Israel's 70th Anniversary
May 17, 2018
Video Blog (Vlog)
At 19 minutes and 48 seconds Dr. Jones says: "...I will make you My people, and you will be my God", he meant to say: "...I will make you My people, and I will be Your God."
I hope you can all join me for some coffee in a stein with my European friends today.
I wanted to continue sharing a bit of what we learned, and did, and discussed, on my recent trip when I was in the Memphis area, and north Mississippi, with my friends Rick and Robbie.
We had a great time of fellowship, and of course we studied the Word a lot, and discussed a lot of things - what was going on. And probably one of the main things that we discussed was this 70-year cycle of the Israeli state, since May 14 of 1948. We've now come to May 14, and beyond, of 2018, which is a 70-year cycle.
Now, when we hit the 46-year cycle - which is the number of Herod's temple in John 2:20 - this was back in 1993 - '94. And many things happened back then, especially in relation to our Jubilee Prayer Campaign which was 46 years after the Palestinian Resolution was passed - November 21 to 29 of 1993.
The Resolution was passed in 1947 on those dates - that is, it was debated for 8 days and then voted on and passed. The Israeli state didn't actually come into being until midnight of May 13 - 14 of 1948, which was about 6 months later.
Anyway, we were discussing this whole issue - what is a 70-year cycle? What does it mean, and how does it apply in this particular context?
Well, the original 70-year cycle, as far as we can tell, was really beginning in Genesis 5:5. And in Genesis 5:5, we find that Adam died at the age of 930. Now, the reason he died was because he had eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and God had said that: "in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die." (Genesis 2:17)
Well, he didn't die that very day, but we know from Scripture that "a day is as a thousand years," (2 Peter 3:8) and a thousand indicates the glory of God.
So, Adam fell - or, he died - 70 years short of the glory of God. And all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, so Adam was a type of all flesh in that regard.
So, that was a 70-year cycle, and it has to do with: what does it take to restore us to the glory of God?
Well, the next "70" that we see is in Genesis 10, where we have the beginnings of the nations that spread out from Noah - or, really, from Noah's three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth - and if you count the nations that came of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, you'll see that there are precisely 70 nations.
And so, 70 is a number that represents the world - or all nations. Obviously today there is many more than just 70 nations, but 70 is an original number that really represents, symbolically, all nations.
Now, the 70 has to do also with divine judgment. Divine judgment, obviously, we can see when Judah and Jerusalem were deported - taken to Babylon for 70 years. That was a 70-year captivity according to the word of Jeremiah. But this 70-year cycle is not really explained.
We know that the judgement always fits the crime, according to Biblical law. And so, there had to be some significance - why 70 years? What was that about? How did Judah come to obtain a debt to sin, which could only be paid for by spending 70 years off the land? That is the big question.
Well, in Scripture, Moses told Israel that when they went into the land, they were supposed to start keeping their rest years in Jubilees. Unfortunately, they did not do so. In fact, they never kept a single rest year. Never kept a single Jubilee - to this day, I might add.
After the Babylonian captivity many years later, they did make an attempt to keep rest years, but they never kept a Jubilee. And that is by their own admission in the Talmud.
But prior to the Babylonian captivity, every time they missed a rest year in a Jubilee, they owed God another year on their debt. And so, we find that from the Jordan crossing, under Joshua - when they had to start keeping their calendar in their records, and then keep a sabbatical year on the 7th year - from that day forward, all the way to the 38th year of David, they had 434 years.
And if you divide that up, you'll see that that is 62 rest years, and 8 Jubilees - for a total of 70 rest years that they owed God for not keeping.
Now, what happened in the 38th year of David?
Well, the 38th year of David is not dated, per se, but it is recorded in 2 Samuel, Chapter 24. In verse 1, it says,
1 Now again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and it incited David against them, to say, "Go number Israel and Judah."
We're never told what caused the anger of the Lord. We're not told. We're expected to know, I guess, because if we know the law and we study it, you know, the revelation would eventually come.
The same story is recorded also in 1 Chronicles, Chapter 21, where it says in verse 1,
1 Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.
Oh, so, in 2 Samuel, the whole thing was caused by the anger of God; In 1 Chronicles 21, Satan is the one who incited David to number the people.
Well, in my view, it's both. I don't think that Satan is God, I don't think God is Satan - that is, I don't think He is the adversary, specifically. In my view, God uses Satan to accomplish His purposes because he is the prosecuting attorney in the Divine Court. He's the accuser, the accuser of the brethren - that's his job description, that's what he was created to do. So, I think that God takes credit for it, but He did not do it directly - He assigned it to His "prosecuting attorney."
But we still, we still don't know why this happened. You know, what was the point? Until we study the chronology of it, and you see that God was holding Israel and Judah accountable for not keeping the rest years and Jubilees, because that was a sin to them. They were supposed to keep it, and yet they ignored it.
When you can "get away with it" for 400-and-some years, after a while you forget all about it because you think, "Well, God doesn't care," or, "He doesn't count these things." But eventually things catch up to you. And so, this is what happened. We'll read the account from 1 Chronicles 21, it says,
2 So David said to Joab [that was his General] and to the princes of the people, "Go number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan. And bring me word that I may know their number." 3 And Joab said, "May the Lord add to His people 100 times as many as they are. But my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?"
I'm not sure what Joab was thinking, because we don't have any further description of this, but if you check out Exodus, Chapter 30, you fill find that there was nothing sinful - nothing wrong - with taking a census of the people. Moses did it twice, in fact. He did it at the beginning of their wilderness journey, and he did it again after 40 years just before Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land.
And so, if they were able to do a census back then, then why was there a problem when David tried to do it? It wasn't that that was a sin, it was really how he did it, because when they conducted a census, they were supposed to collect a half-shekel tax, or "ransom for their souls," so that they would not die in the plague, as it says.
Well, not dying in the plague, huh? So, essentially, that half-shekel covered them and protected the people from dying in the plague.
Well, I believe that David did not collect the half-shekel tax, and that's where the problem ended up to be. Let me just read this in Exodus 30, beginning in verse 12,
12 When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord when you number them. That there be no plague among them when you number them. 13 This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary. The shekel is twenty gerahs. Half a shekel as a contribution to the Lord. 14 Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the Lord. 15 The rich shall not pay more, and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel when you give the contribution to the Lord to make atonement for yourselves.
So, there was a law regulating it, but there was no law forbidding a census. And yet, when God decided that He was going to bring judgment upon Israel, He first had David do a census. As long as they did not do a census, they were still covered by the half-shekel that was previously collected from the previous census.
And so, by the time of David, the people were still covered by that half-shekel that Moses had collected just before Israel crossed the Jordan. But here we were now, over 400 years later, and now David decides to take a census. And I believe he did not collect the half-shekel "ransom" money, and for that reason 70,000 people died in the plague.
We read in verse 14,
14 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell.
Well, that's an interesting number - they owed seventy rest years, and seventy thousand men fell. That means each rest year was the equivalent of a thousand men in Israel and Judah, who died in this pestilence or plague.
Well, this particular story actually pays the penalty for their lack of keeping the rest years in Jubilees up to that point - up to the 38th year of David.
Now, you'd think that they would've learned, but they didn't. And so, seven years later, they didn't keep the rest year. Seven years later, they didn't keep the rest year. And so, their debt began to accumulate again, until finally they reached another time debt of seventy years, but this time, God sent them into a Babylonian captivity for seventy years to pay this debt.
Now, how do we know that there was a connection there?
Well, if you look at the last verses of 2 Chronicles, you will read - 2 Chronicles, chapter 36. Let's see, it talks about the destruction of Jerusalem, and "they burned the house of God," the temple, and then it says in verse 20,
20 And those who had escaped from the sword He carried away to Babylon, and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, 21 until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths; all the days of its desolation it kept sabbath, until seventy years were complete.
So, the purpose of the captivity - God has ways of doing it, He has ways of fulfilling His judgments, and because the people had not kept any of their sabbaths while they were in the land, God removed them from the land so that the land could keep its sabbaths. And it just happens to be a total of seventy.
So, we have two seventies in a row - the first one beginning with the Jordan crossing, and ending with the 38th year of David, and the second one beginning with the 38th year of David, and going to the captivity to Babylon, when Judah was deported to Babylon for seventy years.
So, seventy is not just a restoration number - restoration of the nations - it is also a judgment number, because for the most part restoration is accomplished by means of judgment. It's only with a minority of people that the restoration occurs apart from judgment.
But even then, we are all brought into judgment by the fire of God, in what's called the "Baptism of Fire," or the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit," which is a cleansing fire that "burns the flesh" in order that the spirit can be released and we can come into the image of God.
And so, this judgment really applies to everybody, no matter what. But if we experience this judgment in this lifetime, then we can avoid that baptism of fire in the next lifetime in the next age.
So here we have two seventies that are precedents. And I believe, now, as we apply that number seventy to the Israeli state. They have just completed seventy years - now we have to ask ourselves: okay, what does it mean? What events are we going to see now at the end of this seventy years? Are they going to be restored?
Well, I don't believe they're going to be restored at this time. There will ultimately be a restoration of all things, and every knee will bow, every tongue will confess allegiance to Him - I understand that. But I don't believe that that is what is going to happen at this particular time in history; I believe that those restoration things are for a future time.
And meanwhile, Jerusalem - which Paul says is "Hagar" - must be cast out. The bondwoman and her son have to be cast out. They cannot be inheritors with the children of Isaac, who are children born according to the promises of God.
So, essentially anybody who has an Old Covenant mindset is a manifestation of Ishmael. And I'm not talking biological here - it's not racial, it is spiritual. And anyone with an Old Covenant mindset is considering Hagar to be their mother.
If you have Hagar as your mother, you are an Old Covenant person. Unless you switch mothers, which is possible, and consider Sarah to be your mother. The way to do that of course is to adopt the New Covenant, and have faith in the promises of God rather than the promises of men.
You know, of course, that the Old Covenant, in Exodus 19, was where man promised to be obedient to God, and on that basis, God says, "If you obey then you'll be my people and I will be your God."
But in Deuteronomy 29, which was the second covenant made 40 years later, it was not based anymore on the promises of men, but God said, "Gather around and you're going to listen to My promise, or My oath, that I'm going to make with you. I will make you My people, and I will be your God, according to the Word which I gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
See? It was not compared to Exodus 19, it was compared to a time far earlier - with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - where God actually made New Covenant promises to them. The New Covenant is about the promises of God.
And so, if we switch from the dependence and faith in ourselves to fulfill our vows and our decisions, then, if we repent of this and turn to the promises of God and have faith in His Word, and His promises, rather than in our promises, then we have essentially changed mothers.
Our faith is no longer in ourselves, but in God, through Christ - Who is the Mediator of the New Covenant.
So anyway, this, I believe, is what is happening today. In this seventy-year cycle, the Israeli state has now completed seventy years. They did not repent of their Old Covenant religion, and so, consequently, the judgment upon them is cast out the bondwoman and her son. The son of the bondwoman will not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
And so, the old Jerusalem is about to be cast out. And so, that's going to be an interesting thing to watch, and perhaps a fearsome thing as well, but we'll just have to see how this all plays out.
At any rate, it is not in our hands, and God will do what He will do regardless of what we believe. We all believe the best we can, according to what we think that the Scriptures teach, and we've been wrong, and we've been right, and for every opinion there's a counter-opinion. But fortunately, it's all based upon the plan of God, and it has nothing to do with what we believe. The plan of God will be fulfilled regardless of what we believe - it's out of our hands.
So, I believe that this is really what's going to happen. Now, if we relate this to the capstone that we - we ran into the "capstone," if you recall, and the "Great Pyramid," in Memphis, Tennessee. We were essentially ascending to our inheritance, and we were essentially making the prophetic statement, as it were, that we were the children of Isaac, who were the inheritors, and not the children of Hagar, who are not the inheritors.
And if you check out Numbers 18, verse 20, God said of the Levites,
20 You will have no inheritance in their land [that is, the land of the other tribes] ... I am your portion and your inheritance ...
So, there was a difference between Levi and the others. The Levites had God as their inheritance, and therefore they didn't have an inheritance in the land. There was no "thirteenth state" of Israel within the borders - they did not get a land inheritance, per se.
Now, why is that important?
Well, when David numbered the people, and told Joab to go and number the people, Joab did so reluctantly, and one interesting thing that Joab said, which many people miss...let me look this up, one moment.
It says in verse 6 of 1 Chronicles 21, it says, talking about Joab, it says,
6 But he did not number Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king's command was abhorrent to Joab.
What are the implications of that? That means Levi and Benjamin were not counted in the census that Joab took, when he took a census of the various tribes of Israel.
That meant that Benjamin and Levi were not uncovered from the previous census in the time of Moses - they were still covered. Therefore, when the seventy thousand people died in the plague, or the pestilence, they were all taken from the other tribes. There were no Levites and no members of the tribe of Benjamin who died in that particular plague.
Why is that important?
Well, it's prophetically important because of who they represent. The Levites represent all the sons of God, because, if you recall, God said, "All the firstborn sons are Mine, but instead of taking everybody from all the tribes, I'm just going to take the whole tribe of Levi in place of them."
So, the Levites essentially redeemed all the firstborn of Israel, and therefore they represent the firstborn in Israel. And the firstborn, or the "first fruits," the firstborn are the inheritors of God, because their portion is God, and they get a better and a higher inheritance than simply an inheritance in the land itself.
A land inheritance is a good inheritance, but it's for the average person, it's for the nations - it is not for the sons of God. The sons of God have a better inheritance.
Now, Benjamin, his name means "Son of my Right Hand." And of course, so, "Son of my Right Hand" is a direct reference also to the sons of God. Jesus, of course, ascended to the Right Hand of the Father, and the sons of God are in Him, and are seated in His Throne, according to the book of Ephesians, and so therefore both Benjamin and Levi represent the sons of God.
So, this tells us something. This story of David's census is prophetic of divine judgment, but it's also prophetic of how God spares the sons of God from judgment. So even though they're a part of the nation that is being judged, nonetheless God spares them.
That's a situation where we are today as well - we've come to the end of this seventy years, and so the sons of God will be protected in this time, for whatever judgment is meted out during this time.
So, that should be a word of comfort and encouragement to all of you, and this is what we discussed the most in the Memphis area last week. So, I hope that that is helpful to you.
Dr. Stephen Jones