Israel’s Redemption Involves a Process
What remains is taking what we understand about the connection between God’s call to Israel, and their resulting disobedience, with that of the Gentiles he’s calling now and in the future, and seeing what it leads to. We know what Paul has claimed from the previous six posts on the Mystery of God. Let’s look at another example provided by the prophets Zechariah and Joel. The prophet Zechariah, in the thirteenth chapter, speaks of future correction and the removal of sin and idolatry from the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Yet it is in chapter twelve where the Lord establishes his purpose and basis for his judgment. Let’s look at both.
- He is the Lord, creator of heavens and earth
- He formed man and the spirit of man within him
- He will make Jerusalem a means of correction for all the nations
- It will also be for Judah’s correction
- All will be hurt who lift their hands against Jerusalem
Zechariah 13:8-9 – 14:5
- In one strike the Lord will bring correction for all and redemption for some
- The focus is Jerusalem
- The nations gathered against her are used for her correction and redemption
- Then the Lord will intervene for his people and fight against those nations
- On that day the Lord will stand on the Mount of Olives and it will split in two
- Then the Lord will come and all his holy ones will be with him
- Yet many of these nations will survive to come up and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (14:16).
I’ve only touched on some highlights, but I encourage you to read both chapters fully. In the beginning of chapter twelve the Lord establishes his underlying intent to work in Jerusalem and Judah (the Jews) for their own correction and for the correction of the nations. This correction for the Jews has been ongoing since the time of the Gentiles began. Recall our reference to this in Luke 21 in the article When is the Mystery of God Fulfilled? That time began with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in A.D. 70. We were able to identify when that time period ends – at the point when the Lord sets foot on earth to intervene on Jerusalem’s behalf. This period of time is designed to achieve two important things (Romans 9-11):
- An opportunity for the Gentiles to receive God’s calling and salvation
- A period of correction to stir the Jews and return them to the Lord their Righteousness.
Our focus here is to note the process and methods God is using to achieve their salvation. To see that process outlined, we only need to turn to the prophet Joel. Let’s review the steps, outlined in Joel, which the Lord will take to accomplish this work in Israel. The process outlined here in Joel corresponds to the partial description of the process given in Zechariah.
Joel 2:1-11 – introduces the Day of the Lord and the army of the Lord. This is part of Jerusalem’s and Judah’s correction as well as for the world as a whole.
Joel 2:12-17 – the Lord’s call to repentance. Yet the Lord knows that when Christ is manifested together with his saints (which occurs at his appearance in the sky), many Jews will hear his call to repentance and return to the Lord and accept his righteousness.
Joel 2:18-27 – the Lord has mercy on his people. It is then that the Lord will respond to them as he responded previously to the Gentiles that heard his call; he will pour out mercy on them.
Joel 2:28-32 – the Lord will make a new covenant with them (Israel). The whole purpose of this process is to lead them into obedience to Christ and into the new covenant he offers. This new covenant will lead them ultimately to eternal life.
Though Israel and the Jews were put to shame and brought upon themselves correction from the Lord, his people will be called to return to him and he will show them mercy and grace as they’ve never seen before. Clearly their harsh and severe correction was meant for their redemption and restoration. Their disobedience leads ultimately to God’s mercy and the new covenant – fulfilling Romans 11:32.
The Remnant First
Though all Israel will be saved, it doesn’t require that they all be saved in the same manner and along the same path. As we’ve seen already in previous articles, when looking at the characteristics of the mystery of God, one of them relates to a faithful remnant in Israel (Romans 11:5-7). This faithful remnant shares in the same rewards of faithfulness that Gentile believers enjoy. Having been likewise sealed with the Holy Spirit, they are among the firstfruits of salvation to be revealed at Christ’s appearance.
However, there is another group of believers from the tribes of Israel spoken of at the time Christ appears in the heavens to collect his chosen saints. They are not sealed in the same way. We hear of them in Revelation 7. But to understand Revelation 7, we need to step back and look at the context within which it lies. Let’s get an overview, which allows us to observe the bigger picture, before getting into the details.
|Christ appears in|
|Faithful are redeemed,|
144,000 are sealed
|Christ executes God’s|
wrath upon the earth
There is much that transpires after the appearance of Jesus Christ to the world. It’s important to see how these events fit into the work and will of God and his Christ. Here’s the order of events as they appear to be laid out in scripture.
- First is the occurrence of the Great Tribulation in the final 3 1/2 years of the last days in which the beast power, the servant of Satan, reigns upon the earth. (Revelation 13:5-10)
- Second is the heavenly signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and the shaking of heaven and earth.
- This is followed by the appearance of Christ in the heavens with power and great glory. (Revelation 6:12-14; Matthew 24:29-30; Mark 13:24-26; Luke 21:25-27)
- From that vantage point, he sends out his angelic messengers to gather his chosen faithful; those being resurrected first, followed by those remaining alive at the time. (Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27; Revelation 7:9-17)
- Also at this time, his angelic hosts are sent to seal the 144,000 descendants of Jacob (Israel) whom God has called. They will be an example to the world and to their fellow Israelites (and Jews) as the work of God progresses toward the kingdom. (Revelation 7:1-8)
- To subdue the seen and unseen rulers of the world, Jesus Christ will execute God’s wrath upon a deceived and unrepentant world. This work concludes when he descends from the heavens with his faithful bride, arrayed in fine linen pure and white, on horses to battle with an army assembled by the beast power and the false prophet.(Revelation 14:1-4; 17:12-14; 19:11-21)
The subject of the first eight verses of Revelation 7 is clearly given – a remnant of Israel. A question one needs to ask is – do the Jews of the author’s day represent the entirety of Israel? Those referred to as Jews in John’s day consisted of at least two of the remaining twelve tribes; Judah and Benjamin. We know this because the apostle Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin. So what of the remaining ten tribes? They were taken into captivity by the Assyrians centuries before John’s time. They and their descendants have been dispersed throughout the world as subsequent empires arose; the Medo-Persian empire conquered the Babylonians who came to power in the region, then the Greeks conquered the Medo-Persions, then the Romans conquered the Greeks. John was writing during the early period of the Roman empire. The descendants of Israel still existed even though they did not constitute a specific group or nation. They were, by that time, intermixed with the successive nations who conquered the region of Babylon.
John, based on what he sees and is told, goes so far as to name each of the remaining twelve tribes; the descendants of Jacob. Though we don’t understand how and John doesn’t explain, God is clearly able to distinguish the descendants of Israel. If he’s named every star, I’m certain he can handle this. We simply have to trust what John was told. These 144,000 represent a faithful remnant from the descendants of Jacob (Israel), whom God has called for his purpose. He will perform and complete his will and they have a part in that process.
During the time of Great Tribulation, when the satanic beast pursues them, they are gathered in a place where they are protected from him (Revelation 12:13-17). It seems consistent then that some level of protection would be afforded them once Christ comes on the scene and prepares to execute God’s wrath upon the world. According to Revelation 7 this protection comes in the form of a sealing mark upon their foreheads.
Before God’s wrath begins in Revelation 8, a pause is introduced.
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
- The four angels holding back the wind are clearly intending to hurt the earth and those who dwell there.
- The wind is symbolic of destruction, calamity, and desolation
- These are being restrained temporarily so that those God intends to protect from his wrath are sealed and marked as belonging to him
- Other angels will shortly dispense God’s wrath outlined in the seven trumpets which follow the seventh seal (Revelation 8).
Here John answers the question raised in Revelation 6:17 – who is able to stand when Christ appears in the heavens to execute God’s wrath (Matthew 24:29-31). Two groups are protected from God’s wrath; 144,000 of the scattered tribes of Israel are sealed, and a great multitude who has washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb are redeemed from the earth. Each group is able to stand, each in their own way. The first group, 144,000 from the tribes of Israel (vs 4-8), are sealed for protection before God’s wrath begins and they are not redeemed until later. The second is an innumerable group, the faithful in Christ, who’ve come through the Great Tribulation (vs 14).
Isn’t it reasonable to consider that God might want to show his power through these 144,000 sealed and protected Israelites in contrast to the deception wrought by the beast power and his mark? Revelation 14 appears to indicate this, since after being marked and sealed by God and surviving the first six trumpets they are finally redeemed and counted among the firstfruits of salvation.
1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.
It appears then that this group of faithful, a sealed and protected remnant of the tribes Israel, has been redeemed for the select purpose of standing as witnesses with the Lamb of God. They serve as evidence to the righteousness of God toward the whole of Israel and Judah. This act, together with Christ’s intervention on behalf of Zion and Jerusalem, clearly motivates many in and around Jerusalem to proclaim the Lord is our righteousness (Jeremiah 33:14-16).
The Scattered Return
We can see that even in their disobedience Israel is led to redemption just as we, who now abide in the abundant mercy of God, were called out of disobedience into his marvelous light. In the case of Israel there is a connection between the Time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Wrath of God. God is using the Great Tribulation and his own wrath as a corrective tool to lead Israel to repentance and ultimately into his grace and salvation. Why else seal the faithful 144,000 (Revelation 7) to protect them from his wrath if not as an example to encourage the disobedient. It is only through God that they can stand. All others will fall.
Now that the Lord has defeated the nations of the world in the battle at Armageddon, the healing and restoration process for Israel and the world can commence. Jerusalem and Zion will be the hub of his 1000-year reign on earth; the place from where he rules the nations as Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
- The law goes forth from Zion and Jerusalem
- He shall teach all the nations
- The nations will walk in the name of their gods – the heavenly kings and priests of our Lord(2)
- But Israel will walk in the name of the Lord – Israel has been and always will be the Lord’s portion of the nations (Deuteronomy 32:8-10)
To achieve all that’s implied by Micah requires that those of Israel’s descendants who are scattered among the nations need to be brought back to their own homeland. This too has been prophesied by many prophets in times past.
Zechariah 14:1-9, 16-19 – the Lord will battle for Zion and Jerusalem
- The Lord will be king over all the earth
- Survivors from the nations will come up to worship the King
- All in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord
Hosea 3:5 – the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, once he rules in Zion.
- They shall come in fear to the Lord
- They shall come to his goodness
7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, 8 and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.
Zechariah 8:11-17, 20-23
- Peace and abundance is what these people will possess
- No longer will you (Israel) be a curse and a byword among the nations
- You shall be a blessing to the nations
- Though I have corrected you, so also will I bless you and bring goodness to you
- Yet I still require goodness from you:
- Speak truth
- Render sound judgment
- Make peace
- Do not love false oaths
- Or devise evil against another
- The inhabitants of the cities will seek the favor of the Lord
- Great will be your prominence (Israel and Judah) among the nations. They will say to you, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.
12 He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
13 The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart,
and those who harass Judah shall be cut off;
Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah,
and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
14 But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west,
and together they shall plunder the people of the east.
They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites shall obey them.
15 And the Lord will utterly destroy
the tongue of the Sea of Egypt,
and will wave his hand over the River
with his scorching breath,
and strike it into seven channels,
and he will lead people across in sandals.
16 And there will be a highway from Assyria
for the remnant that remains of his people,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from the land of Egypt.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.
20 No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labor in vain
or bear children for calamity,
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord,
and their descendants with them.
24 Before they call I will answer;
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.
Isaiah 66:18-24 – a sign is set among them, that is Christ the Risen King
- The glory of the Lord will be declared among the nations
- They shall bring the descendants of Israel from all the nations as an offering to the Lord;
- On horses
- In chariots and litters
- On mules and donkeys
- And the Lord will take some of these for priests and Levites
- And the dead bodies of all those who fought against the Lord will continue to burn. In the fruit of their disobedience will the nations learn to trust in the Lord their God.
Jeremiah 30:3 – For behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.”
Jeremiah 30:4, 7-11– David their king shall be raised from the dead, and Israel and Judah shall serve the Lord.
- From far away you shall be saved, from the land of your captivity
- You shall return and have quiet and ease
- I will make a full end of the nations among whom I scattered you
- But I will not leave you unpunished
Jeremiah 31:1, 10-14
1 “At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.”
10 “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’ 11 For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. 12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more. 13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. 14 I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.”
Note in Jeremiah 31 that God alone takes responsibility for all the scattering of Israel and Judah. Likewise he takes responsibility for their restoration. It will happen by his hand and by his power. He alone will accomplish it (Jeremiah 33). Just as he accomplished their exodus from Egypt, when they had but a little strength, so even more will he accomplish their exodus from all the nations wherein he scattered them, and he will return them to their own land.
3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.
5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 8 but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
This greater exodus will again be at the hand of the Lord and he will lead them back to their own land that they might dwell with him in peace. The timing for this is clearly given – and he shall reign as king. Though some would like to believe that Israel’s restoration has already begun with the establishment of the Jewish nation in 1948, this event and those since simply don’t fit the prophesied restoration. The reestablishment of the Jewish nation in 1948 clearly has a purpose in God’s plan for his people, but it simply doesn’t sync with those prophecies given here.
A New Covenant for All Israel
To achieve and maintain that peace the Lord will do for Israel and Judah what he has already done for his saints, the firstfruits of salvation; he will remember their sins no more.
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Israel’s descendants will be the recipients of the new covenant. This is not like the covenant based on the righteousness of the law made with them through Moses. The covenant that they broke. In this new covenant he will remember their sins no more, for the author of that covenant has removed the sins of the world. It is at that time that all Israel will be called into covenant with Yeshua, the Christ, and they will know the Lord.
37 Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.
22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. 30 I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.
And the purpose for all of this – (vs 38) Then they will know that I am the Lord.
11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
Not only will Christ the King gather them from the nations where they were dispersed, he will gather them from the grave. Their resurrection will be to flesh and blood, as described earlier in Ezekiel 37. And it will come at a time that the Lord himself reigns on earth. And they will receive the covenant and the Holy Spirit then, just as we have received it now. And the path of the covenant for them will be the same path that we have walked – in obedience to Christ, the King, and ultimately into eternal life. And all that the Lord will do for them will not be for their own sake, but for the sake of his name among the nations.
Ezekiel 37: 24-28
24 “My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. 25 They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
This is Not the Only Day of Salvation
One glaring conclusion we can arrive at from understanding the process, methods, and timing God has employed to lead his chosen people (Israel) into obedience, is that today is not the only “Day of Salvation.” This is easy to recognize when we observe the process of our own redemption.
The current time of the Gentiles is unique in that God has chosen this time period to manifest the core objectives of the new covenant in Christ; personal salvation in the form of eternal life, and the new creation in Christ. This glorified outcome for those faithful to God is part of the mystery of God in Christ Jesus. The basis for that outcome, though, has always been the same; faith in God.
Though the details of each Christian’s conversion may vary significantly, the basic process is the same for all:
- We existed in a state of disobedience to the will and purpose of God.
- At some point God calls us to himself and we hear the call to repentance.
- We begin to see the many ways in which we are the recipients of God’s mercy and grace.
- It’s that mercy and grace that moves us closer to God. We can love him because he first loved us.
- At some point we accept and commit our lives to the new covenant in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and to be reconciled to God.
- What remains is for us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit: the character of Christ.
Looking at the work God will complete for his chosen people Israel, the same process of redemption is employed. We saw that outlined in Joel 2:
- They are faced with the Day of the Lord and the army of the Lord. The gods that they worship will not be able to save them (Jeremiah 2:4, 26-28). Only then are they willing to turn to the righteousness in Yeshua, the Christ.
- Many will hear the Lord’s call to repentance. When they see what Christ has manifested in his saints and those of their own nation standing with him on the mount (Revelation 14:1-4), many Jews will hear his call to repentance and return to the Lord and accept his righteousness.
- They will see how the Lord has mercy on his people. The gathering of their tribes and the establishment of their people in their own land will be two very real examples of God’s goodness toward them personally.
- Lastly, the Lord will make a new covenant with them. Through Yeshua, his son, he will lead them out of darkness and into his marvelous light. God will remember their sins no more.
- It is then, during this 1000-year reign of Christ on earth, that they will also have time to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit: the character of Christ.
This is what the righteous judgment of God looks like; a righteous judgment that leads to life. I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.
1) When I refer to Israel, like the authors of Scripture, I’m referring to the descendants of Jacob (renamed Israel). This does not fit the description of the modern nation of Israel which consists of people from many assorted nationalities. Also, the modern Jews (Judah) represent only one of the twelve original tribes of Israel. In the near future, God will call to himself, for a specific purpose, descendants from all twelve tribes as part of his kingdom-building process (Romans 9:4-5; 11; Revelation 7:4-8).
2) The term his god is translated from the Hebrew elohim. Elohim are divine beings. The Godhead is elohim, but not all elohim are God. Some elohim are created spiritual beings, and part of God’s divine council. See Dr. Michael Heiser’s book The Unseen Realm for details on the council of elohim that serve God. The idea that these are “heavenly kings and priests of our Lord” comes from the Lord’s judgment of, and promise to replace, the shepherds (rulers, both physical and spiritual) of Israel and the nations (Jeremiah 3:11-15; 23:3-6; Revelation 5:9-10).