Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eretz Yisrael: The Right To Exist

There is a disturbing trend within the Christian community that tells of a lack of knowledge regarding Israel's history: God's covenant that began with Abraham and which was confirmed to Isaac and Jacob, and her future and the roll she plays in end-time prophecy.  Whether this ignorance comes from a misguided antipathy or outright hatred for Israel, a lack of a desire to know the facts, or whether its importance is not being taught in our churches, we are left without excuse when it comes to God's revelation within Scripture that details His plan for mankind from the beginning of Israel's history to the end.

It is bad enough that the international community fails to understand and acknowledge Israel's rich historical and spiritual roots, but the unwillingness of those who should have the capacity to recognize that God's plan began with Israel and will ultimately end there has caused me a great deal of discomfort, especially in light of the events that are currently being played out before our very eyes.  I am no Biblical scholar.  Nor am I a well-studied theologian.  I am merely a Christian relying on the wisdom of God who feels the urge to provide as much information that I am able to glean regarding the importance of the nation of Israel and how all of the world will be affected by the events that play out on that tiny speck of earth.

If there was ever a nation in the history of this world who could claim sovereignty and the right to exist, it is the nation of Israel.  From the beginning of Scripture to its conclusion, God tells us the story of His chosen people, His conveyance upon them of the land He chose for them, their continued disobedience, and the consequences He meted out to them for stubbornly rejecting His counsel and His will.

Although God brought punishment upon the Jews for their disobedience and uprooted them from their land, scattering them throughout all the nations on the earth, He also promised them there would be a time He would once again return them to their homeland, the nation He established through their father Abraham, and never disperse them again.  It would be then that Israel would become a "stumbling stone" to the rest of the world (Rom 9:30-33; 1Pt 2:7-9).  The Jews will be hated, reviled, and blamed for all the world's woes, and eventually, all the nations of the world will surround them in an attempt to rid the world of their existence, once and for all (Rev 16:16).

There are certain particulars prophecied thousands of years ago surrounding the current situation regarding Israel to which we should be paying close attention. I believe that by the willful avoidance some demonstrate regarding Israel, the church is robbed of the glory that will eventually be established there.  All too often, I hear other Christians disparage the determination and drive that Israel has to live in security on their own land, echoing the demand that they relinquish part of it in order for peace to be established.  This is a grave error, especially in light of the prophetic warning God gave Joel regarding the punishment He would inflict upon those who despise the nation's existence (Joel 3:1-3).

It is clear that most damage inflicted upon Christians, when it comes to the ability to form our opinions regarding Israel, has come from within our congregations or directly from the mouths of our church leaders.  Sadly, many churches in America, and around the world for that matter, have aligned themselves with the secular idea and taken up the mantra that if Israel would only behave, give up half its capitol, and divide the land they were given to the true "occupiers," then the "peace" everyone is clamoring for would come to pass.  However, this is a immature idea, not to mention a unBiblical notion, and one that has been perpetuated for decades by world leaders attempting to make a historical mark on their biographies and be touted as the one who brought peace to the Middle East.  (Consider the fact that Iran's desire is to "drive the Jews into the sea.")

Today, the American President, Barrack Hussein Obama, made his first trip in five years to the nation of Israel.  I just finished watching the press conference, listening to Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu extol praise on each other and tout their feigned ability to negotiate what is clearly a growing danger.  Benjamin Netanyahu has visited the United States ten times during Obama's first four years in the White House, and was once rudely slighted and ignored by Obama.  It only takes a few moments sitting down with our Bibles to know that what the two men believe they will be able to accomplish will not happen through man's feeble attempts.  "Peace" will not come upon Israel through the intervention of depraved and sinful men determining what they think is best, regardless of the efforts and concessions that have been offered on the vast table of negotiations (see

The "two-state solution" that both men are working towards and the naive thinking that it will bring about "peace" will only further God's anger.  Obama intends to meet with the "Palestinian" leadership tomorrow, and I'm confident that the glowing praise and promises of support he poured on Netanyahu will be repeated to Mahmoud Abbas.  The arrogance of worldly men who believe they will be able to provide an equitable solution by sitting down over coffee is ludicrous.   As the Book of Revelation so clearly reveals, peace will certainly come, but not without great cost, and Israel will pay the dearest.

To those of you who have failed or refused to follow the ancient and current history of Israel and to see its importance in the "big picture", so to speak, God has already brought about for the final time the return of His people to the land He gave them, as is precisely detailed in Scripture.  The first dispersion of the Jews when they were taken into captivity by the Babylonians was approximately 2500 years ago.  The second time they were forced from their homeland was approximately 70 years following the birth of Christ when, out of desperation,  the oppression and brutal persecution of Rome drove them out.  Twice God would exile them for their disobedience.  When He brought them back in  the beginning of the 20th century and Israel gained nationhood status in 1948,  it was to demonstrate prophetic fulfillment and for the purpose of concluding what he started with Abraham.

On May 14, 1948, Israel gained its independence and was formerly recognized as a legitimate State.  However, their re-establishment in the land God deeded to Abraham, and reconfirmed to Isaac and Jacob, did not come without a fight  (see  Through Israel's struggle to be acknowledged by the world as a viable and sovereign nation, they have seen many attempts over the last 60 years, often violent and bloody and perpetuated by their Arab neighbors, to chip away, inch by inch, the land the Jews rightfully own.  Even more disturbing is the fact that the United Nations views Israel negatively as the aggressor and caves under the pressure of her Muslim neighbors and their demands, causing the UN to pass an untold number of unfair and untrue resolutions against her, rather than condemning the atrocities that have been and are continuing to be committed by the Arab nations against Israel.

In the mind of the UN, the word "defense" only applies to those who are on the receiving end of Israel's attempt to protect itself.  The only victims that are recognized by the UN are the Muslim Arabs who receive retaliation from Israel for their never-ending onslaught of rocket attacks upon the towns and cities within Israel's borders that have killed thousands of citizens.  The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, continues to ask in his speeches before the UN and other nations if they would sit back and allow the same thing to happen to them without retaliating in kind.  Of course, the answer is obvious, but there is a gross unwillingness by these oligarchs to give the proper response.

To give you a better understanding and to further identify the boundaries with which God used to establish the Promised Land, in 1904 Theodore Herzl defined them in this map which, unfortunately, is from a website that promotes Islam (sorry for that, it was the best I could find, but I find it amusing that a pro-Islam map shows the very boundaries of God's deed to Israel.).  However, it does show a true representation of the original land mass demanded by Herzl and promised by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thus my reason for posting it here.  

As you can see, the boundaries of the original Jewish State encompassed Syria, Jordan, Iraq, the northern portion of Saudi Arabia, and the northern portion of the Red Sea and Egypt, including its capital, Cairo.  Herzl, the founder of Zionism, used the original borders to demonstrate to the world that the Jews would settle for nothing less in re-establishing themselves in their God-given homeland.  Herzl described it as being "from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates" (see Numbers 34:1-29 for God's definition of the boundaries He set in place).  If those original boundaries which were promised to Israel had been established, the political landscape of the Middle East today would be vastly different.

Considering the information provided us by these maps, the current State of Israel is much smaller than what the Jews first realized as they entered the land promised by God over 4000 years ago.  In fact, it has been reduced down to a strip of land about 8,000 square miles: 263 miles from north to south, 9 miles wide at its narrowest point, only 71 miles at its widest, with approximately 8 million people living there, of which 6 million are Jewish, 1.6 million are of Arabic descent, and 316,000 "other."  In comparison, it's roughly the size of New Jersey.  Through the guise and cunning of men who objected to the Jew's so-called "reoccupation"  of their own homeland, Israel has been reduced to a miniscule strip of land.

There are a few facts of which most are unaware and that I feel should be addressed.  One of the most important is that prior to the return of the Jews to their homeland, there never existed a people called "Palestinians."  Those that lived there were few in number, mostly outcasts from neighboring nations, or "stateless refugees" who had been driven from their homelands and who lacked citizenship in any country.  Because the nation was new and growth was desired, these people were invited by the Jews to assimilate into the newly born nation of Israel with full rights of citizenship extended.  It was not until after the Six-Day War in June of 1967, when Egypt, Syria, and Jordan amassed troops along Israel's borders, expelled United Nation peacekeepers, and blocked passage to the Red Sea, that the name "Palestinian" was born.  It was a term representative of those who resided in "Palestine" -  or better put, those that squatted there because they were not welcome in neighboring Arab nations.

In 1968, the Palestine National Council, which morphed into the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, defined "Palestinians" as  "...those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there."  They went on to also declare: "Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father - whether in Palestine or outside it - is also a Palestinian," regardless of their ethnicity.  The statement "whether they were evicted from it" was only the beginning of many falsehoods or, if you wish for the truth, lies that are still being perpetuated against the Israelis.  The Arab people who reside there are considered an asset by the Jews, are afforded the same rights and laws as the Israelis, and are able to conduct their lives and businesses much more freely than if they were residing in a neighboring Arab state.  As a matter of fact, a recent poll that was conducted in Israel revealed that the vast majority of Israeli-Arabs prefer the citizenship they enjoy there, over that of Arab-controlled nations.

The victory for Israel during the Six-Day War was nothing short of a divine miracle, considering the size of their own army and lack of weapons to defend her compared to the vast, well-equipped army that assembled at her borders.  The result was Israel's capture of the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the eastern portion of their capitol, Jerusalem - all part of the original "land deed" from God.  By securing these locations, they provided a vital buffer or wall of protection against future attacks upon their tiny, vulnerable nation.  Because of Egypt's, Syria's, and Jordan's denial that they initiated the attack against Israel and the UN's acceptance of this lie, these particular portions of Israel have been a bone of contention that has fiercely divided the Middle East and prevented any further negotiations for peace.  And it continues to this day.  In recent events, much of what they gained in 1967 has been lost by the infiltration of Muslims and Israel caving to international pressure and demands to give up these areas.

We are living in a moment in history where changes are occurring at a rapid rate.  Advancements in technology, repositioning of world powers such as the European Union, a world banking system, and a blurring of borderlines which has invited a world-wide economy rather than individual ones, has made it impossible to keep up.  If we chose to simply view the world as a great melting pot of diversity, economy, and religion, as most of the secular world prefers, the image would appear appealing, painting a rosy picture of mutual acceptance and political correctness, and giving the false hope that world-wide peace is attainable through the efforts of its leaders.  However, the danger lies in the details, and one of the most important details is knowing and understanding Israel's role in bringing about the true peace everyone desires.

Considering this very brief and limited history lesson, what responsibility do we, as Christians, have when it comes to Israel and her struggle to survive?  What does God say about it?  Once again, I stress the importance of studying Scripture and making a determination solely based upon the Word of God rather than the secular world opinion that demonizes Israel.

Although many don't acknowledge this fact, the Book of Revelation was written for the Jews.  For approximately 4,000 years, the Jews have refused God's will for them, stubbornly rejecting His plan for all men, including taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile nations.  For 2,000 years, most of them have rejected Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah.  But Yahweh promised that once they were returned to the land He gave Abraham, He would never disperse them again.  In Matthew 24:33-35, Jesus was speaking of a future generation who would see the final return of the Jews to Israel, and we have been blessed in our generation to see it happen.  The "generation [that] will not pass away" is this generation; the world that we live in - RIGHT NOWJesus will eventually build His earthly kingdom in the much-disputed city of Jerusalem, as is described throughout the Old and New Testament and ultimately in the book of Revelation, chapters 20-22.  The Jew's long-awaited Messiah, God's Son Jesus Christ, will return a second time and at last be seated on His rightful throne to be worshiped by all men and to rule with justice over the entire world. 

What does that mean for all of mankind?   It means time is short.  The world as we see it is a far different place than it was even a year ago.  God began man's history in the Middle East, and it will all end in the same place it began.  If you are closely watching, Biblical warnings and prophetic events are eerily occurring at such a rapid rate that we are often left in awe.  The Middle East is a bubbling cauldron of hatred, unrest, and ethnic skirmishes, which has spread across the world with Muslim's twisted and evil ideology that demands all the world be subjected to Islam, and it's about to boil over.  The enemy is nearly at Israel's gates with the determined and unwavering bent of annihilating the Jews  from the face of the earth, and those nations Israel was able to rely upon for defense in the past are diminishing at an alarming rate.  Even our own current U.S. administration, which views Israel as "occupiers," is making overtures of  impatience and demanding "peace" from their Jewish counterparts.  Soon Israel will be left alone to defend herself.  But God, in His infinite wisdom, has drawn a line in the sand surrounding His city Jerusalem, and it will not be breached.

I truly believe we are experiencing the beginning of "birth pangs" that Jesus warned His disciples of in Matthew 24:1-51.  There remains only one prophecy to fulfill Scripture: the "man of lawlessness" whom the world will be forced to worship is yet to be revealed (2Thes 2:1-12), and when he makes his grand entrance onto the world's stage, "all hell will break loose." At the present time, somewhere in the dark and wicked recesses waits a man who will seem to have all the answers for what troubles this world. He will suddenly reveal himself as the great "peace maker" who holds the key to what other world leaders have tried to accomplish for decades.  His deceptive countenance and false character will be such that even Israel will rejoice and embrace what he brings to the negotiation table.  They will tear down the walls they have built to protect their borders, leaving them open and vulnerable to what our sovereign God is about to bring upon the world (Ezekiel 38).

From what God has revealed to us in Scripture about the end of times, Christians know this man to be the Antichrist who will deceive the world with his cunning.  However, the saints won't know who this man is because many of us believe a very special event will take place prior to the 7-year period of Tribulation.  God will remove the "restrainer" (His church who is indwelt with the Holy Spirit through the " Rapture " of His saints, sparing them from the wrath to come as He did Noah before the flood - 1Thessalonians 4:13-18), and allow Satan full reign for 7 years upon this earth.  Christians around the world are anticipating this blessed event, and we believe it will happen soon.

This should strike terror into the hearts of even the most hardened unbeliever, for in his heart of hearts, he knows there is a Just God.  The saying, "There are no atheists in foxholes," is true and can't be ignored by those who refuse to believe there is a CreatorBut we who know Jesus Christ should not be dismayed over the things to comeJesus will return with His saints (those of us who were "raptured") after the 7-year period of Tribulation as a Victor and a Conqueror and will once again restore peace and justice upon the throne He establishes over all the earth.

There has never been a more urgent time in the history of mankind than NOW that you make a close examination of your spiritual state and your relationship with GodYour very soul depends upon it.  Where you will spend eternity depends upon it.  God is very close to proving to all of mankind, who continue to foolishly try to thwart His plans and His will through their own attempts at "negotiations," that His Word regarding His chosen people, Israel, has not changed.  He will bring about events that will cause the world to tremble in horror and tremendous fear, and wreaking destruction unlike any time in history.  All of this will be for the purpose of revealing His Son, Jesus Christ, to the Jews as the Messiah Israel yearned for and whom they will eventually weep over as they remember their past disobedience and rejection (Zech 12:9-11).  It will culminate in the return of our LORD and Savior, our King Jesus Christ, to reclaim His rightful inheritance and establish His throne in the holy city of Jerusalem.

Although this post only touches upon Israel, its troubled history, and its right to exist, I have a purpose for publishing it.  I want you to consider that God's patience will only last until He deems it necessary to bring about everything I have spoken of - and more.  Understanding that He chose the nation of Israel to reveal Himself to all the world is vital in understanding the rest of Scripture.  He did it for HIS honor and for HIS glory, so that HE would receive the praise and worship He deserves.
(Rom 9:19-29).

I used to ignorantly wonder why God loved the Jews more than the Gentiles, but I realized after my rebirth that my envy was unfounded.  As I grew in spiritual knowledge, I came to understand the role God wrote for them in His plan of redemption.  God loves all mankind and desires that all repent of their sins.  He wants all men to turn to His Son and Savior Jesus Christ.  He desires that all believe on Him, put their faith in Him, and trust Him. This is what God meant when He told Abraham, in Genesis 17:1-8, that He would "be the father of a multitude of nations."  This is the message the Jews were intended to spread among all the nations, in order that they would know God Almighty and worship Him, and Him alone. 

"I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.  I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules.  You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be My people, and I will be your God.  And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses.  And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.  I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations.

 "Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations.  It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.
“Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.  And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by.   And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’  Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.

“Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock.  Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 36:22-38 - ESV

Jesus, Who came as God in the flesh, Who died upon a cross, and rose again to forever defeat death and provide His sons and daughters with eternal life, and is now seated on His heavenly throne, is Israel's and your only Hope.

As God jealously guards His people and His land, and causes prophecy to unfold before our very eyes to bring about the culmination of all He has ordained, please turn to Him in faith, in repentance, and belief.  "Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion..." ~ Heb 3:7

Even so, come, LORD Jesus!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I have added the following link for you to view.  Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, gave a speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, Monday, March 22, 2010, which followed Hillary Clinton's speech where she made not-so subtle references to Israel's "occupation".  Bibi Netanyahu speaks about Israel's God-given deed to the land.  It's a tremendously emotional speech.  I hope you'll take the time to watch it.

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