Armageddon And Background Explained Video
“being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation” (John 11:52, NKJV)
John 11:45-47. Caiphas, the high priest, prophesied and said that Jesus would die, not only for (then) current day Israel, but also for those who had been scattered abroad (vs 49-52). Consider the prophecies that were given to those scattered Israelites while they were still in dispersed in 587 B.C., Ezekiel 34:11-12, “The LORD GOD said; I will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered ; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered..” (context; Ezekiel 34:11-31) (Notes are from BibleGateway.com/MacArthur Study Bible notes.)
John 11:45-57 New King James Version (NKJV)
Key Verses: 51, 52
The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did.47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority;but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. 53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.
55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?” 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.
11:45, 46 Jesus’ teaching and actions often divided the Jews (e.g., 6:14, 15; 7:10–13, 45–52). While some believed (cf. v. 40), others, apparently with malicious intent, informed the Pharisees of Jesus’ action.
11:47 gathered a council. Alerted by the Pharisees, a Sanhedrin committee consisting of chief priests (former High-Priests and members of High-Priestly families) and Pharisees, called the Sanhedrin to session. The Pharisees could not by themselves take any judicial action against Jesus. Though subject to Roman control, the Sanhedrin was the highest judicial body in Israel and exercised judicial, legislative, and executive powers at that time. In Jesus’ day, the 70 members of the Sanhedrin were dominated by the chief priests, and virtually all the priests were Sadducees. The Pharisees constituted an influential minority. While the Pharisees and Sadducees were often in conflict, their mutual hatred of Jesus united them into action.
11:48 the Romans will come. The Jews were not willing to believe in Jesus as the Son of God even though Lazarus had been raised. They feared that escalating messianic expectations could start a movement against Roman oppression and occupation that would cause the Romans to come and take away all their rights and freedoms.
11:49 Caiaphas. Caiaphas became High-Priest ca. A.D. 18, being appointed by the Roman prefect, Valerius Gratus. His father-in-law was Annas who had previously functioned in that same position from ca. A.D. 7–14 and who exercised great influence over the office even after his tenure (see 18:12–14). Caiaphas remained in office until A.D. 36 when, along with Pontius Pilate, he was removed by the Romans. He took a leading part in the trial and condemnation of Jesus. In his court or palace, the chief priests (Sadducees) and Pharisees assembled “and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him” (see Matt. 26:3, 4).
11:50 one man should die for the people. He only meant that Jesus should be executed in order to spare their own positions and nation from Roman reprisals, but Caiaphas unwittingly used sacrificial, substitutionary language and prophesied the death of Christ for sinners. Cf. 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24.
11:51 he prophesied. Caiaphas did not realize the implications of what he spoke. While he uttered blasphemy against Christ, God parodied his statement into truth (cf. Ps. 76:10). The responsibility for the wicked meaning of his words belonged to Caiaphas, but God’s providence directed the choice of words so as to express the heart of God’s glorious plan of salvation (Acts 4:27, 28). He actually was used by God as a prophet because he was the High-Priest and originally the High-Priest was the means of God’s will being revealed (2 Sam. 15:27).
11:52 gather together in one the children of God. In context, this had reference to believing Jews of the dispersion who would be gathered together in the Promised Land to share the kingdom of God (Isaiah 43:5; Ez 34:12).
11:53 from that day on. The phrase indicates that their course of action toward Jesus was then fixed. It remained only to accomplish it. Notice that Jesus was not arrested to be tried. He had already been judged guilty of blasphemy. The trial was a mere formality for a sentence already passed (Mark 14:1, 2).
11:54 Ephraim. This probably refers to the OT city of Ephron (see 2 Chr. 13:19). Its modern village name is Et-Taiyibeh, and it is located 4 mi. NE of Bethel and about 12 mi. from Jerusalem. The location was far enough away for temporary safety until the time of Passover (v 55).
11:55 Passover. This is the third Passover mentioned in John (see 2:13; 6:4) and the last in Jesus’ earthly ministry at which His sacrificial death occurred. For the chronology of the Passover Week, see Introduction to Luke: Outline.
11:56 they sought Jesus. The Jews who filled Jerusalem for Passover were wondering if Jesus would show Himself at this time and were actively seeking to find Him. The plot of the chief priests and Pharisees (see v. 47; 7:12) was known widely enough to pique their curiosity as to whether Jesus would dare show Himself in Jerusalem.
11:57 if anyone knew. The plotters ensured that the whole city was filled with potential informants.
Isaiah 43:1-7 New King James Version (KJV)
Key Verses: 5, 6
The Redeemer of Israel
1 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
43:5, 6 east…west…north…south…ends of the earth. The Lord will regather to the land of Israel the faithful remnant of His people from their worldwide dispersion in conjunction with the institution of the Messiah’s kingdom on earth (See Isaiah 11:12)
Note: The word “ensign” in the KJV is better translated “banner” in the NKJV (Mine)
Isaiah 11:12 King James Version (KJV)
12 And he shall set up an “ensign” for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Isaiah 11:12 New King James Version (NKJV)
He will set up a “banner” for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.
11:12 four corners of the earth. This figurative expression depicts the whole world (Rev. 20:8). The faithful remnant of Israel will return from a worldwide dispersion to their Land.
Ezekiel 34:11-31 New King James Version (NKJV)
Key Verses: 11-16
Compare vs 14-15 with Psalm 23
God, the True Shepherd
11 ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God. 16 “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”
17 ‘And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats. 18 Is it too little for you to have eaten up the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture—and to have drunk of the clear waters, that you must foul the residue with your feet? 19 And as for My flock, they eat what you have trampled with your feet, and they drink what you have fouled with your feet.”
20 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God to them: “Behold, I Myself will judge between the fat and the lean sheep. 21 Because you have pushed with side and shoulder, butted all the weak ones with your horns, and scattered them abroad, 22 therefore I will save My flock, and they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.
25 “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. 30 Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord God.’
31 “You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord God.
34:11 I…will search. God, the true Shepherd, would search out and find His sheep in order to restore Israel to their land for the kingdom which the Messiah leads (vv. 12–14).
34:12 a cloudy and dark day. This refers to the “day of the Lord” judgment on Israel (cf. Jer. 30:4–7). (See bottom of page)
34:12–14 Here is the promise of a literal regathering and restoration of the people of Israel to their own land from their worldwide dispersion. Since the scattering was literal, the regathering must also be literal. Once they are regathered in Messiah’s kingdom, they will no longer want (vv. 15, 16).
34:15, 16 I will feed My flock. In contrast to self-indulgent leaders who took advantage of the sheep, God will meet the needs of His sheep (people). This is clearly reminiscent of Ps. 23 and will be fulfilled by the Good Shepherd (John 10:1ff.), who will reign as Israel’s Shepherd.
34:17–22 judge between. Once He has judged the leaders, God will also judge the abusive members of the flock as to their true spiritual state. This passage anticipates the judgment of the people given by Jesus Christ in Matt. 25:31–46. The ungodly are known because they trample the poor. The Lord alone is able to sort out the true from the false (cf. parables of Matt. 13), and will do so in the final kingdom.
34:23 one shepherd…David. This refers to the greater One in David’s dynasty (cf. 2 Sam. 7:12–16), the Messiah, who will be Israel’s ultimate king over the millennial kingdom (Jer. 31:10–12;Jer. 30:9; Hos. 3:5; Zech. 14:9). The Lord in v. 24 is God the Father.
34:24 a prince. The word can at times be used of the king himself (37:25; cf. 28:2, 12), as here.
34:25 covenant of peace. Refers to the New Covenant of Jer. 31:31–34 (cf. 37:26) in full operation during the millennial kingdom. wild beasts. This refers to actual animals that will be tamed in the kingdom, see Is. 11:6–9; 35:9 and Hos. 2:18.
34:26 My hill. A reference to Jerusalem and Zion in particular, where the Jews will come to worship the Lord. showers of blessing. Cf. the “times of refreshing” in Acts 3:19, 20, when the curses of Deut. 28:15–68 are lifted.
34:27 The faithfulness of the Land is also indicated in Amos 9:13.
34:28, 29 no longer be a prey. God will stop other nations from subjugating the people of Israel.
34:30 I…their God. An oft-repeated OT theme (cf. Gen. 17:7, 8). This speaks of the ultimate salvation of Israel as in Rom. 11:25–27.
Jeremiah 30:1-7 King James Version (KJV)
Consider Jacob’s Trouble
Restoration of Israel and Judah
Key Verses: 3, 7
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.
3 For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
4 And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
5 For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
30:3 I will bring back. This theme verse gives in capsule form the pledge of chaps. 30–33. God’s restoration of the whole nation to their own land (cf. 29:10; Amos 9:14, 15; Rom. 11:26) has in view a final regathering never to be removed again (see note on 16:15) and not just a return in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (vv. 8, 9; 31:31ff.; 32:39, 40; 33:8, 9, 15, 16). This verse is a summary of the prophecy given in vv. 4–9.
30:7 time of Jacob’s trouble. This period of unprecedented difficulty for Israel, as the verse defines, is set in a context of Israel’s final restoration. It is best equated with the time of tribulation (cf. vv. 8, 9) just before Christ’s Second Advent, mentioned elsewhere (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21, 22) and described in detail by Rev. 6–19.
Luke 21:20-24 New King James Version (NKJV)
Consider The Times Of The Gentiles
The Destruction of Jerusalem
20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
21:20 Jerusalem surrounded by armies. See note on 19:43. A comparison with Matt. 24:15, 16 and Mark 13:14 suggests that this sign is closely associated with “the abomination of desolation” (see notes on Matt. 24:15; Dan. 9:27; 11:31). This sign of Jerusalem under siege was previewed in A.D. 70, but awaits its fulfillment in the future.
21:22 vengeance. I.e., God’s righteous retribution against sin.
21:24 the times of the Gentiles. This expression is unique to Luke. It identifies the era from Israel’s captivity (ca. 586 B.C. to Babylon; cf. 2 Kin. 25) to her restoration in the kingdom (Rev. 20:1–6). It has been a time during which, in accord with God’s purpose, Gentiles have dominated or threatened Jerusalem. The era has also been marked by vast spiritual privileges for the Gentile nations (cf. Is. 66:12; Mal. 1:11; Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10).
Romans 11:1-36 New King James Version (NKJV)
Consider The Fullness Of The Gentiles
Key verses: 25; 26-27
Israel’s Rejection Not Total
1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? 4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written:
“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.”
9 And David says:
“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”
Israel’s Rejection Not Final
11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said.Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
11:25 mystery. This word is used to refer to NT truth previously not revealed (see notes on 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 3:2–6). This mystery has two components: 1) Israel has experienced a partial spiritual hardening, and 2) that hardening will last only for a divinely specified period of time. See note on 16:25. wise in your own opinion. Another warning to the Gentiles against spiritual pride and arrogance (see notes on vv. 17–24). blindness in part. The nation’s blindness does not extend to every individual Jew. Through all of history God has always preserved a believing remnant (see notes on vv. 5, 17). until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. “Until” refers to a specific point in time; “fullness” refers to completion; “has come in” translates a Gr. verb often used to speak of coming to salvation (cf. Matt. 5:20;Mark 9:43, 45, 47; John 3:5; Acts 14:22). Israel’s spiritual hardening (which began with rejecting Jesus as Messiah) will last until the complete number of elect Gentiles has come to salvation.
11:26 all Israel. All the elect Jewish people alive at the end of the Tribulation, not the believing remnant of Jews within the church during this church age (see notes on vv. 5, 17). Since the remnant has already embraced the truth of the gospel (see note on v. 25), it could not be in view here, since it no longer needs the salvation this verse promises. The Deliverer will come out of Zion. See Pss. 14:7; 53:6; Is. 46:13. The Lord Jesus Christ’s millennial rule will be associated with Mt. Zion (see notes on Ps. 110:2; Heb. 12:22). Zion. See note on 9:33.
11:27 covenant. The New Covenant (Is. 59:21; Jer. 31:31–34).When I take away their sins. Quoted from Is. 27:9. A necessary prerequisite for Israel’s salvation (cf. Ezek. 36:25–29; Heb. 8:12).
11:28 gospel…enemies. Israel’s temporary situation during her time of spiritual hardening (see note on v. 25). concerning the election. From the perspective of God’s eternal choice, Israel will always be His covenant people (see note on v. 1). the sake of the fathers. The patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), recipients of the Abrahamic Covenant (Ex. 2:24; Lev. 26:42; 2 Kin. 13:23).
11:29 the gifts…are irrevocable. See note on v. 1. God’s sovereign election of Israel, like that of individual believers, is unconditional and unchangeable, because it is rooted in His immutable nature and expressed in the unilateral, eternal Abrahamic Covenant (see note on 9:4).
A personal comment. Why did God choose a blood line from which the Messiah would come to our world? Quite simply stated, Jesus could have only one mother. God chose the Jews, from which a mother, (Mary) would give birth to Jesus. (Deuteronomy 7:6; John 4:22).
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