This beautiful valley of Jezreel/Megiddo will never see an end-time battle
Last-edit: January 1 2018
In defence of the sidelined God Jehovah, Creator of the Universe and Father of Humanity
Israel was unilaterally granted repentance by God
Israel was beyond repentance and forgiveness.
Neither works nor an earnest display of repentance and a pleading for forgiveness by individuals or the nation collectively would have or made any difference.
Israel had been sentenced to death. Only death would cancel the national debt owed to Jehovah for their adultery and for prostituting themselves to other gods/rulers.
Under the Law mediated through Moses, a married woman having a sexual relationship with a man other than her husband became an adulteress and had to be put to death.
No ifs, no buts, no repentance or forgiveness.
Israel, the beloved wife of her husbandly owner Jehovah, guilty of adultery, also needed to be stoned to death.
No ifs, no buts, no repentance or forgiveness.
Please read all of Ezekiel 16 and Leviticus 26 for background.
More importantly, because Israel was primarily Jehovah God's firstborn son (Exodus 4:22) AND running exclusively with the promises of the covenant God had made with Abraham to bless all the families of the earth i.e. mankind as a whole by means of his Seed, he had to save His firstborn while having His adulterous wife terminated.
All this may seem extraordinarily weird and strange in the context of normal human relationships, where repentance generally precedes forgiveness and where one is either a son or a wife; never both at the same time.
Well, it certainly seems weird. No doubt about that.
However, it is in connection with these matters of forgiveness and salvation that all things are possible* with God ‑Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27.
* this has absolutely nothing whatever to do with the religious nonsense that literally all things are possible with God, being Almighty and all that. They are not!
No wonder people think the Bible contradicts itself. On the one hand it states that:
ALL things are possible with God —– and on the other that:
it is impossible for God to lie.
In both instances, however, it is in connection with the Abrahamic promises relative to both his seed and mankind that things are not impossible for God to fulfil on the one hand, while on the other
it is impossible for Him to have lied about that;
- He can be trusted!
Here are some verses you may wish to consider relative to this granting of repentance to Israel.
The Apostle Paul was invited to speak to a Jewish/proselyte audience in a Synagogue
in Antioch and among other things, said the following: “Let it therefore be known
to you, brothers, that through this One a forgiveness of sins is being published
‑Acts 13:38. NWT (Please read about the whole occasion in Acts 13:13-41)
* (Daniel 9:24) “There are seventy weeks that have been determined upon your people and upon your holy city, in order to terminate the transgression, and to finish off sin, and to make atonement for error, and to bring in righteousness for times indefinite, and to imprint a seal upon vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. NWT
(Luke 24:47) and on the basis of his name repentance for forgiveness of sins would be preached in all the nations—starting out from Jerusalem,
(Acts 5:31) God exalted this one as Chief Agent and Savior to his right hand, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
(Acts 10:43) To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone putting faith in him gets forgiveness of sins through his name.”
(2 Timothy 2:24-25) . . ., 25 instructing with mildness those not favourably disposed; as perhaps God may give them repentance leading to an accurate knowledge of truth. . .
(Acts 11:18) 18 Now when they heard these things, they acquiesced, and they glorified God, saying: “Well, then, God has granted repentance for the purpose of life to people of the nations also.”
Before it became ritualistic, under the Law Covenant an Israelite demonstrated his repentance through a gift offering to God, similar to what one might offer to a fellow Israelite whom one has offended or sinned against.
This constituted repentance and a plea for forgiveness.
The offender first had to initiate the process toward forgiveness through demonstrative works of repentance. Only then could forgiveness become a reality. The motives behind the offering paid absolutely no role for forgiveness to be granted.
The offering itself wore the garment of repentance irrespective of the heartfelt motives of the offender. The substance of the offering equalled the offence; correspondingly so.
Especially on atonement day did the animal offering match Israel's collective offences against God and was considered a gesture of repentance where the heartfelt motives of the nation were deemed to have been demonstrated to exist on the basis of the offering.
As a result, repentance was then accorded reality and accepted by God as having substance commensurate with the forgiveness Jehovah subsequently granted Israel to remain His special possession for yet another year.
Final and absolute forgiveness for Israel's accrued offences against Jehovah God was the result of God granting repentance to all Israel without any demonstrative works on their part, through
The Ultimate Atonement Sacrifice and Passover Lamb Jesus.
Israel's final atonement gift offering of the Lamb Jesus wore only the garment of implied repentance and plea for forgiveness, for it had neither come in obedience to a law at their initiative nor from out of a repentant heart.
This was a Repurchase extraordinaire. With the provision of the completely unwarranted and undeserved atonement sacrifice of the lamb of God*, they once again qualified to complete their journey with the promises to their heavenly destination as the Seed of Abraham to the ultimate blessing of and benefit to all the families of the earth.
* This undeserved granting of repentance and forgiveness is the reason Grace features so prominently in the New Testament. The NWT translated the koine Greek word containing the principal thought of Merciful Kindness of God with Undeserved Kindness. This expression or phrase is always associated with the small group of anointed ones (Christians) called to heavenly glory and rulership with the Christ. That is undeserved kindness indeed, since that is a very special privilege extended to humans who were neither created for spirit life nor for heavenly governance.
Its connection with the resurrection is likewise exclusively to those of the heavenly
Kingdom, who truly become sons of God at their resurrection as spirit beings, as
did the Christ -Acts 13:33, 34;
Undeserved kindness is never used with reference to those who will live on earth under that Kingdom. Without inherited transgression/sin, they deserve the same opportunity for indefinitely lasting life Adam originally had.
Israel neither asked for forgiveness nor did they prepare themselves with heartfelt repentance, as a necessary prerequisite before God could grant forgiveness.
What did Israel's beautiful Father do?
He preemptively granted, not repentance per se, but an opportunity for each individual of his collectively redeemed firstborn son Israel to demonstrate repentance through works befitting the collective repentance already granted through their representative death in Jesus, so that He could keep all His promises to succour humanity through His now viably restored agency: the Israel of God.
Jehovah knew that many in Israel were indeed sorry for Israel's collective sins of breaking the Law covenant in disobedience. They understood that the nation was doomed, while they may have individually obeyed the law as best they were able.
That is the reason for a great number of them to present themselves to John the Baptizer seeking forgiveness of sins - here within the historical context:
1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,
The result for individual repentant members of that forgiven nation and their Gentile engrafts was a future adoption into Jehovah's heavenly family, for which the Apostle was still yearning in 58CE when he wrote his letter. –Romans 8:23.
Notice that Paul, although born an Israelite and therefore a natural branch of the Israel olive tree of Romans 11, still needed to be adopted into the Israel of the promise to become a true son in the heavenly family of God, because Jew (Israelite) and Gentile (Proselyte) alike, needed to individually demonstrate their repentance to the end of their lives in the flesh, through works of repentance in response to that collective repentance having already been granted to 1st covenant Israel:
7 But when he* saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said
to them, "you brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8
"Therefore bring forth fruit* in keeping with repentance; Matthew 3:7-8
* John, Jesus' second cousin, who baptized him.
* Not just righteous works, but the result of them, the fruit.
For in-depth appreciation of the magnitude of the salvation granted Israel by Jehovah their God and Father, please look here.
After wilful sinner Israel's death in their final atonement gift and second Passover lamb Jesus cancelled their collective transgressions,* Jehovah granted repentant Jews and Proselytes an opportunity to demonstrate their individual repentance through attendant works to ensure their own individual salvation:
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; Philippians 2:12 NAS
* Romans 6:7
Some relevant repeat and context verses:
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them,
28 saying, "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!"
29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.
31 "Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
32 "And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him." (Acts 5:27-32)
18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." (Acts 11:18)
22 "And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’
23 "From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior––Jesus––
24 "after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
25 "And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’
26 "Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. (Acts 13:22-26)
6 "And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
7 "I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety–nine just persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:6-7)
24 But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)
8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,
9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,
11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. (1 Timothy 1:8-11)
The above verses clearly indicate that mankind had not inherited a legacy of sin, depravity and death from Adam. Doing these bad things are the result of choices made.
The Law was made for persons who choose to become those described in verses 9 & 10 above, for no one is such by default in spite of the wantonly wicked depravity of NIV's use of sinful nature in these verses:
Ro 7:5; Ro 7:18; Ro 7:25; Ro 8:3; Ro 8:4; Ro 8:5; Ro 8:8; Ro 8:9; Ro 8:12; Ro 8:13; Ro 13:14; 1Co 5:5; Ga 5:13; Ga 5:16; Ga 5:17; Ga 5:19; Ga 5:24; Ga 6:8; Eph 2:3; Col 2:11; Col 2:13; 2Pe 2:10;
Jehovah pleaded with Israel:
31 "Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?
32 "For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!" (Ezekiel 18:31-32)
4 And John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him
6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,*
9 "and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.(Matthew 3:4-9)
* See above
All verses from the NKJV
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