Gods abiding plan for the Jews salvation in ancient days, at present, and for the future is a remarkable story which can be followed by an examination of the Scriptures.
Chapter 3 of the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastics deals with the subject of dispensations, that is that there are different times that things are dealt with or dispensed. For example, in the fascinating prophecy regarding the second and third day found in Hosea 5:15 & 6:1-3, in 5:15 God prophesies that He would come to earth at some time and then return to His place in Heaven after being offended. He declares He would return for a second time after the offense was removed. Once more in 6:3 God affirms that His coming will be in two stages like a first rain and then again as a last rain.
We have been blessed with historical hindsight and revealed prophecy to understand precisely which two comings this prophecy was speaking of. Our study centers on verse 2 of Ch. 6 of Hosea where God interjected the time span which would separate His first and second coming. He declares through the prophet that it would be after two days and in the third day He would return.
First of all we know that these days are not 24 hour periods because the Lord did not accomplish the restoration of Israel and the provisions for the Jews to live in His sight during His first appearance on the earth as this prophecies fulfillment requires.
In II Pet. 3:8 & Psa. 90:4 God gives us greater insight for understanding these days which Hosea writes of. So significant is this insight, the Apostle Peter is adamant that believers should commit its revelation to memory. What divine wisdom was it that Peter imparted? Peter writes, "that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." This detail is not just a vague generalization that believers are to banter about in vain philosophical discussions.
By remembering this and applying it to the time span which is about to elapse since Christs first coming to Israel, we are made aware that the second millennium closes out a second day in Gods eyes and the ensuing years are to be counted as being in the third day.
According to Zech. 12:10-12 the day that Israel removes the offense against God spoken of in Hosea will be when they mourn for the day that the Lord was delivered into the hands of wicked men and pierced upon the cross. There has been a dispensation of rejection and separation between God and Israel and soon there will be the dispensation of worship and reconciliation.
Two days have passed since Christ returned to Heaven by Gods determination of time and we have now entered the morning of the third day.
Another prophetic example of dispensations can be found in Ch. 4 of the Book of Luke. It pertains to a unique biblical year called the Jubilee. It was to be a special year which was to include the releasing of those held captive, the restoration of lands to their original owners and the forgiveness of all outstanding debts.
For numerous reasons it is anticipated that Christ will set up His earthly kingdom in a Jubilee year. It is believed that the Lord started His earthly ministry during a Jubilee year.
When Jesus quoted the first half of a Jubilee-related Scripture from Isa. 61:1-2, He did something very interesting by stopping His quote at a particular spot within the second verse. One can read in Luke 4:18-21 that He was proclaiming "the acceptable year of the Lord" from this Isaiah passage of Scripture when He suddenly closed the Book before completing His reading of the entire text. Jesus then proclaimed that the portion of prophecy that He had just quoted was being fulfilled in their very day.
When we turn to Isa. 61:2 we find the part of the Scripture that Jesus refrained from reading at that time. It went on to say, "and the day of vengeance of our God."
Once more with historical hindsight and prophetic foresight we now understand why Jesus stopped His quote where He did and that the day of Gods vengeance had not come at that time, but is reserved for Christs second coming (Rev. 11:17-18 & 19:11-12).
Again we have two different dispensations. One a time of mercy in contrast to another of vengeance. Upon closer examination of these two diametrically opposed dispensations we find fascinating food for thought.
In Matt. 11:12-13 we are told by the Lord that, "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John." The message was that at the close of the ministry of John the Baptist a new dispensation had begun.
Luke 16:16 tells us more about this dispensational change for Israel when he declares, "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God is preached."
The forgiveness of the Kingdom Age was then available to the Jews, and the law and the prophets were fulfilled in the person of the Messiah Jesus Christ. Some of the Jews accepted Jesus while the majority did not. The Apostles and the initial Church were Jews.
After the rejection of Christ the promised Kingdom Age was put on hold for the Jews and in the Book of Acts it is revealed in Chapters 2 & 10 how God then began a new dispensation of grace that was open to Jew and Gentile alike. It is now a fact that in Gods eyes, according to Gal. 3:28 & Col. 3:11, there is no longer a distinction between Jews, Gentiles, males or females among those living with faith in Christ as their Savior.
This is the sole embodied Church of Jesus Christ and we are still currently in this dispensation known as the Church Age. This dispensation must end before Israels time of salvation can come.
This dispensational break in Israels restoration was prophesied of in Dan. 9:25-27 where we are shown that 69 sets of 7 years (or 483 years) would be fulfilled at the close of the age. That this 70 sets of years totaling 490 years is to conclude the prophesied saga for the Jews is confirmed in Dan. 9:24.
Rom. 9:31-32 explains that Israels shortcoming was that they blindly pursued righteousness without faith and in Ch. 11:25-26 the great mystery of when this blindness will be lifted is revealed.
Quoting from the Apostle Paul we read, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written."
Not until the dispensation of the Church Age is concluded with the arrival of the last Gentile believer into its fold will corporate Israel begin to recognize Christ as her Messiah.
Turning to Ch. 5 of the Book of Revelation we find that the fullness of the Gentiles will come in before the final 7 years of tribulation for Israel begins. The previous 4 chapters of the book of Revelation dealt with the Church which is then abruptly removed from the earths scene
The distinctiveness of believing Jews is notably not addressed in the New Testament during the current dispensation. That is because within the Church, God does not recognize any difference between Jewish and Gentile believers (Col. 3:11). This is a critical and pivotal point to understanding Israels unique salvation apart from the Church.
Rev. 5:9-10 then shows the redeemed church from every nation assembled in Heaven before the Tribulation Period begins upon the earth. Also in Ch. 5:5 it is essential to note that Jesus Christ is addressed by His Jewish titles of "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" and the "Root of David," just before He opens the scroll containing the tribulation judgments. After this point in time the Book of Revelation once again unhaltingly recognizes the unique distinction between Jewish and Gentile believers (Rev. 7:4), while items of Jewish association are liberally spoken of throughout the Book of Revelation from this point on.
The sensible placement of events seems apparent by the Scriptures. 1) 7 years remain for Daniels people, the Jews (Dan. 9:24&27). 2) The blindness which hinders Israel from recognizing Jesus Christ as her Messiah will not be lifted from the Jews until the last Gentile believer enters the fold of the Church and completes Gods divine quota (Rom. 11:25-26). 3) The Church must first be removed to Heaven before Jewish believers once again take primacy (John 14:1-3, I Thess. 4:15-18 & Rev. 5:9). 4) The Lords Hebrew heritage is held forth as Jewish believers are once more uniquely identified (Rev. 5:5 & Rev. 7:4-7). 5) The final 7 years of Dan. 9:27 which will be recognized by the strengthening of a covenant with Israel will be the time when the Messiah Jesus Christ, the "precious cornerstone," will finally be received by the Jews as the Deliverer (Isa. 28:14-16 & Matt. 21:42-44). 6) It will be the time known as Jacobs (Israels) trouble (Jer. 30:4-9). 7) The Old Testament dispensation of law which God mandated up to the start of the Church age will once more be instituted as Jesus Christ brings Israels attempts at obedience to fruition with faith in Him (Rom. 10:1-4 & 11:1-5). 8) The promise of an earthly kingdom of faith and holy statutes for Israel will become a reality once all the chosen ones of corporate Israel recognize and turn to their Savior (Zech. 13:1-7, 14:6-9&16-20). 9) After 1,000 years of this dispensation of harmonized Old and New Testament faith, and the Jews having had their prophesied time of rulership upon the earth, the Lord will bring the uniqueness of this time into one glorious final dispensation of perfection under God the Father for all eternity (Zech. 13:8-9, Dan. 12:1, Rev. 20:1-3, Isa. 61:4-9, Rev. 20:7-14, I Cor. 15:24-28 & Rev. 21:1-6).
No one need be left out. Jesus paid for every sin on the cross. It only takes a simple childlike faith in the atoning blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Son of God for the forgiveness of all your sins. Do not pass up on this fading opportunity to escape the fast approaching day of Gods vengeance when the trumpet of God will sound, the dead in Christ will rise and we who believe and are alive at that time will be changed and caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air (I Thess. 4:15-18).