Spiritual Instruction for Those Called to Restore Israel
Arye Powlison (1995)
Until Heaven and Earth Pass Away
Yeshua declared to His disciples that He came to fulfill the prophecies in the Law and the Prophets: Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. (Matt 5:17)
He said that before this creation passes away, not one letter would fail from all that was in the Law until it was all accomplished: For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. (Matt. 5:18)
He said that all that had been written the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms about Himself must be fulfilled, and He taught His disciples what those things were: Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:44-48)
He also said: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. (Luke 21:33)
In addition, Peter declared that all of Paul's letters were on the same level as the rest of Scripture: ...just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (II Peter 3:15-16)
Conclusion: If there are any unfulfilled prophecies in the Law, they must therefore be fulfilled before this world passes away. If there are any prophecies about Yeshua in the Law, the Prophets or the Psalms which have not been fulfilled, they will be fulfilled. When Yeshua explained to His disciples what these were, He included things written about what His disciples would do after He was gone (Luke 24:47-49).
What Yeshua Himself prophesied about the future will certainly be fulfilled. If there are prophecies in Paul's letters, they will also be fulfilled. We must therefore pay attention to Scriptural prophecy.How Do We Approach Prophecy?
In declaring to us things which will yet happen, prophecies are teaching us about the spiritual situations which G-d will bring about or allow, and our understanding of the Scriptures must be able to confirm and support them when they do take place.
If our understanding of the Scriptures cannot support these things, then we need to revise it until it can. We are not free to rewrite Scripture according to our preferences. If the teachings of a denomination do not support and confirm G-d's Word, then those also must be revised. G-d's Word rules over us and our congregation's traditions and teachings, not vice versa.
Because our ways are not G-d's ways, many people - even anointed men of G-d - have passed over or distorted parts of His Word. Yeshua's own disciples had moments of blindness which the Lord had to correct (Matt. 15:15ff; 16:21-23; Mark 8:15ff; Luke 18:31-34; 24:45; Acts 15). Therefore, we need to always keep an attitude of humility as we seek to understand the Scriptures.
Here, then, are some prophecies which must yet take place in order for the Word of G-d to be true. They are presented in an order which is only meant to suggest a sequence for fulfillment, but there will probably be a lot of overlapping in the way they occur, as well as multiple or progressive fulfillments of some of them.
1: Return from Exile, Return to the Lord, Return to the Law
G-d will restore Israel's exiles from all the nations into the land which their fathers possessed, will circumcise their hearts to completely love the Lord, and they will again obey all the commandments given through Moses:
If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your G-d will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. And the Lord your G-d will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
Moreover the Lord your G-d will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. And the Lord your G-d will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.
And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. (Deut. 30:4-8)
The pouring out of G-d's Spirit on Israel in their own land will result in them carefully obeying G-d's statutes and ordinances:
For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your G-d. (Ezek. 36:24-28)
The purpose for which G-d will give them a new heart and a new spirit in Israel is so that they will walk in His statutes and ordinances:
Therefore say, "Thus says the Lord G-d, 'I shall gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I shall give you the land of Israel. When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it.
And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their G-d.'" (Ezek. 11:17-20)
When He gathers them again to their own land, and pours out His Spirit on the house of Israel, they will see His face, and abandon all their unfaithfulness:
"Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I shall be jealous for My holy name. And they shall forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely in their own land with no one to make them afraid.
When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their G-d because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer.
And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord G-d. (Ezek. 39:25-29)
2: Gentile Believers to Help
Gentile believers will bring the descendants of Israel back to Zion at the Lord's direction; they will have given birth to them and raised them spiritually, and will serve them:
...surely now you will be too cramped for the inhabitants, and those who swallowed you will be far away. The children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in your ears, "The place is too cramped for me; make room for me that I may live here."
Then you will say in your heart, "Who has begotten these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children, and am barren, an exile and a wanderer? And who has reared these? Behold I was left alone; from where did these come?"
Thus says the Lord G-d, "Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and set up My standard to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. And kings will be your guardians, and their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth, and lick the dust of your feet; and you will know that I am the Lord; those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame." (Isa. 49:19-23)
All this will be part of the second ingathering of Israel (the first ingathering was from the Babylonian exile):
Then it will come about in that day that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.
Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, and from the islands of the sea. And He will lift up a standard for the nations, and will assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isa. 11:10-12)
Gentile believers will use any available means of transportation to bring the descendants of Israel back to their land:
"...the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory. And I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Lud, Meshech, Rosh, Tubal, and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare My glory among the nations.
Then they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a grain offering to the Lord, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules, and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem," says the Lord, "just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord." (Isa. 66:18-20)
All nations will come to Israel and serve her because of the Lord:
And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms.
Then you will see and be radiant, your heart will thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you. A multitude of camels will cover you; ...all those from Sheba will come; they will bring gold and frankincense, and will bear good news of the praises of the Lord. Also the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; they will go up with acceptance on My altar, and I shall glorify My glorious house...
Surely the coastlands will wait for Me; and the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, for the name of the Lord your G-d, and for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you. And foreigners will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, and in My favor I have had compassion on you.
And your gates will be open continually, ...so that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, and the nations will be utterly ruined.
The glory of Lebanon will come to you, ...to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I shall make the place of My feet glorious. And the sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; and they will call you the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isa. 60:3-14)
3: The Restoration of All Things
G-d will bring back every exile, not leaving any of them (there has never been a complete return of Israel's exiles since they first left the land), and He will pour out His Holy Spirit on them:
"Then they will know that I am the Lord their G-d because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord G-d. (Ezek. 39:28-29)
Elijah will come before the great and terrible day of the Lord (the Day of Judgment), and will restore the hearts of the people to repentance in order to prevent a curse on the land:
Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse. (Mal. 4:5-6; in Hebrew, Mal. 3:23-24)
This prophecy immediately follows a reminder to all Israel to keep the statutes and ordinances in the Law of Moses. Elijah will come to restore all things before Yeshua returns:
And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" And He answered and said, "Elijah is coming and will restore all things." (Matt. 17:10-11) Yeshua said this after John the Baptist had been beheaded (see Matt. 14:10-12).
The time of the restoration of all things must come before Yeshua can return from heaven:
Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which G-d spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. (Acts 3:19-21)
4: Complete Repentance, Complete Forgiveness
Israel and Judah will be completely forgiven, so that even if one were to search for their sins, he would not be able to find them:
"In those days and at that time," declares the Lord, "search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I shall pardon those whom I leave as a remnant." (Jer. 50:20)
All the descendants Israel will acknowledge the Lord as their only source of righteousness:
I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. They will say of Me, "Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength." Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him shall be put to shame. In the Lord all the offspring of Israel will be justified, and will glory. (Isa. 45:23-25)
When every family of the land receives the Spirit of grace, they will mourn bitterly over the One whom they pierced:
And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.
In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves;... all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves. (Zech. 12:10-14)
(The emphasis on the wives mourning separately strongly hints that these repentant ones are orthodox, since the custom of separating the sexes for prayer exists only among them.)
All Israel will be saved:
For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved, just as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins." (Rom. 11:25-27)
5: The Restored Temple and Levitical Priesthood
After He regathers them to their own land, the Lord will set His sanctuary and His dwelling place among the descendants of Israel forever, as a sign to the nations that He is the one who sanctifies Israel:
...Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land.... And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their G-d, and they will be my people. And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever. (Ezek. 37:21, 28)
After Judah and Jerusalem are saved, there will still be a great number of Levitical priests to present offerings and sacrifices before the Lord all the days, as long as day and night continue:
For thus says the Lord, "David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to prepare sacrifices continually.... If you can break My covenant for the day, and My covenant for the night, ...then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me." (Jer. 33:14-22)
And lest we be tempted to think the above passage is speaking only of spiritual descendants who minister in the heavenly realm and replace the role of Israel, the Lord continues:
And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, "Have you not observed what this people have spoken, saying 'The two families which the Lord chose, He has rejected them'? Thus they despise My people, no longer are they as a nation in their sight."
Thus says the Lord, "If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established, then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them." (Jer. 33:23-26)
Some of those who will be brought back by the Gentile believers will be chosen by the Lord to serve as priests and Levites:
"Then they [the Gentiles] shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a grain offering to the Lord,... I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites," says the Lord. (Isa. 66:20-21)
The temple shown to Ezekiel will be the place where G-d will dwell among the sons of Israel forever; and it will be filled with His glory. Israel will no longer defile G-d's name there, and they will not even be allowed to build it until they have repented:
And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court [of the future temple]; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. ...And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings....
As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities, and let them measure the plan. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the house,... so that they may observe its whole design and all its statutes, and do them. (Ezek. 43:5-11)
Sacrifices and offerings will be made on its altar by Levitical priests who are descendants of Zadok:
And He said to me, "Son of man, thus says the Lord G-d, 'These are the statutes for the altar on the day it is built, to offer burnt offerings on it and to sprinkle blood on it. And you shall give to the Levitical priests who are from the offspring of Zadok, who draw near to Me to minister to Me,' declares the Lord G-d, 'a young bull for a sin offering. And you shall take some of its blood, and put it on its four horns, and on the four corners of the ledge, and on the border round about; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it... and I will accept you,' declares the Lord G-d." (Ezek. 43:18-27)
6: The Apostasy of the False Messiah
There will be a falling away from the faith, and the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction, will take his seat in the Temple of G-d, and display himself as being G-d:
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [the day of the Lord] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of G-d, displaying himself as being G-d. (II Thes. 2:3-4)
The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel will stand in the holy place (the temple area reserved for priests):
Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)... (Matt. 24:15)
He will do away with the daily sacrifice and grain offering:
And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering. (Dan. 9:27) And forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation. (Dan. 11:31) And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. (Dan. 12:11)
When Yeshua appears, He will destroy the man of lawlessness with the breath of His mouth:
And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming. (II Thes. 2:8)
This is not intended to be a complete list of unfulfilled prophecies, but these have been selected to show the physical restoration of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, their spiritual restoration to the Lord, and their covenantal restoration to the Law of Moses in blessing.
If your current understanding of Israel's future does not include these things, then you need to re-examine what you have been taught in light of the preceding prophecies.
An excerpt from the book My Law on Your Heart: Living Yeshua's Jewishness
by Arye Powlison © 1995 Jerusalem
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