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The Salvation of the Church and the Torah Portion for September 23, 2017

On September 23, 2017, as the great sign of Revelation 12 aligns in the sky, those gathered in synagogues around the world will give ear (ha'azinu) as the Song of Moses is recited from Deuteronomy 32 (see Hebcal). Each year throughout the long centuries of exile, the Jews have read carefully arranged portions of the Torah (parashot) until every word from Genesis to Deuteronomy has been covered. *For more on the weekly Torah readings, see here.

This particular shabbat on 9/23/2017 (Tishri 3, 5778) will be a "Sabbath of Return," because it falls between Rosh Hashanah (Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). There is great anticipation among watchful believers that the resurrection and rapture of the Church could occur on the Feast of Trumpets this year (Tishri 1-2/Sept. 21-22), a day or two prior to the great sign. As noted by Daniel Matson (here and here), the sign of Revelation 12 appears to be designated specifically for the nation of Israel (c.f. 1 Cor. 1:22). Based on this assumption, I returned to Deuteronomy 32 to see if there was something hidden in this passage concerning the deliverance of the body of Christ. Sure enough, there is:

They have made Me jealous with what is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation" (Deuteronomy 32:21, NASB).

In the book of Romans, chapters 9 through 11, the apostle Paul provides us with the best commentary on the LORD's plan to make Israel jealous via the salvation of the body of Christ. Having the Holy Spirit as his guide, Paul strings together a series of Old Testament passages to explain God's reason for Israel's "partial hardening" (Rom. 11:25) and His great mercy toward the Church—those who were once "not a people" (Rom. 9:25) and "a foolish nation" (Rom. 10:19). Notice, please, whenever you study and interpret these chapters in Romans, that Paul never confuses his terms and always makes a distinction between "Israel" and "the Church" [also referred to under the broad category of 'the Gentiles'].

The purpose of this study is to clarify how the resurrection and rapture of the Church fulfills Deuteronomy 32:21, a key text that "church-going" and studious Israelites will hear on September 23, 2017. Moreover, the deliverance of the body of Christ (Rev. 12:5) is not an isolated event but integral to the LORD's plan to wake up a slumbering Israel and provoke them to jealousy. Israel's jealousy will result in a feverish and desperate return to the LORD, their God, and the eventual fulfillment of Rom. 11:26-27, which is their final and complete salvation.

And I Think That I Too Have the Spirit of God

See 1 Cor. 7:40: The apostle Paul spoke with the authority of the Holy Spirit, and this certainly gave me comfort as I was looking for other passages in the Old Testament that confirmed my suspicions about Deut. 32:21. I had prayed for clarity and understanding, and then I realized Paul had already done my homework for me (thank you, LORD)!

Before we get to the meat of his argument in Rom. 10:17-21, I'll begin with an example of the Church/Israel distinction that is so important to grasp, especially if we are going into the Old Testament to study encrypted and veiled "Church" prophecies:

And just for good measure, why don't we start with Rom. 9:23. In contrast to 9:22, where God patiently puts up with "vessels of wrath," God shows great favor on "vessels of mercy" in 9:23—the same group also mentioned in 9:24, "Even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles" (NASB, emphasis mine). He then cites two verses from Hosea in 9:25-26, where not-a-people become God's people by sovereign choice (still referring to the Church at this point).

But! Ah, look out for those contrasts in Scripture. Paul switches gears now in 9:27, "But Isaiah cries out concerning Israel..." (HCSB, emphasis mine). If your English translation doesn't have the contrastive "but," then that means the translators have made an interpretive decision to use a connective such as "and" or "also" (the Greek word de should, in most cases, be translated as "but," although the term does have flexibility). This may seem like a small matter. But it makes a huge impact on the way we interpret the text.

Further support for this contrast can be found a few verses later in Rom. 9:30-31, "What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness...but Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law" (HCSB, emphasis mine).

All right. I think you get the picture. Now here's the bigger picture, and I think you'll find this as intriguing as I did upon first discovery.

The Salvation of the Church through Israel's Messiah as Testified in the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms

Does Deuteronomy 32:21 speak of the salvation of the Church occurring before the fulfillment of God's promises to His beloved firstborn, Israel? Let's clear up any doubt and listen again to a physical descendant of Israel, a "kinsmen according to the flesh" (Rom. 9:3). The apostle Paul cites our verse from Deuteronomy in Romans 10:19, but in order to understand why he does this, we need to look at the surrounding context.

In Rom. 10:17-21 you'll find all three divisions of the Hebrew Bible referenced in rapid succession. These three divisions are the Law (Torah), the Prophets (Nevi'im), and the Writings (Ketuvim); Jesus takes His disciples on a similar journey into the Old Testament in Lk. 24:44-45 (note: the third division of the OT is referred to as "the Psalms" in this passage). Paul will also take us on a journey through the OT, and by the testimony of two or three witnesses (in this case, the witnesses are the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms), he will testify against Israel, saying, in effect, that they have no excuse for their current plight:

Rom. 10:17 — Above all, the message about the Messiah (a.k.a. the gospel) has to be proclaimed in order to be believed and obeyed (c.f. Rom. 10:15-16). This verse establishes the context for what follows.

Rom. 10:18 — Next, Paul appeals to Psalm 19:4. Curiously, this particular verse in the psalm has nothing to do with a human messenger. The message about Christ, the gospel (10:17), "...has gone out to all the earth..." by means of "the heavens," or "the sky" (Ps. 19:1-2). When Paul asks rhetorically, "Did they not hear?" The they is Israel, which is also confirmed in the next verse.

Rom. 10:19 — Yes, Israel has heard the message about Christ—it was first embedded in the heavens and then relayed to earth by special revelation (10:18); then Paul asks if Israel understood or knew the meaning of what they had heard proclaimed from the heavens. Yes, they did have knowledge according to God's word as written in the Law, "...First, Moses said..." (Here it is, Deut. 32:21)! God's judicial decree and promise to make Israel jealous by saving a foolish nation "without understanding" confirms the answer to Paul's rhetorical question, "Did Israel not understand [what they had heard]?" Yes, Israel was a nation of understanding (c.f. Rom. 9:4).

Rom. 10:20 — Israel also had knowledge/understanding according to God's word as written in the Prophets, "And Isaiah says boldly, "I was found by those who were not looking for Me..." These two verses, 10:19-20, should be understood as OT prophecies concerning the salvation of the Church. In essence, Moses and Isaiah agree and prove Paul's point, "You [Israel] knew very well that the LORD, your God, was going to turn His attention to another nation when you rebelled against Him and stubbornly refused to repent."

Rom. 10:21 — Look carefully at Isa. 65:1-2. I had doubts at first whether 65:1 was in reference to the Church, but like I said before, Paul has already done the homework for us. Look at the contrast between what was cited in 10:20 and now in this verse, "But to Israel he [Isaiah] says: All day long I have spread out My hands to a disobedient and defiant people" (HCSB, emphasis mine). Consequently, it's not enough to hear or know about the gospel...you must, by God's grace and power, trust and obey the message about Christ (c.f. Rom. 1:5; 2 Thess. 1:8).

Summary: I've taken you through Rom. 10:17-21 so that you can see how Deut. 32:21 is used in context. It is interpreted by Paul to be a "Church-verse." More specifically, Paul's usage of Deut. 32:21 advances his argument that God will [ironically] save Gentiles [along with a few Jews] first, before He turns His focus back to Israel. Isa. 65:1-2 confirms the tightly-woven contrast between Israel and the Church as cryptically hidden, yet now revealed in the Law and the Prophets. Oh, and don't forget that Paul's rationale began with the gospel going forth from the heavens (Rom. 10:18), and by implication, Israel should be looking up in order to study the sky again...real soon (Rev. 12:1-2)!

From Jealousy to Jesus

A jealous God scorned who in turn provokes Israel to jealousy by showing love to another? Is this some kind of high-school musical? Me genoito! (By no means). Though one could call this the great drama of the ages, God is in no way being melodramatic or carnal. Hopefully, your first encounter with a passage like Deut. 4:24 wasn't like Oprah's (see here), because a misunderstanding of godly jealousy could result in major stumbling (wrong belief + persistence in error = wrong living and bringing harm to others).

No, friends. You should enter Romans 911 and exit with the understanding that God is not finished with Israel (this means we cannot be the "spiritual Israel," or "Israel's replacement"). Sorry, not sorry. The accurate and faithful interpretation of Paul's message should lead the Church toward humility and gratitude, not blinding pride and conceit (Rom. 11:20, 25). One of the purposes for our salvation (if not the main purpose) is to provoke Israel to jealousy so that they will repent/return to the LORD, their God—all for His praise, honor, and glory (Rom. 11:11-14, 25-27, 33-36)!

In the past Israel as a nation did not recognize their Messiah, and as a result, salvation came to the Gentiles (c.f. Acts 13:26-27; 28:23-28). Contrary to popular opinion in the Church today, Israel's covenant promises have not been revoked as a result of their disobedience (Rom. 11:28-29). Israel's full salvation has been merely delayed, or postponed, until the Church age has ended. The LORD's work that He began in us (Php. 1:6) will be completed when the dead in Christ rise from the earth and living believers are caught up to them in the clouds (1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 12:5; c.f. Isa. 26:19-21, 66:7-8). Thus, the unfolding of Deut. 32:21 can be seen as God's written revelation progressed over time. Based on the study above, I think it's safe to conclude that the resurrection and rapture of the Church serves as the primary catalyst to provoke Israel to jealousy and repentance.

If the Resurrection/Rapture of the Church occurs on the Feast of Trumpets, and my conclusions are correct about the interpretation of the Revelation 12 sign, then on September 23, 2017, after we who were once "not a people" and "a foolish nation" have been saved and taken up to God in heaven, the scattered exiles and those in Jerusalem will read Deuteronomy 32 once again. Only this time it will be with fresh insight.

The prophet Daniel wrote concerning our time,"...many will roam about, and knowledge [of the Scriptures] will increase" (HCSB), and I'm sure that Deut. 32:21 will jump off the page (or iPhone) for some like it never has before. Granted, many Israelites will persist in error, refusing to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Rom. 9:27-29; c.f. Ps. 2; Jn. 20:31), and we know that many false Christs will abound at that time (Matt. 24:4-5). However, the LORD's objective to get Israel's attention will have been accomplished.

*For more Unsealed articles related to the Great Sign occurring on September 23, 2017, go here.

Post A Comment


  1. Thank you. I look forward to reading over it again and studying it more.

  2. Fantastic article, thanks Jeff!

  3. Btw, this past year as I've studied the Rev. 12 Sign I've been amazed by how many Scriptures in the OT seem to be pointing to the Church that were 'hidden' in a sense. Isaiah 26 and 66 beings big ones, for example.

    Also, I don't think there is necessarily a direct connection here, but there is a very interesting parallel in language between Deu. 32:1-2 and Isaiah 26:19 (the resurrection/rapture) referring to both "dew" and "herbs".

    1. Thanks, Gary. Wow, yeah, I see what you're talking about in regard to Deut. 32:2 and Isa. 26:19. English translations vary on Isa. 26:19, but it looks like the KJV and the NET agree on the "dew" and "plant/herb" reference.

    2. I love the Isa 26 passage and the poetry of “dew of light” ...and then I read in Hosea 6:4 “...like the dew that goes early away” and again in 13:3: “...or like the dew that goes early away...” and it just strengthened the beautiful message of the Isa 26 passage to me....”Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.”

    3. Wow, great find Hillary! Thank you for sharing. Those passages in Hosea add another layer of meaning to Isa. 26:19.

  4. I love Deuteronomy 32:21 because it points to the body of Christ so clearly...good treatment here.

    But I'd be lying if said the Torah reading for 9/23/2017 wasn't sending shivers down my spine.

    Then again, it's reaching the point these days where I'm in shiver-mode on a surprisingly regular basis. =8o

    BTW, if anyone is interested in a few ideas on refuting some of the attacks on the Revelation 12 sign that have come spewing forth from various critics (like Joel Richardson, not to name names or anything), feel free:


    1. Thank you, Greg. I will definitely read your latest post.

    2. Greg! You nailed it. Great work on "The Sky Don't Lie." You had me cracking up about the Anatoly Fomenko fiasco ;)

    3. I literally howled with laughter when I read the blurb about Fomenko on Wikipedia. Something just compelled me to check on him, since the "celebrity author" put s-o-o much stock in him--as if this guy's work was the slam dunk of slam dunks that the REV12 sign was nonsense.

  5. "On September 23, 2017, after we who were once "not a people" and "a foolish nation" have been saved and taken up to God in heaven, the scattered exiles and those in Jerusalem will read Deuteronomy 32 once more. "

    Great article! My only concern is that the sentence above seems to imply some certainty about when the rapture will happen. We're still speculating right? We have good reasons to think it may happen then, but we aren't 100% certain are we? That sentence makes it sound like the matter is pretty much settled.

  6. Thanks for keeping me honest. I'm confident about the Sept. 20-23 window, but I don't want to mislead in any way, as if it's 100% and I'm infallible. I'll reword it.

  7. Great article, Greg. May I gently point out that the Rapture is to occur at 'the Last Trump, on Feast of Trumpets, which occurs at the end of the day, twilight, on September 21, with presumably the Great Sign on the 23rd. My understanding is that while the Dragon waits for her to give birth, she already has given birth before the birth pangs. We ( the Church) will be born and caught prior to the birth pangs of Israel. So if we are correct, and this is the time of the Rapture, we Christians won't see the Rev12 sign fulfilled, at least from an earthly prospective. I am sure you know all this. I repeat it out of excitement at the thought of his coming.
    I loved that you pointed out that those who love his appearing, will get a Crown...that should encourage others to start studying and watching for the 'signs (signals) and the seasons (festivals). Gen. 1:14.
    I really appreciate all of you that write at Unsealed.org. You have increased my knowledge greatly and I pass it along as quickly and as often as possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
    I will be passing this article along immediately. Maranatha!

    1. This was for Greg in re Sky don't lie. Thank you!

    2. Thanks. Somehow, I have thus far avoided getting on board the "Raptashanah" train, since I personally tend to think the "Raptacost" idea actually makes better sense. I might add that I am also of the opinion that some of the Raptashanah arguments are not q-u-i-t-e as airtight as many suppose. But I'm not dogmatic about it and certainly have no wish to get into any arguments about it. And truthfully, I hope to high heavens I am wrong wrong wrong. If Jesus takes us on the Feast of Trumpets, it's OK with me!

      But I am loath to pin the Rapture to any specific date, and simply will not do so--regardless of how neatly it fits into any particular eschatological scheme.

  8. To anyone who might have looked at my article entitled "The Sky Don't Lie" that I posted a couple weeks ago:

    It dawned on me that I goofed on point no. 1, and so I rewrote that one part.

    In response to the charge that the woman's crown has always been there, I originally made the argument that the form of the Greek word "horao" (appeared, was seen) used in Revelation 12:1 indicated that the object in question was either NOT there and then WAS, or the subject COULDN'T see it, and then COULD. I concluded that since neither one applies to the woman's crown if it comprises 12 stars that have always been there, the argument that the crown has always been there is invalid. Something that has always been there can't "appear."

    But my argument only applied to the *crown itself*, not the entire sign. In other words, I was so focused on the crown alone that I forgot that the whole sign (which includes four elements) could still "appear" even if the crown was always present. So, I had no choice but to go back and rewrite point no. 1.

    In the process, I discovered that if you assume the crown has always been there, the other elements of the REV12 sign (Jupiter in retrograde in Virgo, with the moon at her feet and the sun clothing her) are fulfilled with a reasonable degree of accuracy 19 times (including 2017) in the last one thousand years.

    Thus, when the critics insist the crown has always been there, they reduce the "great sign" (lit. "mega" sign) of Revelation 12:1-2 to something that is fulfilled about every 50 years on the average. Not exactly a "mega sign," wouldn't you agree?

    1. Greg L, there was an interesting discussion regarding the number of stars in Leo on our discussion board. I argued that the number of stars in any constellation is a bit ambiguous, but nine is the most widely agreed upon number in Leo and would be the clearest number for God to communicate to modern man. See here: http://unsealed.boards.net/thread/53/revelation-12-sign-compendium

    2. Also, I could be mistaken about this, but Jupiter does retrograde in or near Virgo every twelve years or so, and some people have sent me what they think are other years' fulfillment of the Rev. 12 Sign, but what I discovered is that the majority of times Jupiter undergoes retrograde in Virgo, it's only in the womb for a few months.

      I bet if you looked at the near-fulfillment years in detail you'd be surprised how rare it truly is to have not only the sun in the constellation and the moon under her feet, but to also have Jupiter undergoing retrograde entirely within her womb... the twelve stars are just icing on the cake.

    3. Not exactly. Yes, Jupiter transits Virgo every 12 years, but only experiences the retrograde motion in Virgo about every 4th or 5th trip on the average. And no, it's not always precise. That's true. Jupiter often wanders a bit outside the womb during the retrograde, sometimes more than others, JUST AS IT DOES IN 2017.

      Jupiter is "officially" outside the boundary of Virgo's womb from May 17 to July 12, 2017, albeit by a very small amount. But it's *not* entirely within Virgo's womb. You don't really notice it unless you blow it up a bit and look more closely. Like it or not, the exit is undeniable. That's why I used slightly relaxed criteria in my search.

      As a matter of fact, I believe this slight movement outside the boundary of the womb is not without meaning. Perhaps this "baby kick," as it were, is part of the woman's pain and suffering during her pregnancy.

      And it may surprise some people to learn that it's *always* 41-42 weeks from the time Jupiter enters the womb until it exits after the retrograde, not counting relatively small wanderings outside the boundary of the womb during the retrograde.

      See (re-written) point no. 1 of my article for more details.

    4. FWIW--May 17 to July 12, 2017 is exactly 8 weeks. Eight--the number of Christ, and of new beginnings. I love it. =:)

  9. My overall question is would the wise men from the East (in the time of Jesus' birth) take notice in this wonderful layout of "signs" in our time? Genesis 1:14 "...Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs..."

    Knowing a little about the field of Astronomy, since I have taught it for nearly two decades, I am truly fascinated about the solar eclipse this year on August 21st. I marvel at the majestic pattern that will conjunction themselves in Leo and Virgo in September. As a "backyard astronomer" you can guarantee my excitement with these celestial events regardless if Jesus our redeemer comes forth.

    Psalm 19:4-5 "...In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridgegroom coming out of his chamber..."

    I find it also fascinating that youtube channels are also issuing their warnings on this event. Like Dahboo7 with his infrared dragon in the background of Virgo.
    [img]http://socioecohistory.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/revelation_red_dragon_n_google_cover_ups_virgo_leo.jpg [/img]

    No doubt youtube channel hosts want as many viewers as follows for the monetized kickbacks, however I am reminded that once a "Poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man." What I am trying to interject here is that even God used "money-seeking" Balaam to give us a warning.

    Numbers 24:17 "...there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth."

    Hmmm lets see where have I heard that word Moab lately? Mother of all bombs! My God can even use the news, websites or even Presidents to tell us something significant in even present days.

    It doesn't take a wise man from the east to figure this out.

    God bless.

    1. Just got chills when I read your post about Numbers 24:17 and of course the MOAB bomb that was just detonated.

      Perhaps Numbers 24:17 is more than just a prophecy of Christ's first coming when the Star of Bethlehem appeared. Consider:

      "shall come a star out of Jacob" - Jacob is Israel. Israel is the woman. Jupiter ("the star") is about to come out of the woman, which is Israel, which is Jacob.

      "a sceptre shall rise out of Israel" - Both Christ and the Church are promised to rule with rods of iron. Christ literally rose from the dead out of Israel and then rose to Heaven. The Church is going to "rise" in the rapture having been born from the woman (heavenly Jerusalem).

      "And shall smite the corners of Moab" - Moab was central Jordan and an enemy of Israel. Jesus and the Church are coming back to defeat the enemies of God's people.

    2. Yes brother Gary it is going to happen soon! We just got one day closer to our Lords Glorious appearing! His glorious mystery is even at the doors. Christ has truly, "on purpose" meant to do what is about to happen from the very beginning.

      Ephesians 1:9-10 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ..."

      We also know that God pronounced his goodness on his creative works when time began on the first day. However, there was no goodness pronounced on the darkness nor the firmament which is in heaven.
      Genesis 1:4-8 "...and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

      We can infer that this darkness in firmament of heaven has been envious of what God created on the sixth day. God created man after his own image in form of his own likeness at the end of sixth day he said, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

      This very good creation was given by the creator dominion over all the Earth. Thus we have our contention with the darkness. God warned Adam not to disobey his only commandment. The cost of disobedience would be the death penalty. This gave the anointed cherub angel Lucifer his chance.

      The darkness of his covertness was in his deception to Adam and Eve. However, God had a plan all along that he would demonstrate his great love for his "very good" creation. He would pay the death penalty himself; our blessed redeemer. Hallelujah!

      How do we overcome? By the blood of the Lamb.

      Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

      Gary, we are just like our daddy. We loved not our lives even unto the death.
      Why? Because we were created in the image and likeness of the messiah. Hallelujah!

      Even the elite of this world know what is about to happen. They are preparing their bunkers because they know. http://www.newsprepper.com/4972-2/

      Rev.6:15-17 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

      Yes my friends the wrath of the "Lamb." It is so hard for me to imagine a "Lamb" bringin- it, but I would say it will be so, so "righteous."

      Isaiah 6:1-3 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.

      I don't know about you guys but I am so ready for the Lamb to return. This wicked world is so, so ripe for it.
      Rev.22:20 Even so come, Lord Jesus!

  10. Looking for the Lord's return and ceaselessly continuing to do the work of God are not mutually exclusive.

    1. Looking for the Lord's return is to keep "watch" but that does not mean it is okay to lie to millions with date setting. One is a Rapture-Ready Christian, the other is a FALSE PROPHET.

    2. By definition a false prophet is someone who prophesies falsely. No one here has done that or condones that. SPECULATING/WATCHING is not the same thing as saying, "Thus saith the LORD, on April 15, 2019 Jesus will return."



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