ISRAEL ...The Chosen of God!
The tiny nation of Israel, reborn on Friday 14th May 1948, is of mighty significance in this troubled world. The speed at which modern Israel came into being is spectacular to say the least.
|Isaiah 66:8||"Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once?
for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."
With a population of about six million, Israel has now become the focus of world attention. Geographically and economically, Israel sits at the control centre of the world. Its capital, Jerusalem, has been revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims for centuries and the God of Israel, the Creator of the mighty universe, has been worshipped by billions of souls since time began.
Why does this tiny nation exert so great an influence on mankind? The answer is: because YAHWEH, the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is with Israel. Through Israel came His prophets. Through Israel came His law. Through Israel came the Holy Bible, and, most importantly, through Israel came YESHUA (Jesus) the King of Israel, the only begotten Son of God. Yes, the Almighty God is with Israel and that is why this tiny nation is so important. To be sure other nations and individuals count in God's sight; but only as they consciously or unconsciously relate to His Son Jesus, His Holy Word the Bible, His Law and His People Israel. Let us now consider some little known facts about this amazing - almost incredible - nation.
2. ISRAEL, YAHWEH'S CHOSEN PEOPLE
To begin with, no matter what the majority of mankind or even the Christian church may believe, say or do, the fact is - Israel is the one and only nation chosen of God! Not chosen because she is intrinsically better than other nations, but because of Yahweh's promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Not surprisingly, the Almighty is keeping His promise to Israel's ancestors; a promise He sealed with an oath.
|Hebrews 6:13||"For when God made promise to Abraham,
because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself."
Here is what Scripture says about Israel being the Chosen Nation.
|Deuteronomy 7:6||"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
7:The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people.
But because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers ..."
|Deuteronomy 10:15||"... The Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day."|
|Deuteronomy 14:2||"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth."|
|Isaiah 41:8||"But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
9: Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away."
|2 Chronicles 20:7||"Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?"|
Only two men in all Scripture are referred to as 'friends of God.' They are Abraham and Moses (Exodus 33:11). As the texts above prove, Israel was chosen because of Yahweh's love for His friend Abraham. And that is why throughout the Stewarton Bible School site, Israel is referred to as the Chosen of God!
Because Israel is the Chosen of God, she became - and still is - the focus of Satanic attack. Anti-Semitism began centuries before the days of Hitler's Germany and can be traced back to the 3rd millennium BC. Believe it or not the Christian church is just as guilty of anti-Semitism as any other religious or political body. Consider these amazing statements about Israel.
"In the rivalry between religions, no other religion in the world makes the accusation that Christianity makes against the Jews, that they are literally murderers of God ... to be a murderer of God means to be the opponent of anything decent, anything humane, anything moral, anything ethical." (quoted, but not agreed, by Richard Rubenstein, Professor of Religion, Florida University)
Here is another quote about Israel:
"A theology was developed claiming that Christians were the true Israel, God's chosen people. God had cast aside the Jews. He had sent them His only son and they had rejected him. God's chosen people had betrayed Him and had become the false Israel, the Devil's Israel. The Christians were now God's chosen people. The Jews had forfeited everything, including their own past, Abraham, Moses and all." (The Longest Hatred, A study guide to Thames Television Series on Anti-Semitism, page 5)
In a leaflet entitled The Jews and their Lies, published in 1543, Martin Luther wrote
"Their (the Jews') synagogues are pigsties, they ought to be burned ... they live by evil and plunder, they are wicked beasts that ought to be driven out like mad dogs ... May (we) all be free of this insufferable, devilish burden - the Jews."
Over two thousand five hundred years ago the same hatred against the Jew was voiced; this time because Israel clung to the law of her God. Listen to these words spoken by the enemies of the Jews to king Ahasuerus.
|Ezra 4:12||"Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city ...
13: Be it known now unto the king, that if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute and custom; and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the king."
In our generation we can plainly see Arab/Muslim hatred of Israel. The following five quotations, taken from pages 201-202 of Ramon Bennet's masterful book When Day and Night Cease, will prove the point - if proof is needed - that anti-Semitism is very much alive in our day.
- Imam Hassan al-Bana (former leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood) once said:
"Israel will exist and continue to exist until Islam eliminates it, just as it eliminated what preceded it (referring to the defeat of the Crusaders)"
- Gamal Abdel Nasser was quoted in Time Magazine, December 1967 as saying:
"There will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades. No Jew will be left alive."
- King Farouk of Egypt said:
"The Jew in Palestine must be exterminated. There can be no option for those of us who revere the name of Allah. There will only be jihad."
- King Idris of Libya said:
"The Zionist conquest of Palestine is an affront to Muslims. This colonialist barbarism cannot and will not be tolerated. There can be no compromise until every Jew is dead and gone."
- Haj Amin el Husseini, Grand Muslim Mufti 1946
"The entire Jewish population must be destroyed or be driven into the sea. Allah has bestowed upon us the rare privilege of finishing what Hitler only began. Let the jihad begin. Murder the Jews. Murder them all."
How true today are the words of the ancient Psalmist, words that were recorded 3,000 years ago.
|Psalm 83:4||"They have said, 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.'"
Quotations from more recent times are as follows:
- "Our guns and our weapons will continue to be aimed at our enemies until all of Palestine will be liberated and God will give us the state that he promised." (Mahamud Azahar, senior leader in Hamas Islamic Resistance movement, to a rally in Gaza city, October 1996).
- "No East, no West - Only Muslem Jerusalem." From a handbill distributed by the Israeli Islamic Movement. (Haaretz newspaper Sep.1 1996)
- Yasser Arafat visiting Jerusalem (BBC, Oct 21.1996) "We will not give up our great struggle until the establishment of the Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital."
- Speaking before Palestinian forces in Gaza on September 24 1996, Arafat said:
"They will fight for Allah, and they will kill and be killed ... Palestine is our land and Jerusalem is our capital." (Maariv newspaper, October 4th 1996)
- Yasser Arafat at a press conference in Norway on 29/10/96:
"You don't understand the terminology. The small Jihad means violence, the big one means a Palestinian State. I mean a big one."
Yes, anti-Semitism has been around for thousands of years and all nations and religions of the world, including Britain and the USA, stand guilty before God. Today the eyes of the world are again on the land of Israel; simply because an all-out war in the Middle East could trigger World War 3; a global conflict which would spell disaster for every nation. All the world's leaders know this to be a fact. They also know that Israel's military might is considerable; that Israel is a nuclear power and would fight to the last man. Being surrounded by enemies bent on her annihilation, Israel is a nation under constant threat and never a week passes but she is in the news. The media of most nations does not favour Israel: for she is, more often than not, portrayed in the worst possible light. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the peoples of the world are being brainwashed against God's chosen people. But, let me again remind the reader, Yahweh is still with his people Israel. He calls the nation - MY PEOPLE!
|Exodus 3:10||"Come now therefore, and I will send thee (Moses) unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt."|
|Exodus 10:3||"And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me"|
|Psalm 81:13||"Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me; ... But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me ... Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!"|
4. ISRAEL'S REBELLION
As most Christians know, Israel was the name given to Abraham's grandson Jacob when he successfully wrestled all night with the Angel of the Lord at a place called Peniel.
|Genesis 32:27-28||"And he (the angel) said unto him (Jacob) What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, 'Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.'"|
In the course of time the Almighty delivered His people from Egyptian slavery, gave them His law and placed them in the Promised Land with the intention of using Israel as a channel of truth and blessing to all nations. Do remember that through Israel came God's Word the Bible, God's Law and God's Son Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote of Israel:
|Romans 3:1-2||"What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God."|
But alas! Israel, in the main, failed to obey her God. Israel rejected the Almighty's law, slew His prophets and broke the everlasting covenant. The story of Israel's rebellion goes back a long way, long before New Testament times.
|2 Kings 17:9||And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
10: And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
11: And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:
12: For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
13: Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.
14: Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.
15: And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.
16: And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
|Jeremiah 6:16||"Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
17: Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18: Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19: Hear O earth: behold I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it."
Israel's greatest mistake, however, was not that of rejecting Yahweh's law, tragic as that error was: it was in rejecting Yahweh's SON - Yeshua their Messiah (Jesus Christ).
|Matthew 27:22||"Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified."|
But, before we Christians join Luther in his wild attack on the Jews, when he wrote "May (we) all be free of this insufferable devilish burden - the Jews," the reader should remember that ancient Israel's rebellion has been duplicated over and over again by the Christian church. Modern Christians are no better than those ancient Jews. They too have set aside the law of God and by their multiple sins, blaspheme and crucify afresh His Son. Yes, all nations are guilty of lawlessness - of sin. All have come short of the glory of God. So let us not look down on the Jews, because we Christians are no better.
|Romans 3:10||"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12: They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
5. ISRAEL SCATTERED
How then did the Almighty respond to ancient Israel's rejection of His law and of His only begotten Son? The Almighty carried out the punishments prophesied through His servant Moses. One of those punishments was banishment from the Promised Land. This happened. Yahweh scattered His chosen people to the four corners of the earth. The warning to scatter Israel, if she persisted in disobedience, was made centuries before the scattering took place. Texts about the scattering of Israel are legion. I quote a few:
|Deuteronomy 4:25||"When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke Him to anger.
26: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.
27: And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations ..."
|Deuteronomy 28:64||"And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth even unto the other ..."|
|Leviticus 26:33||"And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste."|
|Ezekiel 20:23||I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;
24: Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.
|1 Kings 14:15||"For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger."|
The Saviour also Predicted Israel's Scattering.
|Luke 21:20||"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21: Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22: For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23: But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24: 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."
6. ISRAEL NOT ABANDONED
Nevertheless, for all her sins, God did not abandoned His people Israel. He is still Israel's God and they are still the Chosen of God! I repeat, even though ancient Israel sinned grievously and was scattered to the four quarters of the earth, the God of Abraham did not abandon His people Israel. To be sure He punished Israel over and over again with war, famine, and pestilence: but the Most High has not abandoned His chosen people. Israel is still the chosen race! Pause awhile dear reader and consider these little-known divine promises.
|Ezekiel 11:16||"Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.
17: Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel "
|Isaiah 41:8||"But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
9: Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and NOT CAST THEE AWAY.
10: Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
11: Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.
12: Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.
13: For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
14: Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel."
|Jeremiah 31:35||"Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of Hosts is His name:
36: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
37: Thus saith the Lord; If heaven can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord."
In other words the People of Israel, for all that they have done, will continue to be Yahweh's chosen people as long as the measureless universe exists! God Almighty has given us that assurance. He even sealed it with an oath! It is therefore absolutely impossible for Israel to be anything other than the Chosen of God!
"But," some will say,"You have only quoted Old Testament texts. In the New Covenant and New Testament you'll find that God has replaced Israel with the Gentile Church; and all the favours and promises He previously made to literal Israel are now transferred over to the Gentile Church, with perhaps a few Jews who accept Jesus as the Messiah being included. "
Is this the case? Has the Almighty cast off His people Israel, transferred all His favours to the Christian Church and, in the process, inadvertently violated His own oath? The very idea is monstrous, if not blaspemous. For the fact is, the New Testament teaches no such thing. Indeed, the New Testament teaches the very opposite. It quite plainly states that:
It even goes further and adds this sobering warning:
That any Gentile believer who boastfully assumes that God has cast away His chosen people Israel in favour of them, is in danger himself of being cut off from God! That is a stunning warning. Heed it!
The Apostle Paul confirms these facts when he cautions Gentile believers in Jesus not to imagine that God has abandoned or cast away His people Israel. To be sure the Most High has cut away some unbelieving, dead branches from the Olive of Israel and in their place grafted in believing Gentiles. But let no one smugly imagine that God has got rid of the Jewish nation and replaced it with the Christian Church. Because that is certainly not the case. I repeat, those who make these boastful, groundless claims are themselves at risk of being cut off from the Olive of Israel. This terrifying New Testament warning should cause all Christians to treat Israel with absolute care; for she is still the Chosen of God! Here are a few New Testament texts to prove these astonishing facts.
|Romans 11:1||"I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2: GOD HATH NOT CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE ..."
|Romans 11:17||And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18: Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19: Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20: Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21: For if God spared not the natural branches,
TAKE HEED LEST HE SPARE THEE NOT.
Yes, the people of Israel are still the Chosen of God; and will continue to be so as long as the immeasurable universe exists. That is what the Almighty God of Israel says in His Word. We had better believe it!
7. ISRAEL REGATHERED BY GOD
Even whilst the Most High was predicting the Diaspora (the scattering of Israel) He was also forecasting Israel's re-gathering. Over and over again He said that He would re-gather His scattered people; and bring them back from the four corners of the earth to the land He promised to their ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That is why it is called The Promised Land! The re-gathering of Israel is taking place at this very moment. I quote a few texts which tell of this astonishing development.
|Deuteronomy 30:1||"And it shall come to pass when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee.
2: And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
3: That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and GATHER thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.
4: If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
5: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers."
|Isaiah 11:11||"And 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, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12: And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."
|Isaiah 43:3||For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4: Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5: Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and GATHER thee from the west; 6: I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.|
|Ezekiel 11:17||"... Thus saith the Lord God; I will even GATHER you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel."|
More prophecies concerning the re-gathering of Israel are found at Jeremiah 29:14, 31:10, 32:34-41, Nehemiah 1:9, Psalm 107:3, Ezekiel 34:12-31, 37:21. Is a re-gathering of Israel taking place? To be sure it is. Consider the statistics of Jews returning to Israel since the nation was declared a State on 14th May 1948.
Currently tens of thousands of Jews, especially from the former Soviet Union, are returning to the land of their fathers.
|Isaiah 43:5||"Fear not for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and GATHER them from the west.
6: I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far and my daughters from the ends of the earth."
|Ezekiel 39:27||"When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;
28: Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which cause them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
29: Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD."
Yes, Bible prophecies concerning Israel's return to the Promised Land are being fulfilled before our very eyes. The descendants of Jacob are returning in their millions to the land God promised Abraham so long ago: and the Christian church, in the main, stands bewildered at events it doesn't understand, simply because it believes that Israel was abandoned by God and replaced by the Christian Church. Oh what a tragic misconception that is!
8. ISRAEL REFINED AS SILVER
What does Yahweh plan to do after re-gathering Israel? What does His Word tell us? It tells us that He is going to refine Israel as a silversmith refines silver; with the sole intention of producing an obedient and holy nation, a nation that will reflect His perfect character and obey His eternal law. He is going to do this for His great Name's sake, which Israel by its sinful practices has profaned among the nations. Yahweh is about to act, not because the Jews are better than Gentiles in any way, because they are not: but to keep His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to clear His slandered name.
|Ezekiel 22:15||"And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.
16: And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
17: And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying.
18: Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.
19: Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
20: As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so I will gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.
21: Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.
22: As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you."
|Ezekiel 36:21||"But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
22: Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
23: And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24: For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25: Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from your idols, will I cleanse you.
26: A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27: And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them."
|Zechariah 13:8||"And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
9: And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."
That refining work has already begun! Israel is being purified, refined by fire, persecution and war!
9. THE PROMISED LAND
Yahweh, the Creator and owner of planet Earth, promised the land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession. What are the boundaries of the Promised Land? The answer to this question may come as a shock to you; but these are the words of God Almighty!
|Genesis 15:18||"In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river EUPHRATES."|
|Genesis 24:6||"And Abraham said unto him (Eliezer his servant) Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7: The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that swore unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son (Isaac) from thence."
|Genesis 28:1||"And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
2: Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.
3: And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
4: And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham...
10: And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran.
Later the prophet Moses recalled God's words to Israel:
|Deuteronomy 11:24||"Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river EUPHRATES, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be."|
|Joshua 1:1||"Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
2: Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
3: Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river EUPHRATES, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast."
Here we are given the boundaries of an extremely large tract of land; stretching from the Mediterranean sea to the great river EUPHRATES. A land which Yahweh promised to Abraham and his seed Yeshua (Jesus). I have absolutely no doubt but that Yeshua, the King of Israel, will restore the land to its rightful owners the descendants of Jacob when at his return he will liberate Jerusalem.
10. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH & ISRAEL
Over the centuries the Christian church has made many serious mistakes. Let us consider five.
- The FIRST mistake, as pointed out earlier, was to suppose that because Israel, in the main, had rejected Jesus the Son of God, Yahweh ABANDONED His chosen people and transferred His favours to the Christian Church. Read again those divine statements listed at Section 6 where God Almighty promised NEVER to abandon His chosen people Israel: and that Israel would be His people as long as the universe exists! How could the Almighty, in the face of such legal guarantees, abandon His people Israel and break His oath to Abraham? I do believe that it borders on blasphemy to suggest that the Almighty would - or even could - break His solemn oath.
- The SECOND mistake was the failure to recognise that when the people of Israel rejected Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus), the Holy Spirit 'temporarily blinded the nation' and directed certain Apostles to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. Paul and Barnabas answered that call and a 'spiritual blindness' settled on most of Israel. But Israel was not abandoned. She was only 'temporarily blinded' to the truth of the gospel which she had stubbornly refused to accept. That 'spiritual blindness' is being removed at this very moment as tens of thousands of Jews around the world accept Yeshua the Messiah. This opening of Israel's eyes was prophesied to coincide with the END of the Times of the Gentiles. That time has come. It has arrived.
Romans 11:16 "For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17: And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou (Gentile) being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.
18: Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19: Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20: Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear.
21: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He spare not thee ...
25: For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles be come in."
- The THIRD mistake, was the failure to accept that every Believer in Jesus Christ is considered by the Almighty to be a 'child of Abraham.' In other words, Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ are Israelites - spiritual Jews! They have been grafted into the Olive of Israel.
Romans 2:28 "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
For further information see Who/What is a Jew?
Galations 3:29 "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
- The FOURTH mistake is to think that the New Covenant is between God and the Gentile Church. The reality is that the new covenant, like the old, is between the Almighty God and House of Israel!
Hebrews 8:8: ... Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL and with the house of Judah:
9: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10: For this is the covenant that I will make WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
- The FIFTH mistake is to imagine that the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation are Gentile believers and that Israel, in the main, is not included. The Bible says the very opposite. The prophecy of the Revelation plainly tells us that: the 144,000 are ALL Israelites! No doubt there will be some Gentile converts in this number. But they will be those who do not baulk at the idea of being classified with Israel or being called Jews! Bear this vital fact in mind.
Rev.7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of ALL the tribes of the children of Israel.
Read again the passages quoted above, particularly Romans chapter 11, where Paul explains how that God prunes away unbelieving Israelites from the Olive of Israel and in grafts in believing Gentiles. In other words, 'believing Gentiles become Israelites' who thereafter partake of the goodness of the Olive of Israel. Jews are not grafted into the Gentile church. It is the other way around; believing Gentiles are grafted onto the Olive of Israel. They become 'Jews,' 'Israelis,' the 'children of Abraham' and 'joint heirs of the Kingdom of God!
In view of these amazing facts, let every Christian treat the people of Israel with great respect. To be sure, some Jews, as in the days of old, are the "children of the Devil" (John 8:44); but the whole nation must not be condemned because of the few. Concerning Israel the Bible says:
|Zech: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.|
|Deut:32:10:||He found him (Israel) in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.|
How true were the words of the mercenary prophet Balaam, who, in spite of himself, declared this eternal fact as he lifted up his eyes and beheld the camp of Israel:
|Numbers 24:9||"Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee."|
11. THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION
The word 'Palestine' comes from 'Palaestina' which is Latin for 'Philistia.' Every Bible student knows that the Philistines dwelt mainly in Philistia (known today as the Gaza strip). The Philistines were the implacable enemies of ancient Israel. Times haven't changed: they still are. The modern Philistines (Palestinians) are still bent on Israel's destruction - yea, on Israel's extermination! What's more, the tide of world opinion is turning against Israel. The world is beginning to favour Palestinian (Philistine) arguments, assuming that they provide an answer to the Middle East problem. Israel's friends are also abandoning her one by one as she clings to territory promised to her centuries ago by the Creator. Mankind does not recognise the promises Yahweh made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so is unimpressed with Israel's claim to the Promised Land. The world dismisses the divine promises as religious lunacy. But mankind - and this includes modern Israel, the Muslim nations and the Christian Church - is about to learn two stunning truths:
- That Israel is still Yahweh's people, the Chosen of God! (Read Section 6 again in order to fix this fact in your mind)
- And that the Almighty is still in charge of human affairs.
Daniel 5:21 "And he (Nebuchadnezzar) was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will)"
The mood of the Palestinians has become increasingly hostile to Israel. Because of economic pressures linked to their dependence on Arab oil, Israel's friends are deserting her one by one. Israel is now looked upon as the cause of the Middle East turmoil. Soon world opinion will be galvanised against Israel. Anti-Semitism will sweep the globe and Jews will again be persecuted in many countries. This will drive even more Israelites back to the Promised Land. To be sure many noble efforts for peace will be put forth. But they will not produce peace. Peace in the Middle East will only come when YESHUA THE PRINCE OF PEACE, the KING OF ISRAEL arrives. Till then expect mounting hatred, turmoil, violence and war. I will end this section with a divine warning to every nation, religious group or individual who harbours a secret hatred for Israel - the chosen of God! Pay careful attention to this divine warning! Because you are on extremely dangerous ground!
|Jeremiah 12:14||"Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.
15: And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.
16: And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people.
17: But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD."
12. ISRAEL'S FUTURE
We learn from Bible prophecy that just before the Saviour returns to earth, the city of Jerusalem will be the centre of great turmoil. We are also told that the city of Jerusalem will be conquered and dominated by Gentile nations for a period of 42 months; that is 3.5 years or 1260 days. During this time the Most High will send Two Witnesses with a final warning for all mankind. After delivering their 42 month-long warning, the Two Witnesses will be killed by the Antichrist in the city of Jerusalem, "where our Lord was crucified."
|Revelation 11:1||"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2: But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."
|Revelation 11:7||"And when they (the Two Witnesses) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8: And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."
|Zechariah 14:1||"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2: For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
During this harrowing period of time the Antichrist will rule the entire earth using as his capital the captured city of Jerusalem. Thanks be to Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel, the Antichrist's rule will end at the return of Yeshua the Messiah. (Jesus Christ) The Scriptures tell us that Yeshua will return with the heavenly host and his resurrected saints --- to the city of Jerusalem! The millennial (1000 year) reign will then begin and all the nations of the world will be required to keep the law of Israel's God; the same law He gave for mankind through His servant Moses so long ago. Believe it or not at that time all mankind will also be required to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth)! The Bible is packed with prophecies about the mellenial reign when the LORD God of Israel will govern all mankind through His Son Yeshua - and His people Israel! It is future which no words can describe; simply because no human mind can properly imagine such glory!
|Zechariah 14:3||Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5: And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
6: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8: And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9: And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one." ...
16: And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to
|1 Cor:2:9:||But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
More texts concerning this last-day confrontation can be found at Zechariah chapter 12, Hosea 10:10, Micah chapter 4 and Joel chapter 3. See also our lesson on the Signs of Christ's Return
I urge the reader to pause and take note of what he/she has just read. Failure to heed Bible warnings is a sure way of courting disaster. I will now summarise the points I have raised in this sermon.
- Israel is an extremely important nation. Why?
- Because she is the Chosen of Yahweh, the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- Consequently Satan has directed his fiercest attacks against Israel. He has also inspired the peoples of the world to turn against Israel and the Jews. Judah-phobia (anti-Semitism) is not new. It goes back thousands of years. Alas! every nation and every religion, including Britain, the USA and the Christian Church are guilty of anti-Semitism.
- No one should forget that through Israel came the Law of God, the Prophets and Apostles of God, the Word of God and Yeshua the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God. But, sad to say, Israel miserably failed to obey the Almighty. Instead Israel rebelled, broke the everlasting covenant, stoned the prophets and crucified her Messiah.
- As a result, Yahweh scattered His chosen people to the four quarters of the earth.
- But Israel was not abandoned by her God. She was simply blinded to truths she had foolishly rejected. Yahweh has promised, under oath, that Israel would remain His people as long as the universe exists. He is keeping that promise.
- As prophesied, the scattered people of Israel were to be re-gathered to their land. This prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Over 5,000,000 have returned to Israel since Friday May 15, 1948 when modern Israel was born. The population is now near the 6,000,000 mark!
- Israel is being brought back to the Promised Land to be further refined as silver; because God intends to purify His people to clear His reputation and name, which has been degraded by His followers - both Jew and Gentile alike.
- According to the Scriptures the Promised Land stretches from the Mediterranean ocean to the river Euphrates! This territory was gifted to Israel by the Creator of the universe, who alone holds the title deeds to this Earth. No doubt this promise will find fulfilment when Yeshua the Messiah, the King of the Jews, returns to earth.
- Over the years the Christian church has made many serious mistakes. I mention five:
- Incorrectly supposing that the Most High had abandoned His people Israel and transferred his work to the Christian Church.
- Failing to recognise the fact that Israel was not abandoned, but merely partially blinded for a period of time, called the Time of the Gentiles. That time is now over. Israel's eyes are being opened.
- Failing to recognise that when a convert - from whatever nation - accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour, that person is grafted into the Olive of Israel and becomes an Israelite, a spiritual Jew!
- Failing to recognise that the new covenant which, like the old, is made between God and His people Israel; not with the Gentile church.
- And failing to see that the 144,000 sealed servants of God mentioned in the book of Revelation are, in fact, ALL Israelites!
- The Palestinian problem is not new. The word 'Palestine' is simply an anglicised Latin word which derived from the word Philistia. The Philistines, as most Bible students know, dwelt in, what is called today, the Gaza strip. The Philistines have been Israel's implacable enemy since the days of Isaac. Times haven't changed. The Philistines (Palestinians) still envy Israel and want to annihilate her. They will win over world opinion and all nations will gather against Jerusalem to battle. The city will be captured and be under the Gentile heel (brutal domination) for 3.5 years.
- Israel's future, however, is assured. Her King, Yeshua the Messiah, the King of the Jews, is soon to return. When he comes he will liberate Jerusalem and make it the capital city of the world. All nations will then worship the King in Zion and keep the law of God; the divine law they had persistently and foolishly rejected for so long.
May Jehovah, the Almighty God of Israel open your eyes to these eternal facts. Amen.