I’ve heard some people wish for the return of prophets. But, if you have stuck with me up to this point, you should realize that prophets only come because the people have sinned and God’s wrath is coming. Yes, for brief moments, a prophet of God will proclaim joyful victory in the far future, but the job of a prophet is to proclaim the judgment of God upon God’s people.
When God’s people sin, a prophet is sent to warn the people about what is coming.
And, it’s a really depressing job to be a prophet. Prophets throughout the Bible have had the painful job of trying to convince rebels and fools that they will pay dearly for their sins. And, the vast majority of the Book of Amos is about the judgment of God upon the children of Jacob. Although, Amos begins by prophesying God’s wrath upon the Syrians, the Philistines, Lebanon, Edom and Amon.
However, the great destruction that God has pronounced upon those nations and Jacob have already happened. So, we fast-forward to the blessing that God will bring in the last eight verses of Amos. And, that blessing begins on a somewhat bitter note, with these three verses in chapter nine:
8 “Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom,
And I will destroy it from the face of the earth;
Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
Says the Lord.
9 “For surely I will command,
And will sift the house of Israel among all nations,
As grain is sifted in a sieve;
Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.
10 All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword,
Who say, ‘The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us.’
Notice again that God refers to Israel as the ‘house of Jacob’. There is clearly a spiritual significance to God calling the Israelis, the children of Jacob. It means that they still hold the promise given to Abraham, but they are not obedient to God. And, God will kill off the rebels among the children of Jacob, just as He did when Israel wandered the desert of Sinai.
We have something of an example of this in the years leading up to the Holocaust. There were Jews that warned their people in Germany and Poland that they need to flee Europe. Most of the Jews who heard this warning, refused to believe it. It was as if they said, “The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us.”
I just find it ironic that Christians today are doing the same thing.
Very few Christians are paying attention to what is happening. They act as if nothing can touch them, even though they are being warned of a terrible future that must be prepared for. But, let’s get back to Jacob.
11 “On that day I will raise up
The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,
And repair its damages;
I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom,
And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,”
Says the Lord who does this thing.
Interesting. God speaks of raising up the ‘tabernacle of David’ that is fallen down.
What is this ‘tabernacle of David’?
Let’s start off with what it isn’t:
THIS IS NOT THE TEMPLE!!!
And yes, shouting is appropriate here. David did NOT build the temple. He WANTED to build the Temple, but God did NOT allow him to do so.
So, if this isn’t the Temple… what is this ‘tabernacle of David’?
Jesus – Yeshua – was and is the final King of Israel. And, His ‘tabernacle’ (tent) is the church, the body of Christ. And, while it has fallen down in the hearts of the children of Jacob, it lives on in the Gentiles who are called by the name of God. And curiously, God refers to these Gentiles that are called by the name of God.
Who are the Gentiles that are called by the name of God?
Well, if you are a Christian, you are already called by the name of God. Christ is one of the names of God, and calling yourself a Christian – meaning, follower of Christ – you are called by the name of God. It’s that simple.
Oh, and that word ‘possess’ is actually ‘inherit’. If someone dies and leaves you something in their will, you have received a ירושה (pronounced: yeh-roo-shah) – which is the noun form of word used in this passage. And, it means that the children of Jacob will inherit the Body of Christ. It means that they will join us in following Christ.
Unfortunately, this presents something of a problem for those who believe in a pretribulation rapture.
Because the children of Jacob cannot inherit the Christians, if the Christians are already gone. Yes, they are inheriting Christianity, but that’s not what verse 12 says. It says that they will be inheriting CHRISTIANS. People. So again, the children of Jacob won’t be able to inherit the Christians, if they are gone.
The last three verses of Amos hammer home the conditions surrounding Israel’s salvation and the blessings that they will receive:
13 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
And all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will bring back the captives of My people Israel;
They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
15 I will plant them in their land,
And no longer shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,”
Says the Lord your God.
Now, for those of us who believe that Israel will be saved BEFORE the Great Tribulation, the phrase ‘And no longer shall they be pulled up’ presents a problem.
Because Revelation refers to ‘the woman’ in Revelation 12 as fleeing into the wilderness.
How is it possible for the children of Israel to ‘no longer be pulled up’, and then have them flee into the wilderness?
Yet, we also have 144,000 young men of each tribe of Israel, in Revelation 7. Those young men are saved. Christians. And, assuming that these are the same young men of Revelation 14, they are virgins. Think about how many Christians you would need to be able to accumulate 144 thousand young men.
Think about that.
We would need millions of Israeli Christians, to get 144 thousand virgins.