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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Israel Will Turn to Their God

Nehemiah 9 is an incredible chapter. It recounts the history of the blessing and rebellion of the people of Israel, yet the LORD always heard their cries of repentance... and will again. They involved themselves in every kind of immorality, idolatry and pride, yet he heard their cries.

"Yet for many years You had patience with them,
And testified against them by Your Spirit in Your prophets.Yet they would not listen;Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.Nevertheless in Your great mercy You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them; For You are God, gracious and merciful."

Israel will once again turn to their God.

The great Apostle to the Circumcision, Peter, says to the nation of Israel in Acts 3 (post-cross, post Pentecost):

“Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."

This is a specific call for Israel to repent, which must precede the return of Christ (in Acts 1 the twelve looked for the restoration of Israel and Lord says that while it is coming, they did not need to know when).
In Acts 3 is Peter accusing the Body of Christ of crucifying the Lord? Is he promising The Body that if we repent the Lord will return? Did God speak of a time of refreshing through his prophets to the Body? Were we spoken of by the prophets SINCE the world began?
Those things were spoken to an earthly people with an early earthly purpose and an earthly promise. The Body is an heavenly people with an heavenly purpose and an heavenly promise. We were hidden from the prophets. We are a company from BEFORE the world began (Eph 3).
We must make distinctions where scripture makes distinctions. There are "promises made to the fathers [of Israel]" which are not ours and promises to the Body which are not theirs. Rightly divide the Word of Truth.

Our hope in the far above the heavens, Israel's hope and promises are connected to the promised land the New Jerusalem which comes down from heaven.