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Discussion in 'Bible Answers' started by Chad, Jun 4, 2006.

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  1. brodave9,

    The times of the gentiles is almost over.

    Isaiah 59:20–60:2 KJV
    20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from
    transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.

    21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.
    60 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
    2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

    As we come to the end of the tribulation, the time will come when the Lord has had enough. The world is full of evil. There is little justice. Any who try to do good are attacked. Israel will have been purged, and the Jewish people will have repented after seeing the nuclear fires and the burning up of the ozone layer as a scroll.
    Verse eighteen and nineteen are very important. Isaiah warns that the enemy whom Jesus is coming to attack and who is in control of earth is the Western powers. But who are the Western powers?
    Today, Israel is back in the land and we are at the end of time. Now the military arm of the Western powers is known as NATO It is already fighting Islamic terrorism. America, who is the major power in NATO, is the primary ally of Israel.
    In the future, the Russian alliance from the north will attack Israel when the Jewish people feel safe. However, America will come from the other side of the earth to fight the Russian alliance. This battle is prophesied in Jeremiah 6:21–22, Ezekiel 38:1–13, 39:1–8, Jeremiah 25:14–38, Daniel 11:36–45, etc. ...
    When Jesus the Redeemer comes to save Israel with the army of heaven, Israel will be sitting in darkness under the shadow of the permanent solar eclipse. The permanent solar eclipse creates a two- hundred-mile diameter shadow on Israel and darkness on North America. You probably want to know how long the darkness will stay on America, but you probably won’t like the answer.

    176 ﰁ AMERICA’S LAST WARNING

    Isaiah 60:3–17 KJV
    3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
    4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
    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.
    6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.
    7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
    8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
    9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
    10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
    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.
    12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
     
  2. #102 Jehonadab, Dec 19, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
    Stan53 said, “I am ALWAYS wary of people who say they have something NEW to see in God's Word.”

    I agree, but the thing which concerns me is what is not new but has not yet been seen, even though the entire time it has been right in front of our eyes.

    What has been right in front of our eyes that we may not have factored into this subject:

    Romans 2:28-29
    28 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    29 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.” (KJV)

    When we read verse 28 we should see that the circumcision of the natural flesh was a mere symbolic picture of circumcision of a man's heart. Therefore, we can safely conclude that the natural Jew who is one outwardly, is also used of God as a symbolic representation of something, else the verse lacks consistency of logic. Ponder that a second.

    It is not so difficult to see that the external circumcision of the flesh is symbolic of something else, but it fans emotional defenses to see that therefore the outwardly Jew must also be symbolic of something else. Yes, that all things a part of that Old Covenant, including the people, were but prophetic foreshadows.

    When we read verse 29 we should see that a genuine natural Jew is one who is one who is complete in his circumcision of the heart. But does that mean it applies only to the outwardly Jew?

    Such examinations are made difficult by emotional preferences. So, let us go deeper into the scriptures in search of more insight into the matter.

    Just before Paul spoke verses 28 and 29, he wrote:

    Romans 2:25-26
    25 “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
    26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?” (KJV)

    Is that not our most immediate clue that what Paul said in verse 29 applies to all men by faith?

    Take a second to allow yourself to assimilate that. But by all mean, do assimilate it and then ponder the following:

    Romans 2:11-16
    11 “For there is no respect of persons with God.
    12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
    14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
    16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (KJV)

    Therein we found Paul's foundation. Do the Apostles of Christ agree with Paul?

    Could that be what James had in mind as he dealt with those arguing as if they were specially chosen of God over others and so in a better position to know things:

    James 2:9 “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” (KJV)

    The clue once again is in what was spoken moments before: James 2:5 “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (KJV)

    James 2:1 “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.” (KJV)

    Colossians 3:9-11
    9 “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
    10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
    11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” (KJV)

    Acts 10:34-36
    34 “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
    36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all..” (KJV)

    Galatians 3:27-29
    27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    28 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.
    29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (KJV)


    Is it right that we would suddenly fail to factor all of that into what Revelation speaks to us?

    You must decide for yourselves.

    It might help if we would discuss how Romans chapter 11 is meant by Paul to be properly understood.

    What say you?
     
  3. #103 Jehonadab, Dec 19, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
    How do we properly understand what Paul wrote in Romans chapter eleven? We understand it by forcing out our emotional preferences as to what it says, instead using the scriptures to unlock Paul's meaning to us.

    Let's give that a try:

    Romans 11:1 “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”

    What can we safely draw from that verse? We can safely draw that Paul gave as his proof that God had not cast away his people, “For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”

    What then does that hint at as to what he meant by that expression, “cast away his people”?

    “cast away” – Strong's G0683 – apotheomai – from 575 and the middle voice of otheo or otho (to shove); to push off, figuratively, to reject.

    We know Paul has to mean it one of two possible ways: (1) God did not cast away his people at all, or (2) God did not cast away his people completely, as in their entirety, but is saving a remnant of them.

    Wouldn't you agree that we ought to let the context, before and after, show us which way Paul meant it?

    Let's look at that context. The context after reads:
    Romans 11:4-5
    4 “But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
    5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (KJV)

    Many, however, read in Romans 11:2a , “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. ...”, and they conclude that Paul is saying the natural nation of Israel is who God foreknew. But is that what Paul means? Is Paul saying that God foreknew the natural nation of flesh and blood Israel?

    Again, we would be wrong to let emotion make that decision for us. We need to ask Paul what he meant, and we can:

    Romans 8:28-30
    28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
    29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (KJV)

    Yes, in that same letter Paul told us who it is that God foreknew. We do not have to guess at it. Paul means the remnant of them as of all mankind, called and chosen of God to be elect members in Jesus Christ's body.

    Does that hold consistent as we push on toward chapter 11? Ponder: Romans 9:6-16

    Did Paul evidence anywhere that he believed God would save “all Israel” in the sense of meaning “all natural flesh and blood Israel”?

    You decide:

    Romans 9:2-3
    2 “That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
    3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (KJV)

    Romans 10:1 “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

    Romans 10:12 “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” (KJV)

    Romans 11:5 “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (KJV)

    Romans 11:13-14
    13 “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
    14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.” (KJV)

    Right here Paul says God did not spare the natural branches: Romans 11:21 “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” (KJV)

    Paul never said they would be grafted back in. The idea that they will be grafted back in is being forced upon his words there in Romans 11.

    Paul said, Romans 11:23 “And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.” (KJV)

    Do you see that word, “if”, at Romans 11:23? Does that word “if” indicate that the natural nation overall definitely will not remain in unbelief and will be grafted back in? How then is it that Paul only hoped he might save some of them as we saw in verse 14?

    Yes, Paul did say: Romans 11:32 “For God hath concluded [them] all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” (KJV)

    But there was that word, “might”, again, in the phrase, “might have”. What does that word mean to you? Does it mean God “will have mercy upon all?”

    Or, is it that God would have all men to be saved, including the natural Israelites, if possible?
    1 Timothy 2:3-6
    3 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (KJV)

    Decide for yourself.

    Paul told the Galatians the same thing:

    Galatians 3:22-29
    22 “But the scripture hath concluded all [mankind] under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
    23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
    24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
    26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    28 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.
    29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (KJV)

    *******

    So then, how do we understand: Romans 11:26 “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob..”

    We will see from scripture that Jacob was the prophetic foreshadow of Jesus the man who took to himself the sins of the world. And turning away ungodliness from Jacob is about our being regenerated to that one new man in Christ with God's help by holy spirit, thus turning away our ungodliness from Christ.

    Colossians 3:9-11
    9 “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
    10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
    11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” (KJV)

    Paul warned us those who boast in the flesh would try to hide that from us, not intentionally, but because they cannot see it and the unintentionally blind leading the unintentionally blind, well, you know the rest.

    Perhaps we will speak of that more, later. Now may be a good time for you to review my first post to this thread.

    *******
     
  4. #104 Jehonadab, Dec 19, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
    Please speak your mind freely and let us discuss anything that you may be uncomfortable about.

    Remember that I am writing about: Is it right that we would suddenly fail to factor all of that into what Revelation speaks to us? Especially in determining who that 144,000 of Revelation chapter 7 and chapter 14 are.

    So we have a couple of things yet to consider:

    Romans 11:11 “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” (KJV)

    The key to understanding verse 11 is that Paul was there telling those Gentiles it is no different for the Jews than it was for those Gentiles. Neither are every last Gentile being saved, but only the remnant of meek hearted ones, as many as God's love might move to repentance.

    Romans 11:30-31
    30 “For as ye [Gentiles] in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
    31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.” (KJV)

    What is this, “may obtain”? Is Paul once again saying only that they “might be saved”? We have already seen that he said only “might be saved” a couple of times already, Romans 10:1 and Romans 11:14.

    The base Greek word for the action verb of being compassionate is “eleeo”. But the word occurring there at Romans 11:31 which includes that thought of being compassionate is “eleethosin”. It literally means “God is compassionate” toward them, even as he has been compassionate toward the Gentiles. And we have no right or justification for reading more into that passage than that God is just as compassionate toward the Jews as he is toward the Gentiles. For we no that God is not a respecter of persons. Peter, Paul and James told us that.

    So, what did Paul mean when he said, “Have they stumbled that they should fall?”

    Romans 11:11 “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” (KJV)

    Paul is asking the Gentiles, “Do you really think that they stumbled so that they would completely fall from God's grace and God no longer show them any mercy at all, but only you Gentiles?

    We see this in how Paul was scolding the Gentiles for their high-mindedness, a reversal of how the Jews saw them as dogs unworthy of salvation. Yes, bigotry has long been a big problem in this world and it is a two-way street. And Paul was desperate to get that attitude out of the Gentiles that it not interfere with their zeal and effectiveness in preaching to his flesh and blood brothers.

    Notice that last part of Romans 11:11 “........ but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”

    Why is Paul pleading with those Gentiles concerning that?

    Romans 10:13-14
    13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [Jesus] shall be saved.
    14 How then shall they call on him [on Jesus] in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him [in Jesus] of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (KJV)

    Now, We know those verses are speaking about calling on Jesus, that we easily see:

    Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (KJV)

    Yet, some would try to rule out that Romans 10:13-14 is speaking about the Jews needing to hear about Jesus, believing they already had heard about Jesus. They would try to get you to reason that Paul must be speaking of only the Gentiles needing yet to hear about Jesus. But that is just not the case. And Paul told us that the Jews had not fully heard, right here:

    Romans 10:2-4
    2 “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
    3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
    4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (KJV)

    The word for knowledge in verse 2 is not the usual gnosis, meaning a precursory knowledge of something. It is the word epignosis. Epignosis means knowledge that has been deeply visited upon to the point of a deeper familiarity and understanding. Epi is the Greek preposition meaning to settle down upon, in this case so as to really visit the knowledge of who Christ is, for the Jews attitude was as the next few verses described:

    Romans 10:5 “For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.” (KJV) The man who proved to do that was Jesus, and he alone among men.

    But the Jews did not recognize that, falsely accusing Jesus of being a law breaker. Their attitude was: John 7:27 “Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.” (KJV)

    I like the way the BBE words that: John 7:27 “However, it is clear to us where this man comes from: but when the Christ comes no one will have knowledge where he comes from.” (BBE)

    Why did they believe that? Paul explained at Romans 10:6-7:

    Romans 10:6-7
    6 “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
    7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)” (KJV)

    They had not the righteousness of faith and so could not understand how God could send them one from heaven or resurrect him from the grave and bring him to life again. They were faithless, mechanically serving God by the letter of codes which detailed, 'Do this, don't do that.' Codes that say, Colossians 2:21 “Touch not; taste not; handle not...”

    Apart from learning God's righteousness from Christ they did not know how to practice obedience to God in any other way. Their lack of faith kept them locked into a partial obedience by a righteousness of their own and kept them in blindness:

    Romans 10:3 “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (KJV)

    No wonder Paul said:
    Philippians 3:8-9
    8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
    9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith..” (KJV)

    Until we understand this, we would naturally be confused concerning the identity of that 144,000. We would yet believe that the Israel of God is fleshly Israel, instead of the spiritual Israel that it really is.

    1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (KJV)

    John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (KJV)
     
  5. #105 Jehonadab, Dec 21, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
    *******

    Paul could not have told us any plainer concerning that Israel of the flesh, than follows:

    Romans 9:27-29 (TNIV)
    27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
    only the remnant will be saved.
    28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”
    29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”

    *******

    God's end goal is:1 Corinthians 1:29 “... no flesh should glory in his presence.” (KJV)

    It is man's glorying in his flesh that gets man into his deepest troubles and steals man's mind away from obedience to God. Man's flesh quickly becomes like a false idol between man and God. God is showing no respect toward men on the basis of their flesh and it's fleshly ties, even as Peter, Paul, and James told us. God is rewarding the spirit of faith, regardless of anyone's fleshly descent.

    Romans 3:19-26
    19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
    23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (KJV)

    Paul presents a clear distinction between the true spiritual Israel of God (Galatians 6:16) and Israel of the flesh (1 Corinthians 10:18). There would be no need for Paul to speak of it as if separate from the one way of Christ, calling it Israel of the flesh, but that the true Israel of God is not of the flesh.

    The lost sheep of the house of Israel were being attended to by Jesus' ministry. The lost sheep are that remnant God is saving:

    Matthew 10:5-6
    5 “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
    6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

    Jesus saw the true Israel of God as one by spirit in the hearts of men and he began that Israel:

    Luke 1:15-17
    15 “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
    16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
    17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (KJV)

    Remember as to verse 16, there, “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God”, that Paul said:

    Romans 9:6-8
    6 “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
    7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
    8 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.” (KJV)

    Those of flesh and blood Israel who never do wake up from the blindness, don't wake up from it because they were never the true Israel by the spirit of faith in their hearts. They have not the faith as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that means they have disowned Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as their fathers. We see that in how they disowned God as their Father:

    Deuteronomy 32:5 “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.”

    John 8:19 “Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” (KJV)

    John 8:39 “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.” (KJV)

    That brings us to the final points of Romans 11 which are often misused to support the idea that it is flesh and blood Israel rather than the spiritual Israel that Paul says will be saved at Romans 11:32.

    These next four verses must be considered together to grasp what is said in verses 12 and15. One cannot understand what Paul said in 12 and 15 by dismissing what Paul said in verses 13 and 14:

    Romans 11:13-15
    12 “Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
    13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
    14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
    15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”

    Clearly above Paul says his only expectations are that he through the preaching work of the Gentiles, “might save some” of them.”

    So what did he mean, “how much more their fulness?” What Paul said in verse 15 is what he meant, “what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?”

    He is telling the high-minded Gentiles that just as God seeks to reclaim the fulness of the Gentiles of the flesh, God also seeks to reclaim the fulness of those flesh and blood Israelites, for each one God does reclaim in Christ means life from the dead.

    And as Paul said elsewhere: 1 Corinthians 15:39a “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, ...”

    Where then is the cause that any flesh ought to boast they are God's special people? That is pride which speaks.

    Galatians 6:12-18
    12 “As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
    13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
    14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
    15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
    16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” (KJV)

    Romans 9:8 “...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 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all..”

    Romans 9:11,15,16
    11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
    15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
    16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” }]

    *******

    Paul could not have told us any plainer concerning that Israel of the flesh, than follows:

    Romans 9:27-29 (TNIV)
    27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
    only the remnant will be saved.
    28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”
    29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”

    *******

    Touching back on Romans 11:25-27 more of an explanation, Today's New International Version reads:

    Romans 11:25-27
    25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not think you are superior: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
    26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion;
    he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
    27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
    A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament [Edinburgh, 1937, G. Abbott-Smith, p. 329] defines hou'tos as meaning “in this way, so, thus.”)

    What we want to take particular notice of is that this saving of “all Israel” is accomplished, not by conversion of all the Jews, but by the ‘coming in’ of people from Gentile nations. Thus the phrase, “in this way”, is linked to the thought, “until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.”

    Why would that be so? For two obvious reasons:

    In verses 2-5 Paul clearly shows it to be the remnant of Israel he knows are yet there and will be saved, but Paul has no idea how many that will be. So in verse 28 Paul tells us that “as concerning the gospel, (that is, as concerning their need to be preached to), they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election (that is, as it relates to God's election of a remnant of them), they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.” In other words, for the sake of the promises God made to the fathers God will salvage as many as will allow it. Paul did not know how many that would be. Paul said clearly he hoped only that some might be saved.
    Paul showed how they would be saved in verses 13,14,30,31, as also at Romans 10:12-15, by the preaching work done by the Gentiles, which is why Paul was seeking to break the Gentiles of their high-mindedness. Thus the saving of “all Israel” is accomplished, not by conversion of all the Jews, but by the ‘coming in’ of people from Gentile nations. Their preaching would give God something to pick away at their blindness with. But God will force no one.

    Remember: Romans2:28,29 “He is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision that which is on the outside upon the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one on the inside, and his circumcision is that of the heart by spirit, and not by a written code.”
    And remember: Romans 9:6 “Not all who spring from Israel are really 'Israel'.”

    It is only Israel by spirit that is God's Israel. Israel, meaning “clinger with God”, by the spirit of faith in Jesus Christ, our mentor of the righteousness of God.

    *******

    All things under that Old Law Covenant were prophetic foreshadows of something greater in Christ, including that Old Law Covenant's people. We see that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all used by God to prophetically foreshadow things concerning Christ. Why then not all fleshly Israel?

    Abraham is the father of the faith that God recognizes. As such he is a picture of God who gives faith.

    Isaac is the picture of the Christ the Son of God, made to be born to Sarah's womb well beyond child-bearing years, even as God by His holy spirit made Mary conceive Jesus.

    And Jacob is the prophetic foreshadow of Jesus the Son of Man who would multiply seed in this earth to God, the Father, as represented by Abraham.

    John 12:23-24
    23 “And Jesus said to them in answer, The hour of the glory of the Son of man has come.
    24 Truly I say to you, If a seed of grain does not go into the earth and come to an end, it is still a seed and no more; but through its death it gives much fruit.”

    And as we put on the new man in Christ we are letting God shape our hearts so as to turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
     
  6. #106 Jehonadab, Dec 21, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013

    This is the last post of Romans 11, unless anyone has questions.

    I almost forgot this final part of Romans chapter 11 which often is misapplied as referring to fleshly Israel:

    What is the lump? Romans 11:16 “For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” (KJV)

    Some try to make the case that “the lump” at Romans 11:16 means the fleshly nation of Israel as a lump sum or whole, due to their special covenant with God. But is that idea scriptural?

    As the reference to the firstfruit is to Christ having risen from the dead, then the lump is the sum total of the elect firstfruits with Christ together with the remainder of the harvest of mankind, all those who have, and will have, risen from the dead by faith with Christ.
    Of what is that lump composed? Read, Ephesians 2:8-22

    1 Corinthians 15:20 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."


    By way of review:

    Galatians 3:8-9 “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.” (KJV)

    Romans 3:19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (KJV)

    Galatians 3:22 “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (KJV)

    Romans 11:32 “For God hath concluded[them]*all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” (KJV)

    * I square bracketed and italicized [them] because it does not appear in any of the manuscripts bearing that passage of scripture we label as Romans 11:32. The translator assumed that as the fleshly nation of Israel are being talked about as being blinded in their unbelief, it is logical that is what Paul meant. I agree. However, even if the final part of Romans 11:32, “that he might have mercy upon all”, means that fleshly nation, it does not alter the fact that the mercy shown them is in like manner to the mercy shown the Gentiles.

    Romans 11:30-31 “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.” (KJV)

    Similarly, we know that the context of Galatians chapter 3 shows Paul to be speaking of all mankind being concluded under sin. Therefore, we have sound basis for concluding from Romans 11:32 that all Paul is saying is that the same is true for the fleshly nation of Israel. Indeed, God is not a respecter of persons by flesh, even as Peter, Paul, and James, all three testified.

    1 Corinthians 1:27-29
    27 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
    28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
    29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.” (KJV)

    (Colossians 2:10-12; Colossians 3:1-7)
     

  7. Although the above comment was made long ago...I agree with the poster. There are two groups of the 144,000 and both numbers are representative of many more than the literal number.

    Revelation 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

    Revelation 14:1-4 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.


    One group - the tribes of Israel, both the house of Judah and the house of Israel. They sing the Song of Moses.

    Another group - the virgins (not defiled by false religion) redeemed from among all mankind. They, and only they, sing a new song.
     

  8. I have one immediate reservation about that:

    Ephesians 2:13-22
    13 "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
    14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
    15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
    16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
    17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
    18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
    19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
    20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
    21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
    22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (KJV)
     

  9. Who are they being addressed in the above passage? They are not the 144,000 of the tribes of Israel. Rather they are "strangers and foreigners" who are now "framed together" in the "holy temple in the Lord." They are the other group of 144,000 that are now a "habitation of God through the Spirit."

    The two groups are now one body of Christ. Gentiles and Israel are fellowcitizens.
     
  10. #110 Jehonadab, Dec 21, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
    I agree with you that what Ephesians two says is that, "The two groups are now one body of Christ. Gentiles and Israel are fellowcitizens."

    But if you follow all of the posts I have laid out how God does not recognize the flesh of man at all, but only the spirit by faith.

    As Paul said at 1 Cor. 15:39, mankind has but one flesh, and that flesh is the first Adam's flesh.

    No flesh is considered by God when it comes to His temple. The 144.000 are that temple and there is only one temple.

    Those who overcome are the 144,000:

    Revelation 3:12 "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."

    We see right there the same thing Ephesians 2 speaks about.

    There is much more I can share on this subject, like what the dispersing of the Ten Tribe kingdom and then later also the remaining Two Tribe kingdom among the earth's population, pictured.

    God did all of that to paint a prophetic picture which is explained to us in the scriptures.

    He dispersed them so that they would mingle with mankind and the entire earth become treated as was that first smaller Israel.

    The Israel of Rev. 7 is that world-wide Israel, yet in the unharvested condition as was the old natural Israel up unto Christ came.

    Israel has always principally pictured God's field in which He harvests.

    We could literally speak of this for days on end, there is so great a body of scripture pertaining to it to consider.

    During the day I am not on here much as i have no internet of my own and my neighbor kindly allows me to wireless into hers.

    So if there are long delays before I get back to you it is because I try to not use it when she wants to be on as I am afraid it will slow her down and disrupt her videos.
     

  11. The two groups of 144,000 are One.
     
  12. #112 Jehonadab, Dec 21, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
    That's fine.

    The important thing for us to see is that none of us can be fence straddlers with one foot in the world and one foot in Christ.

    If we are in the world, then we segregate ourselves by the external appearance of our one flesh, as if to suffer an illusion that we are separate.

    But in Christ we leave all that behind, like Paul, Galatians 6:14 "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."

    For, 1 Corinthians 11:32 "... when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world."

    Look around you at the fruit produced of the world's segregation. It's not a pretty picture; wars and when not wars, then covert operations and spying on one another, many innocent people being hindered and hurt all through the earth as it's fruit. Our economies over burdened by the costs, our planet being destroyed, not only by that activity, but because of the unhealthy spiritual environment such fosters pushing peoples drawing farther and farther away from God and goodness so that their greed grows and consumes.

    When God created man, He created man to be that one body, one spirit, in one faith of the one true God, which the first Adam through his sin lost for us and the last Adam by his spiritual body has re-introduced to us.

    Amen?
     
  13. Amen...we are in agreement.
     
  14. The commentary is interesting in that it takes a literal view of a book that is rich in symbolism (that is, full of non-literal concepts).

    144,000 does intend divide the tribes into 12,000. 12 represents wholeness or completeness in the Jewish mind. 1000 means 'very large' and usually is not intended to mean literally 1000.
     
  15. #115 tulsa 2011, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
    Romans 2: 28-29, when understood, gives us a basis for understanding the identity of the 144,000. In Romans 2: 17 Paul talks about Jews, there addressing a Jew, and in verses 28-29 he says that a Jew is no longer defined in a physical way, by that which is outward. But now a Jew is anyone who is an inward Jew, in the spirit and not in the letter. But Jew as a term applies to Israel. Paul is talking about Israel here, not to just those who were of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In Romans 9: 6-8 Paul does use the word Israel, saying that they are not all Israel which are of Israel, and that they which are the children of the flesh - Israel after the flesh (I Corinthians 10: 18) - these are not the children of God. So, Paul is saying the same thing in Romans 2: 28-29 that he says in Romans 9: 6-8, that Israel has been changed in Christ. This change fulfills Jeremiah 18: 6, "O house of Israel,cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord."

    The 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14 are of Israel of the New Covenant. They are "Jews" inwardly, of the Spirit, not "Jews" outwardly, defined by their DNA, their flesh.

    The next question is whether the 144,000 is a literal or figurative number. Without getting into heavy Biblical numerology, the explicit listing of 12 tribes and the twelve thousand from each can be seen as being figurative.

    Then the next question is when do the 144,000 appear as a group, though they are physically scattered over the world? Revelation 7: 3, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads" points to the tribulation of Matthew 24: 21 and Matthew 24: 29-30. But Matthew 24: 29 says "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken."

    If these changes in the sun and moon, stars and heavens are to occur after the tribulation, then what is the tribulation? We would have to look at other end time Bible prophecies to began figuring out what the tribulation is. One possibility is that it is like the threshing floor of Jeremiah 51: 33, where the wheat is separated from the tares. It could be something like the valley of decision in Joel 3: 14, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision."

    The evangelists have used Joel 3: 14 to point to the decision to accept Christ. Since Joel 3: 14 ties the multitudes in the valley of decision to the day of the Lord, it can be seen as the valley of decision in the end time, near the time which Christ appears again. But this time of decision involves a decision about the truth versus false doctrines.

    Nothing is said about the ministry of the 144,000 in Revelation 7 and Revelation 14. The answer to that question has to come from other scripture, and Daniel 11: 33 is one scripture on this question. "And they that understand among the people shall instruct many..." The remnant is in the Book of Revelation: The remnant is in 11: 13, 12: 17 and 19: 21. "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12: 17
     
  16. The 144,000 are "real" Jews. The Bible makes it clear that Christians who are spiritually Jews, still aren't physically Jews.

    Rev 2:9; 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
    Rev 3:9; 'Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie--I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.

    The 144,000 is a real number, it doesn't represent everyone who is going to heaven.

    Rev 7:9; After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;

    Nor does it even mean only 144,000 Jews will enter heaven. It only means these are a special remnant.

    Rev 14:3; And they *sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.
    Rev 14:4; These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
    Rev 14:5; And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

    Some take the phrase "defiled with women" to mean different things, but it could simply mean they are virgin (sexually pure) men. The verse above appears to disqualify any of the 144,000 from being women.
     
  17. When the several 19th century cults came along and dispensationalism took over a majority of Christian denominations, the older Reformation "hermeneutic," that scripture interprets scripture, was in large part lost and key scriptures came to be spun to fit dispensationalism.

    The main six 19th century cults were dispensationalism, Christian Identity, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventism, Scientology and the Mormons. Christian Identity is the belief that the Celtic, Germanic and Slavic Caucasian peoples are descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, and are therefore the "chosen" people.

    After dispenationalism had taken over a majority of the denominations by the mid 20th century, then scripture, and especially end time Bible prophecy, came to be interpreted by dispensationalism and its "hermeneutic." Over the decades since the late 19th century in the U.S. dispensationalism became a tradition of men (Matthew 15: 6, Mark 7: 8).

    In addition, the more recent tradition of men encourages people to consider one scripture at a time and not to bring up a number of scriptures all at once. The reason for doing this, in part, is to make it easier to promote an interpretation of a scripture that is along the lines of a particular tradition of men. Bringing up several end time scriptures all at once to help interpret a heavily metaphoric end time prophecy might lead people to return to the old Reformation idea that scripture interprets scripture.

    The tradition of men called dispensationalism, Christian Zionism, separation theology, postponement theology or the rapture cult starts from two basic assumptions, the first stating that God now has two peoples, Old Covenant Israel and something called the church, a word originally referring to a pagan goddess and pagan places of worship, circe, or chirche pronounced Kirchee. For dispensationalism physical Israel stands alongside the capital C Church, which is the Kirchee. The second starting assumption of dispensationalism is its own "hermeneutic," or system of Bible interpretation.

    On http://www.realapologetics.<wbr>org/blog/...lism/#_ftnref3

    "[Prophecy is] the ground of absolute literalness."[5]

    "Jerusalem is always Jerusalem, Israel always Israel, Zion always Zion…Prophecies may never be spiritualized, but are always literal.[6]" Quotes from C.I. Scofield, the first classical American dispensationalist.

    In 1936, Lewis S. Chafer, a classical dispensationalist who founded the Dallas Theological Seminary, defined Scofield's literalism as "The outstanding characteristic of the dispensationalist is ... that he believes every statement of the Bible and gives to it the plain, natural meaning its words imply."

    From: L. S. Chafer, ‘Dispensationalism,’ Bibliotheca Sacra, 93, October (1936), pp410, 417.

    Charles C. Ryrie says "This distinction between Israel and the church is born out of a system of hermeneutics that is usually called literal interpretation. Therefore, the second aspect of the sine qua non of dispensationalism is the matter of historical-grammatical hermeneutics. The word literal is perhaps not as good as either the word normal or plain, but in any case it is interpretation that does not spiritualize or allegorize as nondispensational interpretation often does. The spiritualizing may be practiced to a lesser or greater degree, but its presence in a system of interpretation is indicative of a nondispensational approach." From: Dispensationalism. Charles C. Ryrie. Moody Press, Chicago. 1995.
     
  18. @Chad this thread was started by you in june of 2006 . 114 posts ..should we consider closing it or let it run..? ...Rev
     
  19. #119 Jehonadab, Jan 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
    Sorry for the delay. My Internet connection went on a Christmas vacation the day after my last post. :)

    In post 115 Tulsa 2011, says:

    "[Romans 2:28-29, when understood, gives us a basis for understanding the identity of the 144,000. In Romans 2: 17 Paul talks about Jews, there addressing a Jew, and in verses 28-29 he says that a Jew is no longer defined in a physical way, by that which is outward. But now a Jew is anyone who is an inward Jew, in the spirit and not in the letter. But Jew as a term applies to Israel. Paul is talking about Israel here, not to just those who were of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In Romans 9:6-8 Paul does use the word Israel, saying that they are not all Israel which are of Israel, and that they which are the children of the flesh - Israel after the flesh (I Corinthians 10: 18) - these are not the children of God. So, Paul is saying the same thing in Romans 2:28-29 that he says in Romans 9:6-8, that Israel has been changed in Christ. This change fulfills Jeremiah 18: 6, "O house of Israel,cannot I do with you as this potter?", saith the Lord.]"


    I agree that what Tulsa 2011 has said there is an accurate appraisal of Paul's words. But I feel that what Tulsa 2011 goes onto say, lacks clarity, specifically as seen here:

    "[The 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14 are of Israel of the New Covenant. They are "Jews" inwardly, of the Spirit, not "Jews" outwardly,defined by their DNA, their flesh.]"

    Not that what Tulsa 2011 said there is incorrect, but that it needs further inspection and elaboration, for it can easily be construed to mean that the Israel seen in Revelation chapter seven is the true spiritual Israel of God.

    I cannot say, from the way Tulsa worded it, whether Tulsa meant it as in that Israel is God's true spiritual Israel, or whether Tulsa meant it as in that the 144,000 are God's true spiritual Israel being revealed from among all men.

    And I find an interesting question indicated there. Is that world-wide Israel, as seen not yet harvested at Revelation chapter seven, the New Covenant Israel?

    Or, is it only the revealed sons of God (represented as the 144,000) who have been selected (that is to say, who have been truly called, chosen, and sealed) from out of that Israel, that are both the true spiritual Israel of God and the true New Covenant Israel in Christ? We must know that New Covenant is only "in Christ", and it matters not what the flesh pretends to be. We cannot truly be in Christ lest we be of the spirit of Christ. (Romans 8:9-10) And those not sealed out of those tribes of Israel were not sealed precisely because they (at least as yet) did not prove to be complete as servants of God in Christ. (Revelation 7:3; 14:4-5; Deuteronomy 18:13; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 2:5; 2:9; Ephesians 1:4; 5:27; Revelation 22:11)


    What I think needs to be emphasized at the point of Revelation 7 is that the Israel there portrayed compares to the ancient Israel which Paul said was not all truly Israel. Though all were viewed as Israel as to flesh, (for we are all in reality one flesh of Adam), that Israel was a mixture of both righteous and unrighteous, faithful and unfaithful, the not really spiritually hungry of heart and the really spiritually hungry of heart. As such not all of that Israel was God's true Israel of the spirit of Abraham and nether is the larger one of this world seen at Revelation chapter 7.

    The ancient Israel in it's divided state (the flesh warring against the spirit - Galatians 5:17) was the prophetic foreshadow of the now world-wide Israel which exists in a similar state, and in which God performs a wonderful work, revealing the true sons of God. (Romans 8:19)

    Revelation 7's Israel is yet the threshing floor upon which the true spiritual Israel of God is revealed, even as Tulsa 2011 proceeded to point out, saying:

    "[Then the next question is when do the 144,000 appear as a group, though they are physically scattered over the world? Revelation 7:3, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads" points to the tribulation of Matthew 24: 21 and Matthew 24:29-30. But Matthew 24: 29 says "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.]"


    That is an astute observation of which the many of us who might have already presumed to identify certain members of the 144,000 (whether considering the number as literal or not) need to give thought.

    Perhaps the question ought to turn there, to, 'Does the future revealing of the group completed to perfection as God’s true spiritual Israel preclude our ability to discern who certain of the individuals of that group are? I may have at times wrongly assumed apart from the facts on that point, myself. Consider: Romans 16:13 “Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.”


    Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

    That part, “if so be that we suffer with him”, reminds me that king Saul was none-the-less recognized as an anointed king sitting upon God’s throne over God’s people, even though king Saul proved in the end not to finish the contest.

    But then, Saul’s appointment of God was attested to by God’s prophet, Samuel. That then leaves us to ask how Samuel was attested to so as to prove he was God’s true prophet that we should know? Could it be in that, 1 Samuel 3:19-20 “And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.”

    That seems to justify our inspection.

    Who, as proved by none of their words being allowed to fall to the ground, is that prophet today?
     
  20. In Rev.7 about God's sealing, I see two groups that are according to God's Salvation Plan for both seed of Israel and Gentiles.

    It's important to recall what Apostle Paul said in Romans 11:1-5 about seed of Israel which God preserved as the remnant election of grace, just as He told Elijah in his days that He had preserved 7,000 to Himself that had not bowed the knee to Baal. So there's no reason to think the 144,000 of Rev.7 isn't meant literally.

    For those familiar with the OT prophets, there are reasons why the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are left out of that Rev.7 list (they are put back in at the end of Ezek.47-48 though). That's another clue those 144,000 Israelites are meant literally.

    At Rev.7:9 forward we are given a picture of Gentile believers having come out of tribulation, and washed their robes in the Blood of The Lamb. It doesn't say they are 'sealed' like the 144,000, but that's what those verses are pointing to. The whole Rev.7 chapter is about God's sealing of His servants which involves the great tribulation timing. This is why the angels are told to not let the four winds blow until God's servants are sealed. The loosing of the four winds is a metaphor for events on the Day of The LORD, the day of Christ's coming and end of this world.

    So what is God's sealing of Rev.7 for? That's not revealed in Revelation until later in Rev.9.

    Rev 9:4-6
    4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
    5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
    6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
    (KJV)

    That locust army will not be allowed to hurt any green thing (i.e., the earth), nor kill those that don't have God's seal, but only sting them for five months. (More of what those locusts do is written in the Book of Joel.) With this Rev.9 example we have to use our mind and think differently to understand, kind of like a process of elimination in order to discover info about God's servants that will be sealed per Rev.7.

    If the locusts cannot kill those not sealed, then what does it mean for God's elect that are sealed? Since the locusts are given to only sting those not sealed, what about those who are sealed?

    That helps reveal what God's sealing in Rev.7 is for. It is in order to make a stand for Christ through the tribulation. It is a sealing against deception by the coming Antichrist who that locust army works for. The stinging is like a scorpion, not that they are real scorpions, but their 'sting' acts like one, but applied spiritually. It is a spiritual sting of deception, because later at the end of Rev.9 we're shown those locust as horsemen running to battle, and their power is in their mouths, meaning lies.

    God's sealing is also about the matter of Christ opening the seals of the book in Rev.5; it's about understanding the events of the end given in the Seals so as to not be deceived.

    Thus the 144,000 out of 12 tribes of Israel is pointing to literal Israelites sealed by God for the tribulation timing. And the great multitude of Rev.7:9 forward are the sealed of the believing Gentiles that will wash their robes and make them white in the Blood of The Lamb by making a stand through the trib also.
     

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