Israel: A Type of Christianity

As I was reflecting upon the error of the premillennialists and their
claim that God was foiled in His plan to establish the kingdom when
Christ came, it occurred to me that there was a contingency plan
associated with the coming of Christ. It apparently is the existence
of this contingency plan that has at least in part contributed to the
confusion surrounding the Millennium. Consider the following promise
God made to Israel:

Jeremiah 17:24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken
unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of
this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no
work therein;
25 Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and
princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on
horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants
of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.

God apparently offered the Jews the choice of what they would choose
for their future, and He would guide history down one of two paths
depending on their choice. The fact that there was a real choice the
Jews had to make is manifest in the scriptures in the gospels. Jesus

Mt 21
42 The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head
of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our
43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from
you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Because the Jews rejected the capstone provided by God, God rejected
them. Jesus lamented over Jerusalem and the choice Isreal had made
as He went to His death

Matthew 23:37 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! 38 Behold, your house is left unto
you desolate.

Clearly it was God’s will to have honored and protected Jerusalem, but
the choice Israel made was to reject the Messiah. God acknowledged
their freedom to choose and responded to it with the destruction of
their place and their nation (Jn 11:48). Because of their rejection
of the Messiah they became no better off than the nations around them
who knew not God, because God afflicted them instead of blessed them
(Lv 26:17).

We have seen in the preceding analysis that the prophecy God made to
bless Israel was contingent upon Israel’s choosing to serve Him, and
they chose to reject the Messiah instead of serving Him. They did not
keep God’s sabbath rest of the kingdom when it was offered to them.
Therefore God punished them with banishment instead of blessing them.  Because they did not keep the Sabbath rest of the Prince of Peace as it was offered by God, He drove them from Jerusalem (Mt 23:38, Lk
19:44) instead of permitting “this city [to] remain for ever” (Jer

The choice that Israel had of choosing preeminance over the nations or
dispersion and ignominy among the nations is a type of the choice we
face as religious men in this life. We can choose to faithfully serve
God and “keep His Sabbath” of the Christ or we can serve Him
carelessly, pleasing ourselves first. If we choose to serve God
faithfully, we will always have access to the King and His city. If
we serve Him carelessly, we will be driven from our favored place as a
son of God and will face the same afflictions as the nations. We see
those religious people who failed to conscientiously serve God in the
parables of the ten virgins (Mt 25:1-13) and in the man with no
wedding garment (Mt 22:11-14). Just as Israel chose, even so must we.
As God respected the choice of Isreal in the day of Christ, even so
will He respect ours. Because the choice of fidelity is ours to make,
Joshua’s challenge to God’s people is as appropriate in our day as it
was in his. “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods
of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my
household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15). God will respect
your choice, but be prepared to live or die by the consequences of
what you choose. God has warned us through the lesson of the choice
made by Israel. Let us all heed the warning.

About James Johnson

Bible student for 60 years. Preacher of the gospel for over 40 years. Author of commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb. Married with children. Worked in aerospace and computer engineering for over 40 years.
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