Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Potter’s House 5/19/2013: The Gospel Truth About Israel (Part 2); “All Israel Will be Saved”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 21, 2013

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JUDGEMENTS (2)

The Potter’s House 5/19/2013: The Gospel Truth About Israel (Part 1); “All Israel Will be Saved”

“The idea that all of national Israel will be saved is absolutely huge in understanding prophecy and its connection to the gospel.”  

We are now very near to the end of our study on justification. Please pray for me as we will continue in the book of Romans and take a sharp right turn into the arena of Christian living. The apostle Paul is going to teach us how to obtain a powerful life to the glory of our Father. That starts in Romans 12.

The first eleven chapters in Romans are about justification. The gospel of first importance. How we are reconciled to God. How we tell others to be reconciled to God. And how those that we are trying to reconcile think. What man’s greatest need is, and what makes him tick. But there is another gospel as well: the good news of kingdom living. The perfect law of liberty that sets us free.

Paul finishes his treatise on justification with a major element thereof: the issue of national Israel. As we have seen, national Israel was elected by God, and there is a remnant within Israel that is also elected. We have seen clearly that God had a specific purpose in election—to completely eradicate man from any participation in his eternal security. If we were not born again with a heart enslaved to the desires of the Holy Spirit we would have absolutely no incentive whatsoever to live according to the law in our Christian life….for justification. And look, all of the Bible must be interpreting with this prism: [Bible verse]….for justification; or,[Bible verse]….for sanctification. The Bible is divided into those two subjects.  Beware of any man who applies justification verses to sanctification issues. Mark that man and flee from him. The law has NOTHING to say to us….for justification. It has plenty to say to us….for sanctification.
And know this, know this shocking revelation (ROM 11:25): If Paul’s prayer in Romans 10:1 is not answered in the affirmative, no one, but no one is saved:

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

Listen, Romans 10-11 is a sermon manuscript in and of itself. It’s self-explanatory. Paul opens with that prayer in verse one, and closes with the following statement preceding his doxology in Romans 11:

26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins” (ISA 59: 20, 21).

In what way? In what way will Israel be saved? As we will see, there is yet another purpose in God’s election. Paul shortly revisits justification fundamentals in regard to national Israel’s rebellion which is, as we will see, used by God in His second great purpose of election. Paul’s sermon here is really about the two great purposes of God’s election.

And note: “ALL” Israel will be saved. Stop right there. Please do not believe the lie that eschatology cannot be understood definitively. Please do not believe that it is “secondary,” “nonessential” truth. We have bought into that because of the confusion surrounding the subject of Israel. If there is a time that ALL of national Israel will be saved, and obviously that is the case, this is a key interpretive element in understanding eschatology. AND justification. AND the gospel. 25% of the Bible being about eschatology is not an aside—it’s not a preface—it’s gospel.

The idea that all of national Israel will be save is absolutely huge in understanding prophecy and its connection to the gospel. First, let’s go back in time and establish that this was God’s original purpose for Israel:

Exodus 19:3 – while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

God’s original covenant with Israel was contingent on His promise alone, or “the promise.” When God made this covenant with the father of our faith, God put Abram into a deep sleep and consummated the promise himself:

Genesis 15:1 – After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

7 And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”

And the plan always included the Gentiles being grafted in (blessed) “through” God’s covenant with Israel:

Genesis 12:1 – Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 17:1 – When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”

Genesis 22:15 – And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

In regard to the Mt. Sinai covenant, national Israel did break it for the most part except for the remnant chosen by God. But God used that rebellion, prophesied in the original covenant, to bless the Gentiles while adding another covenant to the original covenant:

Jeremiah 31:31 – “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

35 Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord of hosts is his name: 36 “If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the Lord, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.” 37 Thus says the Lord: “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the Lord.”

38 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39 And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. 40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”

The New Covenant was never made between God and the Gentiles—it was made with Israel. Nor is the covenant fully consummated. We presently enjoy the blessings of the New Covenant by Jewish proxy. What God said He was going to accomplish in the New Covenant is clearly not fulfilled. Many need to simply get over it: the saving of national Israel is yet future. But when? And what relationship does that have to justification?

Obviously, those who want to make weak distinctions between justification and sanctification (resulting in passive sanctification) do not want to separate the two in prophetic interpretations. Popular in our day and indicative of Protestant tradition is the idea of one resurrection and one judgment. More than one resurrection and judgment opens up the door to distinctions between justification and sanctification as well as Jewish uniqueness. The latter is has always been the scourge of worldly sentiment dressed in religious garb. Moreover, the idea of one final judgment to determine who is truly justified and who isn’t is somewhat disconcerting to anyone who understands justification. The idea that our justification is a settled issue is far more desirable, and I contend, biblical. Notice the excerpt below from a video interview conducted with John Piper:

PIPER JUSTIFICATION

Notice “last day” is singular and we are only then going to be counted righteousness. Such an assertion gives us pause in light of Romans 8:

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered” (PS 44:22).

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Election calls for us to be counted righteous before the earth was even created. It is a settled issue presently. During the 2009 Resolved Conference, Pastor Steve Lawson preached on the Great White Throne Judgment. Throughout the message, it was unclear where he stands on whether or not believers will stand in the same judgment with unbelievers to determine final justification. But throughout the message he seemed to insinuate that believers would not be present. I thought this odd knowing that he is an avowed Calvinist. That is, until he connected Matthew 25:31-46 with the final judgment. That is a judgment where the sheep are separated from the goats among all the nations gathered before Him. Is that the scene at the Great White Throne Judgment? And obviously, if it is, this is where our final justification would be confirmed.

Furthermore, in this particular judgment, not all of Israel is saved. This is the judgment that follows the return of Christ visibly with myriads of angels. The scene is extremely apocalyptic:

Luke 21:25 – “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Matthew 24:27 – For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

However, at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, and preceding the Great White Throne Judgment, there is no visible return of Christ. When the armies of all the other nations surround Israel, God merely rains fire down from heaven and consumes them:

Revelation 20:1 – Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Furthermore, prior to the Great White Throne Judgment, Satan is bound for 1000 years. This is certainly not the case prior to the Millennial Kingdom. During the tribulation period, Satan is free to wreak havoc on the earth. More than likely, the judgment Steve Lawson referred to is known as the judgment of the nations at the end of the tribulation period. Those who will be commended by Christ at that judgment are commended for helping people with needs that will not be present during the Millennial Kingdom:

Matthew 25:31 – “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Until the day Satan is released, a mass of Scriptures describe the Millennial Kingdom as paradise on earth. Also note REV 20:4—there is also a judgment in which those slain for their faith during the tribulation period stand. These are multiple judgment thrones, and probably the same ones Christ referred to in a discussion with His disciples:

Matthew 19:27 – Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Christ’s “glorious throne” is the same one He refers to regarding the judgment of the nations. Apparently, at the end of the tribulation period, Christ will judge the nations and the apostles will judge the elect of Israel in regard to rewards and how they will rein with Christ for the next 1000 years. I think the Judgment Christ speaks of in Matthew 7:21-23 refers to the judgment of the nations during that time. In both cases, “lawlessness (anomia)” and false wonders/miracles are a major theme. In both cases, entering into the kingdom of heaven is a theme, but there is no such theme at the White Throne Judgment because it is a judgment connected in totality to the “second death.”  Besides, what follows would be an entering into the new heavens and new earth—not the kingdom of heaven on earth. This is a given because all who are not at this judgment have received their invitation to the wedding supper of the lamb (REV 19:9) which takes place when the Bride arrives from heaven (REV 21:9-14).

Moreover, during the Millennial Kingdom, all of the inhabitants of national Israel will be saved:

Revelation 20:7 – And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

I believe Paul’s reference to ALL of national Israel being saved is encompassed in the 20th chapter of Revelation. That begins when God sends His angels to enforce the Mt. Sinai covenant during the tribulation period. The angels put the covenant in place at Mt. Sinai (GAL 3:19). That’s why there are direct references to that covenant in Revelation. For example:

Revelation 6:9 – When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” [Alter of incense].

Revelation 8:3 – And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings,[a] flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

Revelation 11: 19 – Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

The final judgment to consider is the bema judgment (1COR 3:10-15, 2COR 5:10). This is a judgment for rewards and probably occurs shortly after the rapture since the twenty- four elders in REV 4:10 already have their crowns. This is also distinct from the White Throne Judgment because everyone at that judgment has died. That’s not the case with the rapture (1THES 4:13-5:4, 2THES 2:1-12, 1COR 15: 51-53, LK 14:12-14). The main distinction between the judgment of the nations and the rapture is that one is imminent while tribulation events are marked by time periods. So, from the signing of the treaty between Israel and the Antichrist (God strictly forbade the signing of covenants with other nations for protection at Mt. Sinai) to the visible apocalyptic return of Christ will be exactly seven years. It is not an imminent return, and unlike the rapture is not a meeting with Christ in the air.

At any rate, the idea that eschatology is too deep and mysterious to be definitively understood is just more Protestant boloney. It doesn’t make sense that a subject comprising 25% of the Bible has no objective outcome as if it’s God’s goal to keep us confounded. The following chart illustrates what we have discussed thus far:

Judgements 2 (2)

I contend that the issue here is the relationship of eschatology to the gospel. One resurrection and one judgment argues for progressive justification. “Final justification,”  while giving a node to once saved always saved actually calls for an ambiguous final judgment where the elect’s justification is “manifested” and confirmed. If God knows we are justified, and we know we are justified (1JN 5:13) why is such a confirmation hearing necessary? Many in Reformed circles, if not most, posit the idea that the prize we seek in the Christian race is salvation itself. We must keep ourselves “qualified” by faith alone in sanctification in order to not be “disqualified” from the race. Some even suggest “mutable justification” as opposed to immutable justification. A wink and a node is given to once saved always saved with “already not yet.”

How we are saved effects how things end. All of Israel will be saved because the New Covenant is dependent on what God does, and not anything Israel has done or will do. Likewise, the security of our own salvation does not depend on anything we do in sanctification. Seeing the biblically defined power of God in our lives certainly bolsters our assurance, but the work of justification is finished. We are all like that thief on the cross; all he could do was believe and ask for mercy, and with that Christ declared that he would be in paradise that same day. Likewise, in Romans 8:30, we are declared glorified already; it is finished, it is as good as done.

Potter H. 1

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on May 21, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.

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