Thursday, April 30, 2020

What This Nation Needs Is a Moment of Repentance

While some talk about fighting for our constitutional rights and exposing the globalist/communist agenda, what our nation really needs is a moment of repentance. This is the message of Jonah, who the Lord God sent to Nineveh of the Assyrians to preach judgment and repentance. The people of Nineveh did respond - from the king down to the livestock - and God relented:

"By order of the king and his nobles: No man or beast, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water. Furthermore, both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth, and everyone must call out earnestly to God. Each must turn from his evil ways and from the violence he is doing. Who knows? God may turn and relent; He may turn from His burning anger so that we will not perish." - Jonah 3:7-9
 

The hard times coming to this country are a judgment from the Lord God for this nation's bloodshed (abortion, endless foreign war), theft (exacting tribute from the rest of the world through war and the petrodollar system), sexual perversion and promiscuity, injustice, idolatry (elevating worldly "idols" over true worship of God), and churches that have watered down His message in the Scriptures. 

Has America repented like Nineveh? No, it hasn't, but it needs to.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Lock Down Is a Judgment Against the Church in America


Some Christian leaders are referring to the verse about not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together and basically stating that churches should rebel against the lock down orders. This is a serious error. What's happening right now is a judgment against the church. Judgment comes first to the house of the Lord. This moment is like the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, when Jeremiah told King Zedekiah:

"This is what the Lord, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘If indeed you surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then you will live, this city will not be burned down, and you and your household will survive. But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city will be handed over to the Chaldeans. They will burn it down, and you yourself will not escape from them.'" - Jeremiah 38:17-18, Holman

In other words, submit to the judgment and he will be let off easy. But Zedekiah refused, and his sons were killed in front of him and his eyes put out by Nebuchadnezzar.
Churches should be at home repenting and seeking the Lord:

"Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him. Let him put his mouth in the dust— perhaps there is still hope. Let him offer his cheek to the one who would strike him; let him be filled with shame. For the Lord will not reject us forever. Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind." - Lamentations 3:28-22

The reason why this nation is in this state of affairs is because, by and large, churches in America have failed. If churches openly rebel, the government will crack down on the "disease-spreading Christians who need to be controlled." And so begins Christian persecution in America. Judgment will be much harder against those who defy the Lord's judgment. 

To the proud church in America: Submit to this judgment, humble yourselves, repent and find mercy from the Lord.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Coronavirus and Christian Persecution in America


I used to wonder how Christian persecution would come to America. That seems so contrary to our national Christian heritage and Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom and speech. But I think I see now how it will happen. It's coming very soon.

The coronavirus pandemic will be the instigator of persection. Let me explain.

There is a lot of confusion and obfuscation surrounding the coronavirus. Some say it is a deadly, highly contagious virus. Others say it is just a bad flu or a hoax. The confusion is intentional. The elites who control government and media are constantly putting out opposing narratives, alternating between hope and despair, truth and lies, in order to create confusion, divide the people and keep them back on their heels. It's one giant psychological manipulation. We're being played.

The Lord has spoken to my wife and me personally about this pandemic and said it's real and deadly, so we take it seriously. I also believe the testimonies of front-line healthcare workers, doctors and nurses, who report how deadly, disabling and contagious this disease is.

I want to point out a couple other things about this pandemic. Just because there isn't a severe outbreak in your local area does not mean there are not severe outbreaks in other areas like New York City, Seattle, or in my state, Blaine Country, Idaho. A pandemic does not manifest everywhere at the same time. That's not how it works. Outbreaks are local events. Once a local area (e.g. city, region) reaches a certain number of infected people, it creates a chain reaction of contagion that burns through the population - sort of like reaching critical mass in a nuclear detonation. Prior to that point, outbreaks can be stopped by identifying and isolating infected people. But once an outbreak has started, the only way to slow the spread is for the general population to isolate and use good sanitation and protective equipment like masks.

The other point I want to make is pandemics occur in waves. The Spanish Flu pandemic occurred in three waves of outbreaks from 1918 to 1919. The second wave was actually the deadliest, not the first. So pandemics are not short-term, one-and-done events. I'm also hearing there are multiple strains of this virus and people are getting re-infected.

We can go 'round and 'round the mulberry bush about this virus. I'm going to cut to the chase: This coronavirus is a bioweapon that was created in a laboratory and released intentionally on the world to create a pretext for crashing the global economy, locking down the world, removing civil liberties, forcing a vaccine and ultimately moving the world toward global (one-world) governance, i.e. the beast system in Revelation. 

However, the virus is real and deadly. Those who say the coronavirus is a hoax or only like the flu have fallen into a deception. Christian leaders with public voices who say this is a hoax will have blood on their hands because they are encouraging people to be reckless, not take measures to avoid the virus and put the Lord to the test. They are more likely to contract the disease and die or pass it to somebody else who dies or becomes disabled. Authorities will track who the public "coronavirus deniers" are. As the outbreaks worsen and the soft martial law we are under transitions into hard martial law, Christians may be de-platformed and their ministries shut down. They may be held liable and penalized for "spreading misinformation and jeopardizing public health, safety and welfare."

Friends, this is a trap. It also opens the door for Christian persecution because government and media will use this as a pretext to label Christians generally as disease-spreading coronavirus deniers who need to be controlled.

Christians will also be persecuted for rebelling against lock down orders that forbid assembling in churches. People will say: "Don't we have a Constitutional right to assemble and freedom of religion? Don't the Scriptures say not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together?" Well, sure you do. So people will go to church anyway and at some point the crackdown will begin against "disease spreading Christians who need to be controlled." And there you will have Christian persecution in America.

Friends, we are being played. Our grievances are leading us into a trap. You have to know who is sitting across the table from you. He is very shrewd. He doesn't play by the rules. And he intends to take your body, your ministry and your soul. To quote the song from Kenny Rogers:

"You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run." - The Gambler

Jesus put it a little differently:

"Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves." - Matthew 10:16, Holman

All of this is happening because God is judging our nation - and judgment comes first to the house of the Lord. So humble yourselves, repent of idolatry, fornication, bloodshed and pride, and perhaps God will have mercy on us personally even as our nation is brought low.

"Remember my affliction and my homelessness,
the wormwood and the poison.
I continually remember them
and have become depressed.
Yet I call this to mind,

and therefore I have hope: 
Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!
I say: The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in Him. 
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
to the person who seeks Him.
It is good to wait quietly
for deliverance from the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is still young. 
Let him sit alone and be silent,
for God has disciplined him.
Let him put his mouth in the dust—
perhaps there is still hope.
Let him offer his cheek
to the one who would strike him;
let him be filled with shame. 
For the Lord
will not reject us forever.
Even if He causes suffering,
He will show compassion
according to His abundant, faithful love.
For He does not enjoy bringing afflictionor suffering on mankind.
- Lamentations 3:19-33

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Question for Those Who Support President Trump and His Agenda


This is the same question the prophet Jehu asked Judah's King Jehoshaphat after he supported King Ahab in his war against Aram:

"Do you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the Lord’s wrath is on you." - 2 Chronicles 19:2, Holman

I pray you can see he is a false hope, a deception intended to lead Christians astray, and it may also be said:

"However, some good is found in you, for you have removed the Asherah poles from the land and have decided to seek God." - 2 Chronicles 19:3

Thursday, November 21, 2019

A Warning Against Aggressive "Spiritual Warfare" Prayers



Some believe that spiritual warfare is praying aggressive prayers of punishment and judgment against evil spirits and principalities. For a while, years ago, I dabbled in prayers like this written by a minister until he was exposed by people involved in his ministry for engaging in witchcraft. Since then, the Lord showed me from His word that spiritual warfare is something else entirely and those who make a habit of praying aggressive, anti-demonic prayers have gone astray from God's ways.

This article is a warning to Christians who engage in this practice. You need to stop. I'm going to show from the Scriptures why it is wrong and what spiritual warfare really is.

Following are a couple excerpts of aggressive "spiritual warfare" prayers. The first prayer comes from someone who posts end-times prophecies on a website and video channel, and the second is from the aforementioned minister. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THESE PRAYERS:

Example 1: 

"I break you, all evil spirits and ask for the Holy Spirit to destroy you by fire and bring you to ashes. Every power declaring dominion over me, you are a LIAR! Break and be brought to ashes in Yahushua's mighty name. Serpent of death and every strong man, break and be brought to ashes in Yahushua's mighty name."

Example 2: 

"I pray that every human spirit, fallen angelic spirit, or otherwise malevolent spirit attempting to come against me or my household would be apprehended by your heavenly hosts, such that they cannot so much as set foot upon this property. I pray that they would be escorted out to wherever the Lord Jesus sends them, pierced through with many arrows, and discomfited by Your lightning in the process, that they would know that Jesus is Lord."    


God's Protection is Automatic When We Abide in Him

People may pray these prayers because they think they have to in order to be protected from all the evil in the world. But look at what Psalm 91 says about God's protection:

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.'" - Psalm 91:1-2

When we dwell in the secret place with Him (draw near to Him, hear and respond to His voice) and trust that He is our fortress, God protects us automatically. He protects us from everything - terror, arrows, pestilence, plague, etc. We don't have to constantly pray elaborate protection prayers that attack every evil spirit and name every form of evil that might present itself. God's protection is complete. We can rest in that.

Moreover, what motivates people to pray these elaborate, aggressive prayers? Is it simple faith in God that He will protect us according to His word, or is it a desire to control everything in our life and circumstance? The fleshly desire for control is the root of witchcraft. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 lists various forms of witchcraft: Passing a child through the fire, divination, charming, consulting familiar spirits, observing times, wizardry, necromancy. (For more details, see Spiritual Warfare Is Not Just AttackingDemons in the Spiritual Realm.) Witchcraft is an attempt to gain favorable outcomes by spiritual powers other than the Holy Spirit. I have noticed that people who engage in aggressive spiritual warfare prayers tend to fall into witchcraft, especially divination and consulting familiar spirits, although they may be fooled into thinking the spirit they are communing with is God's Spirit. God does not contradict his own written word, though. That is an important test.

We must also remember that suffering and tribulation are part of following in the footsteps of Christ. We can pray the enemy cannot touch us beyond His will for us, but we need to be okay with suffering too. God intends it for our spiritual growth and for glorifying God. "He who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin."  - 1 Peter 4:1


Spiritual Warfare Is Practicing the Christian Fundamentals

According to Ephesians 6 and 2 Corinthians 10, spiritual warfare is practicing the Christian fundamentals:

"This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints." - Ephesians 6:13-18, Holman

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." - 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Ephesians 6 says spiritual warfare is seeking and loving the truth, walking in God's righteousness, standing on the gospel of peace, having faith and hope, actively using God's word and praying at all times, especially intercessory prayer for the saints. Notice it does not say railing against demonic powers; it emphasizes praying for people - intercessory prayer. 2 Corinthians adds the practice of challenging people with the truth. You want to tear down demonic strongholds? Preach the truth!

Growing in these practices enables us to stand against evil in this world and have victories over the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms. This is how we become effective agents of Christ.

Sadly, for some, acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God (Micah 6:8) is not enough. They want something more exciting, more advanced, that makes them feel powerful and elite. So they turn to supercharged, anti-demon, anti-fallen angel warfare prayers. And where does that take them? The Scriptures say it leads to ruin.


Speaking Evil of Angelic Authorities Brings Ruin

The book of Jude is a warning about ungodly people and apostasy. This passage focuses on their practice of speaking evil of angelic authorities:

"Nevertheless, these dreamers likewise defile their flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme glorious ones. Yet Michael the archangel, when he was disputing with the Devil in a debate about Moses’ body, did not dare bring an abusive condemnation against him but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' But these people blaspheme anything they don’t understand. What they know by instinct like unreasoning animals—they destroy themselves with these things." - Jude 1:8-10, Holman

Where it says "blaspheme glorious ones," it's talking about angelic beings and their authorities and principalities. Other Bible translations say "heap abuse on celestial beings" (NIV), "revile angelic majesties" (NASB), and "speak evil of dignities" (KJV).

The positive example is Michael the archangel, who in a dispute with Satan simply said, "The Lord rebuke you." Michael did not say, "Satan, you are a liar and a thief! Be destroyed by fire and brought to ashes!" He did not say, "Be judged right now, pierced through with arrows and discomfited by lightning!"

If Satan is the enemy of our souls, why must we be careful how we speak to him or any other fallen angelic being? Because God has established the authorities and principalities of the angels, even the fallen ones. These authorities still exist until judgment day when God will remove them. God has appointed a specific time for this, and the saints will even participate in that judgment. But it is not our right to judge and condemn angels before the appointed time or to disrespect the authorities God has established.

If someone does speak evil of angelic authorities, what is the consequence? The passage says it will bring destruction on the person. Other translations say they will "corrupt themselves." In other words, it will bring ruin.

After Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness, Satan showed up and tempted Him three times. Each time, Jesus countered Satan with a verse from the Bible. This is the account of the last temptation:

"Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to Him, 'I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.' Then Jesus told him, 'Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.' Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him." - Matthew 4:8-11

Jesus responded with a verse and said, "Go away!" And Satan left. Notice what Jesus did not do. He did not accuse, rail against or condemn Satan. He did not bind him or discomfit him with lightning or cast him into the abyss. Jesus certainly could have, but He understood that would be outside the will of the Father. If you have read the book of Revelation, you know Satan will be bound and locked in the abyss for 1,000 years during Jesus' reign on earth.  After that, he will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity. Satan's reckoning is coming! However, Jesus respected the Father's timing for judgment and Satan's current dominion. He simply told him to leave.

Now look at the account when Jesus encountered the two demon-possessed men:

"When He had come to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met Him as they came out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. Suddenly they shouted, 'What do You have to do with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?' Now a long way off from them, a large herd of pigs was feeding. 'If You drive us out,' the demons begged Him, 'send us into the herd of pigs.' 'Go!' He told them. So when they had come out, they entered the pigs. And suddenly the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water." - Matthew 8:28-32

Demons are the spirit of deceased Nephilim. Since they were born of the earth, God condemned them to wander the earth until judgment day. They are evil, just like Satan is evil. The demons clearly understood their judgment day is coming, which is why they asked Jesus if He was going to torment them before the appointed time. In a way, it was a temptation because Jesus could have done something to torment them. They deserved it. However, He knew that would be against the Father's will. Jesus only told them to go. That's all. I even wonder if He showed mercy by allowing them to go into the pigs. I'm not sure - it's possible.

Do you see the picture here? If the Son of God does not dare judge and condemn evil spirits before their time, then who are you, O mortal son of Adam, to do such a thing?

Yes, Jesus did say we have power over the enemy:

"Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you." - Luke 10:19

He spoke that in the context of the disciples casting out demons. We certainly have Jesus' authority to cast out demons and require them to leave - even Satan himself. Anything beyond that, though, be sure you are not railing against evil spirits or judging and condemning them before the appointed day.

After the person published the first warfare prayer quoted above and encouraged people to pray it, some months later her daughter was tragically burned over a portion of her body in a campfire accident that required surgery and a hospital stay. That's horrible and I'm sorry that happened. We don't always know why bad things happen, but the question needs to be asked: Are those events connected?

The Scriptures say speaking evil of angelic majesties will bring ruin upon us. We should not be doing it. If we are, repent and ask Jesus' for forgiveness.

Conclusion

This aggressive, unscriptural form of spiritual warfare is really a trap of the enemy. Satan would love it if we railed against him like that, then he can watch us fall by the wayside and no longer be a threat.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to defeat the forces of evil. We just have to do it God's way. Do you want to actually fight the enemy in battle? Then walk in faith and righteousness and pray you are found worthy to escape all the things coming upon the world (Luke 21:36) and to join Jesus Christ for the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19). Then you will ride on a horse in His heavenly army for the battle of Armageddon. The King of kings will be victorious that day!

"The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen." - 2 Timothy 4:18

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Incredible Bible Prophecies about Israel and the Jews



The nation of Israel has a big role in Bible prophecy. Recently I felt motivated to look in-depth specifically at Israel and the Jews in end-times prophecy. I saw things in the Scriptures that I had not seen before, and even something I have never heard anyone talk about, which I will share with you here. I don't take the credit for these insights. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth.

Traditional Israel and Spiritual Israel


Israel is God's called-out nation, a people He calls his own:

"You are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord has chosen you to be His own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth." - Deuteronomy 14:2, Holman

The book of Genesis defined Israel as the people descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The genealogy runs from Abraham to his son Isaac, to his son Jacob, and then to Jacob's 12 sons who were the progenitors of the 12 tribes of Israel: 
  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi
  4. Judah
  5. Issachar
  6. Zebulun
  7. Dan
  8. Naphtali
  9. Gad
  10. Asher
  11. Joseph
  12. Benjamin
The tribe of Joseph split into two "half-tribes," named after his sons Ephraim and Manasseh. People descended from those 12 tribes are Israel according to a definition that we'll label traditional Israel.

Excluded from Israel were descendants of Abraham's son Ishmael, the sons from his second wife Keturah who he married after Sarah died, as well as Isaac's other son Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew. The Gentile nations (Hebrew goyim, meaning foreign, non-Hebrew nations) were obviously not part of Israel either.

However, foreigners could join Israel if they were willing to practice Israel's faith in the Lord God - that is, be converted. So membership in Israel was never just about ancestral pedigree: 

"But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it." - Exodus 12:18

Ancestry was also not enough to maintain Israel's status as God's holy people. Obedience to God and walking in His righteousness was and is at the core of this relationship. Obedience brings blessing; disobedience brings judgment:

"'Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; Seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord, 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.'" - Isaiah 1:16-20, NASB

Furthermore, the prophet Hosea spoke of a future time when Israel and Judah would be reunited and Gentile nations would join them as sons of God:

"Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; And in the place where it is said to them, 'You are not My people,' it will be said to them, 'You are the sons of the living God.'  And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one leader, and they will go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel." - Hosea 1:10-11

In Romans 9, the Apostle Paul confirmed this passage is referring to the Gentile nations where it says: "And in the place where it is said to them, 'You are not My people,' it will be said to them, 'You are the sons of the living God.'" This is astonishing because it foretells a time when the sons of Judah, the sons of Israel and believing Gentiles will be united under one King, who is the Messiah Jesus Christ.

It is also amazing in light of the current state of affairs of the 12 tribes of Israel. Hosea was a prophet during the time when Israel was split into the northern kingdom of Israel (Samaria) and southern kingdom of Judah. This situation arose out of a civil conflict after the reign of King Solomon. Later, Israel and Judah rebelled against God to such a degree that both were destroyed in judgment by foreign nations. Assyria destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel and sent its inhabitants into exile, and 130 years later Babylon did the same to Judah.

After 70 years of captivity, Judah returned and rebuilt Jerusalem. However, it was only the tribe of Judah, plus Benjamin whose territorial allotment was part of Judah, and a remnant of Levites who were designated priests in Israel and did not have a territory, but were scattered among all tribes. The other 10 tribes - Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon and Zebulun - were and are still considered lost. They were dispersed and assimilated among other nations.

This history is critical for understanding Bible prophecy. The word for Jew in the New Testament - the Greek word Ioudaios - means Judean or someone from Judah. Today we typically think of Jews as the descendants of Israel - and they are - but they are not all the descendants of Israel. The phrase Jews or Jewish people excludes the lost 10 tribes. The Basic Laws of the modern state of Israel declare that it is the nation-state of the Jewish people (only). The Law of Return in Israel gives Jews from other nations the right to live in Israel and gain citizenship, but they are not looking for or accepting the lost 10 tribes. The prophecy above in Hosea and others in Isaiah and Ezekiel envision a restored Israel with all 12 tribes. So there is a major discrepancy between what is happening in Israel today and what the Bible ultimately predicts for it. More on this later.

The New Testament introduced the idea of spiritual Israel, which includes all people, both Israelite and Gentile, who believe in and follow Jesus Christ, the Messiah King. The Bible also calls this the church or body of Christ. Spiritual Israel excludes everyone who does not believe in Jesus, whether Israelite or Gentile.

John 8:30-37 records a dialog between Jesus and some religious Jews. To the ones who believed in Him, He said, “If you continue in my word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Other Jews who heard objected and claimed they were descendants of Abraham and had never been enslaved. In other words, they claimed to be children of God and members of Israel by their ancestry, apart from Christ. Jesus acknowledged they were descendants of Abraham, but disputed who their true spiritual father was:

Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, because I came from God and I am here. For I didn’t come on My own, but He sent Me. Why don’t you understand what I say? Because you cannot listen to My word. You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.” – John 8:42-44

Like the Pharisees in Jesus' time, rabbinic Judaism today views inclusion in Israel primarily through the lens of ancestry. However, Paul likewise affirmed that membership in spiritual Israel does not come by ancestry, but by faith in Christ:

For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants. On the contrary, ‘In Isaac your seed will be called.’ That is, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered seed.” – Romans 9:6-8

The promise mentioned is God’s promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed in him, and he and his descendants would inherit the world as spiritual Israel:

Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, so understand that those who have faith are Abraham’s sons. Now the Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, ‘All nations will be blessed in you.’ So those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.” – Galatians 3:6-9

The New Testament also uses the term Israel in the traditional sense, such here when Paul declared his own ancestry:

"I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.” – Romans 11:1

Depending on the context, Israel in the New Testament could refer to traditional or spiritual Israel.

Some Christians adhere to a view called replacement theology which says the church (believers in Jesus Christ) completely replaces traditional Israel in God's plans for the end times. This is not true. The Scriptures paint a more nuanced picture. In these end times, God is bringing Gentiles and a small portion of Jews into spiritual Israel. The Bible also foretells a time at the very end of this age when Jews in Israel embrace Jesus Christ as a nation after going through tremendous suffering and loss of life. Ultimately, in the age to come and after Jesus returns, spiritual Israel will prevail and traditional Israel will be an anachronism, something that belonged to a bygone era, like how Christians view temple building and animal sacrifices today. The ideal of unity and oneness in Christ will then be fully realized:

"There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise." - Romans 3:28-29

In the meantime, God is building his kingdom, spiritual Israel, while fulfilling prophecies for traditional Israel. 

A Remnant of Israel Will be Saved


"So that you will not be conceited, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery: A partial hardening has come to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn away godlessness from Jacob. And this will be My covenant with them when I take away their sins." - Romans 11:35-27

Paul wrote about a partial hardening of hearts in Israel which created an opportunity for Gentiles to be saved. We are in that time of the Gentiles right now. After the full measure of Gentiles has come in, then "all Israel will be saved." In the verses preceding that statement, Paul clarified he was talking about a remnant of Israel, i.e. a remainder or small portion:

"In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace." - Romans 11:5 

"But Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: 'Though the number of Israel’s sons is like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved.'" - Romans 9:27

In context, the verse stated that all the remnant of Israel will be saved.

How will this come to pass? Zechariah 12-14 describes how it will happen for Judah and Jerusalem in the end:

"Look, I will make Jerusalem a cup that causes staggering for the peoples who surround the city. The siege against Jerusalem will also involve Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who try to lift it will injure themselves severely when all the nations of the earth gather against her."  - Zechariah 12:2-3

The nations of the earth will assemble for a great battle against Jerusalem but will not completely destroy it because:

"The Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem." (Zechariah 12:8)

However, the residents of Judah and Jerusalem will suffer greatly:

"The city will be captured, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be removed from the city." - Zechariah 14:2

"In the whole land—this is the Lord’s declaration—two-thirds will be cut off and die, but a third will be left in it." - Zechariah 13:8

Then Jesus Christ will intervene personally to defend Jerusalem.

"Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations as He fights on a day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east." - Zechariah 14:3-4

I believe this battle is the same one as Armageddon in Revelation 16 and the King of kings and Lord of lord leading the armies of heaven in Revelation 20. According to Zechariah, God will redeem those in Judah who survive:

"I will put this third through the fire; I will refine them as silver is refined and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say: They are My people, and they will say: Yahweh is our God." - Zechariah 13:9

"Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem, and they will look at Me whom they pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child and weep bitterly for Him as one weeps for a firstborn." - Zechariah 12:10

The surviving Jews will mourn and repent for the One they pierced at Calvary, Jesus Christ, and as a nation receive Him as their Messiah. They rejected Him the first time He came, but will receive Him when He comes again! And so all the remnant of Judah and Jerusalem will be saved.

It is interesting to note that Zechariah 12:12-14 mentions the houses of specific families mourning by themselves: David's house, Nathan's house, Levi's house, Shimei's house. David and Nathan are from the tribe of Judah, and Levi and Shimei are from the tribe of Levi. Only Jews (Judeans) are listed among those saved. This corresponds to the modern state of Israel's focus on being a Jewish homeland.

What about the lost 10 tribes of Israel: Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon and Zebulun? The remnant of those tribes will be saved in the nations where they live. How do we know? Because Jesus Christ himself will call them home after He returns.

The Messiah King Will Restore All 12 Tribes to the Land of Israel


Prophecies in the Scriptures clearly state that God intends to restore all 12 tribes, the whole house of Israel, to the land of Israel:

"So this is what the Lord God says: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have compassion on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for My holy name... They will know that I am Yahweh their God when I regather them to their own land after having exiled them among the nations. I will leave none of them behind." - Ezekiel 39:25,28 

"My servant David will be king over them, and there will be one shepherd for all of them." - Ezekiel 37:24

Ezekiel wrote that prophecy several centuries after King David's reign, so he could not have literally meant David would be king over the restored house of Israel. He meant a King from the house of David, because God had made a covenant with David that his house, kingdom and throne would endure forever. That King is Jesus Christ.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote a similar prophecy about uniting Israel under one King:

"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Write down on a scroll all the words that I have spoken to you, for the days are certainly coming'—this is the Lord’s declaration—'when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah'—the Lord’s declaration. 'I will restore them to the land I gave to their ancestors and they will possess it.'... They will serve the Lord their God and I will raise up David their king for them." - Jeremiah 30:2-3

Ezekiel's prophecy of the two sticks also demonstrated how Judah and Ephraim will be joined together again. Ephraim and Joseph represent the 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom:

 "The word of the Lord came to me: 'Son of man, take a single stick and write on it: Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him. Then take another stick and write on it: Belonging to Joseph—the stick of Ephraim—and all the house of Israel associated with him. Then join them together into a single stick so that they become one in your hand. When your people ask you, "Won’t you explain to us what you mean by these things?" — tell them: This is what the Lord God says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel associated with him, and put them together with the stick of Judah. I will make them into a single stick so that they become one in My hand.'" - Ezekiel 37:15-19

When will this reunification happen? The prophet Isaiah had the answer:

"On that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek Him, and His resting place will be glorious. On that day the Lord will extend His hand a second time to recover—from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the coasts and islands of the west—the remnant of His people who survive. He will lift up a banner for the nations and gather the dispersed of Israel; He will collect the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Ephraim’s envy will cease; Judah’s harassment will end. Ephraim will no longer be envious of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim." - Isaiah 11:10-13

Just before this passage, Isaiah prophecies about the coming Messiah who will bring peace to earth, calling him a "shoot that grows from the stump of Jesse," who is King David's father. The phrase "root of Jesse" refers to Jesus Christ. In other words, Isaiah said that Jesus Christ would call the whole house of Israel to the promise land. The great return of the 12 tribes will happen after Jesus returns! 

The House of Israel Will Return from among the Living and the Dead


If that's not amazing enough, the Scriptures say that God will call the house of Israel back from not only the land of the living, but from the graves of the dead! In Ezekiel's famous prophecy of the valley of dry bones, the Lord told Ezekiel to prophecy to the dry bones and tell them to come alive again. They grew flesh and skin and came back to life! Then God said to Ezekiel:

"'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Look how they say, "Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished; we are cut off." Therefore, prophesy and say to them: This is what the Lord God says: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them, My people, and lead you into the land of Israel. You will know that I am Yahweh, My people, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put My Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. I have spoken, and I will do it.' This is the declaration of the Lord." - Ezekiel 37:11-14

Notice the bones represent the whole of Israel and when they are resurrected, God will settle them in their own land! This really isn't a surprise because it happened before. After Jesus died on the cross in Jerusalem:

"The tombs also were opened and many bodies of the saints who had gone to their rest were raised. And they came out of the tombs after His resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many." - Matthew 27:52

The scene in the valley of dry bones is actually part of the coming resurrection of the saints: 

"Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed." - 1 Corinthians 15:51-51
 

Conclusion


Hold on to your seats because God has incredible plans for redeeming and restoring the house of Israel and for uniting all saints, both Hebrew and Gentile, in the kingdom of God in Christ. It's coming soon and it's happening on earth!

Note: For the first half of this article, read Is It God's Will for Christians to Support the State of Israel?