The Deed To The Land 3

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The Deed To The Land - Part Three

 

As we have seen in our previous segments, the covenants God made with Israel clearly represent deeds to the land of Canaan. If we were to stop at this point we would have sufficient grounds to declare that Israel has and always will have the deed to the land. No one has the authority or the power to take the deed away from Israel because it is God who has made the deed to be everlasting and unconditional.

With that said, the covenants of God are not the only support for Israel ownership of the deed. As we examine the Scriptural record we will find several other matters that lend support to Israel’s ownership of the land. 

#1: The rules of interpretation: As we approach the Scriptures and their interpretation, we find that God desires us to understand His Word in the natural literal sense of the language it is given in. It is clear that this is God’s desired approach to interpreting Scripture for several reasons

A) It would make no sense for God to communicate crucial information about Himself and man’s need of salvation in some form of coded message that only a few would be able to grasp. When I was learning to preach we had an approach that we called “kiss.” “Kiss” meant, “keep it simple stupid.” The idea was to make it clear and simple so that all might be able to grasp it.

B) The natural literal interpretation was that used by the Jews in the Old Testament. When reading the law of Moses they took it literally when it said “you shall not kill.” Likewise they believed the historical accounts happened just as they were recorded.

C) The natural literal interpretation was the approach that Jesus took when referring to the Scriptures and likewise did His apostles

D) The Bible encourages Christians to know and correctly interpret Scripture (Acts 17:11-12 ; 2 Tim. 2:15). This can not be done with any other form of interpretation than a natural literal interpretation.

E) There is no other method of interpretation taught or demonstrated in all of Scripture other than the natural literal interpretation. There is no biblical support for an allegorical interpretation of prophecy as practiced in the Roman Catholic or many Protestant camps.

F) The prophesies given in the Old Testament were always fulfilled in a literal sense. For example, In Daniel 8-11, he foretells the fall of the Babylonian empire to the Medo-Persian empire and the fall of the Medo-Persian Empire to Alexander and the Greeks. He also speaks of the fall of the Grecian Empire to the Roman Empire. All these happened just as they were foretold. Isaiah foretells of the rise of a king named Cyrus who would enable Israel to rebuild Jerusalem (Isa. 44:28) and it was fulfilled 200 years later in the time of Ezra (Ezra 1:1-4). Many other examples could be given of prophecy understood and fulfilled in a literal sense including all the prophesies of Christ’s First Coming.

Since this is the correct approach to understanding Scripture we can draw a conclusion about Israel’s ownership of the land. The prophecies concerning the Second Coming of Christ and Israel’s restoration as a nation in the land of Canaan are to be understood in a literal sense. In other words Christ will return to redeem Israel, restore her land, and establish a 1000 year Kingdom. Even those scholars who believe these future events no longer apply to Israel, admit that if they were to take these prophecies in their natural literal sense they would have to conclude Israel will be restored. 

#2: The testimony of the Apostles: It was the view of the Apostles and the First Century Church that Israel was still God’s people and they would someday be restored spiritually and physically to the land. 

Matt 1:21, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Acts 13:23-25, “From this man's seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior — Jesus— after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.”

Rom 11:1, “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not!”NKJV

Rom 11:25-27, “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 has 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; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins."

#3: God’s marital relationship with Israel: God views His covenant relationship with Israel as the same as that between a husband and a wife (Isa. 50:1 54:6; Hosea 2:2). As adultery in marriage means one mate cheats on another, so Israel cheated on God by worshipping other gods and idols.

Jer 3:20, “Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, So have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel," says the Lord.”

Ezek 6:8-10, “Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries. Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.”

Ezek 16:31-33, “You erected your shrine at the head of every road, and built your high place in every street. Yet you were not like a harlot, because you scorned payment. You are an adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband.

Hos 2:2, “Bring charges against your mother, bring charges; For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, And her adulteries from between her breasts;”

Since God considers this covenant relationship with Israel as binding as marriage, the only way this covenant could be broken would be with a “certificate of divorce.” Did God give Israel a certificate of divorce for her sin or has God remained faithful to his vows as Israel’s husband in spite of Israel’s sins? There are those who believe that God did divorce Israel and they appeal to the words of Jeremiah 3 as proof.

Jer 3:7-10, “And I said, after she had done all these things, 'Return to Me.' But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense," says the Lord.” NKJV

It would appear from this passage that God has divorced Israel and in essence all of His covenant promises with her. No longer will she have the deed to the land. No longer would she be blessed more than all the nations of the world nor will she be restored in the future as a nation. However, before we go too far, we need to read the context of these verses in order to draw the right conclusions. If we read the verses that follow we discover that God plans only to treat Israel as if He has divorced her. As she is removed from the land and persecuted among the Gentiles she will fill as if she has been divorced from God. However, in reality God relationship with Israel has not changed and His present treatment is only temporary. He will ultimately restore her back as His wife. Check out what Jeremiah writes in these verses following verses if you have questions.

Jer 3:11-19, “Then the Lord said to me, "Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: 'Return, backsliding Israel,' says the Lord; 'I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,' says the Lord; 'I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God, and have scattered your charms to alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,' says the Lord. "Return, O backsliding children," says the Lord ; "for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. "Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days," says the Lord , "that they will say no more, 'The ark of the covenant of the Lord .' It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore. "At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord , and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord , to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts. "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers. "But I said: 'How can I put you among the children and give you a pleasant land, a beautiful heritage of the hosts of nations?' "And I said: 'You shall call Me, "My Father," And not turn away from Me.” NKJV

God, as every good husband, declared He would remain true to Israel in the good times and the bad times. There are times when it may seem like God has divorced her but in reality He has never given her up. This is the reason God commands those who are married that if they separate they are to remain unmarried leaving the door open for future restoration (1 Cor. 7:10-11). To say God has divorced Israel permanently is to ignore so many passages that speak of her eventual repentance and restoration.

Isa 61:8-9, “For I, the Lord , love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, And will make with them an everlasting covenant. Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, And their offspring among the people.All who see them shall acknowledge them, That they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed."

Jer 32:37-41, “Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.”

To make sure the people of Israel understood their dispersal among the nations had not voided their covenant with God, God commissioned a special book that speaks specifically to this matter. God called Hosea to be a living illustration of God’s commitment to Israel. Hosea is told to marry a prostitute who gives birth to three children. Then she abandons Hosea to return to her lovers. However, Hosea’s wife comes to her senses and God tells Hosea to go get her and restore her as his wife. Hosea is promised that this time his wife will never depart from him. God said He would do the same for Israel.

Hos 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.' 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! NKJV

Hos 2:14-23, “'Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. "And it shall be, in that day," says the Lord, "That you will call Me 'My husband,' and no longer call Me 'My Master,' for I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely. "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord. It shall come to pass in that day that I will answer," says the Lord ; "I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth. The earth shall answer with grain, with new wine, and with oil; they shall answer Jezreel. Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; then I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!'" NKJV

 #4: The Church’s relationship with God is different from Israel’s: Those who believe that God divorced Israel believe God remarried a new wife, the Church. They see the Church as the spiritual replacement of Israel and that the promises and the prophecies concerning Israel would now be fulfilled in a spiritual sense in the Church. There will not be a literal millennial kingdom but rather the Kingdom has been fulfilled in the Church. A comparison of the covenant relationships of Israel and the Church speaks clearly that the Church is not the replacement of Israel but only a temporary stand in.

A)The participants are different

1) Israel is the “wife” of God existing in the form of the Trinity. God does not exist as a husband on a physical level but only on a spiritual level. Some might argue that Christ was the physical form of a husband offered to Israel but a review of Christ’s relationship to Israel shows differently. He is never represented as the husband of Israel.

a) Christ is the representative of the Father

b) Christ is Israel’s anointed King

c) Christ is Israel’s Savior, Prophet, Priest

2)The Church is the “bride” of Christ. The Church’s marital relationship is not with the Trinity but rather with the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. Also, His role as husband to the Church transcends the spiritual to include the physical realm as well (Rev. 19; Eph. 5:21-32). To the Church He is described as the:

a) Bridegroom of the Church

b) Savior of the Church

c) The Head of the Church

B)The relationships are different

1) Israel’s marital relationship with God is a finalized marriage.

2) The Church’s marital relationship with Christ is one of the future for she is the bride and he is the bridegroom.

C)The benefits are different

1) Israel’s relationship is associated with present physical blessings such as a specific portion of land, harvests, protection, fruitfulness and etc.

2) The Church’s relationship is associated with future physical blessings such as a city home

There is no way that one can, from a Biblical point of view, to say that the relationship of Israel to God is the same as the relationship of the Church to Christ. The Church therefore is a temporary stand in until God is ready to restore His people.