Wednesday, 19 July 2017


It's curious that Thessalonians and Revelation didn't mention any of the details you're describing.

In fact, they didn't even mention the larger end-time scenario you're asserting at all, let alone the details!

They didn't even mention Israel at all, with regard to the second coming, in that way. 

Both books were addressed to Gentile churches, in fact. It was about them, as much as it might be about Jews. 

(Even the thousand year reign in Revelation, didn't mention a thing at all about Israel, Jerusalem, a Temple, Levitical sacrifices, pilgrimages to keep the Feasts, etc. Not a word!)

What's noteworthy is that Jesus didn't mention the scenario you've described either. Neither did John the Baptist. Nor James. Nor John. Nor Peter. 

And I'm not convinced Paul had your exact scenario in mind either, in Romans 11. Not convinced. 

When I said Paul said the Old Covenant was made obsolete by the new, no I wasn't quoting Romans - I had Hebrews in mind, which states it just that directly - but yes, I think the same point is made in Romans also (and in Galatians, and in Acts, and in John, etc, etc...)

Paul didn't say that Jews who don't believe in Jesus must continue carrying out the Old Covenant law and that they are justified by faith while doing so. He said that Jews (the circumcision) are justified by faith (that is, by believing in God's finished work in Christ on the cross) just as Gentiles (the uncircumcision) are. Both must come the same way: by faith (in Jesus). That's New Testament doctrine 1.0.1.

God hasn't taken away any of Israel's privileges. He hasn't closed the door to any of their promises. Their New Covenant is based on better promises than their former Covenant - not on worse promises! 

God didn't remove any of His goodwill towards Jews. He didn't revoke their calling and gifts. All He did was give them a new and better covenant! It's better because it's about JESUS, and about really being saved and really receiving the Spirit, and because it was receivable freely, making Moses' rituals, ceremonies and other distinctly 'Jewish' requirements obsolete.

It will be really nice if literally all Israel do get saved in future. But if they do, it will have to be by believing in Jesus before He comes, not after He comes. And God won't have any interest in it involving Levitical worship at all. 

(In fact Levitical worship can't ever legitimately happen again in future anyway, not only because Jesus made it obsolete, but for logistical reasons. Priests weren't allowed to function, unless they could prove by written genealogy their direct descent from Levi: no-one can do that today. It hasn't been possible for Jews to keep the Law, since around AD70 - not even if they wanted to. 

But as for all Israel getting saved, did you notice: not even Zechariah said all Israel would be saved? In fact, he mentioned a proportion of them being destroyed: even in the same prophecy. 

Neither did Malachi mention it. And John the Baptist was quoting him, when he issued his dire warnings to Israel. 

Jesus picked up the same warnings, as seen in John's Gospel. 

The Old Testament needed to be rightly divided - and it's Jesus' words which gave the Apostles the light to do that. Look at the ways they applied details in Old Testament prophecies to their own time.

Jesus didn't say that Moses' requirements should continue to be carried-out unchanged by the Jews. He spoke of major changes coming! But He brought those changes about seamlessly, without breaking the Law in the process, but by fulfilling it. 

None of the ethics of the Law ever cease to apply: because God Himself doesn't change. Divine 'law' is written on every heart - even the Gentiles! 

I don't feel that I'm closed to what the New Testament has to say about it. I think I'm eager to learn. 

But two New Testament things I do feel quite sure of:

1) Jesus is Messiah; and

2) God isn't interested in anyone returning to the shadow!

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