BEHOLD THE BEAST
The False Prophet
Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake,
do not disgrace the throne of thy glory:
remember, break not thy covenant with us.
MANY wonder how a lost Jewish people could possibly be one of
the Two Witnesses, quoting as support for their view, "There is no
other name under heaven, given among men, whereby ye must be
saved" (Act 4:12). Their concern is reasonable enough. So how
can the true Church be the ally of a people who don't know that
Jesus is their Messiah? Well, when we look back at the rest of the
Bible in the light of what we now know from Revelation, we get
a clearer picture of the spiritual position of the Jews during this
era. But to see it, we also need to understand the spiritual
condition of the Old Testament saints. Were the Old Testament
Israelites "born again" like New Testament Christians are? There
are a few heavyweight theologians who would dispute the point,
so let's bring Scripture to bear on the issue.1
In His discussion with Nicodemus (John 3), Jesus put a name
to what happens in the human heart when we first turn to the
Lord. He called it being "born again." When Jesus spoke with
Nicodemus, the cross was still in Jesus' future, yet right there He
made a doctrinal statement that many think applies only to the
1 Joh 3:3, 3:7 and 1Pe 1:23 are the only verses in the Bible where this experience
is so named.
John 3:3,10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily,
I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God ... Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest
not these things?
Even though the Old Testament was all the Scripture Nico-
demus had, the Lord expected him to understand what being born
again was all about. So here is the question: How could
Nicodemus have understood the born-again principle before Jesus
died on the cross? Answer: He could only have understood being
born again before the cross if Old Testament believers could be
born again before the cross. Jesus expected Nicodemus to know,
as did a scribe of his time, that it was not correct doctrine, but a
changed heart that resulted in salvation:
Mark 12:32-33 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master,
thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is
none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and
with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all
the strength, to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all
whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
The Old Testament is full of verses declaring that a changed
heart, rather than sacrifice, is the central aspect of salvation.1 The
whole 11th chapter of Hebrews teaches that Old Testament saints
were saved by faith. They were not justified by the Levitical code,
nor by the deeds of the law any more than we are. Old Testament
believers were given a changed heart before the cross - were born
again - just like Christians are after the cross.
1 Here are four of many Old Testament verses that stress heart condition unto
salvation above ritualistic observance:
Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall
live by his faith.
Psa 51:16-17 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest
not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a
contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Mic 6:8 ... what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?
Since Jesus said, "Except a man be born again he cannot see
the kingdom of God," then Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah,
Job, Daniel, and all the rest of the Old Testament saints had to be
born again, or we will not see them in Heaven. We saw Moses and
Elijah in their glorified bodies on the Mount of Transfiguration -
before the cross - so we can prove they were born again, unless
we wish to believe that God would permit His glory to radiate
through the faces of the unregenerate. Obviously, those elder
brethren had changed hearts, and a changed heart is what being
born again is all about.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 A new heart also will I give you, and a new
spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony
heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in
my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Old Testament or New, there is NO difference in how a soul is
saved. The only difference is doctrine, and doctrine is determined
by how the Lord willed to reveal Himself to man at a given time.
Old Testament saints and Christians have different doctrines, but
the method of salvation is the same.
1 Corinthians 10:1-4 I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that
all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through
the sea. And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in
the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all
drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual
Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
True saints have always been born again "by grace through
faith," regardless of the era in which they lived. This is a major
issue in some churches, so please make an effort to understand
the argument. It will be important to your spiritual well-being and
will aid you in your future comprehension of the Bible.
We said all that to get to this: When Jesus went to the Cross
there were Old Testament Jews spread all over the world. They
were in Africa, Spain, India, even as far away as England. If they
were true believers, they were born again. Elect, just like you and
I are (Rom 11:28). Many of them must have been unaware of
Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection.
So here's the question: Did those dispersed Jews lose their
salvation the moment Jesus went to the cross and they were
suddenly and unknowingly thrust into the Christian Era? If we
believe so, then we are saying a man is saved by his doctrine,
rather than by his heart condition.
If a Jew, under God's covenants given to him through the
patriarchs and prophets, could be saved by faith in his coming
Messiah for one nanosecond into the Christian Era, then a Jew in
that same spiritual condition can be saved under those same
covenants a thousand, or even 2000 years later. The only way that
would not be true is if salvation is based upon where we are
positioned in history, and the correctness of our doctrine.
Numerous times in the Old Testament the Lord speaks of His
everlasting covenant with the children of Israel, including the
Genesis 7:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and
thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an
everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed
Psalms 105:8-10 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the
word which he commanded to a thousand generations ... And
confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an
If faith in God's Old Testament covenant was good enough to
save Moses and Elijah, then it is good enough to save a Jew today
if - and it is a big if - the Holy Spirit has not revealed to that Jew
that Yeshua is his Messiah. When the Holy Spirit does so, the Jew
needs to recognize God's Son as his Messiah and Lord just like we
do. So is it possible for a Jew in this information age to be unaware
1 Strong's No. H3091. Yehowshuwa., yeh-ho-shoo'-ah; or Yehowshu'a,
yeh-ho-shoo'-ah; from H3068 and H3467; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (i.e. Joshua),
the Jewish leader: Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. Compare H1954, H3442.
Transliterated into Greek as Jesus, many Jews spell His name in the abbreviated
form of Y'shua, Yeshua or Yeshuah.
2 It is no easier to tell if a Jew is saved than it is to tell the spiritual condition of
a Gentile. But, if the Holy Spirit reveals to a Jew that Jesus is his Messiah, he is no
longer blind. If a Jew then rejects the Lord, he is as lost as any Gentile who does.
Consequently, a witness to Jews is as necessary as it is for Gentiles. If a Jew already
has the circumcision of the heart (Rom 2:28-29), and the Holy Spirit takes the veil
away, the believing Jew WILL turn to Yeshua. Why? Because, the same Spirit that
takes the veil away will point him straight to God's Son. Only the Lord knows the
true heart condition, (1Sa 16:7).
that Yeshua1 is his Messiah?2 Jesus gave us a marvelous parable
in Luke that explains it very clearly:
Luke 5:33-39 (excerpts) And they [the scribes and Pharisees]
said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and
make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but
thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make
the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom
is with them?... And he spake also a parable unto them; No
man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if
otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece
that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And
no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine
will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall
perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both
The Pharisees were questioning why Jesus' disciples didn't
keep Jewish traditions. Jesus replied that the children of the
bridegroom didn't fast while the bridegroom was present,
speaking of Himself and the disciples. He then likened the gospel
to new wine, and the Jews to old wineskins. Jesus went on to say
that He would not put the new wine of the gospel into the old
wineskins of the Jewish people, lest He destroy them both. Jesus
concluded with the categorical statement that He did not will for
the old bottles to perish, so new wine was put in new wineskins,
and both would be preserved. That is a mystery indeed. How can a
preserved if he does not understand the gospel? Let's see
how God accomplished it. He promised Moses He would:
Leviticus 26:33-45 (excerpts) I will scatter you among the heathen,
and will draw out a sword after you ... And they that are left
of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies. lands
... And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their
enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them,
to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them:
for I am the LORD their God . . But I will for their sakes
remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought
forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that
I might be their God: I am the LORD.
ELECTION FOR BOTH COVENANTS
Throughout the centuries, the Holy Spirit has kept the Jew
under the law (2Co 3:14, Gal 5:2-3). As stated before, to the Jew,
the Old Testament is all the Bible there is. To him, Messiah is still
to come, and oh, how he longs for His appearance, just as we do.
The Jew believes in Him and trusts in Him because of the
promises of God given to him in the Old Testament. Can his faith
be in vain? The Bible tells us, if we only have ears to hear it:
Romans 11:8-11 (According as it is written, God hath given them
the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears
that they should not hear) unto this day. I say then, Have they
stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through
their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke
them to jealousy.1
Romans 11:24-25 For if thou [the Gentile church] wert cut out of
the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted
contrary to nature into a good olive tree [the Jews]: how
1 Some have suggested that it is impossible for a Jew in this age not to know about
Jesus. If we were dealing in the natural realm, the author would agree, but we are
not. By a sovereign act of divine will, God blinded the spiritual eyes of the Jews
(Rom 11:8) and only God can cause them to see again! If the Lord blinded the
Jews to their eternal damnation, then He broke faith with the Patriarchs, and His
everlasting covenants with Israel are untrue. Num 23:19 states, "God is not a man,
that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and
shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
2 Strong's No. 1589. ekloge, ek-log-ay.; from G1586; (divine) selection: chosen,
much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted
into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye
[Gentiles] should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be
wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened
to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Romans 11:28-29 As concerning the gospel, they [the Jews] are
enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election,2 they [the
Jews] are beloved for the fathers. sakes. For the gifts and
calling of God are without repentance. [are irrevocable, NASB]
Note the two groups of people in those verses: We and They.
Language is meant to communicate, and in no language known to
man are we and they the same group of people. These are two
distinctly different bodies of people. From context, these two
groups are the Jewish people and the Gentile church. According
to Rom 11:28, one of these two groups is the enemy of the Gospel.
The Church is not the enemy of the Gospel, so the other group
must be, and that's the Jewish people.
But despite their enmity to the truth of the gospel, wonder of
wonders, they are still elect. Hear that: the Jews are still elect.
That is not a suppositional doctrine; Rom 11:28-29 states they are
still elect, and the following verses affirm it:
Romans 11:30-32 For as ye [the Gentiles] in times past have not
believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their [the
Jews] unbelief: Even so have these [Jews] also now not
believed, that through your mercy [shown to the Gentiles] they
[the Jews] also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded
them all [both Jews and Gentiles] in unbelief, that he might
have mercy upon all.
Those Scriptures lead us to this point: If the Church is "elect,"
and Israel is "elect," wherein lies the difference between us? Only
in our historic position, and in the accuracy of our doctrine
(neither of which saves us). The Old Testament saints knew their
was coming, even though they did not know who He was
going to be. They were born again, even though they did not
know His identity. They were saved by faith in the same Messiah
that you and I are and not by their doctrine. Praise God we are not
saved because our doctrines are perfect, but because Jesus is the
perfect atonement for our sins, and His blood is perfect even for
the Jews who do not know His name.
Over the last 22 years, I have watched people dance all around
Rom 11:11 and 11:24-32. I even know several theological types
who heatedly declare, "I don't know what those verses mean, but
they certainly don't mean what they say," thus putting the
doctrines of men above the Word of God. Why not believe what
those verses say? Is the Bible the Word of God, or isn't it? I fear
our traditions are so firmly entrenched that only a major disaster
or the return of the Lord will change them. Throughout the
Christian Era, we have been trying to make Gentiles out of Jews,
but we have it backwards. Israel was not grafted into the Church;
the Church was grafted into Israel (Rom 11:17).
In Rom 11:25, we were commanded not to become "wise in our
own conceits" because we were given the gospel while the Jews
were not. But we became arrogant anyway, and it has resulted in
our own blindness. We've been thinking all along that we had it
all, while the Jews were without hope. It isn't so, but unless we
permit the Holy Spirit to take the scales from our eyes, we will
remain hopelessly blinded to God's overall plan.
BREAD AND WINE
Jesus was surrounded by a jeering crowd as He stood before
Pilate. Pilate wanted to free Him, but the crowd demanded His
crucifixion. The Lord loved them, taught them, fed them and
healed everyone who came to Him. The Pharisees knew who He
was, but still wanted Him dead:
Matthew 27:22-25 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then
with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let
him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath
he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be
crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but
that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his
hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood
of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people,
and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
How are we saved, brethren? Because Jesus' blood is upon us.
There at the Pavement, the Jews uttered what they thought to be
a curse, "His blood be on us, and on our children." But I don't
believe God saw it that way. With unfathomable love and mercy
He looked down on the people He had blinded for our sakes and
probably said, "Be it unto you in accordance with your words."
Despite the Jews not recognizing God's dying Son as their
Messiah, the Lord put His merciful hand over the eyes of His
beloved people Israel, and saved them. Do we even begin to grasp
the caring and forgiving nature of our Heavenly Father? All He
needed to do for them to be lost was nothing, just nothing.
Instead of that, He blinded them so they could not sin against a
knowledge of the truth.1 Oh, what it has cost those precious
people. What sufferings they have endured throughout the cen-
turies because of their inability to see the Savior who went to the
cross for them.2 Spiritually, they suffer still, looking dimly ahead,
through darkened Old Testament eyes, for the coming of their
1 Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the
truth [that Jesus is the only sacrifice for sin that is acceptable to God the Father],
there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of
judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
2 Certainly many of the Pharisees rejected the Lord so as to be lost, but not all.
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea are notable exceptions. Nor would it surprise
the author to see Gamaliel in Heaven. He defended the brethren in Acts 5:37-39,
and that he feared the Lord is unquestionable.
Romans 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom
and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments,
and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind
of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath
first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him
again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all
things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Looking at the big picture, why did the Lord decree a partial
spiritual blindness upon His beloved people? It was for the sake of
you and me, the Gentile believers. How dare the Church judge a
people whom God Himself has blinded. The Lord desires that we
have a loving and understanding heart toward our brethren afar-
off, the people who were "blinded for our sake," moving them to
jealousy so that they come to His Son.
Most Jews believe that Christians hate them. They may not
show it up front, but down inside the Jews believe it, and for a
very good reason. It is a deplorable fact that many so-called
Christians have persecuted the Jews throughout this era in the
mistaken belief that they killed Jesus. My, have our spiritual eyes
ever been dulled. It wasn't the Jews who killed Jesus. You and I
killed Jesus! Don't you see that Jesus sacrificed Himself because
you and I sinned? While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He saw
the sins of all time, from the first sin of Adam until the very last
sin to be committed. It was for your sins and mine that He said,
"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Blindness is upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles is
come in (Rom 11:25). Maybe that day is at hand now because
many thousands of Jews are now turning to Yeshua. But the Lord
has yet to take the scales from the eyes of all, and many Jews still
look to Moses and the prophets.
In Hebrews we read about Father Abraham giving tithes to
Melchizedek (the Lord Jesus). Abraham did so for all those who
would proceed from his loins: for his children throughout all
generations to come (Heb 7:1-10). Now what was Melchizedek's
response to Abraham? He set a table before him, and on that
table, bread and wine (Gen 14:17-20). Bread and wine . . . the
same communion that Jesus served the disciples at the last
supper. Oh, the richness of the foreknowledge of God. Do we have
eyes to see what the Lord Jesus did through Abraham and for his
physical seed forever? As Abraham gave tithes for the children of
Israel yet to be born, so, in like manner, Jesus had communion
with all the children of Israel yet to be born, and our God is a
Jeremiah 31:3-8 Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. For there
shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim
shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD
our God. For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for
Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye,
praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of
If the Jewish people had come to know Jesus as their Messiah,
they would have been absorbed into the Church, and Jews would
have disappeared from the face of the earth. That doesn't sound
so bad, does it? How significant could that be?
If the Jewish people had accepted Yeshua as their Messiah,
then the Jewish nation, as a distinct people, would have been
absorbed into the Church and the prophecies we have been
studying could never have been fulfilled!
The fulfillment of every prophecy we have looked at so far,
plus the ones we study next, depended on the Jews not knowing
Jesus as their Messiah!
1 Most denominations believe that the Jews of the Christian Era who are blind to
the fact that Jesus is their Savior are lost. Nonetheless, the scriptural evidence to
the contrary is so strong that the author wonders how the Church has been able
to maintain their position.
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