Parashiot Acharei Mot (after the death) Kedoshim (Holy ones)
Leviticus 16:1-18:30, 19:1-20:27
Haftarah: Amos 9:7-15
This week’s prophetic reading begins with these words,
“Are you not as the children of Ethiopia, O children of Israel to Me, says HaShem? Have not I brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Kaftor and Aram from Qir? Behold the eyes of the L-rd G-d are upon the sinful kingdom and I will destroy it from the face of the earth, but I will not totally destroy the sons of Jacob says HaShem.”
These verses tell us something very important about the Jewish people and the sovereignty of G-d. In one sense the Jewish people are not any different than any other people. Amos likens them to the Ethiopians who were a simple people and whose kingdom was poor and meager. HaShem had likewise moved the Philistines from Kaftor and the Arameans from Qir, therefore HaShem is warning them not to think more highly of themselves than they should. It was not that they, in and of themselves were special, but it was because the sovereign G-d chose them, that they are unique. However this choice does not mean that G-d would tolerate their sin.
Amos had a message of judgment for the northern kingdom, a message of destruction. Yet in the midst of this message HaShem promises not to utterly destroy them. The question that needs to be asked is why? The annals of history record other peoples that ceased to be, why not the children of Israel?
The answer is found in the sovereignty of G-d. HaShem has made a covenant with Israel to use her to accomplish His will. Even though Messiah is the only means that G-d has provided for salvation and Messiah comes from the House of Israel, Israel supplying the Messiah is not the summation of G-d’s purpose for Israel. Israel, both the people and the land, will be used by G-d in the last days. The land will be the center of the Millennial Kingdom as Jerusalem will be the capital and the Jewish people will be the leaders of this Kingdom. Does this mean all Jewish individuals? It does not mean all Jewish individuals, rather only those Jewish individuals that come to faith in Messiah Yeshua after the Rapture, during the time of Jacob’s trouble. Those Jewish individuals that accept Yeshua prior to the Rapture are like those Gentiles who accept Messiah prior to the Rapture and are part of the “Congregation of Messiah”. We are told in Revelation 20:4 that the “Congregation of Messiah” will live and rule with Messiah during those thousand years. While believers before the Rapture will rule with Messiah, it will be those Jewish individuals who come to faith after the Rapture that
G-d will use to lead the nations. It is in the Millennial Kingdom that Israel will faithfully serve G-d and accomplish HaShem’s plan to be a blessing to the Gentiles.
It is important that one does not confuse the Congregation of Messiah with Israel. It is the Congregation of Messiah (Jew and Gentile) that G-d is using today. She is called to proclaim the Gospel and serve Messiah, ministering in a number of ways. One such way is to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy (Rom. 10:19, 11:11). This does not mean to “replace” them. Failure by a growing number within the church to recognize G-d’s sovereign choice of Israel and its ultimate fulfillment in the Millennial Kingdom is why replacement theology tends to be amillennial (denies the existence of the Millennial Kingdom) even though the Scripture speaks clearly about the existence of the thousand year rule of Messiah (Revelation 20:1-7).
This week’s haftarah concludes, speaking of the time when Israel will return to G-d through faith in Messiah and embrace the role that HaShem has given the Jewish people,
“On that day I will raise up the tent of David that has fallen and I will repair their breeches and their ruins I will establish. I will rebuild it as in the days of old. On account of this, they shall inherit the remnant of Edom and all the gentiles who My Name is called upon them, says HaShem, the doer of this. Behold the days are coming, says the L-rd, where the plower will meet the reaper and the treader of grapes (will meet) the one who sows seed and the mountains will drip sweet wine and the hills will delight. I shall return the captivity of My people Israel and they shall build the desolate cities; they will return and plant vineyards and drink their wine and they shall make gardens and shall eat the fruit of them. I shall plant them on their land and they shall not be uprooted again from their land that I have given to them, says the L-rd Your G-d.” Amos 9:11-15
The words of Amos make it very clear that replacement theologians and amillenialists are incorrect. It is these individuals who want Israel to make concessions of land, the very land that Amos and a host of other prophets reveal that G-d is going to have the Jewish people rebuild for Jewish exiles to return to. This week’s haftarah is most relevant when the former Israeli ambassador to America is admonishing the current Israeli government to accept the American plan for “peace” in the Middle East, a plan which is 100% in conflict with Amos’ prophecy.
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