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Israel–That is God’s Land

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Have you ever noticed that the whole Bible is framed by the People of God known as Israel?

  • Genesis to Deuteronomy declares God chooses them as His People.
  • Joshua through Esther declares God Gives them His Land
  • Psalms through Malachi declares God Promises them His Future Plans
  • Matthew through Jude declares God Uses them as His Ambassadors
  • Revelation declares God Finishes His Plans for them!

There are all 66 books of God’s Word in one frame work- ISRAEL!

During the last few centuries, the world, Christians included, has fallen into a bad habit. We have bought into some early Roman propaganda. We have used the name Palestine, which Roman Emperor Hadrian placed on the country of Israel in 135 A.D., for so long that it has become common usage. This would be as incorrect as calling the Russia of today the “Soviet Union” or referring toBerlin as “East Germany.”

History of the Term Palestine

Where did the term Palestine originate from? How did the world and the church get into the habit of calling the land of Israel “Palestine”? One who has done considerable research on this subject informs us that before 135 A.D., the Romans used the terms Judea and Galilee to refer to the Land of Israel. When Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Roman government struck a coin with the phrase “Judea Capta,” meaning Judea has been captured. The term Palestine was never used in the early Roman designations.

It was not until the Romans crushed the second Jewish revolt against Rome in 135 A.D. under Bar Kochba that Emperor Hadrian applied the term Palestine to the Land of Israel. Hadrian, like many dictators since his time realized the propaganda power of terms and symbols. He replaced the shrines of the Jewish Temple and the Sepulchre of Christ in Jerusalem with temples to pagan deities. He changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitalina, and changed the name of Israel and Judea to Palestine. Hadrian’s selection ofPalestine was purposeful, not accidental. He took the name of the ancient enemies of Israel, the Philistines, Latinized it to Palestine, and applied it to the Land of Israel. He hoped to erase the nameIsrael from all memory. Thus, the term Palestine as applied to theLand of Israel was invented by the inveterate enemy of the Bible and the Jewish people, Emperor Hadrian.

It is interesting to note that the original Philistines were not Middle Eastern at all. They were European peoples from the Adriatic sea next to Greece. It may have pleased Hadrian to utilize this Hellenistic term for the Jewish land. In any case, the original “Palestinians” had nothing to do, whatsoever, with any Arabs[1].

Now, stand and note how God calls this place on Earth we call Israel- “MY HOLY LAND!”

  • Leviticus 25:23 ”’The land must not be sold permanently,BECAUSE THE LAND IS MINE and you are but aliens and my tenants.
  • 2 Chronicles 7:20 then I will uproot Israel from MY LAND, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.
  • Isaiah 14:25 I will crush the Assyrian in MY LAND; on MY MOUNTAINS I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from MY PEOPLE, and his burden removed from their shoulders.”
  • Jeremiah 2:7 I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled MY LAND and made MY INHERITANCE detestable.
  •  Jeremiah 16:18 I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled MY LAND with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled MY INHERITANCE with their detestable idols.”
  • Ezekiel 38:16 You will advance against MY PEOPLE Israellike a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against MY LAND, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
  •  Joel 3:2 I will gather all nations and bring them down to theValley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning MY INHERITANCE, MY PEOPLEISRAEL, for they scattered MY PEOPLE among the nations and divided up MY LAND.
  •  Zechariah 2:12 And the Lord will take possession of Judahas HIS INHERITANCE IN THE HOLY LAND and will again choose Jerusalem.  

Palestinians? There never was a Palestinian people, nation, language, culture, or religion. The claim of descent from a Palestinian people who lived for thousands of years in a land calledPalestine is a hoax! That land was Canaan, inhabited by Canaanites, whom God destroyed because of their wickedness. Canaan became the land of Israel given by God to His people.

Those who today call themselves Palestinians are Arabs by birth, language, and culture, and are close relatives to Arabs in surrounding countries from whence most of them came, attracted by Israel’s prosperity. The name Palestine comes from thePhilistines, who were not Semites, but invaded Canaan from Crete and parts of Asia Minor. Yet Arafat, an Arab, claims that ancestry.

As previously noted, history records that in a.d. 130, the Romans rebuilt Jerusalem as a pagan city with a temple to Jupiter where the Jewish temple had stood. Provoked to rebellion, about 500,000 Jews were killed and thousands sold into slavery. The Romans angrily renamed Israel “Syria Palaestina.” Jews living there became known as Palestinians. During World War II, the British Army had a Palestinian Brigade made up entirely of Jewish volunteers. The Palestinian Symphony Orchestra was all Jewish, and The Palestine Post was a Jewish newspaper.

Israel’s claim to the land goes back 4,000 years to Abraham’s purchase of the cave of Machpelah in Hebron. There Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah are buried. In Hebron David was crowned king. This sacred Jewish site has no relationshipto Arabs or Muslims. Yet Muslims claim Hebron as their own, built a mosque to keep Jews and Christians from visiting the cave, and are determined to drive out every Jewish resident.

For 3,000 years Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Temple Mounton the summit of Mount Moriah is the heart of Jerusalem. This 35-acre parcel arouses such explosive passions that it could trigger World War III at any time. This is where Abraham built an altar to offer his son Isaac to God. That spot was purchased by King David from Ornan the Jebusite to build there an altar to God. There Solomon built the first temple. In its place now sits the Dome of the Rock, a monument to Islams unbiblical and irrational claim that Abraham offered, not Isaac, but Ishmael[2].

ARAB/ISRAELI WAR OF 1948

On May 14th  1948 David Ben Gurion declared that Israel was a nation again after nearly 2000 years in ruins and dispersion. But it was half a million against  40 Million: As soon as Israel proclaimed its independence, it was attacked byEgypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Roughly half a million Jews in Israel were surrounded by over 40 million Arabs who were determined to drive the Jews into the sea.  Between February 24 to July 20, 1949, several unsuccessful Arab invasions of Israeloccurred. All Arab forces were defeated. Ceasefire agreements were signed with each Arab state—although no peace agreement or guarantee of peace was included.

SUEZ CANAL WAR OF 1956

The Provocation: Since the birth of Israel in 1948, no vessel flying the blue and white Star of David flag has ever fully transited theSuez Canal. Only a handful of ships carrying Israeli cargo have been permitted through the waterway.  Now on July 26, 1956, President Nasser of Egypt seized the canal from its British and French owners, then denied its use to any ship going to Israel.

The War: In October that same year, Egypt, Jordan and Syriasigned an agreement placing their three armies under Nasser’s command. On October 29, Israel invaded the Sinai. France andBritain joined in the attack against Egypt. Israeli army captured theGaza strip and occupied most of the Sinai Penninsula east of Suez. Over one thousand Egyptians were killed and almost six thousand were taken prisoner. Israel”s loss was 181 dead and one taken prisoner.

6-DAY WAR OF 1967

The Threats: Several weeks before the war of 1967, Egypt issued a postage stamp showing Nasser with a map of Israel in flames at his right hand. On May 18, 1967, Nasser demanded the withdrawal of UN forces from the Sinai. The UN readily complied. And the Arab nations began massing troops on the borders of Israel. Egypt lined up 80,000 men; Syria 40,000; Jordan 40,000; Saudi Arabia 20,000.Iraq sent 5,000 troops to help Syria. On May 22nd, Nasser announced that the Gulf of Aqaba would be closed to Israeli shipping. Since Egypt had denied Israel’s use of the Suez Canal, thePort of Elath was Israel’s only port to the Red Sea, and the closing of Aqaba threatened its survival. Before fighting started, the radio inCairo announced: “Our people have been waiting 20 years for this battle. Now they will teach Israel the lesson of death!” Nasser went on the radio to say that any war with Israel “will be total, and the objective will be to destroy Israel.” A Syrian army commander predicted Israel’s destruction in 4 days. Israel was hedged in on 3 sides by Arab forces, and outnumbered 20-to-1.

Arming Egypt: According to Newsweek, the most important new factor in the start of the 1967 war was “the installation of an estimated 60 new missile sites. All told, the Egyptians now have some 180 Soviet-installed SAM-2 ground-to-air missiles and 240 of the more advanced SAM-3s. Egypt’s air defense has been further bolstered by a Soviet radar system along the Mediterranean coast and by the addition of 50 new MIG-21s, giving Cairo an air force of 450 Soviet jets. “Beneath this air umbrella, the Russians have armed the 100,000 Egyptian troops along the canal with a vast array of modern weapons. This includes 750 Soviet-built tanks, 350 Czechoslovakian amphibious craft and perhaps as many as 1,000 artillery pieces. (Three dozen of these are the mighty Russian 203-millimeter howitzers, which can lob a 200-pound warhead on toIsrael’s Bar Lev line from 18 miles inside Egyptian lines.) There are also reports that the Egyptians have received Russian “Frog” ground-to-ground missiles which can fire 800-pound warheads 30 to 40 miles. And stiffening the Egyptian ranks, there are some 12,000 Russians—half of them operational troops manning SAM-3 sites and the MIG-21s. … ”

The War: When Israeli radar picked up flights of enemy bombers, they launched a preemptive strike simultaneously against Egypt,Jordan and Syria, attacking 25 Arab air bases. When the air war cleared, 400 Arab war planes were gone. With Israel in control of the air, it was no problem for its army to drive the Egyptians from Sinai and gain control of the Gulf of Aqaba. Disregarding UN cease-fire orders, Israeli troops went on to within 30 miles of Damascus. The hardest fighting however took place in Jordan against Jordan’s cracked Arab Legion. On the second day of the war, the Israelis took the Old City of Jerusalem. Then the Jordanians were driven east of the river Jordan, and the Israelis also advanced to the Dead Sea. The Arabs now called for a ceasefire. Jerusalem, for the first time in nearly 2,600 years, came under Jewish control. In one week’s time,Israel’s land increased from 8,000 to 34,000 square miles, or four times its original territory.

30 Other Nations: While the war was in progress, the Pentagon reported that 30 nations in all were giving military or financial support to the Arab combatants. Soviet advisers were active in bothSyria and Egypt, and 30 North Korean pilots were flying in combat in the Egyptian Air Force.  President Nixon on October 19th asked Congress to provide 2.2 billion dollars in emergency military aid forIsrael.

Shortest War In History: Between June 5 to 10, 1967, Israel won the “shortest war in history.” All three “confrontation states” ofEgypt, Syria and Jordan were defeated. Israeli troops captured over $1 billion worth of Soviet-supplied armaments. Israeli army seized most of the Sinai Peninsula, the Jordanian sector of Jerusalem and all the West Bank region, plus the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip.

Its war booty is tabulated below:

Ten thousand trucks and other vehicles, some brand-new, straight from Russia; 100 immediately usable Russian T-54 tanks, and perhaps 200 others; hundreds of field guns and more than 70,000 tons of ammunition; a complete missile base with Soviet surface-to-air rockets.  Add to that the supplies and food of seven shattered Egyptian divisions. Add also arms and stores at a half-dozen abandoned military bases. The result is that Israel emerges by far the best armed country in the Mideast, with an arsenal so large it will take months to sort out.

YOM KIPPUR WAR OF 1973

Background: In the Scripture, the Lord provided for His people a day to repent of their sins. This most sacred command is found inLeviticus 23:6-7, “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord … In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.” This was calculated to be yearly, on 10 Tishrei in the Jewish calendar, and called Day of Atonement or “Yom Kippur.” That day happened to be October 6, 1973. In accord with Scripture, all Israelwas virtually closed down. No work was being done, no broadcasting and no newspaper. The people were fasting. Because sacrifice by fire is not possible without a temple, and the temple had been lost since AD 66, the modern Jews afflict their souls by fasting for the full 24-hour period. And so, Israel was quiet in national prayer, and the people were weakened with hunger by the time of the attack at 2 PM—some 20 hours into the fast period.

The War: On the Jewish Day of Atonement in 1973, Israel was attacked by the combined forces of Egypt and Syria, assisted by armed forces from Iraq, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia—a ratio of 12 to 1. At first, there were serious setbacks for Israel. But when the Israeli forces were fully mobilized, the enemy forces were driven back. Israel first defeated Syria and then counter-attacked Egypt which had crossed the Suez Canal. In a little more than two weeks, the Israelis were on the march toward both Cairo and Damascus. In a bold move, Israel armour forces cut between the Egyptian 2nd Army in the north and the 3rd Army in the south of Great Bitter Lake, crossed the Suez, and swept both north and south. By October 22, Israel had seized almost 500 square miles of Egypt west of the canal. The UN ordered a ceasefire.

Ceasefire: When the USSR was observed trying to ship nuclear arms to Alexandria, the United States put its armed forces worldwide on alert and moved units of the 6th Fleet closer to Egypt.Russia also alerted its forces. The world came one step closer to nuclear war. Under mutual agreement, the UN ceasefire was put into effect. Seven thousand UN troops were placed into a narrow strip of no-man’s land between Egyptian and Israeli forces. Later, the no-man’s land was moved further west in the Sinai peninsula.Israel controlled 6 times more territory that it did in 1948.

The Armaments:  The Arab forces outnumbered the Israelis in the field by 12 to 1, and their arsenal for this war was simply unbelievable. The Syrians alone fielded more tanks than are under the command of the whole NATO forces! Altogether, Russiadelivered 15,000 tons of equipment to Egypt and Syria on 934 flights—through Eastern Europe to Cairo or Damascus. The United States delivered 22,400 tons on 566 flights—over a route four times as long. The Yom Kippur War, although victorious for Israel, was a horror story. Of the 3 million Jews in Israel, she lost 2,500 in 18 days. This would be equivalent to the loss of about one-quarter million American soldiers at once.

Tonight the history of our Salvation is inextricably bound up in the history of God’s Chosen People of Destiny – The Jews.  That is why many years ago, when a great Bible conference speaker was asked to prove the inspiration of Scripture in one sentence,  he replied:  I’ll do it in one word – the Jews.

One nation on Earth was picked by God to be: His bearers of Truth, His Begetors of the Line of Messiah, and His Blessing to All Nations – ISRAEL. The Jewish People are God’s People, the Jewish Custom’s are God’s Shadow of things even yet to come.

What happens to ISRAEL has been ordained[4] by God. We need to be careful to understand from the past dealings of God with the Jews to realize, in the future, that He is still at work! First we must see that God has Chosen the Jews as His People[5], God has Chosen the Land of Canaan (not Palestine) as His Land, and God has Chosen the Destiny of the Nation of Israel as His Destined Plan for His Destined People. The Jews, the Land of Israel, and the Nation Israel are a Chosen People of Destiny.

  • Modern Israel only occupies about one-sixth of 1 percent of the land area  which the Arabs possess.
  • The Arab Nations have the oil, the wealth, and the worldwide influence which such seemingly inexhaustible resources command.
  • Israel’s postage-stamp piece of land scarcely discernible on a world map, and it lacks all the essentials to make it the center of worldwide concern.
  • Yet, In defiance of all reason, however, it is the focus of world attention, precisely as prophesied.

Next, within Israel, consider that city the entire world has heard of-Jerusalem.

  • Jerusalem is a small city with neither commercial nor strategic location. When the Old Testament prophets wrote of the future they did so with precision. Their astonishing accuracy singled out Jerusalem as the world focus. They didn’t sayDamascus, Cairo, London, or Paris would become the center of action in the last days, but Jerusalem.
  • Yet the eyes of the world are upon it as upon no other city.Jerusalem is indeed a “burdensome stone” (Zech 12. 1-3) around the necks of all nations of the world, the most vexing and volatile problem the United Nations faces today. There is no ordinary explanation for this! What the Hebrew prophets declared thousands of years ago and what seemed utterly fantastic in their time is being fulfilled in our day. This is only part of the evidence, as we shall see, that the prophesied “last days” are upon us and that our generation will likely see the remainder of Bible prophecy fulfilled.

There are so many more specific prophetic passages to be fulfilled in the last days, which based on the prophecies, which have already come true, we must conclude that these too will literally unfold in the not-too-distant future. Thus God has declared that the most appalling time of utter destruction both for Jews and for the entire population of the world lies yet ahead. To speak in Biblical terms God says watch out, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) spells danger and misery for the entire planet.

Tonight let me just conclude by reading to you this incredible summary of all specifics God has revealed about His Chosen People of Destiny, the Jews. Just listen and soak these in, we will actually look at them one-by-one in the Scriptures as we go tonight! I’m going fast with these, but remember what I teach today is usually online by Monday night at the Discover the Book Ministries website.

  1. God picked His chosen peopleof destiny as the Jews, descendents of Abraham, called Israel.   God picked one man in Ur of the Chaldees and asked him to walk hundreds of miles through the desert to a land filled with powerful kingdom states. And there in a series of revelations, the Almighty God of the Universe solemnly swore to this man a nation would descend from him that would be the Chosen People of Destiny. Those People are the Jewish People, the Israelites, and God’s People.
  2. God presented a landto His chosen people of destiny, the Jews, with clearly defined boundaries to Abraham. He renewed that promise to Abraham’s son Isaac, to his grandson Jacob, and to their descendants after them forever
  3. God proceeded to bringHis chosen people of destiny to the Promised Land. It is a historical fact that God brought these “chosen people” into the “Promised Land,” an amazing story of miracles in itself.
  4. God pronounced a curseupon His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny as they wandered the world without their Promised Land. God warned that wherever they wandered the Jews would be “an astonishment, a proverb, a byword…a curse and a reproach”. Amazingly, this has been true of the Jews all down through history, as even the present generation knows full well. Furthermore, the prophets declared that these scattered peoples would not only be slandered, denigrated, and discriminated against, but they would be persecuted and killed as no other peoples on the face of the earth. History stands as eloquent witness to the fact that this is precisely what has happened to the Jews century after century wherever they were found.  God warned his chosen people of destiny not to forget him in the promised land. When the Jewish people entered the Promised Land, God warned them that if they practiced the idolatry and immorality of the land’s previous inhabitants, whom He had destroyed for their evil, He would cast them out as well. That this happened is, again, an indisputable fact of history.  God described how he would scatter his unfaithful but chosen people of destiny from the promised land God declared that His people would be scattered “among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other”. And so it happened. “The wandering Jew” is found everywhere.
  5. God preservedHis chosen people of destiny from annihilation. God declared that in spite of such persecution and the periodic wholesale slaughter of Jews, He would not let His chosen people be destroyed, but would preserve them as an identifiable ethnic, national group. The Jews had every reason to intermarry, to change their names and hide their identity by any possible means in order to escape persecution.
  6. God promised to regatherHis chosen people of destiny back to the Promised Land as a source of fear for the whole world. The Bible declares that God determined to keep His chosen people separated to Himself because He would bring them back into their land in the last days prior to the Messiah’s second coming. That prophecy and promise, so long awaited, was fulfilled in the rebirth of Israel in her Promised Land. It happened at last in 1948, nearly 1900 years after the final Diaspora at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Roman armies of Titus. This restoration of a nation after 25 centuries is utterly astonishing, a phenomenon without parallel in the history of any other peoples and inexplicable by any natural means, much less by chance. God declared that in the last days before the Messiah’s second coming, Jerusalem would become “a cup of trembling…a burdensome stone for all people”. At the time Zechariah uttered this prophecy 2500 years ago, Jerusalem lay in ruins and was surrounded by wilderness.  And so it remained century after century. Zechariah’s prophecy seemed to be utter madness even after Israel’s rebirth in 1948. Yet today, exactly as foretold, a world of nearly 6 billion people has its eyes uponJerusalem, fearful that the next world war, if it breaks out, will be fought over that tiny city. What an incredible fulfillment of prophecy!

[1] Tom McCall, Levitt Letter, 12/97.

[2] Dave Hunt, “O Jerusalem” Berean Call newsletter, 9/00.

[3] Information drawn from articles in Tan, Paul Lee, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations, (Garland, Texas: Bible Communications, Inc.) 1996.

[4]  What were God’s Objectives in choosing Israel? He called Israel to proclaim His existence as God, and to proclaim Him as Jehovah the God of Revelation. He then would demonstrate through Israel the blessing to be derived from belonging to God. They were to become the writers and preservers of God’s revelation, and become God’s nation-priest to the nations of the world, and finally to bring into the world – the world’s Redeemer.

[5]  Quoted, paraphrased, and drawn from Hunt, Dave, A Woman Rides the Beast. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1994, p. 21-26

 
 
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