Daniel-Wayne Barber/Part 29
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2006|
|Now the focus shifts from the Antichrist to the people of Israel as they’re going through this difficult time. It’s during this reign of terror, this seven year period of tribulation, more specifically the last three and a half years, when it gets so bad on this earth.|
A Vision of Conflict – Part 4 (Daniel 11:36-12:4)
Turn with me to Daniel 11 as we talk about a Vision of Great Conflict, Part 4. Now we’ve moved on another step. A vision of great conflict, Daniel, and we’ll finish up chapter 11 just by looking at it and then move right on in to chapter 12:1-4. What a scene we have illustrated in verses 36-37 of the coming Antichrist. Now, we have seen that he will be the worst person that Israel has ever had to endure. Worse than Antiochus Epiphanes, he’ll be worse than a Hitler, as we know very well in these days; he’ll be the worst person on this earth that Israel has ever had to endure. We’ve seen his character will be two-fold. First of all he’ll be lawless, but secondly he’ll be godless. We’ve seen that his military genius will be unsurpassed and we saw that in verse 38 down through verse 45.
Now chapter 12, verses 1-4 shifts the focus. It shifts from the Antichrist to the people of Israel as they’re going through this difficult time. It’s during this reign of terror, this seven year period of tribulation, as a matter of fact, more specifically the last three and a half years, when it gets so bad on this earth. You see, the Antichrist at this point has broken his covenant. We saw that in Daniel 9:27. He establishes the covenant at the beginning of the seven years and in the middle of it he breaks that covenant and this is when Jacob’s distress begins. This is when the great tribulation for the Jews begins.
Now remember, the angel that started giving this vision to Daniel started back in 10:20. Can you believe this? And it’s been uninterrupted ever since he began. We forget that sometimes. Chapters 10, 11, 12, and there were no chapter divisions or verses, this was all one flow of thought and the angel starts way back in chapter 10 as we said and continues with no interruption. A vision of great conflict for God’s people, Israel, Daniel’s people, chapter 10:14 tells us that.
Now 12:1-4 answers a very specific question that many people have. Does Israel survive as a nation? God promised Abraham a seed, He promised to him a land, but He also promised a nation. Does God fulfill that promise? What is prophesied will happen to Israel in that day? Do they survive as a nation? Well, let’s look at verse 1 of chapter 12. It starts right off and, as we have said, it points to the tribulation time, specifically the last three and a half years. It says, “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise.”
Now, at what time? Remember to go right back from the context that we just came from. And we realize in verses 40-45, this is the middle to the last part of the tribulation. That time would start right in the middle because the Antichrist has broken his covenant. That’s the 1,260 days that you see so many times in Scripture. That’s the “time, times, and half a time” that you see. That’s the 42 months. It’s put several ways in different, but it’s all the same thing: The last three and a half years.
Now there are two things I want us to see tonight and I kind of feel like I did this morning. I get so excited in this. There are two things about Israel’s survival that we must see, and let’s just let the text speak for itself. First thing that is going to happen here is that he talks about a great scene as we see it in heaven. Michael, the angel assigned to Israel, stands up. Boy, I tell you what. Some of these scenes just grab me. I just start getting chills up and down my back. I don’t know what that is, but I just start thinking about it. Michael, the angel assigned to Israel, stands up, simultaneous with a reign of terror that’s about to start on this earth, in heaven something’s going on. God knows about it, God knows exactly what’s happening, and so Michael, the angel assigned to Israel, stands up. God wants to make sure that Israel is defended.
When Satan is cast out of heaven, Michael stands up
Now let’s just look at Michael for a second. Go back to 10:13. We find that Michael is one of the chief princes. He must be some kind of awesome angel. This is the angel that has come to speak to Daniel and he tells him that Daniel’s prayer has been delayed for about 21 days, but Michael, the angel, the chief prince, had to come and help him out. It says in verse 13, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” So he’s a very important angel, he’s one of the chief princes of all the angels.
Look in verse 21, it tells us something else. “However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. (Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.)” Here’s the key right there. He’s already told us and we’ll see it again in chapter 12, “your prince.” Now we see that Michael then, up in heaven, sees that Israel is about to be in turmoil and in trouble and so Michael stands up. He arises because he’s going to defend Israel.
Now look with me for a second in Revelation 12, and some of these blanks begin to fill in. You see, it’s so important to put Scripture here and there where we can fill in the spaces. Revelation 12:13-14. All of this is happening at the same time. Let’s see if you can keep this in your mind. We’ll say it over and over again. Verse 13, “And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth,” now who’s the dragon? The dragon is Satan, that’s the first part of chapter 12. He’s finally been cast out of heaven. It says, “he persecuted the woman.” Remember who the woman was as we studied that chapter? The woman is Israel: “who gave birth to the male child.” And guess who the male child is? That was the Lord Jesus Christ. Why would Satan want to persecute Israel? Because Jesus gave him a fit, friend, and Jesus is going to put him where he belongs for all of eternity.
And so he starts this fight. I’ve told this before but it just comes back to my mind and I’m going to tell it again. I love to tell illustrations over and over again. When I was growing up we had a cat, and my cat was named Alexander the Great. I’ve said this many times, but the only time the Lord ever said “Oops” was when he made a cat. I’m sorry for all of you cat lovers, but you’re probably a little messed up in your mind anyway. I mean, these cats, what are they good for? Lay around, shed, that’s the only thing they’re good for and you sneeze your head off if you get within 100 feet of one of them. But we found this stray cat and he wouldn’t go away. I guess not, we fed him. Boy, that’s a mistake. And so he just hung around. And so I named him Alexander the Great. The laziest, the biggest coward you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Well, we had a big boxer bulldog next door that I always admired. I mean, this dog, friend, it was something. It would walk and just flex, kind of like going to a health spa. He just let everybody know that he was king of his yard. He wanted the whole neighborhood but hadn’t worked his way up yet.
And every day that Alexander the Great would see that dog, he would just take off running. And that dog would just bark and give him a fit. But one day, just one day, it finally happened that the real Alexander the Great came out of my cat. I mean that cat wasn’t as big a coward as I thought. I was sitting in the house, we didn’t have air conditioning, and the breeze was blowing through the windows and I was just sitting there enjoying myself. And all of a sudden I heard the worst fight out on the front porch I’ve ever heard in my life. And I went out there and Fritz, the boxer bulldog next door, had cornered Alexander the Great right up there against our screen door on the porch. And, folks, it was almost all over but the shouting. And Alexander the Great backed up against the corner. I guess he just decided, “Well, this is now or never and if I go, I’m going to go out hurting something.”
And he had jumped up on the dog’s face, dug three of his paws into that dog, and the free one he was just beating the stew out of Fritz as hard as he could. Well, the boxer bulldog being much bigger, much stronger, couldn’t shake the cat off, and so he was shaking like this and shaking it out and while he was doing that Alexander was beating him on his face, just getting him. Well, man, I stood at the screen door and said, “Come on, Alexander, go, go, go, go. Whip him, whip him.” And sure enough he just whipped that dog.
Well you won’t believe what happened. The next day you knew that he had whipped that dog. Fritz would not walk in our yard. Son, he would walk over to the edge of our yard and square it off. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. And Alexander the Great was just parading out there in the front yard. “Come one, big boy, you want some more, come on.”
It’s funny that it comes to my mind because I kind of feel like Satan knows that he only has a short time. We’ve studied that Scripture; it says it exactly that way. And when he is finally thrown out of heaven, friend, he’s like my cat—backed up against the door and he is going to do some damage to the woman who bore the male child. And of course chapter 13 of Revelation tells us that he incarnates the Antichrist, and behind all of that is a ten-nation confederation, you’re talking about a lot of power and he moves in to persecute Israel.
Well, the next verse there, look at verse 14, “And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman [Israel] in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time,” that the three and a half year period of time, “from the presence of the serpent.” And you know what I see here is as Michael stands up, he stands up to nourish Israel during this very severe time in her history.
You know, my wife has some plants hanging on the front porch of our house. I like plants if they’re fake. I don’t like the real kind because you have to water them all the time and fool with them, but she likes ferns and she likes those things that hang down, and they’re not bad, as long as she’s taking care of them. One day we found that there were some little baby birds in those plants and the mama bird sat over in the tree. We didn’t know the mama bird was anywhere around. And we found those little rascals had hatched out and my wife is so afraid of birds it is incredible, but she was running around saying, “There’s birds in the plant.” And I went out there trying to pull through that thing to see if there were any birds in there and, I mean, this little mama bird saw me from her perch and buddy, she moved to protect her own. And she liked to have got me several times, like a B29 buzzing me on my front porch, buddy. She was letting me know, “These are mine. Hands off. I’m protecting my own.”
I got that picture as I was thinking about how Michael the archangel stands up, like that mama, of God, and he just wants to mother his chicks and he sees them, buddy, they’re going to be persecuted by this serpent that has now been cast out of heaven and he moves quickly and so Michael takes his stand. Well, verse 1, going back to our text, tells us something. It tells us a little bit about how it will be.
Back in Daniel 12:1, it says, “Now at that Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time” now watch this, a very difficult time, “of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time.” That never, never, never has occurred. As we said earlier, worse than Antiochus Epiphanes, worse that Hitler. When that day comes for Israel, it will be the worst time they have ever experienced on the face of this earth. So when the Antichrist stands up, Michael stands up. Isn’t that a gorgeous picture? I don’t know if you get into this thing like I do.
I just think it’s incredible what goes on behind the scene, folks. I just think the spiritual war and the spiritual world and all the things that God is doing is just incredible. We forget that. We’re down here trying to figure it all out. God had it figured out for a long time and He’s got it totally under control. When the Antichrist stands up, Michael stands up. This is the scene we have pictured for us in chapter 12 as he shifts from the Antichrist to the people and how God will protect His people.
Now we learned something else in Revelation 12. We learned that Michael was the one who throws Satan out of heaven. Remember that? So not only does he stand up and throw Satan out, but he stands up now and defends his people because he knows exactly what Satan is going to do. So that’s the first thing that we need to see tonight about the survival of Israel: don’t you worry, don’t you even think any more about it. Michael the archangel will arrive in that time, when Satan is cast down, Michael will stand up.
As a result of Michael standing, Israel as a nation will survive
But the second thing I want you to see tonight is as a result of Michael standing, Israel as a nation, will survive. Now that’s what you need to see here and he tells you so clearly: Israel will survive. Now he says there in verse 1 of chapter 12, after he tells how bad the time will be, the very last part of it, he says, “and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Daniel’s people; “your people.”
Now there’s going to be a salvation time coming to Israel. Look at Zechariah 13:8-9. Now here we find how many of Israel survive during this three and a half year period of time, the last three and a half years of this age. Notice what he says, “‘And it will come about in all the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, “They are My people,” and they will say, “The Lord is my God.”’”
Boy, doesn’t that sound great? That is prophecy about Israel. They’re going to come a day and God is going to say, “They are My people.” And they’re going to say, “He is our God.” They will bow down, Israel is not finished, folks. As a nation God will salvage one-third of them at the end of that three and a half year period of time.
Now look in Daniel 7:27. Now we want to know that these saints that survive, this one-third, talked to us in Zachariah, are also called the “saints of the highest one.” Verse 27, “Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms,” now this is after the destruction of the Antichrist, “under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One.” Who were these people? That one-third that are saved out of Israel in the last part of those days.
Now, who were these people that make up that one-third? Does he tell us anything about them? Well, let’s go back. He does. He tells us quite a bit about it. In chapter 12:1, who were the people that were saved? We know it’s one-third of Israel, but who makes up that one-third? Well, it tells us. He said, “every one who is found written in the book.” Now another place in Daniel we’ve seen “books” plural. But here it is the “book.” What book is he talking about? It has to be the Lamb’s Book of Life. Look way back in Exodus 32:32. This has been talked about so many times in Scripture. There’s more than one book, but the book he refers to right here is the Lamb’s Book of Life. Can I ask you a question? Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Friend, if it’s not, come immediately tonight and receive the Lord Jesus Christ. Only the ones whose name is written in the Book shall inherit eternal life.
But Exodus 32:32, and Moses is crying out for his people who have once again sinned against God. But he makes allusions to this book. He says, “But now, if Thou wilt, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Thy book which Thou hast written!” This is a book we’ve never seen. This is a book that God has written and He puts in it all of those who have justified and will be allowed into heaven for eternal life.
Now look with me in Luke 10:20. We find Jesus mentioning it. They had been sent out by two’s, got all excited about the fact that the demons and everybody else was subject to them. And Jesus said, “Hey, get your mind off of that. That’s not the important thing. Here’s the important thing: “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subjected to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” This is what our rejoicing ought to always be: rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven. And we know that they’re in a book and the book is called the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Look in Revelation 20:12. We see that term come up again: the Lamb’s Book of Life. These are the ones that will make up that third of Israel that will be saved. What a scenario he shows here. “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books [plural] were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” So we see this book of life, we see the Lamb’s Book of Life. Who are the people that make up the one-third of all of Israel that will be saved after the three and a half year period of time? They were the ones whose names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
You see, during that three and a half year period of time there is going to be preaching. There are going to be witnesses that are going to preach the gospel message. Look in Revelation 11. Boy when we get to Revelation we’re just liable to flip right out of here. Revelation 11:3-13. He talks about these two witnesses that will proclaim the message during that three and a half year period of time. He says, “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if any one desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth,” maybe we’ll be watching this, I don’t know, “and devours their enemies; and if any one would desire to harm them, in this manner he must be killed. These have the power to shut up the sky, in order than rain may not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.”
Well, what a scene, “and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. And those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations,” now watch this, watch the mentality of the people on the earth, “will look at their dead bodies for three days and a half, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. And after the three days and a half the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were beholding them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies beheld them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
So there will be two witnesses on this earth proclaiming a message during that three and a half years. So, many of these that make up the one-third of Israel will come to respond to that message during that period of time. But there will be also many of them that will respond at the very end, right before the Lord comes back. That’s when they will come to know and receive the message. As a matter of fact, if you go back to Daniel, in chapter 12, it tells us something in verse 3. Not only will there be the two witnesses, but there’ll be others who understand what’s going on, and they will lead many during that period of time. Daniel 12:3, “And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven,” in other words, those who understand what’s going on, “and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
So there will be many during that time and there will be others that will come at the very end of that time. But one-third of all of Israel will come. As a matter of fact Revelation tells us that he has sealed a number of Jews that will come during that time. What is that number? 144,000. Look with me in Revelation 7:1-8. I’m telling you, some of these Scriptures just so fire me up.
“After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.’ And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed.” Now watch this. There are those today out of cults that tell us that this is all that’s ever going to be saved. Are you kidding? It tells you where they’re from, “from every tribe of the sons of Israel: from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.”
Now where are they going to come from? That’s going to come out of Israel: 144,000. Look in Revelation 14:1-5: “And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they are celibates. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.”
And so we see the 144,000 pictured in Revelation and that’s the one-third of all Israel that will be saved. So, though it’s much smaller, Israel as a nation will survive. God promised Abraham a seed, He promised him a land, and He promised him a nation. We know the land is Palestine, we know the Seed is Christ, and one day we’re going to see the fulfillment of Israel as a nation being saved through this great time of tribulation.
Now let’s go back to Daniel 12. One of the questions that must come up to people’s minds that he answers for you, it’s almost as if he anticipates it and goes ahead and answers it. If everybody who is alive at the end of the tribulation, at the three and a half years are saved, what about the people who are martyred, what about the people who received Him and received the message, but were killed during that time? And I love verse 2: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”
Immediately before the beginning of the 1,000 years, there is going to be a resurrection of all those people during the tribulation who received the message but were martyred or they were killed during that time. Their bodies will resurrect and they’ll be changed to live during the 1,000-year millennium on this earth. But it says the others to everlasting contempt. Now be careful here. He doesn’t get into much theology in that particular passage; that’s not his point. But we must remember there are two resurrections. As a matter of fact, there are three. Let me see if I can describe them for you.
Look in Revelation 20. Now when we talk about resurrections we’re talking about the body. And what does he say? He says the bodies of those dead that have received the message will arise. When? At the end of the tribulation? When? At the beginning of the 1,000 years. Well, Revelation 20 tells us very clearly, verses 4-6. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image,” now who would that have to be? The beast and his image: that’s during the tribulation time. That has to be those, that one-third, that 144,000. It says, “the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” This has got to take place before the 1,000 years at the end of the tribulation.
“The rest of these dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection,” pointing back to the ones who were already resurrected. “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” Best I can tell, I know that 1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians 15, tells us there is going to be a resurrection of the dead.
Look in 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Now here’s the believer. Now Daniel’s not talking about the believer, and I haven’t been talking about the believer as far as the church goes tonight. We’ve been talking about Jews, Israel, receiving Jesus. That’s what we’ve been talking about. But let me not confuse you tonight. Let me show you how this progression takes place. Verse 13, he’s talking to believers, the church, the Gentile church. Look what he says, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep,” that means dead. Isn’t that a beautiful picture? What do you do when you get tired? You lay down. What do you do after you’ve rested awhile? You get up. Every time the word “sleep” is mentioned, there’s a picture of the resurrection of the body all the way through the whole New Testament. We know the spirit is with the Lord Jesus. Is that not correct? Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Okay, now watch what he says. He says, “I don’t want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.” Before the rapture comes, before we’ll be taken up, the dead bodies of the righteous saints will all be taken up. He says in verse 16, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”
So we see then for the church, for the Gentile or for the Jew that has come to know the Lord Jesus, a part of the body of Christ. If they have died, my mother, my father, their bodies will raise up. When Jesus comes for us they’ll go first, then we’ll be changed and taken up to be with Him. That’s the rapture of the church. Then begins the seven year period of time that we’ve been talking about tonight. At the end of that seven year period of time there’ll be many who were martyred for the faith during that last three and a half years. There will be another resurrection. They will be raised up and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years, but at the end of the 1,000 years, all of the unrighteous dead, from this day and that day will all be raised up and that’s the Great White Throne Judgment. That’s when hell comes into being.
Right now hell is a place reserved for Satan and his angels. The devil is not in hell. He walks to and fro on this earth. He goes before the Lord and accuses us day and night, but one day, friend, he will be there forever.
Now I have said a mouthful. Are you with me? I’ve said many times, “I’m preaching, you’re listening. Raise your hand if you finish before I do.” I’m trying to stay up with you. As far as I can tell, that’s the best way I can see that it’s laid out.
So what does he say is going to happen during that period of tribulation? He changes from the person of the tribulation, to the people. And look what he says; he says when it starts, that great wrath, Michael will arise. Buddy, he’s going to kick Satan out of heaven and when he does that he’s going to defend God’s people. They will be nourished for a time, for three and a half years. That doesn’t mean they won’t be martyred for the faith, but they will have the ones to preach the message. They’ll have the two witnesses for those three and a half years. At the end of that time, when He just closes it all down, destroys the Antichrist, then there’ll be another resurrection of all those righteous ones that have received the message during that time. And then for 1,000 years we’ll all reign together with Him.
At the end of that 1,000 years, all of the unrighteous dead will rise for the Great White Throne Judgment. That’s when we see the New Heaven and the New Earth, but we don’t have time to get into that and that’s not what Daniel is talking about. But do we have a better understanding of that time and the people and the person of the tribulation? It’s going to be an awful time and the people that are going through it, don’t worry, God’s not finished with them.
I tell you what, just pray that I’ll stay in the spirit. Somebody walks up to me and tells me that God’s through with Israel, pray that I will just not knock his teeth completely out. I just get mad. I get angry. God’s not through with them. He made an everlasting covenant with Abraham, and God’s not an Indian giver, buddy. If He said it’s everlasting, it’s everlasting. And Israel will survive as a nation, thus fulfilling the prophecy and the promise of God.
Well, isn’t it wonderful, again, to know that God’s unconditional love continues to reach out to Israel. I say this again: it’s been on my heart all day long. I believe that’s the message, one of the applications we can take home. Put a handle on it, folks, go home with it. How do you love the people around you? Conditionally? I tell you, to me that’s the worst sin of the flesh is loving somebody by how you measure them, not by how God sees them.
I want to tell you, there are kids that have grown up in families that are scared to death to be even around their mother and daddy, scared they’re going to mess up with them, scared they’re not going to be approved of by their parents, all because of that old conditional love. God so loved the world, with a different kind of love. That love is seen in Israel and that love can be seen in our lives. When we truly are filled with the Spirit of God, it’s not what tongue I can speak in, it’s whether or not unconditional love flows out of my life like a river bearing evidence of the fact that God is God in my life. That’s the mark of a believer walking with God.