New Exodus Dialogues, Part 1

If you were to read the Old Testament alone, what would you conclude about the end of the story?

Genesis begins with the fall of mankind, and then only a few chapters later Abraham is brought into the story as the key player in the redemption of the world. The story of Abraham quickly evolves into the story of Israel, which becomes a nation under the direction and guidance of Moses. Yet it would seem that even the plan to redeem the world through Israel goes wrong near the end of the Old Testament, because we hear Isaiah and Jeremiah both pronouncing God’s judgment upon the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah prior to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.

Yet the Old Testament does give us a picture of what the final result will be, not only for Israel but for all the peoples of the world. I submit to you that from the Old Testament we find that the redemption of the entire world is something that is predicted to be accomplished within God’s plan for the restoration of Israel.

Yes, the Old Testament story of the fall of man, ending with mankind’s ultimate redemption, culminates with the RESTORATION OF ISRAEL which is accomplished on a global scale through the grace and mercy of God in response to Israel’s heartfelt repentance.

This final and ultimate RESTORATION OF ISRAEL is predicted first by Moses in Deuteronomy 30:1-6. It was Moses who predicted that after Israel was scattered to the nations because of disobedience, if they turned back to God in repentance, then God would forgive them, gather them back to their land, and circumcise their hearts. Here Moses was predicting a New Exodus, an exodus not just from one nation (Egypt), but this time a global exodus from all the nations of the world.

The final RESTORATION OF ISRAEL is also predicted by Isaiah, even as he pronounced judgment on Israel during his lifetime and witnessed the Assyrian captivity. Isaiah 60-62 speaks of this ultimate restoration as well as the final two chapters of his prophetic message in Isaiah 65-66. Isaiah was very clear that the end of the age would culminate with the restoration of Israel as the climactic event for the world.

The prophet Jeremiah also predicted the final RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. His ministry was focused on the southern kingdom of Judah and he witnessed the Babylonian captivity. His prediction of seventy years of exile in Babylon is very well known, but it must also be understood that his predictions for the ultimate end-time restoration of Israel go far beyond the return from exile that was undertaken by Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Joshua and Zerubbabel. Jeremiah had much more in mind when he predicted the regathering and restoration of Israel as the culminating end-time event (read Jer. 23 and Jer. 30-33), which would be accomplished in tandem with the catastrophic fall of Babylon described in Jeremiah 50-51.

Daniel and Ezekiel were prophets who ministered during the Babylonian exile. Daniel received a prophecy in 9:24-27 that speaks specifically of Jerusalem and God’s holy people that culminates with desolation and destruction (v.27). Daniel’s story concludes with a description of Jerusalem as the capital city of the Antichrist (11:45), which would involve the purging and refining of God’s people, culminating with the resurrection (12:2). Certainly Daniel viewed the climax of history as the RESTORATION OF ISRAEL.

Ezekiel’s predictions end the same way. The last ten chapters of Ezekiel, from 39:25 to 48:35, are all focused on God’s great end-time restoration of Israel where Ezekiel is given a glimpse of a great temple where all the nations of the world worship and where even Gentiles serve as priests. Another important point about Ezekiel is that he was shown a vision of the Shekinah Glory of the Lord leaving the Temple (Ezekiel 10, at a time prior to the Babylonian destruction of the Temple), yet he was also shown a vision of the Glory of God returning to the end-time Temple in Ezekiel 43. For Ezekiel we can be sure that the end of the story culminates with the RESTORATION OF ISRAEL.

The minor prophets of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Zechariah and Malachi, etc., also viewed the end of history as the glorious RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. Zechariah and Malachi both prophesied at a time after many of the exiles had returned from Babylon, yet they did not presume to say that the prophesies of Israel’s restoration had been fulfilled. No indeed! They still looked forward to this great move of God, and this attitude prevailed even to the time of Jesus. Yes, the seventy years of Babylonian captivity had been completed and the captives had been released, but so much more had not been accomplished, including the return of the Glory of God to the Temple and, more importantly, the heart-felt repentance of Israel that Moses had given as the crucial pre-condition for God’s restoration of Israel from the nations.

The final Old Testament writer was Malachi, and he yearned for the end-times restoration of Israel. Malachi was given a revelation that God would shortly begin the process of restoration, but with it Malachi was also given a WARNING! He wrote in expectation of the restoration of Israel (which is what all the people wanted), but he also warned the people that they needed to repent because when God appeared to begin the process He would also appear as a judge, and many of Israel’s sinners would perish as the process of restoration was put into motion:

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
(Malachi 3:1-4)

When we turn to the pages of the New Testament we see that the prophecies of Isaiah 40:1-4 and Malachi 3:1 were fulfilled in the preaching of John the Baptist. If we can truly recognize this then we can see that John the Baptist’s ministry, from beginning to end, was all about the RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. He was the one sent by God to prepare Israel for the appearance of the Lord who would enter into history to bring about Israel’s restoration.

This truth about John the Baptist, which is rather uncontroversial, leads directly into some very controversial questions about Jesus of Nazareth, the One pointed to by John the Baptist.

If all of the Old Testament prophets focused on the restoration of Israel, and if John the Baptist focused on the restoration of Israel, and if we know that all the Old Testament and John the Baptist pointed directly to Jesus of Nazareth, then how can we NOT conclude that the entire ministry of Jesus Christ is simply all about the RESTORATION OF ISRAEL, from beginning to end, and even NOW as He sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven?

Just take a look at the two final chapters of the New Testament in Revelation 21-22. What do we see there? We see a beautiful and glorious picture of the RESTORATION OF ISRAEL, named as the New Jerusalem, with the gates of the city named after the twelve tribes of Israel and the foundation stones named after the twelve Apostles.

Yes, I think that both Old and New Testaments agree that the story of redemption culminates with the RESTORATION OF ISRAEL, which is a process that was begun about 2000 years ago by Jesus of Nazareth, and has been continuing uninterrupted ever since then.


11 thoughts on “New Exodus Dialogues, Part 1

  1. Yet the ONLY way Israel will ever repent, is by the (2nd)coming of the Messiah. Then and ONLY then will they see the horrible error of their ways.

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  2. Peter, what are your thoughts about these…?

    Eze 36:22-24 seem to indicate that the regathering of the Jews happened in spite of them and for God’s great name, rather than because of their repentance…?

    Acts 13:46, Rom 11:7-11, Rom 11:25, Mat 13:13-15, Mat 21:42-43 and Mat 23:37-39 all seem to support a pause between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week, during which time Israel is set aside while salvation is brought to the Gentiles…?

    Luk 21:22-24 and Zec 12:9-10 seem to indicate a resuming of God’s plan for bringing Israel to salvation during the 70th week…?

    Isa 59:20-21 seems to be speaking of Israel at the very end of the tribulation, it is quoted by Paul in Rom 11:25.

    If John called out to clear the way before the Lord, we still have to deal with their shortly to come rejection, and the turning of the gospel from them to the Gentiles. Malachi seems to be a mix of start and end, the call to clear the way, and the eventual fulfilling of Israel’s salvation at the end of the age.

    Just some thoughts.

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  3. Yes, I agree with your findings concerning the full restoration of Israel. The truth that was brought to light for me, during my investigation many years ago, was the FULL restoration of Israel, not just Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. If we wanted to, we could count the number of the Jewish people’s today, but the promise to Abraham was to multiply his seed, as the sand by the sea, and the stars in the sky! Jesus came to seek the lost sheep, which I believe are the lost tribes, scattered throughout the nations, that no longer even know who they are as scriptures clearly state. Yes, Gentiles also, but there are 12 tribes, not just three, not only Jews, but ALL Israel! The full restoration of Israel contains 12 tribes, and sadly, many have not realized this, but the Father and Son have not forgotten them. He will gather them again, and He will seal 144,000 totaling from each tribe. I don’t know if you believe this, but this is what the Father revealed to me. Instantly, I can see throughout the scriptures, WHO God is speaking to, wether Judah/Jews, or Ephraim/lost tribes, or Israel/all 12 tribes.

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  4. Malachi 3, 1-4 is a dual prophecy, covering both Baptist John’s intro of King Jeshua (lamb incarnation) and the Lion Incarnation at the eschaton. Of course Christ’s upcoming activities as Lion doesn’t mean the Lamb will disappear. Even during his judgments and punishments, the King never stops being the Lamb as well.

    The LORD of hosts transmitted this prophecy to marvelous Malachi. Here, LORD means Father’s Throne, before the official ‘installation’ of Jesus at Father’s side. The ‘Lord whom you seek’ refers to Christ, both his first visit and subsequent enthronement (to come). But the ‘messenger’ is NOT Christ, but Baptist John during the Lord’s first ministry, and later ‘Elijah’ who prepares the way for the full Kingdom Incarnation. I suspect the unusual syntax of these verses was intentional by God, as this message was probably not meant to be deciphered fully until the hours of the end. Our hours.

    The ‘restoration of Israel’ definitely is the goal, but who/what ‘Israel’ is in our times is little understood or accepted, including by Christians and Jews, most of whom follow after their own opinions, instead of the servants of Jeshua Christos. Much more is prophesied in Malachi than merely a geophysical re-occupation of the Levant by the State of Israel. The Israel discussed in Malachi 3 includes the still-scattered tribes, especially Judah and ‘Jerusalem’ which likely indicates the scattered ten tribes . . . many of whom currently reside in the US, GB, and to lesser extent other nations.

    Cheers.

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  5. membership. They are waking up right now.

    Judah and Benjamin are ‘awakened’ first . . . i.e., the INDIVIDUALS leading these tribes, then eventually the fullness of those tribes. Note that King Jeshua chose to sandwich himself between Judah and Benjamin in the inheritances of the Millennium, on either side of the ‘prince’s portion’. These two are, in modern speak, ‘soul mates’. Old friends. Both then play central parts in awakening and preparing the Levites who, once again, overwhelmingly don’t even know they ARE Levites. LOL. Same as it ever was.

    Note also that the King retains NO lands for himself, though of course he is due ALL the Earth, and will rule all the Earth. Instead, he gifts his OWN inheritance to others, keeping nothing officially for himself, except the small sanctuary in future Jerusalem. That’s one reason why he’s the King, and we aren’t.

    The dross on the spirits of the modern Levites must be ‘soaped’ and ‘refined’ before Father and Son will accept them into their eternal Kingdom. In Malachi 3, the ‘refiner’ takes a singular masculine pronoun, ‘he’ meaning Judah, but in reality Judah (the ‘Elijah’) and Benjamin are so close to each other in love and works, that both are likely inferred.

    Cheers.

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  6. Regarding Israel’s restoration, there is also Paul’s statement in Romans 9:6-9 (still speaking of natural Israel). Evidently God’s prophetic identity of restored Israel includes some factors not widely known or recognised and affects the question of “Who is a Jew,” or more properly– “Who is a descendant of Jacob recognised of God.” Some of this may be a total secret but I’ve developed some ideas in my website http://www.eifiles.cn and invite readers to explore my essays on New Earth Inheritance in the Messianic Kingdom, which includes thoughts on Israel in the new world.

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  7. The great end-times restoration of Israel began at Pentecost. It is not something that we are waiting for, and it has nothing to do with genetic descendants of Abraham moving back to the physical land of Israel, or experts decoding genomes searching for “lost tribes” using DNA analysis.

    In Acts 1:6 the disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel. Jesus did not say, “No, sorry guys, but Israel has been set aside and instead I am raising up something entirely different called “the Church” to use temporarily for 2000+ years, and only after that will I turn my attention back to Israel.” This is what Dispensationalism teaches, and it is tragically wrong.

    If you read the following verses in Acts 1:7-8 you will see that Jesus was predicting that the great end-times restoration of Israel would begin with the outpouring of the Spirit, which would then enable His disciples to take the message of the restored Kingdom of Israel to the entire world. Jesus did not say, “No, the Kingdom is not being restored to Israel,” He said, “Wait for the Spirit, and then it will begin!”

    This is proven by the way in which the Apostles quote the Old Testament throughout the rest of the book of Acts. Peter quotes Joel’s prophecies about the outpouring of the Spirit, which are prophesies that speak of the restoration of Israel. James quotes from Amos 9, which is another “Restoration” passage. Paul also consistently connects the basic Gospel message with OT passages that describe the end-times restoration of Israel, especially Isaiah 40-55 which is absolutely FILLED with promises of Israel’s restoration that are fulfilled in Jesus and His Body, which we refer to as “the Church.”

    Covenant Theology says that natural Israel has no future role in God’s plan and has been replaced by the Church. I disagree. The modern nation of Israel fulfills prophecy and there will be a great end-times salvation coming to a final generation of Jews.

    Yet on the other hand Dispensationalism says that the Church is just a temporary stop-gap measure set in place because Israel rejected Jesus, and that “after the rapture” God will turn back to His primary plan to save Israel. This is actually another form of “replacement theology” because it teaches that Israel will soon replace the Church! This too is wrong.

    First of all, ALL of Israel did not reject Jesus, and Jesus did not reject ALL of Israel. There was a remnant within Israel that accepted Jesus and transitioned perfectly into the New Covenant by their faith in Jesus. This is the righteous remnant of Israel that we read about in the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel that formed the initial core of the early church. Jeremiah 31:31 says that the New Covenant would be made with Israel. How could God make a covenant with Israel at the same time as rejecting Israel? He did not completely reject Israel! He rejected the leaders of Israel, and then he raised up His own twelve disciples as the NEW leaders of the restored Twelve Tribes (Luke 22:25-30, Matt. 19:28). This is proven by the fact that the Apostles are the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem! You cannot disconnect the Apostles as the foundation of the Church from the fact that they are also the leaders of the restored spiritual Israel. In this way we see that this thing we call (confusingly) “the Church” is truly the restored end-times spiritual Israel, which is expanded to include not just the physical descendants of Israel, but people from every nation on earth!

    Perhaps this deserves another post, but OT prophecy is clear that the restored Israel, which was the end-point of the prophets’ predictions, would include a great number of Gentiles who would be brought into Israel and considered as full-blooded Israelites. Yes, the true spiritual Israel is a nation that includes both Jews and Gentiles equally yoked together, not separated by the Mosaic Covenant, who are all granted salvation by their faith in the Messiah of Israel, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

    For instance, take a look at Isaiah 14, which predicts Israel looking to the past and taunting the Antichrist right after the Second Coming of Jesus who saved them from the AC’s persecution. Isaiah 14:1- “For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and STRANGERS shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.”

    Who are these STRANGERS? They are that great mass of Gentiles who are brought into the new spiritual Israel as a result of the preaching of the Gospel. Yet they are also recognized as Israelites with a full Israelite inheritance. See also Isaiah 49. Or see Zechariah 8:7-8 which Jesus says will be fulfilled by Gentiles (Matt 8:11).

    Jesus never rejected Israel in favor of the Church. He rejected the leadership of Israel and then appointed new leaders for the reborn Israel! The boundaries of this spiritual Israel were then expanded to include all the peoples of the world that would come to faith. This reborn Israel was never under the Old Covenant, but was born out of the New Covenant, which is a covenant that lacks the Mosaic codes that separated Jews from Gentiles. Now all are one in Christ Jesus. Now all are equally a part of the Kingdom of God, also known as the true spiritual Israel, with its capital of the New Jerusalem, with gates named after the Twelve Tribes, under the eternal rule of the Davidic King, Jesus of Nazareth.

    You cannot be saved without being a full and equal member of the reborn and restored Kingdom of Israel!

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  8. Peter, you said, the apostles are the foundations of the new jerusalem……….so i wonder about Judas being one of them, does not that weaken the foundation?

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  9. That’s what the Apostles were worried about in Acts 1:15-26, which is why they were led by the Holy Spirit to add Matthias to their number, making twelve again. Don’t worry, Revelation 21:14 tells us that there are twelve solid and eternal foundation stones in the New Jerusalem!

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