Thanks. Passing this on to a few friends. How chilling to see what lay in store if Hitler had not been stopped. It shows again the working of that mystery of iniquity that seeks the destruction of the chosen seed before it can reach its promised destination. That is the one thing Satan most dreads and so must do everything in his power to stop. Regardless the ignorance of Christendom, he knows how the covenant reads. He knows that his binding and ultimate damnation rests in the fulfillment of the prophetic Word of God, which can only stand if God makes good on all He promised the 'chosen seed of Israel's race'.
"You chosen seed of Israel's race, you ransomed from the fall" means much more than hymn writer Edward Perronet may have understood. The promise entails a kingdom on this very earth that far transcends anything that could have been conceived apart from the 're-creating' power that first created all things. What a challenge God has set for Himself and for all the world of nations and angels to witness! Can He indeed bring in, finally and forever, that same intractable nation He first brought out of Egypt? That is the great question of history that Satan understands and fears ("the devils believe and tremble").
The promise, and the challenge that God has set for Himself entails far more than the salvation of an extra number of Jews at the end of the age. The promise to the natural branches is so large and so unimaginable to happen on this earth that only Satan and a small remnant within the professing community of faith can even conceive of such an extravagance of impossible glory.
How ambitious, how extravagant and unlikely, surely just a Jewish nationalistic dream, that there will someday exist on this earth a particular nation of real, ethnic Jewish heritage, whose entire population, without the exception, will be saved with an everlasting salvation, and will continue in that salvation without defection for a thousand years, and this in an imperfect world that still harbors pockets of rebellion under the rod iron rule of Messiah. That is the proposition of covenant as understood by the Hebrew prophets. Impossible? Unlikely? Exactly!
Since His rhetorical dialogue with Moses in Ex 32; see also Num 14, where Moses intercedes to dissuade the Lord of the unthinkable proposition that the seed of Israel might be blotted to out to make of Moses a nation (I call this God's 'staged' kibosh on replacement theology), the great question of history has been whether such an extravagant promise can be fulfilled with all hell gathered to oppose. No wonder it is just then at the end of what I contend is a highly eschatological dialogue, God answers His fully intended acceptance of Moses' intercession by the declaration, "But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord!" (Num 14:21). Indeed, "what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead!"
They have been in the Land only to be driven out of the Land and this must continue to threaten until the covenant dilemma has been once and for all resolved by the 'coming in of the everlasting righteousness' at the end of Daniel's seventieth week. This great transition of 'life from the dead' (Ro 11:15) must extend, not only to a remnant but to all the survivors who remain of the seed of Jacob (Isa 59:21; 60:21; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Dan 9:24; Eze 39:28-29). The nation is born "in one day", as the as "the iniquity of that Land is cleansed in one day" precisely at Jesus' return (Isa 66:8; Eze 39:22; Zech 3:9; Mt 23:39; Acts 3:21; Ro 11:26; Rev 1:7).
Though unknown by most of what identifies as 'church', Satan knows the covenant. He reads it clear. He knows that God has inextricably bound the return of Jesus with their return. How can this be? How can a nation be born at once? This the great question of history and prophecy. It is surely not by the will of man, but "with a stretched out arm and fury poured out", He has determined to "bring them into the bond of the covenant" (Eze 20:23-24). God is careful to point out that this is no thanks to them (Eze 36:22, 32).
To make point of this fact, I am fond of saying, if history has taught anything it is that if God were waiting on the Jewish people to 'come around', He would be waiting forever. But that's just the point. He has made them His own self-appointed 'mission impossible', so to speak, that through their natural historic opposition to the gospel, He might show the strength of His arm to accomplish the impossible, namely, the salvation of a nation in a single day at the 'set time' to favor Zion' (compare Gen 17:21; 21:2 with Ps 102:13).
It is so instructive that the long night of Israel's ceaseless tribulations and exilic wanderings reach their final end precisely at the "end of the power" (Deut 32:36 with Dan 12:7). As always, it is here, at the end of strength, in the crucible of crisis, that the veil is removed by the transforming Spirit of revelation, as they look upon Him whom they pierced (Zech 12:10). Jacob's final and unequaled trouble ends with the coming in of the "everlasting righteousness" of the New Covenant that was sealed in Messiah's atoning blood, paradoxically at the very point of Israel's fall (Isa 8:14; Ro 11:11-12).
It is for fear of this predestined outcome that Satan mounts a last desperate pursuit of the woman in an effort to cut off the physical seed of Abraham from reaching the appointed day of repentance. It will be the believing 'remnant of her seed' (the body of Christ) who will assist Jewish survival at greatest personal peril. This will bring upon their head the backlash of Antichrist's fury when he sees the role that Christians have played in their escape. This is how I believe we should see the significant connection between the symbolism of the 'earth helping the woman' and the timing of when Antichrist persecution is immediately turned on the believing remnant, i.e., the body of Christ. That costly assistance of Jews in flight will distinguish the godly remnant from the false church.
Not believing in soul sleep, I am sure that Hitler and all who conspired with him to rid the world of the 'Jewish menace' are now most intensely conscious of their union with the god of this age and his eternal fate. The unsaved who die in that union will be "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power" ( 2 Thess 1:9). Hell will not be, as some suppose, the absence of God but the inescapable presence of His unbearable unveiled holiness, meekness, beauty, and glory. The greatest desire of the wicked will be to escape that eternally inescapable presence. It is the very source of their unending torment. "Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men". Flee from the wrath to come! Come out of her my people! "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
On a final note, as Jerusalem increasingly becomes the prophesied cup of trembling, all who love the Jewish people and rejoice in their predestined future will be singled out, first for scorn and persecution, and then the expedience of extermination. It will be particularly those Christians who lend succor and support to the beleaguered and hunted Jewish people who will make themselves a prey to the antisemitic spirit that already is becoming rampant again all throughout the world.
At ultimate issue will be the heart attitude towards God's free prerogative in grace to quicken "whom He will" and have mercy on "whom He will" (Jn 5:21; Ro 9:18). It is never what the Jews are in themselves, though humanly, they are formidable and often ethically quite superior to many. None of this counts for life, nor does it contribute to life. The issue is only ever Israel's abiding, irrevocable election. This is what will become a stone of stumbling that God will use to expose the true disposition of the heart, not merely towards Jews as Jews, but towards grace as grace.
This is why Jacob was chosen quite apart from anything in himself that made him to differ from his brother. This is why it is God's right to give the Land to the Jew, even before grace enables the obedience that is necessary for lasting security in the Land. God is holding the world accountable to His covenant word that despite their present condition, Israel is on her own calvary road to a national death and resurrection. Though tenderly loved and granted many a common grace, even in their blindness and unbelief, they are on the road to future grace. To disregard this, and to not feel something of the anguish of their struggle, is to reject the Word of God, nothing less.
Even when the armies of the last invader come down to divide the Land and scatter a people who are manifestly under covenant chastisement, still, it is much to be noted that they are no less called, " My people" and the Land is called, " My Land" (Joel 3:2 with Dan 11:39). It is significantly at this point that God's fury comes up in His face (Eze 38:18). Why? God's 'red line' has been crossed.
In their hubris, the nations under Antichrist are outraged at any thought of divine claim on the Land, and particularly the city of Jerusalem. They very naturally and demonically hate a divine covenant choice that is not based on works but grace and the free prerogative of divine authority to elect. This is the issue that underlies everything. It is also the great question of the necessity of obedience to inherit the Land in safe and secure continuance.
Yes, obedience is required to keep the Land, but it is the obedience of faith that only grace can secure fully and finally at the appointed time (Ps 102:13; 110:3). Until then, it is to be remembered that the Land is no less Israel's, particularly where the nations are concerned, even though secure tenure in the Land is only probationary until the full coming in of the everlasting righteousness of New Covenant obedience for 'all Israel' (Isa 59:21; 60:21; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Dan 9:24). Remember too, the Land was Israel's to possess for long periods of time when there was only a comparatively small remnant who were righteous. The gift of the Land was never based on Israel's behavior, but, paradoxically, it is their safe and secure continuance in the Land that God conditioned on what Paul would later call, 'the obedience of faith'.
This is the paradox. The Land belongs to Israel even when they are not in it. God always holds the right to bring them back, even before they are fit to possess it in final peace and everlasting security, even before they are able, in this sense, to keep the Land. It is God and only God who decides their tenure and their right to the Land, not the presumption of equal claim by a defiant, election despising, humanistic reason! On the contrary, the covenant of the Land belongs to the original, unilateral covenant that God made great point to completely remove from any dependency on Abraham's part. Notwithstanding, obedience remans no less necessary for secure and abiding tenure.
So what is happening here? How does a nation tending always to backslide, come at last to inherit a real, literal land in final, unending security? That's the very paradox that God would have us see, since this is how He has purposed to most wondrously glorify His great name in all the earth. The paradox is solved when it is understood that the required obedience on Israel's part is something that God has determined to secure by His own initiative in grace through the gift of His Spirit, purchased through the sacrifice of the woman's seed. This inward transformation must come, not only to a remnant, but to all the nation. It will come at the 'set time', in the day of His power (Ps 102:13: 110:3).
This is what Paul means when he contends that 'all Israel' shall be (must be) saved. The 'all' is being contrasted with the ever present remnant. A remnant could never be enough to fulfill the promise of the Land in final security, because a remnant might forestall but could never finally prevent the larger nation from sliding back again into judgment and ultimately a return to exile. This is why the prophets envisioned an 'everlasting righteousness' that would extend, not only to a mere remnant, but to the entirety of a nation born into new spiritual life after the time of Zion's travail, also known as Jacob's trouble or the time of great affliction, distress, or tribulation in the latter days (Deut 4:30; Isa 13:6-8; 26:16-17; 66:8; Mic 5:3; Hos 5:15).
These penitent survivors emerging from the last tribulation form the generation of the new creation (Ps 102:18) who will be able to keep the Land forever because of the 'everlasting righteousness' that is nothing other than the indestructible righteousness of the Lord Himself (Isa 45:17, 25; 54:17; Jer 23:5-6; 32:40; Dan 9:24). Thus, their obedience will be the obedience of Christ through the Spirit. It is God Himself keeping the required obedience in His people by His Spirit. This is how the Land can be inherited forever by a people who could never attain this by any might or power in themselves. To show this, God did not permit Abraham to pass between the divided pieces.
The covenant was unilateral but it was not in every sense unconditional, except in the sense that God alone would swear by Himself to fulfill every necessary condition for obedience. This He would do first 'for' His people by the sacrifice of Himself. This purchase price would lawfully and justly free the Lord to then fulfill the required conditions of obedience in and through them by the gift of His Spirit, which Jesus would refer to as the long awaited 'promise of the Father'. Thus, the obedience that is by the Spirit's indwelling is not the obedience of 'man' but the obedience of the divine nature. It is "Christ in you, the hope of glory".
This is how the re-engrafted natural branches will be able keep the Land for a thousand years, without further threat from the curses of the broken covenant. When 'all Israel' will be 'all righteous' by an enduring, irreversibly secure righteousness that is not their own, then they will be finally and permanently free from the abiding threat of covenant jeopardy. Only in this way can they know lasting security in the Land when the tendency to backslide has been permanently cured, so that they never again depart (see Jer 32:40; Isa 59:21, as based on 2Sam 23:5; Ps 89:33-34; Isa 54:10; 55:3).
Therefore, Israel's long awaited millennial obedience is nothing less than the inward obedience of Jesus, which is to say the divine nature of the new creation through the indwelling Holy Spirit. That is how the covenant can be at once unilateral and yet conditional, and yet guarantee Israel's fulfillment of the required obedience. It is 'unconditional' only in the sense that in no part does it depend on man. God can swear by Himself alone only because He has determined to secure His people's obedience by Himself alone. "For it is God who works in you both to do and to will according to His good purpose" (Phil 2:13).
God is accepting nothing of man that has not first been given (Jn 3:27; Ro 11:35). He will secure the required obedience in and through His people by His Spirit through faith, and that not of themselves, lest anyone should find ground to boast. God will secure the necessary obedience by Himself on the basis of His determination to dwell in His people, in this case, for the sake of His covenant oath and it's millennial demonstration, the Jewish people in particular. Thus, He is the only true doer of the Word, even as Paul would say that he "obtained mercy to be faithful" (1Cor 7:25).
His people overcome only because the only true overcomer lives in them. It has never been otherwise. What is waiting is when this will come, not only to a mere remnant, but to the whole of the nation. Then will the covenants with Abraham and David be set in open display through them for a thousand years of public covenant vindication in the sight of all nations and the angels.
This is what Satan fears and why he seeks to blot out the seed of Israel. This is why his minions seek to know the whereabouts of every Jewish citizen of every country. Thanks for this sobering reminder, Jerry.
(Reggie Kelly - acquaintance of and theological companion of Art Katz - that's not boasting but just info)