How Long Must the Nation of Israel Wait to be Reunited with Her Messiah?
As one surveys the religious landscape it can be seen that a large number of people refer to themselves as Jews who are waiting for their Messiah to come to earth to them. There are also large numbers of Christians who also believe that someday Jesus Christ will return to earth in a physical form and set up His kingdom as He sits upon His throne of authority in the earthly city of Jerusalem. It is believed that the Messiah will then physically reign on earth for a period of time of one thousand years during which time the center of religion will be established in Jerusalem and the Jewish people will be a great blessing to the world due to their relationship with their Messiah. This Position Paper proposes to investigate the truth or the falsehood of the above belief.
To begin with, God is (was) symbolically married to the nation of Israel:
“…Jerusalem…I remember…the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me [the Lord] in the wilderness…” (Jer.2:2).
“…for I [the Lord] am married unto you [Israel, see verse 12]…” (Jer.3:14).
But God has clearly judged Israel in the Scriptures to have manifested the character of a HARLOT!
“…Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot” (Jer.3:6).
“Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet could not be satisfied” (Ezek.16:28). The context of this verse is found in verses one and two of the chapter. Verse 28 is clearly leveled at Israel!
“Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend…” (Hosea 4:15).
A harlot, in the sense it is being used here, reflects a departure from what God had called the nation of Israel to be by their formation of alliances with the enemies of God and participation in their vile practices. There are numerous passages in the Scriptures that declare Israel as an adulterous harlot. I think those listed above are adequate to make the point.
Interesting enough, the Scriptures clearly reflect God’s standard for a relationship such as Israel chose to have with God.
“And I [Jesus] say unto you [the Pharisees, see verse three], Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Mt.19:9).
In addition, the Scriptures state that God has entered into another marriage relationship!
The Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian believers:
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin in Christ” (2 Cor.11:2). The Greek word “harmozo” translated “espoused” in this verse means to fit, join and is speaking metaphorically of the relationship established between Christ and the church.
Additionally, Paul writes in Romans: “…that ye [the believing Romans] should be married to another [Christ], even to him who is raised from the dead…” (Rom.7:4).
But how is it that God is free to be married to the church when He is already married to Israel?
“And I [God through the prophet Jeremiah] saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce: yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also” (Jer.3:8).
Therefore, God does not violate any of His own standards with His action of divorcing Israel because Israel, through her adultery, had set the stage for her to be put away from her marriage relationship to God.
Those in the church today who believe and teach that someday Israel will “come around” so to speak and their relationship to the Messiah as a nation will be restored are also violating some additional aspects of God’s relationship with anyone He chooses to take in marriage. What they fail to see is the following.
Jesus is our high priest! “Seeing that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God…” (Heb.4:14).
As our high priest, He has certain marriage restrictions that He has placed upon Himself.
“And he that is the high priest…shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife” (Lev.21:10–14).
So our high priest, Jesus Christ, cannot marry a widow, or a divorced woman, or a profane woman, or a harlot! He must marry a virgin! The only possibility is:
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband [Christ], that I may present you [the believing church] as a chaste virgin in Christ” (2 Cor.11:2). I say Hallelujah to that!!!
What does all of this do to the belief of some in the church today who are thinking that someday all will be well again between “Israel” and God? I personally see a huge monkey wrench being thrown into this kind of thinking! Consider the following.
“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her; then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house [Is this not what God has done to Israel?]. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband [in this case God] which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord…” (Deut.24:1–4).
Applying the scripture above, Christ would be in violation of His own standards if He ever were to restore the nation of Israel to Himself again sometime in the future! God has “divorced” Israel and married His pure and spotless virgin bride, the church, never more to return to the “nation of Israel.”
IMPORTANT NOTE: The reader must never conclude that what I have said above means that God has eternally cut-off any group of people from participating in eternal life. Nothing could be further from the truth that I am attempting to communicate. All people as individuals and not as nations or groups, must come to God on the basis of New Covenant teaching that should anyone (“whosoever”) believes on the Lord Jesus Christ they shall be saved by God who will then come and live within them who is Himself eternal life. For more on this see Learning Activities #7, #14 and #21 as they appear on this web site under the button marked “Bible Study.”
In conclusion the writer of this Position Paper understands the answer to the original question of: How Long Must the Nation of Israel Wait to be Reunited with Her Messiah? to be a moot question as no such option any longer exists in the Scripture. Those today who might find their heritage linked back to the nation of Israel of old, if such records any longer existed, having been destroyed in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, have been “restored” as individuals and must come to God in the same manner that all persons do under the New Covenant–that is, by personal, individual faith in Jesus Christ!