What are the consequences of Israel’s restoration?

Christians belong to the people of God. But Israel originally also. Some state however that Israel is cursed, condemned and scattered. They could never again be part of the people of God. In the Bible however it is written that Israel eventually shall be recovered and become prominent in the people of God. If that is so, what does this mean for God’s people? Remarkable, Christianity has never put this into a creed or studied it thoroughly. In the contrary, it’s been ignored by them. Thus, it seems more then urgent that Israel’s recovery is studied. What is written about it in the Bible?

By Marco van Putten

The word restoration means resetting to the old state or reestablishment / putting upright. It assumes a preceding fall. Re-storement is difficult. It’s labor intensive. It demands courage, hope and guts in advance, but during the process it needs perseverance and persistence. But even when restoration has come, it is not always possible to (fully) return to the original state. In that case a new way forward has to be found. Strong opposition against restoration can exist. For example, the periphery of that what is restored can be disappointed, surprised or alarmed. A restoration has different stages with each of them their own challenge.

Why is Israel being restored?
The answer is part of God’s choice to banish Israel. He could have destroyed Israel and that is what God actually did for a large part. He warned them earnestly many times that it would happen.

In the Bible it is announced that the banishment of Israel will end (Nh 9:31). The plan that God has for the future shows the unbreakable bond He has with them. The main reason why God made Israel is for them to honor and serve Him. This is thus the main reason why they will be restored. That is, to restore the Temple service on earth, so that God’s will can be completely honored and done by all man on earth. Because the earth is the focal point of Creation [1].

The Temple service cannot only be spiritual. Its spiritual function is useless without its seeable, physical function [2] in Creation. Only in that way religion can confirm, sustain, maintain and fulfill the Creation order. The restoration of the Temple service following the restoration of Israel means that the latter represents the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth and eventually also in the whole of Creation. Something what is longed for today [3] and only will come through the restoration of Israel.

Stages of Israel’s restoration
In the Bible the following stages of the restoration of Israel are mentioned:

Conversion of Israel

According to some people the beginning of this is seen in the fact that there are Jews that accept the Lord Jesus as their Messiah [4]. However, this is not what is mentioned in the Bible, namely the sudden wholesome (12 tribes) conversion invoked by God [5]. This means that the Lord Jesus is officially accepted by (the remnant of) Israel as King and Lord. Many Christians, who can hardly bare the existence of the Jewish identity, rejoice in the prospect of their future collective conversion. However, this ‘conversion’ of Israel doesn’t mean that they will become Christians or accept Christian faith. It means that they will understand that Judaism is false [6]. Several ‘lose ends’ of written Torah (i.e. the whole Bible) shall be answered and new and never imagined questions will arise. Probable the general name ‘Judaism’, based on wrong replacement theories [7], will be abandoned. The remnant of Israel shall be renewed [8].

End of the banishment announced

A sjofar (horn) shall be sounded invoked by God and a call of a messenger of joy shall go out to all corners of Creation. It shall be declared that Israel’s banishment (scattering) is ended (Is 27:13; 52:7).

Return to and entering of the promised Land

The remnant of Israel shall leave the places to which they were banished/scattered and the nations where they have dwelt will help them return. These shall carry and feed their weak during their travel to the Promised Land (Is 60:4, 16). In an impressive way the remnant of Israel shall return to their own soil and they shall gather together in Jerusalem (Is 11:16; 35:8).

Appearance of the Messiah

The Messiah shall come down from heaven and enter the Temple square (Zec 9:9).

Establishment of God’s Kingdom

The Messiah welcomes Israel and the believers from the nations who are gathered in Jerusalem. He announces the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth and orders the organization of the Land of Israel and of the Temple (Is 61:4; Am 9:11).

Accepting God’s Covenant by Israel

When the foundation is laid for the establishment of God’s Kingdom and the Temple is inaugurated then the Messiah will mediate the New Covenant [9] of His Kingdom between God and His people (Is 61:8; Jr 31:31). Israel shall be officially added again into God’s people (Rm 11:23) and they will receive the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28).

Worldwide opposition

All the preceding events will have an enormous impact of the World of unbelievers, who see their existence threatened (Rev 11:18) [10]. Because, the coming of the Messiah announces the end of pagan dominance [11] they take counsel to determine the best way to address these developments to reinforce their old order.

War and victory

The oppositional peoples and nations [12] see that their counseling and manipulation gives them no solution and therefore they will take up arms. They will declare war against Israel and its allies. The largest coalition army ever assembled shall attack Israel and this confrontation will take place in the north of the Promised Land (Rev 16:16). The Messiah and His army of believers will fight and be victorious. As a consequence the place shall be covered with thousands of dead bodies (Js 34:4-8; Rev 19:15-21). The Messiah shall take hold of satan and bind him for a very long time (Rev 20:2).

Conversion of humanity

The Messiah will make Himself King of the earthly kings (Is 24:23). Out of Jerusalem believers will send messengers to call upon the peoples and nations to convert. The establishment of God’s Kingdom is then still not yet complete, since the whole of humanity is invited to freely join the Messiah (Zec 14:18-19). Not all will do so and there still will be much hypocrisy.

Final war against the Messiah

When the redemption of humanity through the messiah is nearly complete then satan is released again (Rev 20:7). He shall incite the remaining opposing peoples and nations against the Messiah of God, so they will join together for battle (Rev 20:8). Their armies will go up for battle against the Temple city Jerusalem (Zec 12:3). Then God will send down fire from heaven upon them (Zec 12:6; Rev 20:9). All remaining peoples that resent God will die (Zec 12:9) and satan will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10).

Consequences of Israel’s restoration
Among others this would mean that:

The ultimate goal of the Lord Jesus is hidden

Him being Messiah will only become fulfilled revealed once He restores (the religion of) Israel.

The Temple will be restored

The Temple will become the religious center for the people of God on earth and will operate to facilitate the New Covenant. This asks for a correction of the current Torah [13].

The people of God will become one

Christians will discover that the restoration of Israel is needed to make them whole [14]. Israel will discover the same about Christianity and realize that they can only come near to God through the Lord Jesus. Only the unified people of God [15] are truly His people (Ef 2:15). This is also the goal of Israel’s restoration. When the people of God represent the whole of humanity then all believers (Israelite or no) must have equal rights [16].

Israel will become one of the nations

The restoration of Israel and the coming of the Messiah doesn’t end the kingdoms or the nationhood’s [17]. Also, Israel is not placed above the nations, but becomes one of the many although with special privileges. The people of God are not bound to one ethnicity (that of Israel), but to one religion (that of the Temple in Jerusalem).

The Messiah will teach His new religion

Old theologies will prove to be limited or false. Rabbinic Judaism presumes the banishment [18]. But if the banishment ends then this Judaism loses its base. The Christians doctrines presume superiority [19] as though Christians represent the unique and true people of God. It will become clear that this can’t withstand the reality of the Messianic Kingdom. Through the restoration of Israel these assumptions become suspended and are made irrelevant. It will become clear that Christianity had only represented God’s people since Israel became disobedient (Acts 18:6; Rm 11:11). Both will accept one and the same religion (Ef 4:5) [20].

The pagan dominance will diminish

Still believers will be in contact with the unbelievers, be influenced and seduced by them.

That the last phase of God’s plan of salvation is at hand

It is clear that the stages of Israel’s restoration have not yet begun, other than individual Jews that convert to the gospel of the Lord Jesus and accept the New Covenant. If Israel’s restoration begins then also the prospect of the new Creation. During the Messianic government still people will resist subjugating to the will of God (Is 60:12). However, the Messiah will redeem the old Creation. Therefore the resurrection of the dead will only just happen after the Messiah will have completed his mission (1 Cor 15:28; Rev 20:5), because human behavior will only be dealt with once. Namely in the final judgment of God.

[1] Today’s Temple service in heaven can only exist temporarily, because it is incomplete without a Temple service on earth.
[2] For example, religious counseling and works of grace, like taking care of the poor, orphans and widows. This is lacking until today in a collective, centrally authorizes way by God’s people as a whole. Until now it’s only done on individually and scattered way. This is far from the all encompassing way God wants.
[3] Despite that some Christians through the ages continue to state that the Kingdom of God is already established since the advent of the Lord Jesus.
[4] According to some this proves that the restoration of Israel, as it is described in the Bible, has already begun.
[5] That this is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible and still is unfulfilled has to be incorporated as an important given for Christian mission amongst Israel.
[6] Not only that, but that Judaism is wholly focused on facilitating sustenance in their banishment. However, once their banishment is released this Judaism needs to be replaced.
[7] Namely that the two tribes (Judah) have replaced the 10-tribes (Efraim) and that God wasted the latter because of that. That is why they nowadays call themselves Jews.
[8] When the veil and the hardening of the ‘whole’ of Israel (i.e. the remnant that represents their whole) is taken away (2 Cor 3:13-18).
[9] This has to be a different and better Covenant then the Covenant the Lord Jesus mediated with His disciples. Because, the restoration of the Temple service, according to this New Covenant, represents a new way of being related to God (via the Temple). This also asks for a correction of Torah.
[10] It is remarkable that this never happened when Christian Faith was spread.
[11] This encompasses also the other World religions.
[12] Their whole is called ‘Babylon’ or ‘Edom’ in the Bible.
[13] The Torah of Moses will then be replaced by the Torah of the Messiah, since the Messiah is greater than Moses or any other prophet. But His final advent will also have progressing consequences for the spiritual state since His first advent, as it is described in the New Testament.
[14] It is to be expected that Christians will stop calling themselves that. They will finally understand that the banishment of Israel was not only negative for Israel, but also for the whole of God’s people. Thus also for Christians.
[15] This ends the antithesis between Church and Israel.
[16] This solves the ‘problem of the Jews’.
[17] That shows that the all encompassing Kingdom of God can only just be established after the Messianic Kingdom is fulfilled and gone. Namely, in the new Creation.
[18] According to Rabbinic Judaism, for example, the Temple service is superseded by the religion the rabbi’s created. That religion doesn’t need the Temple. After the restoration of Israel the followers of that Judaism will realize that for thousands of years, since the destruction of the Temple on earth, the Temple service continued in heaven with the Lord Jesus as its kohen gadol (High Priest).
[19] This is defined in all kinds of theories, like Replacement theories, Succession theories or in Two-way theories.
[20] This will definitively put an end to the assumed antithesis between Torah and gospel. It is evident that this religion with continue elements of both Judaism and Christianity.