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Rainbow Divider

WILL ALL ISRAEL BE SAVED?

by C. Parker Thomas

Rainbow Divider

Photo of  Bro. Thomas

God’s purpose from the beginning was to have a people who, like Abraham, would believe him and that he could have fellowship with. The climactic consummation of this divine plan was a people who would be neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free, male nor female.

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(Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the March-April 1984 issue of the Midnight Cry Messenger.)

The traditional concept that the nation Israel will finally recognize Jesus Christ as their Messiah and be converted makes it impossible for religious man to understand the scriptures. Everything that relates to the coming of Christ and the end of this age is misunderstood because of this false teaching.

This supposed conversion of Israel is supposed to take place during the supposed tribulation period that follows the rapture of the church. This would be the only instance of national conversion in the history of the world. Since the nation as a whole has never been converted it would shatter all precedent concerning Israel and all other nations of the earth. God’s method has been to preach the gospel to every creature and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Salvation is a personal and individual experience, not national, racial, political or otherwise.

Result of Tradition

The traditional concept of the rise of anti-Christ and the tribulation, which is supposed to follow the rapture, is simply more tradition which has no scriptural basis. The popular format of these things has professing Christians thinking these things will be recognized and understood as such. And it’s on the basis of such thinking that the theologians have all these things figured out.

Other ideas that further cloud the whole issue of Christ’s return is the supposed rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem. Of course it’s from this rebuilt temple at Jerusalem that Jesus is supposed to rule and reign for a thousand years plus a little season on the earth. However, let me hasten to add that there is much division and difference of opinion among those who hold to the premillennial point of view.

Although people are told that they need to get converted before Jesus comes lest they have to go through the awful tribulation and wear the mark of the beast, they do not see Christ’s coming as the end.

With the supposed conversion of the Jewish nation and Israel becoming missionaries to the rest of the world, why worry? There will be ample opportunity to get saved after Jesus comes.

If this were true, then the warnings of Jesus, Paul and Peter to be ready lest that day come upon us unawares wouldn’t make any sense. What’s the purpose of such explicit warnings that his coming will be as a thief in the night and the door will be closed when he comes? Matt. 25:1-13. I Thess. 5:1-2.

So many things are wrong with these various theories, including the national conversion of Israel, until we hardly know where to start in our rebuttal. The idea that Jesus, who has been glorified with the glory he shared with the Father before the world was, must come back to this cursed earth and live a thousand years is ridiculous and repugnant.

This would be a mixed state of mortals and immortals dwelling together in an earth still under the curse. Although the mythmakers foresee an earth of bountiful productivity with peace and tranquility, they admit that death and the curse will not be banished from the earth during this supposed millennium.

And it is admitted that much of earth’s population would still be in rebellion against God. It would be these rebellious ones that would refuse to go up to Jerusalem to worship. Consequently, these rebellious people, wherever they lived, would receive no rain. Zech. 14:17. A good question to ask expositors of this point of view is how all the people of the world could possibly go up to Jerusalem to worship. There wouldn’t be enough room for the Jews of the world alone to go up.

This literal interpretation of Old Testament scriptures may fit in with the theologians’ dispensational scheme of things, but it makes null and void many scriptures given specifically to enlighten us about these things.

Types

Beyond doubt, earthly Jerusalem, Israel, Zion, Jacob and other references are types that point to the true or spiritual counterpart. For example, you have earthly Jerusalem and heavenly Jerusalem in Gal. 4:25-26. Both are religious but one brings men into bondage and the other sets men free.

A good example where mount Sion, city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem and church of the firstborn are all used synonymously as a picture of the true church or Jerusalem is found in Heb. 12:22-24. “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”

Another example of types is the use of the word rain. Sometimes it is literal. Sometimes it speaks of God’s blessings through the word and the Holy Spirit. In other instances it has reference to God’s judgment and wrath being poured out. I Kings 18:41-46. Isa. 11:6. Deut. 32:1-4. James 5:7-8. Luke 17:29.

Work Finished

Another good question to ask is how could Jesus have finished the work the Father gave him to do if he still has another tour of duty of a thousand years plus an unknown little season in which the devil is to be loosed upon the world again?

Did Jesus actually mean it when he said, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own glory which I had with thee before the world was.” John 17:4-5.

If he has finished the work the Father gave him to do and once again entered into the glory he shared with the Father back in eternity, does it make sense that he will again enter this sin-cursed world and dwell among mortals on an earthly throne in Jerusalem? This would mean that his work is not over and the greatest fight and time of universal rebellion the world has ever experienced is still ahead of us.

What about John 17:11 where Jesus said, “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.”

Reigning Now

The truth of the matter is that Jesus is reigning now, not from some earthly throne, but from a heavenly throne at the right hand of the Father. Except for his work as our intercessor and great high priest at the right hand of God, his earthly sojourn is forever ended. Rom. 8:34. When Jesus said “it is finished” and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost on the cross, his work was finished. John 19:30.

What could be any plainer than Heb. 10:12-13 which says, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” According to this scripture he has forever sat down at the right hand of the Father and will remain there until his enemies are made his footstool.

He not only is reigning now but he will continue to reign till all enemies are put under his feet including death itself. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. I Cor. 15:25-26.

Whatever Jesus is doing now and has been doing ever since he rose from the grave and ascended to the Father he will continue to do until it is all over. His last act will be to “...descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thess. 4:16-17.

New Jerusalem

At this point in time we will have no desire to come back with Jesus to set up an earthly kingdom with earthly Jerusalem as the center. If I’m privileged to meet him in the air when that last or seventh trumpet blows (I Cor. 15:51-52, Rev. 11:15-19), the only Jerusalem I will be interested in will be the one John saw coming down out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

John described what he saw in Rev. 21:1-8. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

“And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is a thirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

End of Curse

Christ’s coming puts an end to the curse of sin and death. The lake of fire which is the second death will be the lot of the wicked and the unbelieving. The earth itself with the whole universe will be destroyed with unquenchable fire. II Peter 3:10-13.

But, praise God! along with the banishment of death, pain, sorrow and suffering, the Lord is going to create new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Deliverance and Destruction

The overwhelming weight of evidence supported by an array of scriptures categorically states that Christ’s coming will be deliverance for the saints and destruction of the earth by fire. What could be any plainer than the following scriptures: Isa. 24:16-20, Mal. 4:1, Matt. 24:37-39, Luke 17:28-30, I Thess. 5:1-9, II Thess. 1:7-10, II Peter 3:10-13 and Dan. 12:1-3?

In answer to the question, “Will all Israel be saved?” I would simply say, “Yes” to those who know who Israel is. If they think the whole world of Jewry or the nation in Palestine is Israel, then my answer is absolutely and emphatically “No!”

If those referred to or considered Israel in Paul’s day were not the true Israel of God, why should they be today?

Delusive Tradition

The falsehood that has proverbially placed a halo around the head of the natural Jew is responsible for much of this. Wrong interpretation of Old Testament scripture references to Israel, Jacob, Zion and Jerusalem, as well as many others, help to further this misconception.

I might add that it is this delusive aura of divine favoritism surrounding the Jew that blinds religious man to the truth of the scriptures. Despite the plain teaching of the New Testament that “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek” they still make a difference between Jew and Gentile. Rom. 10:12-13.

It is much like the Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic or other denominational viewpoints of the Bible. Each one reads into the scriptures the doctrines and traditions of their particular group.

Their denominational glasses blot out anything that does not harmonize with what they want to believe. The veil over their heart when the scriptures are read is just as real as the veil was over the hearts of the Jewish people when Moses was read. II Cor. 3:12-16.

People are actually locked in to their religious beliefs. This is also why we can’t reach most of them. Only those whom God sovereignly disturbs in their comfortable religious nests will ever consider anything else.

True Israel

Needless to say, all true Israel shall be saved. The “all” Israel of Rom. 11:26 is not natural Israel but spiritual Israel. It is the very small remnant of true Israelites within the nation as a whole. Isa. 1:9. Rom. 9:27, 11:5.

All of Romans 9:1-33 is an explanation of why Israel as a whole did not heed the word of God. They could not believe the word of God because they were not all Israel which were called Israel. Rom. 9:6. From the standpoint of being natural descendants of Abraham and the external practice of religion, they were Israelites.

Although very religious and proud of their heritage, they had no real faith. In numbers, natural Israel was compared to the sand of the sea; yet only a remnant would be saved according to Rom. 9:27. This is the “All Israel” spoken of in Rom. 11:26 that shall be saved.

Cast Away?

Another falsehood that the professing Christian world continues to believe and promote is that Israel has been temporarily abandoned but will be re-gathered and restored to the land of their inheritance. The truth is, true Israel has never been cast away. God’s answer to those who believe this is found in Rom. 11:1-5. “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

“God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

“Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

“But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

True Israel today are those Jews and Gentiles who believe God. And there is a great difference in believing about God and believing in God. Rom. 4:3 says, “...Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

The Natural Jew

In spite of this principle, the natural Jew still makes his boast in being of the seed of Abraham. This was a constant source of friction and debate between Jesus and the Jews. The reason they hated him so vehemently was because he knew their condition and exposed their religious hypocrisy. John 3:20. Matt. 23:13-39. Being the natural seed of Abraham or any human being doesn’t mean a thing. Jesus said to the Jews, “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.” John 8:37-39.

It is not a matter of who our biological father is but who our spiritual father is. Gal. 3:7-9 says, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”

The true Jew in the sight of God has never been the natural Jew. Rom. 2:28-29 says, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

This same principle applies to professing Gentile believers. If we knew the truth, we would be shocked at the very small remnant of professing Christians who are truly born again. The professing Christian church today occupies the same apostate level the Jews did at the first coming of Christ.

Jew Nor Gentile

God’s purpose from the beginning was to have a people who, like Abraham, would believe him and that he could have fellowship with. The climactic consummation of this divine plan was a people who would be neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free, male nor female.

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal. 3:26-29.

What could be any plainer than these scriptures? Are they to be superseded or made null and void by this Jewish millennium myth? What is the meaning of Eph. 2:14-22, which says, “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

“And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

“And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Who Will Preach?

If the early church had to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit before they would be endued with power to preach the gospel, who will preach the gospel to the Jews when the church is raptured out of the earth? Luke 24:46-49. John 16:7-14. Acts 1:8.

How can the Jew be converted when the Holy Spirit has been removed in the church? After all, the church is Christ’s body or dwelling place. I Cor. 6:19. Eph. 2:19-22. Without the Holy Spirit, how can they be convicted of their sins and drawn to Christ? Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44.

If the saved are going to be raptured when Jesus comes, who is going to be left here to preach the gospel? God does not save men through unsaved men or angels. Nor does he save men apart from the word. Rom. 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Another truth not understood or recognized by man is the fact that God does not save men apart from men called and anointed to preach the gospel. Luke 4:18-19. Men cannot please God without faith (Heb. 11:6) and men cannot have faith without a ministry of faith. Faith has to be ministered to the hearts of men through those called and anointed with such a ministry. Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63.

The reason so many professing Christians do not have the faith of God or faith that overcomes the world is because they have never been exposed to such a ministry. Their faith is standing in the wisdom of men rather than the power of God. I Cor. 2:4-5.

The idea that people can be saved any other way than through the means ordained of God is absolutely false. This includes tracts, books or the Bible itself.

These things may be of some help where the person is in contact with a ministry of life. But they are no substitute for anointed ministries given to the church by Christ the head. Eph. 4:7-16.

Cause of Cults

Actually, much of the confusion and religious delusion that exists is the result of error that has been ministered through such means. Every cult is the result of some human being moving apart from the headship of Jesus Christ. The cults are also very active in distributing their false doctrines through the printed page.

No matter how dynamic or charismatic a human personality might be, that does not qualify him to preach the gospel. That in itself does not give him a ministry in the word. Natural attributes are no substitute for the gift of Christ.

Converts from this type of ministry may have an intellectual grasp of some things but that is not faith that brings salvation. Paul speaks of those who believe in vain. I Cor. 15:2. This is why Paul said, “And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” Heb. 5:4.

Perhaps the greatest hindrance to the cause of Christ past, present and future is those who take this honor upon themselves and presumptuously undertake to instruct men in the things of God.

Because of a shortage of priests, the Roman Catholic Church is advertising for young men who will surrender their lives to the church for this noble cause. This advertising effort has the sanction and blessings of the Pope upon it.

I personally believe we would be better off if ninety-nine percent of all ministers, priests and preachers would resign and get themselves a job digging ditches. Most of the professional ministries are simply a product of their religious system. They are not voices but echoes of the system that hatched them.

The reason they continue to preach the doctrines and traditions of their particular group is because that is all they know and they are afraid to look beyond the confines of their denominational walls. Peer pressure is also a great factor in keeping them in bondage. John 12:42-44. They are actually afraid because they have been brainwashed to think of everything outside their group as heresy.

Such is the condition of most religious groups. They are in prison and don’t know it. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “...if therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matt. 6:23.

When the Lord takes his people out of this earth, he will be through with it even as he was through with Sodom when he took Lot out. Luke 17:28-30.

Spirit Being Withdrawn

Prior to the flood God gradually ceased to strive with man by his Spirit. As God withdrew his Spirit evil took possession of man. They reached the place where the imaginations of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually. We are having a repeat of this same process today. Gen. 6:3-5. Matt. 24:37.

The heathen religions, cults, atheism, dead formalism and witchcraft that people by the millions have turned to is not happenstance. God has withdrawn his Spirit from most of these people. This is the strong delusion of II Thess. 2:11-12.

Even the preachers are deceived about what is actually taking place. This is why Jesus will come as a thief in the night. This is also why the ten virgins are slumbering and sleeping. As echoes of the systems that have produced them, some are preaching healing, blessings and financial prosperity. Some are preaching easy-believism and getting decisions. Instead of preaching Christ some are preaching the Holy Ghost and still others are preaching about the great endtime revival that will supposedly sweep whole nations into the kingdom. Very few realize that the midnight hour is upon us.

If the traditional teaching about the second coming of Christ is true, how will anyone, Jew or Gentile, be saved with the Holy Spirit gone and nothing but a Christless world left?

God’s Methods

Is God going to change his method of saving mankind? Will he save Jews or Gentiles without the Holy Spirit to convict them? Will he save them without anointed men with ministries in the word?

The Ethiopian eunuch could not be saved apart from the ministry of Philip. Acts 8:1-39. What makes this so significant is that the eunuch was a Jewish proselyte who had just left a large religious gathering at Jerusalem.

The D.D.’s, L.L.D.’s and Jewish theologians by the score no doubt were present at this gathering. Despite all of their knowledge and religious training, they couldn’t tell the eunuch how to be saved. He also had the scriptures and was reading them, but he still had to have Philip tell him how to be saved.

Saul of Tarsus, who later became the Apostle Paul, could not be saved apart from the ministry of Ananias. Acts 9:1-22. He, too, was a very learned and religiously zealous man.

What about Cornelius the centurion? Acts 10:1-48. This was a remarkable man who did everything he could to find God, but he too had to have a minister of the word. Cornelius was a “devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.”

All of these commendable things were meaningless without faith. Heb. 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Even though Cornelius did all these things in this quest for salvation and God actually sent an angel to him, the angel couldn’t tell him how to be saved. He still had to have a ministry of faith. In this particular case the apostle Peter was the man God chose to preach the gospel to Cornelius and his household.

Unchanged

God’s method has never changed. The last soul that responds to the gospel call before Jesus comes will be saved exactly like the first one was saved. The church dispensation began with Peter saying, “...repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

“For the promise is unto you, and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38-39.

When the last soul answers the gospel call, the dispensation of the fullness of times will be over. Jew and Gentile will be brought together in one in Christ Jesus. Eph. 1:10.

When Jesus comes for his people, the gospel dispensation or church age will be over. And he will be through with this world. This is why Jesus said, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matt. 24:44.

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