Restoration and Protection Promised
1 But now thus says the Lord,
5 Do not fear, for I am with you;
"Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; his going forth is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." (Hosea 6:1-3)
The promises of God to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David are most all
unconditional covenants. The land---which God owns---has been given to
the Jews as their land forever. However the right of the Jews to live in
the land is conditional on their obedience (see Deuteronomy 28-30, Amos 9:91-5,
Acts 15:14-18, Is. 11:11,12, Jeremiah 23:3-8, Jeremiah 23:3-8, Hos. 2:14,15; 3;
Ezekiel 37:21-15 etc.) Because of disobedience, Abraham's heirs in the line
of promise were (1) exiled for 400 years in Egypt, (2) sent into captivity
into Babylon for 70 years, and (3) dispersed for 2000 years into all the
nations---the last time because of their rejection of their rightful Messiah
and King, Yeshua (Matthew. 27:22-25).
The present return of the Jews to their land, in our day, is, according to the Bible, their final in-gathering, (The Final Redemption). It is pictured for us in the great vision Ezekiel saw of a valley full of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-4), (Dry Bones). In the vision the Jews were restored to national life bone by bone. First of all out of death, wretchedness, poverty and misery. God has always blessed Eretz Israel, the land, when the Jews were dwelling there. So, today the once-barren hills are covered with millions of young trees. The valleys are lush with green crops of all kinds. Orchards are bountifully yielding oranges and avocados, bananas, tropical fruits and nuts. Exquisite flowers such as roses are air-shipped all over the world. Fish farms teem with life. By the use of pioneering agricultural methods the bounty of the land has been multiplied and the limited water supply used efficiently one drop at a time.
of the land has changed the entire area climate. Diligent citizens are returning
Biblical animals, flora and fauna into the wilderness. Ancient ruins are
being rebuilt as gleaming, clean modern settlements at the very sites we
read about in the Bible (Isaiah 58:12). Much Old City property once owned by
Jews but lost to them is being purchased back from the Arabs shekel by shekel.
Modern Israel is comprised, roughly speaking, of about a million Ashkenazi Jews (returnees from European lands), a million Sephardi's (from Arab and Oriental lands), and 2 millions Sabras (Jews born in the land). As the percentage of Sabras increases one can expect more love of the land based on re-established roots and a quest for a new national identity and destiny under the Messianic promises found in such Old Testament books as Isaiah. Last year (1994) 16,000 Falashas (Ethiopian Jews) were air-lifted home to Zion in a single weekend, and the nation also saw the in gathering of 600,000 Russian Jews, suddenly fulfilling in part the prophecy of Isaiah 43:6 (compare Matthew 24:31).
But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine...Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, 'Give up', and to the south, 'Do not withhold'; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name..."The Prophet Ezekiel said that the Jews would be brought back into the land in a condition of general unbelief in the God of their fathers. After the dry bones had been reassembled, flesh would come upon the bones and the people would begin to stir with natural life. Then, last of all, the life of the indwelling Spirit of God would be theirs. Rich family values, Biblically-derived ethical codes of behavior, the best army in the world, sound principles of health, diet and sanitation are--even now--theirs again. Art, literature, music, museums, nature preserves, have sprung up-a flourishing high culture reminiscent of the days of King David. All these have returned to Israel in recent years through the invisible restorative blessing of God as promised to their forefathers.
For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:4,5)
The existence of a Third Temple in Jerusalem is clear in Matthew 24:15, in
2 Thessalonians 2:4, and in Revelation 11:1,2. These descriptions speak of a temple which
is not now in existence but which will exist by the time of the Second Advent
of the Lord Jesus Christ, (see Zechariah 14:1-9, Matthew 24:29-31, and Revelation 19:11-16).
According to the Bible, God will honor all his many promises made to the patriarchs of Israel---by restoring Israel to be the chief of all the nations in the coming kingdom age. The boundaries of the land will be extended and made secure. A descendant of David will sit on the throne of Israel forever-and the twelve disciples will rule over the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). Leaders of other nations will then come to worship the God of Israel and to seek counsel from the king in Jerusalem-or if they do not, they will suffer adverse consequences (see Zechariah 14:16-19).
The true Messiah, Yeshua ben David of the tribe of Judah, will "shepherdize the nations with a rod of iron" (Revelation 19:15), choosing faithful believers to rule and reign with him. One thousand years of peace under Messiah's reign will bring the healing of our battered earth, release from the ravages of war, famine, and disease. It is to be earth's long awaited golden age of peace and prosperity (Isaiah 65:18-25).
According to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 the next event Christians should expect (called the Blessed Hope in Titus 2:13) is the silent, unannounced return of Jesus (his parousia) when he will come to call out the true church, the Bride of Christ, like a thief in the night. Living believers will be summoned by a heavenly trumpet and transformed after the Lord Jesus raises the dead in Christ of all ages by a shout of command. The archangel Michael's call will summon the Jewish nation, especially 144,000 Jewish evangelists to the center stage of end time events. This event (the rapture) will be largely overlooked by the world, possibly treated in the media as some sort of minor UFO abduction. Church attendance will only be only slightly affected in many cases!
"But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.The removal of the true church from the earth will allow false religion (the harlot church of Revelation 17) to flourish and to come into her day. The removal of God's restraining hand against evil in the world (which today takes place through the salt and light of his true church)---will allow the final man of sin to be publicly unveiled, as described in 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-15. This man of sin is actually one of two deadly enemies of man. Either or both of these men have been called the antichrist. In spite of Israel's current spiritual awakening and renewed interest in the Bible, Scripture says that nation as a whole will accept a false Messiah before they later come to know the real Messiah, Yeshua. Jesus predicted this when he said to the Jews, "I have come in my Father's name and you [Israel] would not receive me. Another will come in his own name---him you will receive." (John 5:43)
"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
"But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape. But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But, since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."
Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem! Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement; when the overwhelming scourge passes through it will not come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter"; therefore thus says the Lord GOD,The "overwhelming scourge" Isaiah speaks of ushers in the time of Jacob's trouble for Israel, and the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord as far as the rest of mankind is returned. The Book of the Revelation details the nearly universal destruction of life that will take place on earth during this final three and a half year great tribulation period.
Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: `He who believes will not be in haste.' And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter." Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through you will be beaten down by it. (Isaiah 28:14-28)
As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was in the days of Lot-they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all---so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed. On that day, let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left." (Luke 17:26-37)Though the hour is late and the world now very dark, God's mercy is stretched out still---to all of mankind without distinction or favoritism. His kindness is meant to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4); He does wish anyone to perish but longs for all men to come to know him, (2 Peter 3:9). Today is still the age of grace and there is still time for acting upon the glorious good news that God has provided for our deepest needs in the death of his Son, Jesus.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. 6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac s11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” 26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.” 27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. 28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.” 29 And as Isaiah said before: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah.” 30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.33 As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Romans 10Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): ß9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” 19 But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.” 20 But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” 21 But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.”
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? 4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.” 9 And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling bloc k and a recompense to them. 10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always.” 11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! 13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches,be grafted into their own olive tree? 28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, whom be glory forever. Amen.
A VISIT TO ISRAEL---1994
"Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem! Because you have said, 'We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement; when the overwhelming scourge passes through it will not come to us; for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter;' therefore thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: "He who believes will not be in haste." And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plummet; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter.' Then your covenant [Israel] with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through you will be beaten down by it. As often as it passes through it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night; and it will be sheer terror to understand the message. For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it, and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.For many evangelicals, keeping an eye on the Temple Mount is like watching a kind of spiritual compass which is supposed to be pointing to the end of the age. This is because the end-time tribulation, also called "the time of Jacob's trouble" commences with Israel's signing of this false peace treaty with the West. This final peace covenant can only happen after the rapture of the church (described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11) and the subsequent unveiling of a great world leader known as "the man of sin" (2 Thessalonians 2:1:12). Actually, scripture speaks of two prominent world leaders of evil bent in the end time: the first is the political leader of the Western community of nations known as "the beast out of the sea" and the second a treacherous false messiah in Israel "the beast out of the land." These two men are described in Revelation 13:1-10 and 11-18, respectively. The latter will no doubt be the man Jesus predicted 2000 years ago when He said to the Jews, "I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me; another will come in his own name---him you will receive." (John 5:43).
"For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim, he will be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon; to do his deed strange is his deed! and to work his work-alien is his work! Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord GOD of hosts upon the whole earth." (Isaiah 28:14-22)
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. For behold, days are coming, says the LORD, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the LORD, and I will bring them back to the land which I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it."
These are the words which the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah: "Thus says the LORD: We have heard a cry of panic, of terror, and no peace. Ask now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale? Alas! that day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it. "And it shall come to pass in that day, says the LORD of hosts, that I will break the yoke from off their neck, and I will burst their bonds, and strangers shall no more make servants of them. But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
"Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, says the LORD, nor be dismayed, O Israel; for lo, I will save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with you to save you, says the LORD; I will make a full end of all the nations among whom I scattered you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will chasten you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
"For thus says the LORD: Your hurt is incurable, and your wound is grievous. There is none to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you; they care nothing for you; for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy, the punishment of a merciless foe, because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant. Why do you cry out over your hurt? Your pain is incurable. Because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant, I have done these things to you. Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured, and all your foes, every one of them, shall go into captivity; those who despoil you shall become a spoil, and all who prey on you I will make a prey. For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, says the LORD, because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion, for whom no one cares!' "Thus says the LORD: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob, and have compassion on his dwellings; the city shall be rebuilt upon its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be. Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving, and the voices of those who make merry. I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will make them honored, and they shall not be small. Their children shall be as they were of old, and their congregation shall be established before me; and I will punish all who oppress them. Their prince shall be one of themselves, their ruler shall come forth from their midst; I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me, for who would dare of himself to approach me? says the LORD. And you shall be my people, and I will be your God." Behold the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his mind. In the latter days you will understand this. (Jeremiah 30)
"For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will enter into judgment with them there, on account of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations, and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a harlot, and have sold a girl for wine, and have drunk it. 'What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will requite your deed upon your own head swiftly and speedily. For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples. You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, removing them far from their own border. But now I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and I will requite your deed upon your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the sons of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far off; for the LORD has spoken.'Israel's final trial great and terrible though it will be, will also be the time of God's devastating judgments of the gentile nations. These are described in the vivid and frightening images given to us in the last book of the Bible. Just as God will judge and destroy the wicked from all the earth during those days, He will save all those who believe and trust in Yeshua from all the nations in those days---due to the faithful witness of 144,000 Jewish evangelists who announce good news around the globe during the tribulation period. A time of harvest and a time of judgment is about to come upon the whole earth. Of these things all the prophets speak.
"Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare war, stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, 'I am a warrior.' Hasten and come, all you nations round about, gather yourselves there. Bring down thy warriors, O LORD. Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the nations round about. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. And the LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shake.
"But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel. 'So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who dwell in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy and strangers shall never again pass through it. And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD and water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem to all generations. I will avenge their blood, and I will not clear the guilty, for the LORD dwells in Zion.'" (Joel 3) (Compare Matthew 25:31-46)
Another parable Jesus put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn."' (Matthew 13:24-30)...and the Judgment of the Unbelieving Majority in Israel
"Then I looked, and lo, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat upon the cloud, "Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe." So he who sat upon the cloud swung his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle." (Revelation 14:14-16)
"Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has power over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, 'Put in your sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.' So the angel swung his sickle on the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God; and the wine press was trodden outside the city (Jerusalem), and blood flowed from the wine press, as high as a horse's bridle, for one thousand six hundred stadia" (180 miles). (Revelation 14:17-20)In great detail, the Apostle Paul addresses the problem of Israel's present-time general unbelief in Romans 9, 10 and 11. He reminds us gentile believers that we are "wild olive branches" grafted into the true root of believing Israel-into the faith of Abraham. In the same connection He speaks of Israel's final deliverance, and ours:
"Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written 'The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob'; 'and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." As regards the gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy. For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen." (Romans 9:25-36)
"Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their doings; their conduct before me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood which they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; in accordance with their conduct and their deeds I judged them. But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that men said of them, `These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.'Israel was lush and green this year for our tour. Wild flowers were in full bloom, and the weather was mild and very pleasant. As usual we felt safe and secure in visiting God's land and God's people. But we saw signs of hatred and great violence lying just beneath the surface in the Arab districts. It was not safe for us to visit Shechem, Hebron, and Gaza, but we negotiated our way in and out of Jericho without incident. But pickpockets were operating effectively on the Mount of Olives and in the Garden of Gethsemane.
"But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel caused to be profaned among the nations to which they came. 'Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations will know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.'
"'For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. You shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses; and I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominable deeds.'
"'It is not for your sake that I will act, says the Lord GOD; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.'" (Ezekiel 36:17-32)
"O that thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at thy presence---as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil-to make thy name known to thy adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at thy presence!
When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains quaked at thy presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides thee, who works for those who wait for him. Thou meetest him that joyfully works righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways.
Behold, thou wast angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one that calls upon thy name, that bestirs himself to take hold of thee; for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast delivered us into the hand of our iniquities.
Yet, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou art our potter; we are all the work of thy hand. Be not exceedingly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity for ever. Behold, consider, we are all thy people. Thy holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins. Wilt thou restrain thyself at these things, O LORD? Wilt thou keep silent, and afflict us sorely?"
Three Trips to Israel, c.1994
2001 Tour to Israel with Glenn Miller
Expert Lectures on the Temple Mount 1993 MP3
Tribute to Stanley Goldfoot
For more information on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, research concerning the location of the First and Second Temples and recent developments there see our separate web site. Maps and history of Jerusalem are brought up to date with MP3 lectures by leading scholars and research papers concerning the location of the Jewish Temples and plans for a Third Temple. Developed with the help of Mike Kollen, Jim Milligan and Norma Robertson.
Sheol, Hades, Hell, the Place of Torment, the Abyss, the Bottomless Pit, Tartarus, Gehenna, the Lake of Fire and Outer Darkness are all the names of places of punishment and death. What do we know about them? Where are they? None of them are visible on the face of the earth, but the Bible does give information about where they are and the purpose of each.
Sheol and Hades. Prior to Jesus’ atonement for the sins of man, the souls of all who died went to a place called Sheol (Hebrew). It is defined as the world of the dead, the underworld, and, in the Old Testament, the word is translated into English as the pit, the grave, and hell.
In the New Testament, the Greek word for this place is Hades, and our English translation is Hell.
In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus described the abode of the dead as having two compartments. One, a place of torment. The other, a place of comfort called Abraham’s Bosom, which is no longer inhabited.
Although this article is about the places of punishment, we’d be remiss not to address Abraham’s Bosom, the place of comfort, prior to Jesus’ atonement for sins. Abraham’s Bosom was in the “heart of the earth” (Mat 12:40), and was a type of holding cell for the righteous who died prior to Jesus’ ascension back to Heaven (Acts 1) when He opened the way to Heaven for all who repent and trust in Him.
Abraham’s Bosom is now empty. Ephesians 4:8 tells that “When [Jesus] ascended up on high [to Heaven], He led captivity captive…” That means He led those in Abraham’s Bosom to their heavenly resting place. Since that time, when someone dies in Christ, they go immediately to be with Jesus (Phil 1:23, 2 Cor 5:6, 8, Rev 6:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:14). (For more information, read Where did OT saints go at death? Abraham’s Bosom? Where was it?).The Place of Torment
Before the cross, all who died in their sins went to the Place of Torment spoken of in Luke 16:24. This is true after the cross also. All unregenerate people go to the Place of Torment, which is in the earth. Since forgiven sinners, regenerated by God, now go directly to Heaven, Abraham’s Bosom (the place of comfort) is no longer inhabited and there only remains the place of torment. So when we call this place Hell (or Haides), it no longer means simply the abode of the dead (as in Old Testament times). Hell clearly now means the abode of the unrighteous dead. It is a holding place for the souls of those who rejected God, and one day those souls will be raised in a bodily resurrection (John 5:28) to be judged by their works (Revelation 20:11).
The Book of Enoch lists four compartments in the underworld (1 En 22:9-13). However, it must be noted that the Book of Enoch is apocryphal, meaning it is not recognized as Holy Scripture. While it is a book that has survived through the ages, the teachings cannot be considered inspired or infallible. The Book of Enoch contains many teachings that are incompatible with biblical truths and therefore discredits it as anything more than an ancient book. Never attribute any authority to its teachings. It can be interesting to read, but always remember what it says is of questionable truth.
That said, the book does tell about the abode of the dead. It tells of the two compartments mentioned in the Bible in Luke 16 and also tells of two more places that hold spirits. This is for your consideration only.
A Third Place
The Book of Enoch elaborates on what the Bible tells about the destiny of those who died in the Great Flood. Genesis 6 tells of the time when corruption reigned on the earth and the thoughts of men’s hearts were evil continually (Gen 6:5). All of the people, except eight people — Noah and his family — perished in the flood waters.
The Book of Enoch suggests that those who perished are held in a specially reserved place. In Rev 20:13 we read, “the sea gave up the dead which in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were
We know that the reference to “death and Hell” is a reference to the place of torment for unregenerate human souls, but what about the dead that the sea gives us? If the Book of Enoch is correct, saying that they come up from the deepest parts of the sea, then those who are raised up would pass through the waters of the sea, which was the original cause of their death (Genesis 6). That would make this place, in the depths of the sea, a type of Davy Jones’s Locker, a type of holding cell until final judgment.
While this book is not considered authoritative truth, the description of this third place does seem to fit somewhat with that which we know about the Abyss, the Bottomless Pit, Tartarus, and Outer Darkness (to be covered in part two of this article).
A Fourth Place
The Book of Enoch also suggests a fourth place, however, what it does not harmonize with the teachings of the Bible. The Book of Enoch tells that some sinners will be distinguished from the transgressors (those who sinned grievously) and that Jesus will cause them to repent, and, through His name, they will be saved (Enoch 50). This is in direct contradiction to biblical teachings and therefore should be rejected.
Again, while the Book of Enoch is an ancient writing that has survived the ages, it is not the Word of God. It might be interesting, but it is not inspired by God or preserved by Him. Read it only with a curiosity, never for doctrinal instruction.
Summary of Hell (Hades) After the Cross
Hell (Greek word Hades), prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, had two compartments,
In Part Two, we’ll consider what the Bible teaches about the Abyss, Gehenna, the Lake of Fire, and Outer Darkness.
We Don’t Want Anyone to Go to Hell
Be diligent and bold to share the gospel with all people. Those who do not know Jesus need to hear the good news of His saving grace. Those who do know Jesus will be strengthened and encouraged when you share gospel truths with them. (Reason for Hope)
Notes: Only about 2% of the population of Israel is professing Christian. This number includes remnants from historical Christian churches dating from the First Century. “Messianic Jews” who acknowledge Yeshua are a vocal, but rapidly growing minority, in Israel but they numbering perhaps only 1% of the populace. The religious segment of the Jewish population is about 8% Haredim (ultra-Orthodox), 25% “non-religious traditionalists” and 43% “secular.” About half of the Jews in the world presently live outside the land, the majority in the United States. Ezekiel 36 and 37 make specific reference to the return of the Jews to the land. Jews number about 0.225% of the world population. They will all be brought home in the near future.
Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem Web Site
God's Long Term Purpose for Israel
Israel is the Key to World Peace
The Ruthlessness of God
Israel My Glory (Aliyah)
Entering God's Sabbath Rest
Jesus, the Avenger of Blood
The Terror of the Lord
Tyre and Sidon
Jesus our Jubilee
The Day of the Lord
Jesus, Greater than Moses
The Wife of Jehovah, The Bride of Christ
The Last Church Before the Rapture
The Gog/Magog Invasion
God's Land -- God's People
Strike the Shepherd
Notes by Lambert Dolphin
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February 24, 1995. October 7, 2020. November 8, 2021, May 12, 2022. October 6, 2023.