer to the church but to the tribulation saints, the ones who get martyred for their faith. But then they say that the word saints in chapter 19 refers to the church. Well they can't have it both ways and that appears to be what their teachings are based on - alot of flip flopping! Here's another example of how they've got things wrong, remember how I told you they take the letters to the churches and spread them out throughout history? Well they say the letter to the church of Philadelphia (Revelation 3:10) proves the church will be "kept from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon the whole world." (They say that hour of temptation is the same as the Great Tribulation) But the letter to the Philadelphia church was the 6th letter - not the 7th letter Jesus gave to John - so it could not possibly represent the last church here on earth before the tribulation! (The letter to the Laodiceans follows the letter to the Philadelphian church.)
So, if Non-Dispensationalists, such as myself, negate a future Antichrist person and 7 year Tribulation where the church has already been raptured out of the world and all of the Jews will be suffering great plagues and persecutions but will ALL be getting saved by God . . . . what do they believe? Well I can tell you that this Non-Dispensationalist is an Amillennialist:
Amillennialism teaches that there will not be a future "millennium" in which Christ will reign on earth prior to the eternal state beginning, but rather
that Jesus is presently reigning from heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father,
that Jesus also is and will remain with the church until the end of the world, as he promised at the Ascension,
that at Pentecost, the millennium began, as is shown by Peter using the prophecies of Joel, about the coming of the kingdom, to explain what was happening,
and that, therefore the Church and its spread of the good news is Christ's Kingdom and forever will be.
And a Spiritual Historist:
Spiritual Historicism teaches that biblical predictions are being fulfilled throughout history and continue to be fulfilled today. The Book of Revelation is a pre-written history of the Church from the time of its writing to the future Second Advent of Christ, which shall usher in the new heaven and new earth. The Spiritual Historicist does not make the words of Revelation mean literal things, there is much symbolism in the Book of Revelation.
For a full understanding of all of the different views of End Time Prophecy please purchase the very fair and balanced book called Revelation Four Views, A Parallel Commentary, edited by Steve Gregg. This can be purchased on Amazon or on Steve's website http://www.thenarrowpath.com/ I disagree with Steve on some things but he has studied and taught the Bible for years and he has done a good job of compiling information for this book. He is also really good about letting people think for themselves.
While I am not a straight Historist, because Historists apply actual events to things described in the Book of Revelation, and I don't, I can agree with them in that a whole slew of Protestant Reformers as well as Charles Spurgeon believed that the Papacy is the Antichrist. (Please read II Thessalonians Chapter 2 in its entirety.) The Papacy came into power right after the Apostles had died and once the political power of Rome had crumbled. The Apostle Paul warned about this, about the Antichrist coming to power, once the restraining power was removed. Now remember what the Dispensationalists believe, they think the restraining power holding back the Antichrist is the Holy Spirit, but as discussed prior they can't be right because God cannot save people without the Holy Spirit active in the world and God cannot remove Himself from the earth because He is Omnipresent (everywhere all of the time) plus the Apostle Paul would've just named the Holy Spirit instead of talking secretly the way he did. Paul talked openly in his letters all of the time about spiritual things mentioning Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit by name. But he would not have been able to tell others about the fall of the Roman empire because Rome was in power at the time of his writings and it would've sounded like Paul was talking about treason so he said it veiled and secretive like he did. He probably told church members what he meant in person but was not able to put it in his letters. As you read in II Thessalonians Chapter 2, (verses 3 & 4), the man of perdition would exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing Himself that he is God. Please look at this website to see some of the quotes of Popes throughout history that have claimed to be God or Jesus Christ: http://www.adishakti.org/forum/pope_claims_to_be_god_on_earth_3-12-2007.htm and/or http://antichristpope.blogspot.com/2006/05/pope-claims-to-be-god-on-earth.html
So, yes I do believe there will be a future Antichrist who has all religious and political power but it won't be some European Diplomat that comes out of obscurity like in Left Behind (the book series/movies) but it will just be a repeat of the Antichrist system of Popes that started up right after the Apostles died and has already had a reign of terror once before during the Dark Ages where the Pope and the Catholic Church ruled tyrannically. (see my Catholicism page to learn of the millions of Christians tortured and murdered in the name of the Papal reign.) It is interesting how the latest Pope is a Jesuit and his message is "come back to the Mother Church". The book of Ecclesiates says in 1:9 - The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
The way the Popes ruled in the Dark Age was to make all Bibles in a language the common people could not read and to punish anyone who had a copy of the Scriptures. How the Antichrist Pope (though they are all antichrists) will gain power again is the Vatican has corrupted the modern Bibles (the modern Bibles had Jesuits on their translation teams and they have used corrupted manuscripts found in Catholic buildings - they were said to be older than the manuscript the KJV translators used, thereby being "more authentic", but these manuscripts had hundreds and hundreds of mark-throughed errors and were missing lots of Scriptures, so it is suspect they were found and promoted by the Catholic church when the Catholic church never wanted anyone to read the Bible before.) The modern Bibles have caused confusion and division among Protestant believers and further more Catholic mysticism (from the desert monks and nuns) has been brought into Protestant circles so that now Protestants are seeking experiences with God more than the actual words of God. Now there is a movement called the Emergent Church movement that is steering the youth to go back to the "roots" of Christianity which they say are the sacraments. The Vatican will woo those who will be led to Rome through shared spiritual experiences and the remainder of the few of us who will not be seduced will come under attack once the Pope's power has become totalitarian again. This will be a fulfillment of religious and political power coming together again just like in the Dark Ages.
But I don't think there will be a 7 year tribulation, I believe things will just wax worse and worse on the earth with the deception that is now currently growing luring Christians and non-Christians alike under the religious and political power of the Vatican. But I don't want to stop my warnings here, I want to also cover how I feel the Dispensational error of lifting up the Jewish people is also something the Jesuits of the Vatican has orchestrated. I can't prove this but there are books written about the Jesuits that explain how they are the CIA/military arm of the Catholic church and have been kicked out of countries for all of their under-handed schemes or they have destroyed millions of people in the name of their religion. And there are some that have said that the Catholic church has always wanted possession of Israel because they can only claim "Apostolic Succession" if they have the bones of Peter and they now have to admit that his bones are not buried in Rome, they are in Israel. So, I believe the Jesuits formed the political movement called Zionism. On my webpage called Israel vs Palestine you will learn how Dispensationalism has caused well-meaning Christians to be hood-winked into supporting Israel as a nation, when actually they don't even understand the history of how Zionism came about, that it is a political organization, not a religion of Jewish people, and that they have taken possession of Israel in a way that Jesus could not possible approve of.
But for now let's investigate what the Bible teaches about who is Israel in God's eyes and we will do that through the words of Paul in Romans 9: 6 - 8. '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.' And also in Galatians 3: 6 and 7 - 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. For those who don't know the story of Abraham please read the book of Genesis and you will see in chapter 16 how Abraham had a son named Ishmael through Sarah's hand-maiden because she had lost faith in God's promise to them for a son. Later Sarah did conceive and give birth to their son Isaac. So, Abraham had a son out of the flesh, Ishmael and one out of the promise of God, Isaac. So, what Paul was saying is that not all born from Abraham are Israel, and he isn't saying it's just the lineage coming from Isaac, no Paul is saying Israel is those who believe God like Abraham did. See Abraham believed God when God promised him a son and God counted that unto him as righteousness. And now those who believe God about His Son Jesus Christ are counted righteous because they believe God. So Paul is telling his audience (which is us too) that while it looks bad that the Jewish people have largely rejected Jesus, it is not that God's plan is failing, because not all Jewish people are Israel. Only those who believe God are Israel. So now in light of this teaching, do you think that Jewish people who are Jewish in the flesh are counted righteous unto God? No, they can't be, no man is righteous in their flesh. If they were then God would not have had to sacrifice Christ on the Cross to pay for our sins. And what we have to realize is that what was done in the natural in the Old Testament is so we can see God's plan in the spiritual sense He means it for us believers in the New Testament. See the Old Testament story of Abraham believing God and God promising him descendants so numerous they would be like the stars in the sky was the physical illustration of what would then become the spiritual picture after Jesus came to bring us the Kingdom of God. Galatians 3: 8 and 9 - 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." See, earth is not our home, we are just passing through and Jesus came to call out those who will follow Him to live in the Kingdom of God (spiritual kingdom) that will someday allow us to live in the new heaven and earth, the New Jerusalem. Galatians 4: 22 - 26: For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh, but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two convenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. So all of this talk (and hype) about Israel being a nation again doesn't amount to a hill of beans in what salvation is about. The people living in Israel may be Jewish but they have rejected Jesus and Christians are even persecuted in Israel (not allowed to witness outside of their churches) so they are lost and Christians here in America should not be looking up to them or linking arms with them in all matters, especially spiritual ones. 2 Corinthians 6:1 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? Christians should be witnessing to Jews so they can be saved, but they are not doing that, they are honoring them and at the same time are glad that they (the Christians) will be raptured out prior to the "Great Tribulation" that will rain terrible plagues on the Jewish people. Doesn't that sound a little twisted? If they love the Jewish people so much shouldn't they be worried they will go have to go through a "Great Tribulation"? No, they aren't worried about that, they are more concerned about being raptured out prior to that terrible time of plagues and they feel it will be what the Jewish people will have to go through to accept Jesus. That isn't a very loving Christian attitude toward the Jewish people! And it also amounts to a form of blasphemy too, because all a person needs to get saved is to look at what Jesus did for us on the Cross, they don't need a special time period called a "Great Tribulation" in order to see truth. Granted, God will sometimes allow bad things to come on people so they will call out to Him but no where does the Bible section off a time called "Great Tribulation" that will be for the saving of all of the Jews. In fact the greatest tribulation the Jews went through was with the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD (yes, it was worse than what Hitler did to them - read Josephus' account of that event and you'll learn it had every kind of evil befalling them at once) and none of them got saved from that - no, the opposite was true, it was their judgement for rejecting Jesus. So why would God have a "Great Tribulation" at the end just to save Jews and some back-slidden Christians? God has created one way to Him and that is through the precious blood of Jesus - the Jewish people have had the invitation to believe ever since Jesus walked on the earth and they are still getting opportunities everyday, so God has not forgotten the Jewish people, but He will not treat them differently than how the Gospel is set up - one way for all mankind through Christ Jesus! Amen!
If you want to get born again in Christ Jesus, please take this time now to talk to God. You can say something like this: God I know I am a sinner and I need a Savior and I believe Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. I believe Jesus Christ was born of a virgin mother, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that He lived a sinless life because He was God in the flesh, and that He was crucified as the once for all sacrifice for mankind's sins. I believe he was buried and rose from the grave and was witnessed alive before ascending to heaven where He now sits on the throne as King of Kings. I repent of my sins and accept Jesus' gift of salvation today and I ask Him to be my Savior and Lord. I ask the Holy Spirit to come and make a dwelling in my heart and to lead me into all righteousness. Thank you God for hearing my prayer and for sending your Son to save me by dying in my place at the Cross so I can be in the family of God. And Father, I understand that while I am saved by my confession of faith, it is also Your will for me to get water baptized to show my private confession in a public way, and so I ask you to lead me to the church or baptismal situation you have for me so I can get baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen!