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Regathered by God

MOI-13    NR5-19

010617PM

There were two moments in history when it seemed that there would be an extermination of the chosen descendents of Abraham. Once was 2500 years ago, the other time was 58 years ago. Just briefly look with me at Esther 1:1; 3:8-14; 7:4 and then we will remember the dark hours of 1939-45 when it seemed that Hitler and the Axis powers might make it and defeat the Allies. Both were Satan at work!

Satan’s instrument of the hours from 1939-1945 was Adolph Hitler. Satan had found a man that would totally yield to him. Hitler’s early life could be characterized by one word, “failure.” He eeked out a meager existence by living on his dead mothers limited savings and an Orphan’s Pension which came from his fathers service in the Customs Department. His attempt at higher education was thwarted. He wanted to be an artist and so applied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. They refused to accept him because his sketches were not up to the standards they required. Next, he applied to the School of Architecture and was refused. Author Treavor Ravenscroft says “…unable to make friends, Hitler became day by day a more solitary and embittered figure.”

To make a long story short, Hitler was angry at God and society because of his plight in life, therefore he rebelled against God and society. In his quest for power to change his plight young Hitler turned to the occult. He began by spending all his free time in the Hofberg Library in Vienna, Austria reading books on the history of the occult and Eastern religions. The occult seemed to offer the power Adolph was searching for.

Next came the discovery that changed Hitler’s life and drove him deeper into the occult. What was it?

In that library there is an ancient spear, believed by many, to be the one used to pierce the side of Christ. Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Church in Chicago says in his book The Antichrist’s New Age Roots,

“One day when Adolph Hitler was in his early twenties, he overheard a tour group guide point out the spear to a group of guests and say, ‘This spear is shrouded in mystery; whoever unlocks its secrets will rule the world.’ Later Hitler said that those words had changed his whole life.”

He spent hours staring at the spear that had pierced the side of Christ. He believed the spear was possessed by secret occult powers and invited those powers to invade his soul. Trevor Ravenscroft records the eye witness account of Dr. Walter Stein who stood beside young Hitler as he gazed at the spear,

“Adolph[1] Hitler stood…like a man in a trance, a man over whom some dreadful magic spell had been cast…He was swaying on his feet as though caught up in some totally inexplicable euphoria…His whole [facial appearance] physiognomy and stance appeared transformed as if some mighty Spirit now inhabited his very soul, creating within and around him a kind of evil transformation of its own nature and power.”

Hitler wanted to enhance his occult powers further. He had already used the meditation techniques that he had learned about while studying the Eastern religions. But that proved too slow for him. Earnest Pretzsche, a used book dealer, introduced him to a psychedelic drug containing mescaline. This quickly produced clairvoyant visions that led Hitler to believed he had tapped into supernatural powers he could use for his own purposes.

After four years in Vienna, Hitler left and went to Munich. There he got involved with others who were dedicated to the pursuit of occult powers. That brings me to a little known fact. The original members of the Nazis (National Socialist Party) were hard-core satanists. It was the Nazis who led a willing Hitler into deeper levels of occult involvement. In fact, Dietrich Eckart, an occultist of the highest degree, and a practitioner of black magic, bragged before he died, “I have initiated him (Hitler) into the ‘Secret Doctrine,’ opened his centers in vision and given him the means of communication with the Powers…I shall have influenced history more than any other German.” (Ravenscroft, p.91).

So what are the implications of this Satanic initiation? It is here that Hitler had his demonic “new birth” and became totally demonized. From this point on, Hitler indeed did have demonic power. In fact, Eckart had told Hitler that he had received a satanic annunciation that he was to prepare the vessel of the Antichrist, the man who would be inspired by Lucifer to conquer the world and lead the Aryan race to glory. Hitler saw himself as that man.

But where did he get his ideas about the Aryan race? They came from the Thule Society. Thule was supposedly a lost island inhabited by an ancient race who were “masters of wisdom,” who though unseen, were superior and highly intelligent. Hitler believed he was in contact with them and that they gave him power and energy. Through his alleged contacts with this mythical superior race, he believed he was destined to lead the Aryans to rule the world as Eckart had said.

You may ask, “did any of Hitlers associates think he was demon possessed or is this all hype?” The answer is yes, they did think he was demon possessed!

Rauschning, one of Hitlers associates before he defected to the West, said “One[2] cannot help but think of him as a medium…beyond any doubt Hitler was possessed by forces outside himself…”

Hitler was a rebel. He rebelled against society and he rebelled against God! His rebellion against God is further illustrated by what was done to the LORD’S PRAYER during the pinnacle of Hitlers career in Germany. It was changed to read,

Our Father, Adolph, who art on earth, Hallowed be thy name, the Third Reich come…”

Hitler had put himself in the place of God and desired the worship of men. He followed the same path as his father the devil followed in Isaiah 14, seeking personal exaltation and the worship of others. He also found that Satan lived up to the titles given him in Revelation 9:11 “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apolllyon.” The translation of both words is “destroyer”.

Hitler was used by Satan to destroy six million plus of God’s chosen people. Multiplied thousands more were destroyed in war. Then in mockery of Hitler himself, Satan motivated him to commit suicide, destroying himself.

As a point of application to all of us young and old, rebellion against your parents, rebellion against God or rebellion against authority is Dangerous with a capital “D.” It is an open invitation to Satan to destroy your life!

Christ, on the other hand offers you an abundant life. If you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, I would urge you to receive him today. When you call upon Christ to save you from your sins, God delivers you from the power of darkness and brings you into the wonderful kingdom of His Son.

ESTHER

One of the greatest moments in history was the moment that God”s Chosen people of promise were within a few days of almost total extinction. Never in all the countless years from Abraham’s call to the birth of Christ were they ever closer than in our study tonight.

As long as man has been on earth Satan has sought to derail the plan of redemption. Cain kills Abel. God has to exterminate the contaminated race except for Noah and kin. Babel unites the world against God. Abram is chosen. The Jews are persecuted first by Egypt then by Amalek.

Nowhere is the drama of God”s plan and Satan’s attack more clearly seen than in the backdrop of Esther.

  • Haman [mentioned 45x in the Scriptures; literally “magnificent”, chief minister of Ahasuerus, enemy of Mordecai and the Jews, who  plotted to kill the Jews but, being foiled by Esther, was executed,  with his family, on the post he had made for Mordecai]. Haman was the last descendent of the Jew killing Amalekites  [3:1] poised to at last exterminate the people of the Covenant.
  • Mordecai [mentioned 60x in the Scriptures; literally “little man” cousin and adoptive father of queen Esther] He was the son of Jair of the  tribe of Benjamin; deliverer under Divine providence of the children of Israel from the destruction plotted by Haman the chief  minister of Ahasuerus; institutor of the feast of Purim; a Jew who returned from exile with Zerubbabel] a faithful and obedient descendent of Saul[2:5] is the tool God uses to complete His plan for the Amalekites.

Theme: The God who is in control

The book of Esther is a skillfully crafted book demonstrating the unfailing control of God. Our Lord is seen in the seemingly insignificant coincidences of life that together form the tapestry of His providential directing all things together for good. Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to [His] purpose. (NASB)

Satan is our mortal enemy. He works through the nations of the world. The Amalekites represent the world arrayed against the people of God. They were first to attack the people of God. The chronology of the Agagites, Amalekites and Israel:

  • Amalekites were Israel”s first foes Exodus 17:8  Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. (NKJV) through v. 16 THIS IS 1445 BC.
  • Israel was to blot out even their memory Deuteronomy 25:17-19  Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, 18 how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you [were] tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess [as] an inheritance, [that] you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget. (NKJV) THIS IS 1406 BC.
  • Saul attacks Agag King of the Amalekites; 1 Samuel 15:20 And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. (NKJV) But is not faithful. THIS IS 1050-1010 BC, 400 YEARS LATER!
  • Now Haman the Agagite serving under Xerxes [486-465 BC] attacks Israel again 500 years later !

God is our Victory. Jehovah-nissi, “our Banner” as He fights the enemies of His Kingdom for us.  Exodus 17:8-10, 14-16     Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us, and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 And Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar, and named it The LORD is My Banner; 16 and he said, “The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.” (NASB)

We need to seek His intervention in the battles of life. Exodus 17:11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

God commands them to destroy their enemies completely—As we are to do also through Christ.

  1. Amalek was their foe.Deuteronomy 25:17-19  “Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, 18 how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. 19 “Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget. (NASB)
  2. The flesh is our foe.Colossians 3:5  Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. (NASB)
  3. The Holy Spirit is jealous for our whole hearted devotion.James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? (NASB)
  4. The reward for complete devotion to the Lord is fabulous.Isaiah 33:14-16Sinners in Zion are terrified; Trembling has seized the godless. “Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?” 15 He who walks righteously, and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain, And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; 16 He will dwell on the heights; His refuge will be the impregnable rock; His bread will be given [him;] His water will be sure. (NASB)

God has promised the Victory. In the Old Testament Balaam prophesied the coming doom of the Amalekites. Numbers 24:20 And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said, “Amalek was the first of the nations, But his end [shall be] destruction.” (NASB)

God wanted to use Saul for the task but Saul failed the test. He did not finish the work of God.

  1. THE COMMAND WAS CLEAR. 1 Samuel 15:1-3 Then Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD. 2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek [for] what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3 ‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” (NASB)
  2. THE DISOBEDIENCE WAS TRAGIC. 1 Samuel 28:18“As you did not obey the LORD and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the LORD has done this thing to you this day. (NASB)

The Conclusion:

God is at work Guiding His Plan from start to finish. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: (KJV)

God will defeat His enemies whoever they may be!

  • Amalekites 1500 BC
  • Canaanites 1400-1300 BC
  • Philistines 1200-1000 BC
  • Syrians 1000-800 BC
  • Assyrians 800-700 BC
  • Babylonians 700-600 BC
  • Persians 600-300 BC
  • Greeks 300 BC – 100 BC
  • Romans 100 BC – 400 AD
  • Europeans, Moslems, etc.  400 AD onward

God Always Wins

  • His Sovereign plans are never frustrated . . .
  • Human hatred and bitterness always lead to personal destruction as in Haman.

God uses regular people like us who will obey Him.  2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. (KJV)

God’s sovereign rule is assumed though never stated throughout the book. This makes His power even more vivid because it is seen but never mentioned.  Esther 4:12-16 And they related Esther’s words to Mordecai. Then Mordecai told [them] to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Then Esther told [them] to reply to Mordecai, “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (NASB)

The Major themes of the Book of Esther:

GOD HAS PROMISED DELIVERANCE FOR HIS PEOPLE!

  1. ISRAEL IS SPECIAL. God always has considered Israel as His special possession.Exodus 19:4-5 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth [is] Mine. (NKJV)
  2. ISRAEL IS PROTECTED. God has always guarded Israel as being protected as we guard the delicate pupils of our eyes.
  • Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. (NKJV)
  • Lamentations 2:18 Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease. (KJV)
  • Zechariah 2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. (KJV)
  1. ESTHER PORTRAYS DELIVERANCE. Purim is the feast of remembrance for the deliverance under Esther. It is described in its start and purpose.
  • Esther was called upon to be the tool of deliverance. Esther 2:19-23     And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 Esther had not yet made known her kindred or her people, even as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther did what Mordecai told her as she had done when under his care. 21 In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s officials from those who guarded the door, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 But the plot became known to Mordecai, and he told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. 23 Now when the plot was investigated and found [to be so,] they were both hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the Book of the Chronicles in the king’s presence. (NASB)
  • All the Jews were at risk. Esther 3:6  But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him[ who] the people of Mordecai [were;] therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who [were] throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. (NASB)

GOD HAS PROMISED CONFLICT FOR HIS PEOPLE

  1. Satan is our mortal enemy. He works through the nations of the world. The Amalekites represent the world arrayed against the people of God. They were first to attack the people of God. The chronology of the Agagites, Amalekites and Israel:
  • Amalekites were Israel”s first foes Exodus 17:8  Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. (NKJV) through v. 16 THIS IS 1445 BC.
  • Israel was to blot out even their memory Deuteronomy 25:17-19  Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, 18 “how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you [were] tired and weary; and he did not fear God. “Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess [as] an inheritance, [that] you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget. (NKJV) THIS IS 1406 BC.
  • Saul attacks Agag King of the Amalekites 1 Samuel 15:20 And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. (NKJV) But is not faithful. THIS IS 1050-1010 BC, 400 YEARS LATER!
  • Now Haman the Agagite serving under Xerxes [486-465 BC] attacks Israel again 500 years later !
  1. God is our Victory. Jehovah-nissi, our Banner as He fights the enemies of His Kingdom for us. Exodus 17:8-10, 14-16     Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us, and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 And Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar, and named it The LORD is My Banner; 16 and he said, “The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.” (NASB)
  2. We need to seek His intervention in the battles of life.Exodus 17:11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
  3. God commands them to destroy their enemies completely. As we are to also through Christ.
  • Amalek was their foe. Deuteronomy 25:17-19 “Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, 18 how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. 19 “Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget. (NASB)
  • The flesh is our foe. Colossians 3:5  Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. (NASB)
  • The Holy Spirit is jealous for our whole hearted devotion. James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? (NASB)
  • The reward for complete devotion to the Lord is fabulous. Isaiah 33:14-16 Sinners in Zion are terrified; Trembling has seized the godless. “Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?” 15 He who walks righteously, and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain, And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; 16 He will dwell on the heights; His refuge will be the impregnable rock; His bread will be given [him;] His water will be sure. (NASB)
  1. God has promised the Victory. In the Old Testament Balaam prophesied the coming doom of the Amalekites.Numbers 24:20 And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said, “Amalek was the first of the nations, But his end [shall be] destruction.” (NASB)
  2. God wanted to use Saul for the task but Saul failed the test. He did not finish the work of God.
  • THE COMMAND WAS CLEAR. 1 Samuel 15:1-3     Then Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD. 2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek [for] what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3 ‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” (NASB)
  • THE DISOBEDIENCE WAS TRAGIC. 1 Samuel 28:18 “As you did not obey the LORD and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the LORD has done this thing to you this day. (NASB)

GOD HAS PROMISED REST FOR HIS PEOPLE!

IT IS SURE: The Lord will bring it to pass. Deuteronomy 25:19 “Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget. (NASB)

IT IS SIMPLE. Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you shall be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” But you were not willing, (NASB)

IT IS SANCTIFICATION. Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. (NASB)

IT IS SALVATION.  Hebrews 4:1-16     Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” 9 There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through [following] the same example of disobedience. 16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. (NASB)

God is at Work Guiding His Plan from Start to Finish

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: (KJV)

God will defeat His enemies whoever they may be!

  • Amalekites 1500 BC
  • Canaanites 1400-1300 BC
  • Philistines 1200-1000 BC
  • Syrians 1000-800 BC
  • Assyrians 800-700 BC
  • Babylonians 700-600 BC
  • Persians 600-300 BC
  • Greeks 300 BC – 100 BC
  • Romans 100 BC – 400 AD
  • Europeans, Moslems, etc.  400 AD onward

God always wins.

  • His Sovereign plans are never frustrated . . .
  • Human hatred and bitterness always lead to personal destruction as in Haman.

God uses regular people like us who will obey Him.  2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. (KJV)

Why did all this happen? Because four thousand and one hundred years ago, God made a promise called a covenant with a man we know named Abraham. In Genesis 12:1-3 God declares that His primary focus will be on His promises to Abraham. God promised three elements: a land, multiplied descendants (seed), and His Special Blessing. This 3-fold promise became, in turn, the basis of the covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:1-20). All the rest of Scripture bears out the fulfillment of these promises. That a specifically identifiable land (Genesis 15:18-21) was intimately linked with Abram’s having many descendants in God’s purpose and in the Abrahamic Covenant was clearly revealed and, in a formal ceremony (Genesis 15:9-21), would be placed irrevocably beyond dispute.

So with an unbreakable promise God gave to Abraham a people, a blessing, and a land!

Listen to this incredible summary of all specifics God has revealed about His Chosen People of Destiny, the Jews.

  1. God picked His chosen people of destiny as the Jews, descendents of Abraham, called Israel.  
  2. God presented a land to His chosen people of destiny the Jews with clearly defined boundaries.
  3. God proceeded to bring His chosen people of destiny to the Promised Land.
  4. God pronounced a curse upon His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny as they wandered the world without their Promised Land. God promised the children of Israel great blessing in the land of promise if they would remain faithful to Him. He also predicted great suffering, persecution and worldwide dispersion when they forsook Him. These prophecies came to pass. God warned that wherever they wandered the Jews would be “an astonishment, a proverb, a byword…a curse and a reproach”  Some of these warnings were as follows:
  • Deuteronomy 28:64,66 The LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; . . . And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life”.
  1. God preserved his 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.
  • Jeremiah 30:11 I am with you and will save you, declares the LORD. “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely Destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

Absorption by those among whom they found themselves would have seemed inevitable, so that little trace of the Jews as a distinct people should have remained today.  After all, these despised exiles have been scattered to every corner of the world for 2500 years since the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.  Could “tradition” be that strong without real faith in God?

  1. God promised to regather his chosen people of destiny back to the promised land. 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.
  • Isaiah 11:11, 12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time [note, the second time — the first was when He brought them back from the Babylonian captivity] to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, . . . and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
  • Jeremiah 30:10 “’So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,’  declares the LORD. ‘I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.
  • Jeremiah 31:8-12  See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. 9 They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son.  10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd. 11 For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.
  • Ezekiel 36:24, 35-38 For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it. 37 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Once again I will yield to the plea of the house of Israel and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep, 38 as numerous as the flocks for offerings at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
  • Ezekiel 37:21 Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.
  • Hosea 3:4-5 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.

The “wandering Jews” were without a national home for “many days”  and it seemed impossible that such prophecies as these could ever be fulfilled.  Even many Bible-believing Christians thought for centuries that God was through with Israel and that all the Old Testament promises to Israel should be spiritualized and applied to the church. But now, with the return of the Jews and the re-establishment of their nation, it is evident in a unique way that God’s Word means exactly what it says.

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.

  1. God prophesied He would make his chosen people of destiny a source of fear for the whole world when they get back to the Promised Land in unbeliefGod 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 upon Jerusalem, fearful that the next world war, if it breaks out, will be fought over that tiny city. What an incredible fulfillment of prophecy! Even more impossible than the fact that a people could retain its identity without a homeland for two thousand years is the fact that they should then return and establish their ancient nation once again. Yet this is exactly what the Bible had predicted. What an incredible fulfillment of prophecy!
  • Zechariah 12:2-3 I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.

God is at work today in The saga of the Jews:

  • The Jews began to return to Palestine in small numbers in the early part of the twentieth century, and then in much larger numbers after World War I and the Balfour Declaration. Jerusalem was still under British rule, however.
  • After World War II, the Israeli nation declared its independence in 1948 and was soon recognized by most of the nations and by the United Nations. The new city of Jerusalem indeed did go back to the Jews at this time. However, the old city, including the all-important temple site on Mount Moriah, remained in the hands of the Jordanian Arabs.
  • In the “six-day war” of 1967, Israel finally recaptured the old city of Jerusalem, and the Israelis insist they will never let it go again. As of Christmas 2000 they have retained possession of all of Jerusalem for thirty-three long years, and there is no indication at all that the Arabs are going to recapture it.

Could God be waiting for something to happen? Yet, the Lord has not come! The times of the Gentiles are still in full sway, even though Jerusalem has apparently gone back to the Jews. However, there is one exception. This exception makes all the difference and indicates with what fine lines the Holy Spirit inscripturates His Word. Jerusalem is not, in God’s judgment, a collection of houses and streets, like other cities. It is a temple where God dwells, where His people approach Him through sacrifice, and where He meets with them.

God has focused on 40 acres of land: As Solomon built the temple (1200×800 foot Temple Mount), God said: “I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there” (2 Chronicles 6:6). But long before this, God had first spoken through Moses: “There shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD” (Deuteronomy 12:11).

Where is ground zero: This place was not just any place in Jerusalem; it was an exact spot, chosen by God.

  • It was on Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1) Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
  • the spot which God told David to purchase from Ornan the Jebusite and to set up the altar there (1 Chronicles 21:18) Therefore, the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David that David should go and erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
  • This was the same spot where Abraham had, almost a thousand years before, prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. (Genesis 22:2) Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
  • These 40 acres are only a short distance from Calvary itself. This spot, to the Jews and to God, is Jerusalem! And, amazingly, this one spot is the only spot in Jerusalem still controlled by Gentiles. It is on Mount Moriah that the Arabs have built their famous Dome-of-the-Rock, the second most holy place in the Muslim world. The Jews, for political or other reasons, have not yet dared to expel the Arabs from this site, raze it, and proceed to rebuild their temple, as they surely desire to do. It is apparently by this exceedingly slender thread, therefore, that the “times of the Gentiles” are still suspended.
  • As the Lord Jesus said, “One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).

Arthur W. Kac M.D., The Death and Resurrection of Israel. Baltimore: King Brothers, Inc., 1969, 239, [ESCH 13]. Pg. 210:

Pgs 225-28 – The following excerpt is from an article by L. Nelson Bell, M.D., the Father-in-Law of Dr. Billy Graham and executive editor of Christianity Today. “That there is a deep mystery in God’s dealings with and plans for Israel is obvious to all students of the Bible. Many wild interpretations have come out of the study of the subject. But there has come rich blessing to those who will let the Scriptures speak for themselves. In the Old Testament and New there are prophecies that speak definitely of Israel as a nation. Many have been fulfilled, and their literal fulfillment strengthens our faith. Other prophecies have yet to be fulfilled. Our Lord, giving a panorama of the last days { the duration of which is not specifically stated), says in speaking of the Jews, ‘They will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’ {Luke 21:24). That for the first time in more than 2,000 years Jerusalem is now completely in the hands of the Jews gives a student of the Bible a thrill and a renewed faith in the accuracy and validity of the Bible. The Jews as a separate people demonstrate a mystery and a hope. Their continuance as a people in the midst of all other nations is in itself a miracle. The cohesiveness of these Jews is demonstrated by the fact that at least ninety-six countries are represented in Israel today-from the ends of the earth, but Jews all. I have visited Palestine twice, the last time four years ago, and have been amazed to note the resourcefulness, unity of purpose and hard work by which Israel has truly made the desert to ‘bloom as the   rose’ ( Isaiah 35: 1) .These people did not return to Palestine primarily because of religious convictions. It is rather a strong nationalism that has drawn them together. But a small minority in their midst pore over the Old Testament Scriptures and see God’s hand working in their behalf. The entire world has been impressed with the Israeli fighting forces. Military experts have used such terms as ‘unbelievable’, ‘fantastic’, and ‘overwhelming’ in speaking of their brilliant tactics and efficiency in the recent war. We ask, Did this just happen? Pictures show the pinpoint accuracy of the raid on Arab air fields. In many cases planes on the ground were destroyed one by one (over 400 in all) without great damage to the landing strips. Just as the Egyptian army was beginning a retreat through the Milta Pass in Sinai, a perfectly placed bomb destroyed a large Egyptain tank in the pass, completely blocking retreat. Hundreds of Egyptian tanks and trucks were either destroyed or stranded. A veteran of Rommel’s retreat at El Alameinßsaid that this spectacle of destroyed or immobilized heavy equipment beggared anything he had ever seen. The same element of overwhelming military victory is found in every area of the six-day war. We ask again, Did it just happen? One cannot help thinking that in all of this God was working out His own purposes, far above and beyond the capabilities of men and nations! Christians must remember that in events like this we see only a tiny segment of history. Not only does God move in mysterious ways; with Him a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. For this reason unwarranted dogmatism can lead to foolish conclusions. At the same time, the events in the Middle East certainly fit at least in some measure-into the picture revealed in the Scriptures. If we say, as the Arabs do, that Israel has no right to exist, we may prove blind to her peculiar destiny under the providence of God. Isaiah’s and Ezekiel’s prophecies regarding Egypt seem singularly applicable at this time. Nasser’s dire threats still ring in our ears: ‘Israel must be destroyed’, ‘We will swallow you up’; ‘You invaders will be driven into the sea’; and ‘The Gulf of Akaba is permanently closed to Israeli shipping.’ But we read in Isaiah, ‘In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand which the LORD of hosts shakes over them. And the land of  Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose which the LORD of hosts has purposed against them’ {Isaiah 19: 16-17). It is thrilling to see a segment of prophecy being fulfilled!”[1] The following pronouncement was issued by the Board of Directors of Biola Schools and Colleges. “Recent events have focused the attention of the world upon Biblical prophecies relating to the fulfillment of Israel’s destiny. Prominent among predicted end-time events related to the coming of Jesus the Messiah is the return of the Jews to their land and their redemption. It appears that recent developments in the Middle East may be preparing the way for these great prophetic events. Analysts of contemporary developments should exercise caution at this point, however, in equating particular events with fulfillments per se of specific prophecies. The millions who died in the Nazi holocaust have not been forgotten by Christian people, and there are many upon whose consciences this tragedy still rests painfully. It is true that some atrocities in the past have been committed by some in the church, but there are many in the church who have spoken out against these evils as a violation of the spirit of love in true Christianity, and who have contributed to the rescue, resettlement and rehabilitation of thousands of Jews. God’s eternal love for Israel is abundantly delineated in the Holy Scriptures and for many Christians this is an article of faith. Throughout its history the nation Israel has been the object of opposition and attack by Satan, the arch enemy of God’s purpose and program. Untaught and unholy men have unwittingly cooperated with the devil in this. It is our conviction that the true people of God should not be found in league with those who oppose the will and work of God for Israel. Anti-Semitism is anti-Biblical and un-Christian. Recent attempts to equate anti-Semitism with the New Testament are false and unfounded. Moreover, statements and actions of some professing Christians are not to be viewed as representing the Christian attitude as a whole. God has an eternal purpose for all the nations and for Israel in particular. He chose this nation to be the channel of world redemption. While mankind failed to cooperate fully in the working out of God’s purpose, it is abundantly evident in the Scriptures that His purpose will not on that account be thwarted but will be fully and gloriously accomplished. God’s purpose for the Arab world includes promises of national enlargement and blessing. They along with all Gentiles are the objects of God’s love and of the proclamation of His grace. Therefore, we acknowledge our indebtedness to them, as to all nations, and desire to contribute to their spiritual, social, and material needs. While the Bible discloses and interprets past and present events with regard to God’s plan, its basic concern is with the future. The ultimate purpose of God includes the establishment of a perfect kingdom of the nations of the world. Then God will dwell with men and rule over them in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, through whom He has provided personal salvation for all men who put their trust in Him.”[2]

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There were two moments in history when it seemed that there would be an extermination of the chosen descendents of Abraham. Once was 2500 years ago, the other time was 58 years ago. Just briefly look with me at Esther 1:1; 3:8-14; 7:4 and then we will remember the dark hours of 1939-45 when it seemed that Hitler and the Axis powers might make it and defeat the Allies. Both were Satan at work!

Satan’s instrument of the hours from 1939-1945 was Adolph Hitler. Satan had found a man that would totally yield to him. Hitler’s early life could be characterized by one word, “failure.” He eeked out a meager existence by living on his dead mothers limited savings and an Orphan’s Pension which came from his fathers service in the Customs Department. His attempt at higher education was thwarted. He wanted to be an artist and so applied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. They refused to accept him because his sketches were not up to the standards they required. Next, he applied to the School of Architecture and was refused. Author Treavor Ravenscroft says “…unable to make friends, Hitler became day by day a more solitary and embittered figure.”

To make a long story short, Hitler was angry at God and society because of his plight in life, therefore he rebelled against God and society. In his quest for power to change his plight young Hitler turned to the occult. He began by spending all his free time in the Hofberg Library in Vienna, Austria reading books on the history of the occult and Eastern religions. The occult seemed to offer the power Adolph was searching for.

Next came the discovery that changed Hitler’s life and drove him deeper into the occult. What was it?

In that library there is an ancient spear, believed by many, to be the one used to pierce the side of Christ. Erwin Lutzer, pastor of MoodyChurch in Chicago says in his book The Antichrist’s New Age Roots,

“One day when Adolph Hitler was in his early twenties, he overheard a tour group guide point out the spear to a group of guests and say, ‘This spear is shrouded in mystery; whoever unlocks its secrets will rule the world.’ Later Hitler said that those words had changed his whole life.”

He spent hours staring at the spear that had pierced the side of Christ. He believed the spear was possessed by secret occult powers and invited those powers to invade his soul. Trevor Ravenscroft records the eye witness account of Dr. Walter Stein who stood beside young Hitler as he gazed at the spear,

“Adolph[1] Hitler stood…like a man in a trance, a man over whom some dreadful magic spell had been cast…He was swaying on his feet as though caught up in some totally inexplicable euphoria…His whole [facial appearance] physiognomy and stance appeared transformed as if some mighty Spirit now inhabited his very soul, creating within and around him a kind of evil transformation of its own nature and power.”

Hitler wanted to enhance his occult powers further. He had already used the meditation techniques that he had learned about while studying the Eastern religions. But that proved too slow for him. Earnest Pretzsche, a used book dealer, introduced him to a psychedelic drug containing mescaline. This quickly produced clairvoyant visions that led Hitler to believed he had tapped into supernatural powers he could use for his own purposes.

After four years in Vienna, Hitler left and went to Munich. There he got involved with others who were dedicated to the pursuit of occult powers. That brings me to a little known fact. The original members of the Nazis (National Socialist Party) were hard-core satanists. It was the Nazis who led a willing Hitler into deeper levels of occult involvement. In fact, Dietrich Eckart, an occultist of the highest degree, and a practitioner of black magic, bragged before he died, “I have initiated him (Hitler) into the ‘Secret Doctrine,’ opened his centers in vision and given him the means of communication with the Powers…I shall have influenced history more than any other German.” (Ravenscroft, p.91).

So what are the implications of this Satanic initiation? It is here that Hitler had his demonic “new birth” and became totally demonized. From this point on, Hitler indeed did have demonic power. In fact, Eckart had told Hitler that he had received a satanic annunciation that he was to prepare the vessel of the Antichrist, the man who would be inspired by Lucifer to conquer the world and lead the Aryan race to glory. Hitler saw himself as that man.

But where did he get his ideas about the Aryan race? They came from the Thule Society. Thule was supposedly a lost island inhabited by an ancient race who were “masters of wisdom,” who though unseen, were superior and highly intelligent. Hitler believed he was in contact with them and that they gave him power and energy. Through his alleged contacts with this mythical superior race, he believed he was destined to lead the Aryans to rule the world as Eckart had said.

You may ask, “did any of Hitlers associates think he was demon possessed or is this all hype?” The answer is yes, they did think he was demon possessed!

Rauschning, one of Hitlers associates before he defected to the West, said “One[2] cannot help but think of him as a medium…beyond any doubt Hitler was possessed by forces outside himself…”

Hitler was a rebel. He rebelled against society and he rebelled against God! His rebellion against God is further illustrated by what was done to the LORD’S PRAYER during the pinnacle of Hitlers career in Germany. It was changed to read,

Our Father, Adolph, who art on earth, Hallowed be thy name, the Third Reich come…”

Hitler had put himself in the place of God and desired the worship of men. He followed the same path as his father the devil followed in Isaiah 14, seeking personal exaltation and the worship of others. He also found that Satan lived up to the titles given him in Revelation 9:11 “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apolllyon.” The translation of both words is “destroyer”.

Hitler was used by Satan to destroy six million plus of God’s chosen people. Multiplied thousands more were destroyed in war. Then in mockery of Hitler himself, Satan motivated him to commit suicide, destroying himself.

As a point of application to all of us young and old, rebellion against your parents, rebellion against God or rebellion against authority is Dangerous with a capital “D.” It is an open invitation to Satan to destroy your life!

Christ, on the other hand offers you an abundant life. If you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, I would urge you to receive him today. When you call upon Christ to save you from your sins, God delivers you from the power of darkness and brings you into the wonderful kingdom of His Son.

ESTHER

One of the greatest moments in history was the moment that God”sChosen people of promise were within a few days of almost total extinction. Never in all the countless years from Abraham’s call to the birth of Christ were they ever closer than in our study tonight.

As long as man has been on earth Satan has sought to derail the plan of redemption. Cain kills Abel. God has to exterminate the contaminated race except for Noah and kin. Babel unites the world against God. Abram is chosen. The Jews are persecuted first byEgypt then by Amalek.

Nowhere is the drama of God”s plan and Satan’s attack more clearly seen than in the backdrop of Esther.

  • Haman [mentioned 45x in the Scriptures; literally “magnificent”, chief minister of Ahasuerus, enemy of Mordecai and the Jews, who  plotted to kill the Jews but, being foiled by Esther, was executed,  with his family, on the post he had made for Mordecai]. Haman was the last descendent of the Jew killing Amalekites  [3:1] poised to at last exterminate the people of the Covenant.
  • Mordecai [mentioned 60x in the Scriptures; literally “little man” cousin and adoptive father of queen Esther] He was the son of Jair of the  tribe of Benjamin; deliverer under Divine providence of the children of Israel from the destruction plotted by Haman the chief  minister of Ahasuerus; institutor of the feast of Purim; a Jew who returned from exile with Zerubbabel] a faithful and obedient descendent of Saul[2:5] is the tool God uses to complete His plan for the Amalekites.

Theme: The God who is in control

The book of Esther is a skillfully crafted book demonstrating the unfailing control of God. Our Lord is seen in the seemingly insignificant coincidences of life that together form the tapestry of His providential directing all things together for good. Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to [His] purpose. (NASB)

Satan is our mortal enemy. He works through the nations of the world. The Amalekites represent the world arrayed against the people of God. They were first to attack the people of God. The chronology of the Agagites, Amalekites and Israel:

  • Amalekites were Israel”s first foes Exodus 17:8  Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. (NKJV) through v. 16 THIS IS 1445 BC.
  • Israel was to blot out even their memory Deuteronomy 25:17-19  Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, 18 how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you [were] tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess [as] an inheritance, [that] you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget. (NKJV) THIS IS 1406 BC.
  • Saul attacks Agag King of the Amalekites; 1 Samuel 15:20And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. (NKJV) But is not faithful. THIS IS 1050-1010 BC, 400 YEARS LATER!
  • Now Haman the Agagite serving under Xerxes [486-465 BC] attacks Israel again 500 years later !

God is our Victory. Jehovah-nissi, “our Banner” as He fights the enemies of His Kingdom for us.  Exodus 17:8-10, 14-16     Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us, and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 And Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar, and named it The LORD is My Banner; 16 and he said, “The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.” (NASB)

We need to seek His intervention in the battles of life. Exodus 17:11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

God commands them to destroy their enemies completely—As we are to do also through Christ.

  1. Amalek was their foe.Deuteronomy 25:17-19  “Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, 18 how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. 19 “Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget. (NASB)
  2. The flesh is our foe.Colossians 3:5  Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. (NASB)
  3. The Holy Spirit is jealous for our whole hearted devotion.James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? (NASB)
  4. The reward for complete devotion to the Lord is fabulous.Isaiah 33:14-16 Sinners in Zion are terrified; Trembling has seized the godless. “Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?” 15 He who walks righteously, and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain, And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; 16 He will dwell on the heights; His refuge will be the impregnable rock; His bread will be given [him;] His water will be sure. (NASB)

God has promised the Victory. In the Old Testament Balaam prophesied the coming doom of the Amalekites. Numbers 24:20And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said, “Amalek was the first of the nations, But his end [shall be] destruction.” (NASB)

God wanted to use Saul for the task but Saul failed the test. He did not finish the work of God.

  1. THE COMMAND WAS CLEAR. 1 Samuel 15:1-3 Then Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD. 2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek [for] what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3 ‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” (NASB)
  2. THE DISOBEDIENCE WAS TRAGIC. 1 Samuel 28:18“As you did not obey the LORD and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the LORD has done this thing to you this day. (NASB)

The Conclusion:

God is at work Guiding His Plan from start to finish. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: (KJV)

God will defeat His enemies whoever they may be!

  • Amalekites 1500 BC
  • Canaanites 1400-1300 BC
  • Philistines 1200-1000 BC
  • Syrians 1000-800 BC
  • Assyrians 800-700 BC
  • Babylonians 700-600 BC
  • Persians 600-300 BC
  • Greeks 300 BC – 100 BC
  • Romans 100 BC – 400 AD
  • Europeans, Moslems, etc.  400 AD onward

God Always Wins

  • His Sovereign plans are never frustrated . . .
  • Human hatred and bitterness always lead to personal destruction as in Haman.

God uses regular people like us who will obey Him.  2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. (KJV)

God’s sovereign rule is assumed though never stated throughout the book. This makes His power even more vivid because it is seen but never mentioned.  Esther 4:12-16 And they related Esther’s words to Mordecai. Then Mordecai told [them] to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Then Esther told [them] to reply to Mordecai, “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (NASB)

The Major themes of the Book of Esther:

GOD HAS PROMISED DELIVERANCE FOR HIS PEOPLE!

  1. ISRAEL IS SPECIAL. God always has considered Israel as His special possession.Exodus 19:4-5 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth [is] Mine. (NKJV)
  2. ISRAEL IS PROTECTED. God has always guarded Israel as being protected as we guard the delicate pupils of our eyes.
  • Deuteronomy 32:10 “He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. (NKJV)
  • Lamentations 2:18 Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease. (KJV)
  • Zechariah 2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. (KJV)
  1. ESTHER PORTRAYS DELIVERANCE. Purim is the feast of remembrance for the deliverance under Esther. It is described in its start and purpose.
  • Esther was called upon to be the tool of deliverance. Esther 2:19-23     And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 Esther had not yet made known her kindred or her people, even as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther did what Mordecai told her as she had done when under his care. 21 In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s officials from those who guarded the door, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 But the plot became known to Mordecai, and he told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. 23 Now when the plot was investigated and found [to be so,] they were both hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the Book of the Chronicles in the king’s presence. (NASB)
  • All the Jews were at risk. Esther 3:6  But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him[ who] the people of Mordecai [were;] therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who [were] throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. (NASB)

GOD HAS PROMISED CONFLICT FOR HIS PEOPLE

  1. Satan is our mortal enemy. He works through the nations of the world. The Amalekites represent the world arrayed against the people of God. They were first to attack the people of God. The chronology of the Agagites, Amalekites and Israel:
  • Amalekites were Israel”s first foes Exodus 17:8  Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. (NKJV) through v. 16 THIS IS 1445 BC.
  • Israel was to blot out even their memory Deuteronomy 25:17-19  Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, 18 “how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you [were] tired and weary; and he did not fear God. “Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess [as] an inheritance, [that] you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget. (NKJV) THIS IS 1406 BC.
  • Saul attacks Agag King of the Amalekites 1 Samuel 15:20And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. (NKJV) But is not faithful. THIS IS 1050-1010 BC, 400 YEARS LATER!
  • Now Haman the Agagite serving under Xerxes [486-465 BC] attacks Israel again 500 years later !
  1. God is our Victory. Jehovah-nissi, our Banner as He fights the enemies of His Kingdom for us. Exodus 17:8-10, 14-16     Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us, and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 And Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar, and named it The LORD is My Banner; 16 and he said, “The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.” (NASB)
  2. We need to seek His intervention in the battles of life.Exodus 17:11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
  3. God commands them to destroy their enemies completely. As we are to also through Christ.
  • Amalek was their foe. Deuteronomy 25:17-19 “Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, 18 how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. 19 “Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget. (NASB)
  • The flesh is our foe. Colossians 3:5  Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. (NASB)
  • The Holy Spirit is jealous for our whole hearted devotion.James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? (NASB)
  • The reward for complete devotion to the Lord is fabulous.Isaiah 33:14-16 Sinners in Zion are terrified; Trembling has seized the godless. “Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?” 15 He who walks righteously, and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain, And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; 16 He will dwell on the heights; His refuge will be the impregnable rock; His bread will be given [him;] His water will be sure. (NASB)
  1. God has promised the Victory. In the Old Testament Balaam prophesied the coming doom of the Amalekites.Numbers 24:20And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said, “Amalek was the first of the nations, But his end [shall be] destruction.” (NASB)
  2. God wanted to use Saul for the task but Saul failed the test. He did not finish the work of God.
  • THE COMMAND WAS CLEAR. 1 Samuel 15:1-3     Then Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD. 2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek [for] what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3 ‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” (NASB)
  • THE DISOBEDIENCE WAS TRAGIC. 1 Samuel 28:18 “As you did not obey the LORD and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the LORD has done this thing to you this day. (NASB)

GOD HAS PROMISED REST FOR HIS PEOPLE!

IT IS SURE: The Lord will bring it to pass. Deuteronomy 25:19“Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget. (NASB)

IT IS SIMPLE. Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you shall be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” But you were not willing, (NASB)

IT IS SANCTIFICATION. Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. (NASB)

IT IS SALVATION.  Hebrews 4:1-16     Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” 9 There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through [following] the same example of disobedience. 16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. (NASB)

God is at Work Guiding His Plan from Start to Finish

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: (KJV)

God will defeat His enemies whoever they may be!

  • Amalekites 1500 BC
  • Canaanites 1400-1300 BC
  • Philistines 1200-1000 BC
  • Syrians 1000-800 BC
  • Assyrians 800-700 BC
  • Babylonians 700-600 BC
  • Persians 600-300 BC
  • Greeks 300 BC – 100 BC
  • Romans 100 BC – 400 AD
  • Europeans, Moslems, etc.  400 AD onward

God always wins.

  • His Sovereign plans are never frustrated . . .
  • Human hatred and bitterness always lead to personal destruction as in Haman.

God uses regular people like us who will obey Him.  2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. (KJV)

Why did all this happen? Because four thousand and one hundred years ago, God made a promise called a covenant with a man we know named Abraham. In Genesis 12:1-3 God declares that His primary focus will be on His promises to Abraham. God promised three elements: a land, multiplied descendants (seed), and His Special Blessing. This 3-fold promise became, in turn, the basis of the covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:1-20). All the rest of Scripture bears out the fulfillment of these promises. That a specifically identifiable land (Genesis 15:18-21) was intimately linked with Abram’s having many descendants in God’s purpose and in the Abrahamic Covenant was clearly revealed and, in a formal ceremony (Genesis 15:9-21), would be placed irrevocably beyond dispute.

So with an unbreakable promise God gave to Abraham a people, a blessing, and a land!

Listen to this incredible summary of all specifics God has revealed about His Chosen People of Destiny, the Jews.

  1. God picked His chosen peopleof destiny as the Jews, descendents of Abraham, called Israel.  
  2. God presented a landto His chosen people of destiny the Jews with clearly defined boundaries.
  3. God proceeded to bringHis chosen people of destiny to the Promised Land.
  4. God pronounced a curseupon His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny as they wandered the world without their Promised Land. God promised the children of Israel great blessing in the land of promise if they would remain faithful to Him. He also predicted great suffering, persecution and worldwide dispersion when they forsook Him. These prophecies came to pass. God warned that wherever they wandered the Jews would be “an astonishment, a proverb, a byword…a curse and a reproach”  Some of these warnings were as follows:
  • Deuteronomy 28:64,66 The LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; . . . And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life”.
  1. 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.
  • Jeremiah 30:11 I am with you and will save you, declares the LORD. “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely Destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

Absorption by those among whom they found themselves would have seemed inevitable, so that little trace of the Jews as a distinct people should have remained today.  After all, these despised exiles have been scattered to every corner of the world for 2500 years since the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.  Could “tradition” be that strong without real faith in God?

  1. God promised to regatherhis chosen people of destiny back to the promised land. 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.
  • Isaiah 11:11, 12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time[note, the second time — the first was when He brought them back from the Babylonian captivity] to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, . . . and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
  • Jeremiah 30:10 “’So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,’  declares the LORD. ‘I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.
  • Jeremiah 31:8-12  See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. 9 They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son.  10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd. 11 For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.
  • Ezekiel 36:24, 35-38 For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it. 37 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Once again I will yield to the plea of the house of Israel and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep, 38 as numerous as the flocks for offerings at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
  • Ezekiel 37:21 Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.
  • Hosea 3:4-5 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.

The “wandering Jews” were without a national home for “many days”  and it seemed impossible that such prophecies as these could ever be fulfilled.  Even many Bible-believing Christians thought for centuries that God was through with Israel and that all the Old Testament promises to Israel should be spiritualized and applied to the church. But now, with the return of the Jews and the re-establishment of their nation, it is evident in a unique way that God’s Word means exactly what it says.

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 ofJerusalem 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.

  1. God prophesiedHe would make his chosen people of destiny a source of fear for the whole world when they get back to the Promised Land in unbelief 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! Even more impossible than the fact that a people could retain its identity without a homeland for two thousand years is the fact that they should then return and establish their ancient nation once again. Yet this is exactly what the Bible had predicted. What an incredible fulfillment of prophecy!
  • Zechariah 12:2-3 I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will makeJerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.

God is at work today in The saga of the Jews:

  • The Jews began to return to Palestine in small numbers in the early part of the twentieth century, and then in much larger numbers after World War I and the Balfour Declaration.Jerusalem was still under British rule, however.
  • After World War II, the Israeli nation declared its independence in 1948 and was soon recognized by most of the nations and by the United Nations. The new city ofJerusalem indeed did go back to the Jews at this time. However, the old city, including the all-important temple site on Mount Moriah, remained in the hands of the Jordanian Arabs.
  • In the “six-day war” of 1967, Israel finally recaptured the old city of Jerusalem, and the Israelis insist they will never let it go again. As of Christmas 2000 they have retained possession of all of Jerusalem for thirty-three long years, and there is no indication at all that the Arabs are going to recapture it.

Could God be waiting for something to happen? Yet, the Lord has not come! The times of the Gentiles are still in full sway, even thoughJerusalem has apparently gone back to the Jews. However, there is one exception. This exception makes all the difference and indicates with what fine lines the Holy Spirit inscripturates His Word.Jerusalem is not, in God’s judgment, a collection of houses and streets, like other cities. It is a temple where God dwells, where His people approach Him through sacrifice, and where He meets with them.

God has focused on 40 acres of land: As Solomon built the temple (1200×800 foot Temple Mount), God said: “I have chosenJerusalem, that my name might be there” (2 Chronicles 6:6). But long before this, God had first spoken through Moses: “There shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD” (Deuteronomy 12:11).

Where is ground zero: This place was not just any place in Jerusalem; it was an exact spot, chosen by God.

  • It was on Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1) Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
  • the spot which God told David to purchase from Ornan the Jebusite and to set up the altar there (1 Chronicles 21:18) Therefore, the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David that David should go and erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
  • This was the same spot where Abraham had, almost a thousand years before, prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. (Genesis 22:2) Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
  • These 40 acres are only a short distance from Calvary itself. This spot, to the Jews and to God, is Jerusalem! And, amazingly, this one spot is the only spot in Jerusalem still controlled by Gentiles. It is on Mount Moriah that the Arabs have built their famous Dome-of-the-Rock, the second most holy place in the Muslim world. The Jews, for political or other reasons, have not yet dared to expel the Arabs from this site, raze it, and proceed to rebuild their temple, as they surely desire to do. It is apparently by this exceedingly slender thread, therefore, that the “times of the Gentiles” are still suspended.
  • As the Lord Jesus said, “One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).

Arthur W. Kac M.D., The Death and Resurrection of Israel.Baltimore: King Brothers, Inc., 1969, 239, [ESCH 13]. Pg. 210:

Pgs 225-28 – The following excerpt is from an article by L. Nelson Bell, M.D., the Father-in-Law of Dr. Billy Graham and executive editor of Christianity Today. “That there is a deep mystery in God’s dealings with and plans for Israel is obvious to all students of the Bible. Many wild interpretations have come out of the study of the subject. But there has come rich blessing to those who will let the Scriptures speak for themselves. In the Old Testament and New there are prophecies that speak definitely of Israel as a nation. Many have been fulfilled, and their literal fulfillment strengthens our faith. Other prophecies have yet to be fulfilled. Our Lord, giving a panorama of the last days { the duration of which is not specifically stated), says in speaking of the Jews, ‘They will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’ {Luke 21:24). That for the first time in more than 2,000 years Jerusalem is now completely in the hands of the Jews gives a student of the Bible a thrill and a renewed faith in the accuracy and validity of the Bible. The Jews as a separate people demonstrate a mystery and a hope. Their continuance as a people in the midst of all other nations is in itself a miracle. The cohesiveness of these Jews is demonstrated by the fact that at least ninety-six countries are represented in Israel today-from the ends of the earth, but Jews all. I have visited Palestine twice, the last time four years ago, and have been amazed to note the resourcefulness, unity of purpose and hard work by which Israel has truly made the desert to ‘bloom as the   rose’ ( Isaiah 35: 1) .These people did not return to Palestine primarily because of religious convictions. It is rather a strong nationalism that has drawn them together. But a small minority in their midst pore over the Old Testament Scriptures and see God’s hand working in their behalf. The entire world has been impressed with the Israeli fighting forces. Military experts have used such terms as ‘unbelievable’, ‘fantastic’, and ‘overwhelming’ in speaking of their brilliant tactics and efficiency in the recent war. We ask, Did this just happen? Pictures show the pinpoint accuracy of the raid on Arab air fields. In many cases planes on the ground were destroyed one by one (over 400 in all) without great damage to the landing strips. Just as the Egyptian army was beginning a retreat through the Milta Pass in Sinai, a perfectly placed bomb destroyed a large Egyptain tank in the pass, completely blocking retreat. Hundreds of Egyptian tanks and trucks were either destroyed or stranded. A veteran of Rommel’s retreat at El Alameinßsaid that this spectacle of destroyed or immobilized heavy equipment beggared anything he had ever seen. The same element of overwhelming military victory is found in every area of the six-day war. We ask again, Did it just happen? One cannot help thinking that in all of this God was working out His own purposes, far above and beyond the capabilities of men and nations! Christians must remember that in events like this we see only a tiny segment of history. Not only does God move in mysterious ways; with Him a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. For this reason unwarranted dogmatism can lead to foolish conclusions. At the same time, the events in the Middle East certainly fit at least in some measure-into the picture revealed in the Scriptures. If we say, as the Arabs do, that Israel has no right to exist, we may prove blind to her peculiar destiny under the providence of God. Isaiah’s and Ezekiel’s prophecies regarding Egypt seem singularly applicable at this time. Nasser’s dire threats still ring in our ears: ‘Israel must be destroyed’, ‘We will swallow you up’; ‘You invaders will be driven into the sea’; and ‘The Gulf of Akaba is permanently closed to Israeli shipping.’ But we read in Isaiah, ‘In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand which the LORD of hosts shakes over them. And the land of  Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose which the LORD of hosts has purposed against them’ {Isaiah 19: 16-17). It is thrilling to see a segment of prophecy being fulfilled!”[1] The following pronouncement was issued by the Board of Directors of Biola Schools and Colleges. “Recent events have focused the attention of the world upon Biblical prophecies relating to the fulfillment ofIsrael’s destiny. Prominent among predicted end-time events related to the coming of Jesus the Messiah is the return of the Jews to their land and their redemption. It appears that recent developments in the Middle East may be preparing the way for these great prophetic events. Analysts of contemporary developments should exercise caution at this point, however, in equating particular events with fulfillments per se of specific prophecies. The millions who died in the Nazi holocaust have not been forgotten by Christian people, and there are many upon whose consciences this tragedy still rests painfully. It is true that some atrocities in the past have been committed by some in the church, but there are many in the church who have spoken out against these evils as a violation of the spirit of love in true Christianity, and who have contributed to the rescue, resettlement and rehabilitation of thousands of Jews. God’s eternal love for Israel is abundantly delineated in the Holy Scriptures and for many Christians this is an article of faith. Throughout its history the nation Israel has been the object of opposition and attack by Satan, the arch enemy of God’s purpose and program. Untaught and unholy men have unwittingly cooperated with the devil in this. It is our conviction that the true people of God should not be found in league with those who oppose the will and work of God for Israel. Anti-Semitism is anti-Biblical and un-Christian. Recent attempts to equate anti-Semitism with the New Testament are false and unfounded. Moreover, statements and actions of some professing Christians are not to be viewed as representing the Christian attitude as a whole. God has an eternal purpose for all the nations and for Israel in particular. He chose this nation to be the channel of world redemption. While mankind failed to cooperate fully in the working out of God’s purpose, it is abundantly evident in the Scriptures that His purpose will not on that account be thwarted but will be fully and gloriously accomplished. God’s purpose for the Arab world includes promises of national enlargement and blessing. They along with all Gentiles are the objects of God’s love and of the proclamation of His grace. Therefore, we acknowledge our indebtedness to them, as to all nations, and desire to contribute to their spiritual, social, and material needs. While the Bible discloses and interprets past and present events with regard to God’s plan, its basic concern is with the future. The ultimate purpose of God includes the establishment of a perfect kingdom of the nations of the world. Then God will dwell with men and rule over them in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, through whom He has provided personal salvation for all men who put their trust in Him.”[2]

[1] The Spear of Destiny, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York.

[2]  Gerald Suster, Hitler: The Occult Messiah.

* This has reference to the defeat of the German army in North Africa in World War Two.

[1] L. Nelson Bell, “Unfolding Destiny”, article in Christianity Today (Washington ,D.C.), July 21, 1967. Copyright 1967 by Christianity Today. Reprinted by permission.

[2] “A Proclamation Concerning Israel, And The Nations”, issued by the Board of Directors of Biola Schools and Colleges, Inc., La Mirada, California, November 9, 1967. Reprinted by permission

 
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