1536 The Restoration Of Israel: Ezekiel’s Temple

Many people are waiting for Israel to be restored according to their understanding of biblical prophecy. Previous episodes showed how these prophecies were already fulfilled, but one objection remains to be discussed. This final installment of the series on The Restoration of Israel will address the Temple of Ezekiel.

ROBERT >> Will the nation of Israel be restored to Palestine and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem in the end times? This is a question that we’ve been looking at for several weeks now here on The Truth In Love. And we have found that this promise of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, the possession of the land of Canaan, that this has already been completely fulfilled. It was promised to Abraham as an inheritance for his descendants, and that not at the end times, but soon after Moses led them out of Egypt during the days of Joshua and even into the days of King David and King Saul. The possession of the land by Israel was always conditioned upon their faithfulness to God. In time, they were removed from the land because of their disobedience. God promised to return those who were removed from the land when they returned to him; but this would only be a remnant of Israel. There will be no national conversion of the Jews, as some contend from Romans 11:25-26.

No, the “all Israel” there is not the entire Jewish race, but the remnant of Jews and the many Gentiles who come to faith in Jesus Christ. The church made of Jews and Gentiles is the Israel of God, or his people today. The fact is that a remnant of all the tribes of Israel returned from Babylon, where they had been taken captive, to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem hundreds of years before Christ ever came to the earth. By the time Jesus came to the earth and established his church, Jews from every tribe and place had come to the city of Jerusalem to come into his eternal kingdom, the church of our Lord. And though the land promise was forever, or everlasting, as it is translated in the Old Testament, the term used does not always mean without end, but often refers to a long time. Just as circumcision, the Passover, the Levitical priesthood were said to be forever or everlasting, but came to an end with the abolition of the law, having been fulfilled, so did the land promise. Even those who propose a future restoration of Israel to the land believe it will all come to an end after a thousand years. Indeed, not only the land of Palestine, but the whole world will come to an end when our Lord comes again.

Let’s look further today and let’s see what the Bible says about the temple in Jerusalem being rebuilt and its worship being restored.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Yes, the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt and its worship restored when Israel returned from their captivity out of Babylon back to the land of Judah. All of this had been prophesied.

I want you to notice Isaiah 44:28. Who says of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built, and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.”

Isaiah was able to look into the future and see that one named Cyrus would actually command the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. And this was fulfilled. We see it in the book of Ezra.

In Ezra 1:1-5, “we have the actual degree of Cyrus to commission the people to go back and to rebuild the temple.”

And in verse 5 of Ezra chapter 1 it says, “Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.”

And so according to Cyrus’ commission they went to build the house of the Lord. And we look over in Ezra chapter 6, and we see that they completed their task.

In chapter 6, verse 14, “So the elders of the Jews built, and they prophesied through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia

And you can read on how that the people were assigned to the temple and the worship was restored, for example in verse 22 where it says, “And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the Lord made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.”

So Israel was restored to their land, Israel did rebuild their temple, the worship of God was restored in that temple all as God had said. All of this happened long before Christ ever came to the earth. But somebody says, What about Ezekiel’s temple?

They’re talking about the last chapters of the book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48. This was a vision that Ezekiel had. “It was the vision of a new temple, a great, glorious temple in the future.”

But I want you to notice that Ezekiel’s temple was an apocalyptic vision. It was comparable to the vision of John in the Revelation, in Revelation chapter 21 and 22 where he saw the new heavens and the new earth, that is, the new habitation of God’s people in eternity with him, our heavenly home. It was an apocalyptic vision, it was highly symbolic, it was never meant to be taken literally. And neither was the vision of Ezekiel concerning that future temple. If you look at the imagery of Ezekiel’s temple in these last chapters, you’ll see that it emphasized holiness with the many measurements and the details that were given of the temple there. It also emphasized the blessings of God with the flowing river you read about in chapter 47. And it emphasized the presence of the Lord among his people, the glory of the Lord and how it returned and how it filled the temple in chapter 43.

And then finally at the end of Ezekiel, chapter 48, verse 35, it simply says, “The Lord is there.”

A literal interpretation of this temple must be ruled out. For example, look at the impractical siting of the temple on a very high mountain. Here in chapter 40 and verse 2 the Bible says, “In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city.”

You’re not going to put a temple for everybody to come up on a very high mountain like that. And then look at the source and the course of the river. Look in Ezekiel chapter 47, verses 1 through 12, “Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.”

We also notice in this description in these last chapters of Ezekiel the boundaries of the tribes, which again could never be worked out geographically in hilly Israel. So it’s impossible for us to look at all of the details of this, but I want you to think about it and recognize this as apocalyptic literature, highly symbolic, never meant to be fulfilled literally.

In fact, if you think about it, to rebuild that temple and to restore its worship in the end times would be a complete denial and rejection of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came to put an end to the old law, to put an end to the old temple and its services. All of those things were but symbolic, pointing to the greater work of Christ and his church, the church of Christ being his temple, where he is worshiped and where he is served, not under the old law of Moses, but according to the gospel.

Look with me in Ephesians 2:14-22. Ephesians 2:14, “For He Himself, that is, Jesus Christ, is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.”

In this verse the apostle Paul is talking about how Christ has brought together both Jew and Gentile. He brought them together in Christ.

How did he do that?

By breaking down the wall of separation. What is the wall of separation? It’s the law. The law of Moses is what kept the nation of Israel separate from all the other nations. But the gospel of Christ brings us together.

Look at this as Paul goes on in verse 15 of Ephesians 2. “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.”

And so we see in this verse how Christ, by his death, by the death of his body, his flesh, he abolished that old law and brought us all together in himself. There he made peace between Jew and Gentile. All the nations of the world brought together in the one church.

Read on with me in Ephesians 2. Look at verse 16. “And that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”

We could read many other verses like this, in Colossians 2:14-17, in Romans 7:1-6, we see in these places that the law was taken away, nailed to the cross, that we’re no longer under that law, we’ve been discharged from that law.

Or in Galatians 3:24-29. Let’s take a look at that together, because we see here once again the end of that old law with its temple and its services for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here in chapter 3 of Galatians, beginning in verse 24, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

So we see that we’re no longer under that old law, that the promises of Abraham were fulfilled in Christ and in his church; and having believed on Christ and been baptized into Christ, then we’re Abraham’s seed, that is, we are the children of the promise, and we will receive the inheritance of those promises.

Understand that the land promise and the many prophesies concerning the restoration of Israel have both a temporal fulfillment and a spiritual fulfillment. You see, the temporal fulfillment took place before the first coming of Christ, before the gospel of the new covenant, before the establishment of the church. And all of that serves as a type of the greater and complete spiritual fulfillment found in Christ and his church.

Let me give you a few examples of what I’m talking about. In Genesis chapter 12, let’s go back to that promise made to Abraham long ago concerning the land of Canaan and the nation of Israel.

In Genesis 12 it says, “Now the Lord had said to Abram, Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abraham departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.

Now, you think about Abraham and his family and how they came there to the land of Canaan. But that promise of that land was only pointing to a greater promise and a greater land.

Look how the Hebrew writer describes this in Hebrews chapter 11. The great faith chapter of the Bible mentions Abraham and Sarah and their families.

And in Hebrews 11:10 Bible says, “For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

So you see, he was looking for a greater city; not an earthly, physical, material city, but one that was built by God. He describes it further.

Look in verse 13 of Hebrews 11. “These all died in faith, Abraham and his family and his descendants, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

They knew that they were not meant to live here forever. They were looking for a greater heavenly country.

Read on with me in verse 14. “ For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

Let me give you another example today. Let’s go back to Ezekiel and take a look at Ezekiel chapter 37. In this passage, verses 15 through 28, I want you to notice what Ezekiel talks about and how this is fulfilled spiritually. “ Again the word of the Lord same to me, saying, As for you son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions. Then take another stick and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions. And then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. And when the children of your people speak to you saying, Will you not show us what you mean by these? Say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand. And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. And then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.”

Now, let me pause here for just a moment, because I want you to see how that the nation of Israel, there was a temporal fulfillment. They would be united in their land. But we also see there’s a spiritual fulfillment of a greater time when some king would come and he would bring all the nations together as one.

Look with me in verse 24 of Ezekiel chapter 37. “ David, My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.”

Now, of course this one of David, this one who would be king over them, this one who would be their shepherd and bring them together as one, was Jesus Christ. It points to the savior that is to come.

Notice what it says further down in Ezekiel 37:26. “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. And so we have the nations coming together under the one shepherd, Jesus Christ; a new covenant is given to them; a new temple is built among them.”

Notice all of this is fulfilled in a spiritual way. Look in John the 10th chapter when Jesus Christ was talking about his work as the Messiah, and he identified him as this shepherd and this king who would bring everyone together from Ezekiel chapter 37.

John 10:11, “Jesus said, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

It would be the death of Christ that would provide forgiveness for all people and bring us all together at the cross of Jesus.

Look at it in John 10:16. “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd,” again a reference to Ezekiel chapter 37.

And so the one shepherd, Jesus Christ, would bring them all together. In Ephesians the 2nd chapter we read about the end of that old law and the new covenant that God would bring with these people. And we’ve talked about that before. But two other examples from the book of Hosea.

In Hosea 1:10-11, “I want you to read this with me because it’s quoted in the New Testament. Hosea 1:10-11, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there it shall be said to them, You are sons of the living God. And then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head; and they shall come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel!”

Yes, it will be a glorious day for Israel. We see a physical, temporary fulfillment when they came out of their captivity, when they were restored to their worship; but ultimately this points to the greater spiritual fulfillment of all nations coming together under that one head, Jesus Christ, in his church. That this is the case the is found in Romans 9:24-26 that quotes Hosea.

Listen to Romans 9:24. “Even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”

As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people. And he goes on to continue to quote from the passage we just read a moment ago.

One final passage I want us to take a look at is in the book of Amos, in Amos 9:11-14. We find here in this prophet a message concerning the tabernacle of David and how it will be rebuilt.

Amos 9:11-14. Let’s read it together. “ On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does this thing. Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them. They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God.”

So all of these things here in the book of Amos, all of those were fulfilled physically and temporarily when Israel came back from their captivity; but the greater fulfillment is spiritual, and it’s found in the church. Not in the physical land or in the physical nation of Israel, but in the church where we find Jews and Gentiles.

In Acts the 15th chapter we see where James quoted from Amos to establish this very fact. Here in Acts chapter 15 they were discussing Gentiles coming into the church. And it says here in verse 13, “And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.”

And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, and then he quotes Amos 9:11 and following, just as we read a few moments ago. And so God kept all of his promises to Israel; and all the prophecies concerning them and their land and their temple, all of those have been fulfilled. And understand that the greatest fulfillment, the eternal fulfillment, is found in Christ and in his church. And we hope here at The Truth In Love that we can help you to be a part of the salvation that’s found in Jesus Christ, in his church. And so we hope that you’ll let us know here how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> I know that my redeemer lives and ever prays for me.
I know eternal life he gives from sin and sorrow free.
I know, I know that my redeemer lives.
I know, I know eternal life he gives.
I know, I know that my redeemer lives.
I know that over yonder stands a place prepared for me, a home,
a house not made with hands, most wonderful to see.
I know, I know that my redeemer lives.
I know, I know eternal life he gives.
I know, I know that my redeemer lives.

ROBERT >> I want to thank you for watching our program today. And we’d really like to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

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We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

1535 The Restoration of Israel, Part 3

What does the Restoration of Israel mean for us today? How does it relate to the kingdom of God? These and other important questions are answered in this third lesson.

ROBERT >> Good morning, and thank you for joining us here on The Truth In Love. Over the last several weeks, we’ve been studying Bible prophecy and the last days; and recently we’ve been talking about the restoration of Israel to the land of Palestine and the rebuilding of the temple there in the city of Jerusalem. We have learned that God promised Abraham and his descendants, Israel, the land of Canaan. But we also noticed that this promise has already been completely fulfilled.

We do not look for fulfillment of that prophecy in the end times, but rather we see it was promised to Abraham as an inheritance for his descendants, and that not at the end times, but soon after Moses led them out of Egypt during the days of Joshua, we see the fulfillment as they come in and they possess the land and as their territory was extended to its furthest extent during the times of David and Solomon. The possession of the land by Israel was always conditioned upon their faithfulness to God. In time, they were removed from the land because of their disobedience. But God also promised to return those who were removed from the land when they returned to him. But remember, this would only be a remnant of Israel. There’ll be no national conversion of the Jews, as some contend from Romans 11:25-26, we find all Israel will be saved. The all Israel of Romans 11, as we learned last week, is not the entire Jewish race, but the remnant of Jews and the many Gentiles who come to faith in Christ.

The church, made of Jews and Gentiles, is the Israel of God for his people today. But now this morning we want to look further into this idea of the restoration of Israel and the rebuilding of the temple, because some contend that the lost tribes of Israel were never restored to the land, only Judah. I hope you’ll stay tuned. We’ll take a look at that together in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> So people are asking, what about the lost tribes of Israel?

They were never restored to the land, only Judah. Those of the other tribes, as God promised, from every tribe people would be returned back to Judah; but let’s notice that ever since the division of Israel in the days of King Rehoboam, Judah had always included some from the other tribes.

We go back to 2 Chronicles chapter 11, and you can look at that whole chapter, but especially look at these verses with me today. In verse 3 the Bible says, “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying. All Israel in Judah and Benjamin.”

They were taking up residence in these tribes, that is, some from every tribe, and they would come down and they would visit in these tribes.

And you notice in verse 14, “For the Levites left their common-lands and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests to the Lord.”
v Again, notice verse 16: “And after the Levites left, those from all the tribes of Israel, such as set their heart to seek the Lord God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers.”

And so those from all the tribes were coming to Jerusalem, and others would come to join themselves with Judah during the reforms of King Asa a little bit later on.

Here in 2 Chronicles 15:9, the Bible says, “Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who dwell with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.” And then later during the days of Hezekiah.

Go to 2 Chronicles chapter 30 and notice verse 1. “And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel. And so they came down from Ephraim and Manasseh, these large tribes, down to keep the Passover there in Jerusalem.”

And in verse 18, reading a little further, “For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulon had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover.” And so we see others from other tribes as well joining them.

And in verse 25, “The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, also the priests and Levites, all the assembly that came from Israel, the sojourners who came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah.”

So there were many from all the tribes coming from all of these other places, some of them, many of them dwelling in Judah as a permanent residence.

Even in chapter 31 and verse 1 it says, “Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke the sacred pillars in pieces, cut down the wooden images, and through down the high places and the altars – from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh – until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned to their own cities, every man to his possession.”

Now, later on, when Israel was taken captive by Syria in the north, there were some that were left in Samaria.

In Amos chapter 5 we read about this. In the prophet Amos he reminds us of this great attack by the Assyrians upon Samaria and how many of them were scattered and taken; but there were some that were left there in Samaria.

Look with me in Amos 5:1-3. “Hear this word which I take up against you, a lamentation, O house of Israel: The virgin of Israel is fallen; she will rise no more. She lies forsaken on her land; there is no one to raise her up. For thus says the Lord God: The city that goes out by a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which goes out by a hundred shall have ten left of the house of Israel. For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek Me and live; but do not seek Bethel, nor enter Gilgal, nor pass over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nothing. So we see that some were taken and some were left. And we also see that some returned to Judah even later during the reforms of Josiah.”

Let me go back again to 2 Chronicles chapter 35. 2 Chronicles chapter 35 brings us to the time of king Josiah when he was making many reforms in the land of Judah, bringing the people back to God and back to the proper worship of the law.

But notice what it says here, 2 Chronicles 35:16-17. “So all the service of the Lord was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. And the children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days.”

So what do we see here?

Again, we see all of these tribes coming back into Judah. The fact is that a remnant of all the tribes of Israel returned from Babylon after they were taken captive. They came back into the city of Jerusalem to rebuild Jerusalem.

In 1 Chronicles 9:1-3, I want you to notice what the Bible has to say here about these various tribes. “So all Israel was recorded by genealogies, and indeed, they were inscribed in the book of the kings of Israel. But Judah was carried away captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness. And the first inhabitants who dwelt in their possessions in their cities were Israelites, priests, Levites, and the Nethinim. Now in Jerusalem the children of Judah dwelt, and some of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim and Manasseh.”

So having been taken captive to Babylon, now we see some of various tribes, not just Judah, but the various tribes of Israel dwelling, these were some of the first dwellers in the city of Jerusalem when they came back to rebuild that place.

Go to the book of Ezra and notice Ezra 1:1-5 when it also speaks of these very same things. Here it says in verse 1, “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem. Then the heads of the fathers houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.”

In Ezra 2:70 the Bible says, “So the priests and the Levites, some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim dwelt in the cities, and all Israel in their cities.”

Look at it in Ezra 6:16-17. “Then the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites and the rest of the descendants of the captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. And they offered sacrifices at the dedication of this house of God, one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. So all the tribes of Israel were represented in the coming back from Babylon back into the land of Judah.”

Look at it is chapter 7 and verse 7 of Ezra. “Some of the children of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Nethinim came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.”

Ezra 8:35, the Bible says, ”The children of those who had been carried away captive, who had come from the captivity, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel: twelve bulls, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, twelve male goats, all this as a sin offering. And this was a burnt offering to the Lord.”

I want to read one other passage in the book of Nehemiah. In Nehemiah chapter 1, notice what Nehemiah has to say beginning in verse 4. He says, “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said: I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that you may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, to keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling place for My name. Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.”
v Folks, the restoration of all the tribes of Israel back to the land of Judah to rebuild their temple has been fulfilled. There were no lost tribes that did not make their way back into the city of Jerusalem. No, by the time Jesus came to the earth and established his church, Jews from every tribe and from every place had come to the city of Jerusalem. We read about it in Acts the 2nd chapter in verses 5 through 11. But now somebody says, but Robert I know that God promised this land to the descendants of Abraham, and I know he gave them that land, and I know even though they were taken off, that those that turned back to the Lord, that remnant were brought back into the land; but doesn’t the promise to Abraham say that the land was promised forever, that it was an everlasting promise?

Well, I want you to notice that the term used, translated forever or everlasting does not always mean without end, but it often simply refers to a long time. For example, this term is used to describe how long a slave would serve his master in Deuteronomy 15:17. Here, forever cannot mean without end, but only as long as the slave lives.

Look at it with me here in Deuteronomy 15:17. Notice in this verse and how it’s translated here. “Then you shall take an awl and thrust it to his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise. Your servant forever. He’s not going to be a servant forever, but he may be a servant for a long time, as long as the slave would live. The term is also used to speak of a long time in the past.”

Let me go with you to Isaiah chapter 63, and notice in verse 11. “Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying, Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Here you see the term used to speak of a long time in the past. Here translated the days of old, it has reference to the days of Moses, not to the eternal past, not forever ago. And the same thing is found in many other passages.”

For example, when you read about circumcision in Genesis 17:13, “

when God made this covenant with Abraham long ago, he said, He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. Circumcision was everlasting. The same thing was said of the Passover.”

Look in Exodus 12:14. Exodus chapter 12, when God gave the instructions concerning the Passover to his servant Moses, here it says, “So this day shall be to you a memorial, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. Passover was an everlasting ordinance. And then there’s the Levitical priesthood.”

In the book of Numbers, in Numbers 25:13, notice how it is described here. And it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God and made atonement for the children of Israel. So the Levitical priesthood was everlasting, the Passover was everlasting, circumcision was everlasting or forever. But all of these came to an end when they were fulfilled, when they served their purpose. The law of Moses was abolished, these covenants were abolished, they were taken out of the way, as we read in Ephesians 2:14 and Colossians 2:14. Being fulfilled, they came to an end, having served their purpose. And that was true with the land promise. God made the promise to Abraham and his descendants, they possessed it, the promise was fulfilled; after they were taken captive, he brought folks from every tribe back into the land that turned to him. But all of that served its purpose, it found its fulfillment in time. Even those who propose a future restoration of Israel to the land, a restoration to Israel to the land in the last days, they believe it will all come to an end after a thousand years. Indeed, not only the land of Palestine, but the whole world will come to an end when our Lord comes again.

Read it with me in 2 Peter 3:10-13. 2 Peter speaks of the coming of Christ at the end of the world. 2 Peter chapter 3, let’s take a look beginning in verse 10. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. And so the land promise was forever, it was everlasting. That is, until it would serve its purpose, until it found its complete fulfillment, for a long time it would continue, but not until and going into eternity. No, this entire world will one day come to an end until we’re brought into that new habitation for man, that new heaven, that new earth, that eternal home with God forever.

Folks, there’s more that we want to talk about in this study concerning the restoration of Israel and the rebuilding of the temple, but that’s all we have time for today. I do hope that you know that our God is a God who always keeps his promises, that we can always rely upon his word. And just as surely as the Lord kept his promise to Abraham and his descendants concerning that land, the land of Palestine, so we can be certain that God will keep his promise concerning the greater land of Canaan, the greater promised land, that heavenly land, that heavenly place that God has for us with him forever. And I hope that you are right with God today, that you have prepared your heart to meet him so that you know you’ll be a part of that grand promise, that you’ll be ushered into that eternal home with our Father, and I pray and we hope that you would let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.

SINGING>> We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else,
all else, and we come to you and worship at your feet.
We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else,
all else, and we come to you and worship at your feet.
And we come to you and worship at your feet.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. I want you to know that our interest in you with regard to our program is about your eternal salvation. It’s not about money. It’s not about anything like that. But we are interested in your soul.

The Bible says that for a person to be saved, they have to first of all believe in Jesus Christ, but not just believe in him generally; you must believe that he is indeed the Son of God.

He said, “Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins,”

John 8:24. But he also said that a person must repent of sins. And that means to change your mind about your sinful past and to decide to change your action and live for God.

“ Except ye repent, you will perish,” Jesus said in Luke 13:3.

Paul said that,” God commands all men everywhere to repent,” Acts 17:30.

The Bible also teaches us that in order to be saved, we have to be willing to confess to others our faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 10:10, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

But even that’s not enough, because the Bible also teaches that a person must be immersed in water to have their sins washed away by the blood of Christ.

Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those “who asked what they must do to be saved, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” Mark 16:16.

When a person does that, they don’t earn their salvation; but that’s the moment at which the blood of Christ washes sins.

As Revelation 1:5 tells us, “it is the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins.”

In Acts 22:16 we learn when that blood washes. “ Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

I hope that you’ll study these things for yourself to see if they be so, and I hope and pray that if you’ve not obeyed the gospel that you will before its everlastingly too late.

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today, or if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site, www.ttil.tv.

All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So again, let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary,
when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven,
sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.

1534 The Restoration Of Israel, Part 2

The restoration on Israel relates to the times when Israel fell away. God promised to restore them to the land He promised them. When did that happen? Does this point to the end of time? Does it relate to Israel today? Watch as Robert looks closely at this important Bible doctrine.

ROBERT >> Will Israel be restored to Palestine and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem? That’s the question we began looking at last week here on The Truth In Love I want to continue to look at this week. According to some, all the twelve tribes of Israel from every place on earth will be gathered back to Canaan land, the city of Jerusalem and the temple will be rebuilt, its worship will be restored. All of this, they contend, will begin to take place at the coming of the Lord just prior to his thousand-year reign on earth in the end times. What does the Bible really have to say about that? Let’s continue to look together. I hope you’ll stay tuned. I’ll be right back.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Already in our study last week we learned how that God indeed promised Abraham and his descendants, Israel, the land of Canaan. We saw that this promise has already been completely fulfilled. It was fulfilled after God’s people were brought out of Egyptian bondage, through the wilderness, and Joshua led them ultimately into the promised land, where they came to dwell and where they came to possess that land. And they continued to possess that land until the time of David and the time of king Solomon, when their territory extended all the way to the river Euphrates. God completed his promise to Israel just as he had stated. We learned that that promise that God made to Abraham was actually an inheritance for his descendants, and that not at the end times, but soon after Moses led them out of Egypt, during the days of Joshua until the days of king David and king Solomon were they possessing that land. But very importantly, we learned that the possession of the land by Israel was always conditioned upon their faithfulness to God. That generation that came into the wilderness could not go in and inherit the land because of their unfaithfulness. And in time, when Israel turned away from God, even those that had come in to possess the land, they were removed from the land because of their disobedience, scattered by the Assyrians, taken captive by the Babylonians. But now let’s take this study a little further this morning, because you see, God also promised to return those who were removed from the land when they returned to him.

Let’s look together in Deuteronomy 4:29-31. Before Moses died, he wanted to tell this new generation that was coming into the promised land about these very things. Deuteronomy 4, beginning in verse 29, “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful God, He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.”

Yes, even though they would find themselves taken captive and in great distress, when they turned back to the Lord, when they sought after him, he would bring them back into that land to possess it once again. In Deuteronomy chapter 30, one of the later sermons of Moses before his death, before he would leave this generation of people, he comes back to this again.

In Deuteronomy 30 beginning in verse 1, “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return
to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with allyour soul, that you may live. Also the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. And you will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I command you today. The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

And so even though God’s people were taken captive, taken away from their land, they were not without hope. Because of a merciful and a gracious God, they could return to him, and they could once again be restored into the land of Canaan. Now, there are many other passages which speak of this, but I want you to notice that only a remnant of Israel would actually ever be returning to the land. It would only be a number that was just a few that would actually turn and seek the Lord and be returned into the land.

Let’s read this in Isaiah 1:9. In this first chapter, the prophet reminds God’s people of this because they had turned away from him and they were going to be taken captive. And it says, “Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.”

It would not be a national restoration, but a very small remnant. We see this also in Isaiah chapter 10. Look at verse 22. “For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them will return; the destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.”

Yes, it would just be a few that would turn to the Lord and return to Israel. And we can read other passages.

Chapter 11 and verse 11, “It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea.”

So from all of these places, wherever men would turn to the Lord, he would bring them back; but it would just be a remnant, just a few.

In verse 16, “There will be a highway for the remnant of His people who will be left from Assyria, as it was for Israel in the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.”

I also want to turn over to the prophet Jeremiah, because Jeremiah spoke to these same people of these same things. Jeremiah 23:3, “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back into their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.”

Jeremiah 31:7, “For thus says the Lord: Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, O Lord, save
Your people, the remnant of Israel!”

Once again we see, and we could look at many other passages like Zechariah 8:6, Romans 9:27, but all of these emphasize that only a remnant would return, would be restored back to the land, and it would be of only those who had turned back to the Lord, who would seek him with their whole heart, with their whole soul. But with the influx of Jews to Palestine in these modern days, it consists mostly of those who hold to a liberalized Judaism and even a few atheists, not of those who have returned to the Lord. There will be no national conversion of the Jews, as some contend.

Now, I know that many go to Romans 11:25-26 for this teaching. And so I want us to look closely at that today. Look at Romans 11:25-26, and let’s see what this is really talking about. Here the words say, “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

Does this verse teach us that there will be a national conversion of the Jews at the end time, as some contend? Let’s take a look at this little phrase, all Israel, and understand that all Israel here is not the entire Jewish race, but the remnant of the Jews and the many Gentiles who come to faith in Jesus Christ. All we have to do is go back and look beginning in Romans 9:6-8, where Paul began this entire discussion.

In Romans 9:6, listen to what it says: “But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, In Isaac your seed shall be called.”

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. They’re not all Israel who are of Israel. The all Israel of Romans 9, 10 and 11 are not fleshly Israel who came from the physical seed of Abraham, but those who have faith in that seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ. Look at it in Romans chapter 9. Go back to verse 25 through 27.

As He says also in Hosea, “I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not My beloved. 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.”

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. So the true people of God, the Israel of God is not the physical descendants of Abraham, just a remnant, those who believed, along with those of other nations who were not his people, now he calls them his people. That’s the true Israel of God.

Look at it in Romans 9:30-33. “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.”

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. 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.”

You see, Israel had the law, and they failed to live up to that law. And instead of putting their faith in Jesus Christ to seek forgiveness, they rejected him. And because they rejected Christ, God rejected them. But of the Gentiles, many would come to be made right with God through Jesus Christ and become
a part of the true Israel of God, his church.

We read on from Romans chapter 9 into chapter 10, and look what he says in verse 12 and 13. “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Salvation was not found in physical Israel, in that nation, but in spiritual Israel, those who call on the name of the Lord, those who come to believe and trust and to obey the Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

Look at it in chapter 11 and verse 1. “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.”

Paul, who wrote this letter, he was of the physicalnation of Israel, and he had not been cast aside, because he came to believe in Jesus as the Christ. In verse 5 it says, Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. There were a few. There were some of that physical nation who came to faith in Christ and thus became a part of the true Israel of God, his church. In verse 7, What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. So don’t ever think that there’s going to be this national conversion of all the physical seed of Abraham. The church, made of Jews and Gentiles, a remnant of the Jews, many of the Gentiles, that is the Israel of God or his people today.

In Romans the 2nd chapter, look with me there, where Paul had actually addressed this earlier.

In chapter 2, verse 28 through 29. Here he says, “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 that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”

And the apostle Paul in other letters has taught this very same thing. Go with me to the book of Galatians. In Galatians chapter 3, and really, Galatians is just a smaller exposition of the things that were extended in the book of Romans.

But in Galatians 3:7-8, Paul writes, “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.”

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, In you all the nations shall be blessed. The blessing of God would come not just through Abraham, but through his seed, Jesus Christ, to all those who truly believe on him.

”Inverse 16 this is made clear, of Galatians 3. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to your Seed, who is Christ.”

And then he explains it further in verse 26 through 29 when he says, For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

So the idea of all Israel being saved refers to the remnant of Jews, the many Gentiles who by faith in Christ were baptized into Christ. These are Abraham’s seed. These are the heirs of the promise. We could look at other passages.

In Galatians 6:15-16, when he closes this book he speaks of that true Israel of God, the church, saying, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.”

And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. It’s the church of
Christ, not the physical nation of Israel.

Philippians 3:3, throughout the letters of the apostle Paul we see this idea expounded upon. Here he says, “For we, the church, we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”It’s not the cutting of the flesh. It’s a circumcision of the heart that makes the difference.

Look at it in Paul’s letter to the Colossians in chapter 2, verse 11 and verse 12. “In Him, that is, in Christ, you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

When you in faith are baptized with Christ, your sins are forgiven. Those sins are cut off. You’re circumcised by Christ. You’re raised to walk in newness of life. And then one other passage, 1 Peter 2:9-10. But you, you Christians, “you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

What a grand and glorious privilege to be a part of the people of God. It was not just for fleshly, physical Israel, but it was for all nations, all people of all time who would put their faith in the Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, they looked forward to one who was coming; but now that Christ has come, we look back to the cross and we look back to the resurrection of Christ to see that he has come and that he has paid for our sins, that he has risen to give us the hope and the assurance of eternal life. As Peter pointed out here, we who have accepted that, who have received that in baptism, being baptized into Christ, we are that royal priesthood, we’re that holy nation, we’re that special people with a special purpose, to glorify God, to show forth his praises.

Have you obtained the mercy of God?

Are you a part of the people of God?

Do you have the hope and assurance of an eternal inheritance of the greater Canaan land of heaven?

Will you let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today?

singing>> In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
When the power of darkness comes in like a flood,
the battle belongs to the Lord.
He’s raised up a standard,
the power of his blood.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
When your enemy presses in hard, do not fear.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
Take courage, my friend, your redemption is near. The battle belongs to the Lord. And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. Our interest in our viewers with regard to our program is about eternal salvation. It’s not about money, it’s not about anything like that. We’re interested in your soul.

The Bible says that in Jesus Christ salvation is found. A person, to be saved, he must have faith in Jesus Christ; not just to believe in him generally, but believe that he is indeed the Son of God.

He said, “Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins,” John 8:24.

But he also said that a person must repent of sins, and that means to change your mind about your sinful past, to decide to change your action and to live for God.

“Except you repent, you will perish,” Jesus said in Luke 13:3.

Paul said that, “God commands all men everywhere to repent,”Acts 17:30.

The Bible also teaches us that in order to be saved, we have to be willing to confess to others our faith in Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 10:10, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

But even that’s not enough, because the Bible teaches that a person must be immersed in water to have their sins washed away by the blood of Christ. Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those who asked what they must do to be saved, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” Acts 2:38.

Jesus himself said before leaving this earth, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” Mark 16:16.

And so when a person does that, they don’t earn their salvation, but that’s just the moment at which the blood of Christ washes sins.

Revelation 1:5 tells us that it is the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins.

And Acts 22:16, it tells us when the blood washes. “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

I hope that you’ll study these things for yourself to see that these things be so. And I hope and pray that if you’ve not obeyed the gospel, that you will before it’s eternally too late.

If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today, or if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

singing>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven,
sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.

The Restoration of Israel: God’s promises

God made many promises to Israel concerning the land of Canaan He provided for them. These passages are important in understanding the restoration of Israel that came later.

ROBERT >> Good morning, and thank you for joining us on The Truth In Love. Today we continue our series on Bible prophecy and the last days, examining popular end time teachings with the Bible.

We have learned that Bible prophecy often speaks of the last days; but we learned that the last days does not refer to a time just before the end, but it began 2,000 years ago with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, and it will continue until Christ comes again. Christ will not come at the beginning of the last days, but the very last day of the last days.

We also learned that there’ll be no signs to indicate when Christ is coming. It’s not something you can wait to prepare for when you see some signs; but rather, you must always be prepared, because there are no signs of the end times. Christ will come suddenly and unexpectedly, and nobody but the Father knows when Jesus is coming again. We learned that the Bible never speaks of a secret rapture of the church, nor the rise of the antichrist in the great tribulation in the end times. No, when Jesus comes, every eye will see him, all the dead will be raised, all will be judged to go to heaven or to hell for all of eternity, and the world then will come to an end.

We learned that the battle of Armageddon is not a modern-day military holocaust in the end times, but a symbol of the utter defeat of the Roman empire, which fell under the wrath of God’s judgment for their persecution of the church many centuries ago. But today we want to take up another question: Will the nation of Israel be restored into the land of Palestine and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem in the end times? Stay tuned. I’ll be right back.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> According to some, all of the twelve tribes of Israel from every place on earth will be gathered back to Canaan land, the city of Jerusalem and the temple will be rebuilt, and its worship will be restored; and all of this they contend will begin to take place at the coming of the Lord just prior to a thousand-year reign rain on earth in the end times.

Let’s take a look at that, at least begin to look at that somewhat this morning. Let’s notice that certainly god promised Abraham and his descendants, Israel, the land of Canaan as a place for them to live, as a possession for them to inherit.

Let’s take a look all the way back at Genesis 12:1-7, where God made this covenant with Abraham long ago.

In Genesis 12 the Bible says, “Now the Lord had said to Abram, get out of your country, from your family, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your descendants I will give this land. And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

What a tremendous promise God made to Abraham, a many-fold promise God made to Abraham. He promised him a great nation, he promised him a great name, and he promised that through him would come a blessing to all nations. But God also promised to Abraham a great land.

And that’s what we want to focus in on today. Abraham and those of his family came into the land of Canaan; but you notice the promise was made specifically in verse 7, “To your descendants I will give this land, he said. It would not be until many years later that the descendants of Abraham would actually come to possess the land of Canaan.”

Look over in Genesis chapter 15 beginning in verse 13. Then He said to Abram, “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.”

And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. “Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

And so yes, the descendants of Abraham would come into the land of Canaan, but it would be many generations to come.

In verse 18 of Genesis 15 it says,” On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates.”

And so this was a great promise, a land that extended all the way to the east to the River Euphrates.

We look a little further in the book of Exodus, Exodus 23:30-31 notice what the Bible says here about this promise. “Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. And I will set your bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the River. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. And so the promise was made to Abraham and to his descendants.”

God would bless the descendants of Abraham with the land of Canaan. Their territory would extend all the way to the Euphrates River. But I want you to notice that this promise has already been completely fulfilled. And there are a number of passages I want you to notice in regards to this. During the time of Joshua, when Joshua brought the descendants of Abraham, the nation of Israel into the land of Canaan to conquer the enemies there, Joshua proclaimed at the end of that great contest, those great battles against the enemies of the land, that God had performed his work, that God had done everything he promised to do.

Let’s read it together in Joshua chapter 21 beginning in verse 43. “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land which of He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.”

The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. So God was true to his word, he kept his promise, he brought them into the land, they dwelt in the land, they possessed the land, not one word which the Lord had spoken failed to come to pass.

We also see this in Joshua 23:14 where the Bible says, “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.

Now, I also want us to go to 2 Samuel chapter 8. In 2 Samuel chapter 8, we come to the time of King David. This was after the land had come to be possessed during the days of Joshua. When David became king, the Bible says in verse 3 of 2 Samuel 8 that, David also defeated Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his territory at the River Euphrates. We see David recovering territory all the way, as the Bible had described it before, the territory all the way to the River Euphrates. And then move a little further.

Go to 1 Kings chapter 4, where we come to the reign of David’s son, Solomon, and how that Solomon ruled over Israel, and again they possessed the land of Canaan. God’s people possessed this land all the way to the River Euphrates.

I Kings 4:21 says, “So Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.”

And so God again had kept his word. He had kept his promises. Not one word failed of all that God had spoken concerning Israel and the land that they were to possess.

Let’s go then to the prophet Nehemiah, Nehemiah chapter 9 and look at verse 7 and versus 8. “You are the Lord God, who chose Abram, and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans, and gave him the name Abraham; you found his heart faithful before You, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it to his descendants. You have performed Your words, for you are righteous.”

In this same chapter, in Nehemiah chapter 9, verse 23 and 24 we read these words: “You also multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, and brought them into the land which You had told their fathers to go in and possess.”

So the people went in and possessed the land; You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they wished. Now, it’s clear from the Old Testament that God gave this promise to Abraham and to his descendants and that that promise was completely and entirely fulfilled just as God had spoken. Not one word failed. Now, in the book of Acts in the New Testament, Stephen rehearses this history of God concerning his people and the promises that he had made to them.

Look in Acts the 7th chapter with me. In Acts chapter 7, let’s begin in verse 2. “And he said, Brethren and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you. Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell. And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his descendants after him.”

So let me pause here for just a moment at the end of verse 5. Stephen explains by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit here in this passage that though Abraham was promised the land of Canaan, it would actually not be given and possessed by him, but rather by his descendants. It would be through his son and their sons before God would ever fulfill this promise that he had made to Abraham.

Look at it with me here in Acts 7:17. In verse 17 it says, “But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt.”

So we see then that the time for this promise to be fulfilled was not while Abraham was alive, or even his son, but many generations later when the people of Abraham, the descendants of Abraham would multiply in Egypt. And of course we remember their Egyptian bondage and how the nation multiplied there.

We go a little further in Acts chapter 7, and we look down in verse 34, and here it says, “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt. And this Moses whom they rejected, saying, Who made you a ruler and a judge? is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush.”

He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years. So you see, Stephen is telling us that, yes, God made a promise to Abraham, but it would be fulfilled by his descendants, and that would begin to be fulfilled when Moses would bring these descendants who had now multiplied into a great nation out of the land of Egypt.
Then look at it a little further down in 44 of Acts chapter 7. “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen, which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David, who found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob.”

So here Stephen brings it further, after God brought them out of the land of Egypt through the hand of Moses, into the wilderness, and ultimately Joshua brought them into the land, up until the time of David, when as we’ve already read, God’s word was fulfilled completely. They came in and dwelt, they came in and possessed the entire land that God had promised to Abraham and his descendants. These passages teach us that Abraham will not be raised from the dead to possess the land, as some contend, but that it was promised to him as an inheritance for his descendants, and that not at the end times, but soon after Moses led out of Egypt, during the days of Joshua and all the way up until the days of David would these promises be fulfilled. The possession of the land by Israel, that was all fulfilled. But I want you to notice something about God’s promise concerning this land. The possession of that land by Israel was always conditioned upon their faithfulness to God. In other words, if they wanted to remain in the land, if they wanted to remain in possession of that land, they had to continue in faithfulness to God. This is emphasized over and over again in the Old Testament scriptures. And I want to look at just a few of those with you now.

Look at Numbers chapter 14. Numbers 14:27-35. Now, you might remember in this chapter, God’s people had already come into the wilderness, and they were about to enter into the promised land, but because of their unfaithfulness, because they refused to believe and trust in God, they would not go into the land. And as a result of that, God would punish them, and they would have to continue in the wilderness for many years.

Look what is said here in Numbers 14:27. God says, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Say to them, As I live, says the Lord, just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you. The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who are numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. I the Lord have spoken this. I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.”

So that generation lost their inheritance of the possession of the promised land of Canaan. It would be given to the next generation whom Joshua would bring in. You see again how the possession of the land was conditioned upon faithfulness to God.

Read what Moses then said in Deuteronomy 4:25-28. Here we read, “When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, and act corruptly and make a carved image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the Lord your God to provoke Him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish from the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess; you will not prolong your days in it, but will be utterly destroyed. And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. And there you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.”

Again, those who would come in to possess the land in time would grow corrupt, would lose their faith in God, and they would be taken from that land. Joshua said the same thing in Joshua 23:11-16. Let’s look there together. After they had come into the land, they had possessed the land, they had conquered the enemies there, he warns them.

Joshua 23:11, “Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God. Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations, these that remain among you, and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you. Behold, this day, Joshua says, I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed. Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all the good things have come upon you which the Lord your God promised you, so the Lord will bring upon you all harmful things, until He has destroyed you from this good land which the Lord your God has given you. When you have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed down to them, then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land which He has given you. It should be clear from these passages and many others that, yes, the unfaithfulness of Israel would cause them to be taken from their land.”

In time, they’d be removed because of their disobedience. But didn’t God promise to return them?

Weren’t they going to come back to the land?

Weren’t they going to rebuild a temple?

Next week, Lord willing, we’ll look further at what the Bible has to say about the restoration of Israel to the land and the rebuilding of their temple.

In the meantime, let us all realize that God has a greater promised land for us if we’ll be faithful to him. And we hope that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards that heavenly land today.

SINGING>> On Zion’s glorious summit stood
a numerous host redeemed by blood.
They hymned their king in strains divine.
I heard the song and strove to join.
I heard the song and strove to join.
While everlasting ages roll, eternal love shall feast their soul.
And scenes of bliss forever new rise in succession to their view.
Rise in succession to their view.
Holy, holy, holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Who like me thy praise should sing,
oh Almighty king?
Holy, holy, holy Lord.
God of hosts on high adored.
Holy, holy, holy.

ROBERT >> Thanks for watching the program today. We’d love to hear from you. Let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, your comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv.

Remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary,
when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.