ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH:

RESOLVING THE IDENTITY CRISIS

Today, there is a great theological dispute in the Body of Messiah as to whom the people of Elohim truly are. Some Believers maintain that Elohim has replaced Israel with the church and that every biblical end of the age prophecy regarding Israel is by default a reference to the church. There are those who refer to this doctrine negatively as “replacement theology!” Other Believers maintain that Elohim has two groups of elect: Israel and the church. There are those who refer to this doctrine negatively as “separation theology!” Still others maintain that the church is Israel! This doctrine is known as “remnant theology!” What is the truth? Who are the people of Elohim today? Continue:


The following is an excerpt from the document:


ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH:

RESOLVING THE IDENTITY CRISIS


Israel and the Church in Prophecy: the Woman and the Two Beasts

As I have established earlier, during the period of the divided kingdom, between 597 BC and 586 BC, the southern nation of Judah was taken into captivity by Babylon. During their captivity, Elohim gave the prophet Daniel a vision of four beasts rising up one after the other out of the sea. The first beast was like a lion, the second was like a bear, the third was like a leopard with four wings and the fourth beast had huge iron teeth and “was different from all the beasts that were before it” (Dan. 7:1-7). In Scripture, a beast symbolizes both a king (Dan. 7:17) and the kingdom he rules over (Dan. 7:24). Of course, the first beast, the lion, symbolizes the Babylonian Empire, the kingdom in which Daniel was held captive and the first Gentile kingdom to rule over Judah. The second beast, the bear, symbolizes the Medo-Persian Empire, the second kingdom to rule over Judah. The third beast, the leopard with four wings, symbolizes the Greco-Macedonian Empire, the third kingdom to rule over Judah. And the fourth beast, which had huge iron teeth and “was different from all the beasts that were before it,” symbolizes the Roman Empire, the fourth beast to rule over Judah. As each nation seized power from its predecessor, it also, in effect, inherited dominion over Judah. With regard to the fourth beast, Daniel states, “… It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns” (Dan. 7:7).

About 700 years later, in about 90 AD, Elohim gave the Apostle John a similar vision. However, whereas Daniel saw four beasts rising up out of the sea, John saw only one beast rising up out of the sea. Revelation 13:2 states, “Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” Clearly, the beast John saw is a composite of the four beasts Daniel saw. John’s composite beast had absorbed and included the dominant characteristics of all its predecessors: the mouth of the lion corresponds to Daniel’s first beast, the Lion. It symbolizes the royal splendor and kingly power of the Babylonian Empire. The feet of the bear corresponds to Daniel’s second beast, the bear. It symbolizes the massiveness and numerically powerful army of the Medo-Persian Empire. The body of a leopard corresponds to Daniel’s third beast, the leopard. It symbolizes the swiftness, cunningness and cruelty of the Greco-Macedonian Empire. Lastly, the dragon corresponds to Daniel’s fourth beast, the one that “was different from all the beasts that were before it.” The dragon “gave him his power and authority” (Rev. 13:2). Since the dragon symbolizes Satan (Rev. 12:9), he was to be the true source of power behind the Roman Empire! Finally, like Daniel’s fourth beast, John’s beast also had ten horns (Rev. 13:1).

The reason why Daniel’s four beasts rise up out of the sea in sequential order is because Daniel lived during the reign of the first beast, the Babylonian Empire, when the reigns of the three successive beasts were awaiting their future fulfillments. Conversely, the reason why John’s beast rises up as a composite of Daniel’s four beasts is because he lived during the reign of the fourth beast, the Roman Empire, after the successive reigns of the three preceding beasts.

Besides the fact that Daniel’s four beasts were to come to reign sequentially and John’s beast was to be a corresponding composite beast, there was to be one other major difference between the two; only John’s beast was to be ridden by a harlot. Revelation 17:1-7 states, “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Yeshua. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.”

As I have also established earlier, in symbolic prophecy a woman symbolizes a church! This begs the question, “Which church does the harlot symbolize?” Let’s examine the clues!

First, the fact that the harlot didn’t ride any of Daniel’s four beasts, including the fourth beast which represented the Roman Empire, but rode John’s composite beast, which symbolizes the Rome Empire, proves that the harlot church was established after the establishment of the of the Rome Empire! This could only refer to the Roman Catholic Church. It was established in the first century during the reign of the Rome Empire. The first Protestant Church, the Lutheran Church, didn’t exist until A.D. 1517.

Second, the harlot “sits on many waters” (Rev. 17:1). This symbol is interpreted in verse 15 which states, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.” Thus, the harlot church reigns over many nations! This could only refer to the Roman Catholic Church, the largest and most influential of the Christian churches!

Third, John sees the harlot “sitting on” the beast (Rev. 17:3), fornicating with the kings of the earth (Rev. 17:2). Since a beast symbolizes both a king (Dan. 7:17) and the kingdom he rules over (Dan. 7:23, cf. 18, 22, 24 and 27), John actually sees the harlot fornicating with the beast. What does Torah teach about a woman who has a sex with a beast? Leviticus 20:15-16 states, “If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.” When the spiritual application of this judgment is applied to the beast, Western Civilization, and the harlot, the Roman Catholic Church, we must conclude that they are both spiritually dead!

Fourth, the beast on which the woman sits has “seven heads” (Rev. 17:3). This symbol is interpreted in verse 9 which states, “…The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.” In the introduction of his well-known book, The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop wrote, “… There never has been any difficulty in the mind of any enlightened Protestant in identifying the woman “sitting on seven mountains,” and having on her forehead the name written, “Mystery, Babylon the Great,” with the Roman apostasy. “No other city in the world has ever been celebrated, as the city of Rome has, for its situation on seven hills. Pagan poets and orators, who had not thought of elucidating prophecy, have alike characterized it as ‘the seven hilled city.’” Virgil wrote “Rome has both become the most beautiful (city) in the world, and alone has surrounded for herself seven heights with a wall.” Propertius, refers to Rome as “The lofty city on seven hills, which governs the whole world.” Revelation 17:18 confirms this: “And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth." Many referred to Rome simple as “the city of seven hills.” Horace wrote, “The Elohims who have set their affections on the seven hills.” Martial, in like manner, speaks of “The seven dominating mountains.” On one occasion, Symmachus, the prefect of the city of Rome, the last acting Pontifex Maximus, introduced one friend to another friend as “De septem montibus virum,” which means ”a man from the seven mountains.” Yet, the commentators interpret it as, “Civem Romanum, “A Roman Citizen.”

Fifth, the harlot is described as, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:5). There are two reasons why! First, because the beast with whom the harlot, the Roman Catholic Church, fornicates, John’s beast, is the culmination of Daniel’s four beasts, whose roots trace back to ancient Babylon, the birthplace of the Babylonian Mystery Religion! Second, because the Roman Catholic Church recognizes herself as the mother church of all her Protestant daughter offshoots! Earlier, I quoted Alexander Hislop who wrote, “… There never has been any difficulty in the mind of any enlightened Protestant in identifying the woman “sitting on seven mountains,” and having on her forehead the name written, “Mystery, Babylon the Great,” with the Roman apostasy.” While Hislop’s identification of the Roman Catholic Church as “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS” is correct, by identifying her as the mother church, he, and most “enlightened Protestants,” unwittingly identify themselves as her “harlot” daughters!

Revelation 13:3 states, “And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed.” The first part of this prophecy was fulfilled when the Roman Empire fell in 476 AD. After its fall, the empire was divided into ten provinces. The second part of this prophecy was fulfilled when Justinian restored the Empire in 554 AD. This “miraculous” resurrection of the Roman Empire is known in history as the “Imperial Restoration.” After its rebirth, the Roman Empire continued in its ten-province division, seven of which are still on the maps of Europe to this day. They are: England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland, the foundation of what has come to be known today as Western Civilization.

Revelation 13:11 states, “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.” The birth of this second beast was the result of the fornication of the harlot church, the Roman Catholic Church, with the first beast, Western Civilization!

Notice that the first beast has ten horns and the second beast has two horns. In Scripture, a horn symbolizes a power (Ps. 75:10), a kingdom or the king who rules it (Dan. 7:17-18, 22-24, 27) and salvation (2 Sam. 22:3; Ps. 18:2). Thus, the combination of the ten horns on the first beast and the two horns on the second beast symbolize twelve faith-based powers. For those who allow the Bible to interpret itself (Isa. 28:10), the identity of these twelve faith-based powers which are divided between two nations, one having ten horns and the other having two horns, should be abundantly clear! They are none other than the twelve tribes of Israel!10 Of course, the ten horns on the first beast symbolize the house of Israel and the two horns of the second beast symbolize the house of Judah.

The unnatural union between the harlot, the Catholic Church, and the first beast, the resurrected Roman Empire in the form of Western Civilization, produced a contradictory offspring that looked “like a lamb,” but “spoke like a dragon.”

Notice that this beast is not described as being a lamb with two horns, which would symbolize both Messiah Yeshua (John 1: 29, 36) and the Kingdom of Elohim (Dan. 7:17, 23). Rather, it is described as having two horns “like” a lamb. In other words, it is not really a lamb; it is an imposter, a deceiver! The term “dragon” symbolizes Satan (Rev. 12:9; 20:2), “…the father of lies” (John 8:44), so the fact that the second beast “spoke like a dragon” reveals its true character, for the Scriptures say, “… out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34; cf. Luke 6:45). This proves that Satan is the king of the nation symbolized by the second beast.

The scriptures teach that a lamb symbolizes salvation (Ex. 12) and they also teach that “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22); therefore, it follows that the second beast, the lamb-like imposter and deceiver, symbolizes the modern nation of Israel, with its two horns symbolizing the tribes of Judah and Benjamin! Why? Because the people who Satan is gathering there are not really Jews; they are imposters! Paul states, “but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from Elohim” (Rom. 2:29). He also states, “That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of Elohim; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed” (Rom. 9:8). Yeshua prophesied, “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9). Yeshua added, “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie--indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you” (Rev. 3:9). Thus, the people who are being gathered by Satan in the modern nation of Israel, the “children of the flesh,” are not truly The people of Elohim and; consequently, they do not represent salvation!

The first beast rises up out of the “sea” (Rev. 13:1) and the second beast rises up out of the “earth” (Rev. 13:11). Since the term “water” is a symbol of “spirit” (Ezek. 47:1-12; Gen. 1:2; Acts 2:38) and “fertility,” the term “sea” is a symbol of “spiritual fertility” (Rev. 17:15). In contrast, the term “earth” is a symbol of spiritual barrenness (Gen. 2:7; Rev. 12:16). Thus, the first beast, Western Civilization, rises up out of the sea, spiritual fertility, and the second beast, the modern nation of Israel, rises up out of the earth, spiritual barrenness! Why? With regard to the first beast, Western Civilization, it was birthed out of a numerically massive people (Rev. 17:15)! In contrast, with regard to the second beast, the modern nation of Israel, it was birthed out of a numerically small people! Today, the Jewish people comprise a meager .2% of the world’s population!

Revelation 13:12 states, “And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”

The first part of this prophecy, “And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence” indicates that the second beast, the modern nation of Israel operates under the guidance and protection of the first beast, Western Civilization, just as a son would operate under the guidance and protection of his father! Also, notice that the modern nation of Israel operates under the guidance and protection of Western Civilization whereas if it were truly of Elohim, it would be operating under His guidance and protection!

The second part of this prophecy, “and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed,” is a bit more complicated! In order to interpret this prophecy properly, we must first establish a few facts. First, the term “earth” symbolizes all the peoples of the earth, with the exception of the peoples symbolized by the term “sea,” Western Civilization. Second, the phrase, “those who dwell on the earth,” refers to “those who tabernacle on the earth (2 Cor. 5:1, 4; John 1:14; Matt. 17:3-4; Mark 9:5; Luke 9:33),” meaning the Israel of Elohim (Gal. 6:4). And third, the Apostle Paul declared, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness” (Rom. 6:16)? Thus, the prophecy, “[he] causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast,” indicates that the second beast, the modern nation of Israel, causes all the peoples of the earth, including the Israel of Elohim, to obey the first beast and sin.

Revelation 13:13 states, “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.”

The word “signs” was translated from the Greek word “semeion” and according to the The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon it can be translated as: “signs”, “miracles,” “wonders” or “tokens.” Of course, in order to determine which word is the best translation in this case we must understand the context in which the word is used! To this end, notice that the prophecy also includes the phrase, “fire come down from heaven on the earth.” This symbolizes divine judgment (2 Pet. 2:6; 3:7; Jude 7). It indicates that this prophecy is fulfilled by a supernatural being; therefore, the word semeion is best translated “miracle,” which has a supernatural connotation! Thus, the Complete Jewish Bible is better translated, “It performs great miracles, even causing fire to come down from heaven onto the earth as people watch.” The New International Version is also better rendered, “And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men.” Finally, the prophecy, “He performs great [miracles], so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (emphasis mine), reveals that western civilization attributes the “miracles” performed by the second beast, the modern nation of Israel, to Elohim. Since declaring its independence in 1948, the modern nation of Israel has met with fierce opposition from its Muslim neighbors! It has fought in three major wars: the War of Independence in 1947-49, the Six Days War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. They won each campaign with miraculous results!

Revelation 13:14 states, “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast…”

The modern nation of Israel deceives even the Israel of Elohim into believing that the miracles that were performed on its behalf were performed by Elohim whereas they were actually performed by Satan, the true source of its authority (Rev. 13:11)

Revelation 13:15 states, “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”

The first part of this prophecy, “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast” is a parody of the creation of man. Genesis 2:7 states that Elohim breathed into Adam’s nostrils the “breath of life” and Genesis 1:26 adds that He created man in His “image.” Thus, the prophecy, “He was granted power to give “breath” to the “image” of the beast” (emphasis mine) is clearly based on the biblical principle that kind begets kind (Gen. 1:20-29; Prov. 22:6; Jer. 16:19). It reveals that the harlot, the mother, the Catholic Church, and the first beast, the father, Western Civilization, created the second beast, the modern nation of Israel, after their kinds.

Since the second beast is created in the image of both the first beast and the harlot, it follows that it must share both of their contradictory characteristics. In Scripture, it is the mother who is ordained by Elohim to teach salvation to her children (Ex.13:2, 12, 15; Gal. 4:25). Thus, just as the harlot, the mother, symbolizes salvation, the second beast, her child, the beast who looks like a lamb with two horns, also symbolizes salvation (Ex. 12; Lev. 4 through 5; Isa. 53:7), Likewise, in Scripture, it is the father who is ordained by Elohim to have the position of authority in the family (Gen. 3:16; 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-23; 1 Tim. 2:12). Thus, just as the first beast, the father, exercises Satan’s “power, his throne, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2), the second beast, his child, “exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence…” (Rev. 13:12).

The second part of this prophecy, “that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed,” is also a bit more complicated. First, as we have already established, the phrase, “image of the beast,” refers to the second beast, the modern nation of Israel. Second, the phrase, “be killed,” means, “to be killed spiritually” (Ps.51:11; Rom. 8:9); to be cut off from Elohim (Isa. 59:1-2); to cause to be “dead in sin” (Col. 2:13 Eph. 2:1; 1 Tim. 5:6; Rev. 3:1; Matt. 8:22; John 3:18). Thus, the prophecy, “that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed,” means that the second beast, the modern nation of Israel, causes the Israel of Elohim to obey it rather than Elohim. How? By teaching us to reject Yeshua as Messiah!

Revelation 13:16 states, “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads…”

The symbolism of the mark of the beast (cf. Rev. 16:2; 19:20) is based on a principle found in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 6:1–2, 8 states, “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which YHVH your Elohim has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, “that you may fear YHVH your Elohim, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. … “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” (cf. Ex. 13:9-10; 31:13; Deut. 11:1-18; Ezek. 9:1-8). Thus, just as Believers who keep The commandments of Elohim receive a “sign” on their hand, which is symbolic of action, and on their forehead, which is symbolic of a person’s will, those who keep the beast’s commandments, in contrast, receive a “mark.” Acts 5:29 states, “… We ought to obey Elohim rather than men.” The Apostle Paul declared, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16)

Revelation 14:9-12 states, “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, “he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of Elohim, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the set apart angels and in the presence of the Lamb. “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of Elohim and the faith of Yeshua.” Notice that verses 9 through 11 describe those, who receive the mark of the beast on their foreheads or on his hands, and verse 12 contrasts them with, “those who keep the commandments of Elohim and the faith of Yeshua.” This symbolic “mark,” then, serves to identify those who worship the beast by breaking the Torah. Thus, the prophecy, “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,” means that the first beast, Western Civilization, causes the Israel of Elohim to obey its laws and, consequently, break The commandments of Elohim.

Revelation 13:17 states, “and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

This prophecy is based on Proverbs 23:23 which states, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.” It means that there will come a time when the beast, Western Civilization, will cause a famine of the word of Elohim!

Revelation 13:18 states, “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

This prophecy seems to be based on Ps 111:10 which states, “The fear of the YHVH is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”