WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY? The Reverend J.A. Layman continues his series of discussions concerning why the Jews do not recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ. “At the end of our last time together, we were looking at the prophecies of Jeremiah. In particular, we finished up with Jeremiah 29:18-19 where the prophet was warning Judah that those who refused to obey and submit to God’s will concerning captivity in Babylon, would be persecuted by God Himself!
Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 30:3, jumps millennia ahead, and speaks of God who would bring again the captivity of Israel AND Judah at Jacob’s trouble (v.7) under David their King, (v.9). This prophecy speaks of the time of Jacob’s trouble, otherwise known as the Great Tribulation; a time, corresponding to the 70th week of Daniel’s re-interpretation of Jeremiah’s 70-week prophecy, when God’s chosen people, the Israelites (not merely the Jews) will be “tried in the fire” during the reign and persecution of the Antichrist, as prophesied in several places in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.
In Jeremiah 30:11 the idea of the remnant resurfaces as the prophet relates God’s words that even though He will make an end of the nations where He has scattered Israel and Judah, He will NOT make a full end of Israel and Judah, NEITHER, will He leave Israel and Judah unpunished.
In Jeremiah 31:7-8 the idea of the remnant is presented again, this time specifically referring to the regathering of those “from the north country” or Babylon, at the end of the 70 years of captivity prophesied by Jeremiah.
In Jeremiah 31:10 the prophet asserts that “He that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him”; the ideas of the dispersion, the remnant, and the regathering resurface in Jeremiah’s prophecies.
The reference in Jeremiah 31:16 immediately follows that verse which the New Testament writers assert referred to the massacre of the newborn infants under King Herod the Great in his attempt to destroy the coming of the King who was to rule Israel in fulfillment of the prophecies. Yet this immediate subsequent verse speaks of the regathering of God’s people from the land of the enemy. Both of these events were centuries into the future; the former a mere few centuries to the time of the first coming of the Messiah as the suffering servant; and the latter many centuries to the time of the end, the consummation of the age, when Israel and Judah would be brought again into their homeland, the land of Canaan; a prophecy which we are seeing fulfilled in our lifetimes since the recreation of the nation of Israel in 1948.
At that time, the Bible, the prophet says, in Jeremiah 31:31-33, God will make a new covenant with Israel and Judah. The Jews’ own prophecies plainly state that there will come a time when God will make a new covenant with Israel and Judah, which implies that the old covenant made at Mount Sinai, will at the very least be altered, and at the very most, be done away with in favor of the new covenant!
And God through the prophet explains in Jeremiah 32:42:
42 For thus saith the Lord; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. [REFERENCE: God is not done with the Jews yet.]
For one Scripture reference that presents “the good” that God had promised them, refer to Deuteronomy 28 and the first fourteen verses of that chapter which present the “blessings” for their obedience.
Israel and Judah are to be brought back into their ancient homeland, Canaan; a place where this same Bible explains God gave to the nation of Israel, removing the nations which inhabited that land before the Israelites; and it was not because of the goodness of the Israelites that these nations were removed, but the Bible states emphatically that it was because of the vileness of these nations that God was dispossessing them of the land and giving it to Israel! (Deuteronomy 18:12) In Jeremiah 33:7-8 we read:
7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.
8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
Jeremiah reiterates in Jeremiah 33:14 that there will come a time when God will bring to pass all the good that He had promised Israel and Judah:
14 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
And in Jeremiah 33:15-17, the prophet returns to the prophecies concerning the coming of Kingly Messiah, promising:
15 ¶ In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. [Jehovah-tsidkenu]
17 ¶ For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; [REFERENCE: 2 Samuel 7:16; Jeremiah 33:20-21; Psalms 132:11-12. Prophecy that David would always have a descendant on the throne.]
Verse 15 opens with “In those days” and those words refer to the end of time when, having brought Israel and Judah back to Canaan, will begin to bring to pass the remaining unfulfilled prophecies concerning the Israelites and Jews, and will give them an understanding heart and a discerning mind, with which they will be able to see their follies and fallacious understandings and interpretations of their own Scriptures.
As we close this part in our series, let us take a short time to reflect on the case that is being assembled from the Jews’ very own Scriptures; verses which are ostensibly, for the most part, the very words of God Himself! This is not a matter of interpretation; a matter which could therefore be argued away as erroneous interpretation. But instead, accepting the Scriptures for what they state literally as written, much of which is substantiated in history and therefore cannot be contrived to be erroneous, and therefore, also accepting what the Scriptures say that has yet to be fulfilled, we call to the reader’s attention what THE BIBLE SAYS, not what we want it to say; not claiming that what the Bible plainly says is NOT what God meant; but looking at what the Bible says, and what the historical record asserts happened, we conclude that what God has said through prophecy but has yet to be fulfilled, WILL be fulfilled, just as that which was prophesied and has come to pass therefore proves the Scriptures were and will be fulfilled. When you deny these things by asserting it is the “evangelical Christian’s interpretation” rather than accepting the written word of God plainly as it is written, then you are asserting that it is God’s word that is wrong!