Israel's failure (Old Testament [Old Covenant])
Extracts and comments from Revelation Chps. 1, 2 & 21
And made (c)us a (a)kingdom and priests unto God His Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. (b)Amen.
(a) This in AV, and in the minds of C. of E., and many other groups is translated kings! This huge error which leaves Christians thinking that it refers to them in the Millennium is not easily changed. However, the true translation is "kingdom", which means that the future Jewish Nation in the Millennial Reign of Christ, will be an established Nation to the promised borders (as opposed to the present oppressed tiny Nation) part /or all of which will be Priests to Him, (Rev. 5: 9 &10) and (Rev.20:4-6).
The offer made by Jehovah to Israel in Exodus 19:4-6 & 8; they accepted, and then broke their word. However, Jehovah again re-offered in Jer. 31:31-34, which Israel again rejected at Acts 28:28.
Israel has been in a “set aside” condition since Acts 28:25–28, approx. AD 61. This is termed Lo-Ammi, “not My people” (Hos.1:9). This God imposed condition, is because of their rejection of their Messiah, (Christ Jesus) finally at Acts 28! It will be reversed in the future, when Jesus Christ enacts the Saving grace on them, as promised in many parts of the Prophets, and which is shown immediately in Hosea 1:10- 2:1; where they are again “Ammi”(My people) and “Ruhamah” (pitied)!
The rest of Hosea spells out the bad behaviour and lack of loyalty of Israel towards their Loyal Loving God!
Zech. 12 is a good supporting read; especially Zech.12 :10!
Messiah- Christ's return will restore Israel, to the Priestly function, (Isa. 61:6, 66:21 and 1Peter 2:9), see also later notes.
It is regularly taught by some well-meaning groups that the 7 Churches (Gk. Ekklesia/or Ecclesia; - meaning, group or gathering of called out ones), of Chapters 2 & 3, are the same groups, or the descendants of, the Churches established by Paul on his missionary journeys, and that all the comments that our Lord makes to them applies to the current Body of Christ (i.e. the True Church). Whilst many points undoubtedly do apply, our Lord in these two Chapters is specifically concerned with these special groups, only one of which bears the name of Paul's original efforts, Ephesus.
Because of the content and message, in these Chapters the "Administration" (Dispensation; Age) has clearly changed to that of the "Jew first"; which is a reversal of the events of Acts 28:28; which means that again Jehovah God is dealing with "His Chosen people", His, "firstborn son", not Gentile first!
This means that the prophecies of so called O.T., and up to end of Acts, will become current, after abeyance for 2,000 years plus; which was due to the rejection of Christ Jesus by Israel during the Gospel's period, and up to Acts 28:28! This change should be kept in mind during the reading and study of Revelation! See: Replacement Theology.
In Chapter 1:10, the Holy Spirit makes it clear that all these events are "in the Lord's Day", i.e. the Day of Jehovah Zebaoth, which means the God of all the Earth or mankind, is dealing with the world directly for the first time since the flood. During that yet to be period of time, (current date August 2014) much turmoil, death and banishment can be expected by human and spiritual forces who are opposed to the True God Jehovah, and to whom are attributable the misery, suffering and death of humans since Eden, see later Chapters!
At the present time we are in the government of man, most of (if not all) whom are subject to, and manipulated by Satanic force (even though most do not know or acknowledge this fact, and most in any case do not accept the entity of Satan)!
The "Lord's Day" of Chp. 1:10, has not yet arrived, nor has it been in the past, although it is probably near. Our Lord's concern and exhortation for these yet apparently future Churches (Ekklesia) is that they "overcome" that they "endure to the end", and are almost certainly anti-thesis to the failure of Israel in the O.T.; when they avail themselves of the Holy Spirit power on offer, as shown in Chps. 2 & 3; and has similarities to the Acts period.
It is to be demonstrated what the difference is when men avail themselves of the Holy Spirit power; which will then be available again, as per Old Testament, and particularly up to the end of Acts, and its consequences as depicted in Lev. 26, and Deut. 28 and 32.
This previous O.T. failure by Israel to link to the God given Holy Spirit (and up to Acts 28:28), demonstrated to Heavenly creation that mankind without the help of the Holy Spirit, fails as per. Eden, and that failure was demonstrated, as noted in Ephesians 3:10-11! The contrary will be underway in The Revelation period. That will be demonstrated by the will of the Jew (and others), who avail themselves of the Holy Spirit's help from Christ Jesus! This is the real Holy Spirit empowering (as opposed to the fraudulent of some present so called Christian Groups).
The Old Testament Jewish behaviour (better defined as the Age of the Jews which ended at Acts 28:28) and that failure is about to be revisited and to be retested. Those concerns are in stark contrast to this present time (better defined as the Age of the Gentiles) when anyone who turns to God through Christ can freely obtain mercy, grace and Salvation to eternal life. But; only through Christ! (Acts 4:12); and "overcoming", and "works", do not apply now in the same way as in Revelation.
The individual's personal service to their Lord is a different matter, but not as a condition of Salvation. Another note of special interest is that all the seven Churches are in an area of present day Turkey that in Paul's day was Greek!
Why such a small land area should be chosen as opposed to the whole world is significant. Some safe statements can be made:
1) It was previously, as stated, Ancient Greek territory, and was the most prolific and influential pagan area under Greece and Rome, linked to Egypt and Babylon.
2) It is the beginning of Asia proper, as opposed to Europe, and as such a highway of ideas and trade.
3) It is central to Biblical “Prophetic Area”, as Israel and Jerusalem are central to God's purpose.
4) It dominates land travel from Europe to Asia, and therefore was the main route for various historic Empires.
5) It is on the area of "Satan's seat", (Pergamos), and the requirements detailed for each Ekklesia will be difficult in the extreme, in the proximity of Satan's Seat, emphasising the need for Holy Spirit help!
6) It is the area that the Ancient Babylonian priests removed to when Babylon was destroyed, and where at that time the Babylonian pagan spread had been the most successful.
7) It is the area (Constantinople) where the Emperor Constantine established the erroneous Roman Church, and which for a time became a Roman Capital.
8) During the Spanish Inquisition, (set up by the Roman Church in AD 1480), exiled Jews were welcomed to Turkey and have remained welcome since. This may mean that after "the peace deal" with Israel (Dan. 9:27) for the first three and half years, the present Synagogues or offshoots may well be the "Ecclesia", of these Chapters! Historically that area has had a quite large Jewish population, and still does, which escaped the genocide of Hitler; and there are many Synagogues in the country.
The fact that our Lord chose that area, and the named Churches, so close to the seat of Satan, with the inevitable intense suffering, means they will be in the eye of the world. It does not mean necessarily that these are the only Church/Ekklesia groups in the world as V.4 Chapter one shows, the letters are addressed to "Churches which are in Asia", implying there are others, but certainly they will be the ones in focus. The reason these named Churches are on record for future events, is probably to do with the fact that to the Greeks that area of Asia Minor was based on Ephesus! Which embraced a number of Greek states in the third century BC.
As we know from Daniel, the Leopard (Greece) is implicated in end time events! The third century BC was when Alexander was rampant, prior to which that area fell under the kings of Pergamum! Later the Greeks accepted "the Cult of Rome", which was established initially at Pergamum!
When Paul evangelised in this area 3 times, he was doing so on instructions from the risen Christ, he ceased when Christ was rejected finally by the Jews, at Acts 28:28! It is appropriate that Christ chooses in Revelation to recommence the battle in this same area, with His personal help to the 7 "Churches, Synagogues", who are Jewish, having to "overcome" the same temptations as their forebears, and have to "endure" to the end, and it is achieved by "the blood of the Lamb", (Rev. 12:11).
I know thy works and labour, and patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil, and thou hast tried them which (a)say they are apostles, and are not and hast found them liars:
(a) "Say they are apostles", many examples in the Acts, which indicates that the characteristics of this future time to be similar to the Acts period (Jews are again "first priority", and again "Ammi", Hos. 1:10-11 &2:1).
At the present time, many people say they are Christians, but are not! These people are easily discerned, they do not like to study the Bible, and tend to devalue it "as only one of the Churches founding documents". They cannot use the name of Christ in conversation without embarrassment, and tend to refer to "God" frequently, when The Lord's name should be used. When asked to express their faith, they usually express anger, or they will use the noun "Jesus", but cannot say "my Lord and Saviour Jesus The Christ”.
Their "Jesus" is probably one of the impostors that Jesus warned against, such as Jesus Barabbas, and they will undoubtedly be in the category described in Matt. 7:22-23. They are also often very active in the Ecumenical movement: The Ecumenical Movement and the Bible: which is powered by Rome, which teaches, "we must all live together, not concentrate on our differences, and there are many ways to God, and pray for world peace". This of course chimes well with the world's politicians, who are afraid of religious conflict becoming uncontrollable.
In short, many of the world's established Churches are now little more than social clubs, with music, and many other activities taking the place of true evangelising.
The Acts 4:12 principle is now forbidden, "so as not to offend people". The insights of Martin Luther and the other worthy reformers are ignored and devalued in the inexorable march towards "Ecumenical peace". This false "peace" will arrive, first for Israel, and then the world, under Anti-Christ! At that stage the ref. in Zech. 1:11, and Rev. 6:4 will apply.
In the Old Testament Jewish context, the false leaders and bad shepherds were not challenged, and the damage and evil that followed are evident up to the present day. The false and corrupt shepherds of Israel are destined for special judgement (Jer. 25:34-36 and Ezk. 34). It is certain that the false shepherds of today, and their helpers in the congregations will meet a similar fate. This subject has been laboured because throughout the Ages The Lie (Rev. 14:5); propagated by Satan in many guises has held sway. It holds sway now. The truth of Acts 4:12 is denied worldwide.
In the example above, Jews are saying they are Jews, but are not! Here men claim Apostleship: (one who is a special messenger, App. 189 Comp. Bible), for purpose of false teaching causing dispute and dissent. The same in Rev. 3:9. The punishment for these and all liars is shown in Rev. 21:27, and 22:15. The purpose in this case is to cause weakness of resolve, and to work against "the angel". The object is to engender failure of the "Ephesus Church", and failure as the anti-thesis. This also indicates an expected early event, and a "filling full" in the yet future!
In these 7 Churches, with the special focus of Christ, all Satan's wiles are to be resisted, hence the many references to Old Testament situations and characters. They are showing to be the "anti-thesis", with Christ's Holy Spirit help to Israel's failure and perversion, when in their "Ammi" state, prior to Christ's first advent. "Christ's help" here means access to Holy Spirit empowerment, as was the case for Jewish and some Gentile believers up to Acts 28:28!
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou didst leave thy first (a)love.
(a) Agape: Love of Christ - Messiah. Also, a reminder of Israel's failure to honour their vows of espousal to Jehovah, Jer. 2:2, Ezk. 16:18, Deut. 28 and Ex. 19:5.
(a)And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve aposles of the Lamb.
(a) In the O.T. God attempted to obtain in his chosen people Israel, faithfulness, fidelity and love and service.
Faithfulness to Him Jehovah, as their “One True God”.
Fidelity in their dealings and actions with each other, and with Him.
Love from them to Him for His care and protection of them, and service in witness!
It failed. Israel was unfaithful with the gods of the local neighbours, they did not honour Jehovah’s name among themselves or the Nations around them. For their sin, after they warred and split when Solomon died, the presence (Glory) of Jehovah departed from them, and they were exiled to Babylon, and Syria. Even at this low ebb, God promised not to abandon them, so as to keep His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that they would never cease to be a people on Earth. He promised they would be revived, and eventually they as “the unfaithful wife”, (see Joel and elsewhere), would become “the Bride”, (Isa. 49:18, 61:10, 62:5 & John 3:29). This promise entailed the fulfilling of the prophecy in Jer. 31:34, and which CHRIST as JESUS achieved at His death on the cross outside the walls of Jerusalem. He witnessed to that fact at His last meal with the apostles, who are mentioned in V.14 above, (see Matt. 26:28, Mark 14:24 & Luke 22:20). They were sent to Israel only, to witness that fact.
Of those who are the Overcomers of earlier Chapters and descriptions, some are part of the “remnant”, saved by Christ, whilst still in their flesh, so as to fulfil God’s early promises, re the survival of Israel, and so that Satan could not obtain victory on Earth by defeating a promise of God. The twelve apostles are therefore the above mentioned foundations, underpinning the Twelve Tribes (gates), of whom are made up of all the people of Israel and proselytes that form the Bride, after the resurrection of O.T. Israel, as mentioned in Ezekiel, and Daniel 12.