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January 22, 2002

Return to: Q/A
Q/A Topics:
Pre-trib, 7th trumpet, Last trumpet? (Israel 'seed')

READER COMMENTS/QUESTION?
I have really enjoyed your articles lately. I agree about the big hoopla church comments except for the part about the rapture taking people away before the tribulation. I know everybody seems to have a different escatology but the BIBLE does say Christ returns at the LAST TRUMPT in Thes. and 1st Cor. In Revelations there are 7 seals and the 7th seal has 7 trumpets which parallel the 7 vials of wrath. The 7th trumpet is when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ. The 7th trumpet is AT THE END of everything and Chrst returns in the air with his angels in Revelation as king of kings. Jesus said in Mathew 24 that AFTER the tribulation of those days... the Son of Man would appear and he would gather his elect. Daniel says blessed are all those come to the end of the 1260 days and the 1335 days 3 years plus 5 months and 3 years plus 7 months is 7 years.

VW ANSWER:
I'm not sure if you're 'asking' or 'telling'?

Who says the 7th trumpet of Revelation is the same as Paul's "last trumpet"? (1Cor15) The 7th might very well be the "last" of those "7". But who says that Paul was necessarily speaking of -those- 7? In the O.T. there were very many different trumpets for all sorts of occasions. Also, please don't be confused about the "elect" who are gathered in Matt ch24. That is not the Church. That is Israel.

Recommended reading... "His Glorious Appearing"

And also be sure to read the links at the bottom of that commentary, especially, Q/A on "Last Trumpet" and "Why the "last' trumpet CANNOT be the 7th"

[This person made further comments which we won't post here, but let's address a couple of things...]

READER REPLY:
Israel is comprised of all the true children of God.

VW ANSWERS:
No. Not every Believer in Jesus Christ is Abraham's "seed" by physical birth, by 'national/generational' heritage. There is a -NATION- called "Israel" over there in the Middle East. Where do you suppose they come from? Most of them, at present, don't yet believe in their Messiah. God has not finished His work in their hearts. That -NATION- is not the "Church". They still reject Jesus Christ, their Messiah. Who has ever heard of a nation, extinct for 2000 years, becoming reconstituted? And they are the tribes of Israel, by genetics...ever since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel. And they have been "gathering" from all sorts of locations from around the world, just as God/Jesus promised.

[The reader then goes into arguing against the "Why the Seventh Trumpet Cannot be the Last" link mentioned above. Again, not going to post it.]

VW CONTINUES:
Did you read the 'rest' of the suggested links?

If you cannot understand the distinction between Israel (nationally/genetically), and the Church (spiritually), then, any other arguments that would be put forth are moot. When Paul says that there is no distinction in Christ related to gender or ethnicity (Gal3:28), that is in contradistinction to Israel, which is based on genealogy. This matter of the distinction between Israel and the Church is -key- to any accurate eschatological understanding. If you don't understand this, then, you will not understand any of the rest of it, and any other interpretations will be in error...and I will be wasting my time to try to continue providing any further Scripture and/or arguments. They are pretty much all presented in those links I recommended for your reading.

However, this is one of the problems with the newer translations, which have God blessing through Abraham's "descendants" instead of "seed". (Gen22:18, 26:4, etc) While, until the VW-Editon is finished, the NKJV is recommended, even it has a problem with this. This matter has been corrected globally in what is posted as the "work files". The word properly rendered as "seed" is a -genetic- term. If people are used to reading "descendants", then it is easy to make the next step over to equating the Church with Israel in prophecy, because, after all, the Church was an "outgrowth" of Israel.

But no! The "seed" is the same thing that Noah preserved in the ark. His "generations". In the same context that it says Noah's generations were perfect, the very next verse it speaks of his progeny, Shem, Ham and Japheth. And yet, we know that Faith in Christ, and righteousness before God is not based on the progeny of "seed", but a "..person shall die for his own sin" (2Ch25:4), and the righteous person is righteous due to his 'own' repentance before God, apart from his father's sin. (Ezek18:14-17)

This is why we see two major events unfolding today. The actual -physical- entity called "Israel", of the "seed" of the woman and Abraham; which the world is trying to annihilate off the map. That is because the very existence of Israel as a nation -proves- God's existence. Israel's existence is from God originally when He chose/elected them and gave them the title as His "elect". (Is45:4-6) And He is in the process of reaffirming His deity by the past, present and future events by which He is restoring them, and the nations will know it when their prominent ones will be personally escorting the exiled of Israel back into the bosom of the Holy Land. (Is49:21-23) And God says to the kings of the earth, "And you shall know that I am Jehovah.."

Yes, the Church may display Jesus Christ (Col1:27) and the Holy Spirit (Rom8:9) to the world, but Israel displays God the Father.

The other thing ("two" above) unfolding is today's race towards human cloning. The mapping of the human genome. If satan's demons were involved in mixing up the "seed" during Noah's time, what is today's work in genetics going to do in the coming months? See how Scripture is correct that "there is no new thing under the sun" (Ec1:9)? Today's man boasts of his accomplishments. But... "Is there a thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? It has already been in the days of antiquity, which were before us." (Ec1:10) And it was prophesied to repeat, "..they shall become mixed with the seed of men.." (Dan2:43) Science fiction has already been conditioning mankind for it with shows like, Jurassic Park, Alien, Star Gate, Earth Final Conflict, The Pretender... shall I go on? So much of past science fiction, today is reality. I mean, Capt Kirk's "communicators" are today's cel-phones!

Just a thought here... What is the likelihood that the antichrist will be a clone, or an otherwise genetically-manipulated being? It just might not be as far-fetched as we might wish to think!

All this is why Israel is not the Church. The Church is a spiritual entity, based on the Holy Spirit's indwelling. Israel is based on "seed", and the purity of that genetic line, and God's sovereignty to keep that seed distinct, in spite of what goes on in the rest of the world to "mix with the seed of men". Again...another reason why sexual promiscuity is so rampant...because it distorts and confuses God's design of -a- man's seed going to the woman. For more on this, please review the "Life is in the Blood" series:

When God has finished purging out the rebels out of Israel (Eze20:38), he will present a "refined" and "pure" Israel to the world. That will be part of the proof of His authority to the world and all creation. And then, the Messiah will be able to rule over His "..elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.." (1Pt2:9) Remember, that was written, not to the Church, but to the "..sojourners of the dispersion.." (1Pt1:1)

So, again... if you disparage Israel, you are slighting God the Father. Israel is the "pupil" of His eye. And so, again, In That Day, do not be found God's foe!

Amen!

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Repent of false doctrine: "displaying" God/Jesus

READER COMMENTS:
[Quote from above: Yes, the Church may display Jesus Christ (Col1:27) and the Holy Spirit (Rom8:9) to the world, but Israel displays God the Father.]

No! Only the Lord Jesus Christ "displays" God the Father. That does not go for Israel, either. But, when we as Christians "display" our Lord Jesus Christ we also at the same time "display" God our Father, do we not, because it still stands firm scripturally established that those who have seen the Lord Jesus(even in us I believe) have seen God the Father ! And THAT certainly goes even for Israel as well, namely, they can not "display" God the Father without "displaying" the Lord Jesus Christ !! (Jn 14:7)

And after other comments (not included)..

Conclusion: regarding your Amen! I am sorry, but no... [Amen]!... (this time) Would you please repent regarding these issues?

VW ANSWER:
Is there a total lack of understanding of recent studies/mailings??? Well... I know some of you understood them, because you responded with "Amen" comments. But... To you who don't:

These mailings are not individual entities unto themselves. They are to be understood within the context of the overall studies we see from the Scriptures. It is simply not possible to include all angles in neat little packages into each mailing...without each mailing otherwise becoming gargantuan in size. It is assumed that the reader has enough memory to remember past (even 'RECENT'!) mailings, and put everything together into total perspective... so that as studies progress, the 'past' is remembered, to combine -IN-CONTEXT- with the 'present' studies.

Let's see if we can unravel this, and spell-it-out simply...

OF COURSE... "..he who has seen [Jesus] has seen the Father.." (Jn14:9) OF COURSE... Jesus is the "..express image of [the Father's] essence." (Heb1:3) OF COURSE... Jesus "displays" the Father. Do we not continually proclaim these things on a regular repeating basis!

But equally true is the fact that the Church is the "bride" of Christ. (Eph5:23,32) Notice how (and we studied this not long ago in the Ephesians series. If you're new to these mailings, it's in the Library) Jesus presents the Church to Himself. (vs27) Notice that the Church 'fulfills' Jesus Christ. (Eph1:23) And once the Church is complete, Jesus is going to "confess" the Church before the Father and the angels of Heaven. (Mt10:32, Lk12:8, Rev3:5) Jesus' sole mission when He was born as "flesh and blood" (Heb2:14) was to "give His life a ransom" (Mt20:28), to redeem the Church. (Eph5:25) The Church (the host of those who have been washed in His blood -Rev1:5), is Jesus' "show-piece". His "workmanship" (Eph2:10) When all of creation sees the Church, what they see is the work Jesus did in redeeming her. The "glorious Church without spot or wrinkle.." (Eph5:27) So, yes... the Church 'displays' Jesus Christ... similar to how a Brandenburg Concerto "displays" J.S.Bach. When you hear it, you know it's "Bach". He wrote it, and nobody else could have. When you hear it, you hear 'music'. But you know that music is "Bach". Unless they are the performers in rehearsal, or teachers/students studying theory, people don't usually speak of "that vivacious piece of music with all those contrapuntal themes and variations and relative keys and chord progressions." No. They speak of listening "-to- Bach". Do we understand? The Church is called "Christians". That's... -CHRIST-ians.

I will not "repent" (as is being requested of me) of this doctrine. Without this blessed doctrine, our Salvation is 'incomplete'. As Jesus shows off the Church to creation, the Church joins Him in the "heavenlies" at His place of honor. (Eph ch1) That which God has in store for the Church is so awesome, "..Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it dawned upon the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.." (1Cor2:9)

Equally (to repeat), Israel is to the Father, what the Church is to Jesus Christ. What do you suppose one of the main points of the recent Walk-thru ("Naked and Bare") was about? (I was wondering how 'ready' some would be for that study!) God taking Israel when she was squirming in her own blood, and pronouncing, "LIVE!" He takes Israel at the "time of love" and makes her His own. He says to Israel, "For your Maker is your 'HUSBAND'; Jehovah of Hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.." (Is54:5) God, Israel's 'husband', -made- Israel... just as Eve was taken out of Adam's side. (Woman was originated from out of the man, just as the husband/wife pictures Christ/Church.) Remember back to that Walk-thru...God bedecks Israel and makes her beautiful, to display her before the world as -His- work. Just as the Church is Christ's "workmanship" (Eph2:10), Israel is the Father's.

We won't look up the references now, but recall how Jesus speaks of the banquet. (Lk14) Even in the figurative language of Solomon, "..He brought me into the house of wine, and his banner over me was love.." (SS2:4) When a husband and wife get dressed up to go to a fancy banquet or romantic dinner, who usually "turns heads"? The -wife-. Just in this evening's [Sunday, as this is being written] news, the 1st anniversary of the Bush presidency, they showed Laura Bush's inaugural dress being donated to the Smithsonian. I really doubt that her husband's tux will receive similar notoriety. Of typical couples, for whatever reason, the -woman- is considered "beautiful". As Proverbs 31:10 speaks of the "woman of strength". She is one whose faithfulness sees to her husband being "known in the gates". (vs23) Like the saying, "behind every great man is a great woman". Unlike the previous White House, known for its 'flying' lamps and hidden FBI files, the current one is known for its "graciousness", due to the First Lady. She enhances her husband's image. Even though the current president has sometimes been viewed as a 'bumbler' (and before 9-11 the comedians had a field-day with him), he is also greatly known for his 'graciousness'. A lot of that is because his wife "displays" him before the nation and world.

I think one reason people have such a hard time understanding Israel's place in God's heart is because they don't much read the Old Testament. Particularly the Prophets. I dare say the Prophets is likely the least-read part of the Bible, by the Church. And yet, it is -key- to understanding Israel, even moreso than the writings of Moses and David. All one has to do is read through Ezekiel, and notice how often God says repeatedly, And then "..they shall know that I am Jehovah.." God redeemed Israel out of Egypt and set them up in the middle of the world, to display His holiness to the world. They failed. He punished. They called out to Him. He restored. This pattern cycled over and over continually. In the broader scheme, in the end times, after the "two days" of being "stricken", He is "binding them up" in the "third day". (Hos6:1-2) ("days" == "thousand years" 2Pt3:8)

Again... it is -God's- workings in Israel. Since God is "invisible" (Col1:15), how is He going to make Himself known to the world? Like in the poem, "Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I..." How do we know the wind exists? We see what it does to trees moving, and all such things "..passing by..." One of the ways God reveals Himself is through creation. (Rom1:20) Another is through His workings and dealings regarding Israel. Thus, Israel "displays" God the Father. On this truth, also, I will -not- "repent".

It is time for some [and I say this with swollen tearful eyes] to start growing, leaving their pablum and getting into solid food. If all we know of Salvation is Repentance and Faith, "Therefore, leaving the discussion of the rudiments concerning Christ, let us move along to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God" (Heb6:1), we are not growing. Repentance and Faith only merely gets us 'in' to God's Kingdom. But is there no desire to understand just even -little- bits of the 'nature' of this Life in Christ??

Yes, I'm sure that this idea that the Church "displays" Christ seems like we are tip-toeing near the camp of today's apostasy that says, "Look at me! I am so great! Look at all this power -I- have! Just watch -me- wield this power and show you all that -I- can do! Because I am 'spirit-filled'."

The problem with today's apostasy is that they do not acknowledge the Source. That is because their 'lord' is satan and his "filling" spirits. Paul writes to charismania-infested Corinth, "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" (1Cor4:7) Yes, they speak of being "spirit-filled"; but even that is sourced from themselves, because they are also puffed up, 'commanding' these spirits... much as an animal-trainer, having his animal perform tricks on-command.

The difference with this -true- doctrine is that the Church displays Christ, and Israel displays God... NOT because of the Church's or Israel's -own- virtue, but because what they (we) are, is -GOD's- WORK! Israel was yet "squirming in its blood" when God cried out, "Live!" And that which makes up the Church was yet "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph2:1) and "without strength" (Rom5:6), when Christ died for us, and redeemed us with His own blood. (Rev1:5)

Notice that this blessed truth does not say that Israel displays Israel, nor that the Church displays the Church. No! Double-triple NO! NO!! NO!!! To -God- is the Glory! Even in the end, after Christ has been exalted to His full glory, He, in turn, turns everything that was given to Him, over to the Father. Why?

"Now when everything is subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who subjected everything under Him, that God may be everything in all things." (1Cor15:28)

Amen!

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Spiritual vs Physical Israel & the Church

READER QUESTION:
[Excerpts] -but it seems that they [the people this person has been talking with] feel that we as believers in Jesus Christ (Yeshua) are actually spiritual Israelites.......part of God's people, and fellow heirs to the promises of Abraham.

I don't think they believe we, the Church are replacing Israel, but I think that they are saying that scripture shows that we should be, and are meant to be part of Israel.

VW ANSWER:
There were several e-mails with various angles to this topic. Rather than post them all, and answer them point-by-point, it is fitting to revisit the other side of this subject: 'spiritual' Israel, Gentiles and the Church. I suspect nothing new will be said here that hasn't been said at various times in the past and is available at the website. You can find past studies from the TopicSearch, scroll down the 'left' box to both "Israel" and "Church & Israel" And then, at the Library check out the series, Romans ch2-4,9-11, and Ephesians ch2.

So... where do we begin? I doubt that we will cover -all- aspects of this topic in -one- simple review. But let's brush over a few things, in no particular order:

First of all, these concerns that were posted here. We have viewed the "Hebrew Roots" ideologies in the past. They, the Jewish/Hebrew-roots 'Messianic' C/christians (some are saved, some are not.. God knows each one of them individually, just as He knows each of us) proclaim that the Church was "grafted" into -Israel-. (Rom11) [Ed: another e-mail had somebody saying the Church is plugged into Israel, the "root"] They seem to forget that Jesus said, "I am the vine..." (Jn15) They somehow miss the concept that, if the "natural branches" have been cut off (temporarily), that if the "wild" branches were to be grafted -into- "Israel", if Israel is cut off (thus 'dead'), then, the Church is also 'dead'. A living entity cannot be grafted into a dead one, and expect to be alive.

Note: The True Church does not need "revival". Israel does. Notice, I said "true" Church. That which calls itself "church" and is having "revival" is NOT -Christ's- Church. No, they are not "backslidden". They are not even the real thing! Never have been! The True Church, by its very definition -IS- the "righteousness of God" (2Cor5:21), due to Christ's shed blood. (Rev1:5) It does not need to be "purified". (Mal3:3) Just occasionally to "wash its feet". (Jn13:10, 1Jn1:9) The True Church is alive and well, and waiting for the Trumpet call to join Christ "in the air". (1Th4:17) Israel, being "cut off", is yet dead, needing reviving...which will happen during the 70th week. (Jer31:31-34) Charismania is neither dead nor alive. It is an entirely -different- beast, of a different spirit, and is "devoted to...doctrines of demons". (1Tm4:1) They have "[climbed] up some other way.." (Jn10:1)

The thing Israel missed throughout their history is that, even before Messiah came and they crucified Him, in the O.T., the One they had been following all those years "was Christ". (1Cor10:4) Jesus proclaims, "I am the vine.." (Jn15) You see, the "Root" is not Israel. Israel is merely the branch. The Root is Christ.

Thus, when Gentiles came to be known as a 'regular part' of God's plan, Christ's blood has brought Gentiles into God's fold. (Eph2:13) What has been "joined" together is the fact that -both- Jew and Gentile are now -both- "reconciled to God" (vs16) That's, -both- "Jew" -and- "Gentile" -TO- "GOD". Not, as they claim... Gentile -to- Jew.

Thus, the Church is made up of both -believing- Jews and Gentiles. Now, since Israel, as a national entity (by 'seed'), is presently yet in unbelief, the Church's makeup is presently -predominantly- Gentile. And it will be that way until "the fullness of the Gentiles" has come in. (Rom11:25) And I expect that the Trumpet of the Rapture is waiting for that number to be tallied; that name to be written in the Book of Life. Or, perhaps, due to God's "foreknowledge" (Rom8:29), when that last name is "checked-off" in that Book as, "present-and-accounted-for"..?

So, we come to the terms that people get mixed up in their minds. Israel, Jew, Church, Christian. While all Israel came under God's deliverance, not all of them were pleasing to God. (1Cor10:5) They were in "unbelief". (Heb3:19) They were "broken off" "because of unbelief" (Rom11:20) Thus, Paul's expression, "..for not all those of Israel are Israel.." (Rom9:6) This is where I have come up with the expression that, Not all [c]hristians are [C]hristians. This is the 'spiritual' Israel. While the promise to Abraham was through his "seed" (Gen12-15) in terms of the -land- and the -nation-, there is also Abraham's "seed" in terms of his "faith". (Rom4:9, Gal3:7)

In terms of 'spritual' Israel, notice Paul's words again, "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God." (Rom2:28-29)

I typically go home for lunch, and often watch bits and pieces of Rick Steve's travel program on Public TV. Invariably, he is all ga-ga over the various cathedrals of Europe. These structures of "the christian church", whether catholic, anglican, Greek orthodox. You see, the world sees the 'physical' entity called "church". How-many-millions of people call themselves "christian", because they can look and point to that 'building' over-there... "that is my -church-". And just like the Hebrew-roots people we have just mentioned think the Church must be grafted "into Israel", these of this particular "church" feel that people must be of "the church" to get to Heaven.

But is that the Church of Jesus Christ? Is that the entity for which Christ died and shed His blood? If a person rests on being catholic, protestant, reformed, baptist, nazarene, etc.etc., blah, blah, blah, those are all 'physical' entities. Are there true blood-washed Believers within those entities? Certainly! ..'individuals'..

In the same way, there is Israel. Descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And for you who presented arguments of all the intermarriage that has gone on over the centuries, to corrupt the genetic line, one thing that 'displays' God the Father regarding Israel is how He has kept their genetics recognizable. Remember a Fig-Leaf we had, perhaps a year ago? (The 'Fig Leaves' have not been posted permanently at the website because news changes daily/hourly!) Modern DNA technology has documented little pockets of distinctly "Jewish" DNA in various parts of the world, Africa, India, etc. I don't understand it all, but apparently, it can be authenticated back 2000 (and more) years, through the 'male' chromosomes. Yes...many of Israel's men married foreign wives. But that distinctly "Jewish-male" chromosome has been preserved. And they are able to distinguish between the 12 tribes, also. That's why, even though Abraham had several wives, and so did Jacob (not to mention Solomon!), the lineage is proclaimed as "Abraham, Isaac and Jacob". The -male- chromosome "seed".

OK...so there is Israel, nationally, genetically. But as we observe continually... they are yet (nationally) in unbelief. Albeit, there are 'individual' Jews who truly know the Lord, and are "Christians"... just the same way there are 'individuals' within the "church" who are "Christians"... who are -the- "[C]hurch of Jesus Christ".

Is it beginning to sink in? Church vs church. Israel vs Israel. Christian vs christian..?

During the O.T. period of Law, a Believer in the Most High was called "Jew". Before Moses, they were "Hebrews". Now as Israel was being "cut off", the "disciples were called...Christians" (Acts11:26) And as the period during which the Church was formed comes to a close, as Nero begins persecuting Christians, and Titus then destroys Jerusalem in 70AD, Paul closes out that transitional period of the book of Acts by proclaiming to the Jews, "..the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!" (Acts28:28) So, what began for the Church in Acts, has continued, as Israel has been in exile. Believers are called "Christian".

So, when the 70th week comes about, and the historical cross-hairs are on Israel and Jerusalem again, and the Church is not here, having been Raptured... what will Believers be called? I don't know that Scripture says. Jesus never told the disciples, "Once I'm gone, you will be called 'Christians'." The term "Christian" is not prophesied in the O.T. So, in like-fashion, what will Believers be called during the 70th week? Let's wait and see. We will know, soon enough. What will Believers be called during the Millennium of peace when Christ is ruling? I don't know that Scripture says. However, we know that a slogan will be visible all over the place, "HOLY TO JEHOVAH" (Zech14:20)

Whatever Believers "of the heart" are called then, the predominating entity will again be "Israel". The cathedrals of Babylon will have been destroyed. That visible structure will not be called "the church". It will be "Israel/Zion". All the nations will stream to Jerusalem. And those that refuse, will have droughts. (Zech14:17) The Law of Messiah will be administered, not from Washington,D.C., New York, Brussels, London, Rome or the UN... but from Jerusalem. (Mic4:2)

And then, after that... "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Rev21:1-2) And notice... "..twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.." (vs12) and... "..the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (vs14)

What does that say about the future of -BOTH- Israel and the Church!

Amen!

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