Why does the Bible talk about Israel so much? What is the connection between God’s
chosen people” and Spirit-
begotten Christians today ? Exactly how does ancient Israel fit into God’s plan of
God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Yet He selected the ancient nation
of Israel as His "chosen people." Why? Most people have heard that God raised up
ancient Israel to be His special people. Yet almost no one understands that He
denied them His Holy Spirit and eternal salvation, except for their prophets and
a few select others. Why? Ancient Israel was God's chosen people-selected not for
special favours, but for a special PURPOSE in preparation to the ultimate establishment
of the Kingdom of God!
BIBLE: A BOOK ABOUT ISRAEL
It may surprise you to learn that the Bible is primarily concerned with the nation
of ancient Israel, and that most other nations are mentioned only as they came into
contact with Israel. Why? As we learned in our previous studies, the Creator God
is reproducing Himself in and through man. Man's awesome potential is that of being
born into the universe-ruling Family of God. God's plan is breathtaking beyond words!
And the establishment of the ancient nation Israel was an integral part of God's
plan. It is important that we understand God's purpose for the ancient nation of
Israel, for without this vital knowledge one cannot fully appreciate and understand
the real purpose and incredible potential of mankind! So now let's begin the intriguing
story. We will start by retracing the unfolding of God's great Master Plan from
Adam and Eve to the founding of the nation Israel. Then on to the establishment
of the New Testament Church of God-"spiritual Israel" today. Finally, we'll see
what part the peoples of Israel will play in God's plan during and after the Millennium.
But before we begin, be sure to get your Bible-if you haven't done so already. It
is very important to look up and read each scripture given in answer to the questions.
And why not write out these scriptures, just as the kings of ancient Israel were
instructed to write out God's laws? (Deut. 17:18-20). This will help you understand
and remember the vital truths you will be studying. It will be of value to remember
of what God has instructed us to do and that is to memorize His Word! (Joshua 1:8)
Now let's begin this important subject.
FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM
God created the first humans physically perfect. Yet they were but unfinished pieces
of God's workmanship.
The spiritual character of God was yet to be built into Adam and Eve and all those
who would spring from them.
And in the character-building process, humans must perform their own vital part.
As we learned in Lesson 14, Adam and Eve rejected God as the one who can Reveal spiritual
knowledge. In rejecting God
they also rejected His government-the way of His Law of love. They chose instead
Satan's "get" way of life-the
self-centred way of vanity, covetousness, envy and jealousy, competition leading
to strife, violence, destruction
and rebellion against authority.
Consequently, God shut the first humans and their descendants off from His Holy Spirit
and spiritually revealed
truth. From then on, spiritual knowledge and salvation would be offered only to
those relatively few God would
specially call-until Christ, the second Adam, begins His reign on earth and the minds
of all people are opened to
God's spiritual truth. As men began to multiply on the earth, all of Adam's sons,
except one, followed in his Satan-inspired course of human nature. Prior to Abraham,
only three men are specifically mentioned in the Bible as following God's way
1. Which of Adam's sons did Jesus Christ call a "righteous" man? Matt. 23:35. Who
are the other two men
who "walked with God" prior to Abraham? Gen. 5:22; 6:9.
2. From which son of Noah is Abram (who later was renamed Abraham by God) descended?
Gen. 1 1: 11-27.
Comment: Shem was a direct ancestor of Abram. He may have continued for some time
knowledge and perhaps worship of God. But there is no biblical record of his or
anyone else "walking with God"
from the time of Noah until Abram. God specially called Abram to have a function
preparatory to the
establishment of the Kingdom of God.
3. Did God tell Abram to leave the land of his kindred and go to a land He would
show him? Gen. 12:1.
What did God promise him if he would obey? Verses 2-3.
Comment: Notice there were two phases to the promises God made to Abram. The first
part-that his flesh-
born descendants would become a great nation-is purely material and national (verse
2). The latter part of the
promises is spiritual and individual-the promise of the Messiah and salvation through
Him (last part of verse 3).
4. Did Abram obey God's instructions without protest or question? Verse 4. Where
did God lead him? Verses 5-7.
5. Did God later expand these physical, national promises to Abram? Gen. 17:1-8.
Comment: God promised that from Abraham that there would descend nations and kings,
and that Abraham's
descendants would be prolific. God also promised to Abraham and his descendants
"all the land of Canaan."
6. Were these promises later made unconditional? Gen. 22:15-18.
7. Did God reconfirm the same promises to Isaac, Abraham's son? Gen. 26:1-5. And
to Jacob, Isaac's son?
Gen. 27:26-29; 28:13-14; 35:9-12. What was Jacob's name changed to? Gen. 35:1 0.
Comment: God's promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob included both the "birthright"
national prosperity and the "sceptre" promise of eternal salvation to come through
8. Did Jacob (Israel) pass on the blessings of Abraham to his children? Gen. 49:1-2.
Who received the
"sceptre" promise? Verse 10. And to whom did the "birthright" blessings go? Verses
22:26; 1 Chronicles. 5:2.
9. Did Jacob adopt Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh? Gen. 48:3-5. And
did he pass on the birthright-the material promises-to them? Verses 15-20.
Comment: The physical, material promises were passed from Jacob to his son Joseph
and his sons,
Ephraim and Manasseh. (Originally there were 12 sons of Jacob and they became known
as the tribes of Israel.
But since Ephraim and Manasseh represent Joseph, there were in reality 13 tribes.
ISRAEL BECOMES GOD'S "CHOSEN PEOPLE"
As previously mentioned, Israel (formerly Jacob) had 12 sons. His favourite son,
Joseph, was sold into slavery by
his brothers. Joseph was taken to Egypt and eventually became a ruler second only
to Pharaoh. A great famine
caused the patriarch Israel to send his sons to Egypt to buy food, where they became
reacquainted with Joseph.
1. Did Israel, at the request of the Pharaoh and Joseph, move his family into the
land of Egypt because of
the famine in the land of Canaan, where he had lived? Gen. 45:9, 17-18. Where did
they settle? Gen. 46:28.
2. Did God promise to eventually bring Israel back out of Egypt? Gen. 46:2-4; 50:24.
3. While in Egypt, did the children of Israel multiply exceedingly? Ex. 1:7.
4. After Joseph's death, did another Pharaoh who did not know Joseph make slaves
of the children of Israel?
5. Did the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob see the affliction of the Israelites in
Egypt? Ex.3:7. Did He promise
to deliver them from slavery and bring them back to the land He had promised Abraham?
6. Who did God call to lead the nation of Israel out of Egyptian slavery and into
the Promised Land? Ex. 3:1-6, 9-10.
Comment: God chose Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. He had previously
Moses to be specially trained for this mission by having him reared as a prince in
the palace of the Egyptian
Pharaoh (Ex. 2:1-10). God also commissioned Aaron, his brother, to assist Moses
by being his spokesman (Ex. 4:10-16).
7. Did God plan to send plagues against Egypt if Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites
leave? Ex. 3:19-20.
Comment: In the ensuing plagues God brought upon Egypt, God turned the Egyptian gods
and objects of
worship against them to show that these were not living, active gods who could help
8. What was the last plague that finally caused Pharaoh to let the people go? Ex.
Comment: The Israelites left Egypt at Pharaoh's urging. But once they were gone,
he changed his
mind and led his army in pursuit of Israel. Upon reaching the Red Sea, the children
of Israel were stopped in their tracks. They appeared to be trapped. Before them
was a broad expanse of water and behind them was Pharaoh's army in hot pursuit. There
was nothing they could do. They just stood there helpless! At that point they had
to rely on God.
9. How did God rescue the Israelites? Ex. 14:21-22.
Comment: In Egypt God had caused Israel's release from slavery by a series of supernatural
plagues. Now God miraculously caused the waters of the Red Sea to roll back to form
a wall of water of either
side, causing a wide, dry path on the sea floor between. The Israelites walked through.
10. Did Pharaoh's entire army attempt to pursue Israel through the Red Sea? Verse
What happened to it? Verses 24-31.
Comment: Once on the opposite shore of the Red Sea, the Israelites looked back
and saw Pharaoh's army entering the same path they had traversed. When all the soldiers
were between the
towering wails of water, God allowed the waters to suddenly collapse, drowning the
Egyptian army. The
Israelites then proceeded toward Mt. Sinai where God had them set up camp.
11. At Mt. Sinai, what proposition did God make with the children of Israel through
His servant Moses?
Ex. 19:3-6. Did the people agree to God's covenant? Verses 7-8. Thus what did
Israel become in God's sight?
Lev. 26:12; Deut. 29:13.
Comment: God offered Israel a special relationship with Himself. The people wanted
to become a
"peculiar [not odd, but special] treasure" unto God. They desired to be a "kingdom
of priests" and a "holy
nation." They consented to come under God's theocratic rule and thus become God's
Through Moses, God proposed to the children of Israel a covenant agreement which
centuries later came to be
known as the "Old Covenant." (The Covenant with Israel at Sinai was a type and forerunner
of the NEW Covenant) The latter will be made with the New Testament CHURCH, which
is spiritual Israel. The subject of the Old and New Covenants will be covered in-depth
in Lesson 17).
12. Once the covenant was ratified, what material blessings did God promise Israel
- if they
Would obey His commandments? Deut. 28:1-14; Lev. 26:1-13.
13. Did God also promise that Israel would become a great nation if they obeyed Him?
Deut. 4:5-8. Would
Israel thus have been an example for all nations on earth to follow? Same verses.
Comment: If Israel kept God's commandments, every imaginable material blessing would
theirs. And other nations would have seen their example and blessings, and would
have wanted to obey God
14. But what curses would result if Israel disobeyed God? Deut. 28:14-68; Lev. 26:14-39.
15. Was Israel commended to choose-material blessings and long life on the one hand,
or curses and death
on the other? Deut. 30:15-20.
Comment: God laid everything out before Israel. He gave them His Law, which they
were to obey,
and detailed exactly what would happen if they chose to obey or to disobey. If they
would obey His laws and
submit to His government, He would prosper them, making them the wealthiest and most
powerful of nations.
But notice in all this that God promised only national and material blessings. There
was no promise of
eternal life. He did NOT offer them spiritual salvation!
ISRAEL MAKES THE WRONG CHOICE
Now let's look at what the Israelites did once the knowledge of God's way of life
was given to them and they agreed to obey God.
1. After the covenant between God and Israel was ratified, God called Moses up to
Mt. Sinai, where he
stayed for 40 days. What did the Israelites request of Aaron while Moses was gone?
Ex. 32:1. How did Aaron
respond? Verses 2-5.
Comment: Soon after Israel entered into a covenant relationship with God promising
to obey Him-
they forgot the God who had spoken to them directly and who had miraculously delivered
them from slavery in
Egypt! They built a golden calf and worshiped it, breaking the first and second
2. What was the result of Israel's sin? Verse 35.
Comment: God's anger waxed hot against Israel (Ex. 32:10). Nevertheless, Moses interceded
them to God as they would not all be destroyed (verses 1 1 -1 4).
3. In the second year after leaving Egypt, when Israel had reached the wilderness
of Paran, God
commanded Moses to send out 12 scouts to Canaan. What were they to do? Num. 13:17-20.
4. What kind of report did the scouts bring back? Verses 25-28, 32-33. As a result,
did the people of
Israel complain against God and want to return to Egypt? Num. 14:1-4.
Comment: Because Israel refused to go forward in faith to possess the Promised Land,
God sentenced them
to wander in the wilderness 40 years, until everyone 20 years of age and over (except
the two faithful scouts,
Joshua and Caleb) died (Num. 14:11-38). Hence that generation of Israelites was
not allowed to enter the
Promised Land. But their children entered the land of Canaan under the leadership
of Joshua, Moses' successor.
5. Did God bless the next generation of Israelites, as He had promised He would,
for their obedience?
Comment: God was faithful in His covenant with Israel. He prospered them abundantly
obedience under Joshua's righteous leadership.
6. Did the people of Israel continue to obey God after Joshua's death? Judges 2:8,
Comment: A new generation turned away from God and reaped the curses they had been
about. But in mercy God sent judges to Israel to rescue them from oppressors. Yet,
as soon as the judges died,
the people returned to idolatry (verses 18-19). This happened repeatedly.
In the days of Samuel Israel committed an even greater sin. They rejected God as
their King-demanding a
human king, to which God consented (I Sam. 8:4-8). Still, God dealt with Israel.
Under the later reigns of David and his son Solomon, God prospered the nation greatly
However, because Solomon committed idolatry (I Kings 11: 1 -8), after his death God
divided the nation in two-the House of Israel in the north and the House of Judah
in the south (verses 29-38).
Throughout the reigns of many kings, God pleaded with His people Israel and Judah
through His prophets-
admonishing them to return to His way. But for hundreds of years they refused to
learn the lesson that experience
should have taught them.
Finally, just as He warned He would, God sent the House of Israel into Assyrian captivity,
with Judah going into
Babylonian captivity over a century later.
WHY THEY BROKE THEIR PROMISE
Why did Israel fail to keep the covenant they made with God, even though God revealed
to them His laws,
established His government over them and they agreed to obey Him? To answer this
question, we need to
understand God's purpose in choosing Israel to be His people.
1. What was the reason God made Israel His chosen people? Deut. 7:6-11; 10: 1 5.
Comment: God chose Israel above all other nations on earth to be His own nation because
love for and promises to their forefathers-Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As God's chosen
nation, Israel was to
set an example of obedience to God for all the other nations to follow (Deut. 4:5-8).
But instead of assuming the leadership role among the nations by keeping God's commandments,
the ways and customs of the pagan nations around them! They utterly failed to become
a "kingdom of priests"
and a "holy nation" (Ex. 19:5-6), and an example for the world to follow.
But why? Wasn't it possible for them to obey God? The answer to this question brings
us to the crux of this lesson!
2. What is the heart, or mind, of man described as? Jeremiah. 17:9. It is possible
for carnal man,
Without God's Spirit, to submit to God's Law? Rom. 8:7.
3. And is it at all possible for one without God's Spirit to really understand spiritual
includes the spiritual principles of God's laws? I Corinthians. 2:9-11, 14.
Comment: Man's nature can be very sinful without God's Spirit (Gal. 5:19-21).
This, as we learned in previous lessons, is because Satan, the god of this world,
"broadcasts" His nature-His attitudes of sin-to the minds of all people (2 Corinthians.
4:4; Eph. 2:2).
Israel as a whole was not offered God's Spirit. Only their prophets and divinely
appointed leaders were given
the Holy Spirit (Num. 14:24; 1 Pet. 1: 1 0-1 1). Thus the Israelites did not resist
Satan and did not submit to
God. Ancient Israel did not realize their lack of God's power when they agreed to
the terms of the Old Covenant.
They desperately needed spiritual help, but didn't realize it. They even had great
difficulty in keeping the letter of
Without God's Spirit, Israel was also limited to the acquisition and understanding
of material knowledge, even
though God gave them knowledge of His spiritual laws. Thus they could not comprehend,
let alone obey, the
spiritual intent of God's Law! Recall that Adam and Eve had also been instructed
by God in His way. But they too rejected it, and turned to the way of self-centeredness-of
vanity, lust and greed-of jealousy and envy-of competition and strife.
4. Did God realize, when He made the covenant with Israel, that the people would
not be able to keep it?
Deut. 5:28-29. Did God give them the spiritual perception to understand the lessons
they should have learned
from their 40 years of wandering in the desert? Deut. 29:4. Did God know Israel
would not obey Him after they
entered the Promised Land? Deut. 31:20.
Comment: God knew Israel would break the covenant He made with them. But He wanted
teach mankind a valuable lesson through Israel's experience and horrible example.
The multiple generations of Israel and Judah proved once and for all that without
the Holy Spirit from God,
man's mind is incapable of receiving and utilizing knowledge of God's spiritual way
of life as defined by His
spiritual Law-the Ten Commandments. Thus God demonstrated through Israel that the
mind of man, with the
human spirit but without the addition of God's Holy Spirit, cannot submit to God
nor solve human problems
and evils that are spiritual in nature. Carnal man simply cannot come to grips with
and cure the spiritual
problems that beset humanity! God used ancient Israel to write in the pages of history
these indelible lessons, which He intends all mankind to learn when the time comes
for spiritual understanding to be opened to all-not only to those ancient Israelites,
but to every human being who has ever lived!
SPIRITUAL ISRAEL BEING CALLED TODAY
The promises made to Abraham were twofold-material and spiritual. Even so, the Holy
Spirit and eternal
salvation were not offered to ancient Israel as a whole, except to those few called
by God to carry out a special
mission preparatory to the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Let's now trace the spiritual phase of the promises from the time of Abraham to this
1. What, exactly, was the second part of the promises God made to Abraham? Gen.
12:3, last part.
Comment: The second phase of the promises-"in thee shall all families of the earth
ultimately to the Messiah and salvation through Him. This promise was passed on
through Abraham's son Isaac,
and then to His son Jacob, as was the material part of the promises (Gen. 26:1-5;
2. To which of Jacob's 12 sons was the spiritual promise passed ?Gen.49:10; John4:22.
Comment: The "sceptre" was the promise of a kingly life springing from Judah and
culminating in Jesus Christ and eternal life through Him.
3. Does Luke 3:23, 34 prove that Jesus was a direct descendants "seed"-of Abraham?
Did He clearly
come from the tribe of Judah? Verse 33. Also notice Hebrews 7:14.
Comment: Luke records Jesus' genealogy through His mother Mary. Joseph, mentioned
in Luke 3:23,
was actually the son-in-law of Heli, the father of Mary. And so Luke shows that
Jesus was directly descended
from Abraham (verse 34). One of the reasons Christ came to earth as a human being
nearly 2,000 years ago was to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to a remnant
of Israelites who were then living in Palestine. He commanded them: "Repent
ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15).
But notice that God did not remove the spiritual blindness which still covered these
descendants of Israel at that time.
4. Why did Jesus speak to the multitudes in parables? Mark 4:1 0-11. Was it to make
His teaching clearer? Verse 12. Wasn't this a fulfilment of a prophecy found in
Isaiah? Isaiah. 29:10, 14.
Comment: God did not intend to grant spiritual understanding and repentance to the
Israel as a whole when Christ first came. Israel's opportunity for salvation is
still ahead, as we will shortly see.
5. Recall from previous studies that no one can come to Christ and be truly converted
unless the Father
calls Him (John 6:44). After three-and-a-half years of preaching, how many did the
Father call to be disciples
of Christ? Acts 1:15.
Comment: Of the many thousands who had heard Jesus proclaim the good news of the
Kingdom of God, only about 120 believed!
6. Had Jesus previously promised to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples? John
16:7; 14:26. Where
did Christ tell them to wait to receive God's Spirit? Luke 24:49.
7. When did God fulfil the promise of sending His Holy Spirit? Acts 2:1-4.
Comment: On Pentecost, A.D. 31, just 50 days after Christ's resurrection, God sent
the Holy Spirit
to beget and empower Christ's disciples.
8. Who stood up to speak to the multitudes of Jews gathered from various nations
on that day of
Pentecost? Acts 2:14. As a result of his sermon, how many more did God call? Verse
41. What did they do to
receive God's Spirit? Verse 38.
9. Once these new converts received God's Spirit, what did they automatically become
part of? I Corinthians. 12:13. What body is Paul talking about? Verse 27; Eph.
Comment: In I Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul has drawn an analogy between the human
body and God's
Church. In verse 13 he is speaking about being "baptized"-put into-the spiritual
"body" or Church of God. Thus
when one receives God's Spirit, he automatically becomes a Spirit-begotten member
of God's Church. But those God called into His Church on that memorable day of Pentecost
were Jews, or Jewish proselytes (Acts 2:5, 14). There were no Gentile (non-Jewish)
converts at that time.
10. When and how did God finally open up salvation to the Gentiles? You should read
all of Acts 10 noticing especially verses 34-35. Also see Acts 28:28.
Comment: About ten years after God started His spiritual Church, He began to call
Gentiles to repentance and salvation. But the promises of salvation were made to
Abraham and his descendants! How, then, could a Gentile also become an heir to these
11. How does one who is not a direct descendant of Abraham become an "heir" to the
spiritual promises made
to him? Gal. 3:27-29.
Comment: Paul shows that the only way Gentiles can become heirs to the promise
made to Abraham was by becoming children ("seed") of Abraham by spiritual son-ship
through Christ! Thus
people from every nation may become "heirs" of the spiritual promises God made to
Abraham by becoming his
"seed" through Christ. We also read in Galatians 3:7, "Know ye therefore that they
which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." If you are a Spirit-begotten
Christian, regardless of race, Abraham is your "father" in the faith, and
you become eligible to inherit the spiritual promises!
But what about Israelites? Is it enough to be an Israelite by natural birth? Or
must they also become Christ's to
receive these promises? In Romans 11, Paul illustrates spiritual son-ship through
Christ by the analogy of grafting branches onto an olive tree.
12. Does Paul show that the Israelites, represented by the branches of an olive tree,
have been spiritually
blinded? Rom. 1 1:7, 25. Why? Verses 20, 32.
Comment: God has allowed Israel to be spiritually blinded to fulfil His plan. And
that plan includes
the salvation of the world, including Israel!
13. Has Israel's being broken off the olive tree made possible the Gentiles being
grated in? Verses 17, 24.
Comment: Paul pictures Israel as a natural olive tree whose branches were broken
off because of
unbelief-disobedience to God. This made possible God's grafting in of the wild olive
14. But can Israel-though now "broken off"-be grafted back in? Verses 23-24.
Comment: Ancient Israel's blindness will not remain forever. Their time of understanding
participation in God's plan of salvation has not yet come (verse 26). But in the
meantime the comparatively few Israelites whom God has called have become spiritual
Israelites." Through Christ, both they and Gentiles have become members of the spiritual
household of God (Eph. 2:19) and are unified into one spiritual body-the Church of
God! (Gal. 3:28).
15. Ancient Israel did not have access to God's Spirit. Yet what are they called?
1 Chron.13:2; Acts 7:38.
Comment: Israel was called the "congregation of Israel" and a "church" because these
the physical type of the spiritual Church Christ began to build at His First Coming
(Matt. 16:18). This is another
example of the duality principle in God's plan. God is preparing the Kingdom of God
in dual stages. First was Old Testament Israel. They were carnal-minded, without
God's Holy Spirit. They were the carnal Congregation or Church of Israel. In New
Testament times, Spirit-begotten children of God are the spiritual Church of God,
composed of members of all nationalities who have become "spiritual Israelites" through
Christ. (This DUALITY in God's plan is illustrated by the Old and New Covenants,
to be covered in the next lesson.) The New Testament Church of God has received the
Spirit of God. And those in God's Church are being prepared by God through His Spirit
to be born into His ruling Family, which will restore His government on earth at
16. Are those in the body or Church of Christ a part of the spiritual household of
God? Eph. 2:19. Who
constitutes the foundation of this building? Verses 19-22.
Comment: Paul here compares God's Church to a building. The Old Testament prophets-along
the New Testament apostles-form the foundation of the true Church, with Jesus Christ
as the chief cornerstone.
17. Did the patriarchs and prophets of antiquity-those whom God called before Christ
established His New
Testament Church-have access to the Holy Spirit? I Pet. 1: 1 0-11.
Comment: Notice that "the Spirit of Christ ... was in them." God gave His Spirit
only to those
whom He called to perform special tasks. Those few had the Holy Spirit and will
be born into God's Kingdom, as we're clearly told in Hebrews 11. Likewise, those
called into God's Church today also have a great work to perform. Christ has commissioned
His Church today to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the entire world!
(Matt. 28:19-20; 24:14).
18. Are those in God's Church also in training for responsibilities in the World
Tomorrow? Rev. 2:26-27; 5:10; 20:4.
Comment: Spiritual Israel today is being trained to rule with Christ as a spiritual
"kingdom of priests"
when He returns. They will help Him restore the government of God over the entire
earth and teach the nations
God's wonderful way of life! But what about ancient Israel and their descendants?
Did that carnal nation fail totally? Will it yet have a chance to set an example
for the rest of the world to follow?
GOD'S MODEL MILLENNIAL NATION
God reveals He has not forsaken His chosen people. He has not forgotten His covenant
with ancient Israel.
God will yet give Israel's modern descendants an opportunity to live by His laws
even though their forefathers
failed for thousands of years. This time they will obey! Let's understand how God
will bring this about in the
very near future.
1. Did God know Abraham's descendants would forsake Him and His way? Deut. 31:16.
God punish them? Verses 17-18; Deut. 4:25-28.
Comment: Ancient Israel did forsake God, committing grievous sins, as He knew they
punishment for their disobedience, God caused them to be taken captive and scattered
among the nations.
Today only a small minority of their descendants, mainly from the tribe of Judah,
now live in the modern state of
Israel-part of the "Promised Land" of ancient Israel.
2. Because of their continued national sins, will the modern descendants of Israel
be scattered all over the
earth? Isaiah. 11:11-12. Will they turn to God in their tribulation in the end
time? Deut. 4:29-30. (Notice
especially the words "latter days" in verse 30). Will God then remember the covenant
He made with Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob? Verse 31.
3.Will God bring His captive people back to the land He promised Abraham? Deut.
30:1-5. What is the time setting for the re-gathering of the remnant of Israel?
Comment: The blowing of the "great trumpet" refers to the "last trump" signalling
Jesus Christ's return to earth as King of kings (I Thessalonians. 4:16; Rev. 11:15).
At His return, Christ will seek out
and bring back the remnant of Israel from this modern captivity. Those still alive
after the soon-coming great
tribulation will be brought back to the land of Palestine, where all 13 tribes will
be settled after their former estates.
4. Will this coming exodus of Israelites from captivity around the world be much
greater than their former
exodus from Egypt in the days of Moses? Jeremiah. 16:14-15; 23:3, 7-8.
Comment: Jeremiah's God-inspired prophecy of this future exodus was written about
600 B.C. The first
exodus was only a lesser type or forerunner of a second and far greater exodus to
Notice that these re-gathered Israelites are not changed to immortality when Christ
returns, but rather restored
to the Promise Land of ancient times as physical human beings.
5. Once back in the land promised to their forefather Abraham, will God reunite the
nations of Judah and Israel?
Ezek. 37:16-22. Who will be their king? Verses 24-25.
Comment: At Christ's return, David, who ruled as king over all the tribes of Israel
during his mortal
lifetime, will be resurrected to immortality. And as God promised long ago, David
will once again become Israel's
king after God unites the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel.
6. Will God cause His reclaimed people to see themselves as He sees them and to loathe
their wickedness, granting them repentant attitudes for the first time? Ezek. 20:42-44;
Jeremiah. 31:8-9; 50:3-5. Will
God then cleanse them from sin? Ezek. 36:24-25; Jeremiah. 33:7-8. Will He also
give them His Holy Spirit so they
can obey Him? Ezek. 36:26-27; 11:19-20.
Comment: The modern Israelites will repent bitterly of their wickedness, which caused
temporarily forsake them and allow them to go into captivity-to wake them up! They
will then truly seek God,
repent of their sins, receive God's Holy Spirit, and enter into a "perpetual covenant
that shall not be forgotten"
(Jeremiah. 50:5). This was not possible during the days of the Old Covenant, when
the nation as a whole was without
God's Spirit.Recall that without the Holy Spirit ancient Israel did not have the
"heart" to obey God (Deut. 5:29; 29:4). But once God gives His Spirit to His chosen
people, they will remain obedient, not departing from His way of life
(Jeremiah. 32:39-40). It is God's Holy Spirit that will make the difference! Israel
will be able to understand God's
way and obey Him from the heart!
7. Will God proceed to teach repentant, spirit-begotten Israel the knowledge and
understanding of His
way of life? Isaiah. 54:13; Jeremiah. 3:15. Will this ultimately lead to their
being born into the ruling Family of God? Isaiah. 45:17; Rom. 11:26-27.
8. Will God cause the laws of nature to function for the benefit of His obedient
people during the
Millennium? Isaiah. 41:18; Ezek. 34:26; Mal. 3:10-12. Will there be great rejoicing
over the abundance of crops
and cattle God will bestow upon them? Jeremiah. 31:12. Will there be a superabundance
of foodstuffs? Amos 9:13.
Comment: During the Millennium, God will bestow obedient Israel all of the great
He promised to give their ancestors had they obeyed (Lev. 26; Deut. 28).
9. Abraham's offspring were prophesied to become extremely numerous (Gen. 13:16).
Will Israel's population reach its zenith in the Millennium? Ezek. 36:1 0-1 1;
Isaiah 60:21-22. How does God describe this future explosive spread of Israelites
to every part of the globe? Isaiah7:6.
10.Will Israel inherit the whole world? Isaiah 4:2-4. Thus will all nations be blessed
because of Abraham's
"seed"? Gen. 28:14. But how? lsaiah1:9; 62:1-2, 7. Will the Gentiles therefore
want to learn God's way and
become obedient to Christ? lsaiah:1-3.
Comment: Israel was intended to be a blessing to the rest of the world both materially
The Gentiles similarly will be blessed as they follow Israel's outstanding EXAMPLE
of obedience to God! And
they too will be blessed spiritually by becoming Abraham's "seed"-spiritual Israelites-through
Christ (Gal. 3:28-29)becoming Spirit-begotten and finally Spirit-born into the very
Family of God!
In the Millennium, Israel will truly become God's model nation-the leader all nations
will want to follow.
But what about those ancient Israelites who died in their sins long ago? Will they
also have an opportunity to
repent, receive God's Spirit, obey God, and become members of His ruling Family?
ANCIENT ISRAEL TO BECOME A "HOLY NATION"
"God hath not cast away his people [Israel] which He foreknew wrote the Apostle Paul
(Rom. 11:2). Ancient
Israel will also have a chance to receive God's Holy Spirit and obey God from the
heart. But how is this
possible? These Israelites have been dead for thousands of years! Exactly where
do the people of ancient Israel
fit into God's wonderful Master Plan?
1 .It is God's will that all mankind come to understand the truth about His Master
1 Tim.2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9. Will all Israel therefore be given an opportunity to receive
spiritual salvation? Rom. 11:26.
2.Is a resurrection to physical life prophesied to occur after the Millennium? Rev.
20:5 (first part),11 - 13.
Comment: Those who have ever lived and died since Adam and who were without the
knowledge of God's plan of salvation will be resurrected and given an opportunity
to understand! This
resurrection to physical life will occur after the Millennium (Rev. 20:11-15). Those
resurrected at this time will, as
the Bible indicates, live for 100 years (Isaiah. 65:20).
These physical mortals will have their first genuine opportunity to receive God's
Holy Spirit, grow in God's
holy, righteous character and be born into the universe-ruling Family of God! They
will be taught God's way of
life and be judged by the Word of God (Rev. 20:12)just as those in God's Church are
being judged today (I Pet.
4:17). (The surprising truth about this coming time of judgment will be the subject
of a future lesson.)
There is no injustice with God. He will deny no one an opportunity for spiritual
salvation. Everyone is to have his full chance, including all those ancient Israelites
who died without ever having an opportunity to know God's plan. They will be resurrected
and given their chance-and without a devil to tempt them!
The vision of the "valley of dry bones" in Ezekiel 37 shows the whole House of Israel
those spiritually blinded
who lived and died without ever having an opportunity to understand-resurrected back
to mortal life. It shows
their understanding being opened the knowledge of God's way of life coming to them
for the first time as a result
of receiving God's Holy Spirit.
Then ancient Israel will finally become Abraham's spiritual children, and heirs to
the promise of eternal life in
the Kingdom of God. Finally, as God inspired Paul to write, "all Israel shall be
saved." Israel as a whole will have
fulfilled her God-ordained purpose! She will have become the "holy nation" God originally
intended (Ex. 19:6).