1. An ancient kingdom of Palestine founded by Saul c. 1025 B.C. After 933 it split into the Northern Kingdom, or kingdom of Israel, and the kingdom of Judah to the south. Israel was overthrown by the Assyrians in 721
2. Abbr. Isr. A country of southwest Asia on the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Here we see two bible definitions, a religious definition, and two political/historic definitions. There are also prophetic or typological definitions. In Romans 9-11 the bible goes into great detail on this subject. Let me offer several simple definitions, any or all of which can fit how "Israel" is used prophetically in the Bible.
1. God's people in general, for all time.
2. God's people in the church of today.
3. God's people in the country of Israel today.
4. God's people, who have been called out from other nations to be separated to him. Regardless of race or national origin.
And from this definition, it therefore also means:
For this discussion, our primary application is #2 the church of today. Now just as Israel in the days of Elijah worshipped Baal, The church of today is caught up in the worship of Mammon, i.e. material success or the world's system. And we find this reflected in the 'church' system.
We all claim to be looking for Harvest, sinners getting saved, but if we look at the patterns outlined above, we see that repentance and revival must come first.
So what did Elijah do?
31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
The 12 stones stand for the 12 tribes that Israel was divided into. For us they stand for the far greater number of denominations, movements and camps the church is divided into. What does the bible have to say about that?
1 Corinthians 1:
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
Note also this phrase in verse 31: Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name. The change of Jacob's name to Israel is a prophetic type of the transition that will come upon 'today's church' changing it from a worldly 'Jacob' mentality to a Godly 'Israel' mentality befitting those who are really God's people. And it is the "Word of the Lord" that came to him and declared that. So who is the "Word of the Lord" but Jesus, who's coming as the refiners fire and then the latter rain will bring this about.
Next, Elijah puts on wood and cuts up the sacrifice and puts the pieces on the wood. What is this flesh put on the altar? Here's a clue.
11 beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. The flesh on the altar has to be our flesh.
Then Elijah pours on 12 barrels of water, scarce in times of drought. This speaks of a very thorough repentance, accompanied by many tears. Here's an example of a woman, a type of the church or bride, offering tears of repentance.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
The fire of God has burnt it all up!
Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
He is an all consuming fire, and a refiners fire.
Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
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