Unfortunately, some people like to spiritualize Scripture. They take it out of context and say, “The church is Israel, and Israel is the church, and it’s all one group.” No, it’s not! They are two distinct groups. When God deals with the Jews, it’s different than when He deals with other people, with Gentiles. These people (in Revelation 7:1-8 and 14:1-5) are 144,000 Messianic Jews, “Jews for Jesus,” so to speak, during the great tribulation period.
The Jews have been chosen by God for some specific purposes. Some people don’t like that: “What do you mean, ‘the chosen people’?” And there are some of the Jews who don’t like it either, that they’re the chosen people, because they look back on their history and they see all the persecution, hatred, anti-Semitism, murder, and destruction that has happened to their people. But nonetheless, they’re special, and God has a special plan for them.
WHY ARE THEY SO SPECIAL?
NUMBER ONE: They gave us the Scripture. It came breathed by God through the Jewish nation. Almost every author in the Scripture, with just a couple of exceptions, was Jewish.
NUMBER TWO: They preserved the Scripture. They meticulously handed it down from father to son. The scribe would write all of the Scripture with his pen, letter by letter, page by page, train his son how to do it, and they did this for hundreds and thousands of years. And they did it very accurately. The best example of this is the Dead Sea Scrolls, because of what was not found in them: mistakes. The experts compared the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written in about 200 B.C., with what were previously the most ancient manuscripts, from about A.D. 900, and they were the same. For instance, the entire scroll of Isaiah was found intact, and it was found to be virtually identical, without mistakes, to the one written 1100 years later! This showed the accuracy of the preservation of the text, from generation to generation.
AND NUMBER THREE: Our Savior came through the Jewish nation. Paul reminds us of that: “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). The first disciples were Jewish, and they took the gospel of the Messiah to all of the nations of the earth at that time. And so Paul sums this up in Romans 9, “Theirs [that is, the Jews’] is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!” (vv. 4-5, NIV).
These are the Jews, and God made some promises to them which He will fulfill during the tribulation period, as Revelation shows.
Skip Heitzig is the founder and senior pastor at Calvary Albuquerque. His teachings are heard across the country and around the world on The Connection. Skip and his wife, Lenya, and son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Janaé, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Skip and Lenya are the proud grandparents of Seth Nathaniel and Kaydence Joy.