Grace to You Resources
Grace to You - Resource

Well, living in a world of Tupperware and tinfoil and refrigeration, we're all used to leftovers, aren't we?  And in fact, my mom used to feed us leftovers.  Only she never called it that.  She called it “enthusiasm” because she put everything she had into it.  I feel a little bit like I'm giving you leftovers this morning.  But let's turn to Luke chapter 13.  With apologies for those of you who haven't been with us, we are trying to work our way through two verses.  And this is week number five on two verses.  No wonder it takes us so long, but the truth here is so important for us to understand.  It's Luke 13 and the final two verses of this chapter, verses 34 and 35.

Here our Lord speaks and says, "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her.  How often I wanted to gather your children together just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and you would not have it.  Behold your house is left to you, desolate.  And I say to you, you shall not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’"

We have worked our way down into verse 35 and that statement from the lips of our Lord, "Behold your house is left to you."  The word “desolate” is borrowed from Matthew 23:37-39 where Jesus repeats these same words months later in the city of Jerusalem and on that occasion does use the word desolate.  But the original here simply says, "Your house is left to you."  That's another way of saying you have been abandoned by God.  You're on your own.  This is judgment pronounced on Israel.  He came to His own, His own received Him not.

And here is the fixed, final, firm, statement of judgment.  To say your house is left to you is to say you're on your own.  God is gone.  This is, in Romans 1 language, the wrath of abandonment when God gives you over to the consequence of your own sinful choices.  God, who had always been the protector of Israel and the shield of Israel and the comforter of Israel and the blesser of Israel, now abandons His people.

They killed the prophets through the centuries.  They stoned those who were sent to them with divine revelation.  And now in a final act of stubborn, willful rejection, rebellion, and unbelief, they rejected their Messiah and not many months after this will cry for His execution.  This then is a pronunciation of judgment that is still being meted out today in the year 2005.  Israel, as a nation, as a people, are right now in this same condition.  The condition is desolation.  The condition is abandonment.  They are like the Gentiles are described in Ephesians.  They are without God in the world.  They talk of God, they talk of the God of Israel, they go to the Wailing Wall and they pray to the God of the Old Testament, but God is not obligated to hear nor does God hear the prayer of those who reject His Son.  Israel is now desolate.  God has abandoned them. Still all these many years they have lived in such desolation.

That raises a very important question.  What about all of the Old Testament promises of Israel's salvation, blessing, land, king, kingdom, world influence?  What about all of that?  What about the redemption that was promised to them?  What about the everlasting blessing that was promised to them?  What about the “forevers” that are linked with their future?  What is the future of Israel in God's plan?  Is this permanent?  Is this desolation the last and final word?  Or is there something else to come?  Looking beyond the present into the future, we come to the second half of verse 35.

"Your house is left to you, and I say to you, you shall not see me until," and the word “until” is where the hope lies.  "Until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’" You are in desolation and you will remain in desolation and you will not see me until you acknowledge that I am your Messiah.  Blessed is the coming one, which is the description of the Messiah, the one to come.

The “until” tells us that sometime in the future Israel will acknowledge Jesus as Messiah.  That is inconceivable to Israel today.  That is inconceivable to the religious leadership of Israel.  It is inconceivable to the political leadership of Israel.  But the truth of Scripture is that there's an “until” here and someday they will say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."  That's a quote from Psalm 118, verse 26, and probably written in the time of Moses anticipating the coming one.  Blessed is the coming one who will have the name of the Lord and none other than the Son of God, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sometime in the future, they will affirm that Jesus is, in fact, their Messiah.  That raises the question then of Israel's future.  And it is a very important question, not only for the sake of Israel is it important, but for our sake.  You say how does that relate to me?  It relates to you because you want to know whether God keeps His promises, don't you?  I mean, you basically have rested your time in eternity on the fact that you trust the word of God.  If God says that salvation comes in Jesus Christ, you have believed it.  If He says that you repent and believe in the resurrection of Christ and confess Him as Lord, you'll be saved, you believe it.  If you hear God say there is a heaven and a hell, you believe it.

And if you hear Him say the way to heaven is through faith in His Son, you believe it.  You rest your time in eternity on His word and you want to know that He keeps His promise, right?  You want to know that there's nothing that can cause God to break His promise.  That's why in the Old Testament repeatedly God calls Himself faithful.  Repeatedly He is identified as a God who keeps covenant, a God whose promises are good and true.  “A God who cannot lie” He is called in the New Testament, because everything is at stake, everything.

And it is true and unambiguously true that God did promise Israel redemption, salvation, blessing, a great nation, the land originally given to Abraham, a king and a kingdom, and an everlasting kingdom at that.  Promises in the Old Testament are very clear.  Starting in Genesis chapter 12 and going all the way through to the end of the prophetic literature, all the way through the whole Old Testament, even the wisdom literature rehearses and recites these promises.

The prophets echo them though given originally in the law, the Torah, the five books of Moses.  The promises are not hard to understand.  God defined the land, said someday you'll have the land.  He promised that to Abraham and that there would be a great nation and that there would be redemption.  And God promised even to Moses that there would come a prophet like unto Moses, but a far greater prophet, namely the Messiah.  God promised to David a son who would be a king and a kingdom, and the kingdom would be worldwide and everlasting.  But Israel has rejected the prophets, rejected the revelation of God, rejected the Messiah, gone so far as to scream for the blood of the Messiah, and in anticipation of that, our Lord knows that, He pronounces this desolation upon them in which they still exist.  Which then introduces the question: Did God cancel all the promises?

Is Israel one day going to receive the land that God promised them?  Are they one day going to be blessed in that land?  Are they one day going to be a blessing to the whole world?  Are they one day going to be the one nation that leads the world?  Are they going to be one day under a king, a great and glorious King of perfect righteousness who will rule them in perfect peace?  Are they one day going to literally, by that King, mediating His rule in their nation, dominate the world?  And is that kingdom going to last forever?  That's what the Bible promises.

And as I said over and over again, I don't even have time to go through all of the promises by any means.  Now we know the promises are true because God can't lie and we know what God said is what God meant to say.  And God's integrity is at stake, His reliability, His trustworthiness, His faithfulness, which matters an awful lot. In spite of this, there are those who deny that these prophesies will ever be fulfilled.  They overtly deny it.  They write books on it.  In fact, they write myriads of books on it.  They write articles on it.  They debate it.  They hold conferences on it.  And the bottom line is that none of this is going to actually come to pass on behalf of Israel.

These people have sort of a term that defines them. They're called covenant theologians.  This is essentially what covenant theology is.  And what they say is that all of the curses that God promised, starting way back in the law of Moses, back in Deuteronomy 27, 28, 29, all of the curses that God promised to Israel if they disobeyed are definitely Israel's.  We know that historically.  They all came to pass on Israel explicitly the way they are described in that portion of Scripture.  You can read Deuteronomy 27-30.  You can read it all right there.  God said this is what going...what's going to happen if you disobey me and dishonor me and that's exactly what happened.  All the curses they say did come to pass literally on Israel.

However, they say, all the promises are forfeited by Israel because of their rejection of the prophets and the messengers of God and because of their rejection of the Messiah.  And so all the promises are now fulfilled spiritually in the church.  There's no future land for Israel.  There's no future kingdom for Israel as a nation.  They'll never get what was originally promised to them in Abraham.  They're not going to have an actual king and an actual kingdom, an actual millennial glory.  They're not going to really rule the world as the Messiah rules through them.  That's all cancelled out and goes from being, as it appears originally, literal prophecies to come to pass historically, as well as spiritually to the nation Israel, to figurative sort of allegorical things that are fulfilled spiritually in the church.

And you have to ask the question: Well, how did you come to that conclusion?  Because if you just read the Bible that's not what it says.  But they feel that because Israel rejected the Messiah the church takes Israel's place, receives all the promises to Israel spiritualized or allegorized and God cancels out everything and there is no future for Israel.  Now this is certainly inconsistent, because if you're going to take a passage of Scripture and you're going to say all the curses are literal, actually happened to Israel and you're going to take promises in the same context, the same passage, the same speaker, the same period of time, the same day, the same event and say they're all going to be fulfilled spiritually and allegorically in the church, you have arbitrarily split your hermeneutics, your principles in interpretation, and the question has to be asked: Why would you do that?

There's only one answer.  You would do that because you don't like the outcome, so you change the rules.  You have to go at it presuppositionally and start by saying well, we don't think that God is going to fulfill His promises to Israel; therefore, we have to make this mean something else.  I have read a lot of that literature through the years.  I remember reading one particular writer — there are a number who say this — but on particular writer who said, "We have to change the rules of interpretation when we come to these prophetic passages or else we're going to end up with a real future for Israel."

Now that's a strange way to approach the word of God.  To decide what you're conclusion has to be and then fix or rig the process to get you what you want.  We know that judgments have come to pass, are coming to pass and will continue to come to pass on Israel in a literal fashion.  I gave you the whole history of that in our opening message on this.  There is nothing in the Scripture in the Old Testament anywhere that even talks about the church.  The church doesn't even appear in the Old Testament.  And there is no justification to allegorize or spiritualize, that is to say, take those promises out of the literal category and put them into some figurative realm arbitrarily, and you go back to the same old principle.  If the Bible doesn't mean exactly what it says, if we say it doesn't mean what it says, then to what authority do we turn to find out what it does mean?

I mean, we're left in a mystical fog.  If you tell me the Bible doesn't mean what it says, then am I supposed to believe you know what it means when it doesn't say what you say it means?  On what basis am I going to believe you?  I mean, I'm very comfortable accepting the Bible at face value.  People sometimes say to me, "Are you a dispensationalist?"  And usually when they ask that it's not complimentary, because they're sort of frightened by that term and I understand that.  If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it.

But I would say I am in this sense.  I believe that God deals in history in unique ways at unique periods of time.  I think God dealt with man in a certain way before the Fall, after the Fall, before the law, after the law, before the cross, after the cross.  There aren't different ways of salvation, but I think there are ways that we understand God's dealings.  He's dealing with us one way this way in this time and there will be another way in which God deals with the world in the millennial kingdom and in eternal glory. So God has His economies, His stewardships of how He...He works with man in the various eras of human history.

But when people try to pin me down to some kind of system all I would say this, here is the sum total of my dispensationalism.  One sentence, "There is a true future for national Israel," period, paragraph.  Why do I believe that?  Because that's exactly what Scripture says, Old Testament, New Testament.  I'm not content to just imbibe a theology passed down through centuries, as respected as it might be.  And many covenant theologians are absolutely at the very pinnacle of biblical scholarship and understanding of the great doctrines of grace and things like that and we applaud them and we affirm them and we revere them and we stand with them and love them and appreciate them for that.  I just don't understand why they change the rules of the game when they get to Israel.

What is to be gained by that?  I know what is to be lost.  It's to call into question the faithfulness of God and to call into question the straightforward interpretation of Scripture.  The difference is not a difference in exegesis.  If somebody's wondering: Why are some people covenant theologians and some people what's called futuristic pre-millennialists believing in a literal future as outlined in Scripture for Israel including the millennial kingdom; what is the difference?  It's not exegetical.  That is, it's not in the words. It's not in the syntax or the grammar or the lexicography of the language.  It's not a difference in what the text says.  We don't disagree on what it says.  We just flatly disagree at this point.

We say it means what it says.  They say it doesn't mean what it says; it means what we say it means.  Now have an authority problem because you've now presupposed that it has to mean something other than what it says.  Once you say it's not literal then you can't know what it is and why would you do that?  Why?  Why not accept a literal, historical, normal understanding of Scripture and if it yields a future for Israel, I'm not going to be sad.  I'm going to be glad, because that means God keeps His what?  His promises.  Why would I want to come up with a system that has God voiding out His promises and then while I might have done away with the problem regarding Israel, for reasons I'm not sure, I've got a problem regarding God.

Now all of sudden, God says things that appear on the surface to be precise and exact and historical and literal, but maybe they're not at all, catapulting me necessarily into some kind of schizophrenia in which some of the Bible is literal and some of it is pretty mystical.  That's a very uncomfortable tension to live with.  I'm convinced that there aren't different rules for interpreting Scripture.  Do you know there are books written titled Rules for Interpreting Prophecy?  As if the rules for interpreting prophecy were different than the rules for interpreting any other part of scripture.

The New Testament writers interpreted the Old Testament literally.  Jesus interpreted it literally.  I'm comfortable with those guys.  So there is a promise clearly in the Old Testament for Israel's future all over the place.  Just this is enough: Jeremiah 23:6, "Judah will be saved and all Israel dwells securely."  The prophet said Israel would have a kingdom and a king and the land and the temple and worship and righteousness and peace and prosperity and divine blessing in the future, in the future.  And they weren’t talking about the church, they were talking about Israel.  And that's why the “until” in verse 35 is so important.

Jesus doesn't say you'll never see me again.  He doesn't say there is no future.  He says, "You won't see me until...until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’"  There is a future.  Jeremiah 31 is the great New Covenant passage.  Jeremiah 31; and the New Covenant is first applied to Israel.  Listen to this.  "Behold days are coming declares the Lord," Jeremiah 31:31.  "Behold days are coming declares the Lord when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt."  That's the covenant of Sinai and Mosaic covenant.

"My covenant which they broke although I was a husband to them, declares the Lord, but this is the covenant I'll make with the house of Israel after those days declares the Lord.”  In the future, “I will put my law within them and on their heart I will write and I will be their God and they shall be my people."  He's either talking about Israel or he's not.  He's either talking about Israel or he's talking about the church and my Bible says he's talking about Israel.

Well, who would arbitrarily change that?  It's going to be such an extensive transformation "they shall not teach again each man his neighbor and each man his brother saying know the Lord for they shall all know Me from the least of them to the greatest of them declares the Lord for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more."  And then God says this, verse 35, "Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the seas so that its waves roar."  That is He controls the day, the night, and the seasons, the tides.

The Lord of hosts is His name.  "If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the Lord, then the offspring of Israel also shall ceased from being a nation before me forever.  Thus says the Lord, if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done declares the Lord."  I haven't seen any of those things happen, have you?

Has anybody measured the heavens?  Has anybody found the foundations that support and hold up the earth, the power?  No.  God says, "I am the God of fixed order."  His nature is at stake.  That's always the bottom line.  It's about His name, His glory, His reputation, His integrity.  Yes, there's a remnant of Jews in every age.  In all the apostate history of Israel, through all of the period from the time they rejected the prophets to the time they rejected the Messiah and until today there is always a remnant of Jews who come to true faith.  There is a remnant of Jews today.  There...Part of that remnant is in our church, a large part, believing Jews.

There's always a remnant.  We're not talking about that.  Paul, himself, was a Jew.  He said that.  And there's always going to be some who like in the time of Elijah don't bow the knee to Baal.  We're not talking about that.  We're talking about promises to the whole nation, all Israel, from the highest to the lowest, from top to bottom.  The promise of the Old Testament is that God is going to fulfill everything He promised to that nation Israel.  And it fascinates me that they still exist, the Jews exist, and that there are no Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, Jebusites, Edomites, just Israelites.

God has preserved His people and some day they will say with the psalmist in Psalm 118:26, "Blessed is the coming one."  Or "Blessed is He who comes.  Blessed is He who comes."  That's how they identified Messiah in the past, the coming one.  They were always looking forward to the coming one, the one who would come.  The Old Testament ends with the book of Malachi.  "Behold I'm going to send," says God, "My messenger and He will clear the way before Me and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple."  I'm going to send My messenger the Lord and He's going to come to the temple, the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight.

When He comes, Malachi goes on to say, He's going to bring judgment on the unbelievers.  He's going to bring salvation to God's own people.  Verse 18 of Chapter 3: "You will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who doesn't serve Him so that that day is like burning chaff separating from the wheat.”  So the Old Testament ends with the anticipation of the coming one, the coming one.  Everybody who knew the Old Testament knew that the Messiah hadn't come until Jesus arrived and the true believers, Elizabeth, Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, and others came to believe.

Three thousand on the day of Pentecost, thousands more; there's always been a remnant.  There's a remnant today, but we're not talking about remnant salvation.  We're talking about promises to the nation.  Now to understand this we move from our text to Romans 11.  Verse 1, let's look at verse 1.  "I say then, God has not rejected His people has He?"  I mean, we're just considering the end of verse 10, verse 21.  "As for Israel," He says, "all the day the long I have stretched out my hands to a disobedient, obstinate people."

God is affirming their unbelief and rebellion.  So has God rejected His people?  May it never be, m ginomai, no, no, no, no.  Go down to verse 11.  "I say then they did not stumble so as to fall did they?"  Their...their... their stumbling is the not the final end is it?  No, no, no, no, no.  Why?  Well, if you follow this...and I wish we had time to develop all of it, it's so powerful.  If you go down to verse 12 for just a moment: "If their transgression be riches for the world and their failure be riches for the Gentiles," and that's exactly what happened.  Their failure caused the Lord to come to the world and establish the church, so their transgressions brought gospel riches to the world.  Their failure brought salvation riches to the Gentiles.

If by default they brought the gospel to the world, how much more will their fulfillment be?  You see, God originally called the nation Israel to be His witness nation in the world.  And even their failure caused the gospel to go to the world.  How much greater will be the influence of their salvation and their fulfillment.  And that is what you have to understand in the time when Israel comes to salvation, they will be the greatest evangelistic force that has ever existed in the world.  As they evangelize the world beginning in the time of tribulation and throughout the whole of the millennial kingdom when says in the Old Testament every Jew will have ten Gentiles hanging on his clothes wanting to be taken to meet Messiah.

Their fulfillment is coming and the fulfillment of their calling, represent the true and living God to the world.  Verse 15 says the same thing.  "If their rejection is the reconciliation of the world what will their acceptance be, but life from the dead."  They're going to come alive from their spiritual deadness.  How's it going to happen?  Go down to verse 23, and they also say, "If they do not continue in their unbelief will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them again,” to graft them like branches cut off a tree and grafted back into the stalk of life and blessing.  Israel, temporarily cut off, will be grafted in.  God is able.

Those are the words.  God is able to graft them in.  The question is, is He willing?  Verse 25: "I do not want you brethren to be uninformed of the mystery lest you be wise in your own estimation."  You know, being conceited about your own misinformation is a sad situation, so in order to help you not to be conceited about your own misinformation, let me tell you this, a partial hardening has happened to Israel.  It's only partial because there's always a remnant and it's only temporary, and here's the word again, until.  There's that word from 13:35: "Until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in," until the church is gathered.  The fullness of the Gentiles means the church.

Once the church is all gathered then what's going to happen?  Verse 26, "And then," or thus, "all Israel will be saved."  This is based not on some New Testament mystical idea, but on Isaiah 59:20 and 21, literal prophecies in the Old Testament that say, "The Deliverer will come from Zion.  He will remove ungodliness from Jacob," meaning Israel, "and this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."  It is a unilateral, one-sided, unconditional promise by God to God to save Israel.

And verse 29 says, "Such gifts and calling of God are irrevocable," irrevocable.  Israel temporarily set aside, partially because there's always a remnant.  Someday, however, "the Deliverer will remove ungodliness from Jacob," or Israel, and this is God's own covenant with Himself to take away their sins and it is a covenant that is irrevocable.  Go back to Ezekiel 20, Ezekiel 20.  Just a few more thoughts on this that are just powerful.

In the 20th chapter of Ezekiel and verse 33, Ezekiel, used by God to speak to the captive people who are in Babylon, taken captive because of their idolatry and their sin and their rebellion.  Back in chapter 20, verse 13, “the house of Israel rebelled against Me, didn't walk in my statutes” and that's how it's always been.  But verse 33: "’As I live,’ declares the Lord God." Here God swears by Himself, consistent with who I am. Surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be King over you.  I shall bring you out from the peoples, gather you from the lands where you are scattered with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm with wrath poured out.  I shall bring you into the wilderness of the people and there I shall enter into judgment with you face to face.  And as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, I will enter into judgment with you declares the Lord God.  I will make you pass under the rod.  I will bring you into the bond of my covenant, the covenant.  Purge from you the rebels.  Those who transgress against me, I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn.  They will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the Lord."

He's talking about a final gathering of Jews from all over the world.  There will be a judgment on those who will not believe.  They will be purged.  They will be judged.  They will pass under the rod and He says, "Then I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the Lord as for you oh house of Israel.  Thus says the Lord God, go serve everyone his idols, but later you will surely listen to me and my holy name.  You will profane no longer with your gifts, with your idols, for on my holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel declares the Lord God, there the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve me in the land.  There I shall accept them.  There I shall seek your contributions, the choicest of your gifts with all your holy things."

Verse 42, "And you will know that I am the Lord when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the land which I swore to give to your fathers, and there you will remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves and you will loath yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things you've done.  And you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for my name’s sake."  Again, it's always for God's own name sake.  "Not according to your evil or your corrupt deeds, oh house of Israel, declares the Lord God."

There's the promise of God through Ezekiel of a final salvation of the nation Israel.  It's coming.  Zechariah, look at Zechariah chapter 12, next to the last book in the Old Testament.  This describes how it's going to happen with more specifics.  Years ago, I did a complete series on Zechariah.  It's available on tape and CD, absolutely fascinating book of prophetic visions; but for just a moment, Zechariah 8.  Here's another of... There are just dozens of these kinds of prophecies.  But Zechariah 8:20, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, it will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities, and the inhabitants of one will go to another saying let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord and seek the Lord of hosts.  I will also go.  So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and entreat the favor of the Lord.  Thus says the Lord of hosts," and here's the passage I told you about, "in those days, ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying let us go with you for we have heard that God is with you."

Zechariah's given a vision of the future when Israel has been saved and Israel is the nation with the fulfillment of the kingdom and blessing and redemption and the king and a glorious kingdom when they literally are the primary nation in the world ruled by Messiah and the millennial kingdom and through them the world is being influenced for righteousness and the whole world is being dragged to see the glory of Christ, hanging, as it were, on the garments of the Jews.  That's coming.  That's the future of Israel.  Salvation, redemption, and they will become the greatest force for evangelism in the world.

How does it happen?  Go to chapter 12.  How do they get to that point?  It starts with a disaster.  Chapter 12, "The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, forms the spirit of man within Him."  Just so you know who's talking here.  "Behold I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around and when the siege is against Jerusalem it will also be against Judah."  This is the siege of Israel.  This whole salvation of Israel is going to be inaugurated with a massive assault on Israel.

Literally, nations all over the world are going to come against Israel.  They are described as being drunk.  The language of Jerusalem meaning a cup that causes reeling, a cup of drunkenness.  One of the things you had to be very careful of when you went to war is that the soldiers were sober.  It would be pretty easy to defeat an army that was drunk.  It's going to be so easy to defeat this army it's as if they are drunk.  Verse 3, He says, "It'll come about in that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples."  You lift a stone too heavy it'll hurt you, right?

Some of you can give living testimony to back problems and so forth from lifting things that are too heavy.  Anybody who comes against Jerusalem is going to be harmed himself.  The idea is you've got a drunken army as it were.  They're like people in a stupor who couldn't defend themselves.  They're trying to lift something that they can't lift and all they're going to do is hurt themselves.  They'll be severely injured.  All the nations of the earth be gathered.  This is going to happen in the future, the time known as the tribulation. The whole world masses itself under Antichrist to come and assault Israel.  It culminates in the battle of Armageddon when all the armies of the world come against Israel.

This is the siege of Israel.  Then you see the shielding of Israel.  In verse 4, "In that day, I'll strike every horse with bewilderment and rider with madness.  I will watch over the house of Judah."  God is going to protect Israel in the final day when the Antichrist and his world forces attack.  This is described by Daniel.  This is described by Ezekiel.  This is described by John in the book of Revelation.  This is described by Jesus when He rehearses the Daniel prophecy about the abomination of desolations when the temple is desecrated and then horrible tribulation breaks out that if weren't shortened it would kill even the elect.

So the world, the Antichrist, who has made a pact with Israel, Daniel chapter 9, a peace treaty, violates the treaty in the middle of the seven-year period and then becomes the enemy of Israel.  Amasses the world to assault and attack and God becomes Israel's defender.  Verse 8: "In that day, the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David."  You know David who killed Goliath?  And the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them.

They're going to have met their match.  God is going to make Israel strong in that day. God is going to become their defender.  Verse 9, "It'll come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations who come against Jerusalem."  That's what God does.  He destroys the nations of the world.  They become food for the carrion birds that are described very explicitly in the 19th chapter of the book of Revelation.  The siege of Israel and then the shielding of Israel; then verse 10, the salvation comes.  When they see God as their protector and, "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem."  This is sovereign again.  This is a sovereign work of salvation.  "I will pour out on the house of David, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace."  Boy do they need grace, right?  And supplication, that is, "I will pour out on them a desire to cry out to me so that they will look on Me," God speaking, "on Me whom they have pierced," the great statement of the deity of Christ.  "And they will mourn for Him," again, referring to the distinction between the Father and the Son.  There's coming a day in the midst of God's protection of Israel and the future when they will look on Him whom they have pierced; can be none other than the incarnate God, the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they wounded with many wounds in the crucifixion.  "And they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son.  They will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a first-born."  There will be unbelievable sorrow in Israel, because they will realize they have pierced their own Messiah.

The mourning will be so great, verse 11, it'll be like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.  That is the mourning in Josiah's day.  Everybody's going to mourn, verse 12, 13, 14, everybody, every family, every individual.  And this is what...this is a mourning of repentance.  This is real repentance.  They see the cross.  They understand they killed the Messiah.  The reality of the resurrection will become clear to them.  They will know who He is and they will have an attitude of penitence and faith and "in that day," 13:1, look at it, "In that day, a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for impurity."  God is going to wash them.  That is their salvation.

Both the royalty, the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the commoners, are going to be washed in a fountain, cleansed through the grace of God by the atoning sacrifice of the very one they pierced.  And that's the irony of it all.  The irony of it all is that because they rejected and crucified their Messiah, they have been abandoned by God, but it was the very act of doing that in which He provides the atonement that someday, any day, is the only way of salvation.

So the judgment that fell on Israel for the crime at Calvary and judgment that has raged for all these centuries will suddenly end.  And the very crime at Calvary becomes the means of their salvation.  Is it a true salvation?  Sure.  They will throw away their idols, in verse 2.  They will remove unclean spirits and false prophets.  They will literally execute anybody who's a false prophet.  We know that it's a real salvation because they will love truth, hate error, love righteousness, hate sin.

Verse 8 says that two-thirds are going to be cut off.  There...There's only a remnant at that time.  I mean, if you look at the historically, most of the Jews perish without their Messiah, but what's left of the nation in the end will come to faith. They will be the sheep of the sheep and goat judgment in Matthew 24.  "They'll come through the fire.  They'll be refined, tested like gold.  They'll call on My name.  I'll answer them.  I will say they are My people."  And they will say, "The Lord is my God."  And He is the God of Israel.  He will always be the God of Israel.  They are His people until this consummation takes place. We don't see it because they are in their time of desolation.

This is their salvation.  Isaiah 35:10 says, "Then shall the ransomed of the Lord return and come to Zion with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads.  They shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."  And now they enter into the kingdom, chapter 14.  "A day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you divided among you. I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle."  He rehearses again the battle.  The city captured, the houses plundered, all this detail is part of that battle, but eventually the Lord comes.  The Lord wins.  The Lord comes in blazing glory.  Look at verse 5 the end of the verse.

"Then the Lord my God will come."  This is also paralleled in Revelation 19 when Christ comes out of heaven on a white horse with all those in white garments with Him.  There's no light.  Revelation 6 describes that when everything goes dark in the universe and the blazing light of glory is Christ coming down.  "It is a unique day," verse 7, "which is known to the Lord.”  It's not day. It's not night.  And when He comes, “living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea, the other half toward the western sea."  It'll be in summer as well as winter. The millennial earth isn't going to have the defined seasons.  And there's going to be water everywhere.

Verse 9: "The Lord will be king over all the earth.  In that day, the Lord will be the one and only and His name the one and only."  Verse 11: "The people will live in it.  There will be no more curse."  There's the key.  It takes us right back to where we started in Deuteronomy 28 with the promise of curses.  They're living the curse.  They come to salvation, no more curse.  No more curse.  Everything's going to be holy folks.

In fact, everything's going to be holy.  Look at verse 20, chapter 14.  "In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, ‘Holy to the Lord.’"  Well, what is that supposed to mean?  All the signs.  Can you imagine a culture where all the signs and all the symbols were holy?  Can you imagine driving down the road and seeing billboards, “Holy to the Lord”?  “Glory to God”?  “Praise to the Messiah”?  “Righteousness, joy and peace”?  Can you imagine a world like that where even the bells that you hang on horses are going to say, “Holy to the Lord,” where even the cooking pots in the Lord's house are going to be like the bowls before the altar?  Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judea will be holy to...can you imagine taking out your frying pan and having written across it “Holy to the Lord”?

Everything is holy.  This is millennial glory.  This is millennial glory.  This is the future of Israel.  This is the future.  It hasn't changed and it goes all the way back to Deuteronomy chapter 30.  In Deuteronomy 30, "So it shall be, say God," verse 1, "when all these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse that I've set before you, you shall call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you and return to the Lord your God."  He says look, when you in the future remember the blessing and the curse which I've set before you, you will call on the Lord and return to the Lord.  Now how could we, the church, remember the curse when it wasn't even ours?

It has to be Israel.  "Then the Lord your God will restore you, have compassion on you, gather you from the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.  From the ends of the earth the Lord will bring you back and bring you into the land and circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul in order that you may live."  That's what Paul called life from the dead.  "And the Lord then will inflict all these curses on your enemies.  And you will obey the Lord and observe His commandments.  This the Lord will do."

God promised it again and again, Isaiah 59, Isaiah 60, 61, 62.  In fact, in Isaiah 62, verses 6-7 it pictures God in heaven eager, waiting, full of anticipation, having sent out watchmen who are called upon to report to Him and report to Him and report to Him because He is waiting for this glorious moment.  It says in Isaiah 62:7, "He has no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth."  God will never rest until Israel is saved.  God will never rest until Jerusalem is righteous.  God will never rest until the Abrahamic, Davidic promises are fulfilled through the New Covenant.  He will never rest until the millennial glory arrives.

His word is at stake, His promise. In this time, in this age, Jew and Gentile we can come to the gospel and come to faith in Christ.  The same gospel saves Jew and Gentile.  In fact, in Christ, there's neither, what?  Jew nor Gentile.  But how wonderful it is to know that in the future all Israel will be saved!  God keeps His covenant.  And so we can trust Him for all His promises to us.  Let's pray.

Father, this is such amazing truth, with all the speculation about the future, all the wild guesses, all the imagination, all the fantasy, all the fiction.  Here is reality about the future from You, a God who cannot lie, who speaks truth, who is called the God of truth.  We thank You for being the Creator and upholder of creation, for being the author, sustainer, and consummator of history.  We thank You for being faithful, a covenant-keeping God, faithful to Your promise to save all who come to Christ, all who repent and embrace His death and resurrection.  We know, Lord, You give eternal life as You promised.  We pray that You might grant that to some even today.  We don't have to wait till some future.  Even the Jews don't have to wait.  Now is, says Paul, the day of salvation.  Now is the acceptable time.

We thank you that the gate is open, the way is made known, salvation awaits, even as You invited them again and again and again to come.  You by Your spirit invite now.  And may sinners repent, enter the glory of salvation even this day.  And we pray soon would come the peace of Jerusalem, the salvation of Israel, and the glorious kingdom of Christ.  Father, now we do ask that You would confirm to our hearts the truth, enrich us by it, strengthen our trust in You as our great and faithful God who is able and willing to fulfill all His good promise to Israel and to us in Christ.  In His name we pray, amen.

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