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Mans Choices [Full Study]


 

(Some of the Bible verses quoted in this study have had comments added in brackets. The sole purpose of this study technique is to emphasise or introduce a line of thought. All verses KJV unless otherwise stated).

Do man's choices affect the unfolding of history?
Yes
Today we are going to take a journey back in time, to study some choices and their outcomes.

Let's start by going back in time about 6000 years to the Garden of Eden.

Does God know the Future?
Yes.
Did God know that Adam and Eve would sin, before He even created them?
Yes.

Were Adam and Eve given an opportunity to NOT eat from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil?
Yes, because God HAD given man the freedom of choice.

Although God foreknew the choice they would make, did He inform them that they would choose disobedience, and say;
"look, I already know that you're going to disobey me and eat from the tree, so hurry up and get on with it"?
No.
The two choices were left with man, because man was given freedom of choice.

For convenience, we could call the two possible outcomes option A and B.
Option A = Obey God and live happily in the garden paradise,
Option B = Disobey God, and suffer the penalty as specified by God.

How many of these two options can be fulfilled?
Only one, because each are opposing results, of the two possible choices given to Adam and Eve.
Have you ever thought about how different history would be, if they had obeyed God's command?

Let's move forward in time to another example;
(Deu 11:8) Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day,…
(Deu 11:9) And that ye may prolong your days in the land, which the LORD swore unto your fathers to give unto them and to their seed, a land that floweth with milk and honey.

Would God be a liar, if Israel didn't get to enjoy this land flowing with milk and honey?
No, because this was a conditional promise.

Did you notice the two options?
If not, the following verse shows them more clearly;
(Deu 15:4-5) …the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee…Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God,…

The fact that God foreknew the choice they would make is irrelevant; He always gives the freedom of choice to man, and presents us with both options;
(Deu 28:1) And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD…that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

So what would be the consequence of not obeying God?
He would NOT set Israel above all nations of the earth.

Does the following climate remind you of any particular region today?
(Deu 28:15) But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God,…
(Deu 28:23) … heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
(Deu 28:24) The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust:…

So what commands from God were they expected to keep?;
(Deu 30:10) If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law,…

So we hope you have clearly seen the Option A and Option B present in this example;
(Deu 30:15) …I have set before thee this day life and good (Option A), and death and evil (Option B);

There are actually dozens of these 'Option A or B' scenarios throughout the Bible.
They are not always noticed, because they usually involve a little word, 'if'.

There are 2 types of 'Option A or B' verses found in Scripture.
1/ The first type is 'stated outcome'.
2/ The second type is 'implied outcome'.

We'll start by looking at 'stated outcome'.

Mosaic covenant: Stated outcome;

Let's look at some 'stated outcome' options, that were part of the Mosaic covenant established at Mt Sinai;

Option A
(Deu 28:1) And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God… that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
(Deu 28:2) And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Option B
(Deu 28:15) But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God… that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:…

Now although God foreknew Israel's outcome, He presented them with both of these options.
He didn't just present the ONE option, which He foreknew they would fulfil.
How many of these two options can be fulfilled?
Only one, because they are opposing results of two possible choices.
If Option A is not fulfilled, does that make God a liar?
No, because as with the previous example, the outcome was based on set conditions as specified by God.

Mosaic covenant: Implied outcome;

Let's now look at an example of 'implied outcome' options, that were part of the Mosaic covenant established at Mt Sinai.
Notice that this covenant was conditional;
(Deu 7:11) Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.
(Deu 7:12) Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he swore unto thy fathers:

Because of the little word 'if' in the above verse, we know this is an 'implied' Option A or B scenario.
Option A = Obey; that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he swore…

And logically, from the above verse (and at least at this point in history), if they did not obey;
Option B = the LORD thy God shall NOT keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he swore…

How many of the above two options can be fulfilled?
One.
The following verse again gives the same 'implied outcome' options;
(Exo 19:5) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people:…

As a second witness, that this covenant 'sworn to the fathers' was actually breakable, compare these verses;
(Jer 11:10) …the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.
(Jer 31:32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke,…

So, if Option B is fulfilled (ie, disobedience), can we look for a future literal fulfilment of Option A?
No, although we could see a parallel fulfilment, should God decide to set similar choices for a future generation.
In fact He does just that;
(Jer 31:31) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
(Jer 31:32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke,…

Let's look at some other choices given to a later generation;

Option A
(1Ki 9:4) And if thou (Solomon) wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee,…
(1Ki 9:5) Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel forever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.

Option B
(1Ki 9:6) But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children,…
(1Ki 9:7) Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:

What type of outcome is this an example of?
Stated outcome.
And again, if Option B comes to pass, can we look for a future literal fulfilment of Option A?
Again, No; unless God sets out similar choices for a future generation.
As you may know, Option B (disobedience of Solomon's descendants) was eventually fulfilled, and King Solomon's temple was destroyed.

At an earlier point in time, King David had given this same warning directly to his son Solomon;
(1Ki 2:3) …(Solomon) keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes,… as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
(1Ki 2:4) That the LORD may continue his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth… there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.

So logically, from the above verse (and at least at this point in history), if Solomon or his descendants did not obey;
God WOULD NOT establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel forever.
And There SHALL fail to be a man upon the throne of Israel.

God later amended the promise made to David, and it became an unconditional promise;
(Jer 33:25) Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;
(Jer 33:26) Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:…

So clearly this is now an unconditional promise. And God did keep this promise, and did take of the seed of David (ie, Jesus),
to be ruler over the seed of Abraham. Remembering however, that the seed of Abraham are now those who are Christs, Gal 3:29. (more on that soon).

Let's move forward another few hundred years from the time of Solomon, and look at another Option A or B example;
(Jer 22:3) Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger,…
(Jer 22:4) For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David,…
(Jer 22:5) But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.

This is another example of a 'stated outcome'.
And which one was fulfilled?
Well, history confirms that Babylon did bring desolation, and destroyed Solomon's temple.

They had been given many warnings that coming events were based on their choices;
(Jer 26:4) … If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,…
(Jer 26:6) Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.

It is interesting to note, that God had always reserved the right to reverse any conditional promises;
(Jer 18:9) …at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
Jer 18:10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
(Jer 18:11) Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, …

The last recorded Old Testament prophet, still declared the same conditional demand;
(Mal 3:7) …from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts….

Did you know, that much of Old Testament prophecy was also conditional?
Many conditional prophecies are not noticed because of the little word 'if'.

Take Ezekiel as an example.
Among other messages; God gave Ezekiel a plan for the setting up of His kingdom, and plans for building the replacement for Solomon's temple.
Because of the little word 'if', many people miss the conditional element of this prophecy;
(Eze 43:9) Now let them put away their whoredom… far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them forever.
(So what would happen if they don't put their whoredom far away?)
(Eze 43:10) Thou son of man, show the house (ie, the temple plans He has just given to Ezekiel) to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.
(Eze 43:11) And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.

Did you notice the conditional element?
In case you didn't, let's look at a second witness.
The prophet Zechariah began his prophesying about 50 years after Ezekiel (shortly after the 70 years of Babylonian captivity had ended).
To show that the plan to build this second temple was still on track, notice what God said;
(Zec 6:10) Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon,…and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;
(Zec 6:12) And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man (Zerubbabel) whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
(Zec 6:13) Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne:…
(Zec 6:15) And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.

Earlier information given to Zechariah, identifies Zerubbabel as the BRANCH;
(Zec 4:6) …This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
(Zec 4:7) Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
(Zec 4:8) Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
(Zec 4:9) The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

At this time, Zerubbabel was the BRANCH that God had chosen;
(Hag 2:23) In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.

Now let's go back to the conditional element given to Josiah in Zec 6:15;
(Zec 6:15) And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD,…And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.

So if Josiah didn't diligently obey the voice of the LORD, then this WOULD NOT come to pass.
And if Josiah didn't diligently obey the voice of the LORD, could we look for a future literal fulfilment of this conditional prophecy?
No.
But it so happens that Josiah and the remnant did obey God, and this prophecy of the second temple being built was fulfilled;
(Hag 1:14) And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel,…and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,

They actually knew in advance, that a command would be given to begin this work;
(Dan 9:25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (which happened in 457 BC) unto the Messiah the Prince (27 AD) shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks (483 years): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

The fulfilment occurred to the very letter;
(Ezr 4:1) Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity built the temple
(Ezr 4:2) Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do;…
(Ezr 4:3) But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build a house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us (ie, the command of Dan 9:25 above).
(Ezr 4:4) Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,…

So as you can see, the conditional prophecy of Zec 6 was fulfilled.

Jeremiah was told in advance, that once the 70 years of punishment were fulfilled in Babylon, God would once again be open to hear their prayer, but with the same conditions;
(Jer 29:10) For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
(Jer 29:11) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
(Jer 29:12) Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
(Jer 29:13) And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

We see here, that God hearing them, is still conditional upon them seeking God with all their heart.
God continues on, to describe what He will do IF they do now seek and obey;
(Jer 29:14) And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations (where they have spent the previous 70 years), and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive…
(Jer 30:3) 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…
(Jer 30:18) …Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city shall be built upon her own heap,.. (as we have already seen from Zechariah and Ezra above).

What does this all mean?

As you may know, we have all been invited as guests to a marriage supper with the Lamb (Jesus);
(Rev 19:9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Now consider this parable, which indicates a wedding was also set to happen 2000 years ago;
(Mat 22:2) The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king (God), which made a marriage for his son (Jesus),
(Mat 22:3) And sent forth his servants (the prophets) to call them (His chosen people, Israel) that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

So how can we be sure Jesus is speaking of the remnant of Israel, as being the ones "not willing to come"?
Jesus clearly identifies them here;
(Mat 23:37) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Continuing with the parable;
(Mat 22:4) Again, he sent forth other servants (more prophets), saying, Tell them (of Israel) which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
(Mat 22:5) But they made light of it, and went their ways…
(Mat 22:6) And the remnant took his servants (the prophets), and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
(Mat 22:7) But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers
(of Israel), and burned up their city
(Jerusalem).
(Mat 22:8) Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they (of Israel) which were bidden were not worthy.

Compare this later statement made to the Jews;
(Act 13:46) …It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you (the Jews): but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Continuing with the parable;
(Mat 22:9) Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many (gentiles) as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
(ie, Postpone the wedding).

Jesus said;
"The wedding is ready", and that "they were not willing to come".
This indicates that the wedding would have started if Israel 'were willing'!!!

God was willing, but 'they' i.e. Israel were not.
This is not to say that God did not foreknow Israel's choice; He had an alternative plan already in place.
Israel was given an opportunity to accept Messiah and if they did the wedding feast would have begun two thousand years ago.

We also see this fact demonstrated in reference to the covenants.
As we looked at earlier, the Mosaic covenant was capable of being broken. In the following verses, we see that the need for a second covenant was fully conditional upon Israel's ability to understand and obey the conditions of the first covenant;
(Heb 8:7) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
(Heb 8:8) For finding fault with them (Israel), he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant…

As you can see, according to the above verses, if Israel had not been at fault with God, there would have been no need for a second covenant.
The Mosaic covenant was always conditional;
(Exo 19:5) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people:…

But they did not keep the Mosaic covenant;
(Heb 10:8) ….Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law (of Moses);
(Heb 10:9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first (covenant), that he may establish the second.

It is important to understand that the Mosaic covenant, was a complete separate covenant to the Ten-Commandment covenant.
The above verse speaks of the Mosaic covenant being taken away.

The following identifies the two covenants;

1/ The Book of the Covenant (also known as the Book of the Law, or Mosaic covenant).

This is a 'signed contract' between God and Israel, also known as a Bilateral covenant;
(Exo 24:6) And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
(Exo 24:7) And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.
(Exo 24:8) And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words (written in the book).

After this contract was signed, Moses went up Mt Sinai to receive the second covenant;
(Exo 24:12) And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone,…

2/ God's Law (The Ten Commandments).

This is a one sided (or unilateral) covenant, that is imposed upon all mankind. This law identifies sin.
(Deu 4:13) And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
(Deu 5:22) These words the LORD spoke unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.

This covenant was written on stone (signifying it's permanence), and nothing more was added to this covenant, other than what was written on the stone.
So what was the purpose of the Mosaic covenant?
God tested Israel with the Sabbath commandment, before they reached Mt Sinai;
(Exo 16:4) Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

The Mosaic Law was added because of transgression against God's law;
(Gal 3:19) Wherefore then serveth the (Mosaic) law? It was added because of transgressions (against God's law, His Ten Commandments), till the seed (Jesus) should come to whom the promise was made;…

Beside the marriage parable, Jesus uses another parable to make it clear that the events transpiring back then (2000 years ago), were based on 'Man's choice'.
Speaking to the chief priests and to the elders of Israel He said this;
(Mat 21:33) …There was a certain householder (God), which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out (ie, leased out the land) to husbandmen (Israel), and went into a far country:

This was the same arrangement Israel had regarding the land in which they dwelt;
(Lev 25:23) The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is mine (ie, Israel were only tenants);

In God's economy 'inheritance' does not mean ownership!
To help identify the vineyard Jesus is speaking of in this parable, compare Isaiah's words;
(Isa 5:1-7) … will I sing…a song of my beloved (God) touching his vineyard… And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes… I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged… For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel

Continuing with the parable;
(Mat 21:34) And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants (the prophets) to the husbandmen (Israel), that they might receive the fruits of it. (ie, Israel's fruit of extending the knowledge of God and His kingdom).
(Mat 21:35) And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
(Mat 21:36) Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
(Mat 21:37) But last of all he sent unto them his son (Jesus), saying, They will reverence my son.
(Mat 21:38) But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
(Mat 21:39) And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard (outside the city), and slew him (ie, Jesus is foretelling His fate).
(Mat 21:40) When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

Did the reply from the leaders of Israel, seal their own fate?;
(Mat 21:41) They (the leaders of Israel) say unto him (Jesus), He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
(Mat 21:42) Jesus saith unto them…
(Mat 21:43) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you (Israel), and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Remember we saw the confirmed fulfilment of this later, after Jesus death on the cross. Speaking to the Jews;
(Act 13:46) …Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Although God foreknew that Israel would reject their Messiah, it is important to understand that God did all that He could to give Israel the choice and chance to accept Him; and had also foretold the resulting events of Israel accepting or rejecting Him.

God had actually laid out both plans, Option A: of accepting Messiah, or Option B: of rejecting Him.
Only one option would be fulfilled.
So what was the plan?

It is important to remember, that at the time of Jesus there was no New Testament.
To understand the mindset of people in that time (2000 years ago), there are some points we should consider.
Without the New Testament writings, there were many things unknown to the people of that time.
They had no knowledge of a 'New Jerusalem' coming down from heaven.
In fact, the phrase 'Kingdom of Heaven' does not appear once in the Old Testament.
There is no mention of being 'caught up to meet the Lord in the air',
no '1000 year reign',
no 'seven churches',
no 'Second Coming',
and no 'coming like a thief'.

At the first coming, there was no 'coming like a thief', because they were told through prophecy the exact time of the coming of the Lord; the Messiah;
(Dan 9:25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (which occurred in 457 BC) unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks (7x7 + 62x7 = 483 years):

[A 'seven' is a jubilee calender term, which refers to 7 years; the seventh year being a Sabbath year. Seven 'sevens' is 49 years, which was followed by a 50th year known as a Jubilee year. The jubilee year was also counted as the first year of the next 49-year cycle, so that the Jubilee year would always remain synchronous, and always follow a Sabbath year.
God gave the prophecy as seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens', to indicate that this first block of 49 years would be synchronous with the jubilee cycles set up at the Exodus. It so happens, that 457 BC, the year Artaxerxes gave his commandment, was a Jubilee year; see Isa 37:30].

So you see, many had studied the prophecies and were expecting Messiah;
(Luk 3:15) And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;

At this point in time (27 AD), they were in expectation for 'the ruler' (Messiah) to come; in accordance with Daniel 9:25.

Now, 600-500 years before Messiah appeared, some of the prophets forewarned of a coming 'Day of the Lord';
(Mal 4:5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

So what was the 'Day of the Lord' from Israel's point of view around 600-500 BC?
Today, many people say the 'Day of the Lord' spoken of in the Old Testament is the same 'Day of the Lord' spoken of in the New Testament; that is, the future Second Coming.
'Day of the Lord' prophecies are actually time specific, and as you will see; most of them have already been fulfilled.

'Day of the Lord' simply refers to a time of divine judgement and destruction from God;
(Joe 1:15) Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

The above 'day of the LORD' (spoken by Joel around 800 BC), spoke of the coming Babylonian captivity (which commenced in 605 BC), and as you will notice was also conditional;
(Joe 1:6) For a nation (Babylon) is come up upon my land, strong, and without number,…
(Joe 1:7) He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare,…
(Joe 1:15) Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come….
(Joe 2:12) Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
(Joe 2:13) And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil (of bringing Babylon against Israel).
(Joe 2:14) Who knoweth if he will return and repent,…(ie, and will not bring about the fulfilment of the evils declared in this prophecy).
(Joe 2:15) Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:…
(Joe 2:16) Gather the people, sanctify the congregation,…
(Joe 2:17) Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep…
(Joe 2:18) Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people…
(Most of the remainder of the book of Joel, explains the things God was willing to do if they repented).

Well, as you know, Israel did not repent of their ways, and the destruction was fulfilled by the nation of Babylon.
So, could we look for a future literal fulfilment of this fulfilled prophecy?
No, although we could see a 'parallel fulfilment', should God decide to set similar choices for a future generation.

Another example of the above 'Day of the Lord' is found in Zephaniah, also relating to the Babylonian captivity.
Zephaniah's message was given at the time of Josiah; one of the last kings to reign just prior to the Babylonian captivity;
(Zep 1:1) The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah…in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.
(Zep 1:2) I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD.
(Zep 1:3) I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD.
(Zep 1:4) I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, …
(Zep 1:7) Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. …
(Zep 1:12) And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil. …
(Zep 1:14) The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
(Zep 1:15) That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, …
(Zep 2:3) Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.
(Zep 2:9) …as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, …
(Zep 2:13) And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.

This 'Day of the Lord' was fulfilled. This is not speaking of a future event; Nineveh was destroyed in accordance with this prophecy.

Another example.

Notice the following 'Day of the Lord' prophecy is set within the life span of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, who began defeating Israel in 605 BC.
Ezekiel was given this prophecy during the Babylonian captivity, (in a vision between 593 - 570 BC);

(Eze 29:18) Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus:…
(Eze 29:19) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude,…
(Eze 29:20) I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord GOD.
(Eze 29:21) In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD…..
(Eze 30:3) For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.
(Eze 30:4) And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt…
(Eze 30:5) Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people,…shall fall with them by the sword…
(Eze 30:8) And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed…
(Eze 30:10) Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.

So, although this 'Day of the Lord' judgement was from God, it was again Nebuchadnezzar whom God was using as 'His servant' to carry out this divine judgement;
(Jer 25:9) Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them

So, although there are distinct parallels in how God executes divine judgement upon rebellious generations or nations; we cannot expect a future fulfilment of the specific details given for the 'Day of the Lord' predicted for Nebuchadnezzar's time, or other earlier times.
We need to be looking at the New Testament 'Day of the LORD' prophecies; as these are time specific for OUR time.

As we have already seen, many knew from prophecy, the time for the predicted coming of the Messiah;
(Gal 4:4) But when the fullness of the time (of Dan 9:25) was come, God sent forth his Son

To Israel, there was only one coming. There is no mention in the Old Testament, of Jesus going away again, to return a second time. As we saw earlier, the need for a second covenant was fully conditional upon Israel's ability to understand and obey the requirements of the first covenant (the Mosaic covenant). When Jesus arrived, He declared that the time of Dan 9:25 was fulfilled;
(Mar 1:15) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

John the Baptist was sent to 'prepare the way for the Lord', John also knew that the 'Day of the Lord' had arrived, and that the time was fulfilled;
(Mat 3:1) In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
(Mat 3:2) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
(Mat 3:3) For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

So according to John the Baptist, Isaiah prophesied of the first coming, which occurred 2000 years ago. Let's see what else Isaiah had said about that time period of John the Baptist;
(Isa 40:3) The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
(Isa 40:4) Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
(Isa 40:5) And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Remember, according to Matthew 3, this was speaking of the time of Christ. Were the valleys and mountains levelled at that time; or were these events conditional upon Israel 'making straight a highway for God'?

Zechariah also spoke of mountains being moved when the Day of the Lord arrived;
(Zec 14:1-4) Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, … And his (Messiah's) feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Was this therefore also conditional upon the acceptance of Messiah?
Yes; notice from Jesus words, that something different was planned to happen;
(Luk 19:42) Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
(Joh 18:36) …if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

Let's look again at the time of John the Baptist. Notice what else was to precede the 'day of the LORD';
(Mal 4:5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

The disciples were aware that Elijah had to come before the great Day of the Lord; being when the Messiah turned up. They knew that Jesus WAS their Messiah; and therefore knew that the 'Day of the Lord' was at hand. Therefore, notice their question;
(Mat 17:10-13) And his disciples asked him, saying, (because you are the promised Messiah, because this is therefore the Day of the Lord) Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come(The scribes knew from Mal 4:5 above, that Elijah had to come before the Day of the Lord, ie, the arrival of the promised Messiah. Jesus replies) …But I say unto you, That Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed… Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

So Jesus confirms it is the time they were waiting for, Elijah had preceded His arrival as prophesied.
It was never going to be Elijah in person, but rather one with 'the spirit and power of Elijah';
(Luk 1:17) And he (John the Baptist) shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

So can we therefore look for another literal fulfilment of Mal 4?
No, although we could see a parallel fulfilment, should God decide to give a similar prophecy for a future generation (eg, the Book of Revelation).

The believers knew that the 'Day of the Lord' was at hand. Therefore, those who did accept Jesus, anticipated that the kingdom would be set up then; just as it was written in many of the Old Testament prophecies;
(Act 1:6) When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

The disciples didn't yet fully understand the conditional element of this promise. We know from the prophecies, that there were two possible outcomes, depending on Israel's corporate response to the arrival of their Messiah;
(Mal 4:5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet (ie, John the Baptist) before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (which Jesus confirms was fulfilled)
(Mal 4:6) And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers (Option A), lest (ie, or else) I come and smite the earth with a curse (Option B).

Only one of the above two options could be fulfilled. Even though God foreknew which option it would be, He still presented Israel with both options. We have seen that Israel was given an opportunity to accept the Messiah but "they were not willing";
(Joh 1:11) He (Jesus) came unto his own, and his own received him not.

So, how would it have played out if they did accept Him?

Well, as you will see soon from Ezekiel, the kingdom would have been set up here on earth, just as the disciples were expecting.

Israel's salvation was always conditional upon a heart change;
(Jer 4:14) O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

So what was to happen to Israel, if they didn't change their heart from wickedness?
There were two options;

Option A

(Jer 4:1) IF thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and IF thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.

And the second option;
Option B
(Jer 4:4) Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Whichever option Israel choose; there would always remain one of the above options not fulfilled.

If Jer 4:1 was fulfilled, could we expect to see a fulfilment of Jer 4:4?
No.
If Jer 4:4 was fulfilled, could we expect to see a fulfilment of Jer 4:1?
No.

History confirms Jer 4:4 was fulfilled.
So could we expect a future literal fulfilment of Jer 4:1 above, because it wasn't fulfilled?
No; because it was a conditional promise.
We could however see a 'parallel fulfilment', should God decide to set similar choices for a future generation.

God's promise to make Jerusalem the city where He would place His name forever was also conditional;
(2Ki 23:27) And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.

Jesus eventually proclaims Jerusalem desolate; signifying the pending destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and the removal of God's name from it;
(Mat 23:37) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
(Mat 23:38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

It is interesting to note that 'Jerusalem' is not mentioned once in the new plan, given in the Book of Revelation.
Only 'New Jerusalem' is mentioned, which comes from God out of heaven.
Also 'the country' 'Israel' is not mentioned once in the Book of Revelation.

Israel of old verses Israel today

(Gal 3:29) And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed (today's Israel), and heirs according to the promise.

Israel of the above verse is not race, gender or class specific;
(Gal 3:28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Rom 10:12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
(Act 10:34) God is no respecter of persons:
(Act 10:35) But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Scripture makes it clear, that in God's eyes, the Israel of old, no longer has favouritism over any other nation today;
(Rom 9:6) …For they are not all (spiritual or true) Israel, which are of (biological or natural) Israel:
(Rom 9:7) Neither, because they are the (biological) seed of Abraham, are they all children (of God):…

This does not mean that God has abandoned natural Israel; it is still God's hope that some of them might be saved;
(Rom 11:14) If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh (natural Israel), and might save some of them.

This change does not give the Gentile nations the right to look down upon natural Israel;
(Rom 11:18) Boast not against the branches (natural Israel). But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
(Rom 11:19) Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
(Rom 11:20) Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
(Rom 11:21) For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

As God has consistently done with natural Israel, there still remains a conditional element for natural Israel's salvation today;
(Rom 11:23) And they also (natural Israel), IF they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

STILL CONDITIONAL.

And so all of spiritual Israel shall be saved; made up of Gentiles grafted in, plus those of natural Israel who DO NOT still abide in unbelief.
(Rom 11:26) And so all (spiritual) Israel shall be saved

So what if Israel had accepted Messiah?

By faith, Abraham was willing to offer Isaac on an altar, which was a prophecy of the Father sacrificing the Son.

Ever since sin entered the world, men had offered a sacrifice on an altar, which was also a prophecy of the sacrifice Jesus would make for our sins.
When the temple was eventually built (believed to be the very spot where God had earlier led Abraham to offer Isaac), the sacrifice was always made in the temple, on an altar, which was in the city.

Yet, when Jesus did come, He was nailed on a tree outside the city!!!

Can we honestly believe, that if Israel had accepted their Messiah, that they would have handed him up to the Romans,
to have Him nailed to a tree outside the city?

Or was there an alternative plan, in accordance with what these earlier prophecies pointed to, ie. being offered on an altar;
(Zec 13:6) And one will say to him, 'What are these wounds between your arms?' Then he will answer, 'Those with which I was wounded in the house (temple) of my friends.' NKJV
(The Hebrew word for 'house', bayith, is the same word for the 'temple' or 'house of God').

Jesus, our Passover Lamb, was to die at a precise time;
(Luk 22:7) Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.

If Israel had accepted Messiah, He still had to die. But would He have died outside the city, on a tree, on a day that was not when the Passover must be killed? Remember, something was hidden from their eyes;
(Luk 19:42) Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

Most people don't consider that Israel were given an opportunity to accept the Messiah; and things (history) would have been a lot different IF they had accepted Him.

Are we saying that nothing in the Old Testament relates to events beyond the cross?
No we're not.
Neither are we saying that the plan for Jesus being rejected and crucified is not in Scripture.
What we are saying, is that just with all the many examples we have already covered, there was also a plan in prophecy for Jesus being accepted,
and the specific Old Testament prophecies for that plan will NOT be fulfilled.
You see, God had both options covered.

In Daniel, there was a decree from God; Natural Israel's final warning;
(Dan 9:24) Seventy weeks ('sevens' i.e Jubilee weeks) are determined (decreed) upon thy people (Israel) and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

The seventy 'sevens', which is 70 x 7 years (490 years) is an interesting number.
When Jesus was asked how much mercy or forgiveness should be extended towards a brother, notice His reply;
(Mat 18:22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

This is the same number of years decreed for Israel. They were given the same period of mercy, in which to 'get their act together'.

We saw from Dan 9:24 above, that 70 weeks were decreed for Israel. As covered earlier, in Dan 9:25; this time period commenced in the jubilee year of 457 BC.
The 69th week ended in the year 26 AD. The 70th week (which followed the 69th week), began in 27 AD and ended in 33 AD. Jesus died in the midst of the week, in the Wednesday year of 30 AD. So the 70th week ended about three and a half years after Jesus' death on the cross. This is the approximate time of Stephen's stoning; when Israel's leaders also rejected Stephen's message.
This is also the time Peter had the vision to take the gospel to the gentiles. The Gospel couldn't go out to the gentiles, until the time decreed to Israel had expired (ie, the 70 weeks of mercy decreed to Israel had to be fulfilled).

This is why, within this time, Jesus had only come for natural Israel;
(Mat 15:24) But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (ie, not the gentiles).
(Mat 10:5-6) These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

When natural Israel's 70 weeks of mercy were fulfilled;
(Act 13:46) …Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you (the Jews): but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Now notice from Dan 9:24 what was to happen at that time;
to finish the transgression,
to make an end of sins,
to make reconciliation for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up the vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most Holy.

Did transgression against God end at the cross (or at the end of the 70th week)?
Did sin in the world end?
No.

These things would have begun first at the house of God in Jerusalem, had Israel accepted their Messiah.

This explains why details in the New Testament 'Day of the Lord' plans, have some distinct differences (and even contradictions) to the
Old Testament 'Day of the Lord' plans.
So would it be wise to ignore certain details in the New Testament 'Day of the Lord' plans, in order to give preference for a fulfilment of the
Old Testament 'Day of the Lord' prophecies?
We don't think so!

So back to an earlier question; what would have happened if Israel were faithful?

The book of Ezekiel may well hold the key for this answer.
Remember how we looked earlier at some conditional elements in Ezekiel;
(Eze 43:9) Now let them put away their whoredom… far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them forever.
(So what would happen if they don't put their whoredom far away?)

With that thought in mind, lets now look at the plan that accompanied Israel putting their whoredom away from them.
The description of these events fit the time period of 2000 years ago to the letter. Take note of the places and the items of description;

(Eze 38:2-39:28) Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog (the heathens),…and prophesy against him, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around….with all your army, horses, and horsemen….a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.
Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops-many people are with you. ….In the latter years (of the 70 sevens decreed to Israel) you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword (ie, Israel's captivity which commenced in 605 BC) and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations (among which they had been scattered as a result of the Babylonian captivity), and now all of them dwell safely….
You will say, 'I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates'-
to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations (into which they were scattered between 605-586 BC), who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land….
Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.
You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days (of the 490 years decreed) that I will bring you against My land, so that the (heathen) nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes."
…"And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel….that My fury will show in My face….
The mountains shall be thrown down, (remember we saw this earlier in Zec 14:1-4 and Isaiah 40:4, which spoke of the time of John the Baptist) the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.' …
I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone….
So I will make My holy name known (in other words, they wouldn't now know his holy name) in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore….
"Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons;…
For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land.
Indeed all the people of the land will be burying,…
"And as for you, son of man (Ezekiel), thus says the Lord GOD, 'Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field:…
You shall be filled at My table With horses and riders, With mighty men And with all the men of war,"…
So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.
The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity (from 605 BC) for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword (by Nebuchadnezzar).
…according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them." …'Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name-
after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.

Now consider the conditional elements;
When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies' lands (into which they were scattered from 605-586 BC), and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. (NKJV)

Look again at the conditional element;
When….I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God…

So what about if God is not hallowed in Israel, in the sight of other nations?
Then this can't be fulfilled this way.

Conditional elements are important;
(Eze 44:6) "Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "O house of Israel, let Us have no more of all your abominations.

If you fully read Ezekiel 38 to 48, you will see how the kingdom would have been set up on earth through Israel.
David would have been raised to be their king (Eze 37:24, Jer 30:9), and the kingdom would have been set up here on earth!
(Hence the confusion in some faiths, believing that the 1000-year reign will be on earth; due to attempting to combine 'time specific' Old and New Testament prophecies).

Due to His rejection, Jesus alluded to the fact that the kingdom wouldn't be set up on earth at that time, in accordance with all the Old Testament prophecies;
(Joh 18:36) …if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

The New Testament prophecies, indicate a 1000-year reign in heaven, after being "caught up to meet the Lord in the air".
According to the new plan in Revelation, the great multitude of saved, are seen standing before the throne of God in heaven.
(Rev 19:1) And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory,…

Ezekiel's prophecies related to events in Ezekiel's day, through to the end of the '70 sevens' of Daniel 9 (being the First Coming).
Some insist that Ezekiel prophesied of events that are still in our future; but notice God's words;
(Eze 12:27) Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he (Ezekiel) seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off.
(Eze 12:28) Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; There shall none of my words be prolonged any more,…

If God rebuked the people in Ezekiel's day, for thinking this information was for their distant future; how much more so would He to us today (2600 years later),
for still thinking this is in our future!
Do you really think God gave Ezekiel information that was about people who would live 2600 years into the future?
Did God say to Ezekiel; "look I have some events you need to write down and preserve for me, because some people who will come in 2600 years time, need to know what is in their future"?
Ezekiel was always instructed to "tell these stiff necked brothers of yours"; because the information was for them, and about them!

We have already seen how 'time specific' the details in Ezekiel's prophecies were.
God also gave sufficient differences between the 'Gog and Magog' prophecies of Ezekiel and Revelation, for us to recognise that these can not be speaking of the same event.

Other 'Gog and Magog' differences that need consideration;
In Ezekiel, the wicked come up against unwalled villages of earthly Jerusalem;
(Eze 38:11) And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

In Revelation they come against the great high walls of the holy city, the New Jerusalem;
(Rev 20:9) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:…
(Rev 21:10-12) …that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,…And had a wall great and high
This great high wall is not mentioned in Ezekiel's event.

In Ezekiel's story, the army comes from the North;
(Eze 38:15) And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

In Revelations story, they are gathered from all corners of the earth;
(Rev 20:8) And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle:…

There are many other discrepancies between these two prophecies.

Regardless of God's foreknowledge of Messiah being rejected, He had to have two plans in place; otherwise He had not given man freedom of choice.

The choice has always belonged to man;
(Jer 7:23) Obey my voice, and I will be your God

What then would be the penalty or consequences, if the Israelites did not obey God?
He would not be their God;
(Hos 1:9) Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

It was God's foreknowledge of Israel's corporate rejection of Messiah, which brought about the need for plans for a Second Covenant and a Second Coming; complete with a 'New' heavenly Jerusalem, instead of the earthly Jerusalem, a 1000 year reign, etc. However, God did not reveal the new information needed by subsequent generations, until after Israel's choice was confirmed;
(Mat 21:43) … The kingdom of God shall be taken from you (ie. natural Israel, the kingdom of God was yours), and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

As well as various information given in the New Testament, Jesus gave the Book of Revelation as the plan specifically for our time.
As you should have seen from this study, if you try and merge 'time specific' Old Testament 'Day of the Lord' prophecies with this new plan, you will only create confusion and error.

Remember how earthly 'Jerusalem' is not mentioned once in the Book of Revelation.
This word is only appears 3 times, and in every case is in reference to the 'New Jerusalem', which ascends from God out of heaven.

The Bible is in perfect harmony, when you gain a full understanding of the advancing conditional elements given to subsequent generations,
throughout the Bible writings.

We still have two options today;

(2Pe 3:9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,…but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish (Option A),
but that all should come to repentance
(Option B).