What Is God’s Prophetic Purpose For Israel?

The Bible describes a two-fold plan and purpose that God has for the universe. The difference between these dual programs inside God’s purpose resides in the information that was ‘spoken by the mouth of the prophets since the world began’ and that which was ‘kept secret since the world began’ (Acts 3:21, Romans 16:25). We mark the difference between the two programs by calling one the subject of prophecy, while the other is the subject of the mystery revealed to Paul (Eph 3:1-5).

We can further distinguish these programs by their sphere of dominion. The prophetic program is promised a future dominion on earth, while the program which was kept a mystery is promised a dominion in heavenly places. These two programs describe what will fulfill God’s single purpose for eternity – that all things would be in Christ (Eph 1:10).

God began to reveal his plan for the earth almost immediately to Adam, Abraham, and eventually to the nation Israel. However, he kept the information of his heavenly program a secret from the foundation of the world (Eph 3:9).

The aspects of God’s program for the earth can be summed up with the following characteristics:

  1. Israel is created as God’s chosen people. God created the nation Israel to have a privileged status before Him as a peculiar people (Gen 12:2, Exo 19:5, Rom 3:1-2).
  2. His chosen nation is promised a kingdom on earth. God promised a specific piece of land that would mark where He would set up his kingdom on earth (Gen 13:15, Deut 34:4, Psalm 37:22, Matt 5:5, Isaiah 2:2-4).
  3. The kingdom will rule the world with the Messiah as King. A Messiah was promised to Israel that would lead the nation into world dominion and power (Daniel 2:44-45, Isaiah 9:6-7, Jeremiah 23:5).
  4. Israel will be the channel of blessing to the Gentile nations. Through their worldwide influence, and access to God, Israel would be the channel of God’s blessing to Gentile nations (Gen 12:3, 22:18, Zech 8:20-23, Isa 60:3, Matt 5:16) .
  5. Righteousness comes through God’s covenants. God gave the Old Covenant as a token that Israel would be a nation that followed after God. The New Covenant would replace the old as the method of attaining righteousness and entrance into the kingdom (Deut 6:25, Eze 36:24-27, Matt 5:20, John 14:21, 1 John 3:7-10).
  6. Israel will live through tribulation before entering the kingdom. With the divine protection of God, Israel will be able to live through the time of His wrath poured out on earth. They will be refined as silver and come out prepared to enter the kingdom on Earth (Dan 9:24, Zech 13:9, Mark 13:13, 1 Peter 4:17).

These aspects stand in stark contrast to the aspects of God’s mystery program, or God’s program for heavenly places (see “What is the Mystery?”). Today we who are saved are not participants of God’s program for the earth, but rather we are ambassadors of God’s heavenly purpose residing on earth to do his will (2 Cor 5:20, Eph 2:6).

Understanding the difference between the Prophecy and the Mystery in the Bible is a key to understanding what God’s will is for us today. This basic truth can help us better understand our Bibles and the purpose of our Lord and Savior.

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Published: Friday, November 18th, 2005
Last Modified: March 23, 2016