Now that we’re “prayed up” (I hope you joined us yesterday for our day of prayer!), let’s “study up” on the three conditions necessary for the fulfillment of Matthew 23:39:
For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
In the context of the Davidic Covenant we studied a couple weeks ago, the Davidic Covenant will find fulfillment during the Millennial Kingdom, where Jesus will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This will happen only after the Jews proclaim, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
In this week’s study, we have found that at least 3 conditions must be met in order to welcome the King home. First, Israel must be in her land. Secondly, Israel’s historical mission must not fail.
Now we come to the third condition: Israel’s destiny must be national, not simply a “spiritual” symbol. The end game must include the NATION of Israel, not simply a spiritual concept.
If Israel is a “spiritual concept” only, how will God fulfill His promise of land to Abraham? This is one of the faults of Replacement Theology. NOTHING and NO ONE has replaced Israel. Israel must have a national identity in order for the King to come home.
God needed a real, physical place in which to place real, physical people whom He called for His purposes. That land is Israel and those people are Jews, and in the Abrahamic Covenant, God promised to bless all the families of the earth through them! (Genesis 12:3 and elsewhere) Jews are to be the servants of the covenant!
God has abundantly blessed the Jewish people with situations throughout history that illustrate Biblical concepts. The concept of Jews being servants of the covenant to the whole world is illustrated in the Hanukkah celebration.
Hanukkah means “Feast of Dedication,” and John 10:22 tells us that Jesus Himself attended the Feast of Dedication, validating its authenticity. But the event took place years earlier in 168 BC, when Jerusalem was ruled by an evil Greek king named Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus wanted to Hellenize (make Greek) the entire world. That meant elimination of the Jews.
So, he started destroying Jewish culture and religion first. He defiled the Temple, set up an altar to Zeus, and did all kinds of atrocious things. He was a “vulture,” a prototype of the Antichrist, and his mission was to ultimately liquidate the Jews.
However, in 168 BC, the Maccabean family led a revolt and defeated Antiochus! Immediately, the Jewish people began to clean and restore the Temple and the Temple objects. The 7-branch menorah, which stood in the Holy Place, was to burn continually. But only a day’s worth of oil was found, and it was an 8-day round trip to the Galilee for more.
Miraculously, however, the 1-day supply lasted 8 days! Thus, to this day the Jews commemorate the re dedication of the Temple with the 8-day celebration of Hanukkah.
But do you know the difference between the menorah used in the Temple, and a Hanukkah menorah? Look carefully at the pictures and count the branches. Though the Temple menorah had 7 branches, the Hanukkah menorah (Hanukkiah) has 9 branches.
That’s because the Hanukkiah celebrates the 8 days of Hanukkah and the ninth branch is a “servant” candle (though sometimes found tucked down behind the main stem, or to the far right). It is always lit first and is used to light the other branches. (During the Hanukkah celebration, one additional candle is lit throughout the 8 days.)
So, here is the picture. In terms of world redemption, Israel is the “servant” candle. She was lit first (given the Abrahamic Covenant), and is the light through which God wants to bless all the families of the earth (represented by the other branches).
The menorah is also a national symbol of Israel.
You see, Israel’s destiny is a national destiny. Despite efforts to obliterate the land and eliminate the people, Israel still stands! In order to welcome the King home, Israel must exist as a nation, and God will ultimately save them as a nation! (Romans 11:23)
My friends, God’s call upon Israel is irrevocable. He won’t change the plan, and no one else is mighty enough to change it! The conditions for His return have not always been evident, but they are today!
- Israel is back in her land.
- Israel’s historical mission is still ongoing and hasn’t changed
- Israel exists as a nation
May Israel soon declare: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!“