The Miracle of Israel – 9
THE MIRACLE OF ISRAEL GOD’S UNBREAKABLE PROMISE TO ABRAHAM AND THE FOUR WARS 1948-1973
Please open to Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17.
In these short verses we see the infernal strategy of Satan to devour, destroy, and defeat God’s plan and His people. It is only one verse of a Bible full of pictures of Satan the Destroyer of God’s people of Promise, The Jews!
1. When Satan heard the promise of “the seed of the woman” in Genesis 3 he immediately tried to ruin God’s Word by having Cain kill Abel. 2. Seth was later born and started the godly line of promise so Satan’s infernal plan was to try to inbreed demons with the godly line and totally corrupt the line of Messiah, so God saved the last pure family and drowned everyone else. 3. Satan followed the line and lured Abram into moon god worship (the same moon god as Islam worships today) and thought he won, but God called Abram and he obeyed God. 4. Then Satan’s infernal strategy was to get Abram impatient and thereby to get the line defiled by Hagar the Egyptian, but God picked the son of promise as the second born (like Seth, Jacob, and so on). 1. Then the famine drove Israel to Egypt where Satan tried to kill the male children as they were born, to destroy the nation, so God killed every 1st born and led His people out in triumph. 6. Then the successive waves of Canaanites, Philistines, Arameans, Assyrians, Ethiopians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans came and tried to do Satan’s infernal bidding. 7. After the Dispersion no people group has ever experienced the horrors of pogroms, extermination attempts, and outright oppression like God’s People the Jews. 8. Then Hitler arrived and came within a couple of years of wiping out over half of all the Jews and their homeland! 9. But today we see the even more deadly scenario. The world is slowly lining up behind the notion that the Nation of Israel has no right to
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exist as a distinct entity. In the recent speeches of Arab leaders we see a growing drumbeat of hatred and a desire for the extinction of God’s Chosen People of Promise.
Following close on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s antisemitic comments to Pope John Paul II in Damascus, Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas asserted on Wednesday that killing Jews is a duty for Arabs.
“We live a tradition of martyrdom,” Tlas said in an interview on Lebanese TV. “When I see a Jew before me, I kill him. If every Arab did this, it would be the end of the Jews.”
Tlas is known for authoring a book purporting to document the 1841 charge against the Jews of Damascus for killing Arab children to use their blood in making matza at Passover. The book’s account of this vicious blood libel has now become the subject of a play by an Egyptian writer.
In addition to the Tlas outburst, the official Syrian government daily TISHRIN on Monday accused the Jewish state of a long history of massacres and crimes against Palestinians and against sites sacred to Moslems and Christians. “The contemporary Zionists are the same as those Jews who were fought by Jesus Christ who in turn uncovered their hypocrisy and crimes, the director-general of the paper wrote in a front-page editorial. The editorial was titled “The murderers of prophets and children,” and charged that Israelis had “slaughtered children without mercy,” among other alleged wrongs.
These comments mirror the remarks made by Assad when greeting the Pope on his arrival in Damascus last Saturday. Assad blamed Israel for murdering and torturing Palestinians and attacking Muslim and Christian religious sites. Israelis “try to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and tortured him, and in the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Muhammad,” Assad charged.
He also suggested the Jewish people had unjustly benefited from exaggerating their past sufferings. Assad’s comments followed his recent repeated attacks on Israeli society for being “more racist than Nazism” for electing the “killer” Ariel Sharon as prime minister. At no point during the four-day visit to Syria did the pope or Vatican officials condemn or challenge Assad’s attack on the Jewish people.
Interestingly, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein made a similar appeal to Christian antiSemitism in an anti-Israel speech last Christmas Eve in Baghdad. “Principles of Islam and the teachings of Jesus Christ make it imperative on us to take the road that satisfies God and our conscience… that is the road of jihad. Without jihad we will not realize what we are hoping for in achieving peace and justice and saving humanity from the evils of the criminals, the murderers.” THE FOUR WARS
Therefore, in order to view modern world events in a biblical perspective, we have to take off the glasses provided to us by secular journalists and historians, and put on our biblical glasses that see the movements of the
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nations from the microscopic vantage point of Israel. Modern Israel has fought four major wars during the last fifty years, and each one has played an important role in setting the stage for the prophesied events of the Tribulation:
1. 1947-48 War of Independence: restoration of Israel
2. 1956 Suez Canal: assertion of national sovereignty
3. 1967 Six-Day War: recapture of the Temple Mount
4. 1973 Yom Kippur War: solidified West Bank occupation
5. 1993 Intifada War: the right to exist!
Through all these wars, which were relatively minor in comparison with the World Wars but major for Israel’s survival, the Satanic strategy was to destroy Israel through the Arab armies, mostly armed by the Soviet Bloc. But God protected His Chosen Nation through the sacrificial dedication of the Jewish people, and the support of the United States and a handful of other nations. If we do not recognize this titanic supernatural background behind the observable struggle, we are not looking at recent history from a biblical viewpoint. The four wars each played a significant role in the great struggle between the Lord and Satan over the preservation of Israel.
What may be next? First remember the fundamental truth of Islam is that it has superceded both Judaism and Christianity. That is why there are Mosques built over the Temple site (Dome of the Rock) and the Birthplace of the Church (El Aqsa). 2nd the Koran declares that any land ever posseseed by Islam is eternally their’s and may never be returned or even one inch given up (that is why the Moslems call the Birth of Israel Naqba or Catastrophe). Finally, the Koran says that no Moslem will ever be ruled over by a Jew (thus the tension over Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, Judea and Samaria).
So what may be next? One possible scenario is in a look at Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, and Jeremiah 49. The quick view is this: there will soon be a regional war for Jerusalem. Maybe even this Tuesday as the Arab world mourns Naqba (Catastrophe Day 5/15/48 and the rebirth of Israel). Here is the plan: Ezekiel 36 says God will restore Israel for HIS NAME. Psalm 83:6-8 may give an outline of that next war as a coalition of: Saudi Arabia Jordan Palaestinian
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Lebanon Iraq/Syria But not Egypt
Will attack Israel and seek to take over Jerusalem. All Arabs tried in 1948 to stop the rebirth; all tried in 1967 to wipe out Israel; only some joined in 1973; but this time Egypt will sit out most likely because of the Aswan High Dam. The largest military target in the region would send a wall of water down the Nile Valley that would kill millions of Egyptians. So the biggest army bordering Israel sits out, so that leaves the Syria/Iraq alliance.
What happens? It appears from Isaiah 17 that Damascus is melted in a whirlwind (Isaiah 17:17 and Psalm 83:13 both have whirlwinds, the effect of an atomic blast). Also Jeremiah 49 says Damascus burns. And Zechariah 12:2 says all the nations that border (savivla is surround) Israel will tremble. Finally Zechariah 12:3.
Later a weakened and divided Jerusalem is attacked by
The process of this latter-day, prophetic move, as expressed by Ezekiel, is what I call the three R’s of end-time Bible prophecy concerning Israel: 1. RETURNED from exile to the land of their forefathers (36:8); 2. RESTORED of the land (36:9-15) 3. REDEEMED AND RENEWED of the spiritual life of the Jewish people in the land. (36:16-28)
Yes, this day is today! The rabbis themselves even refer to our present day as, “Messianic Days.” Surely, we can see that the land IS being restored and the people have been returning for over 100 years. And, as the Jewish immigrants return, many from former communist lands where the worship of God and the reading of the Bible were forbidden, they are now learning of the Lord God of Israel in their ancient homeland, and a true spiritual renewal is beginning to take place. It is not all happening at once, but it is certainly in process.
ISRAEL’S REBIRTH IS GOD’S TESTIMONY TO THIS WORLD: Ezekiel gives us God’s last word to the heathen nations of the world who sought to occupy His land and prevent His people from returning. In 36:34-36, he says: “The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. 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! Then the nations around you that remain will know that I, the Lord, have
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rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.”
ISRAEL’S 2ND RETURN IS FINAL: This is an irreversible process, since we are promised that there will never be another exile (Amos 9:15; Isaiah 11:11).
• Isaiah 11:11 It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea. • Amos 9:15 I will plant them in their land, And no longer shall they be pulled up From the land I have given them,” Says the Lord your God.
ISRAEL IS NOT READY FOR GOD TODAY: God has much to teach Israel in the days ahead. And while Israel has been promised the entire Land, we nevertheless must allow room for God to judge the nation of Israel in her borders, just as in biblical days, as His chosen means of divine correction, knowing His higher goal is to bring her to Himself • Ezekiel 20:33-44 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. 36 Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the Lord God. 37 “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 39 “As for you, O house of Israel,” thus says the Lord God: “Go, serve every one of you his idols—and hereafter—if you will not obey Me; but profane My holy name no more with your gifts and your idols. 40 For on My holy mountain, on the mountain height of Israel,” says the Lord God, “there all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, shall serve Me; there I will accept them, and there I will require your offerings and the firstfruits of your sacrifices, together with all your holy things. 41 I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles. 42 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your
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fathers. 43 And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings with which you were defiled; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight because of all the evils that you have committed. 44 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel,” says the Lord God.’ ” • Hosea 5:14-6:3 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them away, and no one shall rescue. 15 I will return again to My place Till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” 1 Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. 3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
ISRAEL IS THE LORD’S LAND AND BIBLICAL CHRISTIANS SHOULD HONOR THEM AS THE LORD’S PEOPLE: Regardless of political developments within the Jewish State, we are to stand by her, encourage her, make her jealous by our zeal for Him and for His Word, and declare the Word of God to her concerning her destiny. • Isaiah 62:1-12 For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. 2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name. 3 You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God. 4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.5 For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you. 6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, 7 And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 8 The Lord has sworn by His right hand And by the arm of His strength: “Surely I will no longer give your grain As food for your enemies; And the sons of the foreigner shall not drink your new wine, For which you have labored. 9 But those who have gathered it shall eat it, And praise the Lord; those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts.” 10 Go through, Go
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through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; Build up, Build up the highway! Take out the stones, Lift up a banner for the peoples! 11 Indeed the Lord has proclaimed To the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.’ ” 12 And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord; And you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken. • Romans 11:11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.
THE CHURCH NEEDS TO MAINTAIN A BIBLICAL ORIENTATION: We Christ’s Church are commanded to honor the natural olive tree of Israel into which we have been grafted (Romans 11:17-18). We note that there is a Body of Messiah in the Land of Israel today with much to offer the universal Body of believers – a living testament to the Jewish roots of our faith and to the faithfulness of God to His promises, and a means to counter antiSemitism and encourage the Church in the nations to embrace Biblical Zionism.
• Romans 11:17-18 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
ISRAEL IS GOD’S KEY TO UNLOCK TRUE WORLD PEACE: God’s Word clearly foretell of a coming time of blessed rest and peace for the whole earth. No greater hope has ever been instilled in the heart of mankind, as when “they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” The Scriptures also reveal that this age of peace will be preceded by the restoration of Israel, which will come in the midst of great conflict and distress, as the nations resist and oppose the Jewish return to Zion. It has not been hidden from man that ultimately God will judge the nations for coming against the Jewish people whom He has regathered in Jerusalem (Joel 3). And it is only after the Lord “rebukes strong nations” for these actions that the promised universal peace shall prevail • Isaiah 2:4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.
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• Joel 3:1-3 “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel,Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.3 They have cast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. • Micah 4:3 He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.
ISRAEL’S ENEMIES ARE FIGHTING AGAINST GOD’S PLAN: Any nations and all peoples that those who seek to dislodge the Jewish people from any part of Jerusalem, to disinvest Israel of her bequeathed inheritance, or to divide the Land of Israel are placing themselves in conflict with the God of the Bible (Joel 3:1-3). Indeed, they shall rupture themselves and fall irreparably under the judgment of God (Zechariah 12:1-9). • Zechariah 12:1-9 The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. 4 In that day,” says the Lord, “I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.’ 6 In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem. 7 “The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. 8 In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. 9 It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
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CHRIST’S 2ND COMING IS TO A REGATHERED NATION IN THE LORD’S LAND CALLED ISRAEL: Ultimately, we affirm that the restoration of Israel will usher in the coming of the Messiah to the Mount of Olives, as the Hebrew prophet Zechariah declares (14:3-20), and bring rest to God’s people and the entire world.
Listen to this incredible summary of all specifics God has revealed about His Chosen People of Destiny, the Jews. Just listen and soak these in, we will actually look at them one-by-one in the Scriptures as we go tonight! I’m going fast with these, but remember what I teach today is usually online by Monday night at the Discover the Book Ministries website.
1. GOD PICKED HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE OF DESTINY AS THE JEWS, DESCENDENTS OF ABRAHAM, CALLED ISRAEL. God picked one man in Ur of the Chaldees and asked him to walk hundreds of miles through the desert to a land filled with powerful kingdom states. And there in a series of revelations, the Almighty God of the Universe solemnly swore to this man a nation would descend from him that would be the Chosen People of Destiny (Genesis 15). Those People are the Jewish People, the Israelites, God’s People (Deuteronomy 7:6-7). 9 Genesis 12:1-3 When the nation was first founded, God promised through Abraham, “I will make of thee a great nation . . . And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2,3). 9 Genesis 15 There is more1. This climactic word is the earliest missionary mandate. The promise of God to Abraham was specifically given in order that he and his seed might be, through the gracious provisions of God, the avenue of carrying the same good news to every one of the 70 families on the earth listed in chapter 10. 9 Not only did Israel become a great nation under David and Solomon, but it is destined for even greater days in the future. The nations that have befriended the Jews (notably the United States and, to a lesser degree, England, France and others) have indeed been blessed. Those that have persecuted the Jews (Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Rome, Spain, Nazi Germany and others — Russia’s time is coming!) have eventually gone down to defeat and humiliation. 2. GOD PRESENTED A LAND TO HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE OF DESTINY THE JEWS WITH CLEARLY DEFINED BOUNDARIES (Genesis 12:1; 13:15; 15:7, 18-21) to Abraham. He renewed that
1 Walt Kaiser, Jr.
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promise to Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 26:3-5), to his grandson Jacob (Genesis 28:13), and to their descendants after them forever (Leviticus 25:46; Joshua 14:9; etc.). 9 Genesis 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 9 Genesis 13:15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 9 Genesis 15:7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” 9 Genesis 15:18-21 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” 9 Genesis 26:3-5 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.” 9 Genesis 28:13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 9 Leviticus 25:46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly. 9 Joshua 14:9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.’
3. GOD PROCEEDED TO BRING HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE OF DESTINY TO THE PROMISED LAND. It is a historical fact that God brought these “chosen people” into the “Promised Land,” an amazing story of miracles in itself. 9 Exodus 6:7-8 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to
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Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’” 9 Deuteronomy 7:6-9 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. 7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. 9 Deuteronomy 14:2 for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
4. GOD PRONOUNCED A CURSE UPON HIS UNFAITHFUL BUT CHOSEN PEOPLE OF DESTINY AS THEY WANDERED THE WORLD WITHOUT THEIR PROMISED LAND 9 Deuteronomy 9:4 After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you. 9 Deuteronomy 28:64,66 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. Some of these warnings were as follows: “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”. 9 Deut. 38:37God warned that wherever they wandered the Jews would be “an astonishment, a proverb, a byword…a curse and a reproach” (Deut. 38:37). Amazingly, this has been true of the Jews all down through history, as even the present generation knows full well. Furthermore, the prophets declared that these scattered peoples would not only be slandered, denigrated, and discriminated against, but they would be persecuted and killed as no other peoples on the face of the earth. History stands as
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eloquent witness to the fact that this is precisely what has happened to the Jews century after century wherever they were found. God warned his chosen people of destiny if they forgot him in the promised land When the Jewish people entered the Promised Land, God warned them that if they practiced the idolatry and immorality of the land’s previous inhabitants, whom He had destroyed for their evil, He would cast them out as well. That this happened is, again, an indisputable fact of history. God described how he would scatter his unfaithful but chosen people of destiny from the promised land God declared that His people would be scattered “among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other”. And so it happened. “The wandering Jew” is found everywhere. 9 1 Kings 9:7 then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 9 2 Chronicles 7:20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. So far the story is hardly remarkable. Other peoples have believed that a certain geographic area was their “Promised Land” and after entering it have later been driven out by enemies. The next six prophecies, however, and their fulfillment, are absolutely unique to the Jews. The occurrence of these events precisely as prophesied could not possibly have happened by chance. 9 Nehemiah 1:8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 Jeremiah 24:9 “And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth, for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them”. 9 Jeremiah 29:18 I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth and an object of cursing and horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. 9 Jeremiah 30:11 But with all this, they would not be like so many other nations of antiquity (indeed like all other nations who were driven from their homeland). “Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee”.
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9 Jeremiah 44:8 Why provoke me to anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves an object of cursing and reproach among all the nations on earth. 9 Hosea 9:17 “My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations” 9 Amos 9:9 “For I will give the command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground. 9 Zechariah 7:14 ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’” 9 Amazingly, this has been true of the Jews all down through history. Furthermore, the prophets declared that these scattered peoples would not only be slandered, denigrated, and discriminated against, but they would be persecuted and killed as no other peoples on the face of the earth. History stands as eloquent witness to the fact that this is precisely what has happened to the Jews century after century wherever they were found. The historical record of no other ethnic or national group of people contains anything that even approaches the nightmare of terror, humiliation, and destruction which the Jews have endured down through history at the hands of the peoples among whom they have found themselves, as even the present generation knows full well. The maligning, the slurs and jokes, the naked hatred known as anti-Semitism, not only among Muslims but even among those who call themselves Christians, is a unique and persistent fact of history peculiar to the Jewish people. Even today, in spite of the haunting memory of Hitler’s holocaust which once shocked and shamed the world, and in defiance of logic and conscience, anti-Semitism is still alive and is once again increasing world-wide.
5. 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. The Jews had every reason to intermarry, to change their names and hide their identity by any possible means in order to escape persecution. Probably the most important of these end-time prophecies, namely, the re
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establishment of Israel as a nation in its ancient homeland. It is almost impossible that a nation could survive as a distinct nationality, regain its homeland and be recognized as a viable nation once more after being completely destroyed as an organized entity by an invading army (as Israel was by the Romans, in A.D. 70). Its people were either slaughtered or scattered from one end of the world to the other; its land occupied and ruled by aliens for over 1900 years. Israel’s survival is amazing, but even more so is the fact its survival was predicted many centuries earlier. When Israel, including Judah, first went into captivity, in 588 B.C., the period known as “the times of the Gentiles” began. Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome were successive world empires and their domain included the land of Israel. After Rome destroyed the city and the temple in A.D. 70 (as predicted by Christ Himself in Luke 19:41-44), the people of Israel were scattered “among all people, from the one end of the earth unto the other” (Deuteronomy 28:64). 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? Against all odds, the Jews remained an identifiable people after all those centuries. That fact is an astonishing phenomenon without parallel in history and absolutely unique to the Jews. We have already noted2 what is probably the most important of these end-time prophecies, namely, the reestablishment of Israel as a nation in its ancient homeland. It is almost impossible that a nation could survive as a distinct nationality, regain its homeland and be recognized as a viable nation once more after being completely destroyed as an organized entity by an invading army (as Israel was by the Romans, in A.D. 70). Its people were either slaughtered or scattered from one end of the world to the other; its land occupied and ruled by aliens for over 1900 years. Israel’s survival is amazing, but even more so is the fact its survival was predicted many centuries earlier. When Israel, including Judah, first went into captivity, in 586 B.C., the period known as “the times of the Gentiles” began. Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome were successive world empires and their domain included the land of Israel. After Rome destroyed the city and the temple in A.D. 70 (as predicted by Christ Himself in 9 Luke 19:41-44 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this
2 Drawn from Henry Morris, Creation Trilogy, Appedices, electronic edition, n.p.
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your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”), the people of Israel were scattered “among all people, from the one end of the earth unto the other” (Deuteronomy 28:64). 9 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.’ 9 Jeremiah 31:35-37 This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the Sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name: 36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.” 37 This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the LORD
6. GOD PROMISED TO REGATHER HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE OF DESTINY BACK TO THE PROMISED LAND AS A SOURCE OF FEAR FOR THE WHOLE WORLD The Bible declares that God determined to keep His chosen people separated to Himself because He would bring them back into their land in the last days prior to the Messiah’s second coming. That prophecy and promise, so long awaited, was fulfilled in the rebirth of Israel in her Promised Land. It happened at last in 1948, nearly 1900 years after the final Diaspora at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Roman armies of Titus. This restoration of a nation after 25 centuries is utterly astonishing, a phenomenon without parallel in the history of any other peoples and inexplicable by any natural means, much less by chance. God declared that in the last days before the Messiah’s second coming, Jerusalem would become “a cup of trembling…a burdensome stone for all people”. At the time Zechariah uttered this prophecy 2500 years ago, Jerusalem lay in ruins and was surrounded by wilderness. And so it remained century after century. Zechariah’s prophecy seemed to be utter madness even after Israel’s rebirth in 1948. Yet today, exactly as foretold, a world of nearly 6 billion people has its eyes upon
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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. 9 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” 9 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. 9 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. 9 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
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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.” 9 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” 9 Hosea 3:4, 5 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.
7. GOD PROPHISIED 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 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 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! 9 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. 9 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
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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. 9 COULD GOD BE WAITING FOR SOMEHING 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 PROPHESIED ISRAEL HIS NATION WOULD HAVE A FUTURE AGENDA IN GOD’S PLAN: In this context, we come to a remarkable prophecy made by Jesus Christ: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). Since the word “fulfilled” is the same word in the Greek as “finished,” this prophecy clearly means that the times of Gentile world-rule will be ended when Jerusalem is no longer under Gentile control. But this can only be accomplished when Christ returns to banish the Gentile nations from Jerusalem and to establish His own world-kingdom capital there. Thus, the restoration of Jerusalem to the chosen people is necessarily accompanied by the coming of their Messiah to reign there. This is also clearly indicated in Zechariah 12-14 as well as other Scriptures. What does God say specifically? This may be one of the most important studies we have ever undertaken, so feel free to trace these points and verses in your Bibles as we go along! • 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.
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9 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. 9 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. 9 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.” 9 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. 9 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). 9 god declared israel his nation would have a Future agenda in god’s plan: In this context, we come to a remarkable prophecy made by Jesus Christ: 9 “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). 9 Since the word “fulfilled” is the same word in the Greek as “finished,” this prophecy clearly means that the times of Gentile world-rule will be ended when Jerusalem is no longer under Gentile control. But this can only be accomplished when Christ returns to banish the Gentile nations from Jerusalem and to establish His own world-kingdom capital there. Thus, the restoration of Jerusalem to the chosen people is necessarily accompanied by the coming of their Messiah to reign there. 9 This is also clearly indicated in Zechariah 12-14 as well as other Scriptures.
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As over two millennia of OT history since Abraham concluded, none of the glorious promises of the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants had been fulfilled in their ultimate sense. Although there had been a few high points in Israel’s history, e.g., Joshua, David, and Josiah, the Jews had seemingly lost all opportunity to receive God’s favor since less than 100 years after returning from captivity, they had already sunk to a depth of sin that exceeded the former iniquities which brought on the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations. Beyond this, the long anticipated Messiah had not arrived and did not seem to be in sight. When Malachi wrote the capstone prophecy of the Old Testament, he delivered God’s message of judgment on Israel for their continuing sin and God’s promise that one day in the future, when the Jews would repent, Messiah would be revealed and God’s covenant promises would be fulfilled.