Hope of Israel

Most Christians who are my acquaintances believe that God has terminated His covenant with Israel. To end that covenant He would have been required to fulfill all the promises contained within it. One promise God made to Israel was a resurrection from the dead.

Many say God ended His covenant with the Jews at the cross. Then they tell us that several weeks later, on the day of Pentecost, Joel’s prophecies were being fulfilled. It is true that the prophecies of Joel were fulfilled that day, but what does that say about the end of the covenant God had made with Israel? It tells us very clearly that God had not in fact ended it at the cross. It is not legal to renege on a covenant or agreement, calling it null and void, and then come back later and attempt to pick back up on it.

As for the resurrection, what did Paul say about where he learned about it? Notice the following:

Acts 28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Acts 26:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

The resurrection was the hope of Israel, and was the promise that God would raise the dead. Israel was spiritually dead. But God had promised to revive her—to raise her from that death. Then He would make a new covenant with her.

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Ezekiel 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves . . .  25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

When God made a new covenant, that is when He was going to bring the Israelites out of their graves. (And that is why death ended when the law ended, 1 Corinthians 15:56.) Jehovah would be their God and they would be His people (2 Corinthians 6:16). He would multiply them and they would dwell in the land with David as their king, along with their children and grandchildren, forever. Hosea talked about it; Daniel prophesied of it; Zechariah and Ezekiel foretold it. In fact, all the prophets spoke of this, and they spoke of the last days that occurred in the first century.

Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

From Samuel to all those that followed after him, the prophecies were “of these days” in which Peter was living. Please stop just a minute and take that in. ALL the prophets, from Samuel and those that followed him—all of them, as many as had SPOKEN—FORETOLD OF THE DAYS IN WHICH PETER LIVED.

God promised the resurrection to Israel and He had to fulfill that promise before He ended His covenant with the Jews; otherwise, again, He would have been a covenant breaker. Also, the whole law had to be fulfilled for any part of it to pass (Matthew 5:18).

So the resurrection Paul taught was the resurrection spoken of in the law and the prophets. Therefore, it was a promise of God within the covenant that God made with Israel.

Paul showed in another place that the resurrection was a promise of the covenant of God with the Jews. Notice:

1 Corinthians 15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Of course, Paul was quoting from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14. Had God ended His covenant with the Jews without fulfilling this promise of a resurrection, God would be a covenant breaker. And, once again, God could not end the covenant and then come back later and try to reinstate it so He could finally fulfill the terms of it. Therefore, either the resurrection is past or God still has a covenant with Israel–it didn’t end at the cross or on the day of Pentecost and is still, today, in force.

If we believe something about the resurrection that makes it occur after God ended His covenant with Israel and made a new covenant in Christ, we are wrong in our belief. We must “let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).




Jews and Gentiles Don’t Exist

There is neither Jew nor Gentile (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11). God makes no distinction between people and no longer recognizes nationality.

When speaking of the new heavens and new earth Isaiah said:

Isaiah 60:3  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. . . 5  Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. . .

Obviously the sea represents the Gentiles since the fish aren’t converted, and the Gentiles no longer exist as we see in Revelation 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [There is neither Jew NOR Gentile.]

Back to the Isaiah passage:

11  Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. . . 15  Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. 16  Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. . . 18  Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. 19  The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20  Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. [See Revelation 21 for the fulfillment of this passage.]

This is obviously something that was to happen when there would be “generations.” So it’s not heaven in the sweet by and by. But we see the gates not being closed, no more darkness, no more crying–all things we see in Revelation. We can tell that this was to come when the Gentiles came to the light (Isaiah 60:3). And that is, of course, what Jesus said!

Matthew 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 

Romans 10:18  But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

We know, because the Bible tells us, that the gospel was indeed preached to all the world and every nation. We know the abundance of the sea (the Gentiles) was converted to the Lord. We know Jesus said the end He referred to, when the Gentiles would come to the light, was coming in the first century (Matthew 24:34).

Someone will say there will be “multiple fulfillment.” I would ask how the Gentiles are to come to the light again.