Interpretations: Prophetic Program - Separating a people
|7||b. Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the new covenant|
After the worldwide flood, the descendants of Noah multiplied after leaving the ark, the lines of families grew from Ham, Shem and Japheth. The biblical record shows a dramatic change in the life span of people living after the flood as shown in the following graphic.
This time after the flood is marked dispensationally as the age of government. Up to this time, God was dealing with mankind as a whole, though they would not accept His way of life. Within a few generations from Noah, God would choose Abram and his descendants to become a nation through whom He would reveal Himself to the rest of the world. Through Abram (later Abraham, Genesis 17:5) all the families of the earth would be blessed, Genesis 12:1-4.
As the world population of mankind began to increase again from the descendants of Noah after the worldwide flood, Abram appeared on the pages of scripture as God’s representative. God used Abraham and his lineage to reveal Himself to all mankind, Isaiah 51:2, Romans 3:1, as shown in the following graphic. Paul wrote that it was through Israel that God made covenants, gave the law, the priestly service, the promises, and through this family line Christ came bodily, who is over all forever, Romans 9:4-5, John 1:14.
This prophetic view through time of establishing the kingdom of God to bring comfort and rest to mankind that was revealed to the believing line of Adam before the flood, is the same promise that the Lord gave to Abram, centuries after the flood. However, these promises to Abram were more specific in that they were presented to Abram (later Abraham, Genesis 17:5) in the form of covenants, to him and his descendants, Genesis 15:12-21, 17:1-14. But as in the prediluvian days where only a few believed, the same is true among the descendants of Jacob who elected to follow God’s Word, and heed His warnings.
Paul quoted the Psalms, when he wrote that the Lord was grieved with the generation during the 40 years of wandering, so He swore in His wrath that they should not enter into His rest, Psalms 95:6-11, Hebrews 3:7-11, 4:3-11. Those warnings God gave to the nation of Israel were first given through Moses, who is a descendent of Abraham. The Lord said that the people of Israel would not remain faithful to Him throughout their generations, but turn to other gods and worship idols, Deuteronomy 30:17-20. Jesus also told the Pharisees in the great argument they had with Him, that Abraham rejoiced to see this (the first advent of Jesus) day; and he saw it and was glad. Then in answering the incredulous response of the Jews around Him after talking of Abraham, Jesus declared, “Before Abraham was, I am,” thus declaring Himself God, John 8:56-58. Jesus may have been referencing the time when Melchizedeck blessed Abram. It may be that this revelation was given to Abraham by Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the most high God, when he blessed Abraham after his great victory against those who took Lot captive, Genesis 14:13-20. It may also have been given when the Lord told Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham was faithful to fulfill all the Lord had told him to do, but the Lord stopped him from completing the act. Instead, the Lord provided a ram for the offering, Genesis 22:1-18. This also revealed the sacrifice that would be made to redeem mankind from their sin based on God’s grace through the shed blood off Christ Jesus, 1Corinthians 15:1-4, Ephesians 2:8-9, Colossians 1:14.
God did make an everlasting covenant with Noah, mankind and every living creature that was with him on the ark, that the world will not be destroyed again by a flood, Genesis 9:8-16. Later, God entered into an unconditional covenant relationship with Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob. To the nation of Israel, which came through this line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, pertained the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God and the promises. Of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God, Romans 9:4-5.
Stephen recited to the high priest and others at his trial, how God appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia, telling him to depart out of his country and from his relatives to a land that the Lord would show him, Acts 7:2-3, Genesis 15:7. Instead, Abram departed from the Ur of the Chaldees with his father Terah and stopped for a season in Haran, after the death of Terah’s son Haran, Genesis 11:27-31. They remained in Haran, until Terah’s death at the age of 205 years, Genesis 11:31-32. Terah served other gods, Joshua 24:2. This had an adverse impact on the rest of his family as they too worshiped idols as evidence by Laban and Rachel, Genesis 31:30-32. However, God spoke with Abram while the family was in Haran, and told him to get out of your country and your father’s house to a land He would show Abram, Genesis 12:1. This would separate Abraham from the idolatrous practices of his father’s household.
The first set of promises the Lord made to Abram were, after he moved from Haran, Genesis 12:2-3:
- The Lord would make him a great nation
- Abram would be blessed by the Lord
- The Lord would make Abram’s name great
- Abram shall be a blessing
- The Lord would bless those who bless Abram
- The Lord would curse those who curse Abram
- In Abram all the families of the earth shall be blessed
When Abram was 75 years old, he took Lot with him, Genesis 12:4-5, with all their possessions and the people they acquired in Haran and made their way to the land of Canaan.
In Canaan, the Lord appeared to Abram and gave a second promise to Abram that, Genesis 12:7: To your descendants I will give this land
Even though Abram had a lapse in his faith by fleeing to Egypt during a famine in Canaan, he returned into the promised land. There, Lot departed from Abram toward Sodom and Gomorrah with all his flocks, herds and tents, Genesis 13:10-11, and Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, Genesis 13:12. Afterward, Lot and his family were taken captive by invaders that attacked Sodom. Abram immediately took his trained servants, whom he armed, and went after the invaders, Genesis 14:14. Abram defeated the invaders and rescued Lot with his goods. On Abram’s return, Melchizedek king of Salem and priest of the most high God, brought bread and wine, and blessed Abram. Abram was recognized to have been blessed by the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth. Then King Melchizedek praised the most high God who delivered all the enemies of Abram into Abram’s hand. Then Abram gave him a tithe (a tenth) of all he had, Genesis 14:18-20.
Melchizedek is a name of an office and not necessarily the name of a specific person, but the few times it is mentioned, mostly in the book of Hebrews, it refers to a very high priestly office. This office ministered to all mankind, which existed before Abram was called by God to separate himself from his country, family and father, and leave for a land he would show him, Genesis 12:1. The next time this title shows up is in David’s Psalm 110, where God the Father makes a number of statements to God the Son. In one statement, God the Father gave the title of being a priest forever to the Son after the order of Melchizedek, Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5:10, 7:17. This title is a type of Christ, Hebrews 6:20, and is superior to the priesthood held by the tribe of Levi, as written by Paul, Hebrews 7:9-28.
This encounter with Melchizedek, allowed Abram to separate himself from the King of Sodom, by not accepting any of the spoil from him for the victory against their enemies. Abram’s servants took their share of the spoils of their victory, which was their right, Genesis 14:17, 21-24. This was a critical moment that the man of God was separated from the world and its ways, and the future increase would be given to Abram from God, not the world. As with Abram, the Body-of-Christ is to be separated from the world. Paul wrote to the believers in Rome, we are not to be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is good, acceptable, and perfect will of God, Romans 12:2. This also demonstrates that God does not share His glory with anyone, no one can boast in the presence of God, Isaiah 42:8, 1Corinthians 1:29, Ephesians 2:8-10.
Thereafter, the Lord came to Abram in a vision, revealing to him that God was his shield, and his exceedingly great reward, Genesis 15:1. God also promised Abram that his descendants would have that land. Then Abram asked God how this could happen, seeing that he was childless. Culturally, without an inheritor, all Abram had would go to his steward, Eliezer of Damascus, Genesis 15:2. The Lord assured Abram that Eliezer would not be the heir of all Abram had, but that a son from Abram’s seed would be born to him, Genesis 15:4. The Lord then took Abram out and demonstrated by the number of the stars he could see, that his children would be like the numbers of the stars, numerous, Genesis 15:5. God reaffirmed his promise to Abram when he brought him out of the Ur of the Chaldees, that this land God brought him to, would be his to inherit, Genesis 15:7.
To firmly establish this promise, God ordered Abram to follow the custom of the day and take a number of specific animals of an appropriate age, slaughter and divide their bodies, except the birds. Normally in that day, when two people entered into a covenant, both would walk together between the animal parts to consecrate the covenant. This time, however, Abram fell into a deep sleep, that was described a horror of great darkness. Then Abram saw a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp pass through the pieces. At that moment, the Lord made a covenant with Abram saying, “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates,” Genesis 15:12,17-18. The way the Lord conducted this unconditional covenant, Abram had no part, he was only the recipient of God’s promises to Abram’s seed concerning the land.
The Lord also told Abram the timeframe when this promise would begin to be given to Abram’s seed, Genesis 15:13-16:
- His children will be strangers in a land that is not theirs (Egypt), at some future time
- His children will be afflicted by the host of the land
- From when this promise was given until they returned to take their land as their inheritance, would be 400 years
- When they leave the land they were inflicted in, they will leave with great substance
- It will be the fourth generation after Abram, whom God will lead out of the land of affliction to take the land of promise. The first in Abram’s progeny, to enter into Egypt was Joseph, Genesis 37:28. Many years later all his brothers went to Egypt because the famine was great in the land of Canaan, Genesis 43:33-34. Later, God marks the line of Levi to count the four generations were: Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses, Exodus 6:16-20
- God said that the land Abram’s descendants would go to (Egypt) would be temporary. It was not the land promised to them. God said they would return to their promised land in 400 years, which was based on the time for the iniquity of the Amorites to reach the maximum God would allow, Genesis 15:13. This is similar to what the LORD declared to Noah before the worldwide flood, that people alive in the world would only have 120 years left before the judgment of the flood would occur, Genesis 6:3
When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and identified Himself as the Almighty God. He told Abram to walk before Him and be perfect. He then said that there would be a covenant between God and Abram, and that God would multiply him exceedingly, Genesis 17:1-2. The Lord again affirmed that Abram would be a father of many nations, and so He renamed Abram, Abraham. The Lord further said that kings would come out of Abraham’s lineage, and that this covenant would be established with Abraham and his seed after him. Importantly, this was an everlasting covenant, meaning through eternity future; it had no time limitation. The other points in this everlasting covenant were, Genesis 17:4-14:
- He would be a God unto Abraham and to his seed after him
- All the land where he was a stranger and all the land of Canaan will be an everlasting possession, again for all eternity, and He will be their God
- God instituted circumcision of every male child born in the line of Abraham as a token of this covenant
- This was to be accomplished when the boy was eight days old, as well as one born in the house, or bought with money from any stranger that is not of Abraham’s line. This is again an everlasting covenant
- Those who were not circumcised would be cut off from Israel, as he broke God’s covenant
God then changed the name of Abraham’s wife’s name from Sarai, to Sarah, because the promised son of Abraham would come through her, and she will be a mother of many nations and kings shall be of her, Genesis 17:15-16.
Though Abraham thought God was referring to his first-born child Ishmael through Hagar, Genesis 17:17-18, God reiterated to Abraham that Sarah would bear him a son, and he was to be named Isaac, Genesis 17:19. God reconfirmed that God’s covenant with Abraham would be established with Isaac, and he would be born the following year, Genesis 17:21. After God finished talking with Abraham and left, Abraham circumcised himself, Ishmael, and all the men of his house, born in the house and bought with money of the stranger, Genesis 17:26-27.
One of the most powerful and consequential interactions between Abram and Lord occurred after Abram finally separated himself from his country, family, father, Lot, and the king of Sodom, and he was in the land God showed him. Then the Lord came to Abram in a vision. The Lord told Abram not to fear, and that He was Abram’s shield and exceeding great reward, Genesis 15:1. Throughout scripture, the Word describes God’s blessings as abundant, where Paul wrote, that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, Ephesians 3:20. Paul also wrote that eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him, 1Corinthians 2:9.
In the vision, Abram asked about being childless in light of the promises he had already received from God, such as being a great nation, Genesis 12:2. Since Sarai was too old and not able to become pregnant by Abram, he did not understand how God would accomplish this. Customary in his day, the steward of the house would inherit all Abram had if he died childless, Genesis 15:2-3. God assured Abram that he would have a child, and more, a great progeny, Genesis 15:4-5. Being childless weighed heavily on Abram, and this vision from God was an enormous moment in his life. It was a big step when Abram followed the Lord to a new land, Genesis 12:1, and now the Lord was giving Abram an even greater promise, a heritage that was going to be blessed by the Lord, Genesis 15:1-5. So, Abram believed the Lord, and He counted it to Abram for righteousness, Genesis 15:6.
This is an absolutely critical event for believers in the Body-of-Christ. Paul wrote about this declaration of Abram’s righteousness; that it was not based on works or circumcision, Romans 4:10-11, but on believing on the Lord who justifies the ungodly, Romans 4:5. This led Paul to write that of faith, by grace, that Abraham is the father of us all, the circumcision and uncircumcision, Romans 4:16-17. Paul further shows the extension of Abraham’s experience to all of us who believe, Romans 4:23-25, to the end that being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1. Paul further wrote that in the ages to come, that God would show the exceeding riches of His grace and kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. That by grace we are saved through faith; not of ourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works lest anyone should boast, Ephesians 2:7-9.
When Isaac was several years old (some say a teenager), God told Abraham to take his only son Isaac to the land of Moriah, and there offer him as a burnt offering, Genesis 22:2. As written by Paul, Abraham believed God was able to raise Isaac from the dead, Hebrews 11:19, (which looked forward to Jesus Christ being offered on the cross for the redemption of mankind from the penalty of sin.) As all of this began to be played out, the voice of the Lord called out from heaven to Abraham to not slay Isaac, but another suitable sacrifice, a ram, was found in the nearby thicket. This ram was sacrificed in place of Isaac, as Jesus was to be hung on a cross and shed His blood in place of every person ever born, since every person ever born inherited the sin nature from Adam, Genesis 5:3, Romans 3:10-12. However, the sacrifice of Christ Jesus made a way of salvation to mankind, if they believed in Christ and called upon His name, Romans 10:9-13. Then God called Abraham again and swore by Himself that in blessing, God would bless Abraham, and He would multiply the seed of Abraham as many as the stars of heaven and the sand upon the seashore. The Lord further said that Abraham’s seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. Most importantly, God said that in His seed (Jesus), all the nations of earth would be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience, Genesis 22:11-18.
After the death of Joseph and his brothers in the land of Egypt, Exodus 1:6, a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph and all the Lord did through him. Instead, the king saw how the population of Israel had increased greatly, filling the land of Goshen, and viewed them as a threat to his reign, Exodus 1:7-10. To control them, he first ordered taskmasters over Israel to afflict them as the were forced to build cities for Pharoah, and worked with speed and no rest in all they were tasked to do. Instead of Israel’s population shrinking, it grew even more, to the point that they were viewed as a greater threat to Egypt, Exodus 1:11-14. The king of Egypt ordered the Hebrew midwives for Israel to kill any Hebrew boy born to a Hebrew woman, Exodus 1:16. But they ignored the king’s command and allowed the boys to be born, making an excuse for their failure to follow the king’s command, Exodus 1:17-20. Next, Pharaoh charged all his people to throw the newborn boys into the river, Exodus 1:22.
After baby Moses was three months old, his parents could not hide him any longer from Pharoah’s commandment to kill the Hebrew boys. God had chosen Moses from his birth. Paul wrote that the parents of Moses saw their baby Moses was beautiful, and refused to comply with king’s commandment, Hebrews 11:23. So, they built an ark, hid him in it, and placed it with the child among the reeds in the river, Exodus 2:3. Eventually, Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses in the ark, took him as her son, though she knew he was one of the Hebrew’s children. While the child was young, Pharaoh’s daughter hired the mother of Moses to nurse him, Exodus 2:5-10. Moses learned of his family’s heritage through his mother. As Moses grew in Pharaoh’s daughter’s charge, he was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, might in works and deeds, Acts 7:22.
When Stephen spoke before the high priest and those with him, Stephen spoke about the time of promise God swore to Abraham, Acts 7:17. In the early days of Moses, few had faith, expecting deliverance from the harsh treatment by the Pharaoh. Moses had that expectation. and acted on it when he was 40 years old. He sought to defend a brother Hebrew being afflicted by an Egyptian, and Moses slew the Egyptian. Moses expected the other Hebrews to know that God was going to deliver them by his hands, but the other Hebrews neither had that knowledge or were willing to accept the words of Moses, Acts 7:23-28. When Pharaoh heard Moses killed an Egyptian, he sought to have Moses killed. So, Moses fled eastward to the land of Midian. There he settled down as a sheep herder and married the daughter of the priest of Midian, Exodus 2:14-22.
This expectation of deliverance was based on the promise given to Abraham, when he was told that his seed would be in another foreign land, where they would be afflicted. But, in the fourth generation they would return to the land promised to Abraham, Genesis 15:13-16. The first generation to enter into Egypt was Joseph and his brothers. All 12 brothers were together in Joseph’s house in Egypt, Genesis 43:29-34. When it came time for Israel/Jacob (Joseph’s father) and his entire family to move from the land of promise to the land of Goshen, Israel offered sacrifices to God in Beersheba. There God assured Jacob that, Genesis 46:1-7:
- It was His will that Jacob and all he had would move down to Egypt
- Jacob was not to fear
- God promised that He would make a great nation of Jacob there
- He would be with them in Egypt
- He would bring them back to the promised land again
- Joseph would see Jacob before he died
When Moses was away from Egypt, in the land of Midian, he was tending his father-in-law’s flock, and came to the mountain of God, Mount Horeb. It is there that the Lord appeared to Moses from a burning bush, but the fire did not consume the bush. It is there that God called out “Moses, Moses,” and spoke with Moses, Exodus 3:1-2. During the dialog between Moses and God, God revealed His name that Moses was to reveal to the children of Israel, I AM, Exodus 3:13-14. This is the same name God identified Himself with Abraham, Genesis 15:1, 7, and later used by Jesus while speaking with the Pharisees, John 8:56-58. God had also told Moses that when he brought out the people out of Egypt, they were to serve God upon this very same mountain, Exodus 3:12. So, Moses at 80 years old, received the commission from God to return to Egypt and deliver the Word of God to Pharaoh, Exodus 7:7.
Moses complained to the Lord that he was not an eloquent speaker; that he was slow of speech. The Lord responded, that He would be the mouth of Moses, and teach Moses what to say. Moses tried a second time to have the Lord send someone else but then the Lord became angry with him. This time, the Lord told Moses that Aaron the Levite and brother of Moses would speak for him. Then the Lord informed Moses that Aaron was already on his way to meet with Moses. Moses then asked his father-in-law for permission to leave. Then finally, the Lord told Moses that all the men who sought the life of Moses had died, so Moses was told to go back to Egypt, Exodus 4:10-19.
When Moses and Aaron arrived in Egypt, they went to the children of Israel and gathered all their elders. They were shown the signs God gave Moses. Aaron also spoke the words of God, which were given to Moses, and the people worshiped God, Exodus 4:27-31.
Christ Jesus created all things, in heaven and earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him, Colossians 1:16. Paul also wrote to the Romans that God raised up Pharaoh for the purpose to show God’s power and that His name would be declared throughout all the earth, Romans 9:17, Exodus 9:16. God began a contest against the false gods Egypt worshiped, and to demonstrate that He rules over Pharoah. The following table summarizes the 10 plagues Egypt suffered due to the hardness of Pharoah’s heart. The plagues are listed in order of occurrence, with a short description of the plague, who was affected, an associated scripture verse, and in the right column, which plagues Pharaoh’s magicians were able to duplicate.
The last day before the last plague, the Lord told Moses to take three actions. First, he was to have the children of Israel plunder Egypt, by going to their neighbors to ask for jewels of silver and gold. The Egyptians were accepting this as the Lord made the image of Moses great among the Egyptians, Exodus 11:1-3. Second, Moses appeared before Pharaoh to warn him concerning the impact of the last plague upon Egypt that night. Moses told Pharaoh that the firstborn of Egypt shall die, no matter a person’s social status, including Pharaoh’s house. Then, Moses said, all the people of Egypt will tell Moses and all those with him, to “go” out of Egypt. Pharoah refused and Moses left in great anger, knowing this terrible thing was happening because of Pharaoh’s hardness of heart, Exodus 11:4-10. Third, God had Moses prepare the children of Israel for that midnight, and instituted Passover. This was the first of seven feasts that would be later revealed, which all Israel was to observe for all their generations, Exodus 12:1-28.
At midnight, the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, including Pharoah’s firstborn. That same time in the night, Pharoah called Moses and Aaron to leave, and to bless him also. Even the Egyptians urgently pressed Israel to leave Egypt in haste, Exodus 12:29-36.
As they left Egypt, God led the children of Israel across the Sinai Peninsula, as shown in the following graphic from minimannamoments, across the gulf of Aqaba, then on to the mountain where He first met Moses.
Two events occurred on the journey of the children of Israel to the Mount Sinai. First, during their journey, Paul wrote that all of them were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 1Corinthians 10:2. The Lord went before the children of Israel on their exodus as a pillar of a cloud, and a pillar of fire to give them light so they could travel by day and night, Exodus 13:21. Second, Moses told the people not to fear, for they would not see the Egyptians anymore, who were pursuing the children of Israel with their chariots, Exodus 14:13. As promised, the Lord destroyed all the pursuing Egyptians, with their chariots and horses in the sea, Exodus 14:26-28.
God’s miracle to save Israel from the pursuing Egyptian charioteers, was to separate the water across the Gulf of Aqaba, to reveal an underwater land bridge. Not only had the Lord revealed the crossing across the gulf, the Lord made the ground dry to enable to children of Israel to easily, quickly and safely transit the land bridge to the Arabian side of the Gulf of Aqaba. The Lord then lured the Egyptians across the same ground to destroy them by having the waters across the Gulf of Aqaba return to their natural levels, Exodus 14:29-30. Because of this, Israel feared and believed the Lord and His servant Moses, Exodus 14:31.
When the children of Israel made it to the mountain, Mount Sinai, Moses went up the mountain, which is the same mountain that Moses had his interaction with the Lord at the burning bush. At that time, the Lord told Moses that as a token of remembrance and of His promise, that Moses would return to this mountain to serve God after bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt, Exodus 3:12. On that mountain, God met with Moses again, and God told him to tell the house of Jacob and the children of Israel, that if they obey His voice and keep His covenant, then they shall be a peculiar treasure to Him above all people. They shall be a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation, Exodus 19:3-6. So, Moses returned to the people, called for the elders of the people, and gave them the words the Lord commanded him. Then all the people answered and said that all the Lord had spoken, they would do, Exodus 19:8. This was the conditional covenant, similar to the one between God and Adam. God’s covenant with Adam, and this one that all Israel entered into with the Lord, was based on the condition of their obedience to God’s Word, and to the Law. In Adam’s case, he was created in innocence, and he was unaware of sin as we know it today. So, God levied a single requirement on Him, not to eat of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 2:9, 17. However, after the fall of Adam, sin entered into the world and death by sin. Death then passed upon all men for all men inherited Adam’s sin nature, Romans 5:12-17. Since all mankind are made in the image of Adam in that we have inherited his sin nature, Genesis 5:3, God introduced His commandment and the law that are holy, Romans 7:12. These were given to Israel, since sin entered the world through one man, Adam. This dispensation of the law continued until Christ died on the cross and the New Testament was initiated, Hebrews 9:16-17. Previously, the law and commandment served as a tutor and governor, and we were children, in bondage under the elements of the world, until Christ Jesus paid the price for the remission of our sins, Galatians 4:1-5.
The conditional covenant, the law, was unlike the previous covenants with Abram and Noah. Those earlier covenants were unconditional and dependent on God to fulfill the conditions of the covenant, not man.
The Lord gave Moses the ten commandments to deliver to the people, which was part of the conditional covenant, Exodus 20:1-17. The Lord then gave further judgements, Exodus 21:1-23:33. All of these can be expressed in three parts. First, the moral law found in the ten commandments. Second, the civil law, how God wanted Israel’s social structure to be governed. Third, were the ceremonial laws, to teach how Israel how to approach God, worship Him, and have a temporary peace with Him until Christ Jesus was crucified on the cross, Galatians 4:4-6.
To ratify the people’s acceptance of this conditional covenant, Moses was told the process that the Lord demanded. Moses was to come up the mountain to the Lord, with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of the elders of Israel to worship Him afar off. Only Moses was allowed to come near the Lord, Exodus 24:1-2. First, Moses told the people all of the words of the Lord and His judgments, which the people with one voice again affirmed they would do, Exodus 24:3. Next, Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and early in the morning he built an altar with 12 pillars by the hill. Then they offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. Moses then took half the blood and sprinkled it on the altar, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the people. Then Moses told them, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord made with you concerning all these words,” Exodus 24:4-8. Finally, Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and the 70 elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. There, under His feet, they did eat and drink in His presence, Exodus 24:9-11.
This is the moment that Israel became a nation, as God promised Abram, Genesis 12:2. This is the beginning of the dispensation of the law in the Old Testament and continued until the day of the day of the testator’s death, which is Jesus, Hebrews 9:16-17. After the death of Jesus begins the New Testament.
The law Moses delivered to the children of Israel, which they agreed to, Exodus 24:3, was central to their relationship with God. While Moses was up on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights to receive the tablets of stone that God wrote the law upon with His finger, Exodus 24:12-18, 31:18, the children of Israel departed from God. They soon broke the covenant they bound themselves with Him days earlier. They made a golden calf, worshiped it and claimed that it was this god who delivered them from Egypt, Exodus 32:1-8. This was the beginning of many failures and trespasses against God, whom they swore to obey as a nation. Nevertheless, the Lord remained merciful to them. The Lord proclaimed the name of the Lord to Moses, when he returned with two new hewn stones for the Lord to write His laws on. In that proclamation, declared several aspects of His person, that He was the Lord God, Merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forging iniquity, transgression, and sin, and by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and to the fourth generation, Exodus 34:5-7. Before Israel entered into the land of promise, the Lord warned them about the wickedness of those in that land who Israel would destroy and take possession of the land from. The Lord told Israel that they were to be perfect with Him, Deuteronomy 18:13-14.
After wondering in the wilderness for 40 years, and the death of Moses, Joshua the son of Nun took over leadership of Israel and they prepared to cross the Jordan river. The Lord spoke to Joshua words of encouragement, Joshua 1:1-6. The Lord reminded Joshua to observe all the book of the law, and not deviate from it; the promise was that Israel would prosper wherever they went. The Lord also told the Israelites to never forget the book of the law, to meditate on it day and night. Then for a second time, the Lord told them to observe all that was written in the book of the law and their way would be prosperous and they would have good success, Joshua 1:7-8.
It was not until the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross for the remission of all mankind’s sins, was buried, and rose again from the dead according to scripture was the law fully fulfilled, Matthew 5:17-18, 1Corinthians 15:1-4. Christ Jesus was made under the law and became flesh, being witnessed by John the Baptist, Galatians 4:4, John 1:13-15. Jesus, while in the flesh, lived in perfect obedience, that was testified also by Peter, who wrote that despite all the persecution Jesus suffered, or threatening against His life, He neither committed any sin, and no deceit was found in Him, 1Peter 2:21-23. God the Father also spoke at the mount of transfiguration, that Jesus was My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear Him,’ Matthew 17:5.
As the Lord made His way to the cross, to fulfill all the Father willed for Him to do, Matthew 26:39, 42, He had the last supper with the apostles. Then, the night He was betrayed, took bread, blessed it and broke it, saying to the apostles that it was His body. He took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to them also, telling them to drink it all. That it was His blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Jesus then said that He would not drink this fruit of the vine until He drank it new with them in His Father’s kingdom, Matthew 26:26-29. With this last supper, Christ Jesus was not only showing the fulness of His sacrifice for all mankind, but it looked forward to the next time, in the kingdom age, when He would again enjoy this supper with His apostles.
The Lord also revealed this last supper to Paul, which he delivered to the Body-of-Christ. What Paul passed to the church was the broken bread, which is in remembrance of Christ Jesus. Paul also took the cup, which is the new covenant in His blood, taken in remember of Christ Jesus, 1Corinthians 11:23-26. Paul then said that as often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes, 1Corinthians 11:26. Unlike the time the Lord had with His apostles that night He was betrayed, looking forward to the time He would have with them in the kingdom, for the Body-of-Christ, these believers in Christ are proclaiming the Lord’s death until He returns in the clouds to snatch up to Himself, all the dead in Christ, and then those still alive who believe in Him, 1Corinthians 15:41-58, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Looking back in Israel’s history, after they first took possession of the promised land under Joshua, the Lord again gave them hope. This was to be found in a new covenant He would give the nation of Israel at some far distant time, Jeremiah 31:27-37. It could only happen after Jesus came into the world, to fulfill all things under the law, and therefore finish the dispensation of the law and began the dispensation of grace. He is the one who brought in the new covenant, Matthew 26:26-28.
The promise of the new covenant with Israel included them being returned to the land of promise, and it will become like the garden of Eden, Ezekiel 36:26-35. This promise of a new covenant was given at the very time God’s judgment fell on Israel, expelling them out of the land of promise under the three invasions of King Nebuchadnezzar’s army, enslaving Israel, 2Chronicles 36:1-6, 9-12, 17-18. They were judged by God because of the gross sins of King Manasseh, 2Kings 21:11-16, King Jehoahaz, King Jehoiakim, King Zedekiah. Israel was removed from the land also because the leaders of the priests and people transgressed in excess of the abominations of the nations that Israel destroyed when they first returned to take the land under Joshua, and they defiled the house of the Lord, 2Chronicles 36:14-16. As severe as the judgment was from God upon Israel, He still remembered His covenants with them, and preserved a remnant of them to show His greatness and sanctify His great name, Isaiah 1:9, Ezekiel 36:20-23.
The Lord described to Israel what the new covenant will be for them, when He replaces the conditional covenant under Moses with a new covenant. God’s law will be put in the inward parts and written it in their hearts; and He will be their God and they shall be His people, Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:10, 16. This everlasting covenant with Israel is one where the heart of the people will have the fear of God, and they will not depart from Him, Jeremiah 32:40. It is likely that this will happen in the latter half of the tribulation when the Jews in Judea flee into the wilderness when the see the Antichrist erect his image in the holy place of the tribulation temple, Revelation 12:13-14, Matthew 24:15-22, Romans 11:23-32.
The Lord told Israel that He was going to raise up a prophet from within Israel, who would be like Moses, and they were to listen to Him, Deuteronomy 18:15. They were to be looking for Him through their generations. When the children of Israel were at the base of Mount Sinai, and saw and heard the presence of the Lord atop the mountain, they cried to Moses that he would be a mediator with the Lord for them, for they were fearful and overwhelmed by the great sight and sounds emanating from the sight above them on the mountain top, Deuteronomy 5:22-28, 18:16-17, Exodus 20:18-20. Many prophets arose through Israel’s history, who were recorded in the Old Testament. Some were mentioned in the historical books of the Old Testament. All of these men and women were called by God to deliver His Word to the children of Israel. With such a great number of prophets, how would they know when this prophet like Moses would arrive in their midst? The key parameters of this one prophet revealed by Moses were, Deuteronomy 18:15, 18:
- The Lord would raise up a prophet for them
- He would appear in the midst of them
- He would be of the nation of Israel
- He would be like Moses
- God will put His words in His mouth
- He will speak all the words that He is commanded to speak
Finally, the Lord warned those in that day this prophet appeared, if they did not harken to the words He spoke, they will be judged by those very same words they rejected, Deuteronomy 18:19. The people of Israel were protected by the Lord and His Word, from false prophets, who did appear through Israel’s history. There were two qualifications a prophet had to meet in order for the people to hear and believe.
First, if a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arose, and gave a sign or wonder and it came to pass, and encourage the people to go after other gods and serve them, the people were to reject that person and put him to death, Deuteronomy 13:1-5. This was because that false prophet’s intention was to turn Israel away from the Lord who redeemed them out of the house of bondage, and thrust them out of the ways God instructed them to live and obey.
Second, if a prophet presumed to speak a word from God, which did not come from God, or speak in the name of other gods, that prophet was to die. The people would know of his falsehood If what he prophesied did not come to pass. That was the proof necessary to identify that person was a false prophet, worthy of death, Deuteronomy 18:20-22.
The six identifying elements listed above were what the people of Israel were to look for in the prophet like Moses. All six points were found in Jesus!
- The Lord would raise up a prophet for them
- He would appear in the midst of them
There were many prophets who named the place, time and the one who would prepare the way for the Lord to appear among them. Just to name a few prophecies, Jesus was born in Bethlehem Ephratah, Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1-8. The prophet Daniel, Mark 13:14, received a revelation concerning the number of weeks of years determined by God upon Israel, by the angel Gabriel, Daniel 9:23-27. An Israelite Simon and prophetess Anna were waiting and looking for the appearance of the Lord, Luke 2:25-35, 36-38. Then the one crying in the wilderness came on the scene, announcing the Lamb of God had arrived, Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:3, Luke 3:22, John 1:29-34. Nevertheless, He came into the world He made, and to His own people Israel, and they neither knew Him nor accepted Him, John 1:9-11.
Jesus appeared suddenly onto the public arena, and quickly assembled the first of His 12 apostles, where:
- John the Baptist first announced to the Pharisees, who were of Israel’s leadership, that he was the one crying in the wilderness to make straight the way of the Lord, John 1:19-28
- The next day, John the Baptist saw Jesus, and declared Him as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, John 1:29-34
- The following day, John the Baptist declared to his disciples, Andrew and John, that Jesus was the Lamb of God, and these two left John the Baptist to follow Jesus, John 1:38-39. Then Simon Peter was added to the early disciples of Jesus, John 1:40-42
- The next day, Jesus went to Galilee and then Philip and Nathanael were added to the growing group of disciples, John 1:43-51
- Three days later, Jesus was in Cana of Galilee with His disciples and His mother, Mary. Mary asked for His help because the wine ran out, but Jesus responded that His hour had not yet come, John 2:1-4. Nevertheless, He performed His first miracle to fill six waterpots of stone with new wine, John 2:5-11
- Jesus then went to Jerusalem for the Passover feast and cleansed the temple from all the merchandising that was taking place, because of the zeal of His house that had eaten Him up, John 2:13-22
- Not only was this the beginning of His ministry, but while in Jerusalem he performed miracles, signs and wonders, in the midst of the people, and many believed in His name, John 2:23-25
Matthew’s gospel, Matthew 1:1-17, and Luke’s gospel, Luke 3:23-38, both provide the genealogy of Jesus to prove that He both was of Israel, and that He was in the line of David, to have a claim to David’s throne. While both records of Jesus’ lineage go back to Abraham, but only Luke’s record of Mary’s line, goes back to Adam, to show the Lord’s association with Israel, and with all mankind.
At the beginning in the life of Moses, his life was threatened by the king of Egypt. He had ordered the midwives to the Hebrew women, that if they saw boy born to a to a Hebrew woman, they were to kill it. They feared God more than Pharaoh, and did not follow through with his commandment. So, Pharaoh then charged all his people that every son born to the Hebrews was to be thrown into the river to be killed, Exodus 1:15-22.
Similarly, the life of Jesus was threatened by King Herod, when sent his soldiers to kill every male born in Bethlehem and in all the coasts, from two years old and under, Matthew 2:16. Later, both Moses and Jesus returned to their people after all the men who sought to kill them were dead, Exodus 4:19, Matthew 2:20. Both Moses and Jesus knew that they were called by God at an early age, Exodus 2:11-14, Luke 7:24-25, Matthew 2:40-49. Both Moses and Jesus heard the voice of God at the beginning of their ministry, Exodus 3:3-10, Mark 1:9-12. Moses was given signs to show Israel that he was sent by God, Exodus 3:11-22, 4:1-9, where Jesus performed signs and wonders to show the Jews He was the one prophesied to come, Luke 7:22. John wrote that there were so many other things Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, He supposed even the world could not contain all the books that would have been written, John 21:25. The earthly ministry of Jesus was full of signs and wonders to prove He was the one they were looking for, John 12:37, John 6:14. For example, all who were with Jesus at certain large gatherings, were healed, Luke 7:19-23, Matthew 4:24, 8:16. Though there are many other comparisons, the greatest was that the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, John 1:17.
This characteristic of the prophet, which Israel was to look for, was further elaborated upon through the prophet Isaiah. God revealed to Isaiah that the Lord’s appearance to Israel in Zion will be as a redeemer, to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, Isaiah 59:20. This was true at the first advent of Christ Jesus when He came as the suffering servant, Isaiah 53:1-12, then on His return to establish His kingdom, Revelation 19:11-21. What Isaiah said further, was that the Spirit will be upon His Son, and His words will be put into the Son’s mouth, Isaiah 59:21. When Jesus was baptized, John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus, and then immediately lead Him into the wilderness to be tested, Mark 1:9-13. It was during the three temptations of the Devil against Christ Jesus, that the Lord only used the Word of God to refute totally, Satan’s attempt to destroy the Lord’s mission in His earthly ministry, Matthew 4:1-11, John 8:25-29.
At the end of His earthly ministry, the last week before His betrayal by Judas Iscariot, Jesus cried out in the temple when it was swollen with men of Israel for the Passover feast. He proclaimed that He was the light of the world. He further said all that He had spoken were not from Him, but the Father who sent Jesus gave Jesus a commandment of what He should say and speak. So, only what the Father said to speak, Jesus spoke, John 12:44-50.
The Lord Jesus fulfilled all that God had said the prophet like Moses would do, say and be. Though many believed in Israel’s leadership and among the people of Israel, they would not confess Him lest they would be put out of the synagogue. Jesus said, that they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God, John 12:34-42.
God paved the way of salvation through Jesus Christ so that all mankind could be saved, Titus 2:11-14. Paul wrote that it was Israel to whom was given the adoption, the glory, the covenants the giving of the law, the service of God and the promises. It was through the fathers of Israel that Christ Jesus was born, Romans 9:4-5. It was to Israel the Word of God was given as well, which identified who Christ was and how He would be recognized. There are three official positions identified in scripture, that Christ Jesus holds, and reflects how Jesus was to be recognized from among all humanity. The first was as a prophet, which Moses told Israel to look for from among their midst, Deuteronomy 18:15. The second as a priest of the most high God, Genesis 14:18, after the order of Melchizedek, which God the Father ordained upon Christ Jesus, Psalm 110:4, whose order is greater that the priestly line God ordained through the family line of Aaron, Hebrews 7:1-12. The third office is that as king. This was first pronounced in Jacob’s prophecy over his son Judah, where the scepter shall not depart from Judah … until Shiloh come, Genesis 49:8-12. Later, a Gentile prophet God used again the enemies of Israel, Balaam, prophesied over Israel, that in the future, a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, …, Numbers 24:17. In the days of King Saul, who was a Benjamite and not in the line of Judah, the High Priest and prophet, Samuel was told by God to go to Jesse the Bethlehemite (in the line of Judah), and anoint one of his sons as king, 1Samuel 16:1. God chose David, the son of Jesse as king over Israel, 1Samuel 16:11-14. When Solomon, David’s son, dedicated the temple in Jerusalem, which David had laid plans for its construction before his death, it was stated that God chose Jerusalem that His name would be there, and He chose David to be over Israel, 2Chronicles 6:6. God spoke through Isaiah about the appearance of Jesus as a child at His first advent, then as the head of the world’s governments, and that He would sit on the throne of David when He returns to establish His millennial reign over the world, Isaiah 9:6-7. It was the line of David that Jesus was born into, Matthew 1:1, through Mary, Matthew 1:16, and inherited the legal right to the throne of God through Joseph, who was the stepfather of Jesus, Luke 3:23.
Jesus at His first advent, came as the suffering servant, Isaiah 53:1-11, who was made flesh, and dwelt among His people Israel, full of grace and truth, and announced by John the Baptist, John 1:14-15. Christ Jesus will then return for His second advent, at the end of the seven years of tribulation to rule and reign over the earth, sitting on the throne of David, as King of kings, and Lord of lords, Revelation 17:14, 19:11-16. The Lord Jesus Christ ends His message to the churches, reaffirming His lineage through David, which is His claim to the throne of David, and as the bright and morning star, which is His deity, Revelation 22:16.
The setting behind the covenant God made with David, was a time of peace for David and Israel. This was a time that David could enjoy this time of peace in his own home, not in the field of battle, 2Samuel 7:1. Instead of reflecting on his own accomplishments, as King Nebuchadnezzar did, and was judged for, Daniel 4, David thought on the things of the Lord. He reflected on how he had a house, but the ark of God resides inside a tent of curtains, 2Samuel 7:2. Nathan the prophet was present with David when he expressed his desire concerning the Lord. Nathan told David to do all that was in his heart, acknowledging that the Lord was with David, 2Samuel 7:3.
However, that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, telling him to return to David and relay the Lord’s word to him in response to David’s intentions, 2Samuel 7:4-5. The Lord said that from the time that He brought Israel out of Egypt to David’s time, He never criticized Israel and her leadership for not building Him a house of cedar, 2Samuel 7:6-7. So, Nathan was told by the Lord to tell David, how He took David from leading sheep, to be ruler of God’s people. The Lord reminded David how He was with David wherever he went, all David’s enemies were cut off before him, and God made his name great among the great men on earth, 2Samuel 7:8-9. Looking forward to a time that the Lord will establish His kingdom on earth, He told David that it will be a time that God’s people, Israel, will be planted in a place to dwell in that will be their own, and that they will no longer move from, nor be endangered by wicked people, as happened in the days of the judges, and before the Lord gave David peace, 2 Samuel 7:11a.
Then the Lord told David, that He would make David a house, 2Samuel 7:11b, giving details on what this would entail, with the focus on the near term and long term, where, 2Samuel 7:12a:
- David would live out his natural life and be buried
- Looking into the far future, 2Samuel 7:12b-14a
- A descendant of David would be born, (Jesus, Matthew 1:1)
- His kingdom will be established by God, (during the millennium, Revelation 20)
- This is about whom and when the house will be built for the Lord’s name
- This throne of His kingdom will be established forever, (eternity future, Revelation 21-22)
- This will be when God the Father and God the Son will reside with mankind in the new Jerusalem, Revelation 22:3-5
- Looking at the near future, with David’s immediate successors sitting on his throne, 2Samuel 7:14b-15
- As with other sections other prophetic passages in scripture, in the middle of a statement there is a beginning of another application of the prophecy, such as Isaiah 61:1-2, which the Lord used the first part to announce Himself to His people, Luke 4:18-19, reserving the second part for His second advent
- This second half of 2Samuel 7:14b begins another part of this covenant with David and is directed to his royal line of successors in the flesh before their exile to Babylon, and all born in sin, Romans 5:12
- If David’s royal successors fell into iniquity, they will be chastened
- Solomon’s heart was turned from the Lord, 1Kings 11:4-9, so the nation was split in two after Solomon’s death, 1Kings 11:11-13
- The Lord assures David that though his sons will sin, that His mercy will not depart from David as it did with King Saul, 2Samuel 7:15
- The full meaning of this covenant with David is, 2Samuel 7:16
- David’s house shall be established forever
- David’s kingdom shall be established forever
- David’s throne shall be established forever
This prophecy and covenant with David ends stating that all that the prophet Nathan was given in the vision from the Lord was delivered to David, 2Samuel 7:17.
The following table lists the kings in the line of David, until they were finally exiled into Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar, 2Kings 25:1-21:
As can be seen from the list above, there were more bad kings than good, but most important is the curse God placed on Jeconiah. There would be no successor to the throne of David after him, Jeremiah 22:24-30. In the natural course of events, this would block Jesus from claiming the throne of David, since He comes through the line of Jeconiah, Matthew 1:11. The ancestral line listed in Matthew 1:1-16 runs through David to Joseph, the husband of Mary. However, Luke lists another ancestral line from Mary’s father, Heli, to Adam, Luke 3:23-38. Unlike the list of Matthew that goes through Solomon and continues along the royal bloodline, Matthew 1:7-11, the list recorded by Luke goes from Nathan (who was the son of David; not the prophet Nathan) to David, Luke 3:31, which is still the bloodline of David, just not the royal bloodline.
There are two aspects in the life of Jesus that assure that He has a legitimate claim to the throne of David, to establish David’s throne, kingdom, and house forever. First, is that Joseph is not the father of Jesus, but the supposed father, Luke 3:23. Instead, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, informing him that the life that was in Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Matthew 1:20. This means that Jesus had the body of a man, John 1:14, but His blood was holy, being perfect for the remission of our sins when He died on the cross, Romans 3:25, John 20:17.
Second, the Lord established the law of inheritance where a man’s inheritance was to go to the daughters if he had no sons, based on the question from the daughters of Zelophehad, Numbers 27:1-8. This allowed Jesus to be born through the line of Nathan, thus avoiding the curse of Jeconiah and his descendants. By this law of inheritance, Mary’s father, Heli, adopted Joseph as his son in accordance with the Lord’s word regarding the daughters of Zelophehad, so that the royal kingship of David’s throne would be legitimately available to Christ Jesus to claim when He returns to rule over the earth during his millennial reign, Revelation 20:3-7.
The fulfillment of this covenant with David will not occur until the Lord returns to establish His millennial reign over this world, sitting on David’s throne in Jerusalem, which will be called, “THE LORD IS THERE,” Ezekiel 48:35.
There two times that the phrase, “… a man after His own heart,” 1Samuel 13:14, and “… a man after Mine own heart,” Acts 13:22, which is used in scripture, both referencing the same situation, God’s intent on removing King Saul from the throne after committing a grave sin against the law of God. God’s intention was sparked as a result Saul’s lack of faith, when faced by an overwhelming force of Philistines against Israel, and Saul’s forces were abandoning him in the sight of such a large force against them, 1Samuel: 13:2, 5-7. This was a significant challenge to King Saul’s kingship over Israel, during the second year of his reign, 1Samuel 13:1.
Paul wrote to the Hebrew’s that without faith, it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6. He also wrote to Timothy that God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind, 2Timothy 1:7. King Saul was told by Samuel to wait at Gilgal for seven days for Samuel to arrive, 1Samuel 13:8. Fearful from the sight of his army deserting him in the sight of their enemy the Philistines, Saul ordered a burnt offering and peace offering to be brought to him so he could offer it to God, thereby intruding on the priestly office, which belonged to Levi and his sons, Exodus 28:1, Exodus 29:1-4. After offering excuses, and blaming others for making the offerings, Saul told Samuel that he felt compelled to offer the burnt offering, 1Samuel 13:11-12. Samuel then judged Saul, saying that since he did not keep the commandment of the Lord, 1Samuel 12:19-25, Saul’s kingdom would not continue, 1Samual 13:13-14. According to what Paul said, Saul’s reign lasted about 40 years, Acts 13:21. He began as the reluctant king, not wanting to seize the position that was given to him, 1Samuel 10:17-22. Most importantly, as king, he never sought-after God, nor desired the things of the Lord for the nation of Israel that the Lord desired, 1Samuel 12:22. His quick failure as king was manifest because of his lack of interest in the ways of the Lord.
Immediately after King Saul intruded on the priestly office, the Lord revealed it to Samuel. Samuel informed Saul that the Lord, 1Samuel 13:14:
- Has sought for Himself a man after His own heart
- Has commanded him to be commander over His people
This was to be a future selection. Further, this did not indicate that this future person was perfect, but that his heart was aligned with the ways of the Lord, and who had the care for the people as the Lord has.
It was the permissive will of God that allowed Saul to be king over Israel, since God was rejected by Israel to rule over them, 1Samuel 8:7. The Lord had made known His will, beginning with Jacob’s prophecy over Judah, saying that the scepter would go through his line, Genesis 49:10. Saul did not fulfill this prophecy as he was a Benjamite, 1Samuel 9:21. Also, there was a law that the Lord gave to Israel concerning children born out of wedlock, illegitimate children, Deuteronomy 23:2. Such a child and his linage was not to be part of the congregation of the Lord to his tenth generation. The promise of a king would come through the line of Judah. However, because of Judah’s illicit affair with his daughter-in-law Tamar, the child she conceived and gave birth to, Pharez, would be prevented from becoming king over Israel, Genesis 38:6-27. This prohibition included all his progeny to the tenth generation. In the book of Ruth, there is a list of generations from Pharez to David, to show the preparation God made for him in light of the existing law, Ruth 4:18-22:
The writings by David describe the breadth of his actions, interactions, decisions that were influenced by his love for the Lord and His ways. In David’s own words in Psalm 119:101-106, illustrate his great regard for God, and his desire to keep away from every evil way, that he might keep God’s Word. He had not departed from God’s judgments, and saw that God’s Words are sweeter than honey, he sought spiritual understanding, and that he viewed God’s Word as a lamp to his feet to keep him on the path of God.
More important is what the Lord thought of David. God judged all the succeeding kings of Judah against David; he was the measuring line of kingship, behavior and following after God’s ways. The Lord’s report on David was that he did right in the eyes of the Lord, and did not turn aside from anything that the Lord commanded David, except for the matter of Uriah the Hittite, 1Kings 15:5.
David was not perfect, as Paul said, there is none who is righteous, no not one, Romans 3:10. This incident in David’s life against Uriah the Hittite, cut to the core of his being, and destroyed the joy he had in his relationship with the Lord, Psalm 89:1-18. The joy in the Lord is what he treasured most of all, and in that moment of lust for Bathsheba, he sinned, destroying that relationship with the Lord.
What David did after his sin was revealed by the prophet Nathan, 1Samuel 12:7-12, was to confess his sin before Nathan, saying that he had sinned against the Lord. Because of the confession, the Lord put away the sin, 1Samuel 12:13, but he suffered the consequences of his sinful actions against the Lord for the rest of his life, 1Samuel 12:10, and the child from David’s adulterous affair with Bathsheba died, 1Samuel 12:14-23.
David anguished over his sin and the broken relationship he had with the Lord, Psalms 51:14-17. David sought the Lord, and asked that He would cleanse him, purge the sin from him that he had from birth, so that he would be clean, and whiter than snow, Psalms 51:5-7. David sought for the restoration of his relationship with the Lord, to make him hear joy and gladness, knowing that his sins were forgiven and his iniquities blotted out, Psalms 51:8-9. David sought and received the restoration of the joy of the Lord’s salvation, and to be upheld by the Holy Spirit, Psalms 51:12. All was sought with a broken and contrite heart, which are the sacrifices of God, and which He did hear, and did forgive, Psalms 51:17.
The depth of this restored relationship is demonstrated at the end of his life, when he offered to God a special gift of gold and silver from his riches for the building of the house of God by Solomon, 1Chronicles 29:1-9. In a very public way, David revealed his love for God through his actions of gift giving, and his prayer before the assembly of Israel who were before David, 1Chronicles 29:10-19. In response, all those present worshiped the Lord, and they made Solomon king a second time, and Zadok to be the priest, 1Chronicles 29:20-25.
The prophets of Israel were the conduit to the people of Israel, revealing to them God’s promises, comfort, and plans He had for them, since the world began, Luke 1:67-80. Though the prophets gave God’s Word faithfully to the people, they did not comprehend fully, though they sought it earnestly, 1Peter 1:7-12. God revealed His prophetic plan for Israel in a continuous stream of revelations through the prophets, to prepare for all things concerning His Son, Jesus Christ, Acts 3:17-21. Most all of the prophets in the Old Testament were used by God to provide increasing details of His plan to and for Israel. The following are some of the highlights.
To understand God’s prophetic plan for Israel, the book of Daniel is one of the most important books to capture the overall plan through Israel’s history, beginning with their exile to Babylon, under King Nebuchadnezzar. This website devotes much discussion and timelines on the book of Daniel, but this section will use a different timeline that emphasizes the Jewish understanding of end-time events. The focus will be on Daniel 9:24-27, which are the 70 weeks of years that were determined upon Israel and Jerusalem. The following timeline is what will be used to build upon.
All that Israel understood concerning the Lord’s appearance in this world and the end-times, was revealed to them through the prophets of Israel, since the world began, Luke 1:69-70. The foregoing timeline illustrates mankind’s lineage since the creation of the world, Genesis 1:27. The timeline, being Jewish-centric, is disrupted by the Lord calling out Abram, and God’s promise that through him and his descendants through Sarai, that all the families on earth would be blessed, Genesis 12:1-3. This was to become a covenant that God made by Himself to Abram, that included the land, Genesis 15:4-21. It was reconfirmed to Abraham’s sons Isaac, Genesis 26:3-5, and Jacob, Genesis 28:12-15.
Just as the Lord told Abram, Genesis 15:16, in the fourth generation after Levi, Moses arose from among the people of Israel, and God used him to lead the people out of Egypt with great power, to the base of Mount Sinai, where they entered into the conditional covenant of the law with God, Genesis 24:3-11.
After the children took and settled in the land promised to them by the Lord, they lived under judges whom God rose among them, to judge them and deliver them from their enemies. It wasn’t until David, who was anointed by Samuel to be king over Israel after the death of King Saul, did Israel gain prominence among the countries surrounding it and beyond, (this is where the dark blue area begins on the timeline above). The Lord also made a covenant with David, saying that his house, kingdom, and throne would be everlasting, 2Samuel 7:8-17. Israel reached its apex under the kings of Judah, in the early reign of Solomon, 1Kings 10:1-13.
Soon thereafter, Israel divided into two countries, the northern tribes, and the southern tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, 1Kings 12:19-24. Eventually, the evil in the northern tribes was so great that God allowed the Assyrians to conquer and enslave them, taking the northern tribes of Israel out of the land, 2Kings 17:6-23. A few generations later, the kingdom of Judah was attacked and conquered three times by the Babylonian, King Nebuchadnezzar. Of the last two kings of Judah, Jehoiachin and his descendants were cursed by God, where none in that line would ever sit on the throne Jeremiah 22:24-26. Instead, he, his household, princes, all the captains, mighty men of valor, and others, except the poorest of the people of the land, were all taken prisoner to Babylon, 2Kings 24:12-16, which included Daniel and his three friends. Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus, Matthew 1:16, came through this cursed line.
King Nebuchadnezzar then made Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, king over the land of Judah, 2Kings 24:17-19. King Zedekiah rebelled against Babylon, so the Babylonians again marched against Judah the third and final time, capturing King Zedekiah, and after killing all of his sons in front of him, they took out his eyes and took him as prisoner to Babylon, 2Kings 25:4-7.
This was the end of the royal line of David by his flesh, indicated by the truncation of the blue area on the graph above, showing the end of David’s royal line sitting on the throne. But because Jesus was born in the line of David, through Bathsheba’s son Nathan, Luke 3:31, to Mary, He was born of David, but through Mary, Jesus had no claim to the throne of David. However, because Mary’s father Heli, adopted Joseph as his son, Luke 3:23, Jesus could be part of the royal line of David and his throne, thus satisfying the covenant God made with David. The reason for Judah’s expulsion from the land is written in 2Chronicles 36:34-21.
All of the foregoing was to leadup to the description of the 70 weeks of years that was revealed to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, Daniel 9:21-27. The following is the modified timeline the Lord’s prophetic timeline for Israel, from a Jewish perspective. It moves the field of view to the right, and increases the amount of detail from the beginning of Israel’s captivity in Babylon to eternity future.
The graphic above, is the same as the previous timeline, except for chartmanship, the timeline starts where the nation of Israel and the age of its kings ends. Those living in Judea when King Nebuchadnezzar came to lay siege to Jerusalem, were eventually taken captive and led into Babylon. Daniel was among those taken in the first wave of exiles into Babylon, where he and his three friends were groomed for service in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court as advisors. God was always with them, and their faith in Him was firm as a rock, though they were constantly tested. At the end of their training in the king’s court, they were interviewed by King Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were all found to have in all matters of wisdom and understanding, and to be ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in the king’s realm, Daniel 1:17-21.
The basis for the timeline beginning with the Gentile age with King Nebuchadnezzar, is because of the dream he had, which God gave to Daniel as well as its interpretation, Daniel 2:19-30, 36. God had revealed to the king a massive, multi-metallic image, with the head of gold, arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron and feet of mixed iron and clay, Daniel 2:32-33. This image was then destroyed by a stone that was cut without hands, and then the stone destroyed the image, becoming like chaff, which the wind carried away. The stone then became a great mountain and filled the earth, Daniel 2:34-35.
The timeline above reflects this image, in that to the far left, is the beginning of the Gentile age, because God gave King Nebuchadnezzar supremacy over earthly kings who influenced Israel and Jerusalem. God gave Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom, power, strength and glory. All the children of men, beasts of the field, fowls of heaven were all put under King Nebuchadnezzar’s hand to rule over them. The head of gold was representative of him, Daniel 2:36-38. All of the three succeeding kingdoms would be inferior to his kingdom, Daniel 2:39-43. At the end of the Gentile age, when the seven years of tribulation is concluded, Christ Jesus, the rock, will return to destroy the Gentile era and establish the first 1,000 years of His eternal reign over this world, Daniel 2:44-45. This is all represented by the horizontal bar that is gold on the left, and transitions to an iron color to its right side, before the kingdom age of Christ Jesus is established.
Below the horizontal gold-iron bar is a light blue box that shows the relative timing of all these events as they lead to the Lord’s millennial kingdom, shown in the blue arrow. Horizontal brackets encompass the time of the ages that God revealed to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, Daniel 20-27.
The total time determined by the Lord upon the nation of Israel to be in exile from their promised land, 70 years, Jeremiah 25:1-11, is the basis for how the world’s future history will unfold. As the end of the 70 years that Jeremiah prophesied neared for the exiles in Babylon, Daniel prayed with supplication, fasting, in sackcloth and ashes, Daniel 9:2-4. At the end of Daniel’s prayer, the Lord sent the angel Gabriel to answer Daniel, Daniel 9:21-23. Gabriel told Daniel that the length of time of seventy weeks-of-years, or 490 years (the length of time is based on the Jewish calendar that uses the lunar cycle), Daniel 9:24, was determined upon Israel. This time period was to finish transgression, make an end of sins, and make reconciliation for iniquity to bring in everlasting righteousness and seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. This is indicated within the blue box at the bottom of the graphic above. There is three distinct time periods Daniel received from Gabriel, which are tied with the four metals the Lord revealed to Daniel when he received the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel received this dream and its interpretation during his training period the first three years of his captivity, Daniel 1:5, 2:1, 19-24. The dream of King Nebuchadnezzar and Gabriel’s revelation to Daniel are integrated in the above graphic.
The event that begins this prophetic clock of 70 weeks-of-years for Israel, is the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, Daniel 9:25. This occurred with King Artaxerxes issued the order for Nehemiah to proceed, Nehemiah 2:5-8. The first timeframe was for the actual rebuilding of the walls and streets of Jerusalem, which was seven weeks of years, or 49 years, Daniel 9:25. Afterward, there would be 62 weeks of years, or 434 years, of troubling times for Israel, Daniel 9:25. At the end of these first two periods of time, for a total of 69 weeks of years, or 483 years, is when the Messiah would be cutoff (crucified on the cross), and not for Himself, or what He did, but because He chose to die for us, John 10:15-18. The last week, or seven years, is shown to be associated with the seven years of tribulation, but when that begins is unknown. Even when the apostles asked the Lord before His ascension when He would bring the kingdom, He told them that it was for the Father to know only, Acts 1:7.
Another significant time period kept secret by God, and never revealed to anyone in Israel’s history, is the dispensation of grace that would come to mankind, Ephesians 3:1-7. This secret was revealed to the apostle Paul (known as Saul at first), who encountered the Lord on the road to Damascus, Acts 9:3-20, and then some time after that event in Paul’s life, the Lord revealed all those things to Paul, Galatians 1:11-20. More detail and commentary on the book of Daniel is provided in another section of this site, on scripture.
This illustrates some of the components in God’s prophetic plan for Israel. In Daniel, the Lord provided insight on the role of the Gentile nations leading up to the coming kingdom of Christ Jesus. The 70 weeks-of-years show the duration of events that impact Israel, and the overall sequence of all these events.
When the Lord returns to earth and establishes His kingdom, sitting on the throne of David, He will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, Jeremiah 31:31. This covenant is not with any other people group who have survived the tribulation. This is exclusively between God and the nation of Israel, which is one of several covenants the Lord made with Israel exclusively, such as the covenants with Abraham, Moses and David.
This new covenant that is given through Jeremiah, differs from the new covenant the Lord instituted with His apostles with the Lord’s Supper for the Little Flock, Matthew 26:26-29, which recognized His blood that was shed for many for the remission of sins, and looked forward to when Christ Jesus will drink it anew with them in His Father’s kingdom. This was also given to the Gentiles, when it was revealed to Paul, and given to the Body-of-Christ, 1Corinthians 11:23-26, which was to be repeated often in remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to proclaim His death until Christ Jesus returns in the clouds to snatch up His church, and snatch up (rapture) those still alive in Christ, to be with Him forevermore, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18.
This new covenant that the Lord revealed through Jeremiah was directed to the nation of Israel, both the house of Israel and the house of Judah, Jeremiah 31:31. The Lord referred to the conditional covenant He made with Israel at Mount Sinai, which the children of Israel agreed to abide by, Exodus 24:3-8, where His law was written on stone, Deuteronomy 9:10.
It took less than 40 days for Israel to turn their back on the Lord, the one who was giving them their daily provisions of manna, Exodus 16:14-18, and water, Exodus 17:6, and whose voice they heard when He gave them His law when He was atop Mount Sinai, Exodus 20:18-22, Deuteronomy 4:33, Exodus 31:18. After the blood covenant with the people of Israel was made, Exodus 24:8, Moses ascended up Mount Sinai with Joshua when the Lord told him, and they waited seven days, Exodus 24:9-16. Then the Lord called Moses and he went up into the cloud atop the mountain for 40 days and nights, Exodus 24:16-18, to receive the tablets of stone with the law and commandments written on them by the finger of God, Exodus 24:12. At the end of the 40 days, the Lord told Moses to go back down to the camp of Israel, because they turned aside from the way God commanded them, Exodus 32:1-9. This covenant Israel broke with the Lord, was like that of a bond between husband and wife, where the Lord was Israel’s husband, Jeremiah 31:32
The Word of the Lord came to Ezekiel to describe how in God’s eyes, Jerusalem, (which is descriptive of Israel’s whole history as a nation), was an unwashed, uncared for baby on the day she was born, and no one cared for her who passed by, Ezekiel 16:3-5. On that day the Lord saw her struggling in her own blood, He said “Live!” and she was made to thrive like a bud in the field. She grew, and became very beautiful, Ezekiel 16:7. Then the Lord spread His wing over her, covered her, and He swore an oath to her and entered into a covenant and she became His, Ezekiel 16:8. After caring for her, dressing her with fine cloths, and adorned with ornaments and jewelry, and given fine food, all that exceeded royalty, she began to trust in her own beauty and played the harlot because of her fame, Ezekiel 16:9-15. The Lord went on to explain the depths of whoredom she sank to, but this was a pattern of Israel, after being lifted up by the Lord, to then sink quickly into sin, Ezekiel 16:16-34. This cyclical behavior began when they became a nation at Mount Sinai. While Moses was up on Mount Sinai to receive the tablets of stone from the Lord, the children of Israel built an idol and worshiped it. This up-and-down pattern in belief and obedience to the Word of God went on in the days of the judges after they came into the promised land and conquered it by the direction of the Lord. It happened again after the days of David the king of Israel. It happened further in the days leading up to the first advent of Jesus, though idol worship was replaced with self-righteousness by the law, Romans 9:30-33, when Jesus appeared among His own people, and they knew Him not, John 1:6-12.
Christ Jesus made the New Covenant with the Body-of-Christ while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Now being justified by His blood and reconciled to God, we joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement, Romans, 5:8-11, and remember the new covenant in His blood, as often as we drink it, 1Corinthians 11:23-26. Similarly, despite the varied history of Israel following after the Lord, He will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, which is a non-conditional covenant that is different than when Israel came out of Israel, Jeremiah 31:32. God will:
- Put His law in their inward parts and write it on their hears, instead of on stone
- Be their God and they shall be His people, (where at the base of Mount Sinai, they sinned before the Lord, and afterward were called Moses’s people, Exodus 32:7, 33:1-2, and later not His people, though the Lord did not forsake Israel, Hosea 1:9-10)
- Be known unto by all His people, from the least to the greatest of them
- He will forgive their iniquity
- He will remember their sin no more
Then the Lord gave a sign to the nation of Israel to the surety and longevity of this new covenant with them. He first established that He, the Lord, gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and the stars for light by night, and He divided the sea when the waves roar, Jerimiah 31:35. The Lord said that if those ordinances depart from Him, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being nation before Him forever, thereby assuring the eternal promises by Him to Israel that they will always exist before Him. He further said if the heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then He will cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, Jeremiah 31:36-37. The Lord goes on to say that after the end of the seven years of tribulation, the city to the Lord, Jerusalem, will be rebuilt and never be ruined again. He then provides specific detail on its geographical coverage, Jeremiah 31:38-40. But even more precise and extensive detail is given to Ezekiel when God reveals to him the dimensions of the millennial temple, its operations, the division of the land among the tribes of Israel, and the building of the city south of the millennial temple, Ezekiel 40-48. At that time, all in the land of Israel will be holy unto the Lord, Jerimiah 31:40, Ezekiel 48:35, Zechariah 14:20-21. This is the city where all nations will gather to honor the Lord, Jeremiah 3:17-18, Isaiah 60:14. The city’s new name will be: Yahweh-Shammah, "The Lord is There."
This is the time Paul wrote about, when at first, Israel will be provoked to jealousy by the Body-of-Christ, Romans 10:19, 11:11, and then all Israel shall be saved, Romans 11:26-27. Paul also wrote, if by the fall of Israel came riches of the world and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? Romans 11:12. In other words, God’s tremendous blessings upon Gentiles came in His salvation given to them, and making the Body-of-Christ with Christ Jesus as the head of the body, then when Israel as a nation believes and accepts Jesus Christ as their Messiah, the whole world will see and glory in the blessings God will unleash upon the world. This will be during the millennial reign of Christ. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would bring Jacob back to God, and to raise up the tribes of Jacob, to restore the preserved ones of Israel, and to give the Messiah as a light to the Gentiles, and salvation to the ends of the earth, Isaiah 49:5-6.
The scriptures we have and rely upon to know the Lord and His ways and His salvation for all mankind, talk about the Lord Jesus Christ, from cover to cover. It shows the love of God that existed before Genesis 1:1 ever took place. As the Holy Spirit moved John the apostle to write, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. He goes on to say that all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men, John 1:1-4. Paul wrote that in Jesus dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and that we are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power, Colossians 2:9-10. Jesus also told Philip, one of the 12 apostles, when he asked Jesus to show them the Father, that anyone who saw Him had seen the Father, John 14:8-12.
The love of Christ Jesus is unmeasurable, else, how could one endure so much suffering, pain and death for those who did not even know Him or accept Him in their state of sin, Romans 5:6-10. When Moses went up Mount Sinai with two new stone tablets on which God would rewrite His law, Exodus 34:1, God descended in the cloud with him, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. As the Lord passed by Moses, He proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation,” Exodus 34:4-7.
The Bible abounds in showing God, revealing His truth and love for all mankind. It describes His holiness and how mankind is reconciled to God by His grace, through the blood of Christ Jesus for the remission of our sins, by faith, Romans 3:20-26. Ephesians 2:8-9. Through all the dispensations, beginning with the dispensation of innocence, through today in the dispensation of grace, God has patiently and fully revealed Himself to mankind, to those who would believe on Christ Jesus, Ephesians 1:3-14.
However, from the beginning, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets in a variety of ways, concerning his plan of salvation for mankind, Hebrews 1:1. Peter wrote that those same prophets in times prior to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus, inquired and searched diligently to understand the time that the sufferings of Christ, His first advent, the glory that should follow, and His millennial reign on the throne of David in Israel, 1Peter 1:10-11. Peter went on to say that it was not revealed to them, but to us who now have the gospel with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven, which things even the angels desire to look into, 1Peter 1:12. The salvation we now have, given to those who believe, and therefore in the Body-of-Christ, is that Christ died for our sins according to scripture, was buried, and then rose from the dead on the third day according to scripture, 1Corinthians 15:1-4. The following are just a few of the important aspects of the Lord’s first advent on earth, which is His ministry to bring salvation to mankind and justification to those who believe in Christ Jesus. For further consideration is a book that lists many prophetic passages concerning Christ Jesus, organized according to His first advent in the Old Testament, and according to His second advent found in the Old and New Testaments, “Christ in Prophecy” study guide.
The gospel according to Mark shows the suddenness of the appearance of Christ Jesus to His people of Israel, first through the announcement of John the Baptist, Mark 1:1-8. The Old Testament prophets looked forward to the ministry of John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for the Lord, Isaiah 40:3-5, Malachi, 3:1. John preached in the wilderness of Judea, saying repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, Matthew 3:1-2. He was given the sign to look for, that would point out to him, who the Lamb of God was. That sign was when he saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and remained upon Him, which was Jesus, John 1:32-34, Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22.
After John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee and preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, Mark 1:14, Matthew 4:12-17. The Lord also went to other cities, because He said that He had to preach the kingdom of God to them, because that is the reason He was sent, Luke 4:43. Even though Jesus knew of the mystery program that He would later reveal to Paul, Galatians 1:11-17, (the apostle to the Gentiles, Romans 11:13), this offer Jesus made to Israel was a legitimate. All that the Lord taught His disciples and apostles, He instructed them to preach to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (but not to the Gentiles or in any city of the Samaritans). The focus of what was preached was that the kingdom of God was at hand, Matthew 10:1-7.
At the end of His earthly ministry, the Lord spoke to his disciples privately on the Mount of Olives, revealing to them many of the aspects of events leading up to and during the seven years of tribulation, and when the end will come, Matthew 24:3-14. This is when the kingdom of God will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and the end will come, as shown in the graphic below. Jesus also warned them concerning the sign Daniel the prophet spoke of, when the time of the abomination of desolation would occur, standing in the holy place, Matthew 24:15. He gave them instructions for those who were in Judea, to flee into the mountains, and not turn back for anything, because great will be the tribulation that will come, greater than anything else since the beginning of the world, or anytime thereafter, Matthew 24:16-21 (similar to the urgent instructions given to Lot and his wife, fleeing Sodom and told not to look back, Genesis 19:17-26.) The following graphic illustrates the overall view of the events that will affect the world after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus, 1Corinthians 15:1-4. The timeline of end-time events has passages in Mark 13:1-37 overlayed on the chart.
Jesus further warned them that unless those days had shortened (that is limited to the last week of the 70 weeks revealed to Daniel, Daniel 9: 27), no flesh would survive the great tribulation, Matthew 24:22. The Lord promised them that immediately after the tribulation, when the earth’s environment would be thoroughly spoiled, then shall the Son of Man come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, Matthew 24:29-30, thus ushering in the kingdom as shown in the following graphic. However, Jesus never once intimated about the dispensation of grace, and salvation to the Gentiles as a result of the fall of Israel, Romans 11:11-12 (which does not appear in the graphic below), Deuteronomy 29:29. If Israel as a nation believed, they would have had the kingdom after the tribulation, Matthew 23:37-39.
The night the Pharisee Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came in secret to Jesus, Jesus revealed that His mission was to go to the cross, so that He would be lifted up (crucified by the Romans), John 3:1-21, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, Numbers 21:5-9. In this instance, the people of Israel spoke against God and Moses, complaining about being brought out of Egypt to die in the wilderness. In judgement, the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people. Whomever was bitten by the snakes died. So, the people ran to Moses, admitted their sin against the Lord and Moses, and asked that the Lord take the serpents away. Rather than take the snakes away, the Lord made a way for people to be saved from the bites, by constructing a serpent out of brass, and erecting it up on a pole. Anyone who looked upon the serpent of brass, lived (representative of Jesus). Similarly, Jesus told Nicodemus that He was to be lifted up so that anyone who believed on Him should not perish, but have eternal life, John 3:14-15. Jesus also said that the state of all men born in this world is condemnation, and that those who believed in Jesus as the only begotten Son of God were not condemned, but those who did not believe were condemned already, John 3:16-18. As Paul said, by one man sin, and death, entered into the world, Romans 5:12, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous, Romans 5:19.
The Jews, being a covenant people, had to only believe that Jesus was the Son of God. There are many examples of this, but the most profound is the experience of the man born blind, whom the Lord healed, John 9:1-7. He appeared before the Pharisees and gave them testimony of what Jesus did for him, and they cast him out, Jesus found him, and asked if the formerly blind man believed in the Son of God, John 9:18-35. He had never seen Jesus before, so when the Lord identified Himself to the man, he gave his statement of faith by calling Jesus, Lord, and he worshiped Jesus. To that, Jesus said that for judgment He came into the world that those who did not see, could, and those who saw, be made blind, John 9:35-39. To this the Pharisees present, objected. Again, the Lord responded to them that since they said that they “see,” that their sin remained, John 9:40-41.
This exchange led Jesus into another discourse, that of Him being the good shepherd. The Lord compared the nation of Israel to a flock of sheep, and those among that flock who were His, and were known by the Lord, and those sheep knew their good shepherd, the Lord, John 10:14. Then Jesus went on to explain His relationship with God the Father, that the Father knew Him and He knew the Father, and so He lay down his life for the sheep, John 10:15. The Lord continued to say that He had other sheep that were not of this fold He was speaking of at first, and again, He demonstrated His relationship between those sheep in that fold that were His, and that they would hear His voice. He would bring them so that the two folds of sheep would be gathered together into one flock, and that He would be the single Shepherd, John 10:16. This second fold is reference to the Gentiles that the Lord would bring to Himself, as the prophets said, Isaiah 49:1-6, 60:1-3, Luke 2:23-32. Jesus then pointed back to the love of God the Father for Him, saying that it was because of His obedience in laying down His life, and taking it again. Jesus said that no one could take His life from Him, but He laid it down Himself. He restated that He had to the power to lay down His life and the power to take it again, which was a command Jesus received from God the Father, John 10:17-18.
In His high priestly prayer, the Lord spoke to the Father that the hour had come for Him to glorify His Son, so that the Son may glorify the Father. He stated the truth that the Father gave the Son authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as the Father gave the Son. Then Jesus said what eternal life was, that believers might know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom the Father sent. Then the Lord asked for those apostles and disciples who followed Him, that they not be taken out of the world, but that they would be kept from the evil one, by the Father. Then Jesus went on to pray also for those who will believe in Christ Jesus through the word of the Lord’s disciples and apostles. Jesus also asked that we may be with Him where He is, and that all the believers in Christ may behold His glory which was given by the Father, because the Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world. He ended His prayer that the love of the Father for the Son may be in the believers in Christ, and Christ would be in them, John 17:1-26.
That same night Jesus was arrested, and taken to the Annas first, then to Caiaphas the high priest, not losing any of His followers who were with Him that night, John 18:2-9, 12-14. They then delivered Him to Pilate to be crucified, John18:28-40. After scourging Jesus, Pilate brought Him out to the chief priests and officers, who said when they saw Him, said with a loud voice, ‘crucify Him,’ John 19:1-6. They again affirmed their desire to have Jesus crucified, and went further to declare that they had no king but Caesar, John 19:14-15. So, Pilate sent Jesus to be crucified, with a sign posted above His head, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews,” John 19:16-19.
This is what Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost to the men of Israel, that Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God among them, by miracles, wonders, and signs. He was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. He was taken by wicked hands and crucified and slain, Acts 2:22-23. Peter went on, let the house of Israel know that God made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom they had crucified. In response, those present asked Peter and the rest of the apostles, what they should do. Peter said that they, the Jews present, to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and then they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:36-39. For the Body-of-Christ in this dispensation of grace, we need to believe in Jesus alone for our salvation, that He died for our sins according to scripture, was buried, and rose again the third day according to scripture, 1Corinthians 15:1-4. As Paul stated earlier to the Corinthians in the same epistle, the preaching of the cross is foolishness to them who perish, but to the saved it is the power of God. We preach Christ crucified, which to the Jews is a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness. But to the whom are called, both Jews and Greeks, is Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God, 1Corinthians 1:18-24.
God’s plan for all mankind and their salvation is evident through the dispensations that are revealed through scripture. As shown in the following graphic, God chose Abram to make a covenant of promise with, for all his physical seed after him, Genesis 15:13-21, 17:1-22. Afterwards, Moses, who was the 4th generation after Levi and his brothers entered Egypt, Genesis 15:16, Exodus 6:16-20 (Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses), led Israel out of Egypt to the mountain God said He would lead them to, Exodus 3:12. This was God’s token to Moses of all God told him, that he would serve God upon that same mountain, which was Mount Sinai, where the old covenant was made between the Lord and the nation of Israel, Exodus 24:3-8.
The covenant between God and Israel was the beginning of the theocratic government, with the Lord as the head over Israel, until they rejected Him and asked for a king like the other nations surrounding Israel had, 1Samuel 9:5-9. Then, after the fall of Saul, the Davidic kingdom ruled over Israel, 2Samuel 5:1-5.
The graphic continues along the timeline to show the time that the long-awaited Messiah was cut off, but not for Himself, Daniel 9:26, His blood that was shed on the cross was for believers in Christ Jesus, Luke 22:20. His blood was shed to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God, Romans 3:25. Much more then, being justified by His blood, we are saved from wrath through Him, Romans 5:9.
Further right on the timeline below, after the first day of Pentecost, following the resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus, Stephen who was a follower of Christ Jesus and identified with the 12 apostles, did great wonders and miracles among the people. He also raised many enemies, who contested with Stephan, but were not able to resist his wisdom given him by the Holy Spirit. So, they conspired against Stephen to have him arrested, and raised false witnesses to have him put to death, Acts 6:8-15.
When Stephen appeared before Israel’s leadership to address charges levied against him by false witnesses, Acts 7:1, his face shown like an angel, Acts 6:15, similar to the experience of Moses when He was in the presence of the Lord, Exodus 34:29-35. Stephen declared that Moses was in the church in in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, who gave living oracles to Israel, but they would not obey, but instead, they continued to long for Egypt, Acts 7:38-39. Paul also wrote that all Israel were baptized unto Moses in the cloud that led them across the hot desert, and the sea that was parted by the Lord, who allowed them to pass through safely, 1Corinthians 10:1-6. These were all under the law, the old covenant, and God was not well pleased with many of them. But what happened to them are examples and written for the admonition of the Body-of-Christ, 1Corinthians 10:11.
Before the time when Jesus was crucified to shed His blood for the remission of sins, Romans 3:25, and Israel was under the law, David pleaded with God not to enter into judgment with him, for no man living will be justified, Psalm 143:2. David wrote how blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, which was made to those under the law of Moses, Psalm 32:1-5. Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet, wrote that the just shall live by his faith, Habakkuk, 2:4. A person could not be justified by the law of Moses. Paul wrote that by deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin, Romans 3:20. But we are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:24. That was when Christ Jesus paid the price of mankind’s sins on the cross and rose from the dead, Acts 13:32-39. By God’s grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, God is just and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus, Romans 3:24-26. Paul concluded that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law, Romans 3:28.
Isaiah looked ahead at the time of Christ on the cross and His death, and saw God’s satisfaction with the Lord’s righteousness that will justify many because He bore their iniquities, Isaiah 53:10-11. Isaiah also saw beyond the cross that in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel will be justified, Isaiah 45:22-25. The standing of a believer in Christ Jesus would forever be changed after the Lord died on the cross, 1Corinthians 15:1-4.
When the time came for God to send His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Galatians 4:4, God first sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Christ Jesus, Matthew 3:3. John was sent to identify the Lord to His people, John 1:30-34, and preach the kingdom of God. After John was arrested, Jesus went about preaching the same gospel of the kingdom of God, Mark 1:14-15, Matthew 4:23. As Jesus went about Galilee, there were disciples, who were the believing remnant from the church Moses led. They were ones who believed that Jesus was sent by God, and was their Messiah that they and their forefathers had been looking for, John 3:16-21, 36, John 4:42, John 6:67-69, Matthew 16:15-19. The Messiah’s church was established by the confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Matthew 16:16. The Lord identified 12 of His followers to be His apostles, Luke 6:12-17, whom later he called them and all His other followers, His “little flock,” Luke 12:1, 32. The Messiah’s church was only in Israel, and did not include the Samaritans nor Gentiles, Matthew 10:5-7. The Lord also designated the 12 apostles as the leaders of His church, Matthew 19:28, Acts 5:12-14. To this church, Jesus instituted the new covenant, where he broke bread, and shared the cup that was His blood for the remissions of sins, Matthew 26:26-28. The Lord was looking to His death on the cross as the testator, when the new covenant would be initiated, Hebrews 9:16-17. He was also looking forward to share the cup again in the kingdom of God with His apostles, Matthew 26:29.
Before Christ Jesus ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father, He told his apostles and disciples to not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise for the Father. He went on to say that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit when He came upon them. Then they would be witnessed of Christ Jesus in Jerusalem, in all Judaea, Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth, Acts 1:4-8. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the 120 in the upper room, Acts 1:12-15. There was great interest by all those who were about the city of Jerusalem, when they heard the great noise by the Holy Spirit, because those in the little flock received the Holy Spirit, and were speaking in the tongues and dialect of those who came to see the commotion, Acts 2:4-11. As a crowd gathered, Peter stood up to address all the Jews, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem,” Acts 2:14. This is an important distinction in that the gospel of the kingdom was being delivered to the Jews only, there were no Gentiles. The little flock continued in this direction as they were taught by Christ Jesus during His earthly ministry, Matthew 10:1, 5-42. He told the men of Israel, that Jesus of Nazareth, was delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, was taken by lawless hands, crucified, and put to death. God raised up Christ Jesus, for it was impossible that He should be held by death, Acts 2:22-24. Peter went on to say that he and the rest of the little flock, were witnesses of the resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus to the right hand of God. With strong assertion as an eye witness, Peter declared that God made Jesus whom they had crucified, both Lord and Christ, Acts 2:32-36. Peter then presented the remedy to the crowd, to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, then they too would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This remedy was based on the promise given to them and their children who were present and far away, as many as God will call, Acts 2:37-39.
Soon afterward, Peter and John healed a lame man at the temple, which amazed all the people who were nearby, Acts 3:1-11. At that time, Peter continued with the message he gave on the day of Pentecost, but he added the expectation they all had, the coming of the kingdom. He and the other apostles had thoughts of Christ Jesus’ soon return to setup His kingdom, Acts 1:6. After telling the crowd who assembled because of the healing of the lame man, Peter told them to repent and be converted, or repent, so that their sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (when He returns to setup His kingdom), Acts 3:19. However, His return would not happen until the times of restitution of all things, which God spoke by His holy prophets since the world began, such as Daniel, Daniel 9:24-27, Acts 3:21. This depiction of Peter is shown in the following graphic, which is from the perspective view of the Jews, who were even at that time unaware of God’s plan for soon beginning of the dispensation of grace. Their point of view, shown on the following graphic, is that they were in the time of the gray bubble, waiting for things that would shortly come to pass, Revelation 1:1, 22:6.
From the time of the resurrection of Christ Jesus to the time of Israel’s fall, Romans 11:11, there was no reference of man being justified. This is mainly due to the family of Israel being under the covenants and promises given to Abraham, Moses, and David. As a nation, they were instructed to love the Lord our God, to walk in His ways, to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, Exodus 23:20-23, 24:3-8, Deuteronomy 30:11-20. Faith was also necessary, Habakkuk 2:4, James 2:22-24, Romans 10:17. But since Israel’s leadership rejected the warning given them by the Holy Spirit, Israel fell so that salvation went to the Gentiles, Romans 11:11-12. This is also the time that God’s prophetic plan for Israel was set aside, until the fulness of the Gentiles comes in, Romans 11:25. When the number of believing Gentiles is fully attained, then hen the Lord will revive the prophetic program of Israel, Romans 11:17-19, 23-24, 26-28.
Immediately after the fall of Israel, with the stoning of Stephen, God revealed the man He would use to send His gospel of grace to the world. Saul, who would later become Paul, Acts 13:9, was shown to be a vicious and cruel man whose life mission was to stamp out believers in Christ Jesus, known as The Way, Acts 9:1-2, 10-14. Saul’s threatening against the Jerusalem church was immediately truncated when he saw the presence of the Lord’s glory during his travel to Damascus, Acts 9:3-5. In Damascus, Ananias prayed over Saul to receive his sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Saul was then baptized, refreshed and straightway preached Christ in the synagogues, that Jesus is the Son of God, Acts 9:17-20. Soon afterwards, Saul received the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentiles), Galatians 2:8 (KJV) as the gospel of the circumcision (Jews) was given to Peter.
As Paul wrote to the Romans, God justified the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith, Romans 3:30. The circumcision, the Jews, were justified by faith, because they had the covenants and promises of God. When the law was delivered to Israel, God instructed them that they were to keep His ordinances, walk in them, and to keep His statues and judgments, which if they did, they shall live by them, Leviticus 18:4-5. Again, until Christ Jesus and belief in Him, no one could be justified by the law of Moses, Acts 13:39. But because of the ministry of Paul, bringing the dispensation of grace of God to the Gentiles, Ephesians 3:2-7, the uncircumcision would be justified through faith in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:30, Ephesians 2:8-9. Justification of the Gentiles is by faith because in times past they were outside the commonwealth of Israel, and therefore strangers to the covenants of promise, Ephesians 2:12. But now, the Gentiles have been brought near by the blood of Christ Jesus. He is our peace and made both groups one, and abolished in His flesh, the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, to make within Himself, one new man, reconciling Jew and Gentile to God in one body, Ephesians 2:14-18.
When Saul began his first missionary journey with Barnabas, Acts 13:1-4, they began to proclaim the Word in Synagogues first, Acts 13:5. Saul’s name was changed to Paul, Acts 13:9, as he began to preach directly to the Gentiles, beginning with Sergius Paulus, the deputy of the country in Cyprus, Acts 13:7-12. From then on, throughout the remainder of his ministry, Paul wrote of the new man being justified before God through Christ Jesus, such as to the Corinthians, stating that having believed, we were washed, sanctified, and justified by the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God, 1Corinthians 6:11. This is so, because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified, Galatians 2:16, but the just shall live by faith, Galatians 3:11. The Law’s purpose was as a schoolmaster to bring mankind to Christ, so that those who believe in Him would be justified by faith, Galatians 3:24. Even more, with this new relationship with God through Christ Jesus, we are made heirs according to the hope of eternal life, Titus 3:7, and because we are Christ’s, we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise, Galatians 3:29. Therefore, Paul wrote to the Romans, that if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus, so that as we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified together, Romans 8:17.
After the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the gospel by which those in the Body-of-Christ are saved, 1Corinthians 15:1-4, He spent 40 days further on this earth, showing Himself to His apostles alive after His resurrection, Acts 1:2-3. He gave them many infallible proofs that He was alive, and not any other type of aberration that other men might dream up because of their unbelief, caused by the prince of this world who blinds men’s minds, 2Corinthians 4:3-5. During those 40 days, the Lord spoke to the apostles of things pertaining to the kingdom of God. This is what prompted their question of when He, the Lord, would restore the kingdom of Israel, Acts 1:6. He answered them, that it was not for them to know the times or seasons, but only the Father knows, Acts 1:7. He also told them that after they received the power of the Holy Spirit, that they were to be witnesses of Him in Jerusalem and in all Judea, then in Samaria, then unto the uttermost parts of the earth, Acts 1:8. After that, the Lord was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight, and He sat on the right hand of the Father, Acts 1:9, Mark 16:19.
The right hand of the Father has great significance concerning the Lord’s active role among those who are called by Him, Romans 1:4-6, 8:28. First, the power of God is on His right side, where the Son of man now sits in His glory, Luke 22:69. This is the glory He prayed about during His priestly prayer the night He was betrayed. At the start of His prayer to the Father He said the hour is come, which was planned before anything was created, and He asked that He be glorified so that the Father can be glorified by Jesus. Now that the work was finished that the Father gave to the Son to accomplish, the Lord asked that He be glorified with the glory He had with the Father before the creation of the world, John 17:1-7. This has been accomplished with the Lord sitting at the right hand of the Father.
Second, the position where the Lord sits at the right hand of the Father, is described as the place of righteousness, Psalms 48:10. This will be demonstrated during the tribulation and during the millennial reign of Christ, where God will strengthen Israel, help and uphold Israel with the right hand of His righteousness (Jesus), Isaiah 41:10, Romans 11:2. Also, God exalted Jesus with His right hand to be a Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins, Acts 5:31. Again, as High Priest, the Lord offered on sacrifice for sins forever, then sat down on the right hand of God, Hebrews 10:12.
Now that Jesus occupies the right side of the Father, Mark 16:19b, He is:
- Exalted by the Father in that position, Acts 2:33a, where:
- His name is higher than any name, Philippians 2:9, Ephesians 1:21b
- He is above all principalities and powers, 1Peter 3:22, Ephesians 1:21a
- He intercedes for us, Isaiah 53:12, Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25
- He received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:33b, where:
- The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, according to the will of God, Romans 8:26-27
There is further significance when Stephen witnessed the Lord standing on the right side of the Father in judgment, Acts 7:55-56, where:
- The Lord is responding in judgment to the Sanhedrin, who had blasphemed the Holy Spirit, Isaiah 3:13-15, James 5:9, Amos 9:1, Psalms 68:1
- The first rejection of the message from the Holy Spirit was when Peter and John were appeared before Israel’s leadership, responding to the healing of the lame man outside the temple, Acts 4:5-23
- The second rejection of the Holy Spirit was when all 12 apostles were arrested and appeared before Israel’s leadership, Acts 5:16-42
- The third rejection was when Stephen was falsely accused and appeared before Israel’s leadership, Acts 6:14-15, Acts 7:1-60
- Jesus’ posture may indicate the Lord’s judgment upon Israel because of their three-fold rejection, and He will soon disperse them worldwide, Deuteronomy 30:1
- However, the Lord will return them to their land in the kingdom age because God has chosen them to be a particular people, Deuteronomy 14:2
- This is also the time, after which the Lord will give salvation to the Gentiles, Romans 11:11-12 (KJV), until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, Romans 11:25
- Saul, later called Paul, Acts 13:9, is introduced in scripture as part of the crowd against Stephen, not as a witness, but encouraging the events, Acts 7:58
- Saul will meet the Lord on the road to Damascus, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive his commission from the Lord to preach Jesus to the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel, Acts 9:1-15
So now as the Lord sits on the right side of the Father, He awaits His Father’s Word to:
- First, fetch His bride, the church to Himself in the clouds, thus fulfilling the time of the Gentiles, 2Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:24-32, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18, Romans 11:25
- The Body-of-Christ is to seek those things that are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of the Father, Colossians 3:1
- Second, after the snatching away of the church, and the rapture of the believers in Christ Jesus, the prophetic plan for Israel will resume, Revelation 1-19, bringing into fulfillment of many prophecies, the kingdom age, Zechariah 14:9
- James spoke of this time, after the fulness of the Gentiles, Romans 11:25, the throne of David would be rebuilt, Acts 15:15-18
- Jesus said that after the dispersion of Israel to all the nations, Jerusalem would be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, Luke 21:24, Daniel 2:44-45
- Christ Jesus will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords, at the establishment of His millennial reign, Psalms 2, 110
- He will rule over the world with the rod of iron, Psalm 2:9, Revelation 2:27, 12:5, 29:15
- This was preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:22-39