ISRAEL, AMERICA, AND THE HOUSE OF GOD

Through the prophet Ezekiel, God called Jerusalem Sodom’s older sister and said that Jerusalem’s sins had surpassed and were more corrupt than Sodom. ~ See Ezekiel 16

In the book of the Revelation, John identified Jerusalem as “spiritually Sodom and Egypt.” ~ Revelation 11:8

In Matthew 10 Jesus sent his disciples throughout the land of Israel to preach the gospel and told them that it would be more tolerable for Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for those cities in Israel which rejected the gospel.

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel… And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. ~ Matthew 10:5,6,11-15 

Jesus also preached to the cities of Israel and condemned them for not repenting and believing the gospel.

Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. ~ Matthew 11:20-24

I once had a friend say, in defense of his Zionist theology, “God will use the Law to reveal himself to them once again, otherwise, they will never hear” Yet according to Jesus, they should have “heard and repented” at the preaching of the gospel!

In Matthew 11, Jesus refers to Capernaum’s rejection of the gospel as a greater offence than the sins of Sodom.

In Galatians, the apostle Paul refers to the Jerusalem which now is as being in bondage with her children and speaks of the Jerusalem from above (the heavenly) as being free.

In the Revelation, the apostle John refers to Jerusalem in Israel as “spiritually” Sodom and Egypt.

Under the Old Testament (which was the type and the shadow of the true in Christ) Jerusalem was the beloved City because of the Temple of God was there. After Israel had entered the Promised Land, the Tabernacle was placed in Shiloh. Yet because of the sins of Israel God removed His presence and forsook the Tabernacle.

The Psalmist tells us the following:

“…they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand. He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance.” ~ Psalm 60:56-62

Later, under the leadership of Solomon, the first Temple was build in Jerusalem and God filled it with his glory. However, in due time both the house of Israel and the house of Judah went astray and were taken captive by their enemies.

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God reminds those who trusted in lying words regarding the Temple, what He had done to the tabernacle in Shiloh.

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these. For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord. But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. ~ Jeremiah 7:1-12

In Acts 7, Stephen preached the following to the elders of Israel:

“But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers…” ~ Acts 7:47-52 

When God sent John the Baptist to the people of Israel he proclaimed that the Messiah’s coming was at hand and called the people to repentance. Many came and were baptized by John and confessed their sins. Yet, because of the sway of the corrupt “religious institution” which was controlled by the corrupt “religious leaders” many chose to reject the Messiah.

Only a remnant followed Jesus.

The remnant who followed Jesus preached the gospel first to their fellow Israeli kinsmen and God gave eternal life to all who repented and believed the gospel.

With these Jewish followers of Christ, God began building his true temple and in due time Gentiles were added. This true temple continues to be built today as the “body of Christ” consisting of Jews and Gentiles, and is being built together as an habitation of God through His Holy Spirit. ~ See Ephesians 2:18-22

The true house of God will never again be a physical temple in the physical land of Israel. That house has been made desolate because of their sins, and their rejection of all those whom God sent to them culminating in their rejection of Jesus (Matthew 23:37-39). The kingdom of God was taken from them and given to another which brings forth the fruits thereof. ~ See Matthew 21:43

Yet many continue to promote an eschatology that tolerates evil in Israel for the sake of the rebuilding of an apostate temple that they “think” God still wants.

Modern Israel is nearly worshipped by some even though the state of Israel rejects the gospel of Christ, and does evil in the sight of God, such as Tel Aviv, priding itself as the gay capital of the world.

Any American city which does the same, is condemned by evangelicals. Yet with Israel, it is overlooked because of the pervasive “end time theology” which is apostate to the gospel, namelya third temple with animal sacrifices. 

This is the epitome of  hypocrisy! And it is a “political gospel” rooted in Jewish supremacy rather than the true gospel rooted in Christ.

God’s House, his true temple, is built with living stones of which Christ is the foundation stone. God has no other temple on his agenda for the temple of God is his Holy people who are in Christ!

THE UNHERALDED APOSTLE

In John 6:70 Jesus refers to Judas Iscariot as a devil, and elsewhere the scriptures refer to Judas as the “son of perdition.” The word perdition has to do with ruin and damnation which results from apostasy.

For instance, the man of sin, also referred to by some as the anti-Christ, is referred to as the “son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

In John 17:12, as Jesus prayed, He said to the Father; “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gave me I have kept, and NONE OF THEM IS LOST, BUT THE SON OF PERDITION; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

The Old Testament had prophesied that Jesus would be betrayed (Psalm 41:9).

After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, while the apostles waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit, they came together to select Judas Iscariot’s replacement.

Acts 1:15- 26 records how they chose Judas’ replacement.

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

16 Men and brethren, THIS SCRIPTURE MUST NEEDS HAVE BEEN FULFILLED, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before CONCERNING JUDAS, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

18 Now this man purchased a field WITH THE REWARD OF INIQUITY; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, LET HIS HABITATION BE DESOLATE, and let no man dwell therein: AND HIS BISHOPRICK LET ANOTHER TAKE.

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, MUST ONE BE ORDAINED TO BE A WITNESS WITH US of his resurrection.

23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

25 THAT HE MAY TAKE PART OF THIS MINISTRY AND APOSTLESHIP, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was NUMBERED with the eleven apostles.

The apostles chose Matthias to replace Judas at the leading of the Lord. Yet, there are some people who attempt to disqualify Matthias because they claim that Paul was the one whom God had chosen while Matthias was the apostle’s selection.

However, Paul was not qualified to take the place of Judas because the one who was to take Judas’s place had to be someone who had been an eye witness of Jesus’ ministry and resurrection.

Matthias was chosen from among the men who had been with the disciples (apostles) and had been “a witness” of the resurrection of Jesus as the verses above indicates.

Luke, the author of the book of Acts says, Matthias was “numbered with the eleven.”

In Acts 2:14 the Bible says “Peter, standing up WITH THE ELEVEN, lifted up his voice…”

Peter plus the other eleven apostles (including Matthias) equals twelve. Then in Acts 6:2, Luke the writer of Acts tells us; “Then THE TWELVE called the multitude of the disciples unto them…” The twelve in Acts 6:2 is a reference to the 12 apostles (including Matthias).

In 1 Corinthians 15:4-8 the apostle Paul endorses Matthias when he says the following:

And that he (Jesus) was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas (Peter), then of THE TWELVE After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of ALL THE APOSTLES. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Paul makes mention of “the twelve” and “all the apostles” who saw the Lord after his resurrection, which is evidence that he endorsed the selection of Matthias by the other apostles.

Interestingly, Paul never refers to himself as an apostle to the Jews. He did preach the gospel to the Jews but he always speaks of his apostleship as being to the Gentiles.