One of the more important facts, relating to The Church and Israel, is that they are…. At Once: The Same & NOT the same. There is a Physical Israel: those born to Jewish mothers. And there is a Spiritual Israel: those born-again: the spiritual sons of God.
[Note: In biblical parlance, God has no daughters! Only ‘Sons’ Inherit]
Here’s How It All Works:
About 2000 / 2500 years after Adam & Eve, God called Abram, from his idolatry, in the area of Ur of the Chaldees. This would have been just after the Dispersion re: Bab-el. Seventy year old Abram was promised, by God, to be the Father of a Great Nation [Gen. 12]. God said: “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” v 2
After visiting his father, in Ur, of the Chaldees, and attending to his burial, Abram took his deceased brother’s son, Lot, and traveled South, to the plain of Moreh. The Plain of Moreh is where Shechem is….A place 57 miles North of Jerusalem and Center of what we know, today, as Israel. The place where Joseph was buried and where Gideon fought the Midianites.
At this spot Abram built an altar unto the LORD, Who appeared unto him there.
After this, Abram travelled farther South, to an undisclosed place, probably South of the Dead Sea, in that Region where the 5 cities of the plain were, South and West of the Dead Sea. An area described in Abram’s day as lush and fertile, but completely dependent upon the rains.
The next thing we know about Abram is when he took his family and flocks to Egypt, because there was a famine in the land. It is here Abram adds Hagar to his ‘family.’ Hagar was maidservant to Sarai, Mother of Ishmael [lit: God Will Hear]
Returning, God appeared to the now, 99 year old Abram to make a covenant with him [Gen 17]. It is here God required every male in Abram’s family (including his servants) to be circumcised….as a Sign of This Covenant…. changing his name, from Abram [High Father] to Abraham [Father of a Multitude]. It is from Abraham all of Israel [the name God gave Isaac’s son, Jacob] descends…..as well as the children of Ishmael and Esau….perennial enemies of Israel.
The Nation of Israel, as it was called….coming out of Egyptian bondage, 400 years later…. was ordered by God to destroy ALL the Gentile Nations of this Promised Land. Something Israel failed to do…..A failure that has plagued her ever since.
However, through congest and dispersion, Israel has Remained….even in exile: Unique. United. Undeterred from her biblical, Covenantal Destiny.
The Romans defeated Jerusalem in 70 AD, destroying the Temple. The Final Dispersion of Israel was in 135 A.D., when the Romans utterly destroyed the City, building a new town on its ruins. No Jew was permitted to set foot in this town, on pain of death. From 638 to 1917, Jerusalem was under Islamic Control, except for a short period during the Crusades.
Toward the end of the 19th century the Zionist Movement was born. The British took control in 1917, with the defeat of the Ottoman Turks. Jews began returning to Jerusalem.
This saw the Balfour Declaration promising a Homeland for Israel, in Palestine.
The British backed off their promise, after WWI. But with the horrific treatment of Jews, during WWII, they withdrew in 1947, in concert with UN Resolution 181, which called for the Partitioning of Israel — between Jews and Arabs.
The Arabs rejected the Resolution, and The Jewish Nation of Israel was declared the evening of May 14/15, 1948.
With a population of half a million, Israel was immediately attacked by 5 Arab Nations….from all sides. [Lebanon, Syria, S.Arabia, Jordan & Egypt] Five additional Wars would be fought [1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982]. Each time Israel defeated her enemies, became stronger and Arab resistance became more fragmented. It was difficult NOT to see the Hand of God in many of these battles.
Israel has fulfilled the biblical prophecy of Israel becoming a Garden in the desert….. Of dominating the Region…. And of numerous Inventions and Technological Advances which have benefitted the world!
It has now been 70 years since Israel declared her Autonomy! On May 19, 2018 Israel will celebrate that Milestone.
Seventy Years, in biblical terms, is Significant. The number 7 is God’s number of completion — God rested on the 7th day. The 7th year, in Jewish culture, is a Sabbatical Year — Rest for the land. 70 years represents 10 Sabbatical years. The number, 70 is made up of two ‘perfect’ numbers [numbers representing perfection] The number 7, representing perfection and the number 10 representing completion or judgment.
There are 7 days in a week; 70 elders went up Mt Sinai to have a special meal with God [Ex 24]; 10 Sabbath years = 70; 70 Israelites started a Nation within a Nation [Jacob’s family in Egyptian captivity], being 490 (7X70) years in captivity to Egypt [judgment]. Jerusalem is the City on 7 hills. Only one other city of the world, boasts this phenomena: Rome — The Spiritual Enemy of God.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
In some circles, Nothing! The cycle is meaningful only when the Sanhedrin Declare it; only when the 10 Tribes of Israel are back in the land, according to their original tribal inheritances, and only when there is a fully functional Sanhedrin in Israel….one fully accepted by Israel… and a Full Complement of 71 judges.
It will be the blast of the Shofar, by the Sandhedrin, that signals the beginning of the Year of Jubilee!
In biblical eschatology…..This Is A Very Big Deal!