Sunday, May 31, 2009

Red Heifer

Messiah And The Red Heifer


Q. Thanks again for your dedication and service as a teacher of the scripture. My question today has to do with something I recently read about the 3rd Temple. According to Jewish belief (as stated on the Temple Institute website) once the temple has been rebuilt the initial cleansing sacrifice of the pure red heifer will be performed by the messiah. This causes me conflict as I am under the belief that the Jews will again be worshiping in the 3rd Temple during the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation period.


My question is could the reference in the Jewish scripture to the “messiah” in actuality be the anti-christ posing as the messiah and performing this initial sacrifice? What does the scripture really indicate about this? If it really is the AC, how are the Jews misinterpreting this scripture? Please help me out with this. Thank you so much for your insight.


A. Some Jewish beliefs about the coming Temple are just that, beliefs. That means they’re traditions based in interpretations of Scripture, not Scripture itself.

The Jewish Scripture is our Old Testament and the passages about the 3rd Temple are contained in Ezekiel 40-47, with it’s actual location spelled out in Chapter 48. There’s nothing in these passages that requires the Messiah to be the one to perform the initial purification. But since every living Jew is ceremonially unclean and will remain so until the red heifer purification sacrifice can be conducted, they’ll need someone who can claim to be clean to solve this problem (Numbers 19:1-10).


In chapter 43 Ezekiel describes the Shekinah Glory returning to the Temple and mentioning how the people have defiled it in the past, and in chapter 44 He speaks of them allowing foreigners to officiate in His sanctuary. I believe this is a reference to the Anti-Christ and perhaps the false prophet. If so, it’s possible that one or both of them could have presided over the Temple’s initial purification, but again there’s no specific reference to the ceremony itself.


Jesus prophesied that while they rejected Him as their Messiah, they would one day accept another who would prove to be false. (John 5:43) and Isaiah 28:15 speaks of Israel making a covenant with death, referring to the treaty they make with the anti-Christ.


It’s clear that a Temple will be built in Israel before the beginning of the Great Tribulation, which means it’s well before the 2nd Coming. That means someone other than the Lord will have to perform the initial purification ceremony. Since the anti-Christ and false prophet will have established themselves as world leaders during that time, and since the anti-Christ will be perceived as the one who made the Temple’s construction possible, and since the Temple’s dedication will take place before the anti-Christ makes his claim to be God in the flesh which alienates the Jews, it’s possible that he’ll be the one who dedicates the 3rd Temple.



Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





O What A Glorious Body He Gives!

Resurrection Bodies


Q. As I understand it, when the rapture occurs, all believers will be ‘translated’ to heaven leaving their earthly bodies behind. Additionally as I understand it, we don’t get our new ‘perfect’ bodies until the ‘end of the age’/ judgment timeframe.


However all/most believers who will be raptured will be coming back with Jesus to ‘assist with ruling’ on the earth during the millennium, which would means we would need a suitable body.


If we get a body like Jesus had during his resurrected time on the earth we would be able to move through solid objects, perhaps move through time, etc.


In your opinion, is my ‘thinking’ biblically correct?


A. The way I read 1 Cor. 15:51-53 those of us alive at the rapture will receive perfected bodies immediately, just as those being resurrected receive theirs. The living don’t discard their earthly bodies at that time, they’re just changed. Think of it like a massive upgrade to your computer. Afterward it’s still the same computer, but it works a whole lot better. I’m not aware of any additional changes to our physical nature subsequent to that.


And my understanding of 1 John 3:2 is that our new bodies will be similar in capability to the Lord’s. “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”.



Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





Heavenly Relationships

Questions About Life In Heaven


Q. Hi! I have a few questions about life in Heaven…I’m wondering when we go to heaven will our new lives carry out - not so much the same as our earthly lives - but more with the same tendencies and emotions (but without sin of course) as on earth? Do you think we will have ‘relationships’ with fellow believers (i.e. best friends, lovers, parents, children) as we do on earth?


I guess the reason I’m wondering is that we were made in God’s image with similar emotions (love,joy,sadness etc) and there must be a reason that we are drawn to certain people in life more so than others…will we recognize family and friends, husbands and wives in heaven and still have stronger feelings for those people than others, or will it be every ‘believer’ for themselves - our earthly relationships diminished and a new ‘family’ developed with our fellow believers?


Sorry if I’m getting a bit carried away…I hope I’m not being too confusing - I’ve just been wondering about it that’s all! I don’t expect that you’ll have all the answers but any perspective you have on this would be much appreciated :-) Thanks - keep up the good work…you’ve been a great inspiration!


A. The Bible doesn’t speak about these things except to say that we neither marry nor are we given in marriage, but will be like the angels. (Matt 22:29-30) I think this means that our capacity for relational love will be primarily directed toward and filled by the Lord.


Paul wrote that we will know as we are known (1 Cor 13:12) and to me that means that among other things we’ll recognize and know not only our earthly friends and family, but everyone in the family of God. While these relationships will be different I don’t think there’s any way in which they’ll be diminished. On the contrary our awareness and capacity for feeling will be heightened in our new bodies, not only by the removal of the contamination and distortion caused by sin, but also by the increased abilities our new bodies will have.


Paul also wrote that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Cor. 2:9) It’s beyond our comprehension.


Generally I believe our new lives will be similar to our old ones in the way a 3-D color picture is comparable to a 2-D black and white. The objects are recognizable as being the same, but that’s about it. No one will miss “the good old days.” In fact, according to Isaiah 65:17 the former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.



Website: www.gracethrufaith.com








Friday, May 29, 2009

Israel & Damascus

Damascus’ Date With Destruction


Q. Is there a specific Agricultural season mentioned as to the timing of the Destruction of Damascus? “It shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain.” Is that the Bible’s way of making a General statement about Harvesting or can we take that as Literally WHEN the wheat is actually harvested in Israel?


By the way,the insight this website has been given is a gift from God. You are definitely Watching as the Lord Commanded. Thanks.


A. You’re referring to Isaiah 17:4-5In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away. It will be as when a reaper gathers the standing grain and harvests the grain with his arm—as when a man gleans heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim.”


The object of the passage is Jacob, the name God called Israel when they were out of fellowship. Isaiah’s explaining that in the days when Damascus is destroyed, Israel will sustain serious damage as well. So serious that it will look like a wheat field after the reapers have gone through, only a few stalks of grain left standing here and there. This doesn’t mean that the destruction will take place at harvest time, he’s only using a familiar analogy to help them picture the extent of Israel’s damage.


This passage was partially fulfilled in 732 BC when the Assyrians swept through the Aramean capital of Damascus before going on to conquer the Northern Kingdom in 721. Most of the inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom (Jacob in the reference above) were resettled to the North and East of Israel leaving behind only those Jews who the Assyrians believed posed no threat to their rule. People from other regions conquered by Assyria were resettled in Israel, and the resulting inter-marriage produced the Samaritans, a people hated by the Jews.


I say partially fulfilled because Damascus didn’t cease to exist as a city and the Assyrians didn’t turn to God or abandon their cities because of the Israelites as verses 7-9 indicate. This is one reason that scholars look to a future fulfillment of Isaiah 17.



Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





Will we be judged for our words or won't be?

Careless Words


Q. Last night in our Bible study, we talked about judgment which I have no problems with at all. In regard to it, when we are faithful to confess our sins to God (say on a daily basis) for things we know are wrong such as envy, inappropriate words, hurtful actions, etc, will we be judged on them again when we see the Lord in the future? Since the Bible says we will be judged by every word or action, does this imply we are forgiven now but will be judged later or will God remove our transgressions as far as East is from West?


A. Matt. 12:36-37 says,


“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”


Even a sin as “small” as a careless word will be remembered and we’ll be called to account for them all. Obviously one person cannot be both acquitted and condemned, so the Lord was saying it’ll be one or the other. We’re acquitted by having agreed the let the Lord’s death serve as payment in full for our sins. Since He’s already been punished for them, God’s justice has been served and He cannot also punish us. Others will be condemned by having denied the Lord and refusing to let His death pay for their sins. That means they’ve agreed to pay for them personally. So we’ll either be acquitted or condemned by the words we’ve spoken. But we won’t be acquitted now and comdemned later.




Website: www.gracethrufaith.com







Rapture

Do We Really Vanish?


Q. For some time now, I’ve wondered if we will simply disappear at the Rapture. When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He did so visibly. Also, the saints that were raised up appeared in the city to hundreds of people. So where do we get the idea that we would vanish, leaving our clothes behind? Am I missing something here?


A. In 1 Cor. 15:51 Paul wrote that we would be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye. Since the Greek word for changed is transformed, it’s been assumed that this instantaneous transformation will include both location and composition. In John 14:1-3 Jesus said after He prepared a place for us in His Father’s house, He would come to take us there, and in 1 Thes 4:17 Paul said that when this happens we’ll be with the Lord from then on. I think vanishing is a lot more likely explanation than having the world watch while we float up into the air.


Also in Isaiah 26:20 the word translated come (KJV) or go (NIV) means to come away, depart, or vanish. I believe this is an Old Testament reference of the Rapture.


As for the clothes, we’ll be getting new ones so it makes sense we’ll leave the old ones behind.




Website: www.gracethrufaith.com







Monday, May 18, 2009

Millennium Goverment

Governing Earth In The Millennium


Q. In the Kingdom, who will sit on the throne in earthly Jerusalem? Will it be Jesus or David? As I understand it, God will be present in Jerusalem, but also in the New Jerusalem where the Church will live, as will Jesus. Who will be charged with day-to-day governance of the natural humans in Israel — who will be the “cops”?


And, in the rest of the world — the believing Gentile survivors — who will run things? Does the Bible address this, or are these more of the things we are not told about and will simply have to wait to see what develops?


A. When He comes back, the Lord will be King of the whole Earth. (Zech. 14:9) and will occupy David’s throne. (Luke 1:32-33) There will be someone called “the Prince” who seems to be in charge in Israel (Ezek. 44:3), although God the Father will have His Throne there (Ezek. 43:7). This prince will be a human because he’ll offer sacrifices for his own sins (Ezek. 45:22) and have children (Ezek. 46:16). I believe that in Israel at least, the day-to-day administration will be handled by the priesthood as it was in Old Testament times.


The Gentile nations will be governed by kings (Rev. 21:24) although it’s not clear who they’ll be. The Church will hold the titles of King and Priest, so there may be a role for us in this. Since Jesus is the King of Kings, all who govern on Earth will report to Him.


Who’s On Earth During The Millennium?


Q. I have a question about Isaiah 65:17-25. I know that Isaiah 65:1-16 is about Israel and their rebellion against God, but a friend told me that verses 17-25 are not about Israel, but about the people who will inhabit the earth after the Tribulation, not necessarily Israel. We are having a discussion about who exactly will inhabit the earth at that time.


The question also arises that the raptured Church won’t actually live in heaven, in mansions, but will live on the earth. So, in a nutshell: (1)who lives on the earth after the Tribulation, but before satan is released for 1,000 years, (2) who will live in heaven and will there be mansions, and (3) who will populate the earth after Satan is released?


A. Isaiah 65:17-25 clearly mentions Jerusalem and its people. There’s no justification for thinking of this as anything other than a passage pertaining to Israel in the Millennium. Remember, for Israel the Millennium is the promised Kingdom Age, so it doesn’t make any sense to have a Millennium without them in their land.


Jewish believers who survive the Great Tribulation will live in Israel during the Millennium while believing Gentile survivors will populate the nations. They and their children will live on Earth during the Millennium.


The Church will inhabit the New Jerusalem, and that’s where the mansions are that Jesus spoke of in John 14:1-2. It’s seen coming down from Heaven in Rev. 21 but is never described as actually landing here. Truth be told, it wouldn’t really fit anywhere. Far bigger than all of Israel it will have a foot print as big as western Europe, or all of the Eastern US from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River and Maine to Florida. Besides that it’s 1400 miles tall. Compare that to the tallest building on earth today at 1800 feet. In volume it’s 1/6th the size of Earth.


The Bible doesn’t say anything about what happens after the Millennium following Satan’s release. Its chronological end is in Rev. 20:7-15. Rev. 21-22 take us back to the beginning of the Millennium to show us the New Jerusalem and the restored Israel.



Website: www.gracethrufaith.com




Sunday, May 17, 2009

Is the times and fullness of the gentiles different?

Times Of The Gentiles And Fullness Of The Gentiles


Q. In Luke 21: 24 it is mentioned, ‘times of the Gentiles’. I checked several translations, all translation say, ‘times of the Gentiles’, instead of ‘time of the Gentile’. This is one of the puzzles to me, how to differentiate between ‘times of the Gentiles’ versus ‘time of the Gentiles’. Is it because Jerusalem is occupied by different gentile nations at different time period?


In Romans 11:25, it is mentioned ‘until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in’. But, according to Revelation 7:9 and 7:14, there will be Gentiles that will be saved during the great tribulation. I have difficulty to explain Romans 11:25 together with Revelation 7:9,14.


Is the ‘times of the Gentiles’ and the ‘fullness of the Gentiles’ pointing to the same time?


A. The times of the Gentiles mentioned in Luke 21:24 runs from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar to the 2nd Coming. The reason it’s plural is because there are four major kingdoms involved, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome (twice).


The fullness of the Gentiles in Romans 11:25 refers to the number of people who become believers during the Church age. When this number is reached, the Rapture will take place. Gentiles saved after the Rapture (Rev. 7:9,14)are called Tribulation Saints and don’t belong to the Church.



Website: www.gracethrufaith.com




America?

America In Prophecy?

Q. Hi and thanks for your great insight. I really enjoy your studies.


I have always been puzzled about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue representing the world empires. As great a country as America has been and being the only current world superpower, it’s puzzling why the “American” empire was not included when God revealed the empires that would rule before the return of the Lord. As great and powerful as our nation has been, you would think America would have been mentioned as one of the empires. Perhaps it’s because we won’t last long. Do have any insight on this subject?


A. A popular Canadian prophecy teacher who lectures all over the world once told me that Americans are the only ones who wonder why they’re not mentioned in the Bible. He thought it was due to our arrogance, but I think it’s more along the lines of your comments. America has been a great country, and is currently the only world empire in the sense that we influence the decisions of other countries, sometimes even imposing our will on them.


But the 200 years of our existence is only a small fraction of the 2600 years of Gentile Dominion. In the context of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, we’re but one of the remnants of the 4th Kingdom, Rome, filling a small portion of the time between its first life as the legs of iron and it’s second as the ten toes of iron mixed with clay.


You see Rome was never really conquered in the classical sense. It fell as a result of its own decay before transforming itself into the Holy Roman Empire that ruled for nearly 1000 more years. Since then various of its components have had their time in the sun first Spain, then England, and now the US which is a part of Rome by virtue of being a former colony of England’s.


But soon the revived Roman Empire, a ten nation confederacy represented by the ten toes, will once again be pre-eminent and America’s dominance will end just like all the other gentile empires before us.


The good news is that a fifth Kingdom, one that will never be destroyed or given to others will arise and will crush all those who came before it. This kingdom will be set up by God and will endure forever. Being a believer, even though you currently reside in the US, you’re a citizen of this kingdom and like the rest of us are anxiously awaiting the return of our conquering King.





Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fig Tree



Question: "Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?"


Answer: The account of Jesus cursing the barren fig tree is found in two different Gospel accounts. First it is seen in Matthew 21:18-22, and then also in Mark 11:12-14. While there are slight differences between the two accounts, they are easily reconciled by studying the passages. Like all Scripture, the key to understanding this passage comes from understanding the context in which it happened. In order to properly understand this passage, we must first look at the chronological and geographical setting. For example when did this occur, what was the setting, and where did it happen? Also, in order to fully understand this passage, we need to have an understanding of the importance of the fig tree as it relates to the nation of Israel, and understand how the fig tree is often used in the Scriptures to symbolically represent Israel. Finally, we must have a basic understanding of the fig tree itself, its growing seasons, etc.

First, in looking at the general chronological setting of the passage, we see that it happened during the week before His crucifixion. Jesus had entered Jerusalem a day earlier amidst the praise and worship of the Jewish people who were looking to Him as the King/Messiah who was going to deliver them from Roman occupation (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11). Now, the next day, Jesus is again on His way to Jerusalem from where He was staying in Bethany. On His way, both Matthew and Mark record that He was hungry and saw a fig tree in the distance that had leaves on it (Mark 11:13). Upon coming to the tree expecting to find something to eat Jesus instead discovered that the fig tree had no fruit on it and cursed the tree saying, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:14). Matthew records the cursing and the withering of the fig tree all in one account and includes it after the account of Jesus cleansing the Temple of the moneychangers. Mark explains that it actually took place over two days with Jesus cursing the fig tree the first day on the way to cleanse the Temple, and the disciples seeing the tree withered on the second day when they were again going to Jerusalem from Bethany (Mark 11:12-14 and Mark 11:19-20). Of course upon seeing the tree “withered from the roots up,” the disciples were amazed as that would have normally taken several weeks.


Having reviewed the general chronological setting of the story, we can begin to answer some of many questions that are often asked of it. First of all is the question: Why did Jesus curse the fig tree if it was not the right season for figs? The answer to this question can be determined by studying the characteristics of fig trees. By doing that we learn that the fruit of the fig tree generally appears before the leaves and because the fruit is green it sort of blends in with the leaves right up until it is almost ripe. Therefore, when Jesus and His disciples saw from a distance that the tree had leaves, they would have expected it to also have fruit on it even though it was earlier in the season than what would be normal for a fig tree to be bearing fruit. Also, from studying about the way fig trees grow in Israel we learn that each tree would often produce two to three crops of figs each season. There would be an early crop in the spring followed by one or two later crops. In some parts of the area, depending on climate and conditions, it was also possible that a tree might produce fruit ten out of twelve months. This also explains why Jesus and His disciples would be looking for fruit on the fig tree even if it was not in the main growing season. The fact that the tree already had leaves on it even though it was at a higher elevation around Jerusalem, and therefore would have been outside of the normal season for figs, would have seemed to be a good indication that there would also be fruit on it.


As to what the significance of this passage is and what it means, the answer to that is again found in the chronological setting and in understanding how a fig tree is often used symbolically to represent Israel in the Scriptures. First of all, chronologically, Jesus had just arrived at Jerusalem amidst great fanfare and great expectations, but then proceeds to cleanse the Temple and curse the barren fig tree. Both had important significance as to the spiritual condition of Israel. With His cleansing of the Temple and His criticism of the worship that was going on there (Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17), Jesus was effectively denouncing Israel’s worship of God. With the cursing of the fig tree He was symbolically denouncing Israel as a nation and in a sense even denouncing unfruitful “Christians.” (That is people who profess to be Christian but have no evidence of a relationship with Christ).


The presence of a fruitful fig tree was considered to be a symbol of blessing and prosperity for the nation of Israel. Likewise, the absence or death of a fig tree would symbolize judgment and rejection. Symbolically, the fig tree represented the spiritual deadness of Israel, who while very religious outwardly with all the sacrifices and ceremonies, were spiritually barren because of their sins. By cleansing the Temple and cursing the fig tree, causing it to whither and die, Jesus was pronouncing His coming judgment of Israel and demonstrating His power to carry it out. It also teaches the principle that religious profession and observance is not enough to guarantee salvation, unless there is the fruit of genuine salvation evidence in the life of the person. James would later echo this truth when he wrote that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). The lesson of the fig tree is that we should bear spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), not just give an appearance of religiosity. God judges fruitlessness, and expects that those who have a relationship with Him will “bear much fruit” (John 15:5-8).











Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Faith

How Can I Increase My Faith?

Q. How does one go about increasing his faith in Christ and His power. It would be nice to have the faith to move mountains, the size of a grain of mustard seed. I pray for it, and wisdom. I read His word continually and I do believe that He has that kind of power and that He lives in us, but my faith is so weak, as if it is non-existant, especially in regards to things that might apply directly to me, healing and those kinds of things. Maybe I feel unworthy of His love in this way, although I believe He has love and mercy towards me. Is there some key element I am missing in obtaining and increasing faith?


A. Think of faith as a spiritual muscle. You were given enough faith to save you when you were born again (Ephes. 2:8-9) just as you were given your physical muscles at your physical birth. Both are increased through exercise. If we never exercised our physical muscles they would atrophy to the point where they would barely work. The same is true with our faith.


We exercise our faith by applying Romans 12:1-2 to our lives. We offer our entire life to God to use as He pleases. That means we don’t do anything without consulting Him, and we wait upon Him to give us direction. We learn to listen to His voice and follow His lead. (John 10:27)


The Lord promised that if we do this, He’ll see to all of our needs (Matt. 6:25-34) and He said that if we delight in Him He’ll give us the desire of our heart. (Psalm 37:4) We exercise our faith by believing these promises and relying on Him to guide us through life. The more fully we rely on Him, no matter what, the stronger our faith will grow.



Our Measure Of Faith


Q. In Romans 12:3, it speaks of “the measure of Faith” God has given us.


My question is: do we all get the same “measure” of Faith, or are some of us given a bigger or smaller measure? Some of us are called to serve in areas where I would think they would need a very large portion of Faith.


Also if we get the same measure, maybe some exercise that Faith More?


A. We are all gifted with the faith to believe (Ephes 2:8-9). We are instructed to make that faith grow, through the study of God’s word (Romans 10:17) and through living by faith not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). We read about God’s promises to us, and as we trust in Him we see those promises come true. That makes our faith grow. Many people who seem to have stronger faith are like people who have stronger muscles. They’ve just exercised more. Others are actually given extraordinary faith as a spiritual gift (1 Cor. 12:9) to prepare them for some special work.


But we could all have the faith to do great things for the Lord, if only we spent more time exercising it. (Matt. 17:20)




Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Temple

More On The Temple


Q. I seem to remember the Bible speaking of the Jews having had two “Temples.” Was one David’s tabernacle like the one in the Wilderness, and the other Solomon’s Temple.


Is it possible, in the great scheme of things, that the first to be raised will be a portable tabernacle, and that it is there that the AC will declare himself to be God? That would considerably advance the nearness of End Times since there would be no need to wait to resolve the political aspects of actually building a Temple of stone? Are we sure that it is the formal stone Temple that is referred to in prophecy of the End Times?


A. The Jews actually built two permanent stone buildings on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The first was built by Solomon in about 900 BC and was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The second was built by Nehemiah after the Babylonian captivity and was substantially remodeled by King Herod in the time of the Lord’s first Coming. It was destroyed by the Romans in 68-69 AD.


The next Temple to be built is described in Ezekiel 40-47 and is likewise a stone building. I suppose there could be a temporary structure in the mean time, but the Bible doesn’t specifically describe one.


By the way, the tabernacle used by the Jews up to the time of the first Temple was the same one Moses built in the wilderness. It lasted 400 years.


Third Temple Or Fourth?


Q. To quote from your recent Revelation study; This Temple (The one the Jews will build for use in the tribulation) will be the source of the living water that begins flowing on the day the Lord returns (Zech 14:8). After a cleansing and re-dedication similar to the one memorialized in the Feast of Hanukkah, it will be used during the Millennium. It’s purpose will be to recall the Lord’s work at the cross and provide the perspective for children born during the Kingdom Age to choose salvation. Acts 15:14-16 confirms that after the Lord has chosen a people from among the gentiles for Himself (the church) He will return and re-build David’s fallen Tabernacle (the Temple). This is the Third Temple, so vividly described in Ezekiel 40-48.


So reads one paragraph from your recent newsletter but there seems to be some discrepancy here, if the temple built by the Jews is to be (used during the millennium) what is the purpose of Jesus building the temple which you call “The third” ? [Surely the one Jesus builds is the fourth!] Where does the bible say when it will be destroyed so the final one can be built?


A. You’re reading the passage from Acts 15 as if would the Lord would personally come and build the temple. But that’s never been the case. He didn’t personally build any of the temples. The full context of the passage means that He was pausing to take a people for His name’s sake from among the Gentiles after which He would return His attention to Israel and cause a Temple to be built. It’s the third Temple.


And as far as it’s destruction goes, that was my point. The Bible never describes it’s destruction, only its defilement. It will be cleansed and rededicated for use in the Millennium.


Where’s The Temple Going To Be?


Q. Your article “the Coming Temple” mentions it being where a Tabernacle once stood in Shiloh but I don’t see how this can really take the place of where the Temple of Solomon came to be built. There is no doubt that God dwelt in King Solomon’s temple and while God is not confined to one place I really don’t see the any push for other sites to be considered.


In doing some key word searches and such regarding King Solomon’s Temple, the second Temple (of which Herods’s renovations are considered part) and the “third temple” some questions come up. All references, to include the Temple Institute in Israel, put the location of the temple where the current Muslim site is. There is no mention of Shiloh or another possible location off that mount. There are three variants as to its position on the “temple mount” but they are all on the Temple Mount.


While it is puzzling how the temple would not be destroyed in the ensuing splitting of the Mt. of Olives could the valley not extend all the way there in a straight line, rather veer off on a tangent?


A. You’re taking the same approach as many others, and that’s the problem. The Jews call the next Temple the 3rd Temple and Ezekiel’s Temple, but no one looks in the Book of Ezekiel to see where it will be. Instead they focus on where the previous two temples were. Some Christians even add another Temple into the mix, calling Ezekiel’s temple the 4th one, and build their new 3rd Temple in one of the three possible locations on the Temple mount.


I’ve attended several Temple conferences in Jerusalem, with leadng Jews and Christians in attendance, and heard all the arguments for this. They make some reasonable human assumptions, but in my opinion there’s nothing in Scripture to support them.


Some years ago Clarence Larkin wrote a book entitled Dispensational Truth. On page 92-93 of that book is the best map I’ve seen for locating Ezekiel’s Temple. It’s based on instructions given in Ezekiel 48 that you can even plot yourself if you’re of a mind to. Either way, you’ll see that it’s in Shiloh, not Jerusalem.

A Question About Ezekiel’s Temple


Q. Can you explain more about Ezek 40-47 representing the tribulation temple and not the millennial temple and the nation of Israel being in the land during the kingdom?


A. Actually I believe the Temple described in Ezekiel 40-47 will be for both the Tribulation and the Millennium. I think it will be defiled by the anti Christ and then cleansed just like the 2nd Temple was defiled by Antiochus and then cleansed by the Maccabees. I take this view from the fact the the river flowing out from under the Temple mentioned in Ezekiel 47 is said to begin flowing on the day of the Lord’s return (Zech 14:8) and the earthquake mentioned earlier in chapter 14 will have destroyed the current temple mount.


I think that the anti Christ, in enforcing His covenant with Israel, will use Ezekiel 48 to point out to the Jews that their own Scriptures call for the 3rd Temple to be built north of Jerusalem in Shiloh, not on the current Temple Mount. This will make the Moslem presence on the current Temple Mount irrelevant.


Ezekiel 43 contains specific references to God dwelling in the Land with Israel forever. Ezekiel 48 describes the Nation of Israel as occupying all the land west of the Jordan River and extending from about 100 miles north of Damascus to about 100 miles south of Jerusalem during the Kingdom Age, what we call the Millennium. If you plot this on a map of the Middle East, you can see which area each tribe receives, and you’ll also see that the Holy City and Temple area are to the north of the current city of Jerusalem. My study called the Coming Temple will give you more detail on this.


http://www.gracethrufaith.com/ikvot/the-coming-temple


The Coming Temple


Most people believe a new Jewish Temple would require destruction of the Dome of the Rock. What does the Bible say?


A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


According to Prophecies in Daniel 9:27, Matt 24:15 and 2 Thes 2:4, a Temple will exist in Israel at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. This is confirmed by Revelation 11:1 which describes John measuring a Temple during the Tribulation. Its location is the “Holy City.” Chapter 11 also introduces the 2 witnesses who preach in the “Great City” and are ultimately killed there, their bodies left lying in the street. The Great City is identified as the place where the Lord was crucified: Jerusalem. But is Jerusalem also the Holy City?


According to Zechariah 14:6-9 on the day of the Lord’s return an earthquake will split the Mt. of Olives in two along an East-West line that creates a great valley through the center of Jerusalem. Immediately a river will fill the valley creating a waterway from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea. If the Lord returns to the same area of the Mt. of Olives from which He left, as suggested by Acts 1:11, the earthquake creating this East-West valley will destroy the current Temple mount and anything that may be standing upon it.


Ezekiel 47:1-12 describes a great river flowing from under the south side of the Temple and then eastward to the Dead Sea during a period of time that most scholars believe has not occurred yet. Revelation 22:1-2 confirms this. If as it appears, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation all describe the same river, then an interesting scenario begins to emerge.


This scenario requires a Temple to be present on the day the Lord returns, but since the current Temple mount will have been destroyed by the earthquake mentioned above, this Temple must be somewhere else. Since the river originates under the Temple and flows from its south side before heading East and West, the Temple must be north of the newly created river valley.


Where Are The 12 Tribes?


Plotting the land grants for the 12 tribes given in the 48th chapter of Ezekiel on a map of Israel places the precincts of the Holy City somewhat north of the current City of Jerusalem. This new location is the ancient City of Shiloh, where the Tabernacle stood for nearly 400 years after the Israelites first conquered the Land. This is the Holy City and its name is Jehovah Shammah according to the last verse in Ezekiel. The Hebrew translates as “the LORD is here.”


If accurate, this location would meet all the requirements for the Temple mentioned in the above references. The current Temple Mount in Jerusalem would not.


According to Ezekiel 44:6-9, this Temple will have been defiled in a way never seen in history, therefore at a time yet future to us. A foreigner un-circumsized in heart (neither Christian) and flesh (nor Jewish) will have been given charge of the sanctuary while offering sacrifices. If we understand the chronology of Ezekiel, this event will have taken place after both the 1948 re-gathering prophesied in 36-37 and the national wake-up call prophesied in 38-39 but before the Millennial Kingdom begins. The only event we know of that fits that chronology is the Great Tribulation. This is confirmed by Paul’s prophecy of 2 Thes. 2:4 where the anti christ sets himself up in the Temple proclaiming himself to be god.


Here then is a rough outline of events. Following Israel’s return to God after the battle of Ezekiel 38-39, the Jewish people will re-establish their covenant (old not new) with Him. This will require a return to Levitical practices and so a Temple will be built. This is the Temple spoken of by Daniel and Revelation. Following instructions given by Ezekiel and needing to avoid the enormous problems a Jerusalem Temple would create in the Moslem world, this Temple will be located north of Jerusalem in Shiloh. It will be defiled in the middle of the last 7 years as outlined in Daniel 9:24-27, Ezekiel 44:6-9, Matt 24:15 and 2 Thes 2:4 kicking off the Great Tribulation, but will be cleansed by living water that begins flowing on the day the Lord returns (Zech 14:8). This temple will be used during the Millennium to memorialize the Lord’s work at the cross and provide the perspective for children born during the Kingdom Age to choose salvation just as you and I have had the perspective of the Lord’s Supper in making our choice. Remember, He said, “Do this in memory of Me until I come.” Acts 15:14-16 confirms that after the Lord has chosen a people from among the gentiles for Himself (the church) He will return and re-build David’s fallen Tabernacle (the Temple). This is the Millennial Temple so vividly described in Ezekiel 40-48.


The New Jerusalem


The Ezekiel passage also solves the Jerusalem / New Jerusalem problem. For as long as I’ve been studying these things, there has been debate over the issue of the New Jerusalem. Some wonder how the Lord could permit redeemed believers and non- believing natural humans to co-exist in the Millennium. (The rotten apple spoiling the barrel theory) Others wonder how a city with a foot print 1400 miles square and tall could be located in Israel when the whole country won’t be that big.


Carefully examining Rev 21 and 22, we notice that John never actually says the city arrives on earth. We are only told he sees it coming down out of heaven, prepared as a bride. (Not that the city IS the bride, but that as with a bride on her wedding day, no effort has been spared to make it look its absolute best.)


I don’t believe the city ever rests on the Earth’s surface, but rather orbits in the proximity of Earth, like a satellite or perhaps another moon.


Also comparing the descriptions of New Jerusalem with Jehovah Shammah we see some similarities but enough differences to refute the notion that John and Ezekiel described the same place. Compare the following:

New Jerusalem
(All verses from Rev.)
Jehovah Shammah
(All verses from Ezekiel)
12 gates named after Israel (21:12) 12 gates named after Israel (48:30)
12 foundations named after Apostles (21:14) Foundation not described
1400 miles square and tall (21:16) One mile square (48:30)
Coming Down from heaven (21:2) Located in Israel on Earth (40:2)
No Temple … God and the Lamb are its Temple (21:22) Temple just north of the city (40:2)
No sin; nothing impure will ever enter (21:27) Daily sin offerings in the Temple (45:13-15,17)
No more death (21:4) Still death (44:25 also Isa 65:20)
No natural beings … only the perfected (21:27) Natural Beings (46:16)


With the differentiation of these two Holy Cities, the apparent conflict between Jewish and Christian eschatology is resolved. Israel was promised that one day GOD would come to Earth to dwell among them forever, while the Church is promised that Jesus will come to take us to heaven to live with Him there. Both promises come true.


Since Ezekiel specifically quoted the Lord’s promise to dwell among the Israelites forever (43:7) and then described the new Holy City, while Jesus promised to return for the Church to take us to be with Him (John 14:1-3), they must have been talking about two different destinations. They were. Heaven is the New Jerusalem where we will dwell with the Lord forever, while the Holy City on Earth is Jehovah Shammah where God will dwell in the midst of His people Israel forever.




Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





The Church

What Is A Church?


Q. May the Lord bless you in many ways for your web site and knowledge of the Scripture. I have learned so much from your site! We use it for our studies to help us interpret some of the scriptures.


My question is about the churches. What exactly does the church or churches in the Bible really mean? Is it a building, country, or as I hope I am reading right, our prayers and fellowship with Christ? My neighbor who is also a Christian of many years asked me the same question yesterday. We all study the scriptures at home.


A. The Greek word from which Church is derived means a gathering or assembly. It comes from two roots that when combined mean to be called out of or away from something. In the Biblical sense it means that we’ve been called out of the world into an assembly of believers. The head of the Church is the Lord.


One day this great assembly will literally be called out of the world and gathered together in one place in the presence of the Lord. Until then we meet in many places around the world with leaders who represent Him. Sometimes these leaders abuse their positions, trying to make us believe that their particular group is the only church, or doing things their way is the only right way. But Jesus said that where ever two or three are gathered together in His name, He would be in the midst of us. (Matt. 18:20) Anyone not comfortable with the particular group they’re in can either keep looking until they find one they like, or simply get together with a few others in someone’s home, as you’re doing.


Churches Or Church Buildings?


Q. I found this site by accident, but I have found it to be very helpful in my studies.


My questions are: Since we the people are called the Church, why are buildings that are made of brick and mortar also called Churches.


I hear so many people say “I am going to Church” how can you go to what you are called to be?


A. The Greek word from which we get church means “called out ones” It originally referred to the believers. At that time churches met in homes. As the Church grew they needed bigger meeting places and so they built buildings for this purpose. They were called church buildings or church houses. Eventually the buildings were just called churches, but the proper term is church building. The people inside are the church.


Is Church Hopping A Sin?


Q. Is being a church hopper and wanderer a sinful practice? For years I have been going round all the churches in different areas going from one to the other,and never settling anywhere for more than a few weeks at a time and it has now earned me a bad name. I’m known all over the place for being a wanderer and I find I am disliked for it.


What can I do about putting things right as I have recently become a Christian and have confessed of this sin before God,as well as all my others and have asked Jesus Christ into my heart and life to be my Lord and Saviour. I have been told that it is really wrong in Gods eyes to be going from church to church, and back and forth one to another. What are your views on this?


A. On its face, church-hopping is not a sin, but you should ask yourself why you do it. Your Christian life will become much richer when you find a fellowship you really enjoy and put down roots. No church is perfect, but in your hopping around, you have probably found some you like better than others. Visit the ones you like best again and see if you can choose from among them.


To help make your choice, I believe that there are three major factors to look for in choosing a church home. The first is worship. Our main reason for attending church is to worship God, both in music and in prayer. The second is an emphasis on teaching God’s word. Look for a place whose Pastor preaches straight out of the Bible. And the third is the fellowship of believers. Do people like each other? Do they arrive early and stay after? Are there lots of social events? Are they friendly toward you? Does the place have warmth, does it feel like home? You may not find a church that’s really strong on all of them, but there should at least be a noticeable effort to emphasize these three essentials.


As for your reputation, when you choose a place, give people time to see that you’re settling down, and if they’re friendly folks you’ll find them responding by accepting you.





Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





Signs of the End Times

Pestilence In Various Places


Q. Do you have any thoughts on the swine flu epidemic? It seems to me that God has been screaming warnings to mankind from the Heavens for the past few years through all the weather changes, i.e. hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, hail and thunder storms, droughts, and the like, but people for the most part are ignoring those warnings.


Are tornados, earthquakes, and now swine flu judgments from God, or are these a result of sin and Satan’s dominion on the earth? I’ve been told by ministers that God does not judge the earth and its dwellers until the tribulation, but one can’t help but wonder if God is not judging the world now. I would be most grateful for your thoughts.


A. One of the signs the Lord gave that the end is coming is the rise of pestilence in various places. The Aids virus, new drug resistant strains of familiar diseases, and flu epidemics all fit into this category. In Luke 21:11 the Lord called them birth pangs.


Ultimately, these things can all be traced back to the entrance of sin into the creation, since God did not create the world this way. Technically they aren’t judgments but warnings that judgment is coming. The Lord said they would become more frequent and intense as the time for judgment approaches.




Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





Millennium

Who Lives Where?


Q. Thanks to God and to your explanations, I’m slowly gaining a greater understanding of what I believe. But, I still have very, very much to learn.


In the Millennium, I now understand that All Israel will live in the land of the Covenant; and the New Testament saints will live . . . is it in Heaven or in the New Jerusalem?


Who will live on the rest of the earth during the Millennium; that is, outside the Covenant Lands?


As I don’t subscribe to harps and clouds, I believe that, surely, God will have jobs for the Church to do. So, what does Scripture imply/hint will be our jobs for 1,000 years? Will we help govern the earth? Teach?


A. In the Millennium, Israel will live in the Promised Land and fulfill the promises from the Old Testament about their Kingdom Age such as Isaiah 65:17-25. The Church will dwell in the New Jerusalem, incorrectly called heaven by some. The rest of the world will be populated by gentiles who became believers after the Rapture and survived the tribulation. Since they are taken live into the Millennium, they’ll bear children during the 1000 years. It’s the offspring of these children who rebel at the end of the Millennium.


We’re not told what we’ll do to occupy our time during the Millennium, but since we’ve been promised that it’ll be a time of unrestrained joy and since the sin-imposed limits to our creative intellect will have been removed, there must be some truly unimaginable adventures awaiting us. And no, they won’t involve harps and clouds.

Will The Church Live On Earth?


Q. I am confused on a question about the Millennium. I had come to believe that the Church would also dwell on the earth with the Tribulation Saints during this time. Is this not the case, will those of us raptured, not dwell also on earth?


A. The answer to your question lies in John 14:2-3:


In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.


Jesus didn’t promise to come back to be with us where we are. He promised to go to His father’s house to prepare a place for us there. Then He’ll come to get us and take us there, where He is. The Church will dwell in the New Jerusalem, which is too big to be located on Earth, but will be in its proximity. I see it as a low orbit satellite.




Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





While Passing the Jordan, He stands by me!

The Jordan Of Death


Q. I heard a pastor I respect very much say that Jordan means death & judgement. I have not been able to verify this and looking it up in Strong’s numbers it means “descender”. Can you help?


A. The Hebrew word Yarden is translated Jordan in English. It’s used 182 times in the Old Testament and always refers to the River by that name. It means descender, as you know, and comes from a root meaning “to go down” The Jordan River was given its name because it originates on Mt. Hermon, (+9230 ft.) and over its 200 mile length descends into the Dead Sea (-1300 ft.) a loss of over 10,500 feet in altitude.


There is a parable of sorts that compares the Israelites entering the promised land with the life and death of the believer. As the Israelites came to the Promised land they faced the Jordan River, an impassable barrier between their old and new lives. There was nothing they could have done in their own strength to cross. But at God’s command the High priest carried the Ark of the Covenant on his shoulders into the Jordan and it parted, letting them cross into Canaan on dry ground.


As the believer comes to the end of his life he confronts the awful chasm between heaven and earth called death, an impassable barrier. There’s nothing he can do in his own strength to cross. But Jesus, our High Priest, steps into the chasm with the new covenant on His shoulders and the chasm is bridged, allowing the believer entrance into the Kingdom.


In the parable, the Jordan River represents death, and is sometimes called the Jordan of death. Perhaps this is where the Pastor came up with his meaning.





Website: www.gracethrufaith.com





Israel or the Church, or Both?


Israel And The Church


Q. My question is this: In Romans 11:17 where Paul is talking about being grafted in to the vine, that confuses me. How then do we have separate destinies and inheritances if we are grafted in to the vine? Or are the branches that were broken off, the unbelieving Jews, and the branches that remained the Messianic Jews and they are who we were grafted into? Either way, what are the verses that talk of our separate destinies and do we ever “come together” again? Or do we stay in the New Jerusalem and the then believing Jews stay on earth?


A. In Ephesians 1:14-16 Paul wrote that God was taking some from the Jews and some from the Gentiles to make a new race of man, the Church. Romans 11:17 explains that He did this by grafting the gentiles (wild olive shoots) onto the olive tree (believing Israel) to be nourished by a common root (the Lord). The wild shoots replaced the branches He had broken off (unbelieving Jews). Then in Galatians 3:26-29 he said that as the Church we’re neither Jew nor Gentile. By that he meant that both other groups would continue to exist but the church would no longer belong to either.


In Romans 11:25 we read that when the church is complete, God will restore Israel and Acts 15:13-18 says He’ll also give unbelieving gentiles another chance to come to Him. After the 2nd Coming, restored Israel will inherit the promised Kingdom on Earth and believing Gentiles will repopulate the rest of the planet. The Church will dwell in the New Jerusalem. While no imperfect being can enter its gates (Rev. 21:27) we’ll be free to visit Earth or anywhere else in the universe.

Confusion About The Jews


Q. I think there is a great deal of confusion on this subject of the Jews. It is my understanding that since the Jews didn’t accept Jesus, Salvation went to the Gentiles. The Bible says they were Spiritually Blinded, so they rejected Jesus. Now, after the Gentiles get the full number of people saved (the number God wants) Salvation will come to the Jews through revelation that Jesus is the Christ. (I don’t know if you agree with all this).


Anyway, I understand the 144,000 Jews will be the witnesses after the rapture. Well, my question is what about the Jews who died already? Say Just yesterday? They didn’t accept Jesus, and Jesus said he is the only way in John 14:6. Jesus also said, you are for or against me. Are they “Not guilty” of rejecting Christ because they were blinded by God?


Also I read things like Gal 3, says there is no more Jew or Gentile, man or women, all one in Christ. And also that Gal 3:10, those under the law, are under a curse. When Jesus called the temples “My fathers house”, but a while later, he called it “Your house” to the Jews.


I understand in the Old Testament, people were saved by faith. But are Jews holy enough to be saved by God directly? Jesus said no man comes to the father except through him.


A. Your view is basically sound, although even after the blinders come off Jews will still have to make personal commitments to the Lord, just like everyone else. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Those who die without having asked the Lord to forgive them and be their savior, be they Jew or Gentile, are eternally lost.


The Bible does say the Jews are Spiritually blinded. But the blinding came as a result of their rejection, not the other way around (Luke 19:42-44) and does not relieve them of responsibility.


When Paul wrote that there is neither Jew nor Gentile, he was speaking to the Church in Galatia about their status as believers. Though they might have been Jews or Gentiles before, once they accepted the Lord as their savior they became part of the church and from that point forward are neither Jew nor Gentile but one in Christ.


No one is or ever has been holy enough to be saved directly. That’s why the Lord had to die for us. Those from Old Testament times believed that it would happen in their future as we believe it happened in our past.


Jews, Gentiles, And The Church


Q. My question is this. If Adam and Eve were the first to bear children, and we have Jew and Gentile, where did the separation of Jew and Gentile take place? Who started the Gentile nation or people? I. E. Israel and foreigner?


A. From the creation there was one family of man. These were divided into 70 nations after the Great Flood (Genesis 10). in Genesis 12 God called Abraham and said He would make Abraham’s descendants into a great nation. This was the origination of the Jewish people. The word Hebrew appears for the first time on the Bible in Genesis 14:13.


Most scholars see the official birth of the Nation of Israel in the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 19:4-6), and from then until the cross, mankind was divided into two groups, Israel and the Nations (gentiles). After the cross a third designation was added and now mankind consists of the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Church. (1 Cor. 10:32)

Jews, Gentiles, And The Church


Q. A friend of mine and I were talking about how we are all descedants of Adam and Eve. Were they Jews? If so why aren’t we all ? If not when did the separation between Jews and Gentiles begin and why?


A. Adam and Eve began the Human race, the family of man so to speak, and for about 2000 years that’s the way it was. Then God called Abraham to begin a new race of human, first called Hebrews and later Jews. He chose them to show the world what it was like to be in a covenant relationship with Him, to preserve His Word, and to provide a channel for the Messiah. This is recorded in Genesis 12, but the word Hebrew was first used in Genesis 14:13. Abraham was a descendant of Adam and Eve, just like everyone else in the world, but his descendants became known as the Jews, while all of Adam and Eve’s other descendants were called Gentiles (nations).


After the cross, God set apart a third component of humanity and called it the Church. He did this to demonstrate the incomparable riches of His grace. (Ephesians 2:7) In Galatians 3:28 Paul wrote that those who are now in Christ are no longer Jews or Gentiles. So now there are three, Jews, Gentiles and the Church.


Those Who Say They Are Jews


Q. Rev 2:9: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”


Rev 3:9: “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.”


Clearly, in the end-times (i.e. likely right now) there is some group passing itself off as Jewish; being recognized as Jewish on an international level, but is not Jewish. My research indicates that in reality the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin resided in the Southern Kingdom or Judea. Hence, the term “Jew” is derived from “Judea” and belongs to the tribes that lived there. Consequently, while all 12 tribes of Israel may rightly be considered Israelites, only 2 tribes (Judah and Benjamin) are actually Jews in God’s eyes. Does the Bible make this distinction; and what is your opinion on this subject?


Concerning the “group calling themselves Jews, but are not Jews” or “the Synagogue of Satan”. Do you have any thoughts on who, currently on the world stage, this may be? Might it be one or more of the 10 non-Jewish tribes? Might it be the Zionist Movement?


A. You’re correct in saying that the term Jew came from Judea, a name for the Southern Kingdom. But all 12 tribes were represented there (2 Chron. 11:16). God has always preserved a remnant of the entire nation.


Various groups have falsely claimed to be Jews over the years. Today certain groups in the Church believe they’ve inherited the promises God made to Israel. Some of them even live according to to the Levitical system. This view is called Replacement Theology. The so-called Palestinians believe they have a right to the Land, claiming prior residency, and some Arabs believe that Ishmael was Abraham’s rightful heir to the Promised Land, being his first born.


Some teach that the European Jews, who make up a majority of Israel’s citizenry today, are not a legitimate part of Israel because they are predominantly the descendants of converts and not true sons of Jacob. But the Bible disagrees with that view and in any case, you’ll find members of all 12 tribes in Israel today. The so-called 10 lost tribes were never completely lost. At the end of the Age God will find 12,000 each from 12 tribes in Israel to serve as His evangelists on Earth. (Rev. 7:1-8)


Who Are The Jews In End Times Prophecy?


I know from my study and yours that you must consider who is being addressed when reading prophecy in the Bible. Some prophecy is for the Church and some for the Jewish People. The question is, who is considered a Jew when reading the prophecy about them?


My question is regarding who are the Jews referred to in the Book of Revelation. I know from my study and yours that you must consider who is being addressed when reading prophecy in the Bible. Some prophecy is for the Church and some for the Jewish People.


The question is, who is considered a Jew when reading the prophecy about them. When the Northern Kingdom was separated, 10 tribes where in the Northern Kingdom and 2 in the Southern Kingdom. The Southern Kingdom was taken captive into Babylon and eventually returned and rebuilt Jerusalem before being spread about the earth. The Northern Kingdom was destroyed and essentially disappeared (hence the 10 lost tribes). When referred to in prophecy, who are the Jews? Those with pure blood only? What about those who may be 1/2, 1/4 etc? When the Bible states in Prophecy that God tells us that ALL Jews will return to their homeland, who are then considered the ones who will return? I know that even a small amount of Jewish blood can be detected by DNA tests. Do you think that DNA tests will eventually be used to find out, in some way, who is Jewish?


A. Regarding the so-called lost 10 tribes, 2 Chronicles 11:13-17 tells us that at the time the Kingdom was divided, the Levites and the faithful of every tribe in the North went south to live in Judah. Therefore the only ones “lost” when the North was conquered were the apostates. Contrary to popular belief, the Lord has always preserved a remnant of all 12 tribes.


In Ezekiel 39:25-28 the Lord promised that after Ezekiel’s battle he would bring Jacob back from captivity, not leaving any behind. The Lord frequently calls His people Jacob when they’re out of fellowship with Him as they all will be when He brings them back since the Temple won’t have been built yet. It’s likely both believers and unbelievers will be among the group of returnees.


According to current Israeli thinking on the right of return, if an applicant’s mother is Jewish, then the applicant is considered Jewish. These are the people who will enter Daniel’s 70th week and subsequently the Great Tribulation. Some will only be biological Jews, some will be only religious Jews and some will be both.


The persecutions they face will soon sort the believers from the non-believers. This is why the Old Testament refers to the Great Tribulation as a “Refiner’s Fire.”

A Kingdom For The Gentiles


Q. If there is no difference between Jew and Greek, etc, then why is there a difference made between Jew and Gentile? I know that Israel is God’s chosen people. So where do Gentiles fit into all this? Is there really a place in The Kingdom for Gentiles?


A. You’re quoting from Galatians 3:28 where Paul is addressing the Church. It means that once a person is born again it doesn’t matter whether he was a Jew or Gentile, now he’s neither. He’s part of the Church.


The Terms Gentile and Greek are often used interchangeably in the Bible. Gentile can refer to those who aren’t Jewish and aren’t part of the Church, since God believes that the Church is a separate race of Human, but often it just means everybody who isn’t Jewish.


The way into the Kingdom for Gentiles is the same as it is for the Jews; through the Lord Jesus.


Will Gentiles Be Servants To The Jews?


Q. I’d like your opinion on OT passages that state Gentiles will be the Jews’ servants during the Millenial Kingdom. For example: Isaiah 14:1-2, 49:22-23 and 61: 6-7. I must admit, the thought of an anti-Semitic Muslim converted to Christianity serving a Messianic Jew as a servant, seems fair. But these passages imply that ALL Gentiles surviving the Tribulation will be in servitude, whether they have persecuted Jews or not. I am having a difficult time matching this with God’s promise that we are ALL his sons and daughters; that he is not a respecter of persons; and Gentiles are co-heirs of the promises made to Abraham.


A. The passages you cite refer to the Millennial Kingdom when once again Israel will be the pre-eminent nation on Earth, while the Church enjoys life in the New Jerusalem.


The promise of Gentiles being inheritors along with Israel of God’s promise to Abraham refers to the Church, not gentiles in general.(Gal. 3:29)


And yes, there may be some converted ex-moslems happily serving the needs of the Jewish nation. They along with other gentile tribulation survivors will feel blessed to do so, because it was Israel who brought forth the Messiah and made their new life of peace and plenty possible.


What About Gentile Saints?


Q. As I read the Old Testament, I realize that there were also “gentiles” that believed in the true God of the Bible. Job, for instance, was not an Israelite, but was Jew, right? I constantly hear that the promises of the kingdom age are for Israel. Then what of the other Old testament saints? Are they included in that covenant?


A. Job came from the land of Uz, a large territory east of the Jordan, opposite what is now the Nation of Israel. Today this land belongs partly to Jordan and partly to Syria. After the Flood everyone on Earth was a follower of God again, and there were many who were not descendants of Abraham. Before the nation of Israel was formed in the wilderness, and its religious practices formalized into what we now call Judaism, they worshiped as believers had done since the fall, at altars they made themselves. Many believe Job lived in the time between Abraham and Moses and that his might be the first book of the Bible committed to writing.


From the time Judaism was first practiced, and all through its history, God made provisions for Gentiles who came to Him. Anyone who followed the practices of Judaism received the benefits of the covenant. Remember Jesus said that the Temple was intended to be a house of prayer for all nations, quoting Isaiah 56:5-7.


But the single qualification for salvation has been the same from the beginning, a belief that God would send a Redeemer to save them from their sins. The ways in which God has revealed Himself to man has changed over the Millennia but that fact has been consistent since the time of Adam.


What About The Jews Outside Of Israel?


Q. Is there a difference between the Jews who live across the world (and in the United States), and the promises that God and Jesus gave for Israel? So, if the 70 years of weeks applied to the people of Israel, and so many prophecys are directed toward God’s people of Israel and His holy city Jerusalem, what about Jewish people living elsewhere?


A. The answer lies in Ezekiel 39:28.


Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.


After the Battle of Ezekiel 38, Jewish people all over the world will realize that God is once again reaching out to them. They’ll respond by returning to Israel. None will be left behind.


Jews Returning To Israel


Q. I praise God that you made yourself available as His mouthpiece thru your website. Truly, your gracethrufaith helps me draw nearer to Jesus.


I watched from CNN that a Jewish family living in US would like to return back to Israel. The head of the family said that he (together with his family) does not feel complete unless they are in the land of Israel.


Are other Jewish families considering to move out of US or other countries and would like to return back to Israel? Is there any bible prophecy connected with the Jewish decision to return back to Israel?


Your wisdom is highly appreciated.


A. Between 1948 and 1999 nearly 2.8 million Jews from around the world packed up and moved to Israel. Of this total over 210,000 came from the USA. Ezekiel 37 contains a prophecy of this latter days regathering of Jews to Israel which continues to this day. Currently about half of the World’s Jewry still lives outside of Israel, most in the USA. Ezekiel 39:28 gives us an as yet unfilled prophecy that after winning a great battle between Israel and a coalition of Moslem countries, God will bring all of His people back to Israel, not leaving any behind.





Website: www.gracethrufaith.com