While many Christian circles believe that the true Israel of Scripture can only be white, Adamic people, they will often disagree over whether or not all white people are Israelites. Scripture is clear on the purity of the Israelite bloodline — if we have even one single ancestor who is not a white, Adamic person, then we cannot be an Israelite — neither can we be considered white or Adamic. Disagreement arises over the contention that some white people are Israelites, while others belong to the Genesis 10 nations — just like it was in the Scripture.
However, what we should agree on is that Israel according to the flesh can be found among the people of white European descent.
Many white people may have Israelite mothers, but not Israelite fathers — like Timothy (Acts 16:1) — thus they are not Israelites themselves — whiles others may be Israelites through their fathers — by patrilineal descent — without even realizing it.
Some assert that all white people are Israelites — something Scripture never states at all. This view that all white people are Israelites is a solution to a doctrinal problem — but not a requirement of the Scripture itself. They conflate the idea that “all white people are Israelites” with the idea that “only Israelites are saved” — a Scripturally untenable position — and the idea that “all Israelites are saved” — another Scripturally untenable position.
In this triptych of doctrinal falsehood, two doctrinal positions have been taken — first that “only Israelites are saved” and second that “all Israelites are saved” — which both need the third position to be true — that “all white people are Israelites.” Their doctrinal problem can be summed up as follows: If “only Israelites are saved” and “all Israel is saved” — but if all white people are not Israelites, then how would we know who is saved and who isn’t?
In other words, an Israelite would have no way to know whether they were an Israelite — yet their salvation is dependent on them being born an Israelite. If they were white, they might be an Israelite — but there’s no way to know for sure. Among white people some are saved and some aren’t — and there’s nothing anyone can do about their salvation or recognize it in the first place. Thus they paint themselves into a corner — and their “solution” to this doctrinal conundrum is to baselessly whitewash the problem with the “logical” conclusion that “all white people are Israelites.”
Christians circles who hold those doctrines have indeed created an unsolvable conundrum for themselves in light of no genealogical records. Instead of recognizing the utter failure of their so-called “scholarship” to create anything useful — and an inability to actually prove their personal Israelite heritage — they rest their salvation on something they don’t have — actual proof that they — individually — are Israelites according to the flesh.
Much has been written to document the extensive dispersions of the true Israelite peoples primarily into Europe — and also some parts of Asia. Despite this overwhelming historical evidence that the “lost” ten northern tribes of Israel migrated up into Europe, we should stop short of concluding that all white people are therefore Israelites. To interpret history as such is nothing short of wishful thinking in light of the sheer number of non-Israelite nations during the time of Christ.
Without genealogical records, for example, they are forced into making such arguments as, “All Germans are Israelites. If your father was German, you are an Israelite, as long as your mother was white.” How do they know that every German male is an Israelite? They don’t know — and cannot know. Germany, as a modern nation, arose out of 300 different German-speaking entities. To assume that every person among those entities was originally Israelite according to their genealogy is merely begging the question.
After all, the Israelites were certainly not the first white people to migrate into Europe — evidence of the presence of white people in Europe dates back to at least 2,500 BC and earlier.
It may not be 100% accurate, but if one were to conservatively accept just 80% of Josephus’ account of the Genesis 10 nations in Antiquities (book 1, chapter 6), one would immediately have to give up the idea that all whites are Israelites — it just isn’t a credible position. “All whites are Israelites” is a ramshackle solution to the doctrinal problem — outlined above — arising from an incorrect view of Scripture.
On the other hand, many Christian circles today believe that white people are comprised only of the descendants of Japheth, son of Noah, who dispersed into Europe — and there is much circumstantial evidence to support this view, at least for the earliest white settlers of Europe. Yet at the same time, many of those who believe this Japhethite identity of Europeans often maintain that the real Israelites were “Arabic” — or brown-skinned descendants of Shem, son of Noah. However, Shemites and Japhethites must have had the same physical features — including their white skin color. Moreover, all the descendants of Noah looked the same, because they came from the same father and mother.
Nowhere in the Scripture do separate “races” — itself a concept not found in the Scripture — spontaneously appear. Neither do separate races spontaneously appear in observable reality.
These humanist egalitarian Christians must beg the question so they can artificially add “race” into the Scripture — to account for every hominoid on the planet. Their consciences have been so seared by Marxist indoctrination that they read what they’ve been taught about “race” into the Scripture itself. Because no one in the Scripture ever mentions “race,” many will falsely assume — against all reason — that these Bible characters were somehow “color-blind” — instead of accepting the simple fact that all Biblical peoples — except the giants — were white people who shared the same patriarch — Adam.
Furthermore, victims of this “color-blind” view have been tricked into believing that the modern-day Jews are the legitimate people of Israel. The New Testament authors trace the Lord Jesus’ patrilineal heritage — thus confirming that an Israelite is such only by their father — as with Jacob’s twelve sons. Yet the Jews deny the true Christ and His apostles, claiming instead Israelite identity is established matrilineally — and have done so since 200AD — thus proving they are not — and cannot be — Israelites. Neither are Jews white — by their own admission — thus doubly proving their ineligibility as Israelites.
No matter where one finds oneself on any of the above descriptions, there is a single glaring flaw we all face — no one can prove by means of patrilineal genealogy that they are Israelites. Even the Jews — who most certainly are not Israelites according to aforementioned criteria — cannot lay any claim to Israelite ancestry. Verily, no group on the entire planet may lay legitimate claim to Israelite ancestry by means of genealogy. We can state categorically who are not Israelites, but we cannot state categorically which individuals — within the white European nations — are Israelites.
Having said that, the beauty of what we will propose is that it doesn’t actually matter whether one sees all white people as Israel or not. As has been made evident by those who baselessly claim to be Israelites, the real problem is — and has always been — spiritual in the case of white Adamic people — just as it was with our ancient ancestors (Romans 9:32).
When we white people rest on the Jews’ unproven circumcision — believing we are Israelites — we also render our hearts uncircumcised. In doing so, we join Jews in their denial of the Lord Jesus — the basis of their identity. Furthermore, we unwittingly become arrogant toward the natural branches (Romans 11:21) — true white Israelites — and spoilers of the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8).
Conversely, when white people rest on an unproven circumcision — supposedly being Israelites according to the flesh — we also render our hearts uncircumcised. After all, if all Israel is saved — and I’ve accepted that I’m an Israelite just because I’m white — albeit baselessly — what need is there for me to do anything other than rest on my laurels?
In light of the true way in which Israelites are identified in Scripture, the idea that one is an Israelite by virtue of being white will seem banal and superficial to anyone who has set their minds on the good of Israel and the Kingdom of God. No matter where anyone finds themselves in the descriptions above, we will offer a challenge that will entirely invalidate it all.
WHY DO WE WANT TO BE ISRAELITES?
Before diving in, we’d like the reader to consider his motivation for claiming to be an Israelite. We know that many white people claim to be Israelites — and that they have Scriptural and historical motivation to do so — but what is really going on in your heart? Israelites who had genealogical proof were Israelites a posteriori — with empirical evidence — rendering motivation irrelevant. Whites who by Scriptural and historical motivation believe they are Israelites are — at best — Israelites a priori — by theoretical deduction.
But how do you believe you will benefit from being an Israelite to the point that you would deduce being Israelite a priori in the first place? Why would you even leave your eternal salvation to a theoretical deduction?
In Leviticus 26:1-13 and Deuteronomy 28:1-14, Israel are promised many material blessings on condition that they keep the laws of God. We have indeed observed many white people motivated by the material blessings granted to Israel — they keep the laws of God in the hope they will inherit Israel’s material blessings in this life. Sadly, we have seen Christian brethren fall away from the truth of Israel’s identity — and even Christianity entirely — because they have not received the material benefits of the law despite keeping the law — at least in their own minds.
When reading the Scripture, we see many heroes of faith who arose from the loins of Jacob. We see how they struggled, but ultimately pleased God — being rewarded for their deeds. For example, David was anointed king of all Israel — yet went unacknowledged and suffered persecution for a long time after his anointing. We see many Christians identifying with David’s story — themselves feeling like they deserve better despite their imagined persecution.
Herein lies another powerful motivator to be an Israelite according to the flesh — we may hope for something materially better despite our dismal circumstances. There are far-reaching implications for this motivation. Some of us believe Israel must receive some kind of worldly restoration, despite undergoing severe tribulation in modern times. Some of us believe our personal material circumstances do not line up with what we feel we deserve. In some cases our motivation is not necessarily material — some of us may believe we do not get the recognition we feel we deserve.
In all of the above examples, many of us feel we are undergoing a divinely delayed gratification — imagining it to be a trial of faith — the gratification which we will receive is either material or social gratification. Some of us are so convinced of the gratification we will receive that we actually try to convince others we ourselves could be accurately represented by actual Biblical characters.
Ironically, instead of actually behaving like those Biblical characters, we simply L.A.R.P our fantasy in our spare time. Yet the fantasy — which takes second place in our lives to the cares of the world — forms the basis with which we view our lives and treat others. Maybe we even tell ourselves we can serve God through our worldly desires. Some of us may even believe the financial support we receive — enabling us to do it “full time” — proves that we are serving the Kingdom instead of the world. When Paul elaborated on his declining material aid from the Corinthians, he said in 1 Corinthians 9:26-27,
26 Therefore I run in such a way as not to run aimlessly; I box in such a way, as to avoid hitting air; 27 but I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
Through some remaining shred of self-awareness, we might only hint at who we believe we truly are — while others make overt claims at being a David, a Paul or a Daniel. Some of us are so desperate to lord ourselves over others that we may claim to have heard directly from the Lord Jesus in order to force our views on others. It is all too common for Christians to claim to have had supernatural experiences — whether dreams, audible voices, visions, etc — to legitimize their “authority” over others. Sometimes that “authority” is covered by a whitewash of “niceness” which quickly rinses away when their “authority” is challenged.
Some of us may engage tacitly in a lust for rulership over our brethren, never having to defend our views in the Scripture because we supposedly have a direct connection with the Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit — similar to how the Pope claims to be the one and only vicar — or personal representative — of God on earth. Many may deny it in word, but the reality is we are defined by what we do — not what we say. Admittedly, this phenomenon is not specific to those of us who believe we are Israelites — yet this kind of behavior naturally would be more common in those who imagine themselves to be Biblical heroes.
We have also undertaken a revealing exercise — one we’d encourage others to do. We have posed the question to others: In these modern times where we do not know from which Israelite tribes we hail, what tribe do you think you are from? Also, why did you reach that conclusion?
Pause for a second and consider for yourself which tribe you are likely from and why. Read no further until you have answered both questions.
We have found the majority of people who claim to be Israelites answer that they are of the tribe of Judah. Is it possibly because Judah holds eminence of authority among his brothers? Yes, Judah certainly does — and many seem to want to ride on the coat-tails of that eminence. In a façade of humility, others are content to answer that they might hail from other tribes — content to ride on the coat-tails of “merely” being an Israelite.
In either case, we found that no one has given a satisfactory answer as to why they believed they were of the tribes they claimed. Sometimes they just guessed at it — not knowing why. Other times some may claim they are of Judah because they have German ancestry — while others may claim to be of Joseph because they have British ancestry. This belief arises among those who claim that only the preeminent Anglo-Saxons are true Israel — and they desire to bask in that historic eminence. In all cases, so long as they are Israelites — content to ride on what they perceive as the benefits thereof — they are happy with whatever tribe they are assigned to.
As a quick clarification, we are not suggesting that each person must know what tribe they are from — nor is theorizing over it necessarily bad. Rather we merely propose the question as an exercise in working out our underlying motivations behind our belief in our supposed individual Israelite heritage.
Some of us have even unwittingly politicized our view of being Israelites. Make no mistake — white people have been under severe tribulation at the hand of Jews and non-whites — the Lord’s rods of chastisement in smashing the power of Israel. But worst of all, white people suffer tribulation at the hand of other whites — something prophesied myriad times in Scripture yet stubbornly ignored by many who profess that all white people are Israelites.
Many feel understandably ashamed and degraded under the heel of Jews and non-whites — desperately trying to find a way to uphold their inflated sense of self worth while simultaneously explaining away the debased state of their predicament. As imagined Israelites, they want to find a place of eminence in the midst of a political pantomime — with Satan pulling the ethnic and socioeconomic strings.
It’s safe to say that “racism” and white-supremacy form the foundations of some would-be Israelite’s faith. The “truth” of their Israelite identity forms a guilt-free conduit for their pre-existing hatred for Jews, for assorted non-whites and even for their own white kindred. We must certainly acknowledge that non-whites — Jews included — are not Adamites and live accordingly — but we are not to exceed the scope of the commands of Scripture.
Do not confuse these statements with some kind of excuse to fraternize them or in any way validate them to the status of Adamic — especially in relation them playing “church” — lest we cause our brethren to stumble by them. Neither do we need to “leave the world” (1 Corinthians 5:10) to avoid them. Yet we certainly are not to take any fleshly pleasure or glory in trying to hurt them — or fantasize over them being hurt. That is not the only symptom of the problem, but it certainly is a common one.
In doing so we make ourselves like Balaam who embarrassingly struck his donkey in frustration. Wasn’t the donkey trying to save his life — and are the non-whites not there as a correction for us? Conversely, Satan also knows non-whites are not Adamites — and he uses that knowledge to devastating effect. Satan says, “Jump!” And they reply, “How high?” Then again — when consumed by hating them, so do we. “By what anyone is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” (2 Peter 2:19)
Some Christian circles have invented elaborate doctrines rationalizing that non-whites are the product of a “serpent seed” — fuel for the fire of a “racist” worldview — mere justification to live — and waste — a life being distracted by anger. Conversely, they especially believe that all white people are Israelites and that white people are somehow inherently good. Often these views could not exist without extra-Biblical sources like the targums, pseudepigrapha and ancient pagan texts.
These texts especially tickle the ears (2 Timothy 4:3) as the adherents of that doctrine feel they have attained to some esoteric knowledge which other Christians do not have — creating a sense of superiority. This phenomenon is especially gnostic in nature, as they reject the power of Scripture — which they often claim is merely the product of fallen man prone to error — to bring about repentance and righteousness — instead subscribing to a kind of impotent enlightenment.
Maybe the examples we gave in this section do not represent everyone. Maybe some may identify with a few — or fall somewhere in-between. God is witness that in the past we ourselves shamefully identified with some of the above points. Whatever the case, we recommend a deep introspection as to what our respective motivations are as individuals throughout the reading of this article.
With all these examples in mind — and in summary — often people’s motivations behind being Israelites have a certain fleshly, selfish or narcissistic quality to them. Many — in their minds — tacitly and sub-consciously ask the question: What can being an Israelite do for me? Such people ignore the lesson of the Lord Jesus in Luke 17:10,
So you too, when you do all the things which were commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’
Being an Israelite certainly does come with great benefit, but material or social benefits are little more than friendship with the world. Incidentally, it was that same narcissistic quality — seeking glory from others and serving the ego — which caused many Israelites to reject the Lord Jesus. The Lord says in John 5:43-44,
43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you accept glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?
If only we could ensure a good condition of our hearts — having correct motivation — and be Israelites a posteriori — simultaneously. Surely the answer lies in seeking “the glory that is from the one and only God”?
WHAT IS AN ISRAELITE?
In Romans 9:4, Paul gives a very succinct description of what an Israelite is:
…Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and daughters, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the service, and the promises
Paul then perceives a certain disjointedness between what Israelites are by definition — according to the word of God — and what they were in practice. According to Paul, Israel were not living up to the definition he provided in verse 4, and he says in response, “But it is not as though the word of God has failed.” (Romans 9:6)
In other words — according to Paul, if Israel are defined a certain way — and if all individual Israelites do not live up to that definition in practice — then the word of God is failing. However, the word of God cannot fail — and is not failing. For this reason, Paul needs to explain exactly how the following criteria can all be true simultaneously:
- Israel are defined a certain way
- Not all Israelites are living up to the definition of an Israelite
- The word of God is not failing
The first thing Paul does is he creates two distinct groups under which Israelites fall: Children of the flesh and children of the promise. Children of the flesh are all Israelites who have Israelite fathers — they are able to prove their Israelite heritage by patrilineal descent. Paul calls these “my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3) — children of the flesh. Children of the promise, on the other hand, are Israelite children of the flesh in whom the promises and definition of Romans 9:6 are being fulfilled.
Paul concludes that children according to the flesh who are not children according to the promise are not real Israelites. In other words, only children of the promise are real Israelites, regardless of whether they are able to prove their Israelite identity or not. He says “it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” (Romans 9:8) The word in Greek for “descendants” is “sperma” (Strong’s G4690) — or “seed.”
Paul tells us that children according to the flesh who are not children according to the promise are not even regarded as “seed” or “descendants” of Israel — despite being able to prove their patrilineal descent. After all, the definition of an Israelite (Romans 9:6) must apply to all Israelites — so if it does not apply, then the patrilineal descent becomes irrelevant. Isaiah 45:25 says,
In the Lord all the offspring of Israel Will be justified and will boast.
The word for “offspring” in the Hebrew is “zera” (Strong’s H2233) — also meaning “seed,” “descendants” or “offspring.” In the Greek Septuagint, the word for “offspring” is the same word Paul uses in Romans 9:8 — “sperma” (Strong’s G4690). Therefore — according to Isaiah 45:25 and Paul, if only children of the promise are regarded as descendants, then only the children of the promise “will be justified and will boast.” To conclude then, a true Israelite child of the promise will exhibit all promises made by God to Israel — otherwise they are not true Israelites.
Yet God’s relationship with Israel is bi-directional — it’s a two-way street. There are things which Israel must do to fulfill their side of the promises — and there are things God must do to fulfill His side of the promises. This relationship can be condensed into 2 Chronicles 7:14,
[If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
We know that Israel will be restored at the second coming of the Lord Jesus — and we know all the true Israelites according to the promise will be included in that restored kingdom. No material wealth was promised to Israel between the Lord’s ascension and His second coming. When He does come, we will see that all the material blessings for Israel in the law and prophets were just copies and shadows of the real, heavenly blessing to come.
After all, even Abraham did not receive his material promises — but he was looking for the heavenly promises (Hebrews 11:10). At that point of heavenly fulfillment, the rewards for Israel and Abraham will begin to be realized. Genesis 18:19 even echoes this bi-directional relationship in relation to Abraham:
For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.
Therefore, all that’s left for Israel to do until such time is to uphold their end of the bargain. In faith Israel must look to God’s end of the bargain being upheld — just like Abraham did. However, God will always uphold His end of the bargain — hence Israel’s faith is in good and perfectly trustworthy hands — so long as Israel keeps its end of the bargain. Yet we should not be quick to imagine “keeping Israel’s end of the bargain” is something everyone else needs to do — not ourselves as individuals. There will be no national revival in the “end times” in any case.
With this in mind — tying back to Romans 9 — we can conclude that Israelites according to the promise are those who uphold their end of the bargain as individuals. Paul says that Israel “did not arrive at the law” (Romans 9:31) — so Israel did not keep the law. If they did not keep the law, they were not keeping their end of the bargain. If they were not keeping their end of the bargain, they were not children of the promise. If they were not children of the promise, they were not real Israelites.
This truth becomes all the more vivid when we consider that not only are Israel supposed to keep their end of the bargain, but Israelites are guaranteed to keep their end of the bargain. Paul says in Romans 11:26-27,
26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” 27 “This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”
Paul says the Lord will remove ungodliness from them and take away their sins. If we claim to be Israelites — yet we are ungodly sinners — then we simply admit that we are not Israelites, because true Israelites have their ungodliness and sin taken away.
Therefore, an Israelite is someone in whom the promises of God are fulfilled — they are children of the promise. Israel were literally promised to keep their end of the bargain. In the bi-directional relationship, God essentially took care of both sides.
WHAT ARE THE PROMISES OF GOD?
Peter described true Israelites as follows in 1 Peter 2:9,
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…
As we already quoted, the Lord said of Abraham, “I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice.” (Genesis 18:19) Israel are not merely chosen by God to be the recipients of His blessings. God wants “cherubim” — executors of His will and keepers of His ways. Doing righteousness and justice in word and deed defines the very nature of a true Israelite.
Furthermore, Israel are literally “God’s own possession.” The prophets say myriad times that Israel are the inheritance of God — like in Deuteronomy 32:9,
For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
According to Peter, all Israelites are called to be priests. John says the Lord “made us into a kingdom, priests to His God and Father” (Revelation 1:6). Isaiah 61:6 says, “you will be called the priests of the Lord; you will be spoken of as ministers of our God.” Peter said Israel are “a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)
Consider for a moment that the priests of Israel — sons of Aaron — represented but a small portion of their number. When we consider which of the priests fulfilled their office as they should have, there are even less. When Peter, John and Isaiah refer to all Israel being a kingdom of holy priests, we assume they are only talking about the kind of priest who fulfill their office — as opposed to the likes of Hophni and Phinehas — Aaronic priests and sons of Eli — who were cursed to untimely death by God due to their bad behavior.
The only conclusion we can possibly make is that each and every Israelite in the Kingdom of God will be like a priest who fulfilled their duty how they should have. In other words, they fulfill the promise of God for them to be priests.
We hope that any who claim to be Israelites are beginning to gain an appreciation for what they aspire to. Priesthood has no room for spare time, worldly desires, debased behavior, personal endeavors, not knowing and studying the Scripture and not praying. Priesthood requires a singular and razor-sharp focus on the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. Nothing short of that was good enough for the sons of Aaron — neither should it be good enough for a true Israelite. If we settle for anything other than priesthood, we are not true Israelites — because multiple authors said that all Israelites are to be priests. Galatians 2:20 says,
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me
If our old selves died, why are our old selves alive and kicking with all of their worldly desires? If Christ lives in us, why do we act contrary to the ways of Christ?
Peter also says we are to be a “holy nation, a people for God’s own possession”, to which end Exodus 19:5-6 says,
5 Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.
We are the Lord’s possession. As priests, He is our portion, just as He said to Aaron, “I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel.” (Numbers 18:20) Therefore again, only priests will be His possession, because all Israel will be priests. However, priests will have Him as their own portion as well. Jeremiah — a descendant of the priestly line (Jeremiah 1:1) — said in Lamentations 3:24,
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I wait for Him.”
Sadly, many Israelites want to choose their own portion in this life — imagining themselves to be the curators of their own inheritance from God. Yet in presuming to choose our own portion, we deny the Scripture which said “He chooses our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob whom He loves.” (Psalm 47:4) We have our portion in the Lord — and He has already chosen that portion for us. Peter said we have an “inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven” (1 Peter 1:4). The Lord also told us he would “prepare a place” for us in His “Father’s house” (John 14:2).
Old Testament prophets who suffered greatly in their lives were well aware of this fact. Jeremiah said, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I wait for Him.” (Lamentations 3:24) Isaiah — who wasn’t even a Levite — said, “I have spent my strength for nothing and futility; nevertheless… my reward is with my God.” (Isaiah 49:5) Even David — also not a Levite — said in Psalm 17:14-15,
14 From people by Your hand, Lord, From people of the world, whose portion is in this life, And whose belly You fill with Your treasure; They are satisfied with children, And leave their abundance to their babies. 15 As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.
At some point during David’s trials, he realized that hope in a “portion in this life” was entirely unsatisfactory in the face of beholding the Lord’s likeness in righteousness in the next life. David knew he would awake some day to inherit eternal life. Elsewhere, despite being anointed king — and despite having the portion of Judah — David went on to explicitly say, “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup.” (Psalm 16:5) Furthermore, in his desire for — and knowledge of — his own everlasting life, he prophesied Christ Jesus’ resurrection in Psalm 16:10-11,
10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 11 You will make known to me the way of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Even Abraham “was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) Abraham also “considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead” (Hebrews 11:19). Verily, speaking of all heroes of faith, the writer says in Hebrews 11:39-40,
39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.
All of us are priests to the Lord, whether we are descendants of Aaron or not — all of our inheritance is in the Lord and has been chosen by the Lord. We all inherit the portion of priests. Consider Isaiah 61:6 with verse 7 now added,
6 But you will be called the priests of the Lord; You will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations, And you will boast in their riches. 7 Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, Everlasting joy will be theirs.
In light of having the Lord Himself as our portion and inheritance, why would anyone in their right mind want anything other than that? Also if we are all to be made perfect together — and the likes of Abraham and the prophets didn’t receive their promises — what makes us think we would receive an inheritance before them? And in this life no less?
When Peter said that Israel will be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,” he did not mean it as a mere possibility — or something Israelites had the option of aspiring to. It was a statement of fact — something which would definitely be fulfilled. If we are not priests or holy, we are not Israelites, because He said that Israelites will be priests and holy.
Recall how we mentioned that God would take care of Israel’s end of the bargain as well. God taking care of both sides of the covenant agreement would not be considered as new or profound to even mainstream Christian doctrine. It’s just that most Christian circles believe that God took care of Israel’s side of the bargain by granting them some kind of automatic righteousness.
John firmly refuted that idea when he said, “make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.” (1 John 3:7) Righteousness is not automatic — it must be practiced. Anyone who believes righteousness is automatic is distorting Scripture to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).
Probably the most defining feature of Gnosticism is the acknowledgement of the flawed nature of the flesh, seeking salvation in mere “knowledge” of the divine. In other words, as a gnostic you are “saved” if you know things about the divine that other people do not know. Most Christians circles elevate “I am the way, the truth and the life” to mere impotent knowledge granting some kind of automatic salvation. They claim because they “know Jesus,” they will be saved, while someone who doesn’t “know Jesus” will not.
Yes, knowledge of the Lord Jesus is critical, yet it is not enough. As James said, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” (James 2:19) In other words, mere knowledge of the Lord Jesus puts us on the same level as the demons who readily acknowledged Him (Mark 1:24), yet they were cast into Tartarus — reserved for the day of judgement (2 Peter 2:4, 1 Corinthians 6:3).
The Lord said that many “will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24) — and He will tell them, “Leave Me, all you evildoers.” (Luke 13:27) The Lord even explicitly stated in Matthew 7:21,
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
Yes, those who enter are those who do the will of His Father — keeping their end of the covenants as Israelites. The Lord requires that we keep our end of the covenant promises — simply acknowledging Him is not enough. The idea that righteousness comes through mere knowledge or enlightenment — like “knowing” or “accepting” Jesus — a reductive “salvation by ‘grace'” — is gnostic heresy.
Likewise, the idea that white people have some inherent and unconditional deity within them — “salvation by race” — is also gnostic heresy. Those who hold this view believe — in utter blindness — that one could be saved without ever having even acknowledged the Lord Jesus. So an atheist would be saved simply because he is white? They have “exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Paul wrote in Titus 2:11-15,
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and in a godly manner in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, eager for good deeds. 15 These things speak and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. No one is to disregard you.
We are to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, live sensibly, righteously and in godly manner. We are to look for — and hasten (2 Peter 3:12) — the appearing of the Lord Jesus — wherein lies the promise of our inheritance. He came to redeem us from every lawless deed and to purify for Himself a people. There is no automatic righteousness here — neither any racial salvation. The wonder of the Lord Jesus’ work will make us righteous — He will purify us. He will rescue us from every lawless deed, because He will put the law on our hearts.
The new covenant reinforced this promise to Israel as it says in Hebrews 8:10,
For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel After those days, declares the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people.
The Lord said that “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart” (Matthew 15:18). Therefore, if the law is written on one’s heart, then they will only act in accordance with the law. They are then blameless because “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4) — and they do not act contrary to the law.
When Paul concluded the passage in Titus 2, he said, “No one is to disregard you.” In other words, we are not to disregard a doctrine which requires us to be “redeemed from every lawless deed.” (Titus 2:14) If we disregard them, we are disregarding the commands of Paul — an apostle of the Lord Jesus. Deuteronomy 6:5-6 gives probably the most defining feature of an Israelite — and the first and foremost law (Matthew 22:37),
5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
Israelites do not have the option of not keeping this law — it is not something to merely aspire to. True Israelites were guaranteed by God — by virtue of having the law written on their hearts — to be redeemed from every lawless deed. Not loving the Lord our God with all we have is lawlessness — it breaks the first and foremost law. True Israelites will love the Lord with all their heart, soul and strength.
If the law says to love God with all our heart, soul and strength, then anyone who claims to be an heir of the new covenant — having the law on their heart — must actually do so. If they do not, they are not Israelites — because God guaranteed Israelites to keep the whole law. If God guaranteed it to Israel, then anyone who claims keeping the whole law is impossible merely doubts the power of God.
CAN ISRAEL AFFORD TO “REST ON THEIR LAURELS”?
Let us stop for a second and reflect on the gravity of the reality we face. Step back and consider the context of the word of God and His promises we have covered so far. Outside of the confines of our reality and existence, there exists — if “exist” could even describe Him — a Being who is completely, utterly and eternally outside of the grasp of our understanding. So great is His divine intellect, He created a “Logos” to be the Divine Executor of His will (Proverbs 8:22-36, John 1:1, Colossians 1:15, Revelation 3:14, Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:13) — through whom He created the universe by proxy (John 1:3, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2).
So great is His power, He created that which created us. Ourselves and our “creations” are merely the creations down a line of Creators much greater than ourselves.
The very purpose of us being created was to conform to the image of the Logos (Genesis 1:26, Romans 8:29, Colossians 3:10) — being divine executors of His will — “a kingdom, priests to His God and Father” (Revelation 1:6). The Infinite God then gave all of His own to the Logos — who in turn promises to give all His Father gave Him to His people (Revelation 3:21). To this end — out of all of the creation, He raised a people — Israel — for His own possession so they could be inheritors of all creation.
What lies before Israel in eternity is a Kingdom so vast and limitless, our minds simply cannot comprehend it. So great is its nature, it can only be represented by copies and shadows — mere allegories which pander to our meager understanding. We simply have to read Revelation 21:10-27 to understand that those copies and shadows do not hold back any luxury or glory by worldly standards. In fact, Revelation 21:11 literally says we ourselves will have “the glory of God.”
Does anyone seriously think they could live a worldly life and inherit this glory? Does anyone seriously think their lifestyle in this world doesn’t reflect whether or not they have conformed to the image of the Creator? Did the Lord not say, “You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things”? (Matthew 25:23) Indeed, how we live in this life shows our eligibility to inherit the next.
In light of the divine calling set before Israel, why do we believe we somehow “deserve” the promised glory without actually having to demonstrate the divine nature in our lives? Can we truly treat the God of the universe half-heartedly or with indifference and actually expect Him to fulfill His promises to Israel in us? Stop and consider for a moment how intensely narcissistic that is.
Yet as we already covered, many of us are — or have been — selfish and narcissistic in our motivation to be Israelites. The sorry state of our lives in relation to the priesthood required of us stands as witness against us. If our spouses or loved ones treat us with indifference, we are even able to recognize that — and we feel justified against them, thinking they do not love us. In doing so we witness against ourselves, because how much more can the God of the universe see our indifference when “all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.” (Hebrews 4:13)
Moreover, when we justify ourselves against others we make ourselves hypocrites. If we cannot even have grace toward others, how will the Lord have grace towards us? (Matthew 18:21-35)
That narcissism is no more evident than in those who by their doctrine look for excuses not to have to keep the whole law. In light of the overwhelming reality of creation, some see the law to love their God with all they have and immediately scan the Bible for an exit strategy. They actually want the God of the universe to bestow upon them a glorious kingdom, yet not have to love Him with all their heart. What an absurd idea!
By the power of the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Israel were guaranteed to love God with all they have — so why not cash in on that guarantee? Some believe in “salvation by race” — or “salvation by ‘grace'” — but what we should believe in is salvation by forgiveness from former sin and the promised redemption from lawlessness. Just as James said, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)
You have “race” — so do we. You have “grace” — so do we. Do you have that which truly defines an Israelite — to love the Lord God with all you have? Is our life’s purpose the Kingdom of God, or is that something we do on the side? Like James said, “I will show you my faith by my works.” Comments on internet forums — bothering friends and family with politicized and powerless “religion” — and feelings of indignation at world events — are not works by faith.
The Kingdom of God is not found in our flesh, our “race” — or in our feelings — but rather in the Spirit and the Lord’s power to redeem us from lawlessness. Therefore, there are no laurels on which to rest in the first place. Incidentally, Paul — referring to his Israelite heritage — said in Philippians 3:7-11,
7 But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Paul had laurels he may have been tempted to rest on, but he discarded them in favor of faith in Christ Jesus. Paul even warned against “vain” and “endless” genealogies which are “useless and worthless” compared with the “plan of God, which is by faith.” (1 Timothy 1:4, Titus 3:9) Israel must prove they are Israelites in the promises of righteousness — not in false doctrine or in historical “proofs” they are Israelites. In so doing, we make ourselves like the Israel who sought their own brand of righteousness just as Paul said in Romans 9:31-32,
31 …Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though they could by works
Genealogies, sacrifices and circumcision — all according to the law — are useless in bringing about righteousness — loving our God with all we have and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Rather, we have faith in the Lord’s power to purify us and bring about true righteousness in us just as Paul said, “for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness” (Romans 10:10) — and Galatians 5:4-6,
4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by the Law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we, through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love [first for our God, then for our brethren].
It is deeply ironic that some Christian circles are vehemently against circumcision in their words, but in their deeds they cling to an ersatz circumcision by trying to prove they are Israelites according to the flesh — or by trying to prove they have automatic righteousness by “grace.” These gnostic beliefs in essence are no better than “salvation by circumcision.”
To further the irony — as we mentioned — no one can seriously prove they are Israelites in these times. Thus, the failures of the doctrine of “salvation by race” or “salvation by ‘grace'” have been perfected — they have distorted the Scripture to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).
However, Israel finds itself in a most fortuitous time in relation to their own faith. In a time when Israel were able to prove their identity by genealogy, the “nations, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, but the righteousness that is by faith” (Romans 9:30).
The Genesis 10 nations were completely undistracted by such things as circumcision and genealogies, simply because they had no such thing. Imagine Paul’s frustration when Judaizers tried to get them to put faith in physical circumcision — works of the law — which are of no use against fleshly indulgence. By perfect grace — while yet sinners (Romans 5:8) — they were forgiven and predestined to become conformed to the image of the Son (Romans 8:29), but they hung their hats on things of the flesh and vain belief. Such views only served to “hinder them from the truth” (Galatians 5:7).
Therefore, in these times Israel find themselves in the same position as the nations were in the earliest church — unhindered from the truth — with no laurels to rest on. Either we pursue the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel by faith in his guarantee that Israel will uphold its end of the bargain — or just like those who go the way of foolishness, we die eternally like animals (Psalm 49:12-13).
At the end of the day, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We are either Israelites because we show the fulfillment of the promises to Israel in our lives, or we are not Israelites at all. Thinking we can be Israelites without acting like Israelites is little more than narcissism.
WHO ARE THE 144,000? — IT’S MORE SERIOUS THAN WE THOUGHT
The Revelation clearly shows that by the end of the great tribulation, 144,000 Israelites according to the flesh will be sealed — Revelation 7:4-8 lists their numbers according to their tribes. Yet nowhere does Revelation 7 state that all the 144,000 came out of the great tribulation — a designation reserved for the multitude of the nations (Revelation 7:14) — only that by the end of the great tribulation, the number would be completed.
Neither does the Revelation state anywhere that the 144,000 need to be alive simultaneously. Furthermore, nothing of Revelation 7 indicates that any of the peoples the chapter describes — whether nations or Israelites — need to be alive simultaneously. The chapter merely takes stock of those who are all co-heirs of eternal life — indicated by the Isaiah 25:8 quote also echoed in Revelation 21:4,
He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken.
Revelation 7:3 says the 144,000 were sealed on their foreheads — an obvious reference to two things. Firstly, Deuteronomy 6:4-8,
4 “Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 And you shall repeat them diligently to your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk on the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. 8 You shall also tie them as a sign to your hand, and they shall be as frontlets on your forehead.
The seal on the forehead — or the hand — signifies an Israelite’s adherence to the law of God. Therefore, the 144,000 were sealed by their adherence to the law of God. Again, true Israelites according to the promise keep the law of God. Furthermore, Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:19,
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His;” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to keep away from wickedness.”
Everyone who names the name of the Lord must keep from wickedness. Can the meaning of the seal of God be any more obvious?
Secondly, in Ezekiel 9 a “man clothed in linen” (verse 2) — the Lord Jesus — was commanded to “make a mark on the foreheads of the people who groan and sigh over all the abominations which are being committed in [Jerusalem’s] midst.” (verse 4) This ties into Deuteronomy 6:4-8 above, because one who has the mark of the law on their forehead would certainly “groan and sigh over all the abominations.” After him, six men with weapons were commanded to kill everyone else, whether “old men, young men, female virgins, little children, and women” (verse 6).
Only those who received the seal were left alive in Jerusalem, to the point where Ezekiel said, “Oh, Lord God! Are You going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel by pouring out Your wrath on Jerusalem?” (verse 8) In other words, in the vision in Ezekiel, the only survivors were those who received the mark. The vision of Revelation 7:3 refers to the same vision as in Ezekiel 9.
Therefore only those who received the mark recorded in Revelation 7:3 would be the ones to survive in Israel. As we already covered, all Israelites must have the law written on their heart — meaning they are keepers of the law. Then having the law written on the heart and being marked on the forehead are essentially referring to the same thing. It follows then that all Israelites must have the mark on their foreheads, like in the Ezekiel 9 and Revelation 7:3 imagery.
We can only possibly conclude then that Revelation 7’s Israelites are all Israelites across all time. This may be shocking and hard to accept for many, so we will provide more detail.
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the protected ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Naturally the “Servant” is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, prophesied to bring salvation to the nations. Over and above His work in uniting and restoring the two houses of Israel, He was to be a light of the nations so they He may purchase people “from every tribe, language, people, and nation.” (Revelation 5:9) Later in Isaiah 49:14-19, Zion laments its bereavement only to be comforted that Zion will be “too cramped for the inhabitants” (verse 19) and that Zion will put these inhabitants on “as jewelry and bind them on as a bride.” (verse 18) Verses 20-21 continue,
20 The children you lost will yet say in your ears, ‘The place is too cramped for me; Make room for me that I may live here.’ 21 Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has fathered these for me, Since I have been bereaved of my children And cannot conceive, and I am an exile, and a wanderer? And who has raised these? Behold, I was left alone; Where are these from?’”
Zion shows its surprise at these lost children, because in its own mind, it could not conceive. Zion does not believe it was even capable of having children in the first place — obviously not being aware of actually having any children. As if a mother could have a child and not even realize it. Yet Zion is presented with so many children there’s not even enough living space for them all. Verse 22 then reveals where these children come from,
Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations And set up My flag to the peoples; And they will bring your sons in their arms, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
Isaiah 60:3-4 tells the same story,
3 Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 “Raise your eyes all around and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried on the hip.
Ezekiel 36:12 ties everything together,
Yes, I will have people—My people Israel—walk on you and possess you, so that you will become their inheritance and never again bereave them of children.
Therefore, Revelation 7 goes further and even describes the picture of what Isaiah 49 being fulfilled looks like in practice. Isaiah 49 described a great many children from the nations, whereas Revelation 7:9 calls the children “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation…” Furthermore, Isaiah 49 refers to Zion as the “tribes of Jacob” and “Israel” (verse 6) — so there is no doubt that in the Isaiah 49 narrative, Zion represents all Israel.
Herein lies an important prophetic principle represented by the Lord Jesus in Luke 20:37-38,
37 But as for the fact that the dead are raised, even Moses revealed this in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him.”
When prophets — and by extension the Holy Spirit — refer to Israel, they are referring to Israelites who “live to Him.” If Israelites are spoken of as being alive in the prophets, it must necessarily refer to all Israelites who attain to eternal life. As the Lord Jesus made clear in Luke 20:37-38, the Holy Spirit refers to those who “live to Him” as being alive in the present.
Isaiah 49 also refers to the Lord Jesus as “a light of the nations” (verse 6) — calling to mind His work of salvation to all nations. Thus Isaiah 49 is referring to all the individuals from the nations — the children — who were to be saved. All-in-all, Isaiah 49 prophesied the entire salvation plan for all peoples — Israel and the nations. Revelation 7 shows the result of the salvation plan for all the nations — “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation.”
Likewise, the woman of Revelation 12 was described as “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (verse 1). Joseph’s dream presents the very same imagery (Genesis 37:9), so the woman can only be Israel itself. Incidentally, Revelation 12:17 refers to those “who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus” as the woman’s seed — or children — which is the same imagery we covered in Isaiah 49. Israel is the woman and the nations are her children. Therefore, Revelation 12 shows the same image as Revelation 7 and Isaiah 49.
If Isaiah 49 refers to all Israel and all the nations who would be saved — and Revelation 7 refers to all the nations who would be saved, we have one seeming anomaly left — the 144,000 of Revelation 7. If we were to overlay Isaiah 49 onto Revelation 7, we can only conclude that the 144,000 represents all Israelites according to the flesh who would be saved. Thus Revelation 7 and Isaiah 49 describe the “all Israel” of Romans 11:26: The remnant of Israel (Romans 11:5) with the fullness of the nations (Romans 11:25) added.
That being said, there are yet more ways to show this truth. Many interpret the Revelation as one chronological series of events, yet as is the case with many prophetic writings, it actually gives the same events from different perspectives. With this in mind, we can see that Revelation 12 – 14 actually rehashes the events of Revelation 4 – 11.
Revelation 4 – 5 begins with the death of the Lord Jesus, whereas Revelation 12 begins with His birth — more or less the same time. Revelation 11 ends with the beginning of the reign of the Lord, judgement of the dead and reward for His servants — His second coming (Revelation 11:15-18), whereas Revelation 14 ends with the harvest (Revelation 14:15) — also His second coming. Much more can be said, but this is very simple and intuitive.
Unfortunately all who believe Revelation to be one chronological series of events find themselves in the awkward position of having to explain away the very obvious timing of those events. For example, we know when the Lord Jesus died — placing a definite time for Revelation 5:6. We know when the Lord Jesus was born — placing a definite time for Revelation 12:4-5. If the Revelation is one series of events, we must explain why obvious references to events we know have already happened — and may be connected with one another — are referring to something else. Those who explain away these obvious events generally whitewash or gloss over them, never really offering anything substantive.
Ultimately then, the 144,000 in Revelation 7 are the same as those in Revelation 14. Revelation 14:4-5 offers some further descriptors of these 144,000 Israelites,
4 These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are celibate. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from mankind as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
We know that if one lawfully marries a white women, they will certainly not be defiled by that woman — unless she is a lawless woman who becomes a thorn in her husband’s side. Therefore, we cannot conclude that their celibacy refers to literal virginity, but rather some other kind of defilement. Revelation 17:2 says that “those who live on the earth became drunk with the wine of her [Whore of Babylon] sexual immorality.” Naturally then, the 144,000 had no place with the whore’s lawlessness. Also Revelation 3:20-22 offers a very simple explanation,
20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.
This passage uses Jezebel — wife of Ahab, king of the house of Israel (1 Kings 16:31) — as a copy and shadow of communities led into sin by false prophets. 1 Kings 21:25 says,
There certainly was no one like Ahab who gave himself over to do evil in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife incited him.
The fact that Ahab died because of his fornication with false prophecy (1 Kings 22) makes the interpretation all the more sure. By definition, false prophecy always comes from fleshly and debased motivations, just as Jeremiah 23:26 says,
Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, these prophets of the deceitfulness of their own heart
False prophecy also provides no benefit for righteousness and only serves to mislead the people of Israel. Verse 32 continues,
“Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the Lord, “and reported them and led My people astray by their lies and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them nor command them, nor do they provide this people the slightest benefit,” declares the Lord.
Verse 22 gives the true standard of prophecy — announcing the Lord’s word and turning people back from evil,
But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way And from the evil of their deeds.
We would recommend a full reading of Jeremiah 23 for the full picture. Isaiah said that if anyone does not speak according to the “law and to the testimony,” it is because “they have no dawn” (Isaiah 8:20) — and they are going to be “driven away into darkness.” (Isaiah 8:22) False prophecy goes against the laws of God and it results in death.
Ezekiel 14:9 goes as far as to say that the Lord would send a deluding influence to prophets who are tempted to speak against His word and mislead Israel. Paul said that God would send a deluding influence upon all who do not receive a love of truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). Furthermore, we should not be surprised that it was the Lord Himself who commanded Ahab’s prophets to be deluded by a lying spirit, that Ahab would go up to battle and die (1 Kings 22:19-23).
Therefore, if any think they have received a revelation from the Lord — no matter how real it may seem — they must beware that they do not spread lying spirits, because they prophesy the “deceitfulness of their own heart” (Jeremiah 23:26). Deuteronomy 13:1-10 gives us yet more precedent that false prophecy may be given by the Lord to test whether we are secure in Him or not. The story of the prophet murdered by false prophecy in 1 Kings 13 makes this reality all the more frightening.
Suffice to say that the 144,000 are neither promulgators nor followers of false prophecy — they are completely chaste from its whoredoms. It could be no other way if true Israelites are followers of the law of God. In a way, this truth ties into the next descriptor which says “they follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Revelation 14:4). John 10:4-5 says,
4 When he puts all his own sheep outside, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 However, a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
As Christians we assume we follow the Shepherd because of our personal faith — yet, in reality, we do not because we are utterly confused and do not know what to do in these modern times. Most modern interpretations tacitly assume that all “true Christians” are sheep — yet they do not assume that one cannot claim to follow the Shepherd and not know where oneself — or the world — is going. If we truly follow the Shepherd, we have peace that we know where we are going. Revelation 19:10 also tells us that “the testimony [or evidence] of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” In other words, if we claim to have Jesus’ testimony, we must also know God’s will.
Furthermore, sheep are not misled by their own desires or the false prophecy and evil teaching of strangers — they love the Lamb with all that they have, fulfilling God’s promises to Israel. They go only where He goes because they care only about His will — not their own. They do not assume the Lord Jesus is a supporting character in their own lives — rather, they assume they are supporting character’s in the Lord Jesus’ life. Narcissists want the Lamb to follow them wherever they go — supporting their own worldly, material and fleshly desires — which they often confuse and conflate with the will of God to their own destruction. In their relationship with the Lord Jesus, they have lost sight of who is the King of kings and who is the worthless slave (Luke 17:10).
Revelation 14:5 says that “no lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless“, almost like-for-like with Zephaniah 3:13,
The remnant of Israel will do no wrong And tell no lies, Nor will a deceitful tongue Be found in their mouths; For they will feed and lie down with no one to frighten them.
They “do no wrong” and so “they are blameless” — thus the covenant made with Israel to have the law written on their hearts is fulfilled in these 144,000. Psalm 15:1-2 says,
1 Lord, who may reside in Your tent? Who may settle on Your holy hill? 2 One who walks with integrity, practices righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.
Tying back to the 144,000 not lying — when we lie to ourselves, we practice one of the worst kinds of lies and deceit. The only way we can walk with integrity and practice righteousness — being blameless — is if we speak truth in our hearts. If we cannot even be honest with ourselves, how could we ever be honest with others? When we lie to ourselves, we can rationalize all kinds of evil to serve our dark desires. Therefore, in order to be blameless, “no lie was found in their mouths.” We offer this explanation over and above the obvious interpretation that they do not lie to others either.
Also see how the passage plainly calls them the “remnant of Israel.” It may seem intuitive to interpret the “remnant of Israel” as the true Israelites who are alive in the end times, yet that is not the case. In Romans 9:27 when Paul explains who are Israelites according to the promise, he quotes Isaiah 10:22 which says,
Though the number of the sons of Israel may be like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved
The context of Romans 9 was eternal salvation — so we may retrospectively contextualize Isaiah’s statement in the same way. Recall also how God is not the “God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him.” (Luke 20:38) When Isaiah said that “only the remnant will be saved,” he was referring to all Israelites who would be eternally saved — the children of the promise. In other words, Israelites according to the flesh — children of the flesh — were like the sand of the sea. Yet out of them, only a remnant — children of the promise — would be saved. Paul says in Romans 11:3-5,
3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.
Paul says that just as there was a remnant during Elijah’s time, there was also a remnant during his own time. The remnant of Elijah’s time was the 7000 who did not bow to Baal — and the remnant in Paul’s time were those Israelites who truly followed the Lord Jesus. Yet according to Isaiah 10:22 and Romans 9:27, there is only one remnant of Israel — not multiple remnants — because the remnant of Israel are all those who will be saved. For this passage to make sense, we must assume that the remnant of Elijah’s time and the remnant of Paul’s time are all part of the same remnant of Israel.
As confirmed by Zephaniah 3:13, the 144,000 are also the remnant of Israel. The remnant during Elijah’s time, the remnant during Paul’s time, and the remnant of Zephaniah 3:13 are all a part of the same remnant. Therefore, in order for everything explained so far to make sense, the 144,000 Israelites must be the whole remnant itself. To this end, Isaiah 4:3-4 says,
3 And it will come about that the one who is left in Zion [the remnant] and remains behind in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem. 4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning
The remnant of Zion are all those “recorded for life in Jerusalem.” For good measure, consider Jeremiah 31:7 in relation to the remnant of Israel and their children and inheritance in the nations from Isaiah 49, Revelation 7 and Revelation 12 we covered earlier,
For this is what the Lord says: “Sing aloud with joy for Jacob, And be joyful with the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘Lord, save Your people, The remnant of Israel!’”
Moreover, the descriptors used for the 144,000 in the Revelation are basic descriptors for all true Israelites according to the promise. In other words, the way the 144,000 are described doesn’t set them apart from Israelites according to the promise in any way. From that perspective, they aren’t all that special — proving again that they are all Israel, because they are described simply by showing the fulfillment of the promises to Israel in them.
Revelation 14:4 says the 144,000 “have been purchased from mankind as the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” Jeremiah 2:3 says,
“Israel was holy to the Lord, The first of His harvest. All who ate of it became guilty; Evil came upon them,” declares the Lord.
James says to the “twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad” (James 1:1) — Israel, “we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.” (James 1:18) The writer of Hebrews calls the “heavenly Jerusalem” — or “the holy city, new Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2) — the “general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven” (Hebrews 12:22-23). The Lord says quite plainly in Exodus 4:22, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”
Yes, in many cases the Lord Jesus Himself is referred to as the “firstborn” or “first fruit”, however these two interpretations are not mutually exclusive. Revelation 14:4 plainly calls the 144,000 “the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.”
The dispensationalist mindset has taken us away from the truth of the “church” of the New Testament. Neither the church nor the bride of Christ were something which began with the Lord’s crucifixion. John the Baptist made it plain that he was happy to see the groom meet his bride — Israel (John 3:29-30). It was always the plan for Israel itself to be “the church” — just as Paul tells “the nations” they were “grafted in” amongst Israel (Romans 11:17). The root already existed — Christ Jesus the Creator, who came from heaven (John 3:31) — and there were already natural branches — Israelites — which grew from that root.
The church — and the spiritual temple the Lord must complete — is a restoration of Israel itself. Just as the first temple was to be destroyed and replaced by the second, the second temple was destroyed to be replaced by the spiritual temple — “new Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2) and “the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel” (Revelation 21:12). Every single Israelite who had their faith in God’s promises to Israel across all time will all simultaneously have that faith rewarded in the heavenly city — New Jerusalem. Amos 9:9-11 says,
9 “For behold, I am commanding, And I will shake the house of Israel among all nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a pebble will fall to the ground. 10 All the sinners of My people will die by the sword, Those who say, ‘The catastrophe will not overtake or confront us.’ 11 “On that day I will raise up the fallen shelter of David, And wall up its gaps; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old;
Israel being shaken among the nations — bringing them into the covenant — was done with the expressed purpose of rebuilding Israel. James even acknowledged this in Acts 15:15-18. Grain being shaken by a sieve is the final purification process in making flour, so the passage is saying that there will be zero impurity in the rebuilt Israel — because “all the sinners… will die by the sword.” (Amos 9:10) The Lord promised the second temple builders, “The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former” (Haggai 2:9) — a promise they would see fulfilled in the resurrection.
Tying this back to Revelation 14:4, Israel itself is the firstborn — and first fruits. They were the first branches — and they are the church — but not the Catholic Church as Catholic dispensationalists insist. The tabernacle, first temple, and the second temple all represent the final city of which they all form a part. When nations become Christians, they are joining Israel. When we read such language as “purchased from mankind as first fruits,” it is referring to all Israel. Therefore, the 144,000 are the whole remnant of Israel — not merely a subset.
Surely it is no coincidence that the heavenly city of New Jerusalem has a length, breadth and height of 12000 stadia wall thickness of 144 cubits (Revelation 21:16-17)? The measurements are not literal measurements of an actual structure — but are symbolic of something else. The closest thing we have in the entire Scripture are the 144,000. “144 cubits” for 144,000 and “12000 stadia” because each tribe of the 144,000 had 12,000 members. Therefore if this were to be accepted, it would again point to the 144,000 being all Israel — because the holy city of Revelation 21 itself is all Israel.
Revelation 21:9 refers to the city as “the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” Are we to assume that King David, Daniel, Elijah or Moses are not part of the wife of the Lamb? Isaiah 62:5 says to the Lord Jesus — the Creator and Begetter (John 1:3, Isaiah 64:8, 1 Corinthians 10:4 / Deuteronomy 32:18, Isaiah 9:6) of Israel — “For as a young man marries a virgin, So your sons will marry you. And as the groom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.” Jeremiah 3:14 says, “‘Return, you faithless sons,’ declares the Lord; ‘For I am a master [or husband — Strong’s H1166] to you…”
All true Israelites were released from the old covenant in death, being raised in Christ so they may be wed to Him (Romans 7:4). All Israelites according to the promise are a part of that bride, because the Lord promised Israel they would be His bride. According to Hebrews 11:39-40, we will all be perfected and receive our inheritance at the same time. Micah 2:12 says, “I will certainly assemble all of you, Jacob, I will certainly gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold.”
In other words, the bride consists of the entirety of the remnant of Israel across all time. When all is fulfilled, that remnant happens to be 144,000 strong. That is quite an incredible standard of righteousness required for Israel if only 144,000 would constitute its remnant. Given everything we have presented, that should be no surprise — especially given the myriad times Israel are called stubborn and stiff-necked. Yes, the standard of righteousness for Israelites is very high.
Ezekiel 14:14 says that “though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” That is to say, each person who enters the Kingdom will do so because they — as individuals — loved God with all they had. No one will enter the Kingdom riding on anyone else’s coat-tails. If any aspire to the Kingdom, we must know we aspire to stand in the company of the likes of Noah, Daniel and Job.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:5 of the Israelites in the wilderness, “with most of them God was not pleased; for their dead bodies were spread out in the wilderness.” Jude says that “after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, [the Lord] subsequently destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 5).
The writer of Hebrews uses those who died in the wilderness as an allegory and lesson for eternal life (Hebrews 3-4), of which only a few were found righteous in that generation. Moses said of those prophets, “If only all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29) Paul said that “all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons and daughters of God.” (Romans 8:14) Only children of God will be saved, so only those who have the Holy Spirit are saved.
Therefore, only the prophets Moses referred to would have been saved. There were 70 elders (Numbers 11:25), Eldad and Medad (Numbers 11:26) and then Aaron and Miriam (Numbers 12:2). Then add Moses and Caleb, giving us a total of 76 individuals who could have attained to eternal salvation in the wilderness — referring only to the first generation who entered the wilderness.
Even then, though Israel in the wilderness was like the stars of heaven in number (Deuteronomy 1:10), only a few survived. The Lord said in Matthew 8:11-12,
11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Yes, He was not messing around or speaking lightly when He said that. Being an Israelite of the promise means being just one of 144,000 individuals — out of tens of millions of Israelites across all time since Israel’s inception.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF BEING AN ISRAELITE?
The only real difference between Israel and the nations is that Israel were guaranteed to have some children according to the promise — whereas no such promise was given to any other people out of the Genesis 10 nations. Yet God guaranteed to provide Israel with children from all of the nations. Furthermore, Paul wrote in Romans 10:12-13,
12 For there is no distinction between Judean and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Each individual white Adamic person — whether Israel or nations — has the potential to be an heir of the promises through Christ. Paul tells us the nations attained to the promises to Israel — thus joining Israel — by faith in the Lord Jesus’ ability to complete that work in them (Romans 9:30). Shamefully, Israel tried to cling to salvation by the law of circumcision — not much different from “salvation by race” (Matthew 3:9) and “salvation by ‘grace'” (Romans 9:31-32).
Yet Paul himself sought to answer the question, “what advantage does the Judean have?” (Romans 3:1) To this he answers, “they were entrusted with the actual words of God.” (Romans 3:2) Consider that the entire Old Testament was written by Israelites who were always meant to be the “cherubim” of our age — the custodians of God’s promise of salvation to mankind. Note also that the entire New Testament was written by Israelites as well. Therefore, we can safely conclude that Israel have indeed been entrusted with the actual words of God.
It is Israel’s responsibility to help the nations and be an example to them — because after all, Israel were the only ones guaranteed to have a remnant among all the nations — and Israel are chosen to be the custodian of God’s promises. In dark times — when the whole world has fallen away from the word of God — Israel were guaranteed to have those who would continue to follow God. For the sake of God’s own promises and the glory of His own name, He will always raise up a remnant in whatever form from Israel. Therefore, if Israel doesn’t do it, who will?
Thus the benefit of being an Israelite is indeed being entrusted with the actual words of God. Isaiah 2:2-3 says,
2 Now it will come about that In the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; So that He may teach us about His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go out from Zion And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Instead of blaspheming the name of God among the nations (Romans 2:24), Israel are to be a light to the nations. Paul quoted Isaiah 49:6 in Acts 13:46-48 — referring to his own mission to bring Christ Jesus to them,
46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first. Since you repudiate it and consider yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the nations. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have appointed You as a light to the nations, That You may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’” 48 When the nations heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed.
When the seventh seal of the Revelation 8 is broken, the full number of Israelites according to the flesh will have been sealed — the last one will have been born. That seventh seal has not yet been broken, so the full 144,000 has not yet been reached. When the seventh seal is broken, God’s wrath will be poured out on the nations who caused calamity for the true Israel.
Therefore, whoever believes that they are Israelites according to the flesh — who display the promises of God — keeping their end of the bargain — keeping the law in righteousness — at the time when God’s wrath turns to the nations, we will know for certain they are Israelites a posteriori. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.
Yet no one should think they have received any validation as Israelites — or being a part of Israel — until they receive validation from the Lord Himself. True Israelites do not seek validation from themselves or other men who reassure them they are Israelites just because they are, say Anglo-Saxon or generically white. In this life, “we see in a mirror dimly” and we “know in part,” but there will come a day when we will know ourselves “just as [we] have been fully known” by God (1 Corinthians 8:3,1 Corinthians 13:12).
If anyone thinks the standard of righteousness to attain to salvation is a tall order and finds themselves in fear — then they have responded appropriately. All who scoff at the requirement — especially those who espouse salvation according to the flesh — do so because “they have no dawn” (Isaiah 8:20).
Remember, we have Christ Jesus who is “faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) — so “be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13) The Corinthians were also weak in their flesh, but strong in the Spirit — as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:11,
Such were some of you [unrighteous]; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God
We would be foolish to think that we can accomplish these promises ourselves in our own weak Adamic or Israelite flesh. The Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit have all power to accomplish this work in us.
All we have to do is ask Them to do it.