The Seed of God
Man was created by God to rule and reign and govern the kingdom of God – on earth. When Adam sinned, God set in motion a glorious plan that would redeem mankind. ‘The Seed’ of the woman was to crush the head of the old serpent.. called the devil, and down through the centuries, the Seed was passed from one generation to another. The Seed travelled through Enoch to Noah – from Noah to Shem and on to Abraham. It continued through Isaac… and Jacob, whom God renamed as Israel, prince with God.
The People of God
The sons of Jacob became the 12 tribes of the little nation of Israel – the people of God. They were to be a holy people unto God, for He had chosen them to be a people for His own possession – selected from all the people groups on the face of the earth. Israel was to be a witness to the world that Yahweh was the one true and living God. God made Himself known to Israel, and they were to make God known to the world.
The God of Israel
God chose to reveal Himself more and more to Israel, so that they would know Him as the powerful Creator God and trust in Him, as their loving Lord and gentle Saviour. “Before Me, there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I am the Lord; and there is no Saviour beside Me”. Isaiah 43:10-11. Israel was to tell of God’s saving grace and turn the gentile nations back to Him – for God desires that ALL people know and love Him as Creator, Saviour and Lord.
Israel was to tell the good news of salvation to all the gentile nations of the world. Israel was to be God’s tool – to turn the nations back to Himself and His truth. Israel were God’s chosen people, who were to be His witnesses to the uttermost part of the earth. God made covenant promises with Israel – and one was a conditional promise. If the nation was faithful to their calling – God would bless them mightily. If the nation was unfaithful to their calling – God would punish them severely.
But this is the kicker….. Irrespective of their being faithful or not they would one day witness to the world. Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 24 that the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations – and then the end will come. And Israel is the nation that will one day preach this kingdom gospel worldwide… for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:29
But as a nation, Israel rebelled against their God and did evil in the sight of the Lord. Prophet after prophet was sent to Israel to call the nation to repent of their sins, but they would not repent of their evil deeds and were taken captive into Babylon. Yet silently the Seed of the woman continued to travel through a faithful remnant.
400 Silent years
The nation of Israel was required to repent of her collective sins against her God, and generation after generation that Seed travelled down the corridors of time. After 400 silent years, the Lord sent John the Baptist to call the nation to REPENT. “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near”. John the Baptist was the last and greatest of the old testament prophets to Israel. Jesus Himself said: for I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. Luke 7:28
Herald of the Seed
The Baptist was to herald the Seed Who came to save His people from their sins. The Baptist was God’s forerunner to Israel’s Messiah – promised so long ago. The Baptist announced, “I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One..” He pointed the people to the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.
Ministry to Israel
The ministry of the Baptist was to prepare Israel for the coming kingdom of God. Paul also reminds us that John’s ministry to Israel was a baptism of repentance, for John called the people to repent of their sins, turn to God and to believe in the One Who was to come after him – that is, Jesus, for the Kingdom of Heaven was near.
John was Israel’s last prophet who was to call the nation of Israel to repentance as the time to set up the kingdom of God had finally arrived – their Messiah had come… but the nation of Israel rejected their Messiah and crucified their King and so the kingdom of God had to be delayed for a time – during the church age, and given to a people who would produce its fruit – and so Israel was set aside – for a time…
The Witness of the Church
The witness of Israel was to be replaced with the witness of the Church – for a time. The gospel of the kingdom was to be replaced with the gospel of grace – for a time. The promised kingdom was to be postponed – until the whole nation of Israel repents.
And Acts covers a special, unrepeatable period of time – a unique time of transition. It was a period of history that bridged the old covenant with the new covenant. It was a bridge between Old Testament living and New Testament life.
Israel’s gospel of the kingdom had to be postponed during the church dispensation – and the Church proclaiming the gospel of grace became God’s witness to the world. But the day is coming when Israel will once again be God’s witness to the nations. The day is fast approaching when the gospel of the kingdom will again be taught.
Gospel of the Kingdom
The day is fast approaching when Israel will again be God’s witnesses and proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to the nations – for this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Gospel of Grace
Today we live in the church age when the gospel of grace is taught to the nations. Today God is continuing to do His work through the body of Christ – the Church.. but a day is coming when the Church will be raptured – and in that day the gospel of the kingdom of God will be taught to all nations… by a faithful remnant of Jews.
24 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.