The Resurrected Israel--Part 2
Apr 08, 2009
Ezekiel 37 prophesies of a resurrected house of Israel that includes all 13 tribes (with Levi). Verse 10 says,
"So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath [ruach, "spirit"] came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army."
This is the same national resurrection that is prophesied in Hosea 6:2,
"After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight."
The fact that Jesus fulfilled this resurrection prophecy in no way prevents it from being fulfilled on a national scale at a later time. In fact, Jesus' personal resurrection proves the corporate fulfillment, for the first established the second. Paul brings this out in his great commentary on the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, showing that Jesus' resurrection establishes the fact that we too shall be raised.
And therein lies the point of our question, "with what body do they come?" (1 Cor. 15:35).
To answer that question, we must see that Jesus' resurrection is the pattern for all of us. Secondly, we must also know the qualifications for resurrection and the lawful path by which we may qualify.
We know that a resurrected (and glorified) body has some attributes of the original body, insofar as it is "flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39). However, a resurrected one is no longer limited by physical matter. Jesus proved this by appearing and disappearing at will. In prophetic terminology, He "changed clothing" (Ezekiel 44:17-19) from linen to woolen and back to linen--that is, from being spirit to flesh and back to spirit.
Without physiological limitations, Jesus Christ could appear in whatever form He wished, and for this reason He could walk with the two men on the road to Emmaeus without them recognizing Him (Luke 24:31). This shows that His physical DNA received from His mother was no longer a limiting factor. He could have appeared to people as short or tall, fat or thin, white or black. I contend that He could have taken upon Himself the appearance of a horse, if that would have suited His purpose.
Because a corporate-body resurrection is made up of many individuals, it is self-evident that the national resurrection of Israel is simply a larger number of individuals who are to come into this non-limitation type of body. One's physical DNA, then, is no longer relevant. Resurrection levels the playing field and is the great equalizer. Whether one is black, white, brown, or some other shade is not relevant in a post-resurrection body.
A more pressing issue, however, is how to qualify for such resurrection. Is physical genealogy a qualification? Obviously not, because God judged the house of Israel and stripped them of the nameIsrael when He sent them into the Assyrian captivity (745-721 B.C.). God did not consider their genealogy to be a proper defense in the Divine Court when God brought judgment upon them. The only relevance their genealogy had was that it indicated a greater responsibility and accountability, since those people had been given the revelation of God.
Hence, while genealogy was not a defense, it was certainly cause for greater liability before the Law. Their genealogy was a witness for the prosecution, not for the defense.
Once Israel was sent into captivity, the nation itself was "dead." I am speaking here of Statehood, not of individual people. Millions of individuals were taken into captivity, which means that individual people existed, who might be termed "ex-Israelites of the dispersion." But there was no longer anation of Israel, because it was dead.
Israel died under the Old Covenant and can only be raised a new nation under the New Covenant. The new nation will consist of believers ONLY, because any individual that remains an unbeliever cannot qualify for resurrection under the New Covenant. I do believe, of course, that all those ex-Israelites will eventually qualify, and many others with them. But only a few will qualify for the First resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6).
Since the Assyrian captivity, the majority of these ex-Israelites have been unbelievers, both before after the cross. They lived and they died without faith in the work that Jesus did at the cross. Most of them will have to experience judgment at the Great White Throne, at which time they will be placed under the authority of those who can teach and train them by personal example. In the end, all will believe, and for this reason, "all Israel shall be saved" (Rom. 11:26). But no one will be saved UNTIL they have qualified by going through the Door which is Jesus Christ.
God will not allow any unbeliever into the Kingdom. He merely ensures that all will become believers one way or another. Either they believe in this life time, or they will be judged at the Great White Throne and placed under the authority of those who will make sure that they do believe.
But more than that, there are two steps toward qualifying for resurrection life. The first is to become a believer through the Passover experience. That is, one must have faith in the blood of the Lamb of God who died to pay for the penalty for our sin. As I showed in Part 1, this is what qualifies a person to be a CITIZEN of the Kingdom--that is, part of the True Church. The Church is the tribe of Judah, and all must qualify in the same manner, whether "natural branches" or not.
Yet a citizen is not necessarily a RULER in the Kingdom. A second step must be taken to qualify as an overcomer. This goes beyond the qualification of Passover (faith). One must go beyond Passover into the great training ground of Pentecost, where one comes into a higher expression of faith--hearing His voice, being led by the Spirit, and learning obedience.
If one "endures to the end," Paul says in the book of Hebrews, one then qualifies for the full promise of the Feast of Tabernacles, that third great biblical feast.
The two comings of Christ were necessary to complete the work. I showed this in my book, The Laws of the Second Coming. The first work of Christ was a Passover work, in which He came to die. The second work of Christ is a Tabernacles work, in which He comes in glory. By faith in His first work, we become citizens, participating in the great Passover that He fulfilled on the cross. By faith in His second work, we become rulers, participating in the feast of Tabernacles, by which we become the manifested Sons of God.
In both cases, genealogy is not a qualification. Faith alone is a qualification to become a "Jew" (Judahite). From that beginning point, obedience is learned through Pentecost, until the law is written in our hearts, and we come into AGREEMENT with His mind and will.
The opportunity to enter into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ is available to all on an impartial and equal basis. The Gospel did go to a particular genealogy FIRST, and to that extent, they had an advantage--a head start. But the Gospel was not to remain in Jerusalem or even in Judea, but was to go to Samaria and then to the furthest parts of the earth.
The national resurrection of Israel, then, includes not only "natural branches" of the various tribes of Israel, but also "others" (Isaiah 56:8) who have faith. These are not second-class citizens. They are part of the "one new man" (Eph. 2:15), unified by the demolition of the wall that the traditions of men had erected in the temple in Jerusalem.
The resurrected Israel is a new nation composed of citizens and rulers, based upon their level of faith alone.
This is the second part of a series titled "The Resurrected Israel." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones