God Judges Nations


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry

If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.

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God Desires That All Nations Choose To Glorify Him

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017

Note. Footnotes quote numerous supporting verses.

God judges nations. He judged Israel by sending Israel and Judah into captivity because of their repeated failure, despite many warnings from God, to keep His commandments and His statutes. He warned them in advance of what he was going to do.[1] His prophets repeatedly warned the Jews, not only of the consequences of their sins, but also pointed out their specific sins. God’s Old Testament prophets warned Israel over and over of coming judgments.[2]

God also judges Gentile nations. He has given them their authority,[3] and will hold them to account.[4] God, through his prophets, told of the coming judgments on all nations, and the reasons for those judgments: destruction of Moab;[5] destruction of Damascus;[6] burden of Egypt;[7] prophecy that Assyria will waste Egypt and Ethiopia;[8] burden of Tyre;[9] woe of Ephriam;[10] Armageddon: “the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them….;”[11] judgment of Babylon;[12] judgment on Israel’s oppressors;[13] all nations to be judged—many nations listed to be judged;[14] destruction of Egypt, Philistia, Tyre, Moab, Ammonites, Edom, Damascus, Elam, Babylon, Chaldea, etc.—read through Jeremiah 46-51 and notice the reasons given for destroying these nations; Babylon destroyed because Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, scattered Israel;[15] because they [strove] against the LORD;[16] the judgment against Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea because of the violence and evil done to Israel;[17] judgments against various nations in Ezekiel 25-32—the reason for each judgment given and the judgment; judgment of the Gentile nations in Joel 3.2-8 after Armageddon; judgments on people surrounding Israel prophesied in Amos 1.1-2.3; judgments on certain nations prophesied in Zephaniah 2.4-15; Zechariah, more than Haggai or Malachi, gives God’s thoughts about the treatment of Israel by nations surrounding Israel—He has given them their authority and will hold them to account, the test being their treatment of Israel. “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”[18]

The test for a Gentile nation, as always, is the way a nation treats Israel. “And I will make of thee [Israel] a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”[19] “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.”[20]  “He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.”[21]  Nations that blessed Israel have invariably been blessed, those that have persecuted Israel have suffered ill.[22] A careful study of ancient history and of current events reveals that disaster follows when a nation “curses” the nation Israel.[23]

The “times of the Gentiles,” a period during which Jerusalem is under Gentile rule, began when Nebuchadnezzar carried Zedekiah into Babylon,[24] since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile rule. Only a remnant returned to Israel after seventy years in captivity. That remnant remained until Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were dispersed throughout all nations.  Christ foretold: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” [25]

The whole world system, made up of the Gentile nations after the dispersion of the Jews, fell into and will remain in confusion until the Lord returns,[26] conquers the nations with a crushing blow,[27] and sets up His kingdom.[28] Ultimately, Christ will return and gather the nation Israel, the “the apple of the eye of the Lord of hosts,”[29] from all nations where He has scattered them, and bring them into the land He has given them: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”[30] He will establish His kingdom by power, not persuasion. This will be after the divine judgment upon the Gentile world powers.[31]

In addition to His treatment of Israel at His return, Christ will destroy the present political world-system[32] and judge the nations.[33] Then there will follow world-wide Gentile conversion and participation in the blessings of the kingdom.[34]

God will use Israel to “break in pieces the nations.”[35] The order of events [of the last days] is:

(1) We are now at the end of the times of the Gentiles. The end began in 1948 when Israel became a nation. A nation was born in one day. The return was a miraculous event fulfilling the scripture that a nation would be ‘Born in a day:’ ‘Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.’[36] They returned in unbelief; the Prophet Ezekiel foretold this return of the Jews without God, trusting in their own strength. Without the Holy Spirit the Jews are nothing but ‘dry bones.’[37] The yearning in the heart of the Jews for their land—‘Next Year in Jerusalem’—has been the watch cry of Jews for 2000 years. They started going back at the beginning of the 13th Century because of persecution. A trickle in the beginning has reached around 5 million today. Israel is returning to the land in unbelief. ‘Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’[38] The fig tree is Israel.[39]” (2) Invasion of Israel by Russia and Moslem allies –– Magog (Rosh), Meshech (Moscow-Eastern Capitol), Tubal –(Western Capitol), Persia – (Iran), Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer-(Southern Russia), Togarmah.[40] This alliance includes Russia, Iran (Persia) and their Moslem allies.  These nations will be miraculously defeated by Israel.[41]  “(3) The invasion of Palestine by Gentile world powers headed up under the Beast and false prophet.[42]  (4) The destruction of the invaders by the Lord’s army,[43] and the repentance of Judah in the land.[44]  (5) The answer of Jehovah.[45]  (6) The pouring out of the Spirit.[46] (7) The return of the Lord in glory and the setting up of the kingdom[47] by the regathering of the nation and the judgment of the nations.[48] (8) Full and permanent kingdom blessing.[49]


[1] See, e.g., Je. 25.11.

[2] Here are a few of those prophecies:

  • “… [F]or the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away…. (Ho. 4.1-3).” Israel was willfully ignorant: “… because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no more priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children…” (Ho. 4.6-11).
  • God reminds Israel through his prophet Amos of all His judgments against Israel and in spite of those judgments, “yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.” God says, “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4.6-13 (part of verses 10 and 12 quoted)).
  • God wanted Amos to preach 3 things to Israel: (1) the people did not respect the preaching of the word of God[2]; (2) Israel did not honor the Sabbath (Amos 8.5); (3) they did not detest sin any more (Amos 8.14). God also wanted Amos to tell Israel exactly what he was about to do. They rejected his message. In fact, they didn’t even want to hear him preach. They rebelled at the message and the messenger.

[3] Da. 2.37-40.

[4] “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah” (Ps. 9.17, 20). “For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet” (Ps. 47.2-3). Psalm 135.6-12. “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places…. Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan…” (Ps. 135.6, 10-11). “To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth forever; And slew famous kings, for his mercy endureth forever; [kings named]” (Ps. 136.17-21).  God used Assyria to judge Israel and then judged Assyria for its pride in boasting that Assyria did this (Is. 10.5-19).

[5] Is. 15-16.

[6] Is. 17.

[7] Is. 19.

[8] Is. 20.

[9] Is. 23.

[10] Is. 28.

[11] Is. 34.

[12] Is. 47.

[13] Is. 49.22-26; 51.

[14] Je. 25.11-14, 15-38; 26.18-38.

[15] Je. 50.17-18.

[16] Je. 50.24.

[17] Je. 51.24, 35-36.

[18] Zec. 2.8.

[19] Ge. 12.2-3.

[20] Ge. 27.29.

[21] Nu. 24.9.

[22] See Ge. 15.13, 14; De. 30.5-7; Is. 14.1, 2; Joel 3.1-8; Mic. 5.7-9; Mt. 25.31-40.

[23] See John McTeman and Bill Koenig, Israel: The Blessing or the Curse (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Heathstone Publishing, 2002), cited in William P. Grady, How Satan Turned America Against God (Knoxville, Tennessee: Grady Publications 2005), pp. 1-13.

[24] 2 Chr. 36.1-21; Je. 38.7; Mt. 21.24 (speaking of the time after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.).

[25] Lk. 21.24.

[26] 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Is. 13.1, p. 724: In the prophets “Babylon,” when not referring to the city [as in Isaiah 13], is used symbolically to denote the confusion “into which the whole social order or the world has fallen under Gentile world domination.”

[27] Da. 2.45, Da. 7.9-11; Re. 19.11-21.

[28] Da. 2.44.

[29] Zec. 2.8: “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” In two other verses, God calls Israel the “apple of His eye:” De. 32.10; La. 2.18

[30] Zec. 8.7-8. See also, Zec. 8.1-8, De. 30.1-9 (God declared the Palestinian Covenant), P. 110, Ro. 11.25-27.

[31] “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Da. 2.44 and 7.27; see also, Da. 2.34, 35, 45; Ps. 2.4-9; Is. 9.7; Zec. 14.1-9.)

[32] Da. 2.34, 35; Re. 19.11-21.

[33] Joel 3.1-8; Matthew 25.31-46.

[34] “Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Ps. 2.5-8). “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Is. 2.2-4). “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Is. 11.10). “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Is. 60.3). “Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain…. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: … Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for  we have heard that God is with you” (Zec. 8.3, 20, 23). “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the king, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of the tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the posts in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zec. 4.16-21). “For then [in context, after the Lord crushes the nations] will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent” (Zep. 3.9). “And to this agree the words of the prophets: as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things” (Ac. 15.15-17). “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had perceived his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived  and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that that part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Re. 19.19-20.6).

[35] See Je. 51.19-23.

[36] Is. 66.8.

[37] Ez.. 37.1-14.

[38] Mt. 24.32-35.

[39] Jud. 9.11; Joel 1.7; Mt. 21.18-19

[40] Ez. 38-39.

[41] Ez.

[42] Joel 2.1-10, 18-20; “Armageddon:” Re. 16.13-16; Zec. 12.1-9.

[43] Joel 2.11; Re. 19.11-21.

[44] Joel 2.12-17.

[45] Joel 2.18-27.

[46] Joel 2.28, 29.

[47] Joel 2.30-32; Ac. 15.15-17.

[48] Joel 3.1-16.

[49] Joel 3.17-21; Zec. 14.1-21.

God Desires That All Nations Choose to Glorify Him

A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry

If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.

Previous Series of Lessons:

Next Series of Lessons:
God Judges Nations

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017

The Bible, especially in the Old Testament, deals extensively with nations and shows that God ordained nations, that He is over every nation, but that He gives every nation a temporary choice of whether to submit itself to the sovereign God. The following verses, among many others, prove that God is over all nations and wishes each nation to choose to glorify Him:

“When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”[1]

Psm.113.4“Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are they which put their trust in him.”[2]

“The wicked shall be turned into hell and all nations that forget God.” [3]

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”[4]

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”[5]

“The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.”[6]

“Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”[7]

“A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.”[8]

“Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.”[9]

“Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.”[10]

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”[11]

“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and art counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing…. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity…. It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.”[12]

“But thou [Jeremiah] shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.”[13]

At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”[14]

Paul speaking to those at Lystra who would have worshiped Paul and Barnabas because Paul healed the impotent man on his 1st missionary journey said: “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”[15]

Paul said in his sermon on Mars’ hill: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; … And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”[16]

“Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords[.]”[17]

Obviously, civil governments still exist and still have responsibility under God to rule for Him, but He still gives every civil government a choice of whether to go by His or Satan’s principles. “[The civil magistrate] ought to cherish, as a foster-father, the Lord Jesus, in his truth, in his saints, to cleave unto them himself, and to countenance them even to the death, yea, also, to break the teeth of the lions, who offer civil violence and injury unto them.”[18]

Sadly, civil governments do not choose, at least for any significant period of time, to be “under God,” to guide their actions by His principles. Patrick Henry [who led the fight in Virginia against ratifying the Constitution, and was a great defender of the Baptists who were persecuted in Virginia even though he was in favor of a state-church] understood this:

“Where are your checks in this government. Your strongholds will be in the hands of your enemies.  It is on the supposition that your American governors shall be honest, that all the good qualities of this government are founded; but its defective and imperfect construction puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs, should they be bad men. And sir, would not all the world, from the eastern to the western hemispheres, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad? Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty.”[19]

[1] De. 32.8.

[2] Ps. 2.10-12. See Psalm 2 in its entirety.

[3] Ps. 9.17.

[4] Ps. 11.3.

[5] Ps. 100.1-3.

[6] Ps. 113.4.

[7] Pr. 14.34.

[8] Pr. 20.26.

[9] Pr. 20.28.

[10] Pr. 25.5.

[11] Pr. 29.2.

[12] Is. 40.15, 17, 22-24, 26.

[13] Je. 7.28. See the entirety of Je. 7.

[14] Je. 18.7-10.

[15] Ac. 14.15-17.

[16] Ac. 17.24, 26-31.

[17] 1 Ti. 6.15.

[18] Roger Williams and Edward Bean Underhill, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience Discussed and Mr. Cotton’s Letter Examined and Answered (London: Printed for the Society, by J. Haddon, Castle Street, Finsbury, 1848), p. 100.

[19] John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1987), p. 309, quoting Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Debates; quoted by Tyler, Patrick Henry, p. 328.

(4) God Desires that Gentile Nations glorify Him

If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.

A publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry

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(3) Civil Government Failure and God’s Judgment of Nations

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017

God has also given to the Gentile civil governments freedom of choice. Many scriptures illustrate that God wanted Gentile civil governments to recognize Him as who He is: for example, Exodus 7.5, 17; 14.4, 18 (Egypt); Ezekiel 25.11 (Ammonites); 25.14 (Edom); 25.17 (Philistia); 26.6, (Tyre); 28.22, 23, 24 (Zidon); 29.6, 9, 16, 21; 30.8, 19, 25; 32.16 (Egypt); 35.4 (Mt. Seir); 38.23 (the nations); 39.6, 7 (Magog & the heathen).

Solomon, in his blessing after dedicating the temple said, “That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.”[1]  David, within his last words, said: “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.  And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.”[2]  [To Nebuchadnezzar it was said] “they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”[3] So it happened and so Nebuchadnezzar then, after being restored to his kingship, “[extolled and  honoured] the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and his ways judgment,” recognizing that “those that walk in pride [God] is able to abase.” [4] So Nebuchadnezzar came to be called the “servant” of Jehovah.[5]

The writing is on the wall for all nations.

God judged King Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son, because he did not humble his heart and “lifted up [himself] against the Lord of heaven” and had not glorified God “in whose hand [Belshazzar’s] breath [was] and whose [were] all his ways,” knowing what God had done to his father.[6]  Darius, after seeing that God miraculously delivered Daniel when he was thrown into the den of lions, decreed:

“That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.[7]

Cyrus chose to serve God:

“That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut.” [8]

God sent Jonah to “cry against” the Gentile city of Nineveh “for their wickedness [had] come up before [Him].”[9]  After Jonah went through the city of Nineveh crying, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown,”[10] “[t]he people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.”[11]  “And God saw their good works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”[12] Unfortunately, more than a century later Nahum delivered an unrelieved warning of judgment because Nineveh had fallen back into moral awfulness:[13] “[H]e will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.”[14]  “According to Diodorus Siculus, the city was destroyed nearly a century later, precisely as [predicted by Nahum].”[15]

Thus God wishes each civil government to choose to rule for His glory under His precepts; that is, to establish free will for every individual while ruling under biblical principles, but not to enforce God’s rules concerning man’s relationship with God. Just as Belshazzar was without excuse in that he saw what God had done to his father, likewise rulers and civil governments today are without excuse in that the Word of God is available today for all to read and to know God’s principles and His ways.


[1] I Kings 8.60.

[2] II Samuel 23.3-4.

[3] Daniel 4.32b.

[4] Daniel 4.37.

[5] Jeremiah 25.9; 27.6; 43.10.

[6] See Daniel 5.17-31.

[7] Daniel 6.26-27.

[8] Isaiah 44.28-45.1.

[9] Jonah 1.2.

[10] Jonah 3.4.

[11] Jonah 3.5.

[12] Jonah 3.10.

[13] Nahum 3.1-19.

[14] Nahum 1.9.

[15] 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, headnote to Nahum, p. 952.

(3) Civil Government Failure and God’s Judgment of Nations

If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.

A publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry

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(2) The Purpose of Gentile Civil Government

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017

Would man obey God on the basis of conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, and human government? Man almost immediately failed to govern under God—Noah became drunk and incapable of ruling. Furthermore, Noah’s descendants rebelled against God’s command to populate the whole earth. The pattern has continued with every nation that has ever or will ever exist until Christ returns.

Shortly after the flood, God divided the world into nations: “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.”[i] God probably did this because if all worldly government were concentrated in one world government, the potential for evil would be unlimited. As attorney John Eidsmoe wrote:

  • “Rulers are sinful and given too much authority can become oppressive tyrants. Nations check each other’s power. A one-world government would have no check on its power. No one could check violations on legal limitations and guarantees. World government has the potential for world tyranny.”[ii]

TowerOfBabel“The people, instead of obeying God’s command to scatter and fill the earth, conceived the idea of staying together and building the tower of Babel to achieve their aim. Fellowship with man replaced fellowship with God.”[iii] Soon after this division into nations, mankind attempted to build the world’s first “United Nations” building. “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”[iv]

What was wrong with their attempt? “It was a picture of salvation by works, reaching heaven by one’s own efforts; one of its probable purposes was astrology or Satan worship, as with the ziggurat towers in ancient Babylonia; it was based on pride and self-exaltation. In addition, its purpose was to keep the people together in a one-world government instead of spreading them out into national entities as God had intended. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, writing shortly after the time of Christ, says: ‘Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God…. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny—seeing no other way of turning them from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power. He also said … that he would build the tower too high for the waters to be able to reach and that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers….’

“As we can read in Genesis 11.5-9, God frustrated the building of the tower by causing the people to speak different languages. God then reaffirmed nationalism: ‘And from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth’ (Genesis 11.9). God further reaffirms nationalism in Deuteronomy 32.9 and Acts 17.26. National entities will continue even during Christ’s millennial rule on earth (Isaiah 2.4; 66.18; Revelation 12.5; 20.3, 8), and perhaps even in heaven (Revelation 21.24, 26).”[v]

Thus, God again judged man for his failure to keep His command to populate the whole earth. God confused their language. Since they could no longer speak the same language, the builders could no longer understand one another. They separated and relocated to different parts of the earth. They began to populate the entire earth. God was giving man another chance for to govern under God according to His precepts for His purposes.

As we have seen, the Bible teaches that God can prevent man from setting up civil government, and He can ordain civil government.  He is the Highest Power. At the same time, because God has given man free will, God does not force civil government to operate within the sphere of its God-given authority. All other powers, including all other governments and civil government officials and leaders are under Him, subject to His rules. In Romans we read, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”[vi] Every soul includes leaders. Then in Romans 13.3-4, God lays out the jurisdiction of civil government consistently with principles for civil government in the Old Testament.  Finally, God makes clear that man’s duties under God to civil government are parallel with the jurisdiction of civil government. As always, God declares that God’s children are to obey God rather than man when man’s laws contradict God’s laws.[vii]

God has judged all nations (civil governments) which have ever existed and will judge all nations whom He has not before judged.[viii]

All that God showed man as recorded in the Old Testament failed to convince mankind, excluding a remnant, that God was who He claimed to be, that His rules and principles could not be changed, that judgment falls upon individuals and institutions which do not operate according to His principles. As Isaac Backus observed: “Yet all this [all that God had done in the Garden of Eden, the flood, the ordaining of civil government] did not remove the dreadful distemper from man’s nature, for the great Ruler of the universe directly after the flood gave this as one reason why he would not bring such another while the earth remains, namely, For the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.[ix]  “So that if he was to drown them as often as they deserved it, one deluge must follow another continually.”[x]


[i] Ge. 10.5.

[ii] John Eidsmoe, God and Caesar: Biblical Faith and Political Action (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stack Publishers, 1997) p. 210.

[iii] Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 53

[iv] Genesis 11.4.

[v] Eidsmoe, God and Caesar, pp. 210-212, citing The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1974), p. 30.

[vi] Ro. 13.1.

[vii] Ro. 13.5-14 and Ro. 12 and many other Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments teach that civil government is to deal only with man’s relationship to man, not man’s relationship to God and that man is to obey God rather than men. For a thorough analysis, see Render Unto God the Things that Are His.

[viii] See, e.g., Jer. 25; 30.11; 36.2; Je 46:27-28 look forward to the judgment of the nations.; Da. 5.19; Ps. 72.11; 82.8; Zeph. 1.7 (As in the other Prophets, the approaching invasion of Nebuchadnezzar is treated as an adumbration of the true day of the Lord in which all earth-judgments will culminate, to be followed by the restoration and blessing of Israel and the nations in the kingdom.); Zeph. 3.8-13; Zec. 12.9.

[ix] “An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty,” Boston, 1773, an essay of Isaac Backus found in Isaac Backus, Pamphlets on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, Edited by William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969), p. 310, citing Genesis 4.19; 6.13, 15; 8.21.

[x] Ibid., pp. 310-311.


(3) God is the God of Israel

If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.

A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry

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(2) Israel’s Performance, God’s Judgement, and a New Economy—God’s Grace

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God Desires That All Nations Choose To Glorify Him

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017

1God promised the nation Israel He would bless those that bless her and curse those who curse her. This promise was for all time. No such promise was ever given to any other nation.[1]

To suggest that Israel has only the rights God has given to all nations is a shocking rejection of clear biblical teaching! God distinctly tells Israel that He has “separated [and] severed [her] from other people”[2] and that she will not be “reckoned among the nations”[3] because He loved Israel and chose her to be a “special people … above all people.”[4]

God promises repeatedly, “O Israel … I am with thee … to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee.”[5] “The Bible identifies the true god as ‘the God of Israel’ 203 times, ‘the God of Jacob’ 28 times, ‘the God of Abraham’ 17 times, and ‘the God of Isaac’ 13 times. Never is He called the God of any other ethnic group. These designations are foundational to everything the Bible teaches, including the character of God. To profess to believe in God and at the same time to hold a prejudice against God’s chosen people, the Jews, or against Israel, which turns these clear biblical identifications into meaningless titles, casts doubt upon whether one really knows the true God.”[6]

The land of Israel was unconditionally given to Abraham and to his seed in the covenant God made with Abraham (the Abrahamic Covenant).[7] God said to Abraham, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever;”[8] “And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.”[9]

“The Abrahamic Covenant as formed (Gen. 12.1-4) and confirmed (Gen. 13.14-17; 15.1-7; 17.1-8) is in seven distinct parts:

  1. “‘I will make of thee a great nation.’ Fulfilled in a threefold way: (a) In a natural posterity—‘as the dust of the earth’ (Gen. 13.16; John 8.37), viz. the Hebrew people. (b) ‘In a spiritual posterity—look now toward heaven … so shall thy seed be’ (John 8.39; Rom. 4.16, 17; 9.7, 8; Gal. 3.6, 7, 29, viz. all men of faith, whether Jew or Gentile.) Fulfilled also through Ishmael (Gen. 17.18-20).
  2. “I will bless thee.’ Fulfilled in two ways: (a) temporally (Gen. 13.14, 15, 17; 15.18; 24.34, 35); (b) spiritually (Gen. 15.6; John 8.56).
  3. “‘And make thy name great.’ Abraham’s is one of the universal names.
  4. “‘And thou shalt be a blessing.’ (Gal. 3.13, 14).
  5. “‘I will bless them that bless thee.’ In fulfillment closely related to the next clause.
  6. “‘And curse him that curseth thee.’ Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew—well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle (Deut. 30.7; Isa. 14.1, 2; Joel 3.1-8; Mic. 5.7-9; Hag. 2.22; Zech. 14.1-3; Mt. 25.40, 45).
  7. “‘In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ This is the great evangelic promise fulfilled in Abraham’s Seed, Christ (Gal. 3.16; John 8.56-58). It brings into greater definiteness the promise of the Adamic Covenant concerning the Seed of the woman (Ge. 3.15).

“NOTE.—The gift of the land is modified by prophecies of three dispossessions and restorations (Gen. 15.13, 14, 16; Jer. 25.11, 12; Deut. 28.62-65; 30.1-3). Two dispossessions and restorations have been accomplished. Israel is now in the third dispersion, from which she will be restored at the return of the Lord as King under the Davidic Covenant (Deut. 30.3; Jer. 23.5-8; Ezk. 37.21-25; Lk. 1.30-33; Acts 15.14-17).”[10]

Thus God made three kinds of promises in the Abrahamic Covenant: (1) personal promises to Abraham, (2) national promises concerning Israel, and (3) universal promises that would affect all the people of the world.[11]  Some of those promises have been fulfilled, but His promises “to give the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession to Abraham’s physical descendants (Genesis 17.8) and to give the Abrahamic Covenant for an everlasting covenant to those same descendants (Genesis 17.7, 19)” have not yet been fulfilled.[12]

The Abrahamic Covenant was an everlasting covenant dependent upon God and not upon what Abraham did. A theological controversy surrounds this issue, but the Bible makes clear that the covenant is everlasting.[13]

Palestinian_1As pointed out above, Israel entered the land under Joshua after Israel wandered forty years in the wilderness under the conditional covenant God made with Israel prior to their entering the land, the Palestinian Covenant. The Palestinian Covenant, which was established by God with Israel after He gave the Mosaic Covenant, was separate from the Mosaic Covenant.  “These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.”[14] In conjunction with the covenant, God made very significant promises to Israel.[15]

These promises are to be fulfilled with literal, not spiritual, Israel, and reveal that God always leaves the way open for unfaithful Israel to be reconciled to Him. The final fulfillment of these promises to Israel is in the future. Since God intends to fulfill these promises to Israel when all the curse of Deuteronomy 28 concerning the nation Israel has been completed, this shows that literal Israel, as distinguished from the church (identified by some theologians as spiritual Israel), will survive the curse of God. God’s promise to restore Israel to the land which he gave to Abraham and his descendents when all the curse of Deuteronomy 28 has been fulfilled is another guarantee of Israel’s permanent ownership of that land. The Word of God in the promises of the Palestinian Covenant guarantees that literal Israel will repent and become saved in the future.[16]

3DavidicThe future blessing of Israel as a nation rests upon the Palestinian Covenant of restoration and conversion and the covenant God made with David, the Davidic Covenant of the Kingship of the Messiah, David’s Son, and this gives to predictive prophecy its Messianic character. The exaltation of Israel is secured in the kingdom, and the kingdom takes its power to bless from the Person of the King, David’s Son, but also “Emmanuel.” The interpretation of “Emmanuel” is “God with us.”[17]

Later, after Israel rejected the theocracy and demanded a king, and after God anointed David as King, God made a covenant with David as recorded in 2 Samuel 7.8-17.[18] The Davidic Covenant, “upon which the glorious kingdom of Christ ‘of the seed of David according to the flesh’ is to be founded, secures:

(1) A Davidic ‘house’; i.e. posterity, family.
(2) A ‘throne’; i.e. royal authority.
(3) A kingdom; i.e. sphere of rule.
(4) In perpetuity; ‘for ever.’
(5) And this fourfold covenant has but one condition: disobedience in the Davidic family is to be visited with chastisement, but not to the abrogation of the covenant (2 Sam. 7.15; Psa. 89.20-37; Isa. 24.5; 54.3). The chastisement fell; first in the division of the kingdom under Rehoboam, and finally, in the captivities (2 Ki. 25.1-7). Since that time but one King of the Davidic family has been crowned at Jerusalem and He was crowned with thorns. But the Davidic Covenant confirmed to David by the oath of Jehovah, and renewed to Mary by the angel Gabriel, is immutable (Psa. 89.30-37), and the Lord God will yet give to that thorn-crowned One ‘the throne of his father David’ (Lk. 1.31-33; Acts 2.29-32; 15.14-17).[19]

assyrianCaptivityUtterly violating the conditions of the Palestinian Covenant, the nation was first disrupted[20] and then cast out of the land.[21] The dispersion was for disobedience, as foretold by God.[22]

A temporary dispersion within was prophesied, to come before the extended dispersion. “The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.”[23] This refers to Babylonian captivity of 70 years prophesied by Jeremiah.[24]

God, through Moses, told Israel that her continued disobedience would be punished by a worldwide dispersion.[25]

The Lord Jesus confirmed Moses’ words: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”[26] After the siege and total destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. almost all Judea became a desert and remained that way for nineteen-hundred and fifty years until 1948.

But the same covenant unconditionally promises a national restoration of Israel which is yet to be fulfilled. We see this in many prophecies. See En27[27] for some of those prophecies.

6This is where we are in prophecy at the present time: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”[28]

God told Israel, “If my people [Israel], which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”[29] Israel will repent in the future while still in the dispersion: “And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul[.]”[30]  God will then forgive them, restore them to their land which He gave them, and heal them.

Go to the following webpage for links to more in-depth Bible studies on Israel: The Bible Doctrine of Government.

Go to much more extensive essay by clicking here.


[1] 2 S. 7.23-26. David understood this. David said to the Lord after the Lord proclaimed to him what is called the Davidic Covenant: “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God. And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said…. And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.”

[2] Le. 20.24, 26.

[3] N. 23.9.

[4] De. 7.6-9: “For thou [Israel] art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharoah king of Egypt.”.

[5] Je. 30.10-11.

[6] Dave Hunt, “God of Jacob, God of Israel, Part I,” The Berean Call, August 2006, Vol. XXI, No. 8, pp. 3, 5. See Matthew 22.29-31; See article for more good information on those who think the covenant with Israel was broken.  See also, Dave Hunt, “God of Jacob, God of Israel, Part Two,” The Berean Call, September 2006, Vol. XXI, No. 9, pp. 3-4.

[7] Ge. 12.1-4: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.”.

[8] Ge. 13.15.

[9] Ge. 15.7.

[10] 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 3 p. 24 to Genesis 15.18. This notation was made before the Jews were restored to the land in 1948. But even in 1948 and thereafter, there has not been a complete restoration to all the land that God gave to the Jews.

[11] Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990), p p. 57-58.

[12] Ibid., p. 59.

[13] Ibid., pp. 60-68: Renald E. Showers sums up the dispensational arguments against the conditional position.

[14] De. 29.1.

[15] De. 30.1-10: “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.”

[16] Bible teaching on this is outlined in this chapter, infra. See also, Showers, pp. 81-82.

[17] Mt. 1.23.

[18] 2 S. 7.8-17. “Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcoat, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: [a]nd I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.  “And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: [b]ut my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.”  “Although this passage does not call God’s promises to David a covenant, other passages clearly indicate that God was establishing a covenant with His servant (2 Sam. 23:5; 2 Chr. 7:18; 21:7; Ps. 89:3-4, 28-29, 34-37; Jer. 33.19-26).” Showers, p. 85.

[19] See also, 1 Chr. 17.7-15.

[20] 1 K. 12.

[21] 2 K. 17.1-18; 14.1-25.11.

[22] De. 30.1-3: “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.” De. 28.25, 63-64: “The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth…. And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” See also, Le. 26.32-39

[23] De. 28.36.

[24] Je. 25.11-12: “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”. God gives explicit details of what will happen in that dispersion in De. 28.35-62.

[25] Deuteronomy 28.63-64. “And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” See verses 63-68.

[26] Lk. 21.24.

[27] Is. 11.11; Isaiah 48 explains that Israel will be restored & why; Isaiah 49.8-21: Israel to be preserved & restored; Is. 51.3; Is. 52.8, 9; Is. 54 describes Israel the restored wife of Jehovah & security and blessing of restored Israel; Is. 61.3-11; 62: The restoration of Israel; Is. 65.17-66.24: The eternal blessing of Israel in the new earth.

Is. 65.1-16 tells of all the bad things Israel, the rebellious people had done. Is. 65.17-25 tells of the eternal blessing of Israel in the new earth. Verse 17 looks beyond the kingdom-age to the new heavens and the new earth, but verses 18-25 describe the kingdom-age itself.  Longevity is restored, but death, the “last enemy” (1 Co. 15.26), is not destroyed till after Satan’s rebellion at the end of the thousand years (Re. 20.7-14).

Je. 16.15c (see Je. 16.14-16); Je. 23.1-40: the future restoration and conversion of Israel. This chapter tells the bad things the nation, the prophets, the priests, the people had done, and also states. “And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase…. Behold, the days come saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

Je. 24 speaks of both the good and the evil and the good people who will be deported & the evil who remain in Judah and those who dwell in Egypt. God says he will remove the evil “into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them … and will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and their fathers” (Je. 24.9-10). But He will “set [his] eyes upon them for  good, and … will bring them again to this land: and … will build them, and not pull them down; and … will plant them, and not pluck them up.” (Je. 24.6). Je. 30.8-11, 16-24; 31; 32.37-44: Israel will be restored; Je. 32.32, 37-41; Jeremiah 33: God will restore Israel and Judah; Je. 46.27-28; Je. 50.19-20, 51.5; Ezekiel 11.17-21: Israel to be restored to the land and converted; Ezekiel 16.60-63: The promise of future blessing under the Palestinian Covenant and the New Covenant; Ez. 28.25-26; Ezekiel 34.11-31. Israel to be restored and the Davidic kingdom to be set up.

Notice the reason God restores Israel: “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. Not for your sakes I do this saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.” Ez. 36.22-23, 32 [Bold emphasis mine]. One purpose for God setting aside the nation of Israel was to point other nations to God. Israel failed miserably. See Ezekiel 36 and many other passages in the OT.  Man always fails.  Only God succeeds.  As was mentioned in Chapter 2 above, the God-given purpose of man is to glorify God, but man seeks his happiness, and seeks not the glory of God.

“Jehovah gives [in Ez. 37] the method of the restoration of the nation. The “bones” are the whole house of Israel who shall then be living. The “graves” are the nations where they dwell. The order of the procedure is: (1) the bringing of the people out (v12); (2) the bringing of them in (v12); (3) their conversion (v13); (4) the filling with the Spirit (v14). The symbol of the 2 sticks follows. The 2 sticks are Judah and the ten tribes; united, they are one nation (vs. 19-21). Then follows (vs 21-27) the plain declaration as to Jehovah’s purpose, and verse 28 implies that then Jehovah will become known to the Gentiles in a marked way.  This is also the order of Acts 15.16, 17, and the two passages strongly indicate the time of full Gentile conversion.  See also Isa. 11.10.” 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ezekiel 37.1, p. 881.

Ez. 37.26-28; Ezekiel 39.25-29: Vision of restored and converted Israel. Ez. 40.1-48.35: Israel in the land during the kingdom-age. Vision of the future temple. Vision of the glory of the Lord filling the temple. The place of the throne of the future kingdom. The measure of the altar.  The offerings. 43.19-27. The gate for the prince. The priests of the future temple. Etc. Ez. 43.7-12: The place of the throne of the future kingdom.

“That Israel is the wife of Jehovah (see vs. 16-23), now disowned but yet to be restored, is the clear teaching of the passages [in the book of Hosea]….  Israel is, then, to be the restored and forgiven wife of Jehovah, … Jehovah’s earthly wife (Hos. 2.23)[.] …” Schofield, n. 1 to Ho. 2.2, p. 922. Ho. 2.14-23: Israel, the adulterous wife, to be restored. Ho. 13.9-16: The ultimate blessing of Israel in the kingdom.

Joel 3.1; Joel 3.17-21: The kingdom blessing; Amos 9.13-15: Full kingdom blessing of restored Israel; Micah 4.6-8: Israel to be regathered; Zephaniah 3.14-20: The kingdom blessing of Israel; Zec. 2.4-13: Jerusalem in the kingdom age; Zec. 8.1-8: Jehovah’s unchanged purpose to bless Israel in the kingdom; Zec. 8.20-23: Jerusalem to be the religious center of the earth; Zec. 9.10-17: The future deliverance of Judah and Ephriam, and the world-wide kingdom; Zec. 10: The future strengthening of Judah and Ephraim and the dispersion and regathering of Israel in one view.

Luke 1.26-38 (Here the angel Gabriel says to Mary): “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

Zacharias, filled with the Holy Ghost, prophesies… “And he raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”

When Jesus taught the apostles after he was risen, they “asked of him saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Ac. 1.6-7). Notice, Jesus indicated that this would happen, but would not tell them when.

“… Taken together, the N.T. teachings concerning the return of Jesus Christ may be summarized as follows: (1) That the return is an event, not a process, and is personal and corporeal (Mt. 23.39; 24.30; 25.31; Mk. 14.62; Lk. 17.24; John 14.3; Acts 1.11; Phil. 3.20, 21; 1 Thes. 4.14-17). (2) His coming has a threefold relation: to the church, to Israel, to the nations.

“(a) To the church the descent of the Lord into the air to raise the sleeping and change the living saints is set forth as a constant expectation and hope (Mt. 24.36, 44, 48-51; 25.13; 1 Cor. 15.51, 52; Phil. 3.20; 1 Thes. 1.10; 4.14-17; 1 Tim. 6.14; Tit. 2.13; Rev. 22.20).
“(b) To Israel, the return of the Lord is predicted to accomplish the yet unfulfilled prophecies of her national regathering, conversion, and establishment in peace and power under the Davidic Covenant (Acts 15.14-17 with Zech. 14.1-9). See “Kingdom (O.T.),” 2 Sam. 7.8-17; Zech. 13.8, note; Lk. 1.31-33; 1 Cor. 15.24, note.
“(c) To the Gentile nations the return of Christ is predicted to bring the destruction of the present political world-system (Dan. 2.34, 35; Rev. 19.11, note); the judgment of Mt. 25.31-46, followed by world-wide Gentile conversion and participation in the blessings of the kingdom (Isa. 2.2-4; 11.10; 60.3; Zech. 8.3, 20, 23; 14.16-21).” 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to Ac.. 1.11, p. 1148.

“A distinction must be observed between the ‘last days’ when the prediction relates to Israel and the ‘last days’ when the prediction relates to the church (1 Tim. 4.1-3; 2 Tim. 3.1-8; Heb. 1.1, 2; 1 Pet. 1.4, 5; 2 Pet. 3.1-9; 1 John 2.18, 19; Jude 17-19). Also distinguish the ‘last days’ (plural) from ‘the last day’ (singular); the latter expression referring to the resurrections and last judgment (John 6.39, 40, 44, 54; 11.24; 12.48). The ‘last days’ as related to the church began with the advent of Christ (Heb. 1.2), but have especial reference to the time of declension and apostasy at the end of this age (2 Tim. 3.1; 4.4). The ‘last days’ as related to Israel are the days of Israel’s exaltation and blessing, and are synonymous with the kingdom-age (Isa. 2.2-4; Mic. 4.1-7). They are ‘last’ not with reference to this dispensation, but with reference to the whole of Israel’s history.” Ibid., n. 1, p. 1151 to Acts 2.17.

Acts 15.13-17: James declares the result of the council at Jerusalem which considered the issues of whether it was “needful to circumcise [the Gentile believers], and to command them to keep the law of Moses” (Ac. 15.5). the outcalling of the Gentiles agrees with the promises to Israel. Peter had argued, “And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Ac. 15.8-11).

Romans 9-11: The Gospel does not set aside the covenants with Israel. 9.4-5 gives the sevenfold privilege of Israel. “I SAY then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.  For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, and I shall take away their sins” (Ro. 11.1-2, 26-27).

“That Israel has not been forever set aside is the theme of [Romans 11]. (1) The salvation of Paul proves that there is still a remnant (v. 1). (2) The doctrine of the remnant proves it (vs. 2-6). (3) The present national unbelief was foreseen (vs. 7-10). (4) Israel’s unbelief is the Gentile opportunity (vs. 11-25). (5) Israel is judicially broken off from the good olive tree, Christ (vs. 17-22). (6) They are to be grafted in again (vs. 23, 24). (7) The promised Deliverer will come out of Zion and the nation will be saved (vs. 25-29). That the Christian now inherits the distinctive Jewish promises is not taught in Scripture. The Christian is of the heavenly seed of Abraham (Gen. 15.5, 6; Gal. 3.29), and partakes of the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15.18, note); but Israel as a nation always has its own place, and is yet to have its greatest exaltation as the earthly people of God. See ‘Israel’ (Gen. 12.2; Rom. 11.26); ‘Kingdom’ (Gen. 1.26-28; Zech. 12.8).” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Ro. 11.1, p. 1204).

[28] Lk. 21.24.

[29] 2 Chr. 7.14.

[30] De. 30.2.

(2) Israel’s Performance, God’s Judgement, and a New Economy—God’s Grace

If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.

A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry

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(1) Israel, the only theocracy ordained by God

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017

“The reader of scripture should hold firmly in mind: (1) that from Genesis 12. to Matthew 12.45 the Scriptures have primarily in view Israel, the little rill, not the great Gentile river, though again and again the universality of the ultimate divine intent breaks into view;[1] (2) that the human race, henceforth called Gentile in distinction from Israel, goes on under the covenants given to Adam and Noah; and that for the race (outside Israel) men are guided by conscience and human government continues. The moral history of the great Gentile world is told in Romans 1.21-32, and its moral accountability in Romans 2.1-16. Conscience never acquits: it either ‘accuses’ or ‘excuses.’  Where the law is known to the Gentiles it is to them, as to Israel, ‘a ministration of death,’ a ‘curse.’[2] A wholly new responsibility arises when either Jew or Gentile knows the Gospel.[3]

2The Mosaic Law covered the period from Moses until the death and resurrection of Christ, or from Exodus 19.1 to Acts 1.26. Under the covenant God made with Moses, the Jews were to be responsible for keeping the whole law.[4] They did not succeed in their responsibility. Their zeal for God was not according to knowledge; they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, went about to “establish their own righteousness, and did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God.[5] The result was the captivity of Judah by Babylon and the captivity of Israel by Assyria. After the Jews later rejected the Lord, they were scattered over the entire world. Jesus lamented, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”[6]

“All during their many periods of declension and backsliding, God dealt with them graciously from the very first apostasy with the golden calf, when the law was being delivered to Moses, to the gracious promises of final regathering and restoration in the millennial age to come. These promises of a glorious future are guaranteed secure by the Abrahamic promises, which the law in no way abrogated (Gal. 3.3-25). We are also told clearly in the New Testament (Rom. 3.20 [“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”]) that the law was not a means of justification but of condemnation.”[7]

God declared that Israel would lend to other nations, but would not borrow, that Israel would reign over many nations, but that no nation would reign over Israel.[8] Israel was called the wife of Jehovah.[9] Israel is the “rod for his inheritance,” and God will use Israel to “break into pieces the nations.”[10] Thus, Israel is the key to everything regarding the nations of this world.

Again, Israel was ordained to be a theocracy under the direct rule of God, through His judges. This type civil government was unique to Israel. We see how this type of civil government was applied by Israel in the book of Judges. Over and over again, especially in Deuteronomy, the Jews were told to follow God’s law, to keep his commandments and statutes. “These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth….”[11]  God’s laws covered everything, including idolatry. The Ten Commandments exemplified the law, and the whole of the Ten Commandments, including the first four, were to be enforced in the nation Israel.

kings-crownGod gave Israel free will. Ultimately Israel rejected God’s plan under which God himself ruled over the nation of Israel and demanded a king like the Gentile nations. Israel demanded a king.[12] God told Samuel to hearken unto their demand, that Israel had rejected God and His rule over them:[13]

God also told Samuel to tell the people the ill consequences of being ruled by a king: the king would take their sons and daughters for various services to the king; that the king would give their fields, vineyards, and oliveyards, the best of them to his officers and servants; their menservants, maidservants and their goodliest young men, their asses and put them to work; a tenth of their sheep; that they would be the servants of the king. Finally, Samuel warned them: “And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”[14]

King_Saul004But they still demanded a king.[15]  They were looking at man, not God, when they made this demand: “And they said unto Samuel, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways[.]”[16]  They still did not realize that God fulfills His purposes. Had Israel walked in faith and kept His statutes and commandments, God had promised to bless them.

Before the Israelites rejected God, God’s law as transmitted through Moses, then through his successors, was the whole of civil and religious government. God’s chosen people, even in the theocracy, rebelled against God and His ways time and again, were judged by God for so doing, and returned to God.

When kings started to rule, kings dominated prophet and priest. Saul, the first king, disobeyed the command of God through Samuel[17] and even sought to slay Samuel, the prophet of God.[18] David followed Saul as king of Israel. After the death of Solomon, David’s son who became king after the death of King David, the nation of Israel split in two. The northern Kingdom was called Israel, and the southern Judah. Before those two nations were eventually taken into captivity for their failure to proceed under God, all nineteen kings of Israel were evil and only eight of twenty kings of Judah were good (did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord).

During that time, God sent prophets to warn the kings of both Israel and Judah to cast down their idols and return to the ways of the Lord and to proclaim the consequences that would surely come if they did not do so. Rarely did the kings heed the warnings of those prophets.  The Jews broke the Mosaic Law repeatedly.[19]

The nation was judged many times during this dispensation. Israel and Judah were both ultimately conquered and the people taken into captivity because of their rebellion against God. Worldwide dispersion resulted from their rejection of Christ.

5Israel miserably failed to obey God on the basis of conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and law. As a result, God instituted a new economy in which He dealt with all mankind on the basis of Grace. Conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and grace are being used by God to govern people. The law is not a ruling factor for the believer during this time of grace.[20]

ROMANSGrace as a ruling factor for the believer consists of two things. First, a confirmed favorable disposition toward God, the law of God in the heart.[21] The second thing is the indwelling Holy Spirit: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”[22]

Sadly, the majority of Jews and Gentiles do not accept the gift of righteousness offered by God through grace. Organized Christendom does not fulfill its mission given it by God in the New Testament—it does not “fulfill the Great Commission, maintain a pure membership, discipline unruly members, prevent false teaching from existing within it, and contend earnestly for the true faith.”[23]  Man again will fail, and judgment will follow.

Go to the following webpage for links to more in-depth Bible studies on Israel: The Bible Doctrine of Government.


[1] e.g. Ge. 12.3; Is. 2.2, 4; 5.26, 9.1, 2; 11.10-12; 42.1-6; 49.6, 12; 52.15; 54.3; 55.5; 60.3, 5, 11-16; 61.6, 9; 62.2; 66.12, 18, 19; Je. 16.19; Joel 3.9, 10; Mal. 1.11; Ro. 9., 10., 11.; Ga. 3.8-14

[2] Ro. 3.19, 20; 7.9, 10; 2 Co. 3.7; Ga. 3.10.

[3] Jn. 3.18, 19, 36; 15.22-24; 16.9; 1 Jn. 5.9-12

[4] Ja. 2.10.

[5] Ro. 10.1-3.

[6] Mt. 23.37-39.

[7] Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 55.

[8] De. 15.6.

[9] Is. 54.5; Je. 3.14, 20; Ez. 16.26-59; 24.15-27. In Hos., we see the picture given that illustrates to the Jews how God feels when His wife, Israel, commits adultery.

[10] See Je. 51.19-23.

[11] De. 12.1.

[12] 1 S. 8.5.

[13] 1 S. 8.9.

[14] 1 S. 8.11-18.

[15] 1 S. 19.

[16] 1 S. 8.5.

[17] See 1 S. 15.

[18] 1 S. 16.2.

[19] Je. 31.32; Zec. 7.12.

[20] Ga. 3.19, 23-25; Ro. 6.14; 1 Co. 9.20.

[21] Ro. 7.22; 2 Co. 3.3-11; He. 8.8-12.

[22] 1 Co. 6.19-20.

[23] Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990), p. 46.