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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB October 13

Today's One Year Bible Reading


22:3, 16 This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. ...[King Josiah] defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the LORD. Do we continue to see a pattern?

23:3-4 "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.

Yesterday I posted the article, "Who is a Jew," explaining from Scriptures and history who God considers a Jew in our day. Today, I will post an incredibly enlightening article, "Who is an Israelite?," by Dr. Steve Jones.  These fascinating articles distinguish Israel and Judah historically, as well as in the future, and how they fit into prophecy. This passage in Jeremiah is speaking specifically of Israel (not Jews or Judah) because they were dispersed among the nations during the Assyrian captivity in the 700s B.C. However, a true Israelite (just like a true Jew), is someone who has believed in Jesus as their King and Savior. That is why they are called a "remnant." It is not all Israel or all Jews who have believed and are considered true Israelites or Jews.

No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. Romans 2:29

For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED." That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. Romans 9:6-8

23:5-6 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness. Another great Messianic prophecy. Again, we see the distinction between Israel and Judah. They play very different roles in history (read the articles)! I never knew until this weekend, but so many of my questions have been answered in this regard.

23:7-8 "So then, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when people will no longer say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,' but they will say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.' Then they will live in their own land." After reading the articles, this makes sense. Deliverance from Egypt had already happened, so Jeremiah is saying the newer declaration of God's work on behalf of Israel for bringing them back from the countries from which they are dispersed (will happen at Christ's second return).

"Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect ("spiritual Israel" is His elect) from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. Mark 13:26-27

The articles show how the gathering of "Jews" to Israel currently is NOT the fulfillment of this prophecy for some very important reasons.

23:20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come (NASB: "last days") you will understand it clearly. Powerful and sobering verse. But His anger will be accomplished (finished).

2 Thessalonians

1:4-5 Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God's faithful followers (overcomers) must be made worthy of the great responsibilities given in the coming Kingdom! We have discussed this extensively. To be "chosen" is to carry a cross in this world but to be given privileges in the next.

1:6-7 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. The word "relief" in Greek is that of rest and relief—think Sabbath Millennium (rest) when Jesus is revealed from Heaven!